This was the more unfortunate because the very day after her arrival Mr. Dudley was prostrated by something of a sunstroke. Martin Tehele was ill already, and rapidly became worse; and Wadrokala and Harper Malo sickened immediately, nor was the former patient recovered. Mr. Dudley, Wadrokala and Harper were for many days in imminent danger, and were scarcely dragged through by the help of six bottles of wine, providentially sent by the Bishop. Mr. Dudley says:—
'During the voyage Mr. Patteson's powers of nursing were severely tried. Poor Martin passed away before we arrived at Nengone, and was committed to the deep. Before he died he was completely softened by Mr. Patteson's loving care, and asked pardon for all the trouble he had given and the fretfulness he had shown. Poor fellow! I well remember how he gasped out the Lord's Prayer after Mr. Patteson a few minutes before he died. We all who had crawled up round his bed joining in with them.
'Oh, what a long dreary time that was! Light baffling winds continually, and we in a vessel as different from the "Southern Cross" as possible, absolutely guiltless, I should think, of having ever made two miles an hour to windward "in a wind." The one thing that stands out as having relieved its dreariness is the presence of Mr. Patteson, the visits he used to pay to us, and the exquisite pathos of his voice as, from the corner of the hold where we lay, we could hear him reading the Morning and Evening Prayers of the Church and leading the hymn. These prevented these long weary wakeful days and nights from being absolutely insupportable.'
At last Nengone was reached, and Wadrokala and Harper were there set ashore, better, but very weak. Here the tidings were known that in Lifu John Cho had lost his wife Margaret, and had married the widow of a Karotongan teacher, a very suitable match, but too speedy to be according to European ideas; and on November 26 the 'Zillah' was off the Three Kings, New Zealand.
'Monday: Nov. 26, 1860. '"Zillah" Schooner, off the Three Kings, N. of New Zealand.
'You know pretty well that Kohimarama is a small bay, about one-third of a mile along the sea frontage, two-and-a-half miles due east of Auckland, and just opposite the entrance into the harbour, between the North Head and Eangitoto. The beach is composed entirely of the shells of "pipi" (small cockles); always, therefore, dry and pleasant to walk upon. A fence runs along the whole length of it. At the eastern end of it, a short distance inside this N. (= sea) fence, are the three cottages of the master and mate and Fletcher. Sam Fletcher is a man-of-war's man, age about thirty-eight, who has been with us some four years and a half. He has all the habits of order and cleanliness that his life as coxswain of the captain's gig taught him; he is a very valuable fellow. He is our extra man at sea.
'Each of these cottages has its garden, and all three men are married, but only the master (Grange) has any family, one married daughter.
'Then going westward comes a nine-acre paddock, and then a dividing fence, inside (i.e. to W.) of which stand our buildings.
'Now our life here is hard to represent. It is not like the life of an ordinary schoolmaster, still less like that of an ordinary clergyman. Much of the domestic and cooking department I may manage, of course, to superintend. I would much rather do this than have the nuisance of a paid servant.
'So at 5 A.M., say, I turn out; I at once go to the kitchen, and set the two cooks of the week to work, light fire, put on yams or potatoes, then back to dress, read, &c.; in and out all the time, of the kitchen till breakfast time: say 8 or 8.30. You would be surprised to see how very soon the lads will do it all by themselves, and leave me or Mr. Kerr to give all our attention to school and other matters.
'So you can fancy, Joan, now, the manner of life. My little room with my books is my snuggery during the middle of the day, and at night I have also a large working table at one end of the big school- room, covered with books, papers, &c., and here I sit a good deal, my room being too small to hold the number of books that I require to have open for comparison of languages, and for working out grammatical puzzles. Then I am in and out of the kitchen and store- room, and boys' rooms, seeing that all things, clothes, blankets, floors, &c., are washed and kept clean, and doing much what is done in every house.'
Snuggery no doubt it looked compared with the 'Zillah;' but what would the 'Eton fellow' of fifteen years back have thought of the bare, scantily furnished room, with nothing but the books, prints, and photographs around to recall the tastes of old, and generally a sick Melanesian on the floor? However, he was glad enough to return thither, though with only sixteen scholars from ten places. Among them was Taroniara from Bauro, who was to be his follower, faithful to death. The following addition was made to the letter to Mr. Edward Coleridge, begun in Banks Islands:—
'Kohimarama: Dec. 1, 1860.
'One line, my dear tutor, before I finish off my pile of hastily written letters for this mail.
'Alas! alas! for the little schooner, that dear little vessel, our home for so many months of each year, so admirably qualified for her work. Whether she may be got off her sandy bed, no one can say. Great expense would certainly be incurred, and the risk of success great also.
'I have not yet had time to talk to the Bishop, I only reached New Zealand on November 28. We cannot, however, well do our work in chartered vessels [then follows a full detail of the imperfections of the 'Zillah' and all other Australian merchant craft; then— But, dear old tutor, even the "Southern Cross" (though what would I give to see her now at her usual anchorage from the window at which I am now sitting!) for a time retires into the distance, as I think of what is to take place (D.V.) in January next.
'I hoped that I had persuaded the Bishop that the meeting of the General Synod in February 1862 would be a fit time. I do not see that the Duke's despatch makes any difference in the choice of the time. But all was settled in my absence; and now at the Feast of the Epiphany or of the Conversion of St. Paul (as suits the convenience of the Southern Bishops) the Consecration is to take place. I am heartily glad that the principle of consecrating Missionary Bishops will be thus affirmed and acted upon; but oh! if some one else was to be the Bishop!
'And yet I must not distrust God's grace, and the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable me for this work. I try and pray to be calm and resigned, and I am happy and cheerful.
'And it is a blessed thing that now three of your old dear friends, once called Selwyn, Abraham, Hobhouse should be consecrating your own nephew and pupil, gathered by God's providence into the same part of God's field at the ends of the earth.'
Still with his heart full of the never-forgotten influence of his mother, he thus begins his home letter of the same date:—
'Kohimarama: Dec. 1.
'My dearest Father,—I could not write on November 28, but the memory of that day in 1842 was with me from morning to night. We anchored on that day at 1 A.M., and I was very busy till late at night. I had no idea till I came back from the Islands that there was any change in the arrangements for the consecration in February 1862. But now the Bishops of Wellington and Nelson have been summoned for the Feast of the Epiphany, or of the conversion of St. Paul, and all was done in my absence. I see, too, that you in England have assumed that the consecration will take place soon after the reception of the Duke's despatch.
'I must not now shrink from it, I know. I have full confidence in your judgment, and in that of the Bishop; and I suppose that if I was speaking of another, I should say that I saw reasons for it. But depend upon it, my dear Father, that a man cannot communicate to another the whole of the grounds upon which he feels reluctant to accept an office. I believe that I ought to accept this in deference to you all, and I do so cheerfully, but I don't, say that my judgment agrees wholly with you all.
'And yet there is no one else; and if the separation of New Zealand and Melanesia is necessary, I see that this must be the consequence. So I regard it now as a certainty. I pray God to strengthen and enable me: I look forward, thanks to Him, hopefully and cheerfully. I have the love and the prayers of many, many friends, and soon the whole Church of England will recognise me as one who stands in special need of grace and strength from above.
'Oh! the awful power of heathenism! the antagonism, not of evil only, but of the Evil One, rather, I mean the reality felt of all evil emanating from a person, as St. Paul writes, and as our Lord spoke of him. I do indeed at times feel overwhelmed, as if I was in a dream. Then comes some blessed word or thought of comfort, and promised strength and grace.
'But enough of this.
'The "Southern Cross" cannot, I think, be got off without great certain expense and probable risk. I think we shall have to buy another vessel, and I dare say she may be built at home, but I don't know what is the Bishop's mind about it....
'I shall write to Merton, I don't know why I should needs vacate my fellowship. I have no change of outward circumstances brought upon me by my change presently from the name of Presbyter to Bishop, and we want all the money.
'What you say about a Missionary Bishop being for five months of the year within the diocese of another Bishop, I will talk over with the Bishop of New Zealand. I think our Synodical system will make that all right; and as for my work, it will be precisely the same in all respects, my external life altered only to the extent of my wearing a broader brimmed and lower crowned hat. Dear Joan is investing moneys in cutaway coats, buckles without end, and no doubt knee-breeches and what she calls "gambroons" (whereof I have no cognizance), none of which will be worn more than (say) four or five times in the year. Gambroons and aprons and lawn sleeves won't go a-voyaging, depend upon it. Just when I preach in some Auckland church I shall appear in full costume; but the buckles will grow very rusty indeed!
'How kind and good of her to take all the trouble, I don't laugh at that, and at her dear love for me and anxiety that I should have everything; but I could not help having a joke about gambroons, whatever they are....
'Good-bye once more, my dearest Father. You will, I trust, receive this budget about the time of your birthday. How I think of you day and night, and how I thank you for all your love, and perhaps most of all, not only letting me come to Melanesia, but for your great love in never calling me away from my work even to see your face once more on earth.
'Your loving and dutiful son,
'J. C. PATTESON.'
Remark upon a high-minded letter is generally an impertinence both to the writer and the reader, but I cannot help pausing upon the foregoing, to note the force of the expression that thanks the father for the love that did not recall the son. What a different notion these two men had of love from that which merely seeks self- gratification! Observe, too, how the old self-contemplative, self- tormenting spirit, that was unhappiness in those days of growth and heart-searching at the first entrance into the ministry, had passed into humble obedience and trust. Looking back to the correspondence of ten years ago, volumes of progress are implied in the quiet 'Enough of this.'
