'Before the sickness was quite over, the "Southern Cross" arrived for the winter voyage. The danger of carrying infection to the islands could not be incurred, and the vessel was sent back to Auckland for a time.'
The letters she carried back refer again to the growing anxiety about the 'labour traffic.'
'May 6th.—I am corresponding with a Wesleyan Missionary in Ovalau (Fiji) on a matter that you may see mentioned some day in the papers, a very questionable practice of importing from the Southern New Hebrides (principally Tanna) natives to work on the cotton plantations of white settlers in Fiji. It is all, as I am assured, under the regulation of the Consul at Ovalau, and "managed" properly. But I feel almost sure that there is, or will be, injuries done to the natives, who (I am sure) are taken away under false pretences. The traders don't know the Tannese language, and have no means of making the people understand any terms, and to talk of any contract is absurd. Yet, a large number of Tanna men, living on really well- conducted plantations, owned by good men, might lead to a nucleus of Christian Tannese. So says Mr. M. True, say I, if (!) you can find the good planters and well-conducted plantations. Mr. M. assures me that they (the Wesleyan Missionaries) are watching the whole thing carefully. He writes well and sensibly on the whole, and kindly asks me to visit his place, and judge for myself.
'Tanna is in the hands of the Nova Scotia Presbyterians—Mr. Greddie, Inglis, and others; but the adjacent islands we have always visited and considered ours, and of course a plague of this kind soon spreads. My letter to Mr. Attwood on the matter was read by Sir John Young and Commodore Lambert, and they expressed a warm interest in the matter. Mr. M. says that they think it would be well to accept some rule of conduct in the matter from the Commodore, which is, I think, likely to do good.'
By the 15th of June the glad intelligence was received that the hospital had been empty for a fortnight; and the house that was to have been carried to Mota was put up for the married couples, for whom it afforded separate sleeping rooms, though the large room was in common. Two weddings were preparing, and B—— and his wife had become reconciled.
'We may hope that this time it is not a case of two children, then unbaptized, living together, heathen fashion, obeying mere passion, ignorant of true love, but a sober, somewhat sad reunion of two clever and fairly-educated grown-up people, knowing much of life and its sad experience, understanding what they are about, and trying to begin again with prayer to God and purposes of a good life.'
This time of convalescence was a time of great progress. A deep impression had been made on many, and there was a strong spirit of enquiry among them. The Bishop then began a custom of preaching to his black scholars alone after the midday service, dismissing his five or six white companions after prayers, because he felt he could speak more freely and go more straight to the hearts of his converts and catechumens if he had no other audience.
The other inhabitants of the island suffered long after the St. Barnabas scholars were free, and deaths continued. It was impossible to enforce on such an undisciplined race the needful attention to cleanliness, or even care of the sick; the healthy were not kept apart, nor was the food properly prepared for the sick. It was impossible to stir or convince the easy-going tropical nature, and there was no authority to enforce sanitary measures, so the fever smouldered on, taking first one, then another victim, and causing entire separation from St. Barnabas, except as far as the Bishop was concerned.
Meantime, a house was being put up to receive Mr. Palmer's intended wife, the daughter of that Mr. Ashwell who had shared in the disastrous voyage when the 'Southern Cross' had been wrecked. She had been brought up to Mission work, and was likely to be valuable among the young girls. After this announcement, the Bishop continues:—
'My mind is now made up to take the great step of ordaining dear George Sarawia, for nine years my pupil, and for the last three or four my friend and helper. Codrington is only surprised that he is not ordained already. Humanly speaking, there can be no doubt of his steadfastness. He is, indeed, a thoroughly good conscientious man, humble without servility, friendly and at his ease without any forwardness, and he has a large share of good sense and clear judgment. Moreover, he has long held a recognised position with all here and in New Zealand, and for the last two years the Mota people and the neighbouring islanders have quite regarded him as one whom they recognise as their leader and teacher, one of our own race, yet not like us—different; he knows and does what we can't do and don't know."
'They quite look upon him as free from all the difficulties which attend a man's position as inheriting feuds, animosities, &c. He goes anywhere; when the island may be in a disturbed state, no one would hurt him; he is no partisan in their eyes, a man of other habits and thoughts and character, a teacher of all.
'I think, oh! with such feelings of thankfulness and hope too, of the first Melanesian clergyman! I should almost like to take him to Auckland, that the Bishop might ordain him; but he ought to be ordained here, in the presence of the Melanesians; and in the hasty confusion of the few weeks in New Zealand, George would be at a sad loss what to do, and the month of October is cold and raw. But you may get this just in time to think of his Ordination, and how you will pray for him! His wife Sara is a weakly body, but good, and she and I are, and always have been, great friends. She has plenty of good sense. Their one child, Simon, born in Norfolk Island some fourteen months ago, is a very nice-looking child, and healthy enough.
Meantime the spirit of enquiry and faith was making-marked progress. Mr. Codrington says: 'The stir in the hearts and minds of those already christened might be called a revival, and the enquiring and earnest spirit of many more seemed to be working towards conversions. During this time, there might be seen on the cliff or under the trees in the afternoon, or on Sundays, little groups gathered round some of the elder Christians, enquiring and getting help. It was the work that George evidently was enabled to do in this way that convinced everyone that the time had quite come for his Ordination. It is worth mentioning that the boys from one island, and one individual in particular, were much influenced by the last conversations of the first Christian who died here (Walter Hotaswol), who had told his friends to be "sure that all the Bishop had told them was true."'
This quickening and its results are further described in the ensuing letter, wherein is mention of the Bauro man Taroniara, the most remarkable of the present conversions, and destined three years after to die with the Bishop and Mr. Atkin.
'June 20, 9 P.M., 1868.
'My dear Sisters,—You know how I am thinking of him to-day. Seven years ago! I think that he seems more and more present to my mind than ever. How grateful it is to me to find the dear Bishop ever recurring to him in his sermons, &c.; but indeed we all have the great blessing and responsibility of being his children. The thought of meeting him again, if God be so merciful, comes over me sometimes in an almost overpowering way: I quite seem to see and feel as if kneeling by his side before the Great Glory, and even then thinking almost most of him. And then, so many others too—Mamma, Uncle James, Frank, &c., and you, dear Joan, think of your dear Mother. It seems almost too much. And then the mind goes on to think of the Saints of God in every generation, from one of the last gathered in (dear Mr. Keble) to the very first; and as we realise the fact that we may, by God's wonderful mercy, be companions, though far beneath the feet, of Patriarchs, and Apostles, and Martyrs, and even see Him as He is—it is too great for thought! and yet, thank God, it is truth.
'My heart is full too of other blessed thoughts. There seems to be a stirring of heart among our present set of scholars, the younger ones I mean; they come into my room after evening Chapel and school, one or two at a time, but very shy, sit silent, and at last say very softly, "Bishop, I wish to stop here for good."
'"I do wish to be good, to learn, to be like George and Henry and the rest."
'This morning I baptized Charlotte and Joanna. Charlotte will be married to Fisher on Wednesday, when Benjamin and Marion will also be married. Oh, what blessings are these! I spoke earnestly of the service in my preachment.
'Taroniara, from San Cristoval, said to me the other night, "Bishop, why is it that now I think as I never thought before? I can't tell quite what I think. You know I used to be willing to learn, but I was easily led away on my own island; but I think that I shall never wish again to listen to anything but the Word of God. I know I may be wrong, but I think I shall never be inclined to listen to anything said to me by my people to keep me from you and from this teaching. I feel quite different: I like and wish for things I never really used to care for; I don't care for what I used to like and live for. What is it?"
'"What do you think it is?"
'"I think—but it is so (mava) great—I think it is the Spirit of God in my heart."
'As for the Mota and Matlavo fellows, and the girls too, they have now good examples before them, and one and all wish to stop here as long as I please. And that being so, the return to their homes not being a return to purely heathen islands, I trust that they may soon be baptized. So my heart is full of thankfulness and wonder and awe.
'All this time I write with a full sense of the uncertainty of this and every human work. I know the Bishop is preaching on failures, and I try to think he is preaching to me.
'July 2nd, 8 A.M.—My dear Sisters, what a day we had yesterday! so full of happiness and thankfulness. It was the wedding-day of Fisher and Charlotte, Benjamin and Marion.
'The chapel was so prettily dressed up by Mr. Codrington and Mr. Bice, under whose instructions some of the lads made evergreen ornaments, &c., large white arums and red flowers also.
'At 7 A.M. Morning- Prayers, as usual. At 9.30 the wedding. All the Melanesians in their places in Chapel; and as we came into the Chapel from my room, the 100th Psalm was chanted capitally. Mr. Codrington said he never was present at so thoroughly devotional a wedding. It was a really solemn religious service.
'Then I gave good presents to everyone in the school, even the smallest boys came in for a knife, beads, &c. Then cricket, for the day was beautifully fine, though it is midwinter. And all sorts of fun we had. Then a capital dinner, puddings, &c. Then cricket, running races, running in sacks (all for prizes), then a great tea, 7 P.M. Chapel, then native dances by a great bonfire. Then at 10 P.M. hot coffee and biscuits, then my little speech, presenting all our good wishes to the married couples, and such cheering, I hope it may be well remembered. The deeper feeling of it all is bearing fruit. Already lads and young men from the Solomon Islands say, "We begin to see what is meant by a man and woman living together." The solemnity of the service struck them much.
'The bridegrooms wore their Sunday dresses, nice tidy trousers of dark tweed, Crimean shirt, collar and tie, and blue serge coat. The brides, white jackets trimmed with a bit of red, white collar and blue skirts. All the answers quietly and reverently made; the whole congregation answering "Amen" to the word of blessing in an unmistakeable way. The 67th Psalm was chanted, of course.
