Christianity Among The New Zealanders

By the Right Rev. William Williams, D.C.L.     Bishop of Waiapu.

CHAPTER III     1823, 1824.


THE Rev. S. Marsden continued to watch over the Mission with a paternal interest, and no personal sacrifice was thought too great in promoting this cherished undertaking. He accompanied the first missionaries in the year 1814, and again in 1819 and 1820 paid two more visits, anxiously watching the troubled state of the country, which had rendered the cheering prospects of his first acquaintance with the New Zealanders, dark and gloomy. On the arrival of the Rev. Henry Williams in New South Wales, Mr. Marsden determined to undertake another voyage in company with him, desiring to make some important changes in the arrangements of the Mission. They set sail therefore on the 21st of July, l823, on board the Brampton, and anchored in the Bay of Islands on the 2nd of August. It may be worth while to record the first impressions produced by the novel scenes as they appeared to those who had heard of them only on the report of others. So great a change has subsequently come over the country that nothing can again occur bearing any resemblance to the past. It was the Sabbath day when the ship came to an anchor, and the missionary party retired to Mr. Marsden's cabin to partake of the Lord's Supper.  "They were precious moments," writes Mrs. Williams, "our feelings seemed wound up to the highest pitch. Just as the service was about to commence, a canoe full of natives was seen through the portholes, hailing the ship and endeavouring to get alongside. The sight affected us all, and moved our hearts in prayer, for that time speedily to come, when these strangers should come in to partake. We anchored about six o'clock half-way between Rangihoua and Kerikeri, when we sat down to dinner, after which, though dark, some natives came on board, from whom Mr. Marsden learnt that most of the chiefs were gone to East Cape to fight. Early the next morning Mr. Marsden was on deck rubbing noses with some of his old friends, and while I was dressing Mr. Marsden put into our cabin a pretty little naked New Zealand boy, about two years old, to the no small astonishment of our children. The little fellow did not relish our company, for he set up a great cry, so we let him go out to his father and mother, to whom I was shortly introduced, and to many others, all in their native dress. As they squatted down on the deck, they reminded me of a print in Captain Cook's voyages of the natives of Nootka Sound, except that their mats were mostly fringed, and rough all over. The animation and energetic expression of these noble natives cannot be described. We were surrounded by chiefs as we sat at breakfast, all earnestly begging to have missionaries. I could have gone with all or any of them. Both my husband and myself felt a desire to satisfy the wishes of three disconsolate-looking chiefs from the river Thames, had Mr. Marsden thought it prudent. They were the relatives of Hinaki, a chief of the Thames, who was killed and eaten by Hongi. After a wearying day I retired to rest to prepare for our removal to Kerikeri; but the tall and muscular forms of the New Zealanders flitted before me, whenever I endeavoured to close my eyes. I felt a wish to convey every look and every conversation to our absent friends, and several times in the course of the day I said to Mr. Marsden, "I wish our English friends could peep in upon us." Indeed it seemed worth all we had undertaken, to behold with our own eyes the scenes of this day. I felt a fervent thankfulness that we and our little ones had been brought to this scene of labour. We are now in the way, and the Lord of the harvest can give us employment, and teach us how to work, and in his own good time, if not in our day, cause the seed to spring up. At present this noble though cannibal race of men are fast bound in the chains of Satan, and what can be a nobler ambition than to enlist them beneath the banner of the King of kings, and in His strength to rescue them from their subtle foe! Often had I, in the course of the day, pictured in idea our ancestors at the time of the Roman invasion, and many a noble Caratacus might we fancy amidst these warlike yet kingly-looking savages. The following morning the natives again flocked around us. Amongst the first was Taui, who was very angry when he found that Waitangi was chosen for our settlement in preference to his place. I could hear him from our cabin, stamping and talking with great vehemence. He was however satisfied by Mr. Marsden telling him that he would send another missionary to live with him, and he set to work immediately to collect raupo to build him a house.

"On our arrival at Kerikeri, our friends told us we were come at a happy time, for that New Zealand is a paradise when the chiefs and fighting men are absent. The missionaries can look out of their high paled yards and gardens in perfect quiet, and are free from angry visits of parties of naked savages. I heard many dismaying accounts of the past ferocious conduct of the natives, most of which were confirmed by Mr. Kemp's experience, but from none of them, taking all circumstances into consideration, did I gather any cause for personal dread. There is only the greater need of missionary labours and earnest prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In God's own time the little leaven will spread, and the surrounding mass may even now be in a state of preparation."