There were, however, some delays in bringing the three together, and on the New Year's Day of 1861, the designate writes to Bishop Abraham: 'I dare say the want of any positive certainty as to the time of the Consecration is a good discipline for me. I think I feel calm now; but I know I must not trust feelings, and when I think of those islands and the practical difficulty of getting at them, and the need of so many of those qualities which are so wonderfully united in our dear Primate, I need strength from above indeed to keep my heart from sinking. But I think that I do long and desire to work on by God's grace, and not to look to results at all.'
A 'supplementary mail' made possible a birthday letter (the last) written at 6 A.M. on the 11th of February: 'I wanted of course to write to you to-day. Many happy returns of it I wish you indeed, for it may yet please God to prolong your life; but in any case you know well how I am thinking and praying for you that every blessing and comfort may be given you. Oh I how I do think of you night and day. When Mrs. Selwyn said "Good-bye," and spoke of you, I could not stand it. I feel that anything else (as I fancy) I can speak of with composure; but the verses in the Bible, such as the passage which I read yesterday in St. Mark x., almost unnerve me, and I can't wish it to be otherwise. But I feel that my place is here, and that I must look to the blessed hope of meeting again hereafter....
'Of course no treat is so great to me as the occasional talks with the Bishop. Oh! the memory of those days and evenings on board the "Southern Cross." Well, it was so happy a life that it was not good for me, I suppose, that it should last. But I feel it now that the sense of responsibility is deepening on me, and I must go out to work without him; and very, very anxious I am sometimes, and almost oppressed by it.
'But strength will come; and it is not one's own work, which is the comfort, and if I fail (which is very likely) God will place some other man in my position, and the work will go on, whether in my hands or not, and that is the real point.
'Some talk I find there has been about my going home. I did not hear of it until after Mrs. Selwyn had sailed. It was thought of, but it was felt, as I certainly feel, that it ought not to be.... My work lies out here clearly; and it is true that any intermission of voyages or residences in the islands is to be avoided.'
Mrs. Selwyn had gone home for a year, and had so arranged as to see the Patteson family almost immediately on her return. Meantime the day drew on. The Consecration was not by Royal mandate, as in the case of Bishops of sees under British jurisdiction; but the Duke of Newcastle, then Colonial Secretary, wrote:—'That the Bishops of New Zealand are at liberty, without invasion of the Royal prerogative or infringement of the law of England, to exercise what Bishop Selwyn describes as their inherent power of consecrating Mr. Patteson or any other person to take charge of the Melanesian Islands, provided that the consecration should take place beyond British territory.'
In consequence it was proposed that the three consecrating Bishops should take ship and perform the holy rite in one of the isles beneath the open sky; but as Bishop Mackenzie had been legally consecrated in Cape Town Cathedral, the Attorney-General of New Zealand gave it as his opinion that there was no reason that the consecration should not take place in Auckland.
'Kohimarama: Feb. 15, 1861.
'My dearest Father,—Mr. Kerr, who has just returned from Auckland, where he spent yesterday, brings me the news that the question of the Consecration has been settled, and that it will take place (D.V.) on Sunday week, St. Matthias Day, February 24.
'I ought not to shrink back now. The thought has become familiar to me, and I have the greatest confidence in the judgment of the Bishop of New Zealand; and I need not say how your words and letters and prayers too are helping me now.
'Indeed, though at any great crisis of our lives no doubt we are intended to use more than ordinary strictness in examining our motives and in seeking for greater grace, deeper repentance, more earnest and entire devotion to God, and amendment of life, yet I know that any strong-emotion, if it existed now, would pass away soon, and that I must be the same man as Bishop as I am now, in this sense, viz., that I shall have just the same faults, unless I pray for strength to destroy them, which I can do equally well now, and that all my characteristic and peculiar habits of mind will remain unchanged by what will only change my office and not myself. So that where I am indolent now I shall be indolent henceforth, unless I seek to get rid of indolence; and I shall not be at all better, wiser, or more consistent as Bishop than I am now by reason simply of being a Bishop.
'You know my meaning. Now I apply what I write to prove that any strong excitement now would be no evidence of a healthy state of mind. I feel now like myself, and that is not at all like what I wish to be. And so I thank God that as before any solemn season special inducements to earnest repentance are put into our minds, so I now feel a special call upon me to seek by His grace to make a more faithful use of the means of usefulness which He gives me, that I may be wholly and entirely turned to Him, and so be enabled to do His will in Melanesia. You know, my dearest Father, that I do not indeed undervalue the grace of Ordination; only I mean that the right use of any great event in one's life, as I take it, is not to concentrate feeling so much on it as earnestness of purpose, prayer for grace, and for increase of simplicity and honesty and purity of heart. Perhaps other matters affect me more than my supposed state of feeling, so that my present calmness may be attributed to circumstances of which I am partially ignorant; and, indeed, I do wonder that I am calm when one moment's look at the map, or thought of the countless islands, almost overwhelms me. How to get at them? Where to begin? How to find men and means? How to decide upon the best method of teaching, &c.? But I must try to be patient, and to be content with very small beginnings—and endings, too, perhaps.
'Sunday, Feb. 24, St. Matthias, 10 A.M.—The day is come, my dearest Father, and finds me, I thank God, very calm. Yesterday, at 6 P.M., in the little chapel at Taurama, the three Bishops, the dear Judge, Lady Martin, Mrs. Abraham, Mr. Lloyd and I met together for special prayer. How we missed Mrs. Selwyn, dear dear Mrs. Selwyn, from among us, and how my thoughts passed on to you! Evening hymn, Exhortation in Consecration Service, Litany from the St. Augustine's Missionary Manual, with the questions in Consecration Service turned into petitions, Psalm cxxxii., cxxxi., li.; Lesson i Tim. iii.; special prayer for the Elect Bishop among the heathen, for the conversion of the heathen; and the Gloria in Excelsis.
'Then the dear Bishop walked across to me, and taking my hand in both of his, looking at me with that smile of love and deep deep thought, so seldom seen, and so deeply prized. "I can't tell you what I feel," he said, with a low and broken voice. "You know it—my heart is too full! "
'Ah! the memory of six years with that great and noble servant of God was in my heart too, and so we stood, tears in our eyes, and I unable to speak.
'At night again, when, after arranging finally the service, I was left with him alone, he spoke calmly and hopefully. Much he said of you, and we are all thinking much of you. Then he said: "I feel no misgiving in my heart; I think all has been done as it should be. Many days we three have discussed the matter. By prayer and Holy Communion we have sought light from above, and it is, I believe, God's will." Then once more taking both hands, he kissed my forehead: "God bless you, my dear Coley. I can't say more words, and you don't desiderate them."
'"No," said I; "my heart, as yours, is too full for words. I have lived six years with you to little purpose, if I do not know you full well now!"
'And then I walked, in the perfect peace of a still cloudless night— the moon within two days of full—the quarter of a mile to St. Stephen's schools, where I slept last night. On the way I met the Bishop of Wellington and Mrs. Abraham, coming up from St. Stephen's to the Bishop's house.
J. C. P.—What a night of peace! the harbour like a silver mirror!
'B. of W.—Dominus tecum.
'Mrs. A.—I trust you will sleep.
'J. C. P.—I thank you; I think so. I feel calm.
'Sunday Night, 10 P.M. (Feniton, Sunday, 10.40 A.M.)—It is over—a most solemn blessed service. Glorious day. Church crowded—many not able to find admittance; but orderly. More than two hundred communicants. More to-morrow (D.V.). All day you have been in our minds. The Bishop spoke of you in his sermon with faltering voice, and I broke down; yet at the moment of the Veni Creator being sung over me, and the Imposition of Hands, I was very calm. The Bible presented is the same that you gave me on my fifth birthday with your love and blessing. Oh! my dear dear Father, God will bless you for all your love to me, and your love to Him in giving me to His service. May His heavenly blessing be with you—all your dear ones for ever!
'Your most loving and dutiful Son,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.
'February 25th.—I am spending to-day and to-morrow here—i.e., sleeping at the Judge's, dining and living half at his house, and half at the Bishop's—quiet and calm it is, and I prize it. The music yesterday was very good; organ well played. The choirs of the three town churches, and many of the choral society people, filled the gallery—some eighty voices perhaps. The Veni Creator the only part that was not good, well sung, but too much like an anthem.
'Tagalana, half-sitting, half-kneeling behind me, held the book for the Primate to read from at the Imposition of Hands—a striking group, I am told.'
Here ends the letter, to which a little must be added from other pens; and, first, from Mrs. Abraham's letter for the benefit of Eton friends:—
'The Consecration was at St. Paul's Church, in default of a Cathedral. Built before the Bishop arrived, St. Paul's has no chancel: and the Clergy, including a Maori Deacon, were rather crowded within the rail. Mr. Patteson was seated in a chair in front, ten of his island boys close to him, and several working men of the rougher sort were brought into the benches near. We were rather glad of the teaching that none were excluded. The service was all in harmony with the occasion; and the sermon gave expression to all the individual and concentrated feeling of the moment, as well as pointing the Lesson and its teaching.
'The sermon was on the thought of the Festival: "And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two Thou hast chosen." (Acts i. 24.) After speaking of the special import and need of the prayers of those gathered to offer up their prayers at the Holy Communion, for those who were to exercise the office of apostles in their choice, he spoke in words that visibly almost overpowered their subject:—
'"In this work of God, belonging to all eternity, and to the Holy Catholic Church, are we influenced by any private feelings, any personal regard? The charge which St. Paul gives to Timothy, in words of awful solemnity, 'to lay hands suddenly on no man,' may well cause much searching of heart. 'I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things, without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.' Does our own partial love deceive us in this choice? We were all trained in the same place of education, united in the same circle of friends; in boyhood, youth, manhood, we have shared the same services, and joys, and hopes, and fears. I received this, my son in the ministry of Christ Jesus, from the hands of a father, of whose old age he was the comfort. He sent him forth without a murmur, nay, rather with joy and thankfulness, to these distant parts of the earth. He never asked even to see him again, but gave him up without reserve to the Lord's work. Pray, dear brethren, for your Bishops, that our partial love may not deceive us in this choice, for we cannot so strive against natural affection as to be quite impartial."
'And again, as the Primate, addressing more especially his beloved son in the ministry, exclaimed, "May Christ be with you when you go forth in His name, and for His sake, to those poor and needy people," and his eye went along the dusky countenances of his ten boys, Coleridge Patteson could hardly restrain his intensity of feeling.'
Another letter from the same lady to the sisters adds further details to the scene, after describing the figures in the church:—
'Lady Martin, who had never seen the dress (the cassock and rochet) before, said that Coley reminded her of the figures of some young knight watching his armour, as he stood in his calm stedfastness, and answered the questions put to him by the Primate.
'The whole service was very nicely ordered, and the special Psalm well chanted. With one exception (which was, alas! the Veni Creator), the music was good, and Coley says was a special help to him; the pleasure of it, and the external hold that it gave, helping him out of himself, as it were, and sustaining him.'
Lady Martin adds her touch to the picture; and it may perhaps be recorded for those who may in after times read the history of the first Bishop of the Melanesian Church, that whatever might be wanting in the beauty of St. Paul's, Auckland, never were there three Bishops who outwardly as well as inwardly more answered to the dignity of their office than the three who stood over the kneeling Coleridge Patteson.
'I shall never forget the expression of his face as he knelt in the quaint rochet. It was meek and holy and calm, as though all conflict was over and he was resting in the Divine strength. It was altogether a wonderful scene: the three consecrating Bishops, all such noble-looking men, the goodly company of clergy and Hohua's fine intelligent brown face among them, and then the long line of island boys, and of St. Stephen's native teachers and their wives, were living testimonies of Mission work. Coley had told us in the morning of a consecration he had seen at Rome, where a young Greek deacon had held a large illuminated book for the Pope to read the words of Consecration. We had no such gorgeous dresses as they, but nothing could have been more simply beautiful and touching than the sight of Tagalana's young face as he did the same good office. There was nothing artistic about it; the boy came forward with a wondering yet bright look on his pleasant face, just dressed in his simple grey blouse.
'You will read the sermon, so there is no need to talk about it. Your brother was overcome for a minute at the reference to his father, but the comfort and favour of His Heavenly Master kept him singularly calm, though the week before he had undoubtedly had much struggle, and his bodily health was affected.'
All the friends who were thus brought together were like one family, and still called the new Bishop by the never disused abbreviation that recalled his home. He was the guest of the now retired Chief Justice and Lady Martin, who were occupying themselves in a manner probably unique in the history of law and lawyers, by taking charge of the native school at St. Stephen's.
The next two were great days of letter writing. Another long full letter was written to the father, telling of the additional record which each of the three consecrating Bishops had written in the Bible of his childhood, and then going into business matters, especially hoping that the Warden and Fellows of Merton would not suppose that as a Bishop he necessarily had 5,000 a year and a palace, whereas in fact the see had no more than the capital of 5,000 required by Government! He had already agreed with his father that his own share of the inheritance should go to the Mission; and, as he says, on hearing the amount:—
'Hard enough you worked, my dear Father, to leave your children so well off. Dear old Jem will have enough; and my children now dwell in 200 islands, and will need all that I can give them. God grant that the day may come when many of them may understand these things, and rise up and call your memory blessed!
'Your words of comfort and blessing come to me with fresh strength just now, two days only after the time when you too, had you been here, would in private have laid your hand on my head and called down God's blessing upon me. I shall never know in this world what I owe to your prayers.'
There is much, too, of his brother's marriage; and in a separate letter to the sisters there are individual acknowledgments of each article of the equipment, gratifying the donor by informing her that the 'cutaway' coat was actually to be worn that very evening at a dinner party at the Chief Justice's, and admiring the 'gambroon,' which turned out to be the material of the cassock, so much as to wish for a coat made of it for the islands. Apropos of the hat:— 'You know my forehead is square, so that an oval hat does not fit; it would hang on by the temples, which form a kind of right angle with the forehead.'
Another letter of that 26th was from the Bishop of Wellington to Dr. Goodford respecting this much-loved old pupil:—
'Anything more conscientious and painstaking cannot be conceived than the way he has steadily directed every talent, every hour or minute of his life, to the one work he had set before him. However small or uncongenial or drumdrudgery-like his occupation, however hard, or dangerous, or difficult, it seemed to be always met in the same calm, gentle, self-possessed spirit of love and duty, which I should fancy that those who well knew his good and large-minded, large-hearted father, and his mother, whom I have always heard spoken of as saintly, could best understand. Perhaps the most marked feature in his character is his genuine simplicity and humility. I never saw it equalled in one so gifted and so honoured and beloved.
'It is really creditable to the community to see how universal is the admiration for his character, for he is so very good, so exceedingly unworldly, and therefore such a living rebuke to the selfishness of the world; and though so gentle, yet so firm and uncompromising that you would have supposed he would hardly be popular outside the circle of friends who know him and understand him. Certainly he is the most perfect character I ever met.'
The last day of February was that of the Installation.
Again Mrs. Abraham must speak:—
'On Thursday last we had another happy day at Kohimarama, where Bishop Patteson was duly installed in the temporary chapel of St. Andrew's College, as we hope to call it, after the church at Cocksmoor, in "The Daisy Chain." The morning was grey, and we feared rain would keep us ladies away, hut we made the venture with our willing squire, Mr. M——, in the "Iris" boat to help us. The pity was, that after all Lady Martin could not go, as she had an invalid among her Maori flock, whom she could not trust all day by herself. The day lightened, and our sail was pleasant.
'The Primate and Missionary Bishop planted a Norfolk pine in the centre of the quadrangle—"the tree planted by the water side," &c. The Bishop then robed and proceeded to chapel, and the Primate led the little service in which he spoke the words of installation, and the mew Bishop took the oath of allegiance to him. The Veni Creator was sung, and the Primate's blessing-given. The island boys looked on from one transept, the "Iris" sailors from another, and Charlie stood beside me. I am afraid his chief remembrance of the day is fixed upon Kanambat's tiny boat and outrigger, which he sat in on the beach, and went on voyages, in which the owner waded by his side, and saw him (Kanambat) skim along the waves like a white butterfly. We all dined in hall, after the boys, on roast beef and plum pudding, melons and water melons, and strolled about the place and beach at leisure, till it was time to sail back again.'
On the Sunday the new Bishop preached at St. Mary's one of the sermons that broke from him when he was too much excited (if the word may be used) for his usual metaphysical style. The subject was the promise of the Comforter, His eternal presence and anointing, and the need of intercessory prayer, for which the preacher besought earnestly, as one too young for his office, and needing to increase in the Holy Spirit more and more. Very far were these from being unrealised words. God's grace had gone along with him, and had led him through every step and stage of his life, and so mastered his natural defects, that friends who only knew him in these years hear with incredulous indignation of those flaws he had conquered in his younger days. 'Fearless as a man, tender as a woman, showing both the best sides of human nature,' says one of the New Zealand friends who knew him best; 'always drawing out the good in all about him by force of sympathy, and not only taking care that nothing should be done by others that he would not do himself, but doing himself what he did not like to ask of them, and thinking that they excelled him.' Humility, the effort of his life, was achieved at last the more truly because not consciously.
The letter to his father was again almost wholly on money matters; but at the end come two notable sentences:—
'How can I thank you for giving me up to this work, and for all the wise and loving words with which you constantly cheer me and encourage me? Your blessing comes now to strengthen me, as work and responsibilities are fast accumulating upon me. I thank God that He enables us at the two ends of the world to see this matter in the same way, so that no conflict of duties arises in my mind.
'This book, "Essays and Reviews," I have, but pray send your copy also; also any good books that may be produced bearing on that great question of the Atonement, and on Inspiration, Authority of Scripture, &c. How sad it is to see that spirit of intellectualism thinking to deal with religion in forgetfulness of the necessary conditions of humility and faith! How different from the true gnosis!'
'Kohimarama: April 29, 1861.
'My dearest Father,—As I read your letters of Feb. 21-25, you are, I trust, reading mine which tell you of what took place on Feb. 24. That point is settled. I almost fear to write that I am a Bishop in the Church of Christ. May God strengthen me for the duties of the office to which I trust He has indeed called me!
'As I read of what you say so wisely and truly, and dear Joan and Fan and Aunt James and all, of my having expected results too rapidly at Mota, I had sitting with me that dear boy Tagalana, who for two months last winter was in the great sacred enclosure, though, dear lad, not by his own will, yet his faith was weak, and no wonder.
'Now, God's holy name be praised for it, he is, I verily believe, in his very soul, taught by the Spirit to see and desire to do his duty. I feel more confidence about him than I have done about anyone who has come into my hands originally in a state of complete heathenism. It is not that his knowledge only is accurate and clearly grasped, but the humility, the loving spirit, the (apparent) personal appropriation of the blessing of having been brought to know the love of God and the redemption wrought for him by the death of Christ; this is what, as I look upon his clear truthful eyes, makes me feel so full of thankfulness and praise.
'"But Tagalana, if I should die, you used to say that without my help you should perhaps fall back again: is that true?"
'"No, no; I did not feel it then as I do now in my heart. I can't tell how it came there, only I know He can never die, and will always be with me. You know you said you were only like a sign-post, to point out the way that leads to Him, and I see that we ought to follow you, but to go altogether to Him."
'I can't tell you, my dearest Father, what makes up the sum of my reasons for thinking that God is in His mercy bringing this dear boy to be the first-fruits of Mota unto the Christ, but I think that there is an inward teaching going on now in his heart, which gives me sure hope, for I know it is not my doing.
'All you all say about Mota is most true: I never thought otherwise really, but I wrote down my emotions and impulses rather than my deliberate thoughts, that my letter written under such strange circumstances might become as a record of the effect produced day by day upon us by outward circumstances.
'What some of you say about self-possession on one's going about among the people being marvellous, is just what of course appears to me commonplace. Of course it is wrong to risk one's life, but to carry one's life in one's hand is what other soldiers besides those of the Cross do habitually; and no one, as I think, would willingly hurt a hair of my head in Melanesia, or that part of it where I am at all known.
'How I think of those islands! How I see those bright coral and sandy beaches, strips of burning sunshine fringing the masses of forest rising into ridges of hills, covered with a dense mat of vegetation. Hundreds of people are crowding upon them, naked, armed, with wild uncouth cries and gestures; I cannot talk to them but by signs. But they are my children now! May God enable me to do my duty to them!
'I have now as I write a deepening sense of what the change must be that has passed upon me. Again I go by God's blessing for seven months to Melanesia. All that our experience has taught us we try to remember: food, medicine, articles of trade and barter.
'But what may be the result? Who can tell? You know it is not of myself that I am thinking. If God of His great mercy lead me in His way, to me there is little worth living for but the going onward with His blessed work, though I like my talks with the dear Bishop and the Judge. But others are committed to me—Mr. Pritt and Mr. Kerr go with me. Shall I find dear old Wadrokala and Harper alive, and if alive, well?
'And yet, thank God, we go on day by day, so happy, so hopeful!
'I see two sermons by the Bishop of Oxford, "God's Revelation Man's Trial," please send them. They bear, I conclude, on the controversy of the day. I need not tell you that I find a very great interest in reading these books, or rather at present in talking now and then, when we meet, with the Judge on the subject of which those books treat. The books I have not read. But I know no refreshment so great as the reading any books which deal with these questions thoughtfully. I hope you don't think it wrong and dangerous for me to do so; pray tell me. I don't believe that I am wrong in doing it, yet it may be that I read them as an intellectual treat, and prefer them to thoughtful books on other subjects, because they deal with a study which I am a little more conversant with than with history, science, &c.
'Besides, I do see that we have, many of us, very vague notions of the meaning of terms which we use, and I see that I must be prepared (I speak for myself) to expect that a clergyman may not with impunity use a language wanting in definiteness and precision. It is possible that men do too passively receive hereditary and conventional opinions which never have a living reality to them. But this, you know, I do not confound with the humble submission to authoritative teaching, given upon authority, to supersede the necessity of every person investigating for himself the primary grounds of his religious convictions.'
It is worth noting how the Bishop submits his reading to his father's approval, as when he was a young boy. Alas! no more such letters of comfort and counsel would be exchanged. This one could hardly have been received by that much-loved father.
Preparations for the voyage were going on; but the 'Dunedin,' the only vessel to be procured, at best a carthorse to a racer compared with the 'Southern Cross,' was far from being in a satisfactory state, as appears in a note of 3rd of May to the Bishop of Wellington:—
'Here we are still. The only vessel that I could make any arrangement about not yet returned, and known to be in such a state that the pumps were going every two hours. I have not chartered her, but only agreed with the owner a month ago nearly that I would take her at a certain sum per day, subject to divers conditions about being caulked (which is all she wants, I have ascertained), being provided with spare sails, spars, chronometer, boat, &c., and all agreement to be off unless by a certain day (already past) she was in a state satisfactory to Mr. Kerr. But there is, I fear, none other, and I am in a difficulty.'
Of the same day is a letter to the Rev. Stephen Hawtrey:—
'Taurarua, Auckland: May 6, 1861.
'My dear Mr. Hawtrey,—I was highly pleased to receive a note from you. Though I never doubt of the hearty sympathy and co-operation of all Eton friends (how could you do so with such an annual subscription list?), yet it is very pleasant and more than pleasant to be reminded by word or by letter that prayers and wishes are being offered up for Melanesia by many good men throughout the world.
'I should like to send a special appeal for a Mission Vessel by the next mail. We cannot get on without one. Vessels built for freight are to the "Southern Cross" as a cart-horse to a thoroughbred steed, and we must have some vessel which can do the work quickly among the multitude of the isles, and many other reasons there are which we seamen only perhaps can judge fully, which make it quite essential to the carrying on this peculiar Mission that we should have a vessel of a peculiar kind.
'Tagalana, from Mota (Sugar Loaf Island), in the Banks Archipelago, is, I think, likely by God's great mercy to become the first-fruits of that cluster of islands unto Christ. He is here for the third time; and I have infinite comfort in seeing the earnestness of his character, and the deep sense of what he was, and what he is going to be, so truly realised.
'He is now so unlike what still his people are, so bright and open in manner, and all who see him say, "What is come to the lad, his manner and very appearance so changed!" "Clothed," thank God, he is, "and in his right mind," soon to sit, if not already seated, at the feet of Christ. You may, if you think fit, let your thoughts centre more especially in him. He, of all who have come into my hands absolutely stark naked and savage, gives now the greatest ground for hope and thanksgiving. I shall (D.V.) think of all your dear friends assembled in your church and house on St. Barnabas Day. May God bless and reward you all for your work of charity to Melanesia!
'Very sincerely yours,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.
'P.S.—I hope to baptize that dear boy Tagalana on his own island in the course of the winter. I should wish to make the service as impressive as possible, in the presence of as many islanders as I can bring to the spot, under the shadow of a mighty banyan tree, and above the sparkling waves of the great Pacific.'
The 'Dunedin' was patched up into sailing with the new Bishop for his cathedral—the banyan tree of Mota.
It carried him away to his work, away from all knowledge of the blow that was preparing for him at home, and thinking of the delight that was in store for his family in a visit from Mrs. Selwyn, who, immediately after his Consecration, had returned home to spend a year in England on business.
Sir John Patteson's happiness in his son's work and worth were far greater than those of the actual worker, having none of the drawbacks that consciousness of weakness must necessarily excite. The joy this gave his heart may, without exaggeration, be deliberately said to have been full compensation for the loss of the presence so nobly sacrificed. On January 22 he had written to the Bishop of New Zealand:—
'You write most kindly touching him, dear fellow, and truly I am to be envied, qui natum haberem tali ingenio praeditum. Not for a moment have I repented of giving my sanction to his going out to New Zealand; and I fully believe that God will prosper his work. I did not contemplate his becoming a Bishop, nor is that the circumstance which gives me the great satisfaction I feel. It is his devotion to so good a work, and that he should have been found adequate to its performance; whether as a Bishop or as a Priest is not of itself of so much importance.
'Perhaps he may have been consecrated before I am writing this, though I am puzzled as to the time....
'May God bless with the fullest success the labours of both of you in your high and Christian works!'
There had for more than a year been cause of anxiety for Sir John's health, but it was not the disease that had then threatened which occasioned the following calm-hearted letter to be written to his son:—
'Feniton Court: March 22, 1861.