'My plan is to have Psalms, with reading and singing to suit each day, regarded as commemorative of the great facts and doctrines, so that every week we read in chapel about forty Psalms, and sing about twelve hymns. These are pretty well known by heart, and form already a very considerable stock of Scriptural reference. The Resurrection and the Gift of the Spirit, the Nativity, Manifestation, Betrayal, Ascension, Crucifixion, Burial, with the doctrines connected with them, come in this way every week before their minds. I translated Psalms chosen with reference to this plan, and wrote hymns, &c. in the same way.
'I wish you could have been with us yesterday. It was really a strikingly solemn service. Then our fortnightly 7 A.M. Communions, our daily 7 A.M. and 7 P.M. Services, our Baptisms, yes and our burials too, all are so quiet, and there is so much reverence. You see that they have never learnt bad habits. A Melanesian scholar wouldn't understand how one could pray in any other posture than kneeling.
'The evening Catechumen classes, so happy. And then the dear fellows at their private prayers. The Chapel is always open, you know, and in the early morning and late evening little knots of three and four, or eight and ten, are kneeling about, quietly saying their prayers. The sick lads—dear Clement and Richard who died—as long as they could move, knelt up in hospital to say their prayers, and all but quite the new comers did the same. It was touching to see them, weak and in much pain, yet I did not of course tell them that they might as well pray as they lay on their rugs. Better for them even if it did a little exhaust them. It is no mere formal observance of a rule, for there never has been any rule about it. I have given them short simple prayers, and they first learn to kneel down with me here in my room, or with Codrington in his room, &c. But I merely said (long ago at Kohimarama), "You know you can always go into the Chapel whenever you like."
'Sometimes I do wish you could see them; but then unless you could talk with them, and indeed unless you knew the Melanesian mind and nature, you couldn't estimate these things rightly.
'But never did I feel so hopeful, though my old text is ever in my mind, Isaiah lx. 5: "Thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged." That's exactly it.
'July 18th.—To-morrow I baptize Taroniara, of San Cristoval, a young man full of promise. He has a wife and little girl of about four years old. He may become, by God's blessing, the teacher of the people of his island.'
(From a letter of the same date to myself, I add the further particulars about one who was to teach by his death instead of his life, and for whom the name of the first martyr was chosen):—
'He has been with me for some years, always good and amiable; but too good-natured, too weak, so that he did not take a distinct line with his people. He is a person of some consequence in his neighbourhood. Now he gives all the proofs that can well be given of real sincerity. He wonders himself, as he contrasts his present with his former thoughts. I feel, humanly speaking, quite convinced that he is thoroughly in earnest. His wife and little child are in the islands. "How foolish of me not to have listened to you, and brought them here at once. Then we could stop here for good." But he will return with them, all being well, or without them, if anything has happened to them, and I see in him, as I hope and pray, the pioneer for San Cristoval at last.
'(Resuming the home letter.) The language of Mota now is beginning to be a very fair channel for communicating accurate theological teaching. We have, of course, to a large extent made it so by assigning deeper meanings to existing words (we have introduced very few words). This is the case in every language. On Sunday night, if you had been here, and been able to understand my teaching on St. John vi. to the Communicants, you would have been surprised, I think. Something of Hooker's fifth book was being readily taken in by several of those present. An Old Testament history they don't learn merely as certain events. They quickly take up the meaning, the real connection. I use the "Sunday Teaching," or work them at all events on that plan. Well, you mustn't say too much of the bright side of the picture. It is so easy to misunderstand.
'The time has been bad for our "lambing." We have thirty-five lambs, looking well, and have lost, I think, nine. Yesterday a great event occurred. One of the cart-mares foaled; great was the satisfaction of the Melanesians at the little filly. Calves are becoming too common, as we have now fourteen or fifteen cows, and five more are owing to us for goods which the people take in exchange—not money, which would not suit them as well. We have fenced in plenty of grass, and I don't wan't to pay any more for keep. Of course, we use a good deal of salt beef on shore here, as well as seek to supply the "Southern Cross" on her voyages.
'It is pleasant to walk about and see the farm and gardens thriving. All being well, we shall have some 300 bananas next year, lots of sugar-canes; many fruit trees are being planted, pine-apples, coffee, &c. Guavas grow here like weeds. I don't care for these things; but the others do, and of course the scholars rejoice in them.
'I think of the islands, and see them in my waking dreams, and it seems as if nothing was done. But I think again of what it was only a very short time ago, and oh! I do feel thankful indeed, and amazed, and almost fearful. I should like much, if I am alive and well, to see my way to spending more of my time on the islands. But the careful training of picked scholars for future missionaries is, I am sure, the most important part of our work (though it must be combined as much as possible with residence in the islands). If I could feel that the school was well able to get on without me, I would be off to the islands for a good spell. On the other hand, I feel most strongly that my chief business is to make such provision as I may for the multiplication of native missionaries, and the future permanent development and extension of the Mission; and to do this, our best scholars must be carefully trained, and then we may hope to secure a competent staff of native clergymen for the islands.
'Mind, I am not disposed to act in a hasty way. Only I don't mean to let conventional notions about an English clergyman hinder my providing Melanesian islands with a Melanesian ministry. These scholars of ours know very much more, and I imagine possess qualifications of all kinds for their work in Melanesia, greater than the majority of the missionaries in the old missionary times.
'How many men did good work who could hardly read, only repeat a few portions of the Service-book, &c.!
'I need not say that we wish to educate them up to the maximum point of usefulness for their practical work. But, given earnestness and steadfastness of character, a fair amount of teaching power, and a sound knowledge of fundamental truths, of the Church Services, and the meaning and spirit of the Prayer-book, and we may surely trust that, by God's grace, they may execute the office of the Ministry to the glory of God, and the edification of the Church.
'They have now in Mota, in print, St. Luke, the Acts; soon will have St. John, which is all ready; the Prayer-book, save some of the Psalms, and a few other small portions. And in MS. they have a kind of manual of the Catechism, abstract of the Books of the Old Testament, papers on Prophecy, &c., &c. All this work, once done in Mota, is, without very much labour, to be transferred into Bauro, Mahaga, Mara, &c., &c. as I hope; but that is in the future.'
In the birthday letter to his sister Fanny, his chilly nature confesses that August cold was making itself felt; and it was becoming time for him to make a journey to the settled world, both on account of a small tumour under his eyelid, and of the state of his teeth. Moreover, no letters from home had reached him since the 2nd of March. But he writes on the 7th of September to his brother:—
'This does not a bit distress me. I like the freedom from all external excitement. It gives me uninterrupted time from my own work; and the world does not suffer from my ignorance of its proceedings. How you exist with all the abominations of daily papers, I can't imagine. Your life in England seems to be one whirl and bustle, with no real time for quiet thought and patient meditation, &c. And yet men do think and do great things, and it doesn't wear them out soon either. Witness Bishops and Judges, &c., living to eighty and even ninety in our own days.
'I like quiet and rest, and no railroads and no daily posts; and, above all, no visitors, mere consumers of time, mere idlers and producers of idleness. So, without any post, and nothing but a cart on wheels, save a wheelbarrow, and no visitors, and no shops, I get on very happily and contentedly. The life here is to me, I must confess, luxurious, because I have what I like, great punctuality, early hours, regular school work, regular reading, very simple living; the three daily meals in hall take about seventy minutes all put together, and so little time is lost; and then the climate is delightful. Too cold now, but then I ought to be in the islands. The thermometer has been as low as 56 in my room; and I am standing in my room and writing now with my great coat on, the thermometer being 67.
'You know that I am not cut out for society, never was at my ease in it, and am glad to be out of it. I am seldom at my ease except among Melanesians: they and my books are my best companions. I never feel the very slightest desire for the old life. You know how I should like to see you dear ones, and...[others by name] but I couldn't stand more than a week in England, if I could transplant myself there in five minutes! I don't think this augurs any want of affection; but I have grown into this life; I couldn't change it without a most unpleasant wrench.'
The letter was at this point, when the 'Southern Cross' arrived, on September 10, to carry off the Bishop and Mr. Palmer: the one to the General Synod, and to take leave of his most loved and venerated friend; the other, to fetch his bride.
He arrived on the 18th of the month, looking ill, and much worn and even depressed, more so than Lady Martin had ever seen him, for the coming parting pressed heavily upon him. The eye and teeth were operated upon without loss of time, and successfully; but this, with the cold of the voyage, made him, in his own word, 'shaky,' and it was well that he was a guest at Taurarua, with Lady Martin to take care of him, feed him on food not solid, and prevent him on the ensuing Sunday from taking more than one of the three services which had been at once proffered to him.
It was no small plunge from the calm of St. Barnabas. 'We agree,' said Lady Martin, in a note within his envelope, 'that we cannot attempt to write letters just now. We are in a whirl, mental and bodily; one bit of blue sky has just shown itself, viz. that Coley may possibly stay on with us for a week or two after the Selwyns have left us. This really is proeter spem, and I mean to think that it will come to pass.'
But in all this bustle, he found time to enclose a kind little note to me; showing his sympathy with the sorrow of that summer, in my mother's illness:—
'Auckland. October 3, 1868.
'I add one line, my dear Cousin, to assure you of my prayers being offered for you, now more especially when a heavy trial is upon you and a deep sorrow awaiting you. May God comfort and bless you! Perhaps the full experience of such anxiety and the pressure of a constant weight may, in His good Providence, qualify you more than ever to help others by words put into your mouth out of your own heart-felt troubles.