In the meantime Mr. Williams had been occupied in making preparation for the reception of his family at Paihia, and Mr. Marsden had taken leave, intending to return in the Brampton to New South Wales. The day following was fixed for their departure from Kerikeri, when a new cause for excitement occurred. The household was engaged at family prayers, when some natives with unusual earnestness, which could not be repressed, spoke to Mrs. Butler through the back window, which they persisted in opening, regardless of what was going on within; and upon some words being spoken to her, she hastened out of the room. Scarcely had they risen, when Tom, one of the boat's crew, pushed forward, and with uplifted hands, and native vehemence and energy of action, seemed determined that he would be understood. Before there was time for further inquiry, one of the domestic natives exclaimed, "The ship is broken to pieces, and Mr. Marsden is come back again!"

It was too true. The "Brampton" was lying upon a reef of rocks, in the middle of the Bay of Islands, to which she has given her name. This catastrophe served to show that there had been some impression produced upon the natives since the residence of missionaries among them. "We were all," says Mr. Marsden, "both on shore and in the vessel, as well as our property, completely in their power. They could have taken our lives at any moment, and it cannot be doubted they would have done so if the missionaries had not been among them, and gained their confidence and good will." The captain subsequently stated that he had got all his stores landed on the island of Moturoa, and that the chiefs had behaved well; that on one occasion between five and six hundred men came around the ship, and appeared as if they intended to be troublesome, but a leading chief desired the Captain to be still and not interfere, and in a speech of more than an hour long he pointed out the fatal consequences of committing any act of plunder or violence; and then, taking the captain's sword, he told them he would cut down the first man who should attempt to come on board. By his firmness order and quiet were restored, and the Captain removed from the wreck everything of importance.

The necessary preparations being made at Paihia, Mrs. Williams gives an account of her first landing there:  -  "The beach was crowded with natives, who drew me up while sitting in the boat, with great apparent glee, exclaiming, 'Te wahine,' 'the wife,' and holding out their hands, saying, 'Tena ra ko koe,' and, 'Homai mai te ringaringa,' ' How do you do; give me your hand.' I cannot describe my feelings; I trembled and cried, but joy was the predominant feeling. The cultivated land, on which was springing up our crops of oats and barley, extended close down to the fine flat beach, bounded on either side by a projecting point of rock, overhung by clumps of the noble pohutukawa tree. Within an inclosure of paling stood our raupo hut, which had, except in shape, the appearance of a bee-hive. By the side stood the store, and scattered about were the cart, timber carriage. goats, fowIs, and horse, and near the beach were the saw-pits. Behind was a large garden, already partially green with numerous rows of peas and beans. The entrance to the house was dark, and within were two rooms with no floors, and boards nailed up where sash lights are to be placed. The carpenter and my husband laid me a boarded floor in the bedroom before night, and I never reposed more comfortably." On Sunday Mr. Williams opened another raupo hut for a chapel. The day was fine. The bell was rung for a quarter of an hour, and sounded sweetly as the congregation walked along the beach. The natives carried the chairs and planks for benches The Union Jack was hoisted in front of the settlement as a signal to the natives that it was the sacred day. The whole scene was delightful.''

The events which pass at a missionary station, while yet the people are not under the influence of higher principles than they have received from their forefathers, must continually vary. There will be a frequent alternation of circumstances to discourage and to cheer, the former being more numerous than the latter. And in order to draw a balance between the two, there must of necessity be a large amount of faith and Christian courage to make up the deficiency. The Rev. Henry Williams writes to the Secretaries of the Church Missionary Society at this period:  -  "When I consider the natives, their dignified appearance, their pertinent questions and remarks, their obliging disposition, with the high sense of honour which they possess, I cannot but view them as a most interesting people, whom our Almighty Father will ere long adopt for His own. They are desirous to have missionaries, and they will occasionally listen to instruction. Men, women, and children have the greatest confidence in us, and there are many who wish to leave their little ones with us, but for want of means of support we cannot receive them at present. They distinguish the Sabbath by abstaining from work, and wearing their English clothes. Our settlement on that day is quiet, and the head chief, with his wife and many others, generally attend our services. There are certainly a few trying circumstances, which for the time are painful, but by letting matters rest, the evil will often remedy itself. We were never more comfortable in our lives, nay, I will say, happy; and nothing interrupts our happiness but the knowledge of our own unworthiness."

