It was no wonder that Mr. Dudley thought the Bishop depressed; and, moreover, he over-exerted himself, walking a mile and a half one day, and preaching in the little Church of St. Sepulchre's. He longed to return to St. Barnabas, but was in no state to rough it in a common little sailing vessel, so he waited on. 'I am very lazy,' he says: 'I can't do much work. Sir William and I read Hebrew, and discuss many questions in which his opinion is most valuable. I have business letters to write, e.g., about the deportation of islanders and about a clergyman whom the Melbourne people are helping to go to Fiji.... This is perhaps a good trial for me, to be sitting lazily here and thinking of others at work!'
This was written about the middle of July, when the convalescent had regained much more strength, and could walk into town, or stand to read and write according to his favourite custom, as well as thoroughly enjoy conversations with his hosts at Taurarua.
'I never saw (observes Lady Martin) a larger charity united to a more living faith. He knew in Whom he believed; and this unclouded confidence seemed to enable him to be gentle and discriminating in his judgments on those whose minds are clouded with doubt.
'It was pleasant to see how at this time his mind went back to the interests which he had laid aside for years. He liked to hear bits of Handel, and other old masters, and would go back to recollections of foreign travels and of his enthusiasm for music and art as freshly and brightly as he had done in the first days of our acquaintance. But this was only in the "gloaming" or late in the evening when he was resting in his easy chair.
'At the end of July we were expecting a young relation and his bride to spend a week with us before returning to England, and we gave the Bishop the option of going to Bishop's Court for the time, where he was always warmly welcomed. Some years before, he would certainly have slipped away from the chatter and bustle; but now he decided to remain with us, and throw himself into the small interests around, in a way which touched and delighted the young couple greatly. He put away his natural shrinking from society and his student ways, and was willing to enjoy everything as it came. We had a curious instance at this time of the real difficulty the Bishop felt about writing sermons. He had not attempted to preach, save at Mr. Dudley's Church; but a week or two before he left us, Archdeacon Maunsell came to beg of him to preach at St. Mary's, where he had often taken service formerly. He promised to do so without any apparent hesitation, and said afterwards to us that he could not refuse such a request. So on Wednesday he began to prepare a sermon. He was sitting each morning in the room where I was at work, and he talked to me from time to time of the thoughts that were in his mind. The subject was all that was implied in the words, "I have called thee by thy name," the personal knowledge, interest, &c.; and I was rejoicing in the treat in store, when, to my dismay, I saw sheet after sheet, which had been written in his neat, clear hand as though the thoughts flowed on without effort, flung into the fire. "I can't write," was said again and again, and the work put by for another day. At last, on Saturday morning, he walked up to the parsonage to make his excuses. Happily Dr. Maunsell would not let him off, so on Sunday the Bishop, without any notes or sermon, spoke to us out of the fulness of his heart about the Mission work, of its encouragements and its difficulties. He described, in a way that none can ever forget who heard the plaintive tones of his voice and saw his worn face that day, what it was to be alone on an island for weeks, surrounded by noisy heathen, and the comfort and strength gained then by the thought that we who have the full privileges of Christian worship and communion were remembering such in our prayers.
'Our young friends sailed on Sunday, August 7; and we expected the Bishop to sail the next day, but the winds were foul and boisterous, and we had him with us till Friday morning, the 12th. Those last days were very happy ones. His thoughts went back to Melanesia and to his work; and every evening we drew him to tell of adventures and perils, and to describe the islands to us in a way he had scarcely ever done before. I think it was partly to please our Maori maiden, who sat by his side on a footstool in the twilight, plying him with questions with so much lively natural interest that he warmed up in return. Generally, he shrank into himself, and became reserved at once if pressed to tell of his own doings. He spoke one evening quite openly about his dislike to ship life. We were laughing at some remembrance of the Bishop of Lichfield's satisfaction when once afloat; and he burst into an expression of wonder, how anyone could go to sea for pleasure. I asked him what he disliked in particular, and he answered, Everything. That he always felt dizzy, headachy, and unable to read with comfort; the food was greasy, and there was a general sense of dirt and discomfort. As the time drew nigh for sailing, he talked a good deal about the rapidly growing evil of the labour trade. He grew very depressed one day, and spoke quite despondingly of the future prospects of the Mission. He told us of one island, Vanua Lava, I think, where, a few years ago, 300 men used to assemble on the beach to welcome him. Now, only thirty or forty were left. He saw that if the trade went on at the same rate as it had been doing for the last year or two, many islands would be depopulated, and everywhere he must expect to meet with suspicion or open ill will.'
'The next morning the cloud had rolled away, and he was ready to go forth in faith to do the work appointed him, leaving the result in God's hands. We accompanied him to the boat on Friday morning. Bishop and Mrs. Cowie came down, and one or two of the clergy, and his two English boys who were to go with him.
'It was a lovely morning. We rejoiced to see how much he had improved in his health during his stay. He had been very good and tractable about taking nourishment, and certainly looked and was all the better for generous diet. He had almost grown stout, and walked upright and briskly. Sir William parted with him on the beach, where we have had so many partings; and I meant to do so too, but a friend had brought another boat, and invited me to come, so I gladly went off to the "Southern Cross," which was lying about half-a-mile off. The Cowies were very anxious to see the vessel, and the Bishop showed them all about. I was anxious to go down to his cabin, and arrange in safe nooks comforts for his use on the voyage. In half an hour the vessel was ready to sail. One last grasp of the hand, one loving smile, and we parted—never to meet again on earth.'
So far this kind and much-loved friend! And to this I cannot but add an extract from the letter she wrote to his sisters immediately after the parting, since it adds another touch to the character now ripened:—
'I think you are a little mistaken in your notion that your brother would feel no interest in your home doings. He has quite passed out of that early stage when the mind can dwell on nothing but its own sphere of work. He takes a lively interest in all that is going on at home, specially in Church matters, and came back quite refreshed from Bishop's Court with all that Bishop Cowie had told him.
'What he would really dread in England would be the being lionised, and being compelled to speak and preach here, there, and everywhere. And yet he would have no power to say nay. But the cold would shrivel him up, and society—dinners, table talk—would bore him, and he would pine for his warmth and his books. Not a bit the less does he dearly love you all.'
The brother and sisters knew it, and forebore to harass him with remonstrances, but resigned themselves to the knowledge that nothing would bring him home save absolute disqualification for his mission.
His own last letter from Taurarua dwells upon the enjoyment of his conversations with Sir William Martin and Bishop Cowie; and then goes into details of a vision of obtaining young English boys to whom a good education would be a boon, bringing them up at St. Barnabas, and then, if they turned out fit for the Mission there, they would be prepared—if not, they would have had the benefit of the schooling.
Meantime the 'Southern Cross,' with three of the clergy, had made the voyage according to minute directions from the Bishop. Mr. Atkin made his yearly visit to Bauro. He says:—
'I hardly expected that when we came back we should have found the peace still unbroken between Wango and Hane, but it is. Though not very good friends, they are still at peace. In the chief's house I was presented with a piece of pork, about two pounds, and a dish of tauma (their favourite), a pudding made of yams, nuts, and cocoa-nut milk, and cooked by steaming. Fortunately, good manners allowed me to take it away. Before we left the village, it took two women to carry our provisions. A little boy came back with us, to stay with Taki. The two boys who ought to have come last year are very anxious to do so still.
'July 12th.—We anchored the boat on the beach at Tawatana, and I went into the oka (public house) to see the tauma prepared for the feast. There were thirty-eight dishes. The largest, about four feet long, stood nearly three feet high. I tried to lift one from the ground, but could not; it must have been five hundredweight; the smallest daras held eighty or a hundred pounds. I calculated that there was at least two tons. When freshly made it is very good, but at these feasts it is always old and sour, and dripping with cocoa- nut oil. The daras, or wooden bowls, into which it is put, are almost always carved and inlaid with mother-of-pearl shell.
'There was a great crowd at the landing-place at Saa (Malanta) to meet us. Nobody knew Wate at first, but he was soon recognised. The boat was pulled up into a little river, and everything stealable taken out. We then went up to the village, passing some women crying on the way; here, as at Uleawa, crying seems to be the sign of joy, or welcome. Wate's father's new house is the best I have seen in any of these islands. It has two rooms; the drawing-room is about forty- five feet long by thirty wide, with a roof projecting about six feet outside the wall at the end and four feet at the eaves; the bed-room is about eighteen feet wide, so that the whole roof covers about seventy feet by forty. Wate's father lives like a chief of the olden time, with large property, but nothing of his own; all that he has or gets goes as soon as he gets it to his retainers.
'August 3rd.—Went to Heuru. The bwea began about ten o'clock. A bwea means a stage, but the word is used as we speak of "the stage." There is a stage in this case about three feet square, twenty feet from the ground, walled in to three feet height on three sides, with a ladder of two stout poles. On the bwea sit or stand two or three men, on either side having a bag; visitors run up the ladder, put their money or porpoise teeth into the bags if small, give it to the men if large; and, if their present is worth it, make a speech a little way down the ladder. A party from a village generally send up a spokesman, and when he has done go up in a body and give their money. Taki was orator for Waiio, and I led the party with my present of beads, which if red or white pass as money. The object of a bwea is to get money, but it may only be held on proper occasions. The occasion of this was the adoption of a Mara lad by the chief man at Heuru; to get money to pay the lad's friends he held a bwea that all his friends might help him. As he was a connection of Taki's, and Waiio is the richest of the settlements, he got great spoils from thence.... At Tawatana the young men put on petticoats of cocoa-nut leaves, and danced their graceful "mao." I had only seen it before at Norfolk Island; it is very pretty, but must be very difficult to learn; they say that not many know it. At Nora they danced another most dirty dance: all the performers were daubed from head to foot with mud, and wore masks covered with mud and ashes; the aim of the dance, as far as I could see, was to ridicule all sorts of infirmities and imbecilities, tottering, limping, staggering, and reeling, but in time and order. One man had a basket of dripping mud on his head which was streaming down his face and back all the time. A great point is that the actors should not be recognised. Mr. Brooke was likewise dropped at Florida. After this the rest of the party had gone on to Mota, where George Sarawia was found working away well at his school, plenty of attendants, and the whole place clean, well-ventilated, and well-regulated.
