PART   1   of

Extracts pertaining to New Zealand from the

'History of The Church Missionary Society' Vol. 1

by Eugene Stock, published 1899

green line

Samuel Marsden and the Maoris  -  The New Zealand Mission  -  Christmas Day, 1814  -  The Lay Settlers  -  Trials and Disappointments  -  Henry and William Williams

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    The shipping of the first cargo of convicts to Botany Bay has been referred as one of the several events that marked in so striking a way the year 1786. The second of the Government chaplains sent out to the settlement thus formed was Samuel Marsden, whose heroic enterprise, prolonged through more than forty years, has justly earned for him the title of the Apostle of New Zealand. The son of a Yorkshire tradesman, sent to Cambridge by the Elland Society (an association for assisting godly men to study for holy orders), he was appointed in 1793, through the recommendation of Wilberforce, chaplain to the penal establishment. "For many years," to use the words of Dean Jacobs, the historian of the Church of New Zealand, "he carried on singlehanded a most determined struggle against the vilest imaginable iniquities, the grossest abuses of authority, and the most shameless licentiousness shielded by official influence. As a sure consequence, he provoked the virulent opposition of powerful and unscrupulous adversaries - men interested in maintaining the abuses he exposed - who strove for years, though happily without success, to blacken his character and drive him from the Colony." With this conflict, however, we have nothing to do. But while Marsden was faithfully doing his duty to God and man in New South Wales, and while he did not neglect, as we shall see hereafter, the downtrodden and degraded aborigines of Australia, his sympathies were especially drawn out towards the Maori race of New Zealand.

Botany Bay: In Sydney, Australia
Samuel Marsden
Marsdens struggles against the evils and abuses of authorities.

    New Zealand was so named by the Dutch navigator, Tasman, who discovered the islands in 1642. He did not, however, venture to land, in the face of the warlike demonstration made against him by the Natives; and it was left to Captain Cook, more than a century later (1769), to begin friendly intercourse with them. But the adventurous traffic that sprang up in the South Seas in consequence of Cook's discoveries was marked by the treachery and fraud and violence by which the pioneers of so-called "Christian commerce and civilization" among barbarous races have so often disgraced the Christian name. The authentic accounts of the merciless cruelties perpetrated by English traders on the Maoris, who in good faith put themselves in their power,

give the reader the same kind of sickening shudder that one feels on seeing dumb animals wantonly ill-treated. Of course retaliation ensued whenever a chance for it occurred. Nevertheless, the Maori savages, fierce as they were, and addicted to cannibalism, proved to be one of the finest aboriginal races with whom Englishmen ever came in contact.

Abel Tasman,
James Cook
Cruelties perpetrated by English traders.

    The first Maoris that Marsden saw were two men who had been brought by Captain King, Governor of the penal settlement on Norfolk Island, to Port Jackson (the great inlet now known as Sydney Harbour), with a view to their giving hints on the cultivation of New Zealand flax (phormium tenax). Subsequently others came over to New South Wales, and Marsden strove to do them good and bring them under the sound of the Gospel. He constantly received them at his own house at Paramatta (fifteen miles inland from Sydney), and put up huts in his garden for their accommodation, as many as thirty being sometimes there at once. There were awkward incidents now and then. On one occasion a lad died who was the nephew of a chief, and his uncle was about to kill a slave, to attend his spirit in the invisible world. With great difficulty he was persuaded to defer it till Marsden, who was absent, came home. Then he had to give way to Marsden's protestations. One of the chiefs entertained in 1806 was a man of great intelligence named Te Pahi (Tippahee), who was so struck by what he saw of the arts of life that he begged for some one to be sent over to teach his countrymen. In 1808, Marsden visited England, and at once came to the Church Missionary Society to plead for the Maori.

Marsden meets first Maoris.
The 'arts of life' is referred to as the arts of 'civilisation' excluding preaching of the Gospels.
Te Pahi
Marsden pleads Maori cause to C.M.S.

    The Society was then still in its infancy. It had sent out exactly five missionaries, and these to a Mission-field comparatively near, and familiar to the leaders through the Sierra Leone Company, and indeed to some of them, Zachary Macaulay and Melville Horne for instance, from personal knowledge. Now they were asked to send men to the Antipodes, to a land whence it would take twelve months to get an answer to a letter, to a race of warlike barbarians among whom no Europeans had yet settled. It must have been a startling suggestion, even to men of faith like Pratt and John Venn. Moreover they had had a serious warning regarding the South Seas by the disasters and disappointments that had attended the London Missionary Society's great enterprise. Nevertheless, after the second Committee meeting for the consideration of the proposal, it was decided to accept it. After all, no elaborate scheme was before them; no great company of settlers, going forth in their own ship, as in the case of Tahiti, was asked for. Marsden did not even suggest a "Mission," in our sense of the word. He only asked for three mechanics. His theory was the theory of many now who know nothing of the history of Missions. There is no excuse for them now; but there was much excuse for Marsden and the Society then. The theory seemed reasonable on the surface; and they had no

experience to correct it. It was this, expressed in Marsden's own words:-


"Nothing in my opinion can pave the way for the introduction of the Gospel but civilization, - and that can only be accomplished among the Heathen by the arts. . . . The arts and religion should go together. The attention of the Heathen can be gained, and their vagrant habits corrected, only by the arts. Till their attention is gained, and moral and industrious habits are induced, little or no progress can be made in teaching them the Gospel. ... To preach the Gospel without the aid of the arts will never succeed among the Heathen for any time."

'Civilisation' to lead the way prior to introduction of Gospel

    Marsden and the Society were to learn the fallacy of this by hard experience, and it was the New Zealand Mission that was to teach them. However, two men were found who seemed suitable, William Hall, a joiner, recommended by Mr. Fawcett of Carlisle, and John King, a shoemaker, recommended by Daniel Wilson, then at Oxford (as Vice-Principal of St. Edmund Hall). It did not occur to the Committee to give them, any theological instruction. They were plain Christian men, and if they were by-and-by to give any teaching at all, it would be of the simplest character. But they did have some preparation. Hall was sent to Hull to learn something of ship-building and navigation, and King to a rope-walk to learn spinning, &c. The third man wanted should have been a smith; but a smith did not appear. Basil Woodd, however, brought a young schoolmaster, who also understood farming, Thomas Kendall. Humble as such a band was, it was found desirable to secure the "favour" of Lord Castlereagh, then Secretary for the Colonies, and of Colonel Macquarie, who was going out to New South Wales as Governor. A passage was obtained, with some difficulty, for Hall and King by the transport-ship Ann (by which Mr. Marsden also sailed), on condition of their lending a hand on the voyage when required. They were to have 20 a year for personal expenses, and to be provided with seeds, live stock, and tools, and then to maintain themselves. They are never called "missionaries" in the old Reports, but at first "lay settlers," and some years later "teachers." Kendall, who did not sail till later, is called "schoolmaster" until his ordination.

The error of promoting the 'arts of life' first, became very evident at a later stage. However
John King,
William Hall, and
Thomas Kendall
receive training in various fields.

    Inexperienced as the Committee were in such a Mission as this - or indeed in any Mission - the Instructions to Hall and King are singularly good and wise. The Society's object, they said, was "to introduce amongst the Natives the knowledge of Christ; and in order to this, the Arts of Civilized Life." The men are instructed as to both their religious and their civil life. As regards religious conduct, they are enjoined (1) to guard earnestly the sacredness of the sabbath-day; (2) never to omit family worship, and to "perform it as publicly as possible, by reading Scripture or singing "loud enough to be heard by a passing Native." "To show them that you worship your God every day, as Daniel did, cannot but make some impression on them."

(3) They were to converse with the Natives about sin and salvation "when employed in planting potatoes, sowing corn, or in any other occupation." (4) They were to gather the children together for instruction as soon as possible. "While catechizing them, you may speak through them to the grown people." Then as regards civil conduct, they are bidden (1) to "spend no time in idleness," but, "occupy every moment set apart for labour in agriculture, building houses or boats, spinning twine, or some other "useful occupation." "If you indulge in idleness, you will be ruined." (2) To make themselves independent in respect of provisions, by cultivating grain and rearing pigs and poultry. (3) To give no presents to the Natives, and to receive none. (4) To show the Natives the advantage of industry by sending their handiwork (mats, &c.) to Port Jackson for sale. (5) On no account to be drawn into wars. "Tell them you are forbidden by the Chiefs who have sent you out"

C.M.S. Instructions to Hall and King

    The Ann sailed in August, 1809, and reached Port Jackson in February. On the voyage one of those unexpected incidents occurred which in missionary history have so often displayed the particular providence of God. A poor, haggard Maori was found on board, who, after the strangest adventures, and after the most barbarous treatment by English captains, had been brought to England and turned ashore to starve; and this Maori, whose name was Ruatara [Written in the earlier Reports "Duaterra"], proved to be a nephew of the chief Te Pahi, and himself a chief likewise. His joy at learning the errand of Hall and King may be imagined, and he eagerly promised them all assistance and protection in his power. But on arriving at Port Jackson, Marsden and his party had to meet a grievous disappointment. News had just come that the British ship Boyd had been burnt by the Maoris, and the crew killed, and eaten. This, it was afterwards proved, was but in retaliation for murders by traders; and in its turn the massacre was revenged by a party of whalers, who attacked and burnt Te Pahi's village, although he himself had done all in his power to save the crew of the Boyd, and did in fact save some of them. But these sad events put an end to any hope of a speedy settlement in New Zealand.

1809. Hall and King depart England.

Ruatara on same vessel.

News of ship Boyd being burnt and crew eaten by Maori in retaliation of murders by traders.

    After some months of weary waiting, a whaling-ship was found willing to take the young chief Ruatara and land him in New Zealand, and he was sent in her to ascertain the prospects of safely settling there. But nothing was heard of him for more than a year, and Marsden could only wait anxiously, while the Society at home began almost to despair of the enterprise. At last Ruatara appeared at Port Jackson. The captain of the 'whaler had refused to land him in New Zealand, but carried him off to Norfolk Island and put him ashore destitute; and at length

he had persuaded another ship returