Luncheon brought the whole family together; and Sir John, making room for his younger daughter beside him, said, 'Fan, did you know this about Coley?'
She answered that she had some idea, but no more could pass till the meal was ended; when her father went into another room, and she followed him. The great grief broke out in the exclamation: 'I can't let him go;' but even as the words were uttered, they were caught back, as it were, with—'God forbid I should stop him.'
The subject could not be pursued, for the Bishop was public property among the friends and neighbours, and the rest of the day was bestowed upon them. He preached on the Sunday at Alfington, where the people thronged to hear him, little thinking of the consequences of his visit.
Not till afterwards were the Bishop and the father alone together, when Sir John brought the subject forward. The Bishop has since said that what struck him most was the calm balancing of arguments, like a true Christian Judge. Sir John spoke of the great comfort he had in this son, cut off as he was by his infirmity from so much of society, and enjoying the young man's coming in to talk about his work. He dwelt on all with entire absence of excitement, and added: 'But there, what right have I to stand in his way? How do I know that I may live another year?'
And as the conversation ended, 'Mind!' he said; 'I give him wholly, not with any thought of seeing him again. I will not have him thinking he must come home again to see me.'
That resolution was the cause of much peace of mind to both father and son. After family prayers that Sunday night, when all the rest had gone upstairs, the Bishop detained the young man, and told him the result of the conversation, then added: 'Now, my dear Coley, having ascertained your own state of mind and having spoken at length to your father and your family, I can no longer hesitate, as far as you recognise any power to call on my part, to invite you most distinctly to the work.'
The reply was full acceptance.
Then taking his hand, the Bishop said, 'God bless you, my dear Coley! It is a great comfort to me to have you for a friend and companion.'
Such was the outward and such the inward vocation to the Deacon now within a month of the Priesthood. Was it not an evident call from Him by whom the whole Church is governed and sanctified? And surely the noble old man, who forced himself not to withhold 'his son, his firstborn son,' received his crown from Him who said: 'With blessing I will bless thee.'
And he wrote to his brother:—
'My dear old Jem,—I have news for you of an unexpected and startling kind; about myself: and I am afraid that it will cause you some pain to hear what I am to tell you. You must know that for years I have felt a strong leaning toward missionary work, and though my proceedings at Alfington and even the fact of going thither might seem to militate against such a notion, yet the feeling has been continually present to me, and constantly exercising an increasing influence over me. I trust I have not taken an enthusiastic or romantic view of things; my own firm hope and trust is that I have decided upon calm deliberate conviction, and it is some proof of this, that Fanny and Joan have already guessed my state of mind, and months ago anticipated what has now taken place.... And so, dear Jem, you must help them all to bear what will of course be a great trial. This is my trial also; for it is hard to bear the thought that I may be giving unnecessary pain and causing distress without really having considered sufficiently the whole matter. But then I think God does not call now by an open vision; this thought has been for years working in my mind: it was His providence that brought me into contact with the Bishop in times past, and has led me to speak now. I cannot doubt this. I feel sure that if I was alone in the world I should go; the only question that remains is, "am I bound to stay for my dear Father's sake, or for the sake of you all?" and this has been answered for me by Father and the Bishop. And now, my dear Jem, think well over my character, sift it thoroughly, and try to see what there is which may have induced me to act wrongly in a matter of so much consequence. This is the kindest thing you can do; for we ought to take every precaution not to make a mistake before it is too late. Speak out quite plainly; do tell me distinctly as far as you can see them my prevailing faults, what they were in boyhood at Eton, and at College. It may help me to contemplate more clearly and truly the prospect before me. We shall have many opportunities, I trust, of discussing all this by-and-by. I shall tell Uncle John, because some arrangements must be made about Alfington as soon as may be. My tutor knows something about it already; it will soon be known to more. But do not suppose that I imagine myself better qualified for this work than hundreds of others more earnest, and infinitely more unselfish, and practically good; but I have received an invitation to a peculiar work, which is not offered to many others. We must all look onwards: we must try to think of this world as but a short moment in our existence; our real life and home is beyond the grave. On September 24th I hope to be ordained Priest; think of me and pray for me, my dear old fellow, that God will give me more of your own unselfishness and care and interest for others, and teach me to act not according to my own will and pleasure, but solely with a view to His honour and glory. God bless you, my dear old Jem, my dear, dear brother.
'Your most loving brother,
'J. C. P.
From that moment the matter was treated as fixed; and only three days later, the intention was announced to the relations at Thorverton.
This is the letter to the little fatherless cousin, Paulina Martyn, who had always been devoted to Coley, and whom he loved with a triple portion of the affection children always gained from him. She was only eight years old, but had the precocity of solitary children much attended to by their elders:—
'Feniton: August 24, 1854.
'My darling Pena,—I am going to tell you a secret, and I am afraid it is one which will make you feel very sorry for a little while. Do you remember my talking to you one day after breakfast rather gravely, and telling you afterwards it was my first sermon to you? Well, my darling, I was trying to hint to you that you must not expect to go on very long in this world without troubles and trials, and that the use of them is to make us think more about God and about Heaven, and to remember that our real and unchangeable happiness is not to be found in this world, but in the next. It was rather strange for me to say all this to a bright happy good child like you, and I told you that you ought to be bright and happy, and to thank God for making you so. It is never right for us to try to make ourselves sad and grieve. Good people and good children are cheerful and happy, although they may have plenty of trials and troubles. You see how quietly and patiently Mamma and Grandpapa and Grandmamma take all their trouble about dear Aunty; that is a good lesson for us all. And now, my darling, I will tell you my secret. I am going to sail at Christmas, if I live so long, a great way from England, right to the other end of the world, with the good Bishop of New Zealand. I dare say you know where to find it on the globe. Clergymen are wanted out there to make known the Word of God to the poor ignorant people, and for many reasons it is thought right that I should go. So after Christmas you will not see me again for a very long time, perhaps never in this world; but I shall write to you very often, and send you ferns and seeds, and tell you about the Norfolk Island pines, and you must write to me, and tell me all about yourself, and always think of me, and pray for me, as one who loves you dearly with all his heart, and will never cease to pray God that the purity and innocence of your childhood may accompany you all through your life and make you a blessing (as you are now, my darling) to your dear mother and all who know you.
'Ever your most affectionate,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
To the child's mother the words are:—
'I pray God that I may have chosen aright, and that if I have acted from sudden impulse too much, from love of display, or from desire to raise some interest about myself, or from any other selfish and unholy motive, it may be mercifully forgiven.
'Now, at all events, I must pray that with a single honest desire for God's glory, I may look straight onwards towards the mark. I must forget what is behind, I must not lose time in analysing my state of mind to see how, during years past, this wish has worked itself out. I trust the wish is from God, and now I must forget myself, and think only of the work whereunto I am called. But it is hard to flesh and blood to think of the pain I am causing my dear dear Father, and the pain I am causing to others outside my own circle here. But they are all satisfied that I am doing what is right, and it would surprise you, although you know them so well, to hear the calmness with which we talk about outfits.'
A heavy grief was even now on the family. The beloved, 'Uncle Frank,' so often affectionately mentioned, had been failing for some time. He had taken a journey abroad, with one of his daughters, in hopes of refreshment and invigoration, but the fatigue and excitement were more than he could bear; he returned home, and took to his bed. He suffered no pain, and was in a heavenly state of mind indeed, a most blessed death-bed, most suggestive of comfort and peace to all who survive as a most evident proof of what the close of life may be, if only 'that life is spent faithfully in doing our duty to God'—as Patteson wrote to his old friend, Miss Neill.
'And now one word about myself, which at such a time I should not obtrude upon you, but that the visit of the Bishop of New Zealand made it necessary for me to speak.
'I am going with him to work, if all is well, at the Antipodes, believing that the growing desire for missionary work, which for years has been striving within me, ought no longer to be resisted, and trusting that I am not mistaken in supposing that this is the line of duty that God has marked out for me.
'You may be sure that all this is done with the full consent and approbation of my dear Father. He and the Bishop had a great deal of conversation about it, and I left it entirely for them to determine. That it will be a great trial to us all at Christmas when we sail, I cannot conceal from myself; it is so great a separation that I cannot expect ever to see my dear Father, perhaps not any of those I love best, again in this world. But if you all know that I am doing, or trying to do, what is right, you will all be happy about me; and what has just been taking place at the Manor House teaches us to look, on a little to a blessed meeting in a better place soon. It is from no dissatisfaction at my present position, that I am induced to take this step. I have been very happy at Alfington; and I hope to be ordained Priest, on the 24th of September, with a calm mind. I trust I am not following any sudden hasty impulse, but obeying a real call to a real work, and (in the midst of much self-seeking and other alloy) not wholly without a sincere desire to labour for the honour and glory of God.'
With this purpose full in view, Coleridge Patteson received Ordination as a Priest in the ensuing Ember Week, again at the hands of Bishop Phillpotts, in Exeter Cathedral; where a beautiful marble pulpit is to commemorate the fact.
The wrench from home and friends could not but be terrible. The sisters, indeed, were so far prepared that they had been aware from the first of his wish and his mother's reception of it, and when they told their Father, he was pleased and comforted; for truly he was upheld by the strength of willing sacrifice. Those were likewise sustained who felt the spirit of missionary enterprise and sympathy, which was at that time so strongly infused into the Church; but the shock was severe to many, and especially to the brother who had been devoted to Coley from their earliest infancy, and among his relations the grief was great.
As to the district of Alfington, the distress was extreme. The people had viewed Mr. Patteson as their exclusive property, and could not forgive the Bishop of New Zealand for, as they imagined, tempting him away. 'Ah! Sir,' was the schoolmistress's answer to some warm words from Mr. Justice Coleridge in praise of Bishop Selwyn, 'he may be—no doubt he is—a very good man. I only wish he had kept his hands off Alfington.' 'It would not be easy,' says the parishioner from whom I have already quoted, 'to describe the intense sorrow in view of separation. Mr. Patteson did all he could to assure us that it was his own will and act, consequent upon the conviction that it was God's will that he should go, and to exonerate the Bishop, but for some time he was regarded as the immediate cause of our loss; and he never knew half the hard things said of him by the same people who, when they heard he was coming, and would preach on the Sunday, did their utmost to make themselves and their children look their very best.'
Indeed, the affectionate writer seems to have shared the poor people's feeling that they had thus festally received a sort of traitor with designs upon their pastor. She goes on to tell of his ministrations to her mother, whose death-bed was the first he attended as a Priest.
It would be impossible for me to say all he was to her. Not long before her death, when he had just left the room, she said, 'I have not felt any pain or weakness whilst Mr. Patteson has been here.' I was not always present during his visits to her, and I think their closer communings were only known to Him above, but their effects were discernible in that deep confidence in him on her part, and that lasting impression on him, for you will remember, in his letter last April, he goes back in memory to that time, and calls it—'a solemn scene in my early ministry.' Solemn, indeed, it was to us all that last night of her life upon earth. He was with her from about the middle of the day on Monday until about four o'clock on Tuesday morning; when, after commending her soul to God, he closed her eyes with his own hands, and taking out his watch, told us the hour and moment of her departure. He then went home and apprised Miss Wilkins of her death in these words: 'My soul fleeth unto the LORD before the morning watch, I say before the morning watch,' and at the earliest dawn of day, the villagers were made aware that she had passed away by the tolling bell, and tolled by him. This was not the only death during his ministry among us; but it was the first occasion where he gave the Communion of the Sick, also when he read the Burial Service. Cases of rejoicing with those that rejoiced as well as of weeping with those that wept, the child and the aged seemed alike to appreciate his goodness. In him were combined those qualities which could inspire with deep reverence and entire confidence. Many, many are or will be the stars in the crown of his rejoicing, and some owe to him under God, their deeper work of grace in the heart and their quickening in the divine life.'
A remarkable testimony is this to the impression remaining after the lapse of sixteen years from a ministry extending over no more than seventeen months. 'Our Mr. Patteson' the people called him to the last.
Yet, in the face of all this grief, the parting till death, the work broken off, the life cut short midway, the profusion of needs at home for able ministers, is it to be regretted that Coleridge Patteson devoted himself to the more remote fields abroad? I think we shall find that his judgment was right. Alfington might love him dearly, but the numbers were too small to afford full scope for his powers, and he would have experienced the trials of cramped and unemployed energies had he remained there beyond his apprenticeship. Nor were his gifts, so far as can be judged, exactly those most requisite for work in large towns. He could deal with individuals better than with masses, and his metaphysical mind, coupled with the curious difficulty he had in writing to an unrealised public, either in sermons or reports, might have rendered him less effective than men of less ability. He avoided, moreover, the temptations, pain, and sting of the intellectual warfare within the bosom of the Church, and served her cause more effectually on her borders than he could in her home turmoils. His great and peculiar gifts of languages, seconded by his capacity for navigation, enabled him to be the builder up of the Melanesian Church in so remarkable a manner that one can hardly suppose but that he was marked out for it, and these endowments would have found no scope in an ordinary career. Above all, no man can safely refuse the call to obey the higher leadings of grace. If he deny them, he will probably fall below that which he was before, and lose 'even that which he seemeth to have.'
A few days later, he wrote to his cousin Arthur Coleridge an expression of his feelings regarding the step he had taken in the midst of the pain it was costing to others:—
'Feniton: November 11, 9 A.M.
'My dear Arthur,—Your letter was very acceptable because I am, I confess, in that state of mind occasionally when the assurance of my being right, coming from another, tends to strengthen my own conviction.
'I do not really doubt as I believe; and yet, knowing my want of consideration for others, and many other thoughts which naturally prevent my exercising a clear sound judgment on a matter affecting myself, I sometimes (when I have had a conversation, it throws me back upon analysing my own conduct) feel inclined to go over the whole process again, and that is somewhat trying.
'On the other hand, I am almost strangely free from excitement. I live on exactly as I did before: and even when alone with Father, talk just as I used to talk, have nothing more to tell him, not knowing how to make a better use of these last quiet evenings.
'By-and-by I shall wish I had done otherwise, perhaps, but I do not know now, that I have anything specially requiring our consideration: we talk about family matters, the movements in the theological and political world, &c., very little about ourselves.
'One of all others I delight to think of for the music's sake, and far more for the glorious thought that it conveys. "Then shall the righteous," not indeed that I dare apply it to myself (as you know), but it helps one on, teaches what we may be, what our two dear parents are, and somehow the intervening, space becomes smaller as the eye is fixed steadily on the glory beyond.
'God bless you, my dear fellow.
'Ever your affectionate
'J. C. P.'
The Mission party intended to sail immediately after Christmas in the 'Southern Cross,' the schooner which was being built at Blackwall for voyages among the Melanesian isles. In expectation of this, Patteson went up to London in the beginning of December, when the admirable crayon likeness was taken by Mr. Richmond, an engraving from which is here given. He then took his last leave of his uncle, and of the cousins who had been so dear to him ever since the old days of daily meeting in childhood; and Miss Neill, then a permanent invalid, notes down: 'On December 13, I had the happiness of receiving the Holy Communion from dear Coley Patteson, and the following morning I parted from him, as I fear, for ever. God bless and prosper him, and guard him in all the dangers he will encounter!' He wrote thus soon after his return:—
'Feniton: December 22, 1854.
'My dear Miss Neill,—I began a note to you a day or two ago, but I could not go on with it, for I have had so very much to do in church and out of it, parochializing, writing sermons, &c. It makes some little difference in point of time whether I am living here or at Alfington, and so the walking about from one house to another is not so convenient for writing letters as for thinking over sermons.
'I need not tell you what a real happiness and comfort it is to me to have been with you again and to have talked so long with you, and most of all to have received the Communion with you. It is a blessed thought that no interval of space or time can interrupt that Communion of the Spirit, and that we are one in Him, though working in different corners of the Lord's field.
'I want to look you out a little book or two; and Fanny has told you that if ever my picture is photographed, I have particularly desired them to send you a copy with my love. Your cross I have now round my neck, and I shall always wear it; it will hang there with a locket containing locks of hair of my dear Father and Mother, the girls, and Jem.
'You will be glad to hear that they all seem cheerful and hearty. Fan is not well, but I do not see that she is depressed or unhappy. In fact, the terrible events of the war prove a lesson to all, and they feel, I suppose, that it might be far worse, and that so long as I am doing my duty, there is no cause for sorrow.
'Still there will be seasons of loneliness and sadness, and it seems to me as if it always was so in the case of all the people of whom we read in the Bible. Our Lord distinctly taught His disciples to expect it to be so, and even experienced this sorrow of heart Himself, filling up the full measure of His cup of bitterness. So I don't learn that I ought exactly to wish it to be otherwise, so much is said in the Bible about being made partaker of His, sufferings, only I pray that it may please God to bear me up in the midst of it. I must repeat that your example is constantly before me, as a witness to the power that God gives of enduring pain and sickness. It is indeed, and great comfort it gives me. He is not indeed keeping you still in the world without giving you a work to do, and enabling you from your bed of sickness to influence strongly a circle of friends.