A watch sent out as a present to Sarawia was a delight which he could quite appreciate, and he had sent back very sensible right-minded letters. Of Bishop Patteson's voyage the history is pieced together from two letters, one to the sisters, the other to the Bishop of Lichfield. Neither was begun till September, after which they make a tolerably full diary.
'More than five weeks have passed since I left New Zealand, more than three since I left Norfolk Island. Mr. Codrington and I reached Mota on the morning of the eighth day after leaving Norfolk Island. I spent but half an hour on shore with George Sarawia and his people; sailed across to Aroa and Matlavo, where I landed eight or ten of our scholars; and came on at once to the Solomon Islands. On Sunday morning (September 4) what joy to find Mr. Atkin well and hearty!
'Mr. Brooke, who took up his abode at the village of Mboli, had with him Dudley Lankana and Richard Maru, but they were a good deal absorbed by their relations, and not so useful to him as had been hoped, though they kept out of heathen habits, and remained constant to their intention of returning.
'"Brooke," says the Bishop, "knows and speaks the one language of Anudha very well, for there is but one language, with a few dialectical varieties of course."
'A nice little house was built for him at Mboli, which I have always thought to be a very healthy place.
'The coral grit and sand runs a long way in shore under cocoa-nut groves, but there is no very dense undergrowth. The wind when easterly blows freely along and is drawn rather upon the shore there. Two miles to windward of Mboli is the good harbour of Sara, where the vessel anchored with us.
'Brooke's house was raised on poles, five feet from the ground; the floor made of neat smooth bamboos, basket-worked. He had his table and two benches, one easy cane chair, cork bed, boxes, harmonium, and plenty of food.
'Close to his house is the magnificent kiala, or boat house, about 180 feet long, 42 high, and about as many feet broad, a really grand, imposing place. Here Brooke, in surplice, with his little band, had his Sunday services, singing hymns, and chanting Psalms, in parts, in the presence of from 150 to 300, once nearly 400 people, to whom he spoke of course, usually twice, making two sermonets.
'The island is unlike any other; much more open, much less bush, but it is not coral crag that crops out, but almost bare reddish rock, with but little soil on it, and the population, which is large, finds it hard to procure food.
'Three brothers, Takua, Savai, and Dikea, are the principal men. Local chiefs exercise some small authority in each village. Anudha, or Aunta, is properly the name of a small island, for there is no one great mainland, but many islands separated by very narrow salt-water creeks and rivers, along which a skiff may be sculled.
'Brooke has been over every part of it. His only difficulties arose from jealousy on the part of Takua and Savai, who, living at Mboli, were very wroth at his not being their tame Pakeha, at his asserting his independence, his motive in coming to teach all, and make known to all alike a common message. Especially they were indignant at his making up small parties of boys from different parts of the island, as they of course wanted to monopolise him, and through him the trade. He has evidently been firm and friendly too, keeping his temper, yet speaking out very plainly. The result, as far as bringing boys goes, is that we have now thirteen on board, including Dudley and Richard, from six different parts of the island. But so vexed was Takua, that he would not fulfil his promise of sending his two little girls.
'The fortnight spent in the Solomon Islands has been very fine; winds very light, and very little rain. We have at length got Stephen Taroniara's child, a little girl of about seven years old, Paraitaku, from the old grandmother and aunts. So, thank God, she will be brought up as a Christian child. She is a dear little thing.
'This work of Mr. Atkin and Mr. Brooke in the easterly and more north-westerly parts of the Solomon Islands respectively, is the nearest approach that has yet been made to regular missionary operations there. Our short visits in the "Southern Cross," or my short three to ten days' visits on shore are all useful as preparing the way for something more. But it is the quiet, lengthened staying for some months among these islanders that gives opportunities for knowing them and their ways. They do everything with endless talk and discussion about it; and it is only by living with, and moving about constantly among them, that any hold can be gained over them. I think that the Mission is now in a more hopeful state than ever before in these islands.
'Our parties of scholars are large. They trust quite little fellows with us, and for any length of time. True, these little fellows cannot exercise any influence for years to come; but if we take young men or lads of sixteen or eighteen years old, it needs as many years to qualify them (with heathen habits to be unlearned, and with the quickness of apprehension of new teaching already gone) for being useful among their people as would suffice for the arrival of these young children at mature age.'
Three Tikopian giants had made a visit at Mota in the course of this year, attracted by the fame of the hospitality and fertility of the place. George Sarawia had got on well with them, and tried to keep them to meet the Bishop, but one of them fell sick, and the others took him away. This was hailed as a possible opening to those two curious isles, Oanuta and Tikopia, in so far as the 'Southern Cross' work was concerned. The Bishop continues, to his former Primate:—
'On the whole, things seem to be going on favourably. The Banks Islanders are very shy now of the vessels sent to carry off men to Fiji or Queensland. They will find their way into the Solomon Islands soon. One, indeed, a cutter, has taken about twenty men from Ulava. They were all kept under hatches. We warn the people wherever we go.
'The pressing question now is how to supply our young men and women, married Christian couples, with proper occupations to prevent their acquiescing in an indolent, useless, selfish life.
'When their "education is finished," they have no profession, no need to work to obtain a livelihood for themselves, wives, and children. They can't all be clergymen, nor all even teachers in such a sense as to make it a calling and occupation.
'Some wants they have—houses fit for persons who like reading and writing, a table, a bench, a window becomes necessary. Coral lime houses would be good for them. They make and wear light clothing, they wash and cook on new principles, &c.; but these wants are soon supplied. Only a practical sense of the duty of helping others to know what they have been taught will keep them from idleness and its consequences. And how few of us, with no other safeguard against idleness, would be other than idle!
'Some, I think, may be helped by being associated with us, and with their friends of the Solomon Isles, New Hebrides, in spending some months on shore, where they would soon acquire a fair knowledge of the language, and might be of great use to less advanced friends. This would be a real work for them. Just as Mission work is the safeguard of the settled Church, so it must be the safeguard of these young native Churches.
'No doubt the Missionary spirit infused into the Samoan and Karotongan Churches kept them living and fruitful. I am trying to think upon these points.
'If the contrast be too violent between the Mission station with its daily occupations and the island life, it becomes very difficult for the natives to perpetuate the habits of the one amidst the circumstances of the other.
'The habits acquired at Norfolk Island ought to be capable of being easily transferred to the conditions of the Melanesian isles.
'They ought, I think, to wear (in the hot summer and on week days) light loose clothing, which could be worn at home; or clothing of the same shape and fit (though perhaps of warm materials) might be worn.
'The circumstances of the two places must be different, but we must minimise the difference as much as possible.
'I often think of the steady-going English family, with regular family prayers, and attendance twice at Church on Sunday, and the same people spending two months on the Continent. No opportunity is made for family prayers before the table d'hte breakfast; and at least one part of the Sunday is spent in the Roman Catholic Cathedral, or in a different way from the home use. And if this be so with good respectable folk among ourselves, what must be the effect of altered circumstances on our Melanesians?
'It is not easy to keep up the devotional life on shore at home, or in the islands, or on board ship with the same regularity. And where the convert must be more dependent than we ought to be on external opportunities, the difficulty is increased. So if the alteration be as little as possible, we gain something, we make it easier to our scholars to perpetuate uninterruptedly the Norfolk Island life.
'To live with them and try to show them how, on their island, to keep up the religious life unchanged amidst the changed outward circumstances is a good way, but then we can't live among them very long, and our example is so often faulty.
'Curiously do these practical difficulties make us realise that there may really be some benefit in artificial wants; and that probably the most favourable situation for the development of the human character is a climate where the necessaries of life are just sufficiently difficult of production to require steady industry, and yet that nature should not be so rigorous as to make living so hard a matter as to occupy the whole attention, and dwarf the mental faculties.'
How remarkable, is the date of the following thoughts, almost like a foreboding:—
'September 19th, 10 A.M. (to the sisters).—We are drawing near Santa Cruz, about 100 miles off. How my mind is filled with hopes, not unmingled with anxiety. It is more than eleven years since we sought to make an opening here, and as yet we have no scholar. Last year, I went ashore at a large village called Taive, about seven miles from the scene of our disaster. Many canoes came to us from that spot, and we stood in quite close in the vessel, so that people swam off to us.
'They are all fighting among the various villages and neighbouring islets of the Reef Archipelago, twenty miles north of the main island. It is very difficult what to do or how to try to make a beginning. God will open a door in His own good time. Yet to see and seize on the opportunity when given is difficult. How these things make one feel more than ever the need of Divine guidance, the gift of the Spirit of Wisdom and Counsel and ghostly strength. To human eyes it seems almost hopeless. Yet other islanders were in a state almost as hopeless apparently. Only there is a something about Santa Cruz which is probably very unreal and imaginary, which seems to present unusual difficulties. In a few days, I may, by God's goodness, be writing to you again about our visit to the group. And if the time be come, may God grant us some opening, and grace to use it aright!