An animated description of some of these trying circumstances is given by Mrs. Williams in a private letter.  -    "Freed from wars and rumours of wars, which have distracted our ears and perplexed our thoughts, and put an entire stop to all business, we are enjoying a quiet afternoon. I feel exactly as when relieved by calm weather after a succession of storms at sea. I have long been wishing to give you some home scenes now that the novelty of our situation has begun to wear off. The continual excitement of Mr Marsden's visit has subsided and we have acquired some experience of the troubles and numerous petty discouragements of the missionary life. It is now that the steady light and firm support of missionary zeal requires to he kept alive by constant supplies from the source of grace and light. We feel that the strength that is in Christ Jesus can alone give us patience, firmness, hope, and never-dying faith in the accomplishment of all the promises. But to give you a week's history.  -  On Sunday we had a fine day. At our morning service no natives were present except those of our own household. After service the native girls, who have the London fashion of keeping the Sabbath, went, some with and some without leave, off to their friends, so that I had not a moment to sit down and read till I had cleared the tea-things away, washed the children, and all except our eldest boy were asleep, and it was time for our evening service. Alter dinner, Mr. Williams went out as usual to visit the natives of a neighbouring village, and had some interesting conversation with them. our evening service was closed, as usual, with the hymn for Sunday evening, when we always think of our Hampstead friends. This is a season I always much enjoy, for I never through the week sit still so long together. Monday morning Riu was unusually long in preparing to wash the clothes. Just as she was beginning her work at her old spot in the yard, a boat from one of the ships came to look for men, eleven of their crew having left them. This event unsettled our whole establishment. The moment a boat arrives, down scamper all the natives, servants, men, boys, and girls, to the beach. If there is anything to be seen, or any thing extraordinary occurs in New Zealand, the mistress must do the work while the servants gaze abroad. She must not scold them, for if they are rangatiras, they will run away in a pet, and tell her she has too much of the mouth. Having been forewarned of this, I wait and work away till they choose to come back, which they generally do at meal times. After dinner a most troublesome chief, named Tohitapu, who lives about a mile from us, put us all in confusion. The carpenter, who was at work at the bench, saw him coming, and called to some one to fasten the gate. Instead of knocking in the usual manner for admittance, Tohi sprang over the fence. The carpenter told him he was a bad man for coming in like a thief, and not like a gentleman. He immediately began to stamp and caper about like a madman, attracting all around by his vociferous gabble, and flourishing his 'meri' (green stone weapon), which every chief carries concealed under his mat, and then, brandishing his spear, he would spring like a cat, and point it at the carpenter, apparently in earnest. Mr. Williams, upon joining them, told him his conduct was very bad, and refused to shake hands with him. The savage, for so in truth he now appeared, stripped for fighting, keeping on only a plain mat, similar to those worn by the girls. Mr. Williams and the carpenter beheld his capers with great appearance of sang froid. At length they left him, and he sat down to take breath, and upon their going to the beach he went out. Engaged with the children indoors, I did not hear all that passed; you will therefore have only parts of the scene. When Mr. Williams returned he saw some mats, apparently thrown down in haste, which he imagined to belong to Tohitapu, and putting them outside, shut the door, and went to the back of the house. Shortly after the furious man returned from the beach, and, snatching up a Iong pole, made a stroke at the door, but it not yielding to his violence, he sprang over the fence, resumed all his wild antics, and when Mr. Williams appeared, he couched and aimed his spear at him. Mr. Williams advanced towards him, not heeding his threats, but though Tohi trembled with rage, he did not throw the spear. He said he had hurt his foot in jumping over the fence, and demanded payment for it, and said a great deal more, which we did not understand. Mr. Williams said it was well for him to hurt his foot, when he came in that manner, and that he should have no payment. He then walked towards the stove, and having snatched up an old iron pot in which pitch had been boiled, was springing towards the fence, but, retarded by his unwieldy burden, was making for the door, when Mr. Williams darted upon him, snatched the pot out of his hands, and set his own back against the door to stop his retreat. He then called to some one to take away the pot, which Tohi made several attempts to seize, at the same time brandishing his spear over Mr. Williams's head with furious gestures, while the latter folding his arms with a look of determined and cool opposition, resisted his attack upon the contested iron pot, occasionally exclaiming, " Kati emara, heoi ano." "Gently, sir, that is enough." As I looked through the window with no little feeling of trepidation, the scene reminded me of a man attacked by a furious bull, who steadily eyes the monster, and keeps him at bay. The blacksmith now came forward, and shoved his shoulder against Tohi, who seemed to relax a little, though he still flourished about in a way which I can scarcely describe. The agility of this huge man astonished me. He ran to and fro with his spear in his hand, something like a boy playing at cricket, except that the New Zealander dances sideways, slapping