'My own dearest Coley,—I promised always to tell you the truth respecting myself, and will do so. About a month ago, on my rising from reading prayers, the girls and the Dawlish party who were here exclaimed that my voice was broken, at which I laughed. Whitby was in London, but his partner happened to call, and looking at my throat found it relaxed, and recommended a mustard poultice on the front. When we came to put it on, we discovered that the glands of the throat were much swelled and in hard knots. Whitby returned in two days, and was much alarmed. He declared that it was serious, and nothing but iodine could check it. I had been unable to take iodine under Watson some years ago, as it affected my head tremendously, so he applied it outwardly by painting; this painting did not reduce them, and he strongly pressed my having London advice, for he said that if not reduced and the swellings increased internally, they would press on the windpipe and choke me: it was somewhat a surgical matter. So on Tuesday the 12th inst. we went to London, and I consulted Paget. He entirely agreed with Whitby, and thought it very serious, and ordered iodine internally at all hazards. I took it, and by God's mercy it agreed with me. Paget wished to talk over the case with Watson, and they met on the 16th, Saturday. They quite agreed, and did not conceal from me that if iodine did not reduce the swellings, and they should increase internally, the result must be fatal. How soon, or in what particular manner, they could not tell; it might even become cancerous. They did not wish me to stay in town, but thought I was better here, and Paget, knowing Whitby, has perfect confidence in his watching, and will correspond with him, if necessary. At present there is no reduction of the swellings. The iodine has certainly lessened the pains in my limbs, but does not seem, so to speak, to determine to the throat, but it may be there has been hardly time to say that it will not. My own impression is, that it will not, and that it is highly improbable that I shall last very long. I mean that I shall not see 1862, nor perhaps the summer or autumn of this year. I cannot tell why, but this near prospect of death has not given me any severe shock, as perhaps it ought to have done. It brings more than ever to my mind serious recollection of the sins of my youth, and the shortcomings of my after life in thousands of instances. I have never been a hardened sinner, but years ago, if I did what was sin, it smote me, and I tried to repent; yet there has always been in me a want of fervid love to God, and to my blessed Redeemer for His unspeakable love in suffering for my sins; but it has been cold—that may have been the natural constitution of the man, I cannot tell—but I never have placed my hopes of forgiveness and of blessedness hereafter in anything but in His merits, and most undeserved goodness in offering me salvation, if I have not thrown it away. But what shall I say? As the time approaches, it may please Him in His mercy to give me a warmer heart, and a more vivid perception of all that He has done for me. If I were to say that I am not a sinner, the truth would not be in me; and if I am washed in His blood and cleansed, it is not by any efforts or merits of my own, but by His unlimited mercy and goodness. Pray for me, that when the time comes I may not for any fears of death fall from Him. You know that as far as regards this world and its enjoyments, save the love of my dear good children, they have sate but lightly upon me for some time; but it is not because we have nothing that we are unwilling to leave, therefore we are prepared for that which is to come. Perhaps it may please God to give me still a short time that I may try more strenuously to prepare myself. We shall never meet again in this world. Oh! may Almighty God in His infinite mercy grant us to meet again in His kingdom, through the merits of our blessed Redeemer....
'Oh! my dearest Coley, what comfort I have had in you—what delightful conversations we have had together, and how thankful we ought to be to our gracious God for allowing it to be so: and still not less thankful for the blessings of being watched and comforted and soothed by the dear girls, and by that dear and good Jem. All so good in their various ways, and I so little worthy of them...of Francis. That will indeed, humanly speaking, be a terrible loss to his family, for they want his fatherly care, and will do so for years. Not so with me; and as I am in my seventy-second year, it cannot be said that I am cut off prematurely: but on the contrary, fall like a fruit or a sheaf at its proper ripeness. Oh! that it may be so spiritually indeed.'
Another letter followed the next month:—
'Feniton Court: April 24, 1861.
'My own dearest Coley,—How many more letters you may receive from me, God only knows, but, as I think, not many. The iodine fails altogether, and has produced no effect on the swellings in my throat; on the contrary, they steadily increase, though not rapidly. Doubtless they will have their own course, and in some way or other deliver my soul from the burden of the flesh. Oh! may it by God's mercy be the soul of a faithful man! Faith and love I think I have, and have long had: but I am not so sure that I have really repented for my past sins, or only abandoned them when circumstances had removed almost the temptation to commit them. Yet I do trust that my repentance has generally been sincere, and though I may have fallen again, that I may by God's grace have risen again. I have no assurance that I have fought the good fight like St. Paul, and that henceforth there is laid up a crown of gold; yet I have a full and firm hope that I am not beyond the pale of God's mercy, and that I may have hold of the righteousness of Christ, and may be partaker of that happiness which he has purchased for His own, by His atoning blood. No other hope have I; and in all humility I from my heart feel that any apparent good that I may have done has been His work in me and not my own. May it please Him that you and I, my dear son, may meet hereafter, together with all those blessed ones, who have already departed this life in His faith and fear, in His kingdom above.
'My head aches occasionally, and is not so clear as it used to be.... The next mail will bring us more definite news, if indeed I am not myself removed before then.... I am afraid that you discern by what I have written that I am become stupid, and though I could never write decently, yet you will see that continued dull pain in the head, and other pains in various parts, have made me altogether heavy and stupid. I have had the kindest letters and messages from various quarters when it became known, as it is always very soon, that my health was in a precarious state: one particularly from the Bishop of Lichfield (all companions in Old Court, King's, you know) which is very consoling. He says, If not for such as you, for whom did Christ die? I will not go on in such strains, for it is of no use. Only do not despair of me, my beloved Son, and believe me always,
'Your loving Father,
'Feniton Court: May 25, 1861.
'O my own dearest Coley,—Almighty God be thanked that He has preserved my life to hear from you and others of your actual consecration as a Missionary Bishop of the Holy Catholic Church: and may He enable you by His grace and the powerful assistance of His Spirit to bring to His faith and fear very many who have not known Him, and to keep and preserve in it many others who already profess and call themselves Christians.
'I was too ill to be present at the whole service on Sunday, but I attended the Holy Sacrament, and hope to do so to-morrow. We have with us our dear Sarah Selwyn, who came on Thursday: she came in the most kind and affectionate spirit, the first visit that she could make, that she might if possible see me: "I will go and see him before he dies." What delight this has been to me you may easily imagine, and what talk, and what anecdotes we have had about you and all your circle; for though your letters have all along let us in wonderfully into your daily life, yet there were many things to be filled up, which we have now seen more clearly and more perfectly recollect as long as our lives are spared.
'What at present intensely fills our hearts and minds is all that took place on St. Matthias Day, and the day or two before and after. Passages and circumstances there were, which it is almost wonderful that you all could respectively bear, some affecting one the more and some the other; but the absorbing feeling that a great work was then done, and the ardent trust and prayer that it might turn out to the glory of God, and the good of mankind, supported every one, I have no doubt. It was about one of those days that I was first informed of the nature of the complaint which had just been discovered, and which is bringing me gradually to the grave.
'Trinity Sunday.—I am just returned from receiving the Holy Sacrament. You will do so the same in a few hours, and they may well be joined together, and probably the last that you and I shall receive together in this world. My time is probably very short. Dear Sarah will hereafter tell you more particulars of these few days. Dear Joan and Fanny are watching me continually; it is hard work for them continually and most uncertain, but in my mind it cannot be very long. Jem is here helping them continually, but his wife's mother is grievously ill at a relation's in Gloucestershire, and I will not have him withdrawn from her. I hope that next week she may be removed to Jem's new cottage, next Hyde Park, and then they, Joan and Fanny will watch me, and Jem on a telegraph notice may come to me. If I dare express a hope, it is that this state of things may not last long. But I have no desire to express any hope at all; the matter is in the hands of a good God, who will order all things as is best.... I would write more, but I am under the serious impression that I shall be dead before this letter reaches you.
'May our Almighty God, three Persons, blessed for evermore, grant that we may meet hereafter in a blessed eternity!'
One more letter was written:—
'Feniton Court, Honiton: June 12, 1861.
'Oh! my dearest Right Reverend well-beloved Son, how I thank God that it has pleased Him to save my life until I heard of the actual fact of your being ordained and consecrated, as I have said more than once since I heard of it. May it please Him to prolong your life very many years, and to enable you to fulfil all those purposes for which you have been now consecrated, and that you may see the fruit of your labour of love before He calls you to His rest in Heaven. But if not, may you have laid such foundations for the spread of God's Word throughout the countries committed to your charge, that when it pleases God to summon you hence, you may have a perfect consciousness of having devoted all your time and labour, and so far as you are concerned have advanced all the works as fastly and as securely as it seemed fit to your great Assister, the Holy Spirit, that they should be advanced. Only conceive that an old Judge of seventy-two, cast out of his own work by infirmity, should yet live to have a son in the Holy Office of Bishop, all men rejoicing around him; and so indeed they do rejoice around me, mingling their loving expressions at my illness and approaching death....
'I shall endeavour to write at intervals between this and July mail. It tries me to write much at a time.
'Your loving Father,
The calm of these letters was the pervading spirit of Feniton. With perfect cheerfulness did the aged Judge await the summons, aware that he carried the 'sentence of death within himself,' and that the manner of his summons would probably be in itself sudden—namely, one of the choking fits that increased in frequency. He lived on with his children and relations round him, spending his time in his usual manner, so far as his strength permitted—bright, kind, sunny as ever, and not withdrawing his interest from the cares and pleasures of others, but glad to talk more deeply, though still peacefully, of his condition and his hopes. One thing only troubled him. Once he said, and with tears in his eyes, to his beloved brother-in-law, Sir John Coleridge: 'Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you,' adding to this effect, 'Alas! That this has been my lot without my deserts. It pains me now!'
But as this popularity had come of no self-seeking nor attempt to win applause, it was a grief that was soon dispelled. Perhaps if there was one strong wish, it was to hear of his son's actually having been received into the order of Bishops, and that gratification was granted to him. The letters with the record of consecration arrived in time to be his Whitsuntide joy—joy that he still participated in the congregation, for though not able to be at church for the whole service, he still was always present at the celebration of the Holy Communion.
On the day the letters came there was great peace, and a kind of awful joy on all the household. For many weeks past, Sir John had not attempted to read family prayers, but on this evening he desired his daughters to let him do so. Where in the prayer for missionaries he had always mentioned, 'the absent member of this family,' he added in a clear tone, 'especially for John Coleridge Patteson, Missionary Bishop.' That was the father's one note of triumph, the last time he ever led the household prayers. In a day or two Mrs. Selwyn came to him, and he wrote the following to the Bishop of New Zealand:—
'Feniton Court: May 24, 1861.