'At Piteni, Matama, Nupani, Analogo, I can talk somewhat to the people, who are Polynesians, and speak a dialect connected with the Maori of New Zealand. I think that the people of Indeni (the native name for Santa Cruz) are also more than half Polynesians; but I don't know a single sentence of their language properly. I can say nothing about it. They destroy and distort their organs of pronunciation by excessive use of the betel-nut and pepper leaf and lime, so that no word is articulately pronounced. It is very hard to catch the sounds they make amidst the hubbub on deck or the crowds on shore; yet I think that if we had two or three lads quietly with us at Norfolk Island, we should soon make out something.
'Don't think I am depressed by this. I only feel troubled by the sense that I frequently lose opportunities from indolence and other faults. I am quite aware that we can do very little to bring about an introduction to these islanders; and I fully believe that in some quite unexpected way, or at all events in some way brought about independently of our efforts, a work will be begun here some day, in the day when God sees it to be fit and right.
(To the Bishop of Lichfield.)
'September 27th.—Leaving Santa Cruz we came to this group from Ulava with light fair winds; left Ulava on Saturday at 6 P.M., and sighted the island, making the west side of Graciosa Bay on the next Wednesday; sea quite smooth; thermometer reached 92 degrees.
'Sunday.—Very calm, but a light breeze took us into Nukapu. A canoe came off, I made them understand that it was our day of rest, and that I would visit them atainu (to-morrow), a curious word. I gave a few presents, and we slowly sailed on.
'Monday, 6 A.M.—Off Piteni, canoe off, went ashore, low tide, got into a canoe, and so reached the beach, people well behaved, much talk of taking lads, quite well understood. The speech is (you remember) very Maori indeed. There were some nice lads, but no one came away. Four canoes from Taumaho were here, and two Piteni men came back from Taumaho while I was on shore.
'At Nukapu at 2.30 P.M. High water, went in easily over the reef by a short cut, not by our old winding narrow passage. I was greatly pleased by the people asking me on board, "Where is Bisambe?" "Here I am." "No, no, the Bisambe tuai (of old). Your mutua (father). Is he below? Why doesn't he come up with some hatchets?"
'So you see they remember you. A tall middle-aged man, Moto, said that he was with us in the boat in 1859, and he and I remembered the one-eyed man who piloted us.
'I went here also into the houses. Here is a quaint place; many things, not altogether idols, but uncanny, and feared by the people. Women danced in my honour, people gave small presents, &c., but no volunteers. I could talk with them with sufficient ease; and took my time, lying at my ease on a good mat with cane pillow, Anaiteum fashion. I told them that they had seen on board many little fellows from many islands; that they need not fear to let their children go; that I could not spend time and property in coming year by year and giving presents when they were unwilling to listen to what I said, but they only made unreal promises, put boys in the boat merely to take them out again, and so we went away atrakoi.'
There is a little weariness of spirits—not of spirit—in the contemporaneous words to the home party:—
'I don't know what to write about this voyage. You have heard all about tropical vegetation, Santa Cruz canoes, houses, customs, &c. If indeed I could draw these fellows, among whom I was lying on a mat on Monday; if you could see the fuzzy heads, stained white and red, the great shell ornaments on the arms, the round plate of shell as big as a small dinner plate hanging over the chest, the large holes in the lobes of the ears rilled with perhaps fifteen or twenty rings of tortoise-shell hung on to one another; the woven scarves and girdles stained yellow with turmeric and stamped with a black pattern: then it would make a curious sight for you; and your worthy brother, much at his ease, lying flat on his back on two or three mats, talking to the people about his great wish to take away some of the jolly little fellows to whom he was giving fish-hooks, would no doubt be very "interesting." But really all this has become so commonplace, that I can't write about it with any freshness. The volcano in this group, Tenakulu, is now active, and was a fine sight at night, though the eruption is not continuous as it was in 1859.
'October 9th—Near Ambrym [to the Bishop]. Some people from Aruas, the large western bay of Vanua Lava, had been taken by force to Queensland or Fiji. The natives simply speak of "a ship of Sydney."
'Wednesday.—Aroa and Matlavo. 'Henry Tagalana and Joanna and their baby Elizabeth, William Pasvorang and Lydia, and six others, all baptized, and four communicants among them, had spent five weeks on shore; a very nice set. Six of them lived together at Aroa, had regular morning and evening prayers, sang their hymns, and did what they could, talking to their people. Codrington went over in a canoe, and spent four days with them, much pleased. We brought three scholars for George from thence.
'Thursday, Mota.—Codrington says the time is come, in his opinion, for some steps to be taken to further the movement in Mota. Grown-up people much changed, improved, some almost to be regarded as catechumens.
'We left Mota, bringing all that were to come; indeed, we scarcely know what it is nowadays to lose a boy or man—a great blessing. There had been another visit of eleven canoes of Tikopians; friendly, though unable to converse, and promising to return again in two months.
'October 11th.—A topsail schooner in sight, between Ambrym and Paama—one of those kidnapping vessels. I have any amount of (to me) conclusive evidence of downright kidnapping. But I don't think I could prove any case in a Sydney Court. They have no names painted on some of their vessels, and the natives can't catch nor pronounce the names of the white men on board. They describe their appearance accurately, and we have more than suspicions about some of these fellows.
'The planters in Queensland and Fiji, who create the demand for labourers, say that they don't like the kidnapping any more than I do. They pay occasionally from 6 to 12 for an "imported labourer," and they don't want to have him put into their hands in a sullen irritable state of mind.'
Touching at Nengone, the Bishop saw Mr. Creagh, who had recently visited New Caledonia, whither Basset, the poor chief who had been banished to Tahiti for refusing to receive a French priest, had been allowed to return, on the Emperor Napoleon forbidding interference with Protestant missionaries or their converts.
Wadrokala and his wife and child were brought away, making up a number of 65 black passengers, besides the 60 scholars already at Norfolk Island. The weather throughout the voyage had been unusually still, with frequent calms, the sea with hardly any swell. And this had been very happy for the Bishop; but he was less well than when he had left Taurarua, and was unequal to attending the General Synod in New Zealand, far more so to another campaign in Australia, though he cherished the design of going to see after the condition of the labourers in Fiji.
He finishes his long letter to his former Primate:—
It is perhaps cowardly to say that I am thankful that I am not a clergyman in England. I am not the man even in a small parish to stand up and fight against so many many-headed monsters. I should give in, and shirk the contest. The more I pray that you may have strength to endure it. I don't think I was ever pugnacious in the way of controversy; and I am very very thankful to be out of it.'
Indeed, the tone of the references to Church matters at home had become increasingly cautious; and one long letter to Mrs. Martyn he actually tore up, lest it should do harm. His feeling more and more was to wish for patience and forbearance, and to deprecate violent words or hasty actions—looking from his hermit life upon all the present distress more as a phase of Church history that would develop into some form of good, and perhaps hardly sensible of the urgency of the struggle and defence. For peace and shelter from the strife of tongues was surely one of the compensating blessings conferred on him. But, as all his companions agree, he was never the same man again after his illness. There was a lower level of spirits and of energy, a sensitiveness to annoyances, and an indisposition to active exertion, which distressed him.
His day began as early as ever, and was mapped out as before, for classes of all kinds, Hebrew and reading; but he seldom left his room, except for Chapel and meals, being unable to take much out-door exercise. He did not see so much of his elder scholars as before, chiefly because the very large number of newer pupils made it necessary to employ them more constantly; but he never failed to give each of them some instruction for a short time every day, though with more effort, for indeed almost everything had become a burthen to him. Mr. Codrington's photograph taken at this time shows how much changed and aged he had become. The quiet in which he now lived resulted in much letter-writing, taking up correspondences that had slumbered in more busy times, as his mind flew back to old friends: though, indeed, the letters given in the preceding Memoir must not be taken by any means to represent the numbers he wrote. When he speaks of sending thirty-five by one mail, perhaps only one or two have come into my hands; and of those only such portions are of course taken as illustrate his life, work, character, and opinions without trenching on the reserve due to survivors. Thus multitudes of affectionate letters, participating in the joys and sorrows of his brother, his cousins and friends, can necessarily find no place here; though the idea of his character is hardly complete without direct evidence of the unbroken or more truly increasing sympathy he had with those whom he had not met for sixteen years, and his love for his brother's wife and children whom he had never seen.
Soon after his return to Norfolk Island came a packet with a three months' accumulation of home despatches. He read and replied in his old conversational way, with occasionally a revelation of his deep inner self:—
'I have been thinking, dear old Fan, about your words, "there would be a good deal to give and take if you came home for a time;" less perhaps now than before I was somewhat tamed by my illness. I see more of the meaning of that petition, "from all blindness of heart, from pride, vainglory, and hypocrisy; and from all uncharitableness."
'Alas! you don't know what a misspent life I looked back upon, never losing hold, God be praised, of the sure belief in His promises of pardon and acceptance in Christ. I certainly saw that a want of sympathy, an indifference to the feelings of others, want of consideration, selfishness, in short, lay at the bottom of very much that I mourned over.
'There is one thing, that I don't mention as an excuse for a fault which really does exist, but simply as a fact, viz., that being always, even now, pressed for time, I write very abruptly, and so seem to be much more positive and dogmatic than I hope, and really think, is the case. I don't remember ever writing you a letter in which I was able to write but as I would have talked out the matter under discussion in all its bearings. This arises partly from impatience, my pen won't go fast enough; but as I state shortly my opinion, without going through the reasons which lead me to adopt it, no doubt much that I say seems to be without reason, and some of it no doubt is.'
I need make no excuse for giving as much as possible of the correspondence of these last few months, when—though the manner of his actual departure was violent, there was already the shadow, as it were, of death upon him.
To Sir J. T. Coleridge the letter was:—
'December 9, 1870.