'God bless you for all your kindness to me, and watchfulness over me as a child, for your daily thought of me and prayers for me, and may He grant that I may wear your precious gift not only on but in my heart.
'Always your very affectionate
'J. C. PATTESON.
'P.S.—I do not expect to sail for three weeks; this morning I had a line about the ship, and they say that she cannot be ready for a fortnight.'
On Christmas-day, he was presented with a Bible subscribed for by the whole Alfington population. Here is a sentence from his letter of acknowledgment:—
'If these poor needy souls can, from love to a fellow creature whom they have known but a few months, deny themselves their very crumb of bread to show their affection, what should be our conduct to Him from whom we have received all things, and to whom we owe our life, strength, and all that we possess?'
The farewell service was said by one of these poor old people to be like a great funeral. Sexagesima Sunday was Sir John's sixty-sixth birthday, and it was spent in expectation that it would be the last of the whole party at home, for on the Monday Sir John was obliged to go to London for a meeting of the Judicial Committee. The two notes his son wrote during his absence are, perhaps to prove good spirits, full of the delights of skating, which were afforded by the exceptionally severe frost of February 1855, which came opportunely to regale with this favourite pastime one who would never tread on solid ice again. He wrote with zest of the large merry party of cousins skating together, of the dismay of the old housekeeper when he skimmed her in a chair over the ice, sighing out, in her terror, 'My dear man, don't ye go so fast,' with all manner of endearing expressions—of the little boys to whom he threw nuts to be scrambled for, and of his own plunge through the thinner ice, when, regardless of drenched garments, he went on with the sport to the last, and came home with clothes frozen as stiff as a board.
He was not gone when his father and brother came home on the twenty- sixth, prepared to go with him to Southampton.
The note to his cousin Arthur written at this time thus ends: 'We worked together once at Dresden. Whatever we have acquired in the way of accomplishments, languages, love of art and music, everything brings us into contact with somebody, and gives us the power of influencing them for good, and all to the glory of God.'
Many were touched when, on the first Sunday in Lent, as Sir John Patteson was wont to assist in Church by reading the Lessons, it fell to him to pronounce the blessing of God upon the patriarch for his willing surrender of his son.
After all, the 'Southern Cross' was detected in leaking again, and as she was so small that the Mission party would have been most inconveniently crowded for so long a voyage, the Bishop was at length persuaded to relinquish his intention of sailing in her, and passages were taken for himself, Mrs. Selwyn, Mr. Patteson, and another clergyman, in the 'Duke of Portland,' which did not sail till the end of March, when Patteson was to meet her at Gravesend.
Thus he did not depart till the 25th. 'I leave home this morning I may say, for it has struck midnight,' he wrote to Miss Neill. 'I bear with me to the world's end your cross, and the memory of one who is bearing with great and long-tried patience the cross that God has laid upon her.'
He chose to walk to the coach that would take him to join the railway at Cullompton. The last kisses were exchanged at the door, and the sisters watched him out of sight, then saw that their father was not standing with them. They consulted for a moment, and then one of them silently looked into his sitting room, and saw him with his little Bible, and their hearts were comforted concerning him. After that family prayers were never read without a clause for Missionaries, 'especially the absent member of this family.'
He went up to his brother's chambers in London, whence a note was sent home the next day to his father:—
'I write one line to-night to tell you that I am, thank God, calm and even cheerful. I stayed a few minutes in the churchyard after I left you, picked a few primrose buds from dear mamma's grave, and then walked on.
'At intervals I felt a return of strong violent emotion, but I soon became calm; I read most of the way up, and felt surprised that I could master my own feelings so much.
'How much I owe to the cheerful calm composure which you all showed this morning! I know it must have cost you all a great effort. It spared me a great one.'
On the 27th the brothers went on board the 'Duke of Portland,' and surveyed the cabins, looking in at the wild scene of confusion sure to be presented by an emigrant ship on the last day in harbour. A long letter, with a minute description of the ship and the arrangements ends with: 'I have every blessing and comfort. Not one is wanting. I am not in any excitement, I think, certainly I do not believe myself to be in such a state as to involve a reaction of feeling. Of course if I am seedy at sea for a few days I shall feel low-spirited also most likely, and miss you all more in consequence. But that does not go below the surface. Beneath is calm tranquil peace of mind.'
On the 28th the two brothers joined the large number of friends who went down with the Mission party, among them Mr. Edward Coleridge.
Parting notes were written from on board to all the most beloved; to little Paulina, of bright hopes, to Miss Neill of her cross; to Arthur the German greeting, 'Lebe wohl, doch nicht auf Ewigkeit,'—to Mr. Justice Coleridge:—
'March 28, 1855.
'My dear Uncle,—One line more to thank you for all your love and to pray for the blessing of God upon you and yours now and for ever.
'We sail to-day. Such letters from home, full of calm, patient, cheerful resignation to his will. Wonderfully has God supported us through this trial. My kind love to Arthur. Always, my dear Uncle, Your affectionate, grateful Nephew,
'JOHN COLERIDGE PATTESON.'
Perhaps the frame of mind in which Coley left England can best be gathered from the following extract from a letter to his father from his uncle Edward:—
'While on board I had a good deal of quiet talk with him, and was fully confirmed by his manner and words, of that which I did not doubt before, that the surrender of self, which he has made, has been put into his heart by God's Holy Spirit, and that all his impulses for good are based on the firm foundation of trust in God, and a due appreciation of his mortal, as well as professional condition. I never saw a hand set on the plough stead with more firmness, yet entire modesty, or with an eye and heart less turned backwards on the world behind. I know you do not in any way repine at what you have allowed him to do; and I feel sure that ere long you will see cause to bless God not only for having given you such a son, but also for having put it into his heart so to devote himself to that particular work in the Great Vineyard.'
About 5 P.M. the 'Duke of Portland' swung round with the tide, strangers were ordered on shore, Coleridge and James Patteson said their last farewells, and while the younger brother went home by the night-train to carry the final greetings to his father and sisters, the ship weighed anchor and the voyage was begun.
THE VOYAGE AND FIRST YEAR. 1855-1856.
When the See of New Zealand was first formed, Archbishop Howley committed to the care of the first Bishop the multitudinous islands scattered in the South Pacific. The technical bounds of the diocese were not defined; but matters were to a certain degree simplified by Bishop Selwyn's resolution only to deal with totally heathen isles, and whatever superiority the authorised chief pastor might rightfully claim, not to confuse the minds of the heathen by the sight of variations among Christians, and thus never to preach in any place already occupied by Missions, a resolution from which he only once departed, in the case of a group apparently relinquished by its first teachers. This cut off all the properly called Polynesian isles, whose inhabitants are of the Malay type, and had been the objects of care to the London Mission, ever since the time of John Williams; also the Fiji Islands; and a few which had been taken in hand by a Scottish Presbyterian Mission; but the groups which seem to form the third fringe round the north-eastern curve of Australia, the New Hebrides, Banks Islands, and Solomon Isles, were almost entirely open ground, with their population called Melanesian or Black Islanders, from their having much of the Negro in their composition and complexion. These were regarded as less quick but more steady than the Polynesian race, with somewhat the same difference of character as there is between the Teuton and the Kelt. The reputation of cannibalism hung about many of the islands, and there was no doubt of boats' crews having been lost among them, but in most cases there had been outrage to provoke reprisals.
These islands had as yet been little visited, except by Captain Cook, their first discoverer, and isolated Spanish exploring expeditions; but of late whalers and sandal wood traders, both English and American, had been finding their way among them, and too often acting as irresponsible adventurous men of a low class are apt to do towards those whom they regard as an inferior race.
Mission work had hardly reached this region. It was in attempting it that John Williams had met his death at Erromango, one of the New Hebrides; but one of his best institutions had been a school in one of the Samoan or Navigators' Islands, in which were educated young men of the native races to be sent to the isles to prepare the way for white men. Very nobly had these Samoan pupils carried out his intentions, braving dislike, disease and death in the islands to which they were appointed, and having the more to endure because they came without the prestige of a white man. Moreover, the language was no easier to them than to him, as their native speech is entirely different from the Melanesian; which is besides broken into such an extraordinary number of different dialects, varying from one village to another in an island not twenty miles long, that a missionary declared that the people must have come straight from the Tower of Babel, and gone on dividing their speech ever since. Just at the time of the formation of the See of New Zealand, the excitement caused at home by Williams's death had subsided, and the London Mission's funds were at so low an ebb that, so far from extending their work, they had been obliged to let some of it fall into abeyance.