'Yet in whatever form the sorrow comes, there is the blessing of knowing that she is only being mysteriously prepared for the life of the world to come. There is no real sorrow where there is no remorse, nor misery for the falling away of those we love. You have, I dare say, known (as I have) some who have the bitterness of seeing children turn out badly, and this is the sorrow that breaks one down.'
It was during these spring days of October, that last Sunday before the final parting, that being hindered by pouring rain from going with the Primate, who was holding a farewell service with the sick at the hospital, Bishop Patteson said the prayers in the private chapel. After these were ended (Lady Martin says), 'he spoke a few words to us. He spoke of our Lord standing on the shore of the Lake after His Resurrection; and he carried us, and I think himself too, out of the heaviness of sorrow into a region of peace and joy, where all conflict and partings and sin shall cease for ever. It was not only what he said, but the tones of his musical voice, and expression of peace on his own face, that hushed us into a great calm. One clergyman, who was present, told Sir William Martin that he had never known anything so wonderful. The words were like those of an inspired man.
'Three days after, our dear friends sailed. I will not dwell on the last service at St. Paul's Church, when more than four hundred persons received the Holy Communion, where were four Bishops administering in the body of the church and the transepts; but in the chancel, the Primate and his beloved son in the faith were partaking together for the last time of the Bread of Life.
'From the Church we accompanied our beloved friends to the ship, and drove back on a cold, dry evening, a forlorn party, to the desolate house. But from that time dear Bishop Patteson roused himself from his natural depression (for to whom could the loss be greater than to him?) and set himself to cheer and comfort us all. How gentle and sympathising he was! He let me give him nourishing things, even wine—which he had long refused to take—because I told him Mrs. Selwyn wished him to have it. Many hearts were drooping, and he no longer shrank from society, but went about from one to another in the kindest manner. I do not know how we could have got on without him. He loved to talk of the Bishop. In his humility he seemed to feel as if any power of usefulness in himself had been gained from him. It was like him to think of our Auckland poor at this time. They would so miss the Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn. He prayed me to draw 50 a year for the next year or two, to be spent in any way I should think best. And he put it as a gift from his dear Father, who would have wished that money of his invested here should be used in part for the good of the townspeople. This did not include his subscriptions to the Orphan Home and other charities.'
To make his very liberal gifts in time of need in the name of his Father, was his favourite custom; as his former fellow-labourer, the Rev. B. T. Dudley, found when a case of distress in his own parish in the Canterbury Settlement called forth this ready assistance.
Perhaps the young Church of New Zealand has never known so memorable or so sorrowful a day as that which took from her her first Bishop: a day truly to be likened to that when the Ephesians parted with their Apostle at Miletus. The history of this parting Bishop Patteson had himself to read on Saturday, October 17, the twenty-seventh anniversary of Bishop Selwyn's Consecration. It was at the Celebration preceding the last meeting of the Synod, when Collect, Epistle, and Gospel were taken from the Order for the Consecration of Bishops; and as the latter says,—'He has always told me to officiate with him, and I had, by his desire, to read Acts xx. for the Epistle. I did read it without a break-down, but it was hard work.' Then followed the Sunday, before described by Lady Martin; and on Tuesday the 20th, that service in St. Mary's—the parting feast:—
'Then,' writes the younger Bishop, 'the crowded streets and wharf, for all business was suspended, public offices and shops shut, no power of moving about the wharf, horses taken from the carriage provided for the occasion, as a mixed crowd of English and Maoris drew them to the wharf. Then choking words and stifled efforts to say, "God bless you," and so we parted!
'It is the end of a long chapter. I feel as if "my master was taken from my head."
'Ah! well, they are gone, and we will try to do what we can.
'I feel rather no-how, and can't yet settle down to anything!'
But to the other sister on the same day comes an exhortation not to be alarmed if friends report him as 'not up to the mark.' How could it be otherwise at such a time? For truly it was the last great shock his affections sustained. In itself, it might not be all that the quitting home and family had been; but not only was there the difference between going and being left behind, but youth, with its spirit of enterprise and compensation, was past, and he was in a state to feel the pain of the separation almost more intensely than when he had walked from the door at Feniton, and gathered his last primrose at his mother's grave. Before leaving Auckland, the Bishop married the Rev. John Palmer to Miss Ashwell; and while they remained for a short time in New Zealand, he returned for the Ember Week.
'St. Thomas, Norfolk Island: December 21, 1868.
'My dear Cousin,—I must write you a few lines, not as yet in answer to your very interesting letter about Mr. Keble and about Ritualism, &c., but about our great event of yesterday.
'George Sarawia was ordained Deacon in our little chapel, in the presence of fifty-five Melanesians and a few Norfolk Islanders. With him Charles Bice, a very excellent man from St. Augustine's, was ordained Deacon also. He has uncommon gifts of making himself thoroughly at home with the Melanesians. It comes natural to him, there is no effort, nothing to overcome apparently, and they of course like him greatly. He speaks the language of Mota, the lingua franca here, you know.
'But what am I to say of George that you cannot imagine for yourself? It was in the year 1857 that the Bishop and I first saw him at Vanua Lava Island. He has been with us now ten years; I can truly say, that he has never given me any uneasiness. He is not the cleverest of our scholars; but no one possesses the confidence of us all in the same degree. True, he is the oldest of the party, he can hardly be less than twenty-six years old, for he had been married a year when first we saw him; but it is his character rather than his age which gives him his position. For a long time he has been our link with the Melanesians themselves whenever there was something to be done by one of themselves rather than by us strangers. Somehow the other scholars get into a way of recognising him as the A 1 of the place, and so also in Mota and the neighbouring islands his character and reputation are well known. The people expect him to be a teacher among them, they all know that he is a person of weight.
'The day was warm and fine.
'At 7.20 A.M. we had the Morning Service, chanting the 2nd Psalm. I read Isa. xlii. 5-12 for the First Lesson, and 1 Tim. iii. 8-13 for the Second, and the Collect in the Ordination Service before the Prayer of St. Chrysostom. Mr. Codrington, as usual, read the prayers to the end of the third Collect, after which we sang our Sunday hymn.
'At 11 A.M. we began the Ordination Service. One Epiphany hymn, my short sermon, then Mr. Codrington presented the candidates, speaking Mota for one and English for the other. The whole service was in Mota, except that I questioned Bice, and he answered in English, and I used the English words of Ordination in his case. George was questioned and answered in Mota, and then Bice in English, question by question. Mr. Nobbs was here and a few of the people, Mr. Atkin, Mr. Brooke, so we made a goodly little party of seven in our clerical supper.
'What our thoughts were you can guess as we ordained the first Melanesian clergyman. How full of thankfulness, of awe, of wonderment, the fulfilment of so much, the pledge of it, if it be God's will, of so much more! And not a little of anxiety, too—yet the words of comfort are many; and it does not need much faith, with so evident a proof of God's Love and Power and Faithfulness before our very eyes, to trust George in His Hands.
'The closing stanzas of the Ordination Hymn in the "Christian Year" comforted me as I read them at night; but I had peace and comfort, thank God, all through.
'Others, too, are pressing on. I could say, with truth, to them in the evening in the Chapel, "This is the beginning, only the beginning, the first fruit. Many blossoms there are already. I know that God's Spirit is working in the hearts of some of you. Follow that holy guidance, I pray always that you may be kept in the right way, and that you may be enabled to point it out to others, and to guide them in it."
'And yet no words can express what the recoil of the wave heathenism is, but "when the enemy shall come in like a flood," and it has indeed its own glorious word of Promise. It is like one who was once a drunkard and has left off drinking, and then once more tastes the old deadly poison, and becomes mad for drink; or like the wild furious struggles (as I suppose) of poor penitents in penitentiaries, when it seems as if the devil must whirl them back into sin. You know we see things which look like "possession," a black cloud settling down upon the soul, overwhelming all the hopeful signs for a time. And then, when I have my quiet talk with such an one (and only very few, and they not the best among us), he will say, "I can't tell, I didn't mean it. It was not I. What was it?" And I say, "It was the devil, seeking to devour you, to drag you back into the old evil dark ways." "It is awful, fearful." "Then you must gird your loins and pray the more, and remember that you are Christ's, that you belong to Him, that you are God's child, that Satan has no right to claim you now. Resist him in this name, in the strength of the Spirit whom Christ has sent to us from the Father, and he will flee from you."
'It is of course the same more or less with us all, but it comes out in, a shape which gives it terrible reality and earnestness. Only think, then, more than ever, of them and of me, and pray that "the Spirit of the Lord may lift up a standard against the enemy." At times we do seem to realise that it is a downright personal struggle for life or death.'
There the writer paused, and the next date is
'Christmas Day, 1868.
'My dearest Sisters,—What a happy happy day! At 12.5 A.M. I was awoke by a party of some twenty Melanesians, headed by Mr. Bice, singing Christmas carols at my bedroom door. It is a glass window, opening on to the verandah. How delightful it was! I had gone to bed with the Book of Praise by my side, and Mr. Keble's hymn in my mind; and now the Mota versions, already familiar to us, of the Angels' Song and of the "Light to lighten the Gentiles," sung too by some of our heathen scholars, took up as it were the strain. Their voices sounded so fresh and clear in the still midnight, the perfectly clear sky, the calm moon, the warm genial climate.
'I lay awake afterwards, thinking on the blessed change wrought in their minds, thinking of my happy happy lot, of how utterly undeserved it was and is, and (as is natural) losing myself in thoughts of God's wonderful goodness and mercy and love.