'My dearest Uncle,—How long it is since I wrote to you!... And yet it is true that I think more often of you than of anyone, except Jem, Joan and Fan. In fact, your name meets me so often in one way or another—in papers from England, and much more in books continually in use, that I could not fail to think of you if I had not the true, deep love that brings up the old familiar face and voice so often before my eyes....
'I wish I could talk with you, or rather hear you answer my many questions on so many points. I get quite bewildered sometimes. It is hard to read the signs of our times; so hard to see where charity ends and compromise begins, where the old opinion is to be stoutly maintained, and where the new mode of thought is to be accepted. I suppose there always was some little difference among divines as to "fundamentals," and no ready-made solution exists of each difficult question as it emerges.
'There is reason for that being so, because it is part of our duty and trial to exercise our own power of discretion and judgment. But so much now seems to be left to individuals, and so little is accepted on authority. In Church matters I have for years thought Synods to be the one remedy. If men meet and talk over a difficulty, there is a probability of men's understanding each other's motives, and thus preserving charity. If one-twentieth part of a diocese insists upon certain observances which nineteen-twentieths repudiate, it seems clear that the very small minority is put out of court. Yet how often the small minority contains more salt than the large majority!
'I know indeed I am speaking honestly, that I am not worthy to understand dear Mr. Keble on many points. "The secret of our Lord" is with such men, and we fail to understand him, nous autres I mean, outside the sanctuary. Yet there is, I must confess it to you, my dear uncle, a something about his book on Eucharistic Adoration which has the character to me of foreign rather than of English divinity. I don't want to be exclusive, far from it. I don't want to be Anglican versus Primitive; but yet somehow, to me, there is a something which belongs more to French or Italian than to English character about some parts of the book. It is no doubt because I can't see what to his eye was plain.'
[An account of the voyage follows as before given.] 'The islanders are beginning to find out the true character of the many small vessels cruising among them, taking away people to the plantations in Queensland, Fiji, &c. So now force is substituted for deceit. Natives are enticed on board under promises (by signs of course, for nowhere can they talk to them) of presents, tempted down below into the hold to get tomahawks, beads, biscuit, &c., then the hatches are clapped on, and they are stolen away. I have to try and write a statement about it, which is the last thing I can do properly.'
[Then the history of the weddings and baptisms.] 'There is another pleasant feature to be noticed. The older scholars, almost all of whom are Banks Islanders, talk and arrange among themselves plans for helping natives of the islands. Thus Edward Wogale, of Mota, volunteers to go to Anudha, 300 or 400 miles off, to stay there with his friend Charles Sapinamba of that island, to aid him in working among his people. Edward is older and knows more than Charles. They talk in Mota, but Edward will soon have to speak the tongue of Anudha when living there. B—— and his wife offer to go to Santa Maria, Robert Pantatun and his wife to go to Matlavo, John Nonono to go to Savo, and Andrew Lalena also. This is very comforting to me. It is bona fide giving up country and home. It is indicative of a real desire to make known the Gospel to other lands. So long as they will do this, so long I think we may have the blessed assurance that God's Holy Spirit is indeed working in their hearts. Dear fellows! It makes me very thankful.
'My clerical staff is increased by a Mr. Jackson, long a friend and supporter of the Mission....
'Atkin is a steady-going fellow, most conscientious, with a good head-piece of his own, diligent and thoughtful rather than quick. He and Bice read Hebrew daily with me, and they will have soon a very fair knowledge of it. Joe Atkin knows his Greek Testament very fairly indeed: Ellicott, Trench, Alford, Wordsworth and others are in use among us.
'I wish you could see some of these little fellows. It is, I suppose, natural that an old bachelor should have pleasure in young things about him, ready-made substitutes for children of his own. I do like them. With English children, save and except Pena, I never was at my ease, partly I think from a worse than foolish self- consciousness about so ugly a fellow not being acceptable to children. Anyhow, I don't feel shy with Melanesians; and I do like the little things about me, even the babies come to me away from almost anyone, chiefly, perhaps, because they are acquainted at a very early age with a corner of my room where dwells a tin of biscuits.
'To this day I shut up and draw into my shell when any white specimen of humanity looms in sight. How seldom do one's natural tastes coincide with one's work. And I may be deceiving myself all along. It is true that I have a very small acquaintance with men; not so very small an acquaintance with men passed from this world who live in their books; and some living authors I read—our English Commentators are almost all alive.
'I think that I read too exclusively one class of books. I am not drawn out of this particular kind of reading, which is alone really pleasant and delightful to me, by meeting with persons who discuss other matters. So I read divinity almost if not quite exclusively. I make dutiful efforts to read a bit of history or poetry, but it won't do. My relaxation is in reading some old favourite, Jackson, Hooker, Jeremy Taylor, &c. Not that I know much about them, for my real studying time is occupied in translating and teaching. And so I read these books, and others some German, occasionally (but seldom) French: Reuss, for example, and Guizot. And on the whole I read a fair amount of Hebrew; though even now it is only the narrative books that I read, so to say, rapidly and with ease.
'I wish some of our good Hebrew scholars were sound Poly- and Melanesian scholars also. I believe it to be quite true that the mode of thought of a South Sea islander resembles very closely that of a Semitic man. And their state of mental knowledge or ignorance, too. It is certainly a mistake to make the Hebrew language do the work of one of our elaborated European languages, the products of thoughts and education and literary knowledge which the Hebrew knew nothing of. A Hebrew grammar constructed on the principle of a Greek or a Latin grammar is simply a huge anachronism.
'How did the people of the time of Moses, or David, or Jeremiah think? is the first question. How did they express their thoughts? is the second. The grammar is but the mode adapted in speech for notifying and communicating thoughts. That the Jew did not think, consequently did not speak, like a European is self-evident. Where are we to find people, children in thought, keenly alive to the outer world, impressible, emotional, but devoid of the power of abstract thought, to whom long involved processes of thought and long involved sentences of speech are unknown? Consequently, the contrivances for stringing together dependent clauses don't exist. Then some wiseacre of an 18th or 19th century German writes a grammar on the assumption that a paulo-post-futurum is necessarily to be provided for the unfortunate Israelite who thought and talked child's language. Now, we Melanesians habitually think and speak such languages. I assure you the Hebrew narrative viewed from the Melanesian point of thought is wonderfully graphic and lifelike. The English version is dull and lifeless in comparison. No modern Hebrew scholar agrees with any other as to the mode of construing Hebrew. Anyone makes anything out of those unfortunately misused tenses. Delitzsch, Ewald, Gesenius, Perowne, Thrupp, Kay too, give no rule by which the scholar is to know from the grammar whether the time is past, present, or future, i.e., whether such and such a verse is a narrative of a past fact or the prophecy of a future one. It is much a matter of exegesis; but exegesis not based on grammar is worth very little.
'Really the time is not inherent in the tense at all. But that is a strong assertion, which I think I could prove, give me time and a power of writing clearly. Sir William Martin is trying to prove it.
'All languages of the South Seas are constructed on the same principle. We say, "When I get there, it will be right." But all South Sea Islanders, "I am there, and it is right." The time is given by something in the context which indicates that the speaker's mind is in past, present, or future time. "In the beginning God made" rightly, so, but not because the tense gives the past sense, for the same tense very often can't have anything to do with a past sense, but in the beginning indicates a past time.
'The doctrine of the Vaw conversive is simply a figment of so-called grammarians; language is not an artificial product, but a natural mode of expressing ideas.
'And if they assume that Hebrew has a perfect and imperfect, or past and future (for the grammars use all kinds of names), why on earth should people who have, on their showing, a past tense, use a clumsy contrivance of turning a future tense into a past, and vice versa?
'If people had remembered that language is not a trick invented and contrived by scholars at their desks, but a natural gift, simple at first, and elaborated by degrees, they could not have made such a mess.
'The truth is, I think, that such a contrivance was devised to make Hebrew do what European scholars decided it must do, these very men being ignorant of languages in a simple uncivilised form.
'But, my dear Uncle, what a prose! Only, as I think a good deal about it, you will excuse it, I know.
'Well, it is time for the weddings! The Chapel looks so pretty, and (you can't believe it) so do the girls, Emma, Eliza, and Minnie, to be married to Edwin, Mulewasawasa, Thomas. The native name is a baptismal one, nevertheless, and a good fellow he is, my head nurse in my illness.
'I can't write about politics. Then comes the astounding news of this fearful war. What am I to say to my Melanesians about it? Do these nations believe in the Gospel of peace and goodwill? Is the Sermon on the Mount a reality or not? Is such conduct a repudiation of Christianity or not? Are nations less responsible than individuals? What possible justification is there for this war? It is fearful, fearful on every ground. Oh, this mighty belauded nineteenth-century civilisation!
'Yet society has improved in some ways. Even war is not without its accompaniment of religion. And it brings out kindly sympathy and stimulates works of charity. But what a fearful responsibility lies upon the cause of the war. It is hard to acquit Louis Napoleon of being really the cause.
'There would be great pleasure in seeing all the younger ones, not equal of course to that of seeing you all; but as I get older in my ways and habits, I think that my mind goes back more to the young ones. True, I have a large family about me, 145 Melanesians here now. Yet there is the want of community of thought on some subjects, and the difficulty of perfectly easy communication with them. No Melanesian tongue is like English to me.
'I wrote a first sheet, but filled it up with mere stupid thoughts about questions of the day, not worth sending. And this long letter, badly written, too, will weary your eyes.
'I must end. My kindest love to Aunt, Mary, and all. Always, my dearest Uncle,
'Your loving and grateful Nephew,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Two letters of December 12 follow; the first to Bishop Abraham.