All this came to the knowledge of the Bishop of New Zealand while he was occupied with the cares of his first seven years in his more immediate diocese, and in 1848, he made a voyage of inspection in H.M.S. 'Dido.' He then perceived that to attempt the conversion of this host of isles of tropical climate through a resident English clergyman in each, would be impossible, besides which he knew that no Church takes root without native clergy, and he therefore intended bringing boys to New Zealand, and there educating them to become teachers to their countrymen. He had lately established, near Auckland, for the sons of the colonists, St. John's College, which in 1850 was placed under the Reverend Charles John Abraham, the former Eton master, who had joined the Bishop to act as Archdeacon and assist in the scheme of education; and here it was planned that the young Melanesians should be trained.
The Bishop possessed a little schooner of twenty-two tons, the 'Undine,' in which he was accustomed to make his expeditions along the coast; and in August 1849, he set forth in her, with a crew of four, without a weapon of any sort, to 'launch out into the deep, and let down his nets for a draught.' Captain Erskine of H.M.S. 'Havannah' readily undertook to afford him any assistance practicable, and they were to cruise in company, the 'Undine' serving as a pilot boat or tender on coasts where the only guide was 'a few rough sketches collected from small trading vessels.'
They met near Tanna, but not before the Bishop had been in Dillon's Bay, on the island of Erromango, the scene of Williams's murder, and had allowed some of the natives to come on board his vessel as a first step towards friendly intercourse. The plan agreed on by the Bishop and the Captain was to go as far north as Vate, and return by way of the Loyalty Isles, which fringe the east coast of New Caledonia, to touch at that large island, and then visit the Island of Pines, at its extreme south point, and there enquire into a massacre said to have taken place. This was effected, and in each place the natives showed themselves friendly. From New Caledonia the Bishop brought away a pupil named Dallup, and at two of the Loyalty Islands, Nengone or Mare, and Lifu, where Samoan teachers had excited a great desire for farther instruction, boys eagerly begged to go with him, and two were taken from each, in especial Siapo, a young Nengone chief eighteen or nineteen years old, of very pleasing aspect, and with those dignified princely manners which rank is almost sure to give. The first thing done with such lads when they came on board was to make clothes for them, and when they saw the needle employed in their service, they were almost sure to beg to be taught the art, and most of them soon became wonderfully dexterous in it.
On the Island of Pines, so called from the tower-like masses of the Norfolk pine on the shores, was at that time the French Bishop of New Caledonia, the Oul, as the natives called him and his countrymen, for whom they had little love. After an interview between the two bishops, the 'Undine' returned to New Zealand, where the native boys were brought to St. John's College. The system of education there combined agricultural labour and printing with study, and the authorities and the boys shared according to their strength in both, for there was nothing more prominent in the Bishop's plan than that the coloured man was not to be treated as a mere hewer of wood and drawer of water, but, as a Maori once expressed the idea: 'Gentleman- gentleman thought nothing that ought to be done at all too mean for him; pig-gentleman never worked.' The whole community, including the ladies and their guests, dined together in hall.
The five boys behaved well, Siapo being a leader in all that was good, and made advances in Christian knowledge; but it was one of the Bishop's principles that none of them should be baptized till he had proved whether his faith were strong enough to resist the trial of a return to his native home and heathen friends. The climate of New Zealand is far too chilly for these inhabitants of tropical regions, and it was absolutely necessary to return them to their homes during the winter quarter from June to August. The scheme therefore was to touch at their islands, drop them there, proceed then further on the voyage, and then, returning the same way, resume them, if they were willing to come under instruction for baptism and return to the college. In the lack of a common language, Bishop Selwyn hoped to make them all learn English, and only communicate with one another in that.
The 'Undine,' not being large enough for the purpose, was exchanged for the 'Border Maid;' and in the course of the next three years an annual voyage was made, and boys to the number of from twelve to fourteen brought home. Siapo of Nengone was by far the most promising scholar. He was a strong influence, when at home, on behalf of the Samoan teachers, and assisted in the building of a round chapel, smoothly floored, and plastered with coral lime. In 1852 he was baptized, together with three of his friends, in this chapel, in his own island, by the Bishop, in the presence of a thousand persons, and received the name of George. When the 'Border Maid' returned, though he was convalescent from a severe illness, he not only begged that he might come back, but that the young girl to whom he was betrothed might be taken to New Zealand to be trained in Christian ways. Ready consent was given, and the little Wabisane, and her companion Wasitutru (Little Chattering Bird), were brought on board, and arrayed in petticoats fashioned by the Bishop's own hands, from his own counterpane, with white skirts above, embellished with a bow of scarlet ribbon, the only piece of finery to be found in the 'Border Maid.' The Rev. William Nihill had spent the period of this trip at Nengone, and had become deeply interested in the people. The island was then thought likely to become a centre whence to work on adjacent places; but to the grief and disappointment of all, George Siapo did not live through the summer at St. John's. He had never recovered his illness at home, and rapidly declined; but his faith burnt brighter as his frame became weaker, and his heart was set on the conversion of his native country. He warmly begged Mr. Nihill to return thither, and recommended him to the protection of his friends, and he wished his own brother to become scholar at St. John's. His whole demeanour was that of a devoted Christian, and when he died, in the January of the year 1853, he might be regarded as the firstfruits of the Melanesian Church. Since Mr. Nihill was about to return to Nengone, and there was a certain leaven of Christianity in the place, the girls were not subjected to the probation of a return before baptism, but were christened Caroline and Sarah, after Mrs. Abraham and Mrs. Selwyn.
Another very satisfactory pupil was little Umao. An English sailor in a dreadful state of disease had been left behind by a whaler at Erromango, where the little Umao, a mere boy, had attached himself to him, and waited on him with the utmost care and patience, though meeting with no return but blows and rough words. The man moved to Tanna, where there are mineral springs highly esteemed by the natives, and when the 'Border Maid' touched there, in 1851, he was found in a terrible condition, but with the little fellow faithfully attending him. The Englishman was carried to Sydney, and left in the hospital there; but Umao begged not to be sent home, for he said his parents cruelly ill-used him and his brothers, and set them to watch the fire all night to keep off evil spirits; so, when New Zealand became too cold for him, he was sent to winter at the London Society's station in Anaiteum. His sweet friendly nature expanded under Christian training, but his health failed, and in the course of the voyage of 1853 he became so ill that his baptism was hastened, and he shortly after died in the Bishop's arms.
Two more boys, cousins, from Lifu, also died. There never was any suspicion or displeasure shown among the relatives of these youths. Their own habits were frightfully unhealthy; they were not a long- lived people, and there was often great mortality among them, and though they were grieved at the loss of their sons, they never seemed distrustful or ungrateful. But it was evident that, even in the summer months, the climate of New Zealand was trying to these tropical constitutions, and as it was just then determined that Norfolk Island should no longer be the penal abode of the doubly convicted felons of Botany Bay, but should instead become the home of the descendants of the mutineers of the 'Bounty' who had outgrown Pitcairn's Island, the Bishop cast his eyes upon it as the place most likely to agree alike with English and Melanesian constitutions, and therefore eminently fitted for the place of instruction.
The expenses of the voyages in the 'Border Maid' had been met partly by the Eton Association, and partly by another association at Sydney, where a warm interest in these attempts had been excited and maintained by the yearly visits of Bishop Selwyn, who usually visited Australia while the lads were wintering at their homes. But the 'Border Maid' was superannuated, nor had she ever been perfectly fitted for the purpose; and when, in 1853, the Bishop was obliged to come to England to take measures for dividing his diocese, he also hoped to obtain permission to establish a Melanesian school on Norfolk Island, and to obtain the means of building a schooner yacht, small enough to be navigated in the narrow, shallow creeks separating the clustered islets, and yet capacious enough for the numerous passengers. In the meantime Mr. Nihill went to Nengone with his wife and child. His lungs were much affected, but he hoped that the climate would prolong his power of working among the Christian community, who heartily loved and trusted him.
Other fellow-labourers the Bishop hoped to obtain at home, though it was his principle never to solicit men to come with him, only to take those who offered themselves; but all the particulars of the above narration had been known to Coley Patteson through the Bishop's correspondence with Mr. Edward Coleridge, as well as by the yearly report put forth by the Eton Association, and this no doubt served to keep up in his heart the flame that had burnt unseen for so many years, and to determine its direction, though he put himself unreservedly at the Bishop's disposal, to work wherever he might be sent.