'Then at 4.45 A.M. I got up, a little later perhaps than usual. Codrington and Brooke were very soon at work finishing the decorations in the Chapel; branches of Norfolk Island pines, divers evergreens, pomegranates and oleanders and lilies (in handfuls) and large snow-white arums; on the altar-table arums above, and below lilies and evergreens. Oleanders and pomegranates marked the chancel arch. The rugs looked very handsome, the whole floor at the east end is covered with a red baize or drugget to match the curtains.
'7 A.M., Holy Communion. Six clergymen in surplices and fifteen other communicants. At 10 A.M., a short, very bright, joyful service, the regular Morning Prayers, Psalms xcv. xix. cx. all chanted. Proper Lessons, two Christmas hymns.
'Then games, cricket, prisoner's base, running races. Beef, pork, plum-puddings.
'Now we shall soon have evening Chapel, a great deal of singing, a few short words from me; then a happy, merry, innocent evening, native dances, coffee, biscuit, and snapdragons to finish with.
'If you had been here to-day, you would indeed have been filled with surprise and thankfulness and hope. There is, I do think, a great deal to show that these scholars of ours so connect religion with all that is cheerful and happy. There is nothing, as I think, sanctimonious about them. They say, "We are so happy here! How different from our lands!"
'And I think I can truly say that this is not from want of seriousness in those of an age to be serious.
'I pour this out to you in my happy day—words of hope and joy and thankfulness! But remember that I feel that all this should make me thoughtful as well as hopeful. How can I say but what sorrow and trial may even now be on their way hither? But I thank God, oh! I do thank Him for his great love and mercy, and I do not think it wrong to give my feelings of joy some utterance.'
With this year the Eucharist was administered weekly, the Melanesians still attending fortnightly; but it proved to have been a true foreboding that a sorrow was on its way:-
'January 8th.—A very joyful Christmas, but a sad Epiphany!
'U—-, dearer to me than ever, has (I now hear from him) been putting himself in the way of temptation. I had noticed that he was not like himself, and spoke to him and warned him. I told him that if he wished to be married at once, I was quite willing to marry him; but he said they were too young, and yet he was always thinking of the young fiancee. Alas! he had too often (as he says) put himself in the way of temptation with his eyes open, and he fell. He was frightened, terrified, bewildered.
'Alas! it is our first great sorrow of the kind, for he was a Communicant of nearly three years' standing. Yet I have much comfort.
'I can have no doubt, 1st, that a fall was necessary, I believe fully. His own words (not suggested by me) were, "I tempted God often, and He let me fall; I don't mean He was the cause of it, it is of course only my fault; but I think I see that I might have gone on getting more and more careless and wandering further and further from Him unless I had been startled and frightened." And then he burst out, "Oh! don't send me away for ever. I know I have made the young ones stumble, and destroyed the happiness of our settlement here. I know I must not be with you all in Chapel and school and hall. I know I can't teach any more, I know that, and I am miserable, miserable. But don't tell me I must go away for ever. I can't bear it! "
'I did manage to answer almost coldly, for I felt that if I once let loose my longing desire to let him see my real feeling, I could not restrain myself at all. "Who wishes to send you away, U—? It is not me whom you have displeased and injured."
'"I know. It is terrible! But I think of the Prodigal Son. Oh! I do long to go back! Oh! do tell me that He loves me still."
'Poor dear fellow! I thought I must leave him to bear his burthen for a time. We prayed together, and I left him, or rather sent him away from my room, but he could neither eat nor sleep.
'The next day his whole manner, look, everything made one sure (humanly speaking) that he was indeed truly penitent; and then when I began to speak words of comfort, of God's tender love and compassion, and told him how to think of the Lord's gentle pity when He appeared first to the Magdalene and Peter, and when I took his hand in the old loving way, poor fellow, he broke down more than ever, and cried like a child.
'Ah! it is very sad; but I do think he will be a better, more steadfast man: he has learnt his weakness, and where to find strength, as he never had before. And the effect on the school is remarkable. That there should be so much tenderness of conscience and apprehension of the guilt of impurity among the children of the heathen in among many brought up in familiarity with sin, is a matter for much thankfulness.'
To this may well be added an extract from Joseph Atkin's journal, showing his likemindedness both in thoughtfulness and charity:—
'I feel quite sure that we must be prepared for many such cases. The whole associations and training of the early lives of these people must influence them as long as they live. The thought of what my mother and sister would think, never occur to them as any influence for good; and although this may be said to be a low motive for doing right, it is a very powerful one, and it is more tangible because it is lower.
'The Bishop, in speaking of it to-day, told the boys that they ought not to do right to please him, but because it was right to please God; but I can't help thinking that pleasing the Bishop may and can help the other very much. Is it not right for a child to do right to please its parents, and for older children too to be helped by the thought that they are pleasing those they love and honour?
'We had a council to-day of all the Church members to talk about how U—- was to be treated. For himself, poor fellow, I should think kindness would be harder to bear than neglect.
'Mr. Codrington says, "On this occasion all the male Communicants went together to some little distance, where a group of boulders under the pines gave a convenient seat. The Bishop set out the case, and asked what was the opinion of the elder boys as to the treatment of the offender. They were left alone to consider; and when we came back, they gave their judgment, that he should not eat in the hall at what may be called the high table, that he should not teach in school, and should not come into Chapel."
'This was of course what was intended, but the weight of the sentence so given was greater with the school, and a wholesome lesson given to the judges. How soon the Bishop's severity, which never covered his pity, gave way to his affection for one of his oldest and dearest pupils, and his tenderness for the penitent, and how he took a large share of blame upon himself, just where it was not due, can well be understood by all who knew him.'
There was soon a brighter day. On January 25, writes Mr. Atkin:—
'We had a great day. In the morning some who were baptized last summer were confirmed, and at night there were baptized three girls and thirteen boys. Most of them were quite little fellows. I don't think any of us will easily forget their grave and sober but not shy looks, as one by one they stepped up to the Bishop. I think that all understood and meant what they said, that Baptism was no mere form with them, but a real solemn compact. All who were in my class (nine), or the Sunday morning school, were baptized in the evening. While we were standing round the font, I thought of you at home, and half wished that you could have seen us there. I was witness for my son (Wate); he was called Joseph, so that I shall lose my name that I have kept so long.'
Joseph Wate, the little Malanta boy, was always viewed by the Atkin family as a kind of child, and kept up a correspondence with his godfather's sister, Mother Mary as he called her.
On the same day the Bishop wrote to Judge Pohlman:-
'My very dear Friend,—I must not let our correspondence drop, and the less likely it seems to be that we may meet, the more I must seek to retain your friendship, by letting you know not only the facts that occur here, but my thoughts and hopes and fears about them.'
(Then, after mentioning the recent transgression, the letter continues respecting the youth.)
'His fright and terror, his misery and deep sorrow, and (I do believe) godly repentance, make me say that he is still, as I trust, one of our best scholars. But it is very sad. For three weeks he did not come even into chapel with us. He not only acquiesced, but wished that it should be so.
'Last Saturday evening he was readmitted, without any using of fine names. I did as a matter of fact do what was the practice of the early Christians, and is recognised in our Ash Wednesday service now. It was very desirable that great notice should be taken of the commission of an act which it is hard for a heathen to understand to be an act of sin, and the effect upon the whole school of the sad and serious way in which this offence was regarded has been very good.
'In the circumstances it is so easy to see how the discipline of the early Church was not an artificial, but a necessary system, though by degrees elaborated in a more complicated manner. But I find, not seldom, that common sense dictates some course which afterwards I come across in Bingham, or some such writer, described as a usage of the early Christians.
'In our English nineteenth century life such practices could hardly be reintroduced with benefit. Yet something which might mark open offences with the censure of the Christian Body is clearly desirable when you can have it; and of course with us there is no difficulty whatever.
'I cannot be surprised, however deeply grieved at this sad occurrence; and though it is no comfort to think how many English persons would think nothing of this, and certainly not show the deep compunction and sorrow which this poor fellow shows, yet, as a matter of fact, how few young Englishmen are there who would think such an act, as this young Melanesian thinks it to be, a grievous sin against God, and matter for continual sorrow and humiliation. So I do rejoice that he is sorrowing after a godly sort.
'In other respects there is a very hopeful promising appearance just now. We number seven clergymen, including myself. We have a very efficient band of Melanesian teachers, and could at this moment work a school of 150 scholars.
'George Sarawia will (D.V.) start with a little company of Christian friends at his own island. The scholars from all the different islands fraternise excellently well, and in many cases the older and more advanced have their regular chums, by private arrangement among themselves, whom they help, and to whose islands they are quite prepared to be sent, if I think fit so to arrange; and I really do believe that from the Banks Islands we may send out missionaries to many of the Melanesian islands, as from Samoa and Karotonga they have gone out to the islands of the Eastern Pacific. Humanly speaking, I see no difficulty in our drawing into our central school here any number of natives that we can support, from the New Hebrides, Banks and Solomon Islands, and I trust soon from the Santa Cruz Islands also.
'Here must be the principal work, the training up missionaries and steadfast Christian men and women, not of ability sufficient to become themselves missionaries, but necessary to strengthen the hands of their more gifted countrymen. This training must be carried on here, but with it must be combined a frequent visitation and as lengthened sojourns in the islands as possible. The next winter we hope that the Rev. J. Atkin will be some time at San Cristoval, the Rev. C. H. Brooke at Florida, the Rev. J. Palmer at Mota. But I am more than ever convinced that the chiefest part of our work is to consist in training up Melanesian clergymen, and educating them up to the point of faithfully reproducing our simple teaching. We must hope to see native self-supporting Melanesian Churches, not weak indolent Melanesians dependent always on an English missionary, but steadfast, thoughtful men and women, retaining the characteristics of their race so far as they can be sanctified by the Word of God in prayer, and not force useless imitations of English modes of thought and nineteenth century civilisation.