'My very dear Friend,—Here I am, and I have with me your dear and good wife, who arrived yesterday. She looks well, and I trust is so. She has arranged her visits so as to come to me as soon as possible. "I will go and see him before he die," and I feel sensibly the kindness of it. What a mercy is it that my life should have been preserved to receive from my dear son Coley and from you by letter the account of his having been consecrated by you as Bishop of the true Catholic Church. There were [accounts?] of that most impressive service, which, had I been present, would have, I fear, sent me to the floor; and you and Coley must have had difficulty in holding up at those feeling statements of your having received him at my old hands. When you so received him, it was known I was satisfied that his heart was really fixed on this missionary work—that he felt a call to it. I believe, you know, and I am sure God knows, that I had not the most distant notion in my mind that it would lead to his becoming a Bishop, nor do I now rejoice in the result, simply on account of the honour of the office; but because my confidence in the honesty and sincerity of his then feelings has been justified, and that it has pleased God to endow him with such abundant graces. May it please God that you should continue together in your respective governments in His Church many years, and that we may all meet together in his kingdom above!
'When I parted with him I did not expect to see his face on earth, yet perhaps I hardly expected that our separation would be so soon, though I am in my seventy-second year. But in February I discovered these swellings in my throat; which, humanly speaking, could only be cured by iodine. Iodine has failed, and other attempts at a cure fail also; and it is only a question of time when the soul will be delivered from the burthen of the flesh. So indeed it is with all human beings; but it is one thing to know this as a general proposition, and another to know that the particular minister of death has hold of you, and that you are really only living from day to day.
'For all your many kindnesses to all of us and to my son, I thank you from the very bottom of my soul, and pray that we may meet hereafter, through the merits, and for the sake of our blessed Mediator and Redeemer Jesus Christ our Lord, that as we have striven on earth to be followers of Him and His glory, so we may be partakers of it in Heaven.
'Your loving Friend,
The July mail was without a letter from the father. The end had come in the early morning of June 28, 1861, with a briefer, less painful struggle than had been thought probable, and the great, sound, wise, tender heart had ceased to beat.
There is no need to dwell on the spontaneous honours that all of those who had ever been connected with him paid to the good old Judge, when he was laid beside his much-loved wife in Feniton churchyard. Bishop Sumner of Winchester, the friend of his boyhood, read the funeral service.
'His works do follow him:' and we turn to that work of his son's in which assuredly he had his part, since one word of his would have turned aside the course that had brought such blessing on both, had he not accepted the summons, even as Zebedee, when he was left by the lake side, while his sons became fishers of men.
Unknowing of the tidings in reserve for him, the Bishop was on his voyage, following the usual course; hearing at Anaiteum that a frightful mortality had prevailed in many of these southern islands. Measles had been imported by a trader, and had, in many cases, brought on dysentery, and had swept away a third of Mr. Geddie's Anaiteum flock. Mr. Gordon's letters had spoken of it as equally fatal in Erromango, and there were reports of the same, as well as of famine and war, in Nengone.
'God will give me men in His time; for could I be cut up into five pieces already I would be living at Nengone, Lifu, Mai, Mota, and Bauro!' was the comment on this visit; and this need of men inspired a letter to his uncle Edward, on a day dear to the Etonian heart:—
'Schooner "Dunedin," 60 tons.
'In sight of Erromango, New Hebrides: June 4, 1861.
'My dear Tutor,—Naturally I think of Eton and of you especially to- day. I hope you have as fine a day coming on for the cricket-match and for Surley as I have here. Thermometer 81; Tanna and Erromango, with their rugged hilly outlines, breaking the line of the bright sparkling horizon.
'I managed to charter the vessel for the voyage just in time to escape cold weather in New Zealand. She is slow, but sound; the captain a teetotaller, and crew respectable in all ways. So the voyage, though lengthy, is pleasant.
'I have some six or seven classes to take, for they speak as many more languages; and I get a little time for reading and writing, but not much.
'I need not tell you how heavily this new responsibility presses on me, as I see the islands opening, and at present feel how very difficult it must be to obtain men to occupy this opening—
'True, we have not to contend with subtle and highly-elaborated systems of false religion. It is the ignorantia purae negationis, comparatively speaking, in some of the islands; yet, generally, there is a settled system of some kind observed among them, and in the Banks Islands, an extraordinarily developed religion, which enters into every detail of social and domestic life, and is mixed up with the daily life of every person in the archipelago.
'I think, therefore, that men are needed who have what I may call strong religious common sense to adapt Christianity to the wants of the various nations that live in Melanesia, without compromising any truth of doctrine or principle of conduct—men who can see, in the midst of the errors and superstitions of a people, whatever fragment of truth or symptom of a yearning after something better may exist among them, and make that the point d'appui, upon which they may build up the structure of Christian teaching. Men, moreover, of industry they must be, for it is useless to talk of "picking up languages." Of course, in a few days a man may learn to talk superficially and inaccurately on a few subjects; but to teach Christianity, a man must know the language well, and this is learnt only by hard work.
'Then, again, unless a man can dispense with what we ordinarily call comfort or luxuries to a great extent, and knock about anywhere in Melanesian huts, he can hardly do much work in this Mission. The climate is so warm that, to my mind, it quite supplies the place of the houses, clothing, and food of old days, yet a man cannot accommodate himself to it all at once. I don't say that it came naturally to me five years ago, as it does now, when I feel at home anywhere, and cease to think it odd to do things which, I suppose, you would think very extraordinary indeed.
'But most of all—for this makes all easy—men are wanted who really do desire in their hearts to live for God and the world to come, and who have really sought to sit very loosely to this world. The enjoyment, and the happiness, and the peace all come, and that abundantly; but there is a condition, and the first rub is a hard one, and lasts a good while.
'Naturally buoyant spirits, the gift of a merry heart, are a great help; for oftentimes a man may have to spend months without any white man within hundreds of miles, and it is very depressing to live alone in the midst of heathenism. But there must be many many fellows pulling up to Surley to-night who may be well able to pull together with one on the Pacific—young fellows whose enthusiasm is not mere excitement of animal spirits, and whose pluck and courage are given them to stand the roughnesses (such as they are) of a missionary life. For, dear Uncle, if you ever talk to any old pupil of yours about the work, don't let him suppose that it is consistent with ease and absence of anxiety and work. When on shore at Kohimarama, we live very cosily, as I think. Some might say we have no society, very simple fare, &c.; I don't think any man would really find it so. But in the islands, I don't wish to conceal from anyone that, measured by the rule of the English gentleman's household, there is a great difference. Why should it, however, be measured by this standard? I can truly say that we have hitherto always had what is necessary for health, and what does one need more? though I like more as much as anyone.
'How you will wonder at the news of my consecration, and, indeed, well you may! I would, indeed, that there were a dozen men out here under whom I was working, if only they were such men as the Primate would have chosen to the work.
'But it is done now, and I know I must not shrink from it. Never did I need the love and prayers of my dear relations and friends as I do now. Already difficulties are rising up around me, and I am so little fit to be a leader of work like this. Don't forget, dear Tutor, your old pupil, who used to copy the dear Bishop's letters in your study from Anaiteum, Erromango, &c.; and little thought that he would write from these islands to you, himself the Missionary Bishop.
'With kind love to all,
'Your loving old Pupil and Nephew,
'J. C. PATTESON, Missionary Bishop.'
This thoughtful and beautiful letter was written in sight of Erromango, a sandal-wood station, whence a trader might be found to take charge of it. The ink was scarcely dry before the full cost of carrying the Gospel among the heathen was brought before the writer. Not only houses and brethren must be given up, but the 'yea and his own life also' was now to be exemplified almost before his eyes.
The Erromaugo Mission, like that of Anaiteum, came from the Scottish Kirk. Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, as has been seen, had been visited on every voyage of the 'Southern Cross' during their three years' residence there, and there was a warm regard between them and the Bishop. It was then a great shock to hear a Nengone man call out from a sandal-wood vessel, lying in Dillon's Bay, that they had both been killed!
It was but too true. The Erromango people had been little inclined to listen to Mr. Gordon's warnings, and he, a young and eager man, had told them that to persevere in their murders and idolatries would bring a judgment upon them. When therefore the scourge of sickness came, as at Anaiteum, they connected him with it; and it was plain from his diary that he had for some months known his life to be in danger, but he had gone about them fearlessly, like a brave man, doing his best for the sick.
On May 20 he was in a little wood, putting up a house instead of one that had been blown down by a hurricane, and he had sent his few faithful pupils to get grass for the thatch. Nine natives from a village about three hours' walk distant came to the house where his wife was, and asked for him. She said he was in the little wood. They went thither, and while eight hid themselves in the bush, one went forward and asked for some calico. Mr. Gordon took a bit of charcoal and wrote on a bit of wood directions to his wife to give the bearer some cotton, but the man insisted that he must come himself to give out some medicine for a sick man. Mr. Gordon complied, walking in front as far as the place where lay the ambush, when the man struck him with a tomahawk on the spine, and he fell, with a loud scream, while the others leaping out fell upon him with blows that must have destroyed life at once, yelling and screaming over him. Another went up to the house. Mrs. Gordon had come out, asking what the shouts meant. 'Look there!' he said, and as she turned her head, he struck her between the shoulders, and killed her as soon as she had fallen.
Another native had in the meantime rushed down the hill to the sandal-wood station half a mile off on the beach, and the trader, arming his natives, came up too late to do more than prevent the murderers from carrying off the bodies or destroying the house. The husband and wife were buried in the same grave; the natives fenced it round; and now, on June 7, eighteen days after, Bishop Patteson read the Burial Service over it, with many solemn and anxious thoughts respecting the population, now reduced to 2,500, and in a very wild condition.