The means for the mission ship 'Southern Cross' were raised. She was built at Blackwall by Messrs. Wigram, and, after all the delays, sailed on the very same day as the 'Duke of Portland.'
Meantime here are a few extracts from Patteson's journal-letter during the voyage. Sea-sickness was very slightly disabling with him; he was up and about in a short time, and on the 8th of April was writing:—
'What a day this has been to me, the twenty-eighth anniversary of my baptism to begin with, and then Easter Day spent at sea!
'April 20th, lat, 4 N., long. 25 W.—Rather hot. It is very fine to see all the stars of the heavens almost rise and pass overhead and set—Great Bear and Southern Cross shining as in rivalry of each other, and both hemispheres showing forth all their glory. Only the Polar Star, that shines straight above you, is gone below our horizon; and One alone knows how much toil, and perhaps sorrow, there may be in store for me before I see it again. But there is and will be much happiness and comfort also, for indeed I have great peace of mind, and a firm conviction that I am doing what is right; a feeling that God is directing and ordering the course of my life, and whenever I take the only true view of the business of life, I am happy and cheerful.
'May 10.—It is, I find, quite settled, and was indeed always, that I am to go always with the Bishop, roving about the Melanesian department, so that for some years, if I live, I shall be generally six months at sea. And not little to my delight, I find that the six winter months (i.e. your summer months) are the ones that we shall spend in sailing about the islands within or near the tropics, so that I shall have little more shivering limbs or blue hands, though I may feel in the long run the effect of a migratory swallow-like life. But the sea itself is a perpetual tonic, and when I am thoroughly accustomed to a sea life, I think I shall be better almost on board ship.'
This seems the place for Bishop Selwyn's impression, as written to a friend at this very time. 'Coley Patteson is a treasure which I humbly set down as a Divine recompense for our own boys*. He is a good fellow, and the tone of his mind is one which I can thoroughly enjoy, content with the 'to aei' present, yet always aiming at a brighter and better future.'
*(Footnote: Left at home for education.)
'June 18.—You must think of us at 8 P.M. on Sundays—just at 8.20 A.M. before you come down to prayers. The Bishop has a service in the College chapel; then, after all the "runners" (clergy who have district chapels) have returned, chanting Psalms, and reading collects, which bear especially on the subject of unity, introducing the special Communion thanksgiving for Whitsunday, and the Sanctus, and the Prayer for Unity in the Accession Service. I feel that it must be an impressive and very happy way of ending the Sunday, and you will be at Sunday prayers at the other end of the world praying with us.
'July 3.—Still at sea. As soon as we rounded the North Cape on Friday, June 29, a contrary wind sprang up, and we have been beating about, tacking between North Cape and Cape Brett ever since. Fine sunny weather and light winds, but always from the south. To me it is a matter of entire indifference; I am quite ready to go ashore, but do not mind a few more days at sea. The climate is delightful, thermometer on deck 55 to 60, and such glorious sunsets! There is really something peculiar in the delicacy of the colours here—faint pink and blue, and such an idea of distance is given by the great transparency of the air. It is full moon too now, and I walk the deck from eleven to twelve every night with no great-coat, thinking about you all and my future work. Last night the Bishop was with me, and told me definitely about my occupation for the time to come. All day we have been slowly, very slowly, passing along from the north headland of the Bay of Islands to Cape Brett, and along the land south of it. A fine coast it is, full of fine harbours and creeks, the bay itself like a large Torbay, only bolder. Due south of us is the Bream headland, then the Barrier Islands. We are only about a mile from the shore, and refreshing it is to look at it; but as yet we have seen no beach; the rock runs right into the sea. Such bustle and excitement on board! emigrants getting their things ready, carpenters making the old "Duke" look smart, sailors scrubbing, but no painting going on, to our extreme delight. It is so calm, quite as smooth as a small lake; indeed there is less perceptible motion than I have felt on the Lake of Como. No backs, no bones aching, though here I speak for others more than for myself, for the Bishop began his talk last night by saying, "One great point is decided, that you are a good sailor. So far you are qualified for Melanesia."'
To this may be added that Patteson had been farther preparing for this work by a diligent study of the Maori language, and likewise of navigation; and what an instructor he had in the knowledge of the coasts may be gathered from the fact that an old sea captain living at Kohimarama sent a note to St. John's College stating that he was sure that the Bishop had come, for he knew every vessel that had ever come into Auckland harbour, and was sure this barque had never been there before; yet she had come in the night through all the intricate passages, and was rounding the heads without a pilot on board. He therefore concluded that the Bishop must be on board, as there was no other man that could have taken command of her at such a time, and brought her into that harbour.
The Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn went on shore as soon as possible; Patteson waited till the next day. Indeed he wrote on July 5 that he was in no hurry to land, since he knew no one in the whole neighbourhood but Archdeacon Abraham. Then he describes the aspect of Auckland from the sea:—
'It looks much like a small sea-side town, but not so substantially built, nor does it convey the same idea of comfort and wealth; rude warehouses, &c., being mixed up with private houses on the beach. The town already extends to a distance of perhaps half a mile on each side of this cove, on which the principal part of it is built. Just in the centre of the cove stands the Wesleyan chapel. On the rising ground on the east of the cove is the Roman Catholic chapel, and on the west side is St. Paul's Church, an Early English stone building, looking really ecclesiastical and homelike. The College, at a distance of about five miles from the town, on some higher ground, northwest of it, is reached from the harbour by a boat ascending a creek to within a mile of the buildings, so that we shall not go into the town at all when we land. By water too will be our shortest, at all events our quickest way from the college to the town.
'July 9, St. John's College.—Though we reached harbour on July 5, and landed the next day, I have scarcely found a minute to write a line. Imagine my feelings as I touched land and jumped ashore at a creek under Judge Martin's house, in the presence of Rota Waitoa, the only native clergyman in the diocese; Levi, who is perhaps to be ordained, and four or five other natives. Tena ra fa koe e ho a? "How are you, my friends?" (the common New Zealand greeting), said I as I shook hands with them one by one. We walked up from the beach to the house. Roses in full flower, and mimosa with a delicate golden flower, and various other shrubs and flowers in full bloom. Midwinter, recollect. The fragrance of the air, the singing of the birds, the fresh smell (it was raining a little and the grass was steaming) were delicious, as you may suppose. Here I was, all at once, carrying up baggage, Maoris before and behind, and everything new and strange, and yet I felt as if it were all right and natural. The Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn had landed the day before, and we were heartily welcomed. Mr. Martin took me into his study. "I am thankful to see you as a fresh labourer among us here; a man of your name needs no introduction to a lawyer." Nothing could exceed his kindness. He began talking of at once.
'We dined at about 12.30. Clean mutton chops, potatoes and pumpkin (very good indeed), jam pudding, bread, and plenty of water (beer I refused). It did taste so good, I am quite ashamed of thinking about it. About two o'clock I started with the Bishop for the College, nearly six miles from Auckland.
'The Bishop is at a kind of collegiate establishment on the outskirts of Auckland, where Mr. Kissling, a clergyman, is the resident, and thither I go on Wednesday, to live till October 1, when we start, please God, in the "Southern Cross" for the cruise around New Zealand. Here, at Mr. Kissling's, I shall have work with Maoris, learning each day, I trust, to speak more correctly and fluently. Young men for teachers, and it may be for clergymen, will form at once my companions and my pupils, a good proportion of them being nearly or quite of my own age. I am to be constantly at the Judge's, running in and out, working on Sundays anywhere as I may be sent. So much for myself.