his sides, and stamping with a measured pace and horrid gestures, every now and then squatting down and panting, as if trying to excite his own rage to the utmost before he made a fatal spring. Tohi continued to demand his payment, and said he should stay here today and to-morrow and five days more, and make a great fight, and to-morrow ten and ten and ten men, holding up his fingers as he spoke, would come and set fire to the house. During prayers he was more quiet, and seated himself at the fire, at the back of the house. His wife and some natives who came with him were looking in at the window, and one or two chiefs sat in the room. When prayers were over, he came to the window, and, without any ceremony, put his leg in, pointing to his foot, and demanded payment for the blood which was spilt. Mr. Williams told him to go away, and come again to-morrow like a gentleman, and knock at the gate as Te Koki did, and then he would say, "How do you do, Mr. Tohitapu," and invite him to breakfast with us. He answered his foot was so bad he could not walk, repeated his intention of staying here many days, and burning the house; and after talking some time, again worked himself into a terrific passion, and stripped for fighting. It was now about eleven o'clock at night. Tohi had thrown off his garments, and by the imperfect light looked like some wild animal, running to and fro in furious rage. I sat down to attempt to write. Our friends looking in at the window, one and another called to me, "Mother, to-morrow you see a great fire in the house. Oh yes, children dead, all dead, a great fight, a great many men, plenty of muskets." Mr. Williams now came in, and desired me to go to bed, and left Tom with strict orders to keep watch and give the alarm immediately in case of any outrage being committed. The friendly chiefs wrapped themselves in their shaggy mats, and went to sleep upon the ground, while we were preparing for rest. Tohitapu, who is a great priest, now began to chant a horrible ditty, which the carpenter told us was for the purpose of bewitching us. This poor victim of superstition, the slave of Satan, imagined he could by these means secure our death. The natives said he had "karakiad" us, a term they apply to our religious worship, and said he had killed a man on board the Active schooner in this way. We were awakened early in the morning by the noise of Tohi and others who were continually arriving, until our premises were surrounded. At breakfast I made some tea for several of our friends, and having the curiosity to see how he would act upon it, we sent a pint pot full to him outside the gate, where he was sitting on the ground in sullen majesty, surrounded by a number of his followers. We saw him through the paling drink his tea, and I hoped it would have proved a quieting draught, but before long he was again prancing about inside the yard, with many of his followers, all hideous figures, armed with spears and hatchets, and some few with muskets. They looked more formidable to me, as I caught occasionally a glimpse, feeling that my husband was in the midst of them. Our native girls were all out, and I had to remain close prisoner with my children, the windows being blocked up the whole day by ranges of native heads looking in. The poor children began to pine for air and liberty, and at about five o'clock Mr. Williams came to the window and said that things were more tranquil now, and the natives dispersing. I then put out the children through the window, but scarcely had the feet of our little girl touched the ground, when a sudden noise was heard of loud strokes, apparently against the store, and it seemed as if they were making a breach through the wooden walls for the purpose of forcing an entrance. Mr. Williams put back the children head foremost through the window, and ran to the spot. The noise and clamour now became very great. A chief brought our little boy in his arms, screaming and looking pale. I asked where he was hurt. The poor child exclaimed, "No, mamma, I am not hurt, but they are going to kill papa. We shall be all burnt, and they will kill poor papa; I saw the men, I saw the guns." As I sat in the centre of the bedroom, the infant at the breast, and the three others clinging around me, I saw, through the little back window, the mob rushing past, and a man pointing his gun at the house, and immediately Mr. Williams stepped in between. My feelings were now excited to the utmost, yet I felt an elevation of soul it is worth much suffering to possess, even for a few moments Oh that we did not so soon drop down to earth again! The dear children, sobbing and crying, fell on their knees, and repeated alter me a prayer prompted by what was passing. The noise continued. They repeatedly shook our slight walls, but the house remained unbroken, and the children grew more calm. The younger ones soon began to he troublesome, trying to get to the windows to look out. The women outside kept coming to the window, exclaiming, "E mata tena ra ko koe?" "Mother, how do you do!" Po at length put up her good-natured face, telling me in her own language that there would he no more fight to-day, and that all the men were gone away, and that she had been making a great fight for us, for women fight in New Zealand. I gladly unbolted the door for my husband to enter. He told me all was over, and that this second disturbance was quite distinct from the first. Tohitapu had remained quiet during the whole affray, and was rather inclined to take our part. In compliance with the request of the friendly chiefs, the iron pot had been given to him, with which he had departed. It seems that in the course of the day, the son of one of the chiefs who came as our friend had stolen a blanket from the carpenter's window. Some of our people charged him with it unknown to us, and this second disturbance was made by him because he was annoyed at the exposure of his conduct."