At Mai the Bishop spent two hours the next day, and brought away one old scholar and one new one.
At Tariko, where he had been three years before with the Primate, the Episcopal hat brought the greeting 'Bishop,' as the people no doubt thought the wearer identical. Of Ambrym there is a characteristic sentence: 'As we left the little rock pool where I had jumped ashore, leaving, for prudence sake, the rest behind me in the boat, one man raised his bow and drew it, then unbent it, then bent it again, but apparently others were dissuading him from letting fly the arrow. The boat was not ten yards off, I don't know why he did so; but we must try to effect more frequent landings.'
On June 12 Mota was reached, and the next morning the Mission party landed, warmly welcomed by the inhabitants. The house was found safely standing and nearly weather-proof.
'June 13th.—This morning I put up the framework for another small house, where I shall put Wadrokala, his child-wife, and many of our boxes. We had to carry up the timber first from the beach, and it was rather hot work, as also the carpentering, as I chose a place for the house where no falling bread-fruit or branches of trees would hurt it, and the sun was so hot that it almost burnt my hand when I took up a handful of nails that had been lying for ten minutes in the sun. So our picnic life begins again, and that favourably. I feel the enjoyment of the glorious view and climate, and my dear lads, Tagalana and Parenga, from Bauro, are with me, the rest in Port Patteson, &c., coming over in the vessel to-morrow, which I shall then discharge. I see that the people are very friendly; they all speak of your bread-fruit tree, your property. The house had not been entered, a keg of nails inside it not touched.
'Tagalana's father is dead. His first words to me were, "Oh that the Word of God had come in old times to Mota, I should not then cry so much about him. Yes, it is true, I know, I must be thankful it is come now, and I must remember that, and try to help others who may die too before they believe it."
'"Yes, I am quite your child now! Yes, one Father for us all in Heaven. You my father here! Yes, I stop always with you, unless you send me away. They ask me with whom I shall live now; I say with the Bishop."
'How I was praising and rejoicing in my heart as the dear boy was speaking: "Yes, I am feeling calm again now. When people die at Mota, you know they make a great shouting, but soon forget the dead person. But I am able to be quiet and calm now, as you talk to me about God and Jesus Christ. Yes, He rose again. Death is not the end. I know you said it is for those who repent and believe in Christ the Door to enter into life eternal. How different it all seems then!"
'When you read this you will say, "Thank God that I sent him out to Melanesia with my blessing on his head. I too may see Tagalana one day with Him who is the Father of us all."
'One soul won to Christ, as I hope and believe, by His love and power, and if in any degree by my ministry, to God be the praise!'
The comfort sent home to the sisters with the letter respecting this voyage is:—
'Mota: June 14, 1861.
'Now, dear Joan, don't any of you think too much about the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, as if my life was exposed to the same kind of risk.
'Certainly it is not endangered here. It may be true that at places where I am not known some sudden outbreak may occur; but humanly speaking, there are not many places that as yet I am able to visit where I realise the fact of any danger being run.
'Yet it may happen that some poor fellow, who has a good cause to think ill of white men, or some mischievous badly disposed man, may let fly a random arrow or spear some day.
'If so, you will not so very much wonder, nor be so very greatly grieved. Every clergyman runs at least as great a risk among the small-pox and fevers of town parishes. Think of Uncle James in the cholera at Thorverton.'
So with the 'Dunedin' dismissed, Bishop Patteson, Mr. Pritt, Mr. Kerr, and their pupils recommenced their residence at Mota. The Banks Islanders returned to their homes; and when the Bishop came to Aroa, Tagalana's native place, three weeks lately the little fellow received him affectionately, cooked yams, fetched mats, and was not ashamed before his own people to kneel down, and join audibly in hymn and prayer. The people begged for Wadrokala or some other teacher to be placed among them. The Journal continues:—
'On Friday, at 8.30, I started, not quite knowing whither I should go, but soon saw that I could fetch round the south end of Vanua Lava, which was well. The sea, when it comes through the passage between Mota and Valua, is heavy, but the boat had great way on her, sailing very fast, so that I could steer her well, and we did not take very long crossing to the small reef islands. I passed between Pakea and Vanua Lava (Dudley Passage), and then we had unexpectedly a very heavy sea, a strong tide up. I did not like it, but, thank God, all went well. One very heavy sea in particular I noticed, which broke some twenty yards ahead, and about the same distance astern of us, while the exact part of it which came down upon us was only a black wall of water, over which we rode lightly and dry. I think that it might have swamped us had it broken upon the boat. My boat is an open four-oared one, 26 feet long, and about five wide, strong but light. She sails admirably with a common lug sail. I had one made last summer, very large, with two reefs, so that I can reduce it to as small a sail as I please. By 4 or 5 P.M. I neared Aruas, in the bay on the west side of Vanua Lava; the same crowd as usual on the beach, but I did not haul the boat up. I had a grapnel, and dropped it some fifty yards from the beach.
'Somehow I did not much like the manner of some of the people; they did not at night come into the Ogamal, or men's common eating and sleeping house, as before, and I overheard some few remarks which I did not quite like—something about the unusual sickness being connected with this new teaching—I could not be quite sure, as I do not know the dialect of Aruas. There were, however, several who were very friendly, and the great majority were at least quiet, and left us to ourselves. The next morning I started at about eight, buying two small pigs for two hatchets, and yams and taro and dried bread- fruit for fish-hooks. I gave one young man a piece of iron for his attention to us. As we pulled away, one elderly man drew his bow, and the women and children ran off into the bush, here, as everywhere almost in these islands, growing quite thickly some twenty yards above high-water mark. The man did not let fly his arrow: I cannot tell why this small demonstration took place.'
When an arrow was pointed at him, it was Bishop Patteson's custom to look the archer full in the face with his bright smile, and in many more cases than are here hinted at, that look of cheery confidence and good-will made the weapon drop.
After a few more visits to the coasts of this archipelago the boat returned to Mota, where Mr. Pritt and Mr. Kerr had kept school every day, besides getting the station into excellent order and beauty. Their presence at the head-quarters left the Bishop free to circulate in the villages, sleeping in the Ogamals, where he could collect the men. They always seemed pleased and interested, and their pugnacious habits were decidedly diminishing, though their superstitious practices and observances were by no means dropped.
The Diary, on July 24, thus speaks of the way of life; which, however, was again telling on the health of the party:—
'I am so accustomed to sleeping about anywhere that I take little or no account of thirty, forty, fifty naked fellows, lying, sitting, sleeping round me. Someone brings me a native mat, someone else a bit of yam; a third brings a cocoa-nut; so I get my supper, put down the mat (like a very thin door-mat) on the earth, roll up my coat for a pillow, and make a very good night of it. I have had deafness in my right ear again for some days; no pain with it, but it is inconvenient.
'Several of our lads have had attacks of fever and ague; Wadrokala and his child of a wife, Bum, a Bauro boy, &c. The island is not at all unhealthy, but natives cannot be taught caution. I, thank God, am in robust health, very weather-beaten. I think my Bishop's dress would look quite out of keeping with such a face and pair of hands!
'There is much as usual in such cases to encourage and to humble us. Some few people seem to be in earnest. The great majority do their best to make me think they are listening. Meanwhile, much goes on in the island as of old.
'Sunday, July 28th, 11.45 A.M.—I have much anxiety just now. At this moment Wadrokala is in an ague fit, five or six others of my party kept going by quinine and port wine, and one or other sickening almost daily. Henry Hrahuena, of Lifu, I think dying, from what I know not—I think inflammation of the brain, induced possibly by exposure to the sun, though I have not seen him so exposed, and it is a thing I am very careful about with them. I do what I can in following the directions of medical books, but it is so hard to get a word from a native to explain symptoms, &c.; besides, my ear is now, like last year, really painful; and for two nights I have had little sleep, and feel stupid, and getting a worn-out feeling. With all this, I am conscious that it is but a temporary depression, a day or two may bring out the bright colours again. Henry may recover by God's mercy, the boys become hearty again; my ear get right. At present I feel that I must rub on as I can, from hour to hour.
'If I find from experience that natives of Melanesia, taken to a different island, however fertile, dry, and apparently healthy, do seem to be affected by it, I must modify my plans, try as soon as possible to have more winter schools, and, what is of more consequence, I must reconsider the whole question of native teachers. If a great amount of sickness is to be the result of gathering scholars around me at an island, I could do, perhaps, more single- handed, in health, and with no one to look after, than with twenty fellows of whom half are causing continual anxiety on the score of health. Now were I alone, I should be as brisk as a bee, but I feel weighed down somewhat with the anxiety about all these fellows about me.
'I must balance considerations, and think it out. It requires great attention. It is at times like these that I experience some trials. Usually my life is, as you know, singularly free from them.
'July 31st.—Henry died on Sunday about 4 A.M. Wadrokala is better. The boys are all better. I have had much real pain and weariness from sleepless nights, owing to the small tumour in my ear. What a sheet of paper for you to read! And yet it is not so sad either. The boys were patient and good; Wadrokala takes his ague attacks like a man; and about Henry I had great comfort.
'He was about eighteen or nineteen, as I suppose, the son of the great enchanter in Lifu in old times—the hereditary high priest of Lifu indeed. He was a simple-minded, gentle, good fellow, not one probably who would have been able to take a distinct line as a teacher, yet he might have done good service with a good teacher. We found that afternoon a slate on which he had written down some thoughts when first taken ill, showing that he felt that he was sick unto death. Very full of comfort were his written as well as his spoken words.'