'The College is really all that is necessary for a thoroughly good and complete place of education; the hall all lined with kauri pine wood, a large handsome room, collegiate, capable of holding two hundred persons; the school-room, eighty feet long, with admirable arrangements for holding classes separately. There are two very cosy rooms, which belong to the Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn respectively, in one of which I am now sitting.... On the walls are hanging about certain tokens of Melanesia in the shape of gourds, calabashes, &c., such as I shall send you one day; a spade on one side, just as a common horse halter hanging from Abraham's bookshelf, betokens colonial life. Our rooms are quite large enough, bigger than my room at Feniton, but no furniture, of course, beyond a bedstead, a table for writing, and an old bookcase; but it is never cold enough to care about furniture... I clean, of course, my room in part, make my bed, help to clear away things after meals, &c., and am quite accustomed to do without servants for anything but cooking. There is a weaving room, which used to be well worked, a printing press (from C. M. S.) which has done some good work, and is now at work again—English, Maori, Greek and Hebrew types. Separate groups of buildings, which once were filled with lads from different Melanesian isles—farm buildings, barns, &c. Last of all, the little chapel of kauri wood, stained desk, like the inside of a really good ecclesiastical building in England, porch S.W. angle, a semicircular apse at the west, containing a large handsome stone font, open seats of course. The east end very simple, semicircular apse, small windows all full of stained glass, raised one step, no rails, the Bishop's chair on the north side, bench on the south. Here my eye and my mind rested contentedly and peacefully. The little chapel, holding about seventy persons, is already dear to me. I preached in it last night at the seven o'clock service. We chanted the Unity Psalms CXXII, CXXIII, CXXIV, and CL, heartily, all joining to a dear old double chant in parts. I felt my heart very full as I spoke to them of the blessedness of prayer and spiritual communion. I was at Tamaki in the morning, where I read prayers, the Archdeacon preaching. A little stone church, very rude and simple, but singing again good, and congregation of fifty-one, attentive. At Panmure, about three miles off, in the afternoon, a tiny wooden church—where Abraham took all the duty. In the evening, in the chapel, he read prayers, and I preached to about thirty-five or forty people. We left the chapel just as you were getting ready for breakfast, and so passed my first Sunday in New Zealand. To-day I have had hard work; I walked with Abraham to Auckland—six miles of rough work, I promise you, except the two last.
I believe it was in the course of this walk that Patteson experimented on his Maori, a native whom they visited, and who presently turned upon the Archdeacon, and demanded, 'Why do you not speak like Te Pattihana?' Such a compliment has seldom been paid on so early an attempt at colloquialism in a new language. Journal continues:—
'Lugged down boxes, big empty ones, from the Judge's house to the beach. Went with the Bishop to the old ship, packed up books, brought away all our things almost, helped to pack them in a cart and drag, and then walked back to the College, which I reached in the dark at 7.30. It is delightful to see the delight of the natives when they see the Bishop. "E—h te Pikopa!" and then they all come round him like children, laughing and talking. Two common men we met on Friday from Rotoma, 150 miles off, who said that their tribe had heard that the Queen of England had taken away his salary, and they had been having subscriptions for him every Sunday. They are of various shades of colour, some light brown, some nearly black, and some so tattooed all over that you can't tell what colour they are. I was talking to-day to the best of my power with a native teacher upon whose face I could not see one spot as big as a shilling that was not tattooed, beautifully done in a regular pattern, one side corresponding to the other. Each tribe, as it is said (I know not how truly), has a pattern of its own; so they wear their coats-of- arms on their faces, that is all. The young Christian natives are not tattooed at all, and I have been to-day with Sydney, whose father was the great fighting man of Honghi (miscalled Shanghi) who was presented to George IV. This young man's father helped to exterminate a whole tribe who lived on a part of the College property (as it is now), and he is said to be perhaps the first New Zealander who was baptized as an infant. I find it hard to understand them; they speak very indistinctly—not fast, but their voices are thick in general. I hope to learn a good deal before October. My first letter from the ends of the world tells of my peace of mind, of one sound and hearty in body, and, I thank God, happy, calm, and cheerful in spirit.'
'July 11, 1855; St. John's College, Auckland.
'My dear Fan,—I do not doubt that I am where I ought to be; I do think and trust that God has given me this work to do; but I need earnest prayers for strength that I may do it. It is no light work to be suddenly transplanted from a quiet little country district, where every one knew me, and the prestige of dear Father's life and your active usefulness among the people made everything smooth for me, to a work exceeding in magnitude anything that falls to the lot of an ordinary parish priest in England—in a strange land, among a strange race of men, in a newly forming and worldly society, with no old familiar notions and customs to keep the machine moving; and then to be made acquainted with such a mass of information respecting Church government and discipline, educational schemes, conduct of clergy and teachers, etc., etc. It is well that I am hearty and sound in health, or I should be regularly overwhelmed with it. Two texts I think of constantly: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." "Sufficient for the day," etc. I hardly dare look forward to what my work may be on earth; I cannot see my way; but I feel sure that He is ordering it all, and I try to look on beyond the earth, when at length, by God's mercy, we may all find rest.
'That I have been so well in body and so cheerful in mind ever since I left home—I mean cheerful on the whole, not without seasons of sadness, but so mercifully strengthened at all times—must, I think, without any foolish enthusiasm, be remembered by me as a special act of God's goodness and mercy. I was not the least weary of the sea. Another month or two would have made very little difference to me, I think. I am very fond of it, and I think of my voyages to come without any degree of dread from that cause, and I have no reason to expect any great discomfort from any other. I have my whole stock of lemon syrup and lime juice, so that the salt meat on the "Southern Cross" will be counteracted in that way; and going round those islands we shall be ashore every few days. But what most surprises me is this: that when I am alone, as here at night in a great (for it is large) cheerless, lonely room, as I should have thought it once; though I can't help thinking of my own comforts at home, and all dear faces around me, though I feel my whole heart swelling with love to you all, still I am not at all sad or gloomy, or cast down. This does surprise me: I did not think it would or could be so. I have indeed prayed for it, but I had not faith to believe that my prayer would be so granted. The fact itself is most certain. I have at Alfington, when alone of an evening, experienced a greater sense of loneliness than I have once done out here. Of this hitherto I feel no doubt: it may be otherwise any day of course; and to what else can I attribute this fact, in all soberness of mind, but to the mercy of God in strengthening me for my work? Much of it may be the effect of a splendid climate upon my physique, that is true; for indeed to find flowers in full blossom, green meadows, hot suns, birds singing, etc., in midwinter, with a cool, steady breeze from the sea invigorating me all the while, is no doubt just what I require; but to-day we have a north-easter, which answers to your south-west wind, with pouring rain, and yet my spirits are not going down with the barometer. All the same, the said barometer will probably soon recover himself; for I believe these heavy storms seldom last long. There is no fire in the room where I sit, which is the Bishop's room when he is here; no fire-place indeed, as it opens into Mrs. Selwyn's room. The thermometer is 58, and it is midwinter.'
To Miss Neill, on the same day, after repeating his conviction that he was in the right place, he says:—
'I have written to them at home what I ought not perhaps to have said of myself, but that it will give them comfort—that from all sides my being here as the Bishop's companion is hailed as likely to produce very beneficial results. But I must assure you that I fully know how your love for me and much too high opinion of me makes you fancy that I could be of use at home. But we must not, even taking this view, send our refuse men to the colonies. Newly forming societies must be moulded by men of energy, and power, and high character; in fact, churches must be organised, the Gospel must be preached by men of earnest zeal for God's glory in the salvation of souls. To lower the standard of Christian life by exhibiting a feeble faint glimmering instead of a burning shining light is to stamp upon the native mind a false impression, it may be for ever.
'Remember, we have no ancient customs nor time-hallowed usages to make up for personal indifference and apathy; we have no momentum to carry on the machine. We have to start it, and give it the first impulse, under the guidance of the Spirit of God; and oh! if it takes a wrong direction at first, who can calculate the evil that must follow? It is easy to steer a vessel in smooth water, with a fair breeze; but how are you to keep her head straight in a rolling sea with no way on her?'
This letter, with two or three more, went by the first mail after his arrival. From that time he generally kept a journal-letter, and addressed it to one or other of his innermost home circle; while the arrival of each post from home produced a whole sheaf of answers, and comments on what was told, by each correspondent, of family, political or Church matters. Sometimes the letter is so full of the subject of immediate interest as absolutely to leave no room for personal details of his own actual life, and this became more the case as the residence in New Zealand or Norfolk Island lost its novelty, while it never absorbed him so as to narrow his interests. He never missed a mail in writing to his father and sisters, and a letter to his brother was equally regular, but these latter were generally too much concerned with James's own individual life to be as fully given as the other letters, which were in fact a diary of facts, thoughts, and impressions.
'July 12, St. Stephen's, Mr. Kissling's School-house.—You know I am to live here when not on the "Southern Cross," or journeying in the Bush; so I must describe, first, the place itself, then my room in it. The house is a large one-storied building of wood, no staircase in it, but only a succession of rooms.... There are at present fourteen or sixteen girls in the school, boarding here, besides Rota, who is a native deacon, spending a month here; Levi, who is preparing for ordination, and three other men. The house stands on table-land about four hundred yards from the sea, commanding glorious views of the harbour, sea, and islands, which form groups close round the coast. It is Church property all round, and the site of a future cathedral is within a stone's throw of it.... Now for my room. Plenty large enough to begin with, not less than sixteen feet long by twelve wide, and at least eleven high, all wood, not papered or painted, which I like much, as the kauri is a darkish grained wood; no carpet of course, but I am writing now at 10 P.M., with no fire, and quite warm. The east side of the room is one great window, latticed, in a wooden frame; outside it a verandah, and such a beautiful view of the harbour and bay beyond. I will tell you exactly what I have done to-day since two o'clock, as a sample of my life.