'It is sometimes a consequence of our national self-conceit, sometimes of want of thought, that no consideration is shown to the characteristic native way of regarding things. But Christianity is a universal religion, and assimilates and interpolates into its system all that is capable of regeneration and sanctification anywhere.
'Before long I hope to get something more respectable in the way of a report printed and circulated. It seems unreasonable to say so, but really I have very little time that I can spare from directly Melanesian work, what with school, translations, working out languages, and (thank God) the many, many hours spent in quiet interviews with Melanesians of all ages and islands, who come to have private talks with me, and to tell me of their thoughts and feelings. These are happy hours indeed. I must end. Always, my dear friend, affectionately and sincerely yours,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The readmission thus mentioned was by the imposition of hands, when the penitent was again received, and his conduct ever since has proved his repentance true.
February brought Mr. and Mrs. Palmer to their new home, and carried away Mr. Codrington for a holiday. The budget of letters sent by this opportunity contained a remarkable one from young Atkin. Like master, like scholar:-
'February 24, 1869.
'My dear Mother,—You must not think about my coming back; I may have to do it, but if I do, it will seem like giving up the object of my life. I did not enter upon this work with any enthusiasm, and it is perhaps partly from that cause that I am now so attached to it that little short of necessity would take me away; my own choice, I think, never. I know it is much harder for you than for me. I wish I could lighten it to you, but it cannot be. It is a great deal more self- denial for you to spare me to come away than for me to come away. You must think, like David, "I will not offer unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing." If you willingly give Him what you prize most, however worthless the gift may be, He will prize it for the willingness with which it is given. If it had been of my own choosing that I came away, I should often blame myself for having made a selfish choice in not taking harder and more irksome work nearer home, but it came to me without choosing. I can only be thankful that God has been so good to me.'
Well might the Bishop write to the father, 'I thank you in my heart for Joe's promise.'
How exactly his own spirit, in simple, unconscious self-abnegation and thorough devotion to the work. How it chimes in with this, written on the self-same morning to the Bishop of Lichfield:-
'St. Matthias Day, 6.45 A.M., 1869.
My dear Bishop,—You do not doubt that I think continually of you, yet I like you to have a line from me to-day. We are just going into Chapel, altering our usual service to-day that we may receive the Holy Communion with special remembrance of my Consecration and special prayer for a blessing on the Mission. There is much to be thankful for indeed, much also that may well make the retrospect of the last eight years a somewhat sad and painful one as far as I am myself concerned. It does seem wonderful that good on the whole is done. But everything is wonderful and full of mystery....
'It is rather mean of me, I fear, to get out of nearly all troubles by being here. Yet it seems to me very clear that the special work of the Mission is carried on more conveniently (one doesn't like to say more successfully) here, and my presence or absence is of no consequence when general questions are under discussion....
'Your very affectionate
'J. C. PATTESON.'
The same mail brought a letter to Miss Mackenzie, with much valuable matter on Mission work:-
'February 26, 1869.
'Dear Miss Mackenzie,—I have just read your letter to me of April 1867, which I acknowledged, rather than answered, long ago.
'I can't answer it as it deserves to be answered now. I think I have already written about thirty-five letters to go by this mail, and my usual work seldom leaves me a spare hour.
'But I am truly thankful for the hopes that seem to show themselves through the mists, in places where all Christian men must feel so strong an interest. I do hope to hear that the new Bishopric may soon be founded, on which Mr. Robertson and you and others have so set your hearts. That good man! I often think of him, and hope soon to send him, through you, 10 from our Melanesian offertory.
'You know we have, thank God, thirty-nine baptized Melanesians here, of whom fifteen are communicants, and one, George Sarawia, a clergyman. He was ordained on December 20.
'There are many little works usually going ons which I don't consider it fair to reckon among the regular industrial work of the Mission. I pay the young men and lads and boys small sums for such things, and I think it right to teach the elder ones the use of money by giving them allowances, out of which they buy their clothing, &c., when necessary, all under certain regulations. I say this that you may know that our weekly offertory is not a sham. No one knows what they give, or whether they give or not. A Melanesian takes the offertory bason, and they give or not as they please. I take care that such moneys as are due to them shall be given in 3d., 4d., and 6d. pieces.
'Last year our offertory rather exceeded 40, and it is out of this that my brother will now pay you 10 for the Mackenzie fund. I write all this because you will like to think that some of this little offertory comes bond fide from Melanesians.
'...You take me to mean, I hope, that Christianity is the religion for mankind at large, capable of dealing with the spiritual and bodily needs of man everywhere.
'It is easy for us now to say that some of the early English Missions, without thinking at all about it, in all probability, sought to impose an English line of thought and religion on Indians and Africans. Even English dress was thought to be almost essential, and English habits, &c., were regarded as part of the education of persons converted through the agency of English Missions. All this seems to be burdening the message of the Gospel with unnecessary difficulties. The teacher everywhere, in England or out of it, must learn to discriminate between essentials and non-essentials. It seems to me self-evident that the native scholar must be educated up to the highest point that is possible, and that unless one is (humanly speaking) quite sure that he can and will reproduce faithfully the simple teaching he has received, he ought not to teach, much less to be ordained.
'All our elder lads and girls here teach the younger ones, and we know what they teach. Their notes of our lessons are brought to me, books full of them, and there I see what they know; for if they can write down a plain account of facts and doctrines, that is a good test of their having taken in the teaching. George Sarawia's little essay on the doctrine of the Communion is to me perfectly satisfactory. It was written without my knowledge. I found it in one of his many note-books accidentally.
'As for civilisation, they all live entirely with us, and every Melanesian in the place, men and women, boys and girls, three times a day take their places with all of us in hall, and use their knives and forks, plates, cups and saucers (or, for the passage, one's pannikins) just as we do. George and two others, speaking for themselves and their wives, have just written out, among other things, in a list which I told them to make out: plates, cups, saucers, knives, forks, spoons, tubs, saucepans, kettles, soap, towels, domestic things for washing, ironing, &c.
'The common presents that our elder scholars take or send to their friends include large iron pots for cooking, clothing, &c. They build improved houses, and ask for small windows, &c., to put in them, boxes, carpet bags for their clothes, small writing desks, note-books, ink, pens. They keep their best clothes very carefully, and on Sundays and great days look highly respectable. And for years we know no instance of a baptized Melanesian throwing aside his clothing when taking his holiday at home.
'As far as I can see my way to any rule in the matter, it is this: all that is necessary to secure decency, propriety, cleanliness, health, &c., must be provided for them. This at once involves alteration of the houses, divisions, partitions. People who can read and write, and cut out and sew clothes, must have light in their houses. This involves a change of the shape and structure of the hut. They can't sit in clean clothes on a dirty floor, and they can't write, or eat out of plates and use cups, &c., without tables or benches, and as they don't want to spend ten hours in sleep or idle talk, they must have lamps for cocoa-nut and almond oil.
'These people are not taught to adopt these habits by word of mouth. They live with us and do as we do. Two young married women are sitting in my room now. I didn't call them in, nor tell them what to do. "We didn't quite understand what you said last night." "Well, I have written it out,—there it is." They took, as usual, the MS., sat down, just as you or anyone would do, at the table to read it, and are now making their short notes of it. Anyone comes in and out at any time, when not at school, chapel, or work, just as they please. We each have our own sitting-room, which is in this sense public property, and of course they fall into our ways.
'There is perhaps no such thing as teaching civilisation by word of command, nor religion either. The sine qua non for the missionary— religious and moral character assumed to exist—is the living with his scholars as children of his own. And the aim is to lift them up, not by words, but by the daily life, to the sense of their capacity for becoming by God's grace all that we are, and I pray God a great deal more; not as literary men or scholars, but as Christian men and women, better suited than we are for work among their own people. "They shall be saved even as we." They have a strong sense of and acquiescence in, their own inferiority. If we treat them as inferiors, they will always remain in that position of inferiority.
'But Christ humbled Himself and became the servant and minister that He might make us children of God and exalt us.
'It is surely very simple, but if we do thus live among them, they must necessarily accept and adopt some of our habits. Our Lord led the life of a poor man, but He raised His disciples to the highest pitch of excellence by His Life, His Words, and His Spirit, the highest that man could receive and follow. The analogy is surely a true one. And exclusiveness, all the pride of race must disappear before such considerations.
'But it is not the less true that He did not make very small demands upon His disciples, and teach them and us that it needs but little care and toil and preparation to be a Christian and a teacher of Christianity. The direct contrary to this is the truth.
'The teacher's duty is to be always leading on his pupils to higher conceptions of their work in life, and to a more diligent performance of it. How can he do this if he himself acquiesces in a very imperfect knowledge and practice of his duty?
'"And yet the mass of mediaeval missionaries could perhaps scarce read." That may be true, but that was not an excellence but a defect, and the mass of the gentry and nobility could not do so much. They did a great work then. It does not follow that we are to imitate their ignorance when we can have knowledge.
'But I am wasting your time and mine.
'Yours very truly,
'J. C. PATTESON.