On August 1, while the Bauro scholars were writing answers to questions on the Lord's Prayer, a party of men and women arrived, headed by a man with a native scarf over his shoulders. They had come to be taught, bringing provisions with them, and eating them, men and women together, a memorable infringement of one of the most unvarying customs of the Banks inhabitants; and from the conversation with them and with others, Bishop Patteson found that the work of breaking down had been attained, that of building up had to be begun. They must learn that leaving off heathen practices was not the same thing as adopting the religion of Christ, and the kind of work which external influences had cut short in Lifu had to be begun with them.
'Soon, I think, the great difficulty must be met in Mota of teaching the Christian's social and domestic life to people disposed to give up much of their old practices. This is the point at which I suppose most Missions have broken down. It is a great blessing indeed to reach it, but the building up of converts is the harder work. Here, for example, a population of 1,500 people; at present they know all that is necessary for the cultivation of yams, &c., they build houses sufficient for the purpose of their present life, they are giving up fighting, losing-faith in their old charms and contrivances for compassing the death of their enemies; they will very likely soon be at peace throughout the whole island. Well, then, they will be very idle, talk infinite scandal, indulge in any amount of gluttony; professing to believe our religion, their whole life will contradict that profession, unless their whole social and domestic life be changed, and a new character infused into them. It would be a great mistake to suppose that the English aspect of the Christian's social life is necessarily adapted to such races as these. The Oriental tendencies of their minds, the wholly different circumstances of their lives, climate, absence of all poverty or dependence upon others, &c., will prevent them from ever becoming a little English community; but not, I trust, their becoming a Christian community. But how shall I try to teach them to become industrious, persevering, honest, tidy, clean, careful with children, and all the rest of it? What a different thing from just going about and teaching them the first principles of Christianity! The second stage of a Mission is the really difficult one.'
A few days after the foregoing observations were written, H.M.S. 'Cordelia,' a war steamer, entered Port Patteson, and Captain Hume himself came across by boat to Mota, to communicate to Bishop Patteson his instructions to offer him a cruise in the vessel, render him any assistance in his power in the Solomon Islands, and return him to any island he might desire. Letters from the Primate assumed that the proposal should be accepted; it was an opportunity of taking home the Bauro and Grera boys; moreover there was a quarrel between English and natives to be enquired into at Ysabel Island, where the Bishop could be useful as interpreter; and, as he could leave his two friends to carry on the school at Mota, he went on board, and very good it was for him, in the depressed state of health brought on by rude bed and board, to be the guest on board a Queen's ship and under good medical care.
For the 'Cordelia' had brought out the letters which gave the first intimation of his father's state; and without the privacy, and freedom from toil and responsibility, he could hardly have borne up under the blow. The first day was bad enough: 'a long busy day on shore with just one letter read, and the dull heavy sensation of an agony that was to come, as soon as I could be alone to think.' Arrangements had to be made; and there was not one solitary moment till 9 P.M. in the cabin when this loving and beloved son could shut himself in, kneel down, and recover composure to open the two letters in his father's hand.
He wrote it all—his whole heart—as of old to the father who had ever shared his inmost thoughts:—
'It may be that as I write, your blessed spirit, at rest in Paradise, may know me more truly than ever you did on earth; and yet the sorrow of knowing how bitter it is within may never be permitted to ruffle your everlasting peace.
'I may never see you on earth. All thought of such a joy is gone. I did really cling to it (I see it now) when most I thought I was quite content to wait for the hope of the great meeting. I will try to remember and to do what you say about all business matters.
'I will pray God to make me more desirous and more able to follow the holy example you leave behind. Oh that the peace of God may be given to me also when I come to die; though how may I dare to hope for such an end, so full of faith and love and the patient waiting for Christ!
'I must go on with my work. This very morning I was anxious, passing shoal water with the captain and master beside me, and appealing to me as pilot. I must try to be of some use in the ship. I must try to turn to good account among the islands this great opportunity. Probably elasticity of mind will come again now for very pain of body. Oh! how much more sorrow and heavy weight on my heart! I am quite worn out and weary. It seems as if the light were taken from me, as if it was no longer possible to work away so cheerily when I no longer have you to write to about it all, no longer your approval to seek, your notice to obtain.
'I must go on writing to you, my own dearest Father, even as I go on praying for you. It is a great comfort to me, though I feel that in all human probability you are to be thought of now as one of the blessed drawn wholly within the veil. Oh! that we may all dwell together hereafter for His blessed sake who died for us. Now more than ever your loving and dutiful Son,' &c.
Such another letter was written to his sister Fanny; but it is dated four days later, when he was better in health, and was somewhat recovered from the first shock; besides which, he felt his office of comforter when writing to her. So the letter is more cheerful, and is a good deal taken up with the endeavour to assure the sisters of his acquiescence in whatever scheme of life they might adopt, and willingness that, if it were thought advisable, Feniton Court should be sold. 'This is all cold and heartless,' he says, 'but I must try and make my view pretty clear.' Towards the end occurs the following:—
'Last night, my slight feverish attack over, my ears comfortable, with the feeling of health and ease returning, I lay awake, thought of dear Uncle Frank, and then for a long time of dear Mamma. How plainly I saw her face, and dear dear Uncle James, and I wondered whether dear dear Father was already among them in Paradise. It is not often that I can fasten down my mind to think continuously upon those blessed ones; I am too tired, or too busy; and this climate, you know, is enervating. But last night I was very happy, and seemed to be very near them. The Evening Lesson set me off, 1 John iii. How wonderful it is! But all the evening I had been reading my book of Prayers and Meditations. Do you know, Fan, at times the thought comes upon me with a force almost overpowering, that I am a Bishop; and that I must not shrink from believing that I am called to a special work. I don't think that I dwell morbidly on this, but it is an awful thought. And then I feel just the same as of old, and don't reach out more, or aim more earnestly at amendment of life and strive after fresh degrees of enlightenment and holiness. But probably I have to learn the lesson, which it may be only sickness will teach me, of patient waiting, that God will accomplish His own work in His own time.'
Some of this is almost too sacred for publication, and yet it is well that it should be seen how realising the Communion of Saints blessed the solitary man who had given up home. The next letter is to Sir J. T. Coleridge:—
'H.M.S. "Cordelia," September 11, 1861.
'My dearest Uncle,—It is now nearly five weeks since I learnt from my letters of March and April, brought to me by this ship, the very precarious state of my dear Father.
'He has never missed a mail since we have been parted, never once; and he wrote as he always did both in March and April. I had read a letter from the good Primate first; because I had to make up my mind whether I could, as I was desired, take a cruise in this vessel; and in his letter I heard of my dear Father's state. With what reverence I opened his letters! With what short earnest prayers to God that I might have strength supplied and resignation I had kept them till the last. All day at Mota I had been too busy to read any but the Primate's letters. I had many matters to arrange...and it was not until night that I could quietly read my letters in the captain's cabin. My dear Father's words seem to come to me like a voice from another world. I think from what he says, and what they all say, that already he has departed to be with Christ.
'I think of him and my dear mother, and those dear uncles James and Frank, so specially dear to me, and others gone before. I think of all that he has been to me, and yet how can I be unhappy? The great shock to me was long overpast: it is easy for me to dwell on his gain rather than my loss; yet how I shall miss his wise loving letters and all the unrestrained delights of our correspondence.
'It is not with me as with those dear sisters, or with old Jem. Theirs is the privilege of witnessing the beauty and holiness of his life to the end; and theirs the sorrow of learning to live without him. Yet I feel that the greatest perhaps of all the pleasures of this life is gone. How I did delight in writing to him and seeking his approval of what I was about! How I read and re-read his letters, entering so entirely into my feelings, understanding me so well in my life, so strangely different from what it used to be.
'Well, it should make me feel more than ever that I have but one thing to live for—the good, if so it may please God, of these Melanesian islands.
'I cannot say, for you will like to know my feelings, that I felt so overwhelmed with this news as not to be able to go about my usual business. Yet the rest on board the vessel has been very grateful to me. The quiet cheerfulness and briskness will all come again, as I think; and yet I think too that I shall be an older and more thoughtful man by reason of this.
'There has been reported a row at Ysabel Island, one of the Solomon group, eighteen months ago. This vessel, a screw steamer, ten guns and a large pivot gun, came to enquire, with orders from the Commodore of the station to call at Mota and see me, and request me to go with the vessel if I could find time to do so; adding that the vessel was to take me to any island which I might wish to be returned to. Now I have long wished to indoctrinate captains of men-of-war with our notions of the right way to settle disputes between natives and traders. Secondly, I had a passage free with my Solomon Islanders, and consequently all October and half November I may devote to working up carefully (D.V.) the Banks and New Hebrides group without being under the necessity of going down to the Solomon Islands. Thirdly, I had an opportunity of going further to the westward than I had ever been before, and of seeing new ground. Fourthly, the Primate, I found, assumed that I should go. So here I am, in great clover, of course: the change from Mota to man-of-war life being amusing enough. Barring some illness, slight attacks of fever, I have enjoyed myself very much. The seeing Ysabel Island is a real gain. I had time to acquire some 200 words and phrases of the language, which signify to me a great deal more. The language is a very remarkable one, very Polynesian; yet in some respects distinguished from the Polynesian, and most closely related to Melanesian dialects.