'2 P.M., dinner, roast mutton; my seat between the Bishop and Eota. Fancy the long table with its double row of Maoris. After dinner, away with the Bishop to the hospital, a plain wooden building a mile off, capable of taking in about forty patients in all. I am to visit it regularly when here, taking that work off the parish clergyman's shoulders, and a great comfort it will be. I went through it to-day, and had a long talk with the physician and surgeon, and saw the male patients, two of them natives. One of them is dying, and so I am to be now talking as well as I can, but at all events reading and praying, with this poor fellow, and a great happiness it is to have such a privilege and so on. Came back to tea, very pleasant. After tea made Eota, and Sydney, a young-man who knows English pretty well, sit in my room (N.B., there is but one chair, in which I placed Eota), and then I made them read Maori to me, and read a good deal myself, and then we talked as well as we could. At 6.15, prayers, the whole party of Maoris assembled. Mr. Kissling read the first verse of the chapter (Joshua vi.), and we each read one verse in turn, and then he questioned them for perhaps fifteen minutes. They were very intelligent and answered well, and it was striking to see grown-up men and young women sitting so patiently to be taught. Then the evening service prayers; and so I knelt with these good simple people and prayed with them for the first time. Very much I enjoyed all this. Soon after came supper, a little talking, and now here am I writing to you.
'I wish you could see the tree-ferns; some are quite twenty feet high in the trunk, for trunk it is, and the great broad frond waves over it in a way that would make that child Pena clap her hands with delight. Then the geraniums and roses in blossom, the yellow mimosa flower, the wild moncha, with a white flower, growing everywhere, and the great variety of evergreen trees (none that I have seen being deciduous) make the country very pretty. The great bare volcanic hills, each with its well-defined crater, stand up from among the woodlands, and now from among pastures grazing hundreds of oxen; and this, with the grand sea views, and shipping in the harbour, make a very fine sight.
'July 14.—I write to-night because you will like a line from me on the day when first I have in any way ministered to a native of the country. I was in the hospital to-day, talked a little, and read St. Luke xv. to one, and prayed with another Maori. The latter is dying. He was baptized by the Wesleyans, but is not visited by them, so I do not scruple to go to him. Rota, the native deacon, was with me, and be talked a long while with the poor fellow. It is a great comfort to me to have made a beginning. I did little more than read a few prayers from the Visitation Service, but the man understood me well, so I may be of use, I hope. He has never received the Lord's Supper; but if there is time to prepare him, the Bishop wishes me to administer it to him.
'July 20.—Yesterday in sailed the "Southern Cross" with not a spar carried away or sail lost, perfectly sound, and in a fit state to be off again at once. She left England on the same day that we did, and arrived just a fortnight after us, and this is attributable to her having kept in low latitudes, not going higher than 39; whereas we were in 51 30', which diminished the distance and brought us in the way of more favourable winds. I saw from my windows about 9 A.M. a schooner in the distance, and told the Bishop I thought it might be the "Southern Cross" (she has no figure-head and a very straight bow). Through the day, which was very rainy, we kept looking from time to time through our glasses. At 3 P.M. the Bishop came in: "Come along, Coley; I do believe it is the 'Southern Cross.'" So I hurried on waterproofs, knowing that we were in for some mudlarking. Off we went, lugged down a borrowed boat to the water, tide being out. I took one oar, a Maori another, and off we went, Bishop steering. After twenty minutes' pull, or thereabouts, we met her, jumped on board, and then such a broadside of questions and answers. They had a capital passage. Two men who were invalided when they started died on the voyage—one of dysentery, I think—all the rest flourishing, the three women respectable and tidy-looking individuals, and two children very well. After a while the Bishop and I went off to shore, in one of his boats, pulled by two of the crew, Lowestoft fishermen, fine young fellows as you ever saw. Then we bought fresh meat, onions, bread, etc., for them, and so home by 7 P.M. "Mudlarking" very slight on this occasion, only walking over the flat swamp of low-water marsh for a quarter of a mile; but on Tuesday we had a rich scene. Bishop and I went to the "Duke of Portland" and brought off the rest of our things; but it was low- water, so the boats could not come within a long way of the beach, and the custom is for carts to go over the muddy sand, which is tolerably hard, as far into the water as they can, perhaps two and a half or three feet deep when it is quite calm, as it was on Tuesday. Well, in went our cart, which had come from the College, with three valuable horses, while the Bishop and I stood on the edge of the water. Presently one of the horses lost his footing, and then all at once all three slipped up, and the danger was of their struggling violently and hurting themselves. One of those in the shafts had his head under water, too, for a time. Instanter Bishop and I had our coats off, my trousers were rolled over my knees, and in we rushed to the horses. Such a plunging and splashing! but they were all got up safe. This was about 4 P.M., and I was busy about the packages and getting them into the carts, unloading at Mr. Kissling's till past 8; but I did not catch cold. Imagine an English Bishop with attending parson cutting into the water up to their knees to disentangle their cart-horses from the harness in full view of every person on the beach. "This is your first lesson in mudlarking, Coley," was the remark of the Bishop as we laughed over our respective appearance.
'July 21.—I was finishing my sermon for the soldiers to-morrow at 11.30, when Mr. Kissling came in to say that the schooner just come into the harbour was the vessel which had been sent to bring Mr. and Mrs. Nihill from Nengone or Mare Island. He was in very bad health when he went there, and great doubts were entertained as to his coming back. I was deputed to go and see. I ran a good part of the way to the town on to the pier, and there heard that Mr. Nihill was dead. An old acquaintance of Mrs. Nihill was on the pier, so I thought I should be in the way, and came back, told Mrs. Kissling, and went on to the Judge's, and told Mrs. Martin and Mrs. Selwyn. Whilst there we saw a boat land a young lady and child on the beach just below the house, and they sent me down. Pouring with rain here on the beach, taking shelter in a boat-house with her brother, I found this poor young widow; and so, leaning on my arm, she walked up to the house. I just waited to see Mrs. Selwyn throw her arms round her neck, and then walked straight off, feeling that the furious rain and wind chimed in with a violent struggle which was just going on in my own mind. I go through such scenes firmly enough at the time, but when my part is over I feel just like a child, and I found the tears in my eyes; for the universal sympathy which has been expressed by everyone here for the lonely situation of the Nihills at Nengone made me feel almost a personal interest in them. He was a good linguist, and his loss will be severely felt by the Bishop.
'August 14.—I marked out to-day some pretty places for the two wooden houses for the "Southern Cross" sailors at Kohimarama (Focus of Light), a quiet retired spot, with a beautiful sparkling beach, the schooner lying just outside the little bay a third of a mile off. Forty or fifty acres of flat pasturage, but only sixteen properly cleared, and then an amphitheatre of low hills, covered with New Zealand vegetation. I passed fine ferns to-day quite thirty feet in the stem, with great spreading-fronds, like branches of the Norfolk Island pine almost.
'On the 17th of August came the welcome mail from home. "Oh what a delight it is to see your dear handwriting again!" is the cry in the reply. "Father's I opened first, and read his letter, stopping often with tears of thankfulness in my eyes to thank God for enabling him not to be over-anxious about me, and for the blessing of knowing that he was as well as usual, and also because his work, so distasteful to him, was drawing to a close. Then I read Fan's, for I had a secret feeling that I should hear most from her about Alfington.'
On the evening of that day he wrote to Fanny. In answer to the expression of the pain, of separation, he says:—
'There is One above who knows what a trial it is to you. For myself, hard as it is, and almost too hard sometimes, yet I have relief in the variety and unceasing-multiplicity of my occupations. Not a moment of any day can I be said to be idle. Literally, I have not yet had a minute to untie my "Guardians;" but for you, with more time for meditating, with no change of scene, with every object that meets you at home and in your daily walks reminding you of me, it must indeed be such a trial as angels love to look upon when it is borne patiently, and with a perfect assurance that God is ordering all things for our good; and so let us struggle on to the end. All good powers are on our side, and we shall meet by the infinite mercy one day when there shall be no separation for ever.