Mrs. Palmer's picture of the brides, at the last of the weddings the Bishop so enjoyed, may be acceptable. It went to Mrs. Abraham by the same opportunity:—
'Three were married a short time before Christmas; they, with five others, were baptized on Advent Sunday. They had been here about thirteen months, and had got on very well during that time, improved in every way. I think some of them are loveable girls, and it is pleasant to see them so happy and at home here.
'They were a queer-looking set when they first came, or I suppose I thought them so.
'I got some of the older girls to give them a good wash all over in warm water, and then gave them the new clothes. They looked at me in such a curious way. They had heard of me, "Palmer's wife," from the others, but had not seen an Englishwoman before. A few days after they came, I ran into their room with my hair down, and they exclaimed with wonder "We ura ras" ("very good"), almost shouting, and then I told them to feel it, and some kissed it with gentle reverence, as though it were something very extraordinary.
'They are very kind and obliging in doing anything I want. They have to be looked after a good bit, but are very obedient. I did not imagine they would give so little trouble. They are great chatterboxes, and very noisy, but all in an innocent way. They seldom quarrel among themselves. I don't think their feelings are so strong as those of the Maoris, either of love or hate.
'I wish you could have been present at the baptism. They looked so solemn, and spoke out very distinctly. They wore white calico jackets, and the Font was prettily decorated. The whole service was impressive, and not less so our good Bishop's voice and manner. They looked very nice, and it was amusing to see how they took it. Only one could I get to look in the glass; and she said the flowers were too large: the other two only submitted to being beautified.'
I return to the Bishop's correspondence:—
'Norfolk Island: Fourth Sunday in Advent, 1870.
'My dearest Joan,—I am choosing—a strange moment to write in. It is 8.30 A.M., and in an hour I am going to the New Church, built by the Pitcairners, to ordain Mr. C. Bice, Priest. I was up as usual early this morning, and I am not well, and feeling queer, and having already read and had Morning Chapel Service, I take now this means of quieting myself. You see it is nearly three miles to the "town;" the service will be nearly three hours; I don't quite know how I shall get through it. I thought of having the service here; but our little Chapel won't hold even our Melanesian party (80 out of 145) who attend public prayers, and of course the islanders want to see, and it is good for them to see an ordination.
'This is my first expedition to the town since I came from the islands, I shall have a horse in case I am very tired, but I would rather walk all the way if I can.
'Just now I am headachy, and seedy too; but I think it is all coming right again. I hope to have a bright happy Christmas.
'After this day's Ordination we shall number one Bishop, six Priests, and one Deacon. There are three or four Melanesians who ought soon to be ordained; and if it is possible for me to spend two or three months this next winter at Mota, I must read with George, and perhaps ordain him Priest. It troubles me much that during all these summer months there can be no administration of the Holy Communion, though there are six communicants, besides George, now living for good at Mota. There will be four or five next year taking up their abode at the neighbouring island of Aroa.
'Dear Joan! At such times as these, when one is engaged in a specially solemn work, there is much heart-searching, and I can't tell you how my conscience accuses me of such systematic selfishness during many long years. I do see it now, though only in part. I mean, I see how I was all along making self the centre, and neglecting all kinds of duties, social and others, in consequence.
'I think that self-consciousness, a terrible malady, is one's misfortune as well as one's fault. But the want of any earnest effort at correcting a fault is worse perhaps than the fault itself. And I feel such great, such very great need for amendment here. This great fault brings its punishment in part even now. I mean, there is a want of brightness, cheerfulness, elasticity of mind about the conscious man or woman. He is prone to have gloomy, narrow, sullen thoughts, to brood over fancied troubles and difficulties; because, making everything refer to and depend on self, he naturally can get none of that comfort which they enjoy whose minds naturally turn upwards for help and light.
'In this way I do suffer a good deal. My chariot-wheels often drag very heavily. I am not often in what you may call good spirits. And yet I am aware that I am writing now under the influence of a specially depressing disorder, and that I may misinterpret my real state of mind. No one ought to be happier, as far as advantages of employment in a good service, and kindness of friends, &c., can contribute to make one happy. And, on the whole, I know my life is a happy one. I am sure that I have a far larger share of happiness than falls to the lot of most people. Only I do feel very much the lack, almost the utter lack of just that grace which was so characteristic of our dear Father, that simplicity and real humility and truthfulness of character!
'Well, one doesn't often say these things to another person! But it is a relief to say them. I know the remedy quite well. It is a very simple case for the doctor to deal with; but it costs the patient just everything short of life, when you have to dig right down and cut out by the roots an evil of a whole life standing. I assure you that it is hard work, because these feelings of ours are such intangible, untractable things! It is hard to lay hold of, and mould and direct them.
'But I pray God that I may not willingly yield to these gloomy unloving feelings. As often as I look out of myself upon Him, His love and goodness, then I catch a bright gleam. I think that you will not suspect me of being in a morbid state of mind. You will say, "Poor old fellow! he was seedy and depressed when he wrote all that." And that's true, but not the whole truth. I have much need of your prayers, indeed, for grace and strength to correct faults of which I am conscious, to say nothing of unknown sin.
'The Ordination is over, a quiet solemn service. The new Church, which I had not seen, is very creditable to the people, who built it themselves. It is wooden, about thirty-six or thirty-eight feet high, will hold 500 people well.
'Mr. Nobbs preached a very good sermon. I got on very well. Singing very good. Five Priests assisting in this little place!
'Christmas Eve.—What a meaning one of my favourite hymns (xxxviii. in "Book of Praise") has, when one thinks of this awful war, how hard to realize the suffering and misery; the rage and exasperation; the pride and exaltation! How hard to be thankful enough for the blessings of peace in this little spot!
'Our Chapel is beautifully decorated. A star at the east end over the word Emmanuel, all in golden everlasting flame, with lilies and oleanders in front of young Norfolk Island pines and evergreens.
'Seven new Communicants to-morrow morning. And all things, God be praised, happy and peaceful about us. All Christmas blessings and joys to you, dear ones!
'Christmas Day, 3 P.M.—Such a happy day! Such a solemn, quiet service at 7 A.M., followed by a short joyous 11 A.M. service. Christmas Hymn, one with words set to the tune for "Hark! the herald Angels sing."
'You know we never have the Litany on Sundays, because everybody is in Chapel twice a day, and we of course have it on Wednesday and Friday, and every native Communion Sunday, i.e., every alternate Sunday; we have no Communion Service at 11 A.M. as our Communicants have been in Chapel at the 7 o'clock service; so to-day, the Lessons being short, the service, including my short service, was over by 11.20.
'Now we have a week's holiday, that is, no school; though I think it is hard work, inasmuch as the preparing plans for school lessons, rearranging classes, sketching out the work, is tiring to me.
'Then I have such heaps of letters, which do worry me. But, on the other hand, I get much quiet time for some reading, and I enjoy that more than anything. Ten of our party were in Chapel at 11 A.M. with us for the first time. You know that we don't allow everyone to come, but only those that we believe to be aware of the meaning of Prayer, and who can read, and are in a fair way to be Catechumens. All these ten will, I hope, be baptized this summer.
'We are obliged, seriously, to think of a proper Chapel. The present one is 45 ft. by 19 ft. and too small. It is only a temporary oblong room; very nice, because we have the crimson hangings, handsome sandal-wood lectern, and some good carving. But we have to cram about eighty persons into it, and on occasions (Baptisms and Confirmations, or at an Ordination) when others come, we have no room. Mr. Codrington understands these things well, and not only as an amateur archaeologist; he knows the principle of building well in stone and wood. Especially useful in this knowledge here, where we work up our own material to a great extent. Our notion—his notion rather—is to have stone foundations and solid stone buttresses to carry a light roof. Then the rest will be wood. It ought to be about sixty feet by thirty, exclusive of chancel and apse. When we get all the measurements carefully made, we shall send exact accounts of the shape and size of the windows, and suggest subjects for stained glass by Hardman, or whoever might now be the best man. I hope that it won't cost very much, perhaps 500.
December 21st.—We have not had a fine Christmas week, heavy rain and hot winds. But the rain has done much good. The Norfolk Islanders have much influenza, but we are at present quite free from it.
'Yesterday I spent two hours in training and putting to rights my stephanotis, which now climbs over half my verandah. I have such Japanese lilies making ready to put forth their splendours. Two or three azaleas grow well. Rhododendrons won't grow well. My little pines grow well, and are about seven feet high. It is very pleasant to see the growth of these things when I return from the voyage. The "pottering about" the little gardens, the park-like paddocks, with our sheep and cattle and horses, gives me some exercise every day. I go about quietly, and very often by myself, with a book. After thinking of all kinds of things and persons, I think that my increased and increasing unwillingness to write is one proof of my not being so strong or vigorous. I can't tell you what an effort it is to me to write a business letter; and I almost dread a long effusion from anyone, because, though I like reading it, I have the thought of the labour of answering it in my mind.
'Then again, I who used to be so very talkative, am taciturn now. Occasionally, I victimize some unfortunate with a flow of language about some point of divinity, or if I get a hearer on South Sea languages, I can bore him with much satisfaction to myself. But I am so stupid about small talk. I cannot make it. When I have to try with some Norfolk Islander, e.g. it does weary me so! Mind, I don't despise it. But instead of being a relaxation, it is of all things the hardest work to me. I am very dull in that way, you know. And sometimes I think people must take me to be sullen, for I never know how to keep the talk going. Then if I do talk, I get upon some point that no one cares for, and bore everybody. So here, too, I fall back on my own set of friends, who are most tolerant of my idiosyncrasies, and on my Melanesians who don't notice them.
'Your loving Brother,
'J. C. P.'