It will be allowed that such trials as those here described were not of a trifling character; moreover they were of very frequent occurrence, while there was but little encouragement to place in the other scale; and yet the missionaries were enabled to regard them without much concern, as a part of that which was to be endured for the accomplishment of a great object. Troublesome visitors were to be expected occasionally, and a good deal of patience and prudence was required at these times, But notwithstanding all uncomfortable circumstances, they were able to lie down in peace every night without fear of molestation, the windows not secured, and in a raupo hut, which would burn to the ground in less than ten minutes.

During this period the natives continued as indifferent as ever to the instructions which were pressed upon them. They did not regard the white man and the New Zealander as having anything in common. They had their own traditions about the origin of the world. Their language, their customs, and their gods were different, and their superstitions led them to believe that it would be fatal for them to neglect any of those rites which had been handed down to them, and exchange them for those of a foreign race. They were dead in sin, and it was only the power of God which could give them life. Hence therefore, when a chief was asked why the people did not attend when they knew the white man was coming, he would reply that they did not care about such things; all they thought or was eating fighting; he had called his people, but they would not come. When told that should they die in their present state, they must for ever be banished to the place of darkness and misery, they were unconcerned about such tidings; and as to the work of redemption, they said they could not understand it. The dominion of Satan was never more visible. If the time had not arrived for this people to receive the Gospel message, certainly the time was come for the servants of the Lord to pour out their prayers to him in humble supplication to remove the veil from the eyes and hearts of this people.

The greatest desire of the natives was to possess muskets and powder, and in order to procure these they laboured hard to grow potatoes for the whaling vessels, where the supply of these commodities was to be had. Their ambition was that the whole tribe should be well equipped for their wars, which now engrossed their whole attention. And yet there was encouragement for the missionaries, inasmuch as they were able to hold their ground against so much indifference and opposition. The natives, too, upon the whole were kind to them, and while they cared not for instruction, they liked to have the missionaries living with them. Some, too, began to be dissatisfied with themselves. They acknowledged their inferiority as a people, and a few desired that their children should be educated. These indications were worthy of notice, but the exercise of faith was required to look forward to a substantial Change, and to the realization of God's promises respecting the efficacy of His Word  -  " So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

How frequently do we see in God's dealings with His Church that He allows His people to be reduced to the lowest extremity, bordering almost on despair, to the end that they may be led to lift up their voices in fervent prayer to Him who alone can order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men. There is a never-failing store of mercy in the treasury of grace, but it is God's will that the need should be felt, and the petition offered before He will bestow it. It was a seashell of anxious suspense, but prayer was being offered up by the Church on the behalf of New Zealand, and God vouchsafed a ray of hope, like the faint glimmering light which is the harbinger of the rising sun. first there was the case of Whatu, a native who had bean to New South Wales, and, when suffering under a fatal illness, came under the care of the missionaries at Kerikeri. He said that when he was in New South Wales he had heard Mr. Marsden talk about Jesus Christ, but he could not understand him. But now he was brought low, his thoughts were not so much distracted by external objects, and being prepared in that way in which God is pleased to bring the careless to a state of reflection, he was glad to hear of another hope beyond this world, which is secured to the helpless sinner through that Saviour who died for him. There was good reason to hope that poor Whatu was a brand plucked from the burning,  -  a part of the first-fruits, which showed that at no distant period an abundant harvest might be expected.