'I read on in your letter till I came to "Dear Coley, it is very hard to live without you,"—and I broke down and cried like a child. I was quite alone out in the fields on a glorious bright day, and it was the relief I had longed for. The few simple words told me the whole story, and I prayed with my whole heart that you might find strength in the hour of sadness. Do (as you say you do) let your natural feelings work; do not force yourself to appear calm, do not get excited if you can help it; but if your mind is oppressed with the thought of my absence, do not try to drive it away by talking about something else, or taking up a book, etc.; follow it out, see what it ends in, trace out the spiritual help and comfort which have already, it may be, resulted from it, the growth of dependence upon God above; meditate upon the real idea of separation, and think of Mamma and Uncle Frank.'
'August 26, 1855, 10.40 P.M.: S. Stephen's, Auckland. 'My dear Arthur,—I am tired with my Sunday work, which is heavy in a colony, but I just begin my note on the anniversary of your dear, dear father's death. How vividly I remember all the circumstances of the last ten days—the peaceful, holy, happy close of a pure and well- spent life! I do so think of him, not a day passing without my mind dwelling on him; I love to find myself calling up the image of his dear face, and my heart is very full when I recollect all his love for me, and the many, many tokens of affection which he used to pour out from his warm, generous, loving heart. I can hardly tell you what an indescribable comfort it is to me now I think of these things, cut off from the society and sympathy of friends and the associations of home; the memory is very active in recalling such scenes, and I almost live in them again. I have very little time for indulging in fancies of any kind now; I begin to get an idea of what work is; but in my walks or at night (if I am awake), I think of dear Mamma and your dear father, and others who are gone before, with unmixed joy and comfort. You may be quite sure that I am not likely to forget anybody or anything connected with home. How I do watch and follow them through the hours of the day or night when we are both awake and at our work! I turn out at 6.45, and think of them at dinner or tea; at 10, I think of them at evening prayers; and by my own bed-time they are in morning church or busied about their different occupations, and I fancy I can almost see them.
'So it goes on, and still I am calm and happy and very well; and I think I am in my place and hope to be made of some use some day. I like the natives in this school very much. The regular wild untamed fellow is not so pleasant at first—dirty, unclothed, always smoking, a mass of blankets, his wigwam sort of place filthy; his food ditto; but then he is probably intelligent, hospitable, and not insensible to the advantage of hearing about religion. It only wants a little practice to overcome one's English feelings about dress, civilisation, etc., and that will soon come.
'But here the men are nice fellows, and the women and girls make capital servants; and so whereas many of the clergy and gentry do not keep a servant (wages being enormous), and ladies like your sisters and mine do the whole work of the housemaid, nursery-maid, and cook (which I have seen and chatted about with them), I, on the contrary, by Miss Maria (a wondrous curly-headed, black-eyed Maori damsel, arrayed in a "smock," weiter nichts), have my room swept, bed made, tub—yes, even in New Zealand—daily filled and emptied, and indeed all the establishment will do anything for me. I did not care about it, as I did all for myself aboard ship; but still I take it with a very good grace.
'In about six weeks I expect we shall sail all round the English settlement of New Zealand, and go to Chatham Island. This will occupy about three months, and the voyage will be about 4,000 miles. Then we start at once, upon our return, for four months in the Bush, among the native villages, on foot. Then, once again taking ship, away for Melanesia. So that, once off, I shall be roving about for nearly a year, and shall, if all goes well, begin the really missionary life.
'It is late, and the post goes to morrow. Good-bye, my dear Arthur; write when you can.
'Ever your affectionate
'J. C. PATTESON.'
'August 27.—I have just been interrupted by Mrs. Kissling, who came to ask me to baptize privately the young son of poor Eota, the native deacon, and his wife Terena. Poor fellow! This child was born two or three days after he left this place for Taranaki with the Bishop, so he has not seen his son as yet. He has one boy about four, and has lost three or four others; and now this little one, about three weeks old, seems to be dying. I was almost glad that the first time I baptized a native child, using the native language, should be on Fan's birthday. It was striking to see the unaffected sympathy of the natives here. The poor mother came with the child in her arms to the large room. A table with a white cloth in the centre, and nearly the whole establishment assembled. I doubt if you would have seen in England grown-up men and women more thoroughly in earnest. It was the most comforting private baptism I ever witnessed.
'Henri has been for an hour or more this morning asking me questions which you would seldom hear from farmers or tradesmen at home, showing a real acquaintance with the Bible, and such a desire, hunger and thirst, for knowledge. What was the manna in the wilderness? he began. He thought it was food that angels actually lived upon, and quoted the verse in the Psalm readily, "So man did eat angel's food." So I took him into the whole question of the spiritual body; the various passages, "meats for the belly," etc., our Lord's answer to the Sadducees, and so on to 1 Cor. xv. Very interesting to watch the earnestness of the man and his real pleasure in assenting to the general conclusion expressed in 1 John iii. 2 concerning our ignorance of what we shall be, not implying want of power on God's part to explain, but His divine will in not withdrawing the veil wholly from so great a mystery. "E marama ana," (I see it clearly now): "He mea ngaro!" (a mystery). His mind had wholly passed from the carnal material view of life in heaven, and the idea of food for the support of the spiritual body, and the capacity for receiving the higher truths (as it were) of Christianity showed itself more clearly in the young New Zealander than you would find perhaps in the whole extent of a country parish. I think that when I know the language well enough to catechize freely, it will be far more interesting, and I shall have a far more intelligent set of catechumens, than in England. They seem especially fond of it, ask questions constantly, and will get to the bottom of the thing, and when the catechist is up to the mark and quick and wily in both question and illustration, they get so eager and animated, all answering together, quoting texts, etc. I think that their knowledge of the Bible is in some sense attributable to its being almost the only book printed that they care much about.'
The 11th of September produced another long letter full of home feeling, drawn forth in response to his sister. Here are some extracts:—
'Sometimes I cannot help wishing that I could say all this, but not often. There is One who understands, and in really great trials even, it is well to lean only on Him. But I must write freely. You will not think me moody and downhearted, because I show you that I do miss you, and often feel lonely and shut up in myself. This is exactly what I experience, and I think if I was ill, as you often are, I should break down under it; but God is very merciful to me in keeping me in very good health, so that I am always actively engaged every day, and when night comes I am weary in body, and sleep sound almost always, so that the time passes very rapidly indeed, and I am living in a kind of dream, hardly realizing the fact of my being at half the world's distance from you, but borne on from day to day, I scarcely know how. Indeed, when I do look back upon the past six months, I have abundant cause to be thankful. I never perhaps shall know fully how it is, but somehow, as a matter of fact, I am on the whole cheerful, and always busy and calm in mind. I don't have tumultuous bursts of feeling and overwhelming floods of recollection that sweep right away all composure. Your first letters upset me more than once as I re-read them, but I think of you all habitually with real joy and peace of mind. And I am really happy, not in the sense that happiness presents itself always, or exactly in the way that I used to feel it when with you all, or as I should feel it if I were walking up to the lodge with my whole heart swelling within me. It is much more quiet and subdued, and does not perhaps come and go quite as much; but yet in the midst of all, I half doubt sometimes whether everything about and within me is real. I just move on like a man in a dream, but this again does not make me idle. I don't suppose I ever worked harder, on the whole, than I do now, and I have much anxious work at the Hospital. Such cases, Fan! Only two hours ago, I left a poor sailor, by whose side I had been kneeling near three-quarters of an hour, holding his sinking head and moistening his mouth with wine, the dews of death on his forehead, and his poor emaciated frame heaving like one great pulse at each breath. For four days that he has been there (brought in a dying state from the Merchantman) I have been with him, and yesterday I administered to him the Holy Communion. He had spoken earnestly of his real desire to testify the sincerity of his repentance and faith and love. I have been there daily for nine days, but I cannot always manage it, as it is nearly two miles off. The responsibility is great of dealing with such cases, but I trust that God will pardon all my sad mistakes. I cannot withhold the Bread of Life when I see indications of real sorrow for sin, and the simple readiness to obey the command of Christ, even though there is great ignorance and but little time to train a soul for heaven. I cannot, as you may suppose, prepare for my Sunday work as I ought to do, from want of time. Last Sunday I had three whole services, besides reading the Communion Service and preaching at 11 A.M., and reading Prayers at 5 P.M. I should have preached five times but that I left my sermon at Mr. T.'s, thinking to go back for it.... Mrs. K. gave me an old "Woolmer" the other day, which gladdened my eyes. Little bits of comfort come in, you see, in these ways. Nothing can be kinder than the people here, I mean in Auckland and its neighbourhood—real, simple, hearty kindness. Perhaps the work at Kohimarama is most irksome to me. It is no joke to keep sailors in good humour ashore, and I fear that our presence on board was much needed during the passage out.'