In spite of this distaste for writing, a good many letters were sent forth during the early months of 1871, most of them the final ones to each correspondent. The next, to Miss Mackenzie, is a reply to one in which, by Bishop Wilkinson's desire, she had sought for counsel regarding the Zulu Mission, especially on questions that she knew by experience to be most difficult, i.e., of inculcating Christian modesty, and likewise on the qualifications of a native ministry:—
'Norfolk Island: Jan. 26, 1871.
'My dear Miss Mackenzie,—In addition to a very long and interesting letter of yours, I have a letter from my sister, who has just seen you at Havant, so I must lose no more time in writing.
'First, let me say that I am as sure as I can be of anything that I have not registered, that I wrote to thank you for the prints long ago. Indeed, all these many gifts of yours are specially valuable as having been once the property of your brother, of whom it seems presumptuous for me to speak, and as having actually been used in Mission work in so distant a part of the world.
'I need not say that "Thomas a Kempis," his sextant, and his pedometer, are among my few real valuables. For the use of the prints, I can't say much on my own knowledge. My classes are for the most part made up of lads and young men, teachers, or preparing for Confirmation or Holy Communion; one class, always of younger ones, being prepared for Baptism; and sometimes youths, newcomers, when we have to take in hand a new language. Those prints are not of much use, therefore, to my special classes. Most of them have passed beyond the stage of being taught by pictures, though they like to look at them. But Mrs. Palmer has been using them constantly with the girls' classes, and so with the less advanced classes throughout the school.
'One difficulty will to the end be, that by the time we can talk freely to our scholars, and they can understand their own language employed as a vehicle for religious teaching, they are not sufficiently supplied with books. True, we have translations of such parts of the Bible as quite enable us to teach all that a Christian need know and do; but I often wish for plenty of good useful little books on other subjects, and I don't see my way to this. Our own press is always at work printing translations, &c. It is not easy to write the proper kind of book in these languages, and how are they to be printed? We haven't time to print them here, and who is to correct the press elsewhere? The great fact in your letter is the account of Bishop Wilkinson's Consecration. I am heartily glad to hear of it, and I will send, if I can, now, if not, soon, an enclosure to him for you to forward. I doubt if I can help him by any means as to qualifications of candidates for Holy Orders, &c. Our work is quite in a tentative state, and I am sometimes troubled to see that this Mission is supposed to be in a more advanced state than is really the case.
'For example, the report of a man going ashore dressed as a Bishop with a Bible in his hand to entice the natives away, assumes islands to be in a state where the conventional man in white tie and black- tail coat preaches to the natives. My costume, when I go ashore, is an old Crimean shirt, a very ancient wide-awake. Not a syllable has in all probability ever been written, except in our small note-books, of the language of the island. My attention is turned to keeping the crowd in good-humour by a few simple presents of fish-hooks, beads, &c. Only at Mota is there a resident Christian; and even there, people who don't know what Mota was, and what a Melanesian island, for the most part, alas! still is, would see nothing to indicate a change for the better, except that the people are unarmed, and would be friendly and confiding in their manner to a stranger.
'I hardly know how to bring my Melanesian experience to bear upon Zululand. The immorality, infanticide, superstition, &c., seem to be as great in a Melanesian island as in any part of the heathen world. And with our many languages, it is not possible for us to-know the "slang" of the various islands.
'We must be cheery about it all. Just see what the old writers, e.g. Chrysostom, say about Christian (nominally) morals and manners at wedding feasts, and generally. Impurity is the sin, par excellence, of all unchristian people. Look at St. Paul's words to the Corinthians and others. And we must not expect, though we must aim at, and hope, and pray for much that we don't see yet.
'What opportunity will Bishop Wilkinson have for testing the practical teaching power and steady conduct of his converts?
'Many of our Melanesians have their classes here, and we can form an opinion of their available knowledge, how far they can reproduce what they know, &c. We can see, too, whether they exercise any influence over the younger ones.
'Twelve (this season) are counted as sixth form, or monitors, or whatever you please to call them. [Then ensues an account of the rotation of industrial work, &c.]
'The other day I was examining an Ysabel lad, not formally in school, but he happened to be in my room, as they are always hanging about (as you know). He knew much more than I expected: "Who taught you all this? I am very well pleased."
'"Wogale," was the answer.
'Edward Wogale is George Sarawai's own brother, volunteering now to go to Anudha (Florida), near Ysabel Island. If I see that a young man (by his written notes, little essays so to say, analysis of lessons) understands what he has been taught; and if I see (by the proficiency of his pupils) that he can reproduce and communicate this teaching to others, then one part of the question of his fitness is answered. If he has been here for years, always well conducted, and if when at home occasionally he has always behaved well and resisted temptation; and perhaps I should add, if he is respectably married, or about to be married, to a decent Christian girl, then we may hope that the matter of moral fitness may be hopefully settled. Assuming this, and thank God, I believe I may assume that it is the case with several here now, as soon as a Deacon is required in any place that he is willing to work in, I should not hesitate to ordain him; but I can't specify exactly what his qualifications ought to be, because I can't undertake to settle the difficult question of what constitutes absolutely essential teaching for a Christian, i.e., the doctrine of fundamentals. Practically one can settle it; and that quite as well as in England, where there is, and must be any amount of inequality in the attainments and earnestness of the candidates, and where no examination can secure the fitness or even the mental capacity of the minister.
'I say to myself, "Here is an island or a part of an island from which we have had a good many scholars. Some married ones are going back to live permanently. They are Christians, and some are Communicants. They wish to do what they can to get the young ones about them for regular school and to talk to the older people. They all have and can use their Prayer-books. The people are friendly. Is there one among them of whom I can (humanly speaking) feel sure that, by God's blessing, he will lead a good life among them, and that he can and will teach them faithfully the elements of Christian truth and practice? If we all agree that there is such a one, why not ordain him?
'But I want to see people recognising the office of Deacon as something very distinct indeed from that of the Priest. It is a very different matter indeed, when we come to talk about candidates for Priest's orders.
'Again, look at the missionary clergy of old times. No doubt in mediaeval times so much stress was laid upon the mere perfunctory performance of the ministerial act, as apart from careful teaching of the meaning and purport of the act, that the mediaeval missionary is so far not a very safe model for us to imitate.
'But I suppose that multitudes of men did good work who could no more comprehend nor write out the result of lessons that Edward, Henry, Edmund, Robert and twenty others here are writing out, than our English peasant can comprehend a learned theological treatise.
'And we must consider the qualifications of one's native clergy in relation to the work that they have to do. They have not to teach theology to educated Christians, but to make known the elements of Gospel truth to ignorant heathen people. If they can state clearly and forcibly the very primary leading fundamental truths of the Gospel, and live as simple-minded humble Christians, that is enough indeed.
'Perhaps this is as likely to make the Bishop understand my notions on the subject as any more detailed account of the course of instruction. I really have not time to copy out some ten or twelve pages of some older lad's note-book. I think you would be satisfied with their work. I don't mean, of course, the mere writing, which is almost always excellent, but there is a ready apprehension of the meaning of any point clearly put before them, which is very satisfactory. I am now thinking of the twenty or thirty best among our 145 scholars. This is a confused, almost unintelligible scrawl; but I am busy, and not very fresh for work.
'Yours very truly,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
A letter to Bishop Abraham was in hand at the same time, full of replies to the information in one newly received from this much valued friend. After deploring an attack of illness from which Mrs. Abraham had been suffering, comes the remark—
'You know what one always feels, that one can't be unhappy about good people, whatever happens to them. I do so enjoy your talk about Church works in England. It makes the modern phraseology intelligible. I know now what is meant by "missions" and "missioners" and "retreats."
'I was thinking lately of George Herbert at Hereford, as I read the four sermons which Vaughan lately preached there, one on the Atonement, which I liked very much indeed. The Cathedral has been beautifully restored, has it not? Then, I think of you in York Minster on November 20, with that good text from Psalm xcvi. I read your letter on Tuesday; on which day our morning Psalms in Chapel are always chanted, xcv., xcvi., xcvii. The application seems very natural, but to work out those applications is difficult. The more I read sermons, and I read a good many, the more I wonder how men can write them!
'Mind, I will gladly pay Charley ten shillings a sermon, if he will copy it out for me. It will do the boy good. Dear old Tutor used to fag me to write copies of the Bishop's long New Zealand letters, as I wrote a decent hand then. Don't I remember a long one from Anaiteum, and how I wondered where on earth or sea Anaiteum could be!
'I want to hear men talk on these matters (the Eucharistic question) who represent the view that is least familiar to me. And then I feel, when it comes to a point of Greek criticism, sad regret and almost remorse at my old idleness and foolish waste of time when I might have made myself a decent scholar. I cram up passages, instead of applying a scholarly habit of mind to the examination of them. And now too, it is harder than ever to correct bad habits of inattention, inaccuracy, &c. I am almost too weary oftentimes to do my work anyhow, much less can I make an effort to improve my way of doing it. But I must be content, thankful to get on somehow or other, and to be able to teach the fellows something.
'It is quite curious to see how often one is baffled in one's attempts to put oneself en rapport with the Melanesian mind. If one can manage it, they really show one that they know a good deal, not merely by heart, or as matter of memory, that is worth little; but they show that they can think. But often they seem utterly stupid and lost, and one is perplexed to know what their difficulty can possibly be. One thing is clear, that they have little faculty of generalization. As you know, they seldom have a name for their island, but only names for each tiny headland, and bay, and village. The name for the island you must learn from the inhabitants of another island who view the one whose name you are seeking as one because, being distant, it must appear to them in its oneness, not in its many various parts. Just so, they find it very difficult to classify any ideas under general heads. Ask for details, and you get a whole list of them. Ask for general principles, and only a few can answer.