'P.S.—George and his wife and child, Charles and his wife, Benjamin and his wife, will live together at Mota on some land I have bought. A good wooden house is to be put up by us this winter (D.V.) with one large room for common use, school, &c., and three small bed-rooms opening on to a verandah. One small bed-room at the other end which any one, two or three of us English folks can occupy when at Mota. I dare say, first and last, this house will cost seventy or eighty pounds.
'Then we hope to have everything that can be sown and planted with profit in a tropical climate, first-class breed of pigs, poultry, &c., so that all the people may see that such things are not neglected. These things will be given away freely-settings of eggs, young sows, seeds, plants, young trees, &c. All this involves expense, quite rightly too, and after all, I dare say that dear old George will cost about a sixth or an eighth of what we English clergymen think necessary. I dare say 25 per annum will cover his expenses.'
On Easter Sunday the penitent was readmitted to the Lord's Table. A happy letter followed:-
'Easter Tuesday, 1869.
'My dearest Sisters,—Another opportunity of writing. I will only say a word about two things. First, our Easter and the Holy Week preceding it; secondly, how full my mind has been of Mr. Keble, on his two anniversaries, Holy Thursday and March 29. And I have read much of the "Christian Year," and the two letters I had from him I have read again, and looked at the picture of him, and felt helped by the memory of his holy saintly life, and I dared to think that it might be that by God's great mercy in Christ, I might yet know him and other blessed Saints in the Life to come.
'Our Holy Week was a calm solemn season. All the services have long been in print. Day by day in school and chapel we followed the holy services and acts of each day, taking Ellicott's "Historical Lectures" as a guide.
'Each evening I had my short sermonet, and we sought to deepen the impressions made evidently upon our scholars by whatever could make it a real matter of life and death to them and us. Then came Good Friday and Easter Eve, during which the Melanesians with Mr. Brooke were busily engaged in decorating the Chapel with fronds of tree- ferns, bamboo, arums, and oleander blossoms.
'Then, at 7 A.M. on Easter Morning, thirty of us—twenty-one, thank God, being Melanesians—met in Chapel for the true Easter Feast.
'Then, at 11 A.M., how we chanted Psalms ii, cxiii, cxiv, and Hymn, and the old Easter Hallelujah hymn to the old tune with Mota words. Then at 7 P.M. Psalms cxviii, cxlviii, to joyful chants, and singing Easter and other hymns.
'So yesterday and so to-day. The short Communion Service in the morning with hymn, and in the evening we chant Psalm cxviii, and sing out our Easter hymn. Ah well! it makes my heart very full. It is the season of refreshing, perhaps before more trails.
'Dear U—- was with us again on Easter morn, a truly repentant young man, I verily believe, feeling deeply what in our country districts is often not counted a sin at all to be a foul offence against his Father and Saviour and Sanctifier.
'Six were there for their first Communion, among them honest old Stephen Taroniara, the first and only communicant of all the Solomon Isles—of all the world west of Mota, or east of any of the Bishop of Labuan's communicants. Think of that! What a blessing! What a thought for praise and hope and meditation!
'I sit in my verandah in the moonlight and I do feel happy in spite of many thoughts of early days which may well make me feel unhappy.
'But I do feel an almost overpowering sensation of thankfulness and peace and calm tranquil happiness, which I know cannot last long. It would not, I suppose, be good: anyhow it will soon be broken by some trial which may show much of my present state to be a delusion. Yet I like to tell you what I think, and I know you will keep it to yourselves.
'Good-bye, and all Easter blessings be with you.
'Your loving brother,
'J. C. PATTESON '
The island voyage was coming near, and was to be conducted, on a larger scale, after the intermission of a whole year. Mr. Brooke was to make some stay at Florida, Mr. Atkin at Wango in Bauro, and the Bishop himself was to take the party who were to commence the Christian village at Mota, while Mr. Codrington and Mr. Bice remained in charge of twenty-seven Melanesians. The reports of the effects of the labour traffic were becoming a great anxiety, and not only the Fiji settlers, but those in Queensland were becoming concerned in it.
The 'Southern Cross' arrived in June, but the weather was so bad that, knocking about outside the rocks, she sustained some damage, and could not put her freight ashore for a week. However, on the 24th she sailed, and put down Mr. Atkin at Wango, the village in Bauro where the Bishop had stayed two years previously.
Mr. Atkin gives a touching description of Taroniara's arrival:—
'Stephen was not long in finding his little girl, Paraiteka. She was soon in his arms. The old fellow just held her up for the Bishop to see, and then turned away with her, and I saw a handkerchief come out privately and brush quickly across his eyes, and in a few minutes he came back to us.'
The little girl's mother, for whose sake Taroniara had once refused to return to school, had been carried off by a Maran man; and as the heathen connection had been so slight, and a proper marriage so entirely beyond the ideas of the native state, it was thought advisable to leave this as a thing of heathen darkness, and let him select a girl to be educated into becoming fit for his true wife.
Besides Stephen, Joseph Wate and two other Christian lads were with Mr. Atkin, and he made an expedition of two days' visit to Wate's father. At Ulava he found that dysentery had swept off nearly all the natives, and he thought these races, even while left to themselves, were dying out. 'But,' adds the brave man in his journal, 'I will never, I hope, allow that because these people are dying out, it is of no use or a waste of time carrying the Gospel to them. It is, I should rather say, a case where we ought to be the more anxious to gather up the fragments.'
So he worked on bravely, making it an object, if he could do no more, to teach enough to give new scholars a start in the school, and to see who were most worth choosing there. He suffered a little loss of popularity when it was found that he was not a perpetual fountain of beads, hatchets, and tobacco, but he did the good work of effecting a reconciliation between Wango and another village named Hane, where he made a visit, and heard a song in honour of Taroniara. He was invited to a great reconciliation feast; which he thus describes, beginning with his walk to Hane by short marches:—
'We waited where we overtook Taki, until the main body from Wango came up. They charged past in fine style, looking very well in their holiday dress, each with his left hand full of spears, and one brandished in the right. It looked much more like a fighting party than a peace party; but it is the custom to make peace with the whole army, to convince the enemy that it is only for his accommodation that they are making peace, and not because they are afraid to fight him. It was about 12 o'clock when we reached the rendezvous. There was a fine charge of all, except a dozen of the more sedate of the party; they rattled their spears, and ran, and shouted, and jumped, even crossing the stream which was the neutral ground. We halted by the stream for some time; at last some Hane people came to their side; there was a charge again almost up to them, but they took it coolly. At about 10 o'clock the whole body of the Hane men came, and two or three from Wango went across to them. I was tired of waiting, and asked Taki if I should go. "Yes, and tell them to bring the money," he said.
'While I was wading through the stream, the Hane men gathered up and advanced; I turned back with them. They rushed, brandishing their spears, to within ten or twelve paces of the Wango party, who had joined into a compact body, and so seated themselves as soon as they saw the movement.
'Kara, a Hane man, made his speech, first running forwards and backwards, shaking his spear all the time; and at the end, he took out four strings of Makira money, and gave it to Taki. Hane went back across the stream; and Wango went through the same performance, Taki making the speech. He seemed a great orator, and went on until one standing by him said, "That's enough," when he laughed, and gave over. He gave four strings of money, two shorter than the others, and the shortest was returned to him, I don't know why; but in this way the peace was signed.'
After nineteen days, during which the Bishop had been cruising about, Mr. Atkin and his scholars were picked up again, and likewise Mr. Brooke, who had been spending ten days at Florida with his scholars, in all thirty-five; and then ensued a very tedious passage to the Banks Islands, for the vessel had been crippled by the gale off Norfolk Island, and could not be pressed; little canvas was carried, and the weather was unfavourable.
However, on September 6, Mota was safely reached; and great was the joy, warm the welcome of the natives, who eagerly assisted in unloading the vessel, through storms of rain and surf.
The old station house was in entire decay; but the orange and lemon trees were thirty feet high, though only the latter in bearing.
The new village, it was agreed, should bear the name of Kohimarama, after the old home in New Zealand, meaning, in Maori, 'Focus of Light.' After landing the goats, the Bishop, Mr. Atkin, and five more crossed to Valua. They were warmly welcomed at Ara, where their long absence had made the natives fancy they must all be dead. The parents of Henry, Lydia, and Edwin were the first to approach the boat, eager to hear of their children left in Norfolk Island; and the mother walked up the beach with her arm round Mr. Atkin's neck. But here it appeared that the vessels of the labour traffic had come to obtain people to work in the cotton plantations in Queensland, and that they had already begun to invite them in the name of the Bishop, whose absence they accounted for by saying his ship had been wrecked, he had broken his leg, he had gone to England, and sent them to fetch natives to him. No force had been used as yet, but there was evident dread of them; and one vessel had a Mota man on board, who persuaded the people to go to Sydney. About a hundred natives had been taken from the islands of Valua, Ara, and Matlavo, and from Bligh Island twenty-three were just gone, but Mota's inaccessibility had apparently protected it. It will be remembered that it has a high fortification of coral all round the beach, with but one inconvenient entrance, and that the people are little apt to resort to canoes. This really has hitherto seemed a special Providence for this nucleus of Christianity.
They spent the night at Ara, making a fire on the sandy beach, where they boiled their chocolate, and made gravy of some extract of meat to season their yam, and supped in public by firelight, reclining upon mats. Afterwards they went up to the Ogamal, or barrack tent: it was not an inviting bed-chamber, being so low that they could only kneel upright in it, and so smoky that Stephen remarked, 'We shall be cooked ourselves if we stay here,' proving an advance in civilisation. One of the private houses was equally unattractive, and the party slept on the beach.
The next morning they started to walk round the island: taking two cork beds, a portmanteau and a basket of provisions; stopping wherever a few people were found, but it was a thinly peopled place, and the loss of the men carried off was sensibly felt.