But another instance of the power of the Gospel soon followed. After the devastations committed by Hongi at the river Thames, the people of Bream Bay, a little further north, who were Hongi's allies, felt insecure in their position, which was a sort of border land between the hostile tribes; and through fear of the vengeance of the Thames natives, they came to live at the Bay of Islands. Rangi was a chief of some rank in this tribe, and he, with his small party, took up their abode about a mile from Paihia, where they came under the frequent instruction of the missionaries. While indifference marked the character of most of his friends, old Rangi listened with attention to the new instruction. This was during the year 1894. He impressed upon his people the propriety of observing the sabbath day, and he was in the habit of hoisting a piece of red cloth for a flag, as a signal to his neighbours that it was God's sacred day. At length it pleased God to bring him very low by sickness, and he was gradually falling away under the ravages of an insidious cough. But as the body wasted his mind was becoming light, for the rays of the sun of righteousness had evidently beamed upon him. About two months before his death, when he was under much bodily suffering, he was asked what he thought of death. " My thoughts," he said, "are continually in heaven, in the morning, at mid-day, and at night. My belief is in the great God and in Jesus Christ."  "That is very good," he was told; "for there is no pain in heaven either for the mind or the body, no fear of the enemy coming to kill you, but a quiet rest for ever. But do you not at times think that our God is not your God, and that you will not go to heaven?"  "That is what I sometimes think when I am alone. I think I shall go to heaven, and then I think perhaps I shall not go there; and possibly this God of the white people may not be my God; and then, after I have been thinking in this way, and my heart has been cast down, it again becomes more cheerful, and the thought that I shall go to heaven remains last."  " These are the temptations of the devil," he was told, " to prevent you from thinking of heaven; but you must ask God to give you His Spirit to enlighten your heart, that you may discover this to be a device of Satan. Do not think that God will not give it to you, for He gives His Spirit to all who ask for it."  "I pray several times a-day," he replied. "I ask God to give me His Spirit, that He may dwell in my heart and remain there." About a fortnight afterwards he was asked, "What is your idea of the love of Christ?"  " I think of the love of Christ, and I ask Him to wash this bad heart, and to give me a new heart. When I think of heaven and of Jesus Christ I am glad, because when I die I shall leave this flesh and these bones here, and my soul will go to heaven." The subject of baptism was then brought before him, and he was told that those who believe in Jesus Christ are all called by one name after Him; they are Christians; but those who do not believe are called heathens. The New Zealanders are heathens, but those who believe in Christ take His name, as a sign that their hearts are washed in His blood. The old man appeared to be much pleased with this idea, and expressed a wish to be called after Jesus Christ.

Three days before his death his mind seemed to derive a cheerfulness from the increase of light vouchsafed to him, by which he was assured of perfect happiness in another world. "I think I shall soon die," he said; "my flesh is all gone off my bones, but I think I shall go to heaven above, because I have believed all that you have told me about God and Jesus Christ."  "But what payment have you to bring to God for the sins you have committed?" "I have nothing to give Him, only I believe that He is the true God, and I believe in Jesus Christ "  "Do you not know who was the payment for our sins?"  "I do not quite understand that."  " Have you forgotten that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He came into this world and suffered for us?"  "Yes, yes, I remember you told me that before, and my whole wish is to go and dwell in heaven when I die."  "Have you any fear of death?"  "Not altogether."* He was told that the man who believes in Jesus Christ with all his heart, and sees death approaching, will feel glad that he is shortly to leave this body of pain and misery, and that his spirit is to take its flight to heaven. "I have prayed to God," he said, " and to Jesus Christ, and my heart feels full of light,"

His end was now drawing near. He had maintained a steady course for many months; he professed his faith in Christ as his Saviour, and appeared to rejoice in hope of eternal life. Every proof of sincerity which could be looked for was given, and he was now admitted into the Church by baptism. To those who had been the means of leading him to a knowledge of Christ, it was a season of gladness, a period to which they had been looking with great interest. Surrounded by those who would willingly have drawn him back, he, in the presence of all, boldly renounced the darkness which once hung over him, and he was able to profess the sure and certain hope of soon being in glory.

This was the first Christian baptism, the earnest of a large harvest, which in God's appointed time was to be gathered in. Whatu, and perhaps one or two others, may have gone before, but now was Christ acknowledged in a more open manner, and with those attendant circumstances which he had directed his disciples to use. It was a time of rejoicing among the angels of heaven when the tidings were there announced that another of the tribes of this lower world was being added to that vast company, which is made up of all people and nations and tongues and languages. But this little band had to wait long before many were added to their number. There was yet a dreary season of labour to be passed through, the great enemy was determined to hold his dominion to the last, and every inch of ground was to be fiercely contested. The baptism of Rangi served to cheer the drooping spirits of the missionaries; and although it did not appear that any even of his own family were likely to follow his steps, yet there was about this time a manifest improvement in the conduct of many of the New Zealanders. Mr. Davis writes in allusion to this fact:  -  "The spiritual prospects of the mission brighten much; superstition seems to be giving way, and a spirit of inquiry is visible."  " We are treated with much respect," writes another, "and the people receive us with kindness wherever we go."

* His answer was a natural one for a person who was only feeling his way towards the experience of a Christian.


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