'For example, it is not easy to make them see how all temptations to sin were overcome in the three representative assaults made upon Him in the wilderness; how love is the fulfilling of the Law; or how the violation of one Commandment is the violation (of the principle) of all.
'Then they have much difficulty (from shyness partly, and a want of teaching when young) in expressing themselves. They really know much that only skilful questioning, much more skilful than mine, can get out of them. It wants—all teaching does—a man with lots of animal spirits, health, pluck, vigour, &c. Every year I find it more difficult.'
To another of the New Zealand friends who had returned to England there was a letter on Jan. 31:—
'My dear Mr. Lloyd,—I must send you a line, though I have little to say. And I should be very sorry if we did not correspond with some attempt at regularity.
'What can one think of long without the mind running off to France? What a wonderful story it is! Only Old Testament language can describe it, only a Prophet can moralise upon it. It is too dreadful in its suddenness and extent. One fears that vice and luxury and ungodliness have destroyed whatever of chivalry and patriotism there once was in the French character. To think that this is the country of St. Louis and Bayard! The Empire seems almost systematically to have completed the demoralisation of the people. There is nothing left to appeal to, nothing on which to rally. It is an awful thing to see such judgments passing before our very eyes. So fearful a humiliation may do something yet for the French people, but I dread even worse news. It nearly came the other day to a repetition of the old Danton and Robespierre days.
'Here we are going on happily.... I would give something to spend a quiet Sunday with you in your old Church. How pleasant to have an old Church.
'Always yours affectionately,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
My own last letter came at the same time:—
'Norfolk Island: February 16th, 1871.
'My dear Cousin,—I must not leave your letter of last October without an instalment of an answer, though this is only a chance opportunity of sending letters by a whaler, and I have only ten minutes.
'Your account of the Southampton Congress is a regular picture. I thinly I can see the Bishops of Winton, Sarum, and Oxon; and all that you say by way of comment on what is going off in the Church at home interests me exceedingly. You can't think what a treat your letters are.
'You see Mr. Codrington is the only one of my age, and (so to say) education here, and so to commune with one who thinks much on these matters, which of course have the deepest interest for me, is very pleasant and useful. On this account I do so value the Bishop of Salisbury's letters, and it is so very kind of him to write to me in the midst of the overwhelming occupations of an English diocese.
'I don't think you have mentioned Dr. Vaughan. I read his books with much interest. He doesn't belong to the Keble theology; but he seems to me to be a thoughtful, useful, and eminently practical writer. He seems to know what men are thinking of, and to grapple with their difficulties. I am pleased with a little book, by Canon Norris, "Key to the New Testament": the work of a man who has read a good deal, and thought much.
'He condenses into a 2s. 6d. book the work of years.
'You are all alive now, trying to work up your parochial schools to "efficiency" mark—rather you were doing so, for I think there was only time allowed up to December 31, 1870. I hope that the efforts were successful. At such times one wishes to see great noble gifts, men of great riches giving their 10,000 to a common fund. Then I remember that the claims and calls are so numerous in England, that very wealthy men can hardly give in that way.
'Certainly I am spared the temptation myself of seeing the luxury and extravagance which must tempt one to feel hard and bitter, I should fear. We go on quietly and happily. You know our school is large. Thank God, we are all well, save dear old Fisher, who met with a sad boating accident last week. A coil of the boat raft caught his ankle as the strain was suddenly tightened by a rather heavy sea, and literally tore the front part of his foot completely off, besides dislocating and fracturing the ankle-bone. He bears the pain well, and he is doing very well; but there may be latent tetanus, and I shall not feel easy for ten days more yet.
'His smile was pleasant, and his grasp of the hand was an indication of his faith and trust, as he answered my remark, "You know Fisher, He does nothing without a reason: you remember our talk about the sparrows and the hairs of our heads."
'"I know," was all he said; but the look was a whole volume....
'Your Charlotte is Fisher's wife, you know, and a worthy good creature she is. Poor old Fisher, the first time I saw tears on his cheeks was when his wife met him being carried up, and I took her to him.
'The mail goes. Your affectionate Cousin,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
It may as well be here mentioned that Fisher Pantatun escaped tetanus, lived to have his limb amputated by a medical man, who has since come to reside at Norfolk Island, and that he has been further provided with a wooden leg, to the extreme wonder and admiration of his countrymen at Mota, where he has since joined the Christian community.
The home letter, finished the last, had been begun before the first, on Feb. 11, 'My birthday,' as the Bishop writes, adding:—'How as time goes on we think more and more of him and miss him. Especially now in these times, with so many difficult questions distressing and perplexing men, his wise calm judgment would have been such a strength and support. You know I have all his letters since I left England, and he never missed a mail. And now it is nearly ten years since he passed away from this world. What would he say to us all? What would he think of all that has taken place in the interval? Thank God, he would certainly rejoice in seeing all his children loving each other more and more as they grow older and learn from experience the blessedness and infrequency of such a thoroughly united, happy set of brothers and sisters. Why, you have never missed a single mail in all these sixteen years; and I know, in spite of occasional differences of opinion, that there is really more than ever of mutual love, and much more of mutual esteem than ever. There is no blessing like this. And it is a special and unusual blessing. And surely, next to God, we owe it to our dear parents, and perhaps especially to him who was the one to live on as we grew up into men and women. What should I have done out here without a perfect trust in you three, and without your letters and loving remembrances in boxes, &c.? I fancy that I should have broken down altogether, or else have hardened (more than I have become) to the soft and restful influences of the home life. I see some people really alone in these countries, really expatriated. Now I never feel that; partly because I have your letters, partly because I have the knowledge that, if ever I did have to go to England, I should find all the old family love, only intensified and deepened. I can tell you that the consciousness of all this is a great help, and carries one along famously. And then the hope of meeting by-and-by and for ever!'
'True to the kindred points of heaven and home.' Surely such loyalty of heart, making a living influence of parents so long in their graves, has been seldom, at least, put on record, though maybe it often and often has existed.
Again, on March 8:—'Such a fit came over me yesterday of old memories. I was reading a bit of Wordsworth (the poet).
I remembered dear dear Uncle Frank telling me how Wordsworth came over to Ottery, and called on him, and how he felt so honoured; and so I felt on thinking of him, and the old (pet) names, and most of all, of course, of Father and Mother, I seemed to see them all with unusual clearness. Then I read one of the two little notes I had from Mr. Keble, which live in my "Christian Year," and so I went on dreaming and thinking.
'Yes, if by His mercy I may indeed be brought to the home where they dwell! But as the power of keen enjoyment of this world was never mine, as it is given to bright healthy creatures with eyes and teeth and limbs sound and firm, so I try to remember dear Father's words, that "he did not mean that he was fit to go because there was little that he cared to stop here for." And I don't feel morbid like, only with a diminished capacity for enjoying things here. Of the mere animal pleasures, eating and drinking are a serious trouble. My eyes don't allow me to look about much, and I walk with "unshowing eye turned towards the earth." I don't converse with ease; there is the feeling of difficulty in framing words. I prefer to be alone and silent. If I must talk, I like the English tongue least of all. Melanesia doesn't have such combinations of consonants and harsh sounds as our vernacular rejoices in. If I speak loud, as in preaching, I am pretty clear still; but I can't read at all properly now without real awkwardness.
'I am delighted with Shairp's "Essays" that Pena sent me. He has the very nature to make him capable of appreciating the best and most thoughtful writers, especially those who have a thoughtful spirit of piety in them. He gives me many a very happy quiet hour. I wish such a book had come in my way while I was young. I more than ever regret that Mr. Keble's "Praelectiones" was never translated into English. I am sure that I have neglected poetry all my life for want of some guide to the appreciation and criticism of it, and that I am the worse for it. If you don't use Uncle Sam's "Biographia Literaria," and "Literary Remains," I should much like to have them.
'Do you, Fan, care to have any of my German books? I have, indeed, scarce any but theological ones. But no one else reads German here, and I read none but the divinity; and, indeed, I almost wish I had them in translations, for the sake of the English type and paper. My eyes don't like the German type at all.
'Moreover, now (it was not so years ago), all that is worth reading in their language is in a good serviceable English dress, and passed, moreover, through the minds of clear English thinkers—and the Germans are such wordy, clumsy, involved writers. A man need not be a German scholar to be well acquainted with all useful German theology. Dllinger is almost the only clear, plain writer I know among them. Dorner, the great Lutheran divine, gives you about two pages and a half of close print for a single sentence—awful work, worse than my English!... But I know that if I read less, and thought more, it would be better. Only it is such hard work thinking, and I am so lazy! I was amused at hearing, through another lad, of Edward Wogale's remark, "This helping in translation" (a revisal of the "Acts" in Mota) "is such hard work!" "Yes, my boy, brain work takes it out of you." I wish I had Jem's power of writing reports, condensing evidence into clear reliable statements. Lawyers get that power; while we Clergymen are careless and inaccurate, because, as old Lord Campbell said, "there is no reply to our sermons."
'What would I give to have been well drilled in grammar, and made an accurate scholar in old days! Ottery School and Eton didn't do much for me in that way, though of course the fault was chiefly in myself.
'But most of all, I think that I regret the real loss to us Eton boys of the weekly help that Winchester, Rugby, and Harrow boys had from Moberly, Arnold, and Vaughan in their sermons! I really think that might have helped to keep us out of harm!