One village had had a fight with a boat's crew from Sydney. They made no secret of it, saying that they would not have their men taken away; and they had been sharp enough to pour water into the guns before provoking the quarrel.
Further on there was a closer population, where the Bishop was enthusiastically welcomed, and an Ogamal was found, making a good shelter for the night. Then they returned to Ara, where Mr. Atkin notes, in the very centre of the island, a curious rock, about 200 feet high, and on the top, 20 or 30 feet from the nearest visible soil, a she-oak stump, and two more green and flourishing a little below. The rock was of black scoriae, too hot in the middle of the day to sit upon, and near it was a pool of water. 'Such water, so rotten.' The water used by the visitors had been brought from Auckland. The natives do not trouble water much, I don't think they ever drink it, and they certainly don't look as if they ever washed.
On the following day they recrossed to Vanua Lava, where they spent a quiet calm Sunday in the vessel, landing in the afternoon to see Fisher Young's grave, which they found well kept and covered with a pretty blue creeper.
The next Sunday they spent at Kohimarama: beginning with Celebration at 7.30 A.M., and in the afternoon making the circuit of the island, about ten miles. In one place Mr. Atkin bent over the edge of the natural sea wall, and saw the sea breaking 150 or 200 feet below!
After a fortnight spent in this manner, he and the other two clergymen carried off their Melanesians to Norfolk Island, leaving the Bishop to be fetched away in a month's time. Here is the letter written during his solitude:—
'Kohimarama, Mota Island: September 23, 1869.
'My dearest Joan and Fan,—Here I am sitting in a most comfortable house in our new Kohimarama, for so the Melanesians determine to call our station in Mota. The house is 48 feet by 18, with a 9-foot verandah on two sides. It has one large room, a partition at each end, one of which is subdivided into two small sleeping rooms for George and his wife, and Charles and his wife. There is no ceiling, so that we have the full advantage of the height of the house, and plenty of ventilation, as the space beyond where the roof comes down upon the wall plates is left open.
'The verandah is a grand lounging place; very commodious for school also, when other classes fill the large room, and a delightful place to sit or lie about on in this genial warm climate. These bright moonlight nights are indeed delicious. The mosquito gives no trouble here to speak of. The cocoa-nut trees, the bread-fruit trees, yam gardens, and many kinds of native trees and shrubs, are all around us; the fine wooded hill of Mota shows well over the house. The breeze always plays round it; and though it is very hot, it is only when the wind comes from the north and north-west, as in the midsummer, that the heat is of an oppressive and sickly nature.
'About twenty lads and young men live here, and about forty attend daily school; but I think there is every indication of all Mota sending its young people here as soon as we have our crops of yams, &c., &c., to provide sufficient food. Improved native huts will, I think, soon be built over our little estate here.
'Many girls I hope to take to Norfolk Island. They could hardly be brought together with safety to this place yet. The parents see and admit this, and consent to my taking them. I tell them that their sons will not marry ignorant heathen girls (their sons I mean who have been and are still with us); that all the young fellows growing up at Kohimarama must have educated wives provided for them, and that I must therefore take away many young girls with me to Norfolk Island. The fashion here is to buy at an early age young girls for their sons, though occasionally a girl may be found not already betrothed, but almost grown up. I now say, "I want to train up wives for my sons," and the fashion of the place allows of my buying or appropriating them. You would be amused to see me engaged in this match-making. It is all the same a very important matter, for clearly it is the best way to secure, as I trust, the introduction of Christian family life among these people.
'George and I are satisfied that things are really very promising here. Of course, much old heathen ignorance, and much that is very wrong, will long survive. So you recollect perhaps old Joe (great- Uncle Edward's coachman) declaring that C. S. as a witch, and there is little proof of practical Christianity in the morals of our peasants of the west, and of Wales especially.
'It is not that one should acquiesce in what is wrong here, but one ought not to be surprised at it. Public opinion, the constraint of law, hereditary notions, are more effective in preventing the outbreak of evil passions into criminal acts in very many cases and districts in England.
'Now these restraints are, indeed, indirect consequences of Christianity, but do not imply any religion in the individuals who are influenced by them. These restraints don't exist here. If they did, I think these Mota people now would live just as orderly decent lives as average English folk. Christianity would not be a vigorous power in the one case or in the other. Exceptional cases would occur here and there.
'If I am asked for proofs of the "conversion" of this people, I should say, "Conversion from what to what?" and then I should say, "Ask any close observer in England about the commercial and social morality existing in not only the most ignorant ranks of society: how much is merely formal, and therefore, perhaps, actually detrimental to a true spirit of religion! Here you don't find much that you associate with religion in England, in the external observances of it; but there are not a few ignorant people (I am not speaking of our trained scholars) who are giving up their old habits, adopting new ways, accepting a stricter mode of life, foregoing advantages of one kind and another, because they believe that this "Good news," this Gospel, is true, and because the simple truths of Christianity are, thank God, finding some entrance into their hearts.
'I dread the imposition from without of some formal compliances with the externals of religion while I know that the meaning and spirit of them cannot as yet be understood. Can there be conceived anything more formal, more mischievous, than inculcating a rigid Sabbatarian view of the Lord's Day upon a people who don't know anything about the Cross and the Resurrection? Time enough to talk about the observance when the people have some knowledge of the vital living truth of a spiritual religion.
'So about clothing. If I tried to do it, I think I could make the people here buy, certainly accept, and wear, clothing. With what result at present? That they would think that wearing a yard of unbleached calico was a real evidence of the reception of the new teaching.
'Such things are, in this stage of Mission work, actually hurtful. The mind naturally takes in and accepts the easy outward form, and by such treatment you actually encourage it to do so, and to save itself the trouble of thinking out the real meaning and teaching which must of course be addressed to the spirit.
'These outward things all follow as a matter of course after a time, as consequences of the new power and light felt in the soul; but they may be so spoken of as to become substitutes for the true spiritual life, and train up a people in hypocrisy.
'I beg your pardon really for parading all these truisms. Throw it in the fire.
'I don't for a moment mean or think that religion is to be taught by mere prudence and common sense. But a spiritual religion is imperilled the moment that you insist upon an unspiritual people observing outward forms which are to them the essence of the new teaching. Anything better than turning heathens into Pharisees! What did our Lord call the proselytes of the Pharisee and the Scribe?
'And while I see and love the beauty of the outward form when it is known and felt to be no more than the shrine of the inward spiritual power; while I know that for highly advanced Christians, or for persons trained in accurate habits of thought, all that beauty of holiness is needful; yet I think I see that the Divine wisdom of the Gospel would guard the teacher against presenting the formal side of religion to the untaught and ignorant convert. "God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth," is the great lesson for the heathen mind chained down as it is to things of sense.
'"He that hateth his brother is a murderer: "not the outward act, but the inward motive justifies or condemns the man. Every day convinces me more and more of the need of a different mode of teaching than that usually adopted for imperfectly taught people. How many of your (ordinary) parishioners even understand the simple meaning of the Prayer-book, nay, of their well-known (as they think) Gospel miracles and parables? Who teaches in ordinary parishes the Christian use of the Psalms? Who puts simply before peasant and stone-cutter the Jew and his religion, and what he and it were intended to be, and the real error and sin and failure?—the true nature of prophecy, the progressive teaching of the Bible, never in any age compromising truth, but never ignoring the state, so often the unreceptive state, of those to whom the truth must therefore be presented partially, and in a manner adapted to rude and unspiritual natures? What an amount of preparatory teaching is needed! What labour must be spent in struggling to bring forth things new and old, and present things simply before the indolent, unthinking, vacant mind! How much need there is of a more special training of the Clergy even now! Many men are striving nobly to do all this. But think of the rubbish that most of us chuck lazily out of our minds twice a week without method or order. It is such downright hard work to teach well. Oh! how weary it makes me to try. I feel as if I were at once aware of what should be attempted, and yet quite unable to do it!
'St. Michael's Day.—[After an affectionate review of most of his relations at home.]—When the Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn pressed me a good deal to go with them to England, it obliged me a little to analyse my feelings. You won't suspect me of any want of longing to see you, when I say that it never was a doubtful matter to me for five minutes. I saw nothing to make me wish to go to England in comparison with the crowd of reasons for not doing so. They, good people, thought it would be rest and refreshment to me. Little they know how a man so unlike them takes his rest! I am getting it here, hundreds of miles out of reach of any white man or woman, free from what is to me the bother of society. I am not defending myself; but it is true that to me it is a bore, the very opposite of rest, to be in society. I like a good talk with Sir William Martin above anything, but I declare that even that is dearly purchased by the other accompaniments of society.
'And I could not spend a quiet month with you at Weston. I should have people calling, the greatest of all nuisances, except that of having to go out to dinner. I should have to preach, and perhaps to go to meetings, all in the way of my business, but not tending to promote rest.
'Seriously, I am very well now; looking, I am sure, and feeling stronger and stouter than I was in New Zealand in the winter. So don't fret yourself about me, and don't think that I shouldn't dearly love to chat awhile with you. What an idle, lazy letter. You see I am taking my rest with you, writing without effort.'
He was looking well. Kohimarama must be more healthily situated than the first station, for all his three visits there were beneficial to him; and there seems to have been none of the tendency to ague and low fever which had been the trouble of the first abode.
Mr. Codrington and Mr. Bice came back in the schooner early in October, and were landed at Mota, while the Bishop went for a cruise in the New Hebrides; but the lateness of the season and the state of the vessel made it a short one, and he soon came back with thirty- five boys. Meanwhile, a small harmonium, which was to be left with the Christian settlement, had caused such an excitement that Mr. Bice was nearly squeezed to death by the crowds that came to hear it. He played nearly all day to successive throngs of men, but when the women arrived, they made such a clatter that he was fain to close the instrument. Unbleached calico clothing had been made for such of the young ladies as were to be taken on board for Norfolk Island, cut out by the Bishop and made up by Robert, William, and Benjamin, his scholars; and Mr. Codrington says, 'It was an odd sight to see the Bishop on the beach with the group of girls round him, and a number of garments over his arm. As each bride was brought by her friends, she was clothed and added to the group.
'Esthetically, clothes were no improvement. "A Melanesian clothed," the Bishop observes, "never looks well; there is almost always a stiff, shabby-genteel look. A good specimen, not disfigured by sores and ulcers, the well-shaped form, the rich warm colour of the skin, and the easy, graceful play of every limb, unhurt by shoe or tight- fitting dress, the flower stuck naturally into the hair, &c., make them look pleasant enough to my eye. You see in Picture Bibles figures draped as I could wish the Melanesians to be clothed."'
To continue Mr. Codrington's recollections of this stay in Mota:—
'I remember noticing how different his manner was from what was common at home. His eyes were cast all about him, keeping a sharp look-out, and all his movements and tones were quick and decisive. In that steaming climate, and those narrow paths, he walked faster than was at all agreeable to his companions, and was dressed moreover in a woollen coat and waistcoat all the time. In fact, he thoroughly enjoyed the heat, though no doubt it was weakening him; he liked the food, which gave him no trouble at all to eat, and he liked the natives.
'He felt, of course, that he was doing his work all the while; but the expression of his countenance was very different while sitting with a party of men over their food at Mota, and when sitting with a party in Norfolk Island.
'The contrast struck me very much between his recluse studious life there, and his very active one at Mota, with almost no leisure to read, and very little to write, and with an abundance of society which was a pleasure instead of a burthen.
'I think that the alert and decisive tone and habit which was so conspicuous in the islands, and came out whenever he was roused, was not natural to his disposition, but had been acquired in early years in a public school, and faded down in the quiet routine of St. Barnabas, and was recalled as occasion required with more effort as time went on. No doubt, his habitual gentleness made his occasional severity more felt, but at Mota his capacity for scolding was held in respect. I was told when I was last there, that I was no good, for I did not know how to scold, but that the Bishop perfectly well understood how to do it. Words certainly would never fail him in twenty languages to express his indignation, but how seldom among his own scholars had he to do it in one!'
This voyage is best summed up in the ensuing letter to one of the Norfolk relations:—
'"Southern Cross" Schooner, 20 miles East of Star Island.
'My dear Cousin,—We are drawing near the end of a rather long cruise, as I trust, in safety. We left Norfolk Island on the 24th June, and we hope to reach it in about ten days. We should have moved about in less time, but for the crippled state of the schooner. She fell in with a heavy gale off Norfolk Island about June 20th- 23rd; and we have been obliged to be very careful of our spars, which were much strained. Indeed, we still need a new mainmast, main boom, and gaff, a main topmast, foretopmast, and probably new wire rigging, besides repairs of other kinds, and possibly new coppering. Thank God, the voyage has been so far safe, and, on the whole, prosperous. We sailed first of all to the Banks Islands, only dropping two lads at Ambrym Island on our way. We spent a week or more at Mota, while the vessel was being overhauled at the harbour in Vanua Lava Island, seven miles from Mota. It was a great relief to us to get the house for the station at Mota out of the vessel, the weight of timber, &c., was too much for a vessel not built for carrying freight. After a few days we left Mr. Palmer, George Sarawia, and others at Mota, busily engaged in putting up the house, a very serious matter for us, as you may suppose.
'Our party was made up of Mr. Atkin, Mr. Brooke, and two Mota volunteers for boat work, and divers Solomon Islanders. We were absent from Mota about seven years, during which time we visited Santa Cruz, and many of the Solomon Isles. Mr. Atkin spent three weeks in one of the isles, and Mr. Brooke in another, and we had more than thirty natives of the Solomon Islands on board, including old scholars, when we left Ulava, the last island of the Solomon group at which we called.
'Mr. Palmer, Mr. Atkin, and Mr. Brooke went on to Norfolk Island, the whole number of Melanesians on board being sixty-two. I had spent a very happy month at Mota when the vessel returned from Norfolk Island both with Mr. Codrington and Mr. Bice on board, bringing those of the Melanesians (nearly thirty in all) who chose to stay on Norfolk Island. Then followed a fortnight's cruise in the New Hebrides, and now with exactly fifty Melanesians on board from divers islands, we are on our way to Norfolk Island. We have fourteen girls, two married, on board, and there are ten already at Norfolk Island. This is an unusual number; but the people understand that the young men and lads who have been with us for some time, who are baptized and accustomed to decent orderly ways, are not going to marry heathen wild girls, so they give up these young ones to be taught and qualify to become fit wives for our rapidly increasing party of young men.
'It is quite clear that we must aim at exhibiting, by God's blessing, Christian family life in the islands, and this can only be done by training up young men and women.
'Three married couples, all Communicants, live now at Kohimarama, the station at Mota. George has two children, Benjamin one. It is already a small specimen of a little Christian community, and it must be reinforced, year by year, by accessions of new couples of Christian men and women.
'About twenty lads live at the station, and about forty more come daily to school. It may grow soon into a real working school, from which the most intelligent and best conducted boys may be taken to Norfolk Island for a more complete education. I am hopeful about a real improvement in Mota and elsewhere.
'But a new difficulty has lately been caused by the traders from Sydney and elsewhere, who have taken many people to work in the plantations at Brisbane, Mimea, (New Caledonia), and the Fiji Islands, actual kidnapping, and this is a sad hindrance to us. I know of no case of actual violence in the Banks Islands; but in every case, they took people away under false pretences, asserting that "the Bishop is ill and can't come; he has sent us to bring you to him." "The Bishop is in Sydney, he broke his leg getting into his boat, and has sent us to take you to him," &c., &c. In many of these places some of our old scholars are found who speak a little English, and the traders communicated with them.
'In most places where any of our young people happened to be on shore, they warned their companions against these men, but not always with success. Hindrances there must be always in the way of all attempts to do some good. But this is a sad business, and very discreditable to the persons employed in it and the Government which sanctions it, for they must know that they cannot control the masters of the vessels engaged in the trade; they may pass laws as to the treatment the natives are to receive on the plantations, as to food, pay, &c., the time of service, the date of their being taken home, but they know that the whole thing is dishonest. The natives don't intend or know anything about any service or labour; they don't know that they will have to work hard, and any regular steady work is hard work to South Sea Islanders. They are brought away under false pretences, else why tell lies to induce them to go on board?
'I dare say that many young fellows go on board without much persuasion. Many causes may be at work to induce them to do so, e.g., sickness in the island, quarrels, love of excitement, spirit of enterprise, &c., but if they knew what they were taken for, I don't think they would go.
'November 2nd.—In sight of Norfolk Island. All well on board.
'November 6th.—Yesterday we all landed safely, and found our whole party quite well. Our new hall is finished, and in good time to receive 134 Melanesians.'
Before the full accumulation of letters arrived from Auckland, a report by a passing ship from Sydney stirred the hermit Bishop deeply, and elicited the following warm congratulation:—
'Norfolk Island: November 17, 1869.
'My dear Dr. Moberly,—Since my return—a fortnight since—from the islands a rumour has reached us, brought hither in a small trader, that the Bishop of Winchester has resigned his see, and that you are his successor. It is almost too good to be true. I am waiting with great anxiety for a vessel expected soon; I have had no English news since letters of April. But in all seriousness, private news is of small moment compared with the news of what is to become of that great Diocese. And especially now, when almost all the south of England is so sadly in want of officers to command the Church's army. Exeter, Bath and Wells, Salisbury, Chichester (very old), and till now (if this rumour be true) Winchester, from old age or sickness almost, if not quite, unfit for work. If indeed I hear that God's Providence has placed you in charge of that great see, it will give a different hue to the prospect, dreary enough, I confess, to me; though I hope I am mistaken in my gloomy forebodings of the results of all those many Dioceses being so long without active Bishops. Salisbury of course I except, and Chichester is a small Diocese comparatively, and the good Bishop, I know, works up to the maximum of his age and strength. But if this be a true rumour, and I do sincerely trust and pray that it may be so, indeed it will give hope and courage and fresh life and power to many and many a fainting soul. If I may presume to say so, it is (as Mrs. Selwyn wrote to me when he was appointed to Lichfield) "a solemn and anxious thing to undertake a great charge on the top of such great expectations." But already there is one out here anyhow who feels cheered and strengthened by the mere hope that this story is true; and everywhere many anxious men and women will lift up their hearts to God in thankfulness, and in earnest prayers that you may indeed do a great work to His glory and to the good of His Church in a new and even greater sphere of usefulness. No doubt much of my thoughts and apprehensions about the religious and social state of England is very erroneous. I have but little time for reading about what is going on, and though I have the blessing of Codrington's good sense and ability, yet I should like to have more persons to learn from on such matters. I am willing and anxious to believe that I am not cheerful and faithful enough to see the bright side as clearly as I ought. Your letters have always been a very great help to me; not only a great pleasure, much more than a pleasure. I felt that I accepted, occasionally even that I had anticipated, your remarks on the questions of the day, the conduct of parties and public men, books, &c. It has been a great thing for me to have my thoughts guided or corrected in this way.