'It is now 4.30 P.M., calm and hot. Such a tiger-lily on my table, and the pretty delicate achimenes, and the stephanotis climbing up the verandah, and a bignonia by its side, with honeysuckle all over the steps, and jessamine all over the two water-tanks at the angle of the verandah. The Melanesians have, I think, twenty-nine flower gardens, and they bring the flowers, &c.—lots of flowers, and the oleanders are a sight! Some azaleas are doing well, verbenas, hibiscus of all kinds. Roses and, alas! clove carnations, and stocks, and many of the dear old cottage things won't grow well. Scarlet passion flowers and splendid Japanese lilies of perfect white or pink or spotted. The golden one I have not yet dared to buy. They are most beautiful. I like both the red and the yellow tritoma; we have both. But I don't think we have the perfume of the English flowers, and I miss the clover and buttercup. And what would I give for an old-fashioned cabbage rose, as big as a saucer, and for fresh violets, which grow here but have little scent, and lilies of the valley! Still more, fancy seeing a Devonshire bank in spring, with primroses and daisies, or meadows with cowslip and clover and buttercups, and hearing thrushes and blackbirds and larks and cuckoos, and seeing trout rise to the flies on the water! There is much exaggeration in second-rate books about tropical vegetation. You are really much better off than we are. No trees equal English oaks, beeches, and elms, and chestnuts; and with very little expense and some care, you have any flowers you like, growing out of doors or in a greenhouse. You can make a warmer climate, and we can't a colder one. But we have plenty to look at for all that. There, what a nice hour I have spent in chatting with you!'
This same dreamy kind of 'chat,' full of the past, and of quiet meditation over the present, reminding one of Bunyan's Pilgrims in the Land of Beulah, continues at intervals through the sheets written while waiting for the 'Southern Cross.' Here is a note (March 14) of the teaching:—
'I am working at the Miracles with the second set, and I am able to venture upon serious questions, viz. the connection between sin and physical infirmity or sickness, the Demoniacs, the power of working miracles as essential to the Second Adam, in whom the prerogative of the Man (the ideal man according to the idea of his original condition) was restored. Then we go pretty closely into detail on each miracle, and try to work away till we reach a general principle or law.
'With another class I am making a kind of Commentary on St. Luke. With a third, trying to draw out in full the meaning of the Lord's Prayer. With a fourth, Old Testament history. It is often very interesting; but, apart from all sham, I am a very poor teacher. I can discourse, or talk with equals, but I can't teach. So I don't do justice to these or any other pupils I may chance to have. But they learn something among us all.'
He speaks of himself as being remarkably well and free from the discomforts of illness during the months of March and April: and these letters show perfect peace and serenity of spirit; but his silence and inadequacy for 'small talk' were felt like depression or melancholy by some of his white companions, and he always seemed to feel it difficult to rouse himself. To sit and study his Hebrew Isaiah with Delitzsch's comment was his chief pleasure; and on his birthday, April 1, Easter Eve, and the ensuing holy days, he read over all his Father's letters to him, and dwelt, in the remarks to his sisters, upon their wisdom and tenderness.
Mr. Codrington says: 'Before starting on the voyage he had confirmed some candidates in the Church in town: on which occasion he seemed to rouse himself with difficulty for the walk, and would go by himself; but he was roused again by the service, and gave a spirited and eloquent address, and came back, after a hearty meal and lively conversation, much refreshed in mind and body. This was on Palm Sunday. On Easter Day he held his last confirmation of three girls and two Solomon Island boys.
Then came the 'Southern Cross,' bringing with her from New Zealand a box with numerous books and other treasures, the pillow that the old Bishop of Exeter was leaning on when he died; a photograph, from the Bishop of Salisbury, of his Cathedral, and among the gifts for the younger Melanesians, a large Noah's ark, which elicited great shouts of delight.
'Well! [after mentioning the articles in order] all these things, and still more the thought of the pains taken and the many loving feelings engaged in getting them together, will help me much during the coming months. All the little unexpected things are so many little signs of the care and love you always have for me, and that is more than their own value, after all. I always feel it solemn to go off on these voyages. We have had such mercies. Fisher is doing quite well, getting about on crutches; and that is the only hospital case we have had during the whole summer.'
'April 27th.—We start in a few hours (D.V.). The weather is better. You have my thoughts and hopes and prayers. I am really pretty well: and though often distressed by the thought of past sins and present ones, yet I have a firm trust in God's mercy through Christ, and a reasonable hope that the Holy Spirit is guiding and influencing me. What more can I say to make you think contentedly and cheerfully about me? God bless you all!'
So the last voyage was begun. The plan was much the same as usual. On the way to Mota, the Bishop landed on Whitsuntide Island, and there was told that what the people called a 'thief ship' had carried off some of their people. Star Island was found nearly depopulated. On May 16, the Bishop, with Mr. Bice and their scholars, landed at Mota, and the 'Southern Cross' went on with Mr. Brooke to Florida, where he found that the 'Snatch-snatch' vessels, as they were there called, had carried off fifty men. They had gone on board to trade, but were instantly clapped under hatches, while tobacco and a hatchet were thrown to their friends in the canoe. Some canoes had been upset by a noose from the vessel, then a gun was fired, and while the natives tried to swim away, a boat was lowered, which picked up the swimmers, and carried them off. One man named Lave, who jumped overboard and escaped, had had two fingers held up to him, which he supposed to mean two months, but which did mean two years.
It was plain that enticing having failed, violence was being resorted to; and Mr. Brooke was left to an anxious sojourn, while Mr. Atkin returned to Mota on his way to his own special charge at Bauro. He says, on June 9:—
'The Bishop had just come back from a week's journeying with William in his boat. They had been to Santa Maria, Vanua Lava, and Saddle Island; the weather was bad, but the Bishop, although he is tired, does not think he is any the worse for his knocking about. He is not at all well; he is in low spirits, and has lost almost all his energy. He said, while talking about the deportation of islanders to Fiji, that he didn't know what was to be done; all this time had been spent in preparing teachers qualified to teach their own people, but now when the teachers were provided, all the people were taken away. The extent to which the carrying off of the natives has gone is startling. It certainly is time for us to think what is to be done next. I do not think that it is an exaggerated estimate, others would say it is under the mark, that one half the population of the Banks Islands over ten years of age have been taken away. I am trying not to expect anything about the Solomon Islands before we are there, but we have heard that several vessels have cargoes from there. If the people have escaped a little longer for their wildness, it will not be for long.
'The Bishop still remained at Mota, while I went back to the Solomon Islanders. The cliffs of Mota, and perhaps the intelligence of the people, had comparatively protected it, though Port Patteson had become a station of the "labour ships." The village of Kohimarama was not a disappointment.'
Bishop Patteson proceeds:—
'Things are very different. I think that we may, without danger, baptize a great many infants and quite young children—so many parents are actually seeking Christian teaching themselves, or willing to give their children to be taught. I think that some adults, married men, may possibly be baptized. I should think that not less than forty or fifty are daily being taught twice a day, as a distinct set of Catechumens. Besides this, some of the women seem to be in earnest.
'About two hours and a half are spent daily by me with about twenty- three grown-up men. They come, too, at all hours, in small parties, two or three, to tell their thoughts and feelings, how they are beginning to pray, what they say, what they wish and hope, &c.
'There is more indication than I ever saw here before of a "movement," a distinct advance, towards Christianity. The distinction between passively listening to our teaching, and accepting it as God's Word and acting upon it, seems to be clearly felt. I speak strongly and habitually about the necessity of baptism. "He that believeth, and is baptized" &c. Independently of the doctrinal truth about baptism, the call to the heathen man to take some step, to enter into some engagement, to ally himself with a body of Christian believers by some distinct act of his own, needing careful preparation, &c., has a meaning and a value incalculably great.
'"Yes, JESUS is to us all a source of pardon, light, and life, all these treasures are in Him. But he distributes these gifts by His Spirit in His appointed ways. You can't understand or receive the Gospel with a heart clinging to your old ways. And you can't remake your hearts. He must do it, and this is His way of doing it. You must be born again. You must be made new men."
'But why write all this, which is so commonplace?
'I feel more than ever the need of very simple, very short services for ignorant Catechumens.
'They used to throng our morning and evening prayer, perhaps 130 being present, for about that number attend our daily school; but they could not understand one sentence in ten of the Common Prayer- book. And it is bad for people to accustom themselves to a "formal" service. So I have stopped that. We baptized people have our regular service and at the end of my school, held in the dark, 7-8.30 P.M., in the verandah, we kneel down, and I pray extempore, touching the points which have formed the lesson.
'I don't like teaching these adults who can't read a form of private prayer. I try to make them understand that to wish earnestly is to pray; that they must put what they wish for clearly before their own minds, and then pray to God for it, through Christ. But I must try to supply progressive lessons for the Catechumens and others, with short prayers to be read by the teacher at the end (and beginning, too, perhaps) of the lesson. Much must depend on the individual teacher's unction and force.
'Well, I hope and trust to be able to tell you two months hence of some of these people being baptized. Only three adults have been baptized here on the island, and all three were dying.
'It is very comforting to think that all of us have been engaged in this Mota work, Dudley, and Mr. Pritt, and Mr. Kerr, too, and all our present staff have had much to do with it. Especially I think now of three young men, all married, who came to me lately, saying, "All these years (an interval of six or seven years) we have been thinking now and then about what we heard years ago, when we were with you in New Zealand for a few months." They are now thoroughly in earnest, as far as I can judge, and their wives, as I hope, move along with them. How one old set must have influenced them a long time ago. Bice, who speaks Mota very well, was very energetic during his fortnight here. He is now gone on with Mr. Brooke and Mr. Atkin that he may see the work in the Solomon Isles. I meant to go; but there seemed to be a special reason why I should stay here just now, vessels seeking labourers for Fiji and Queensland are very frequently calling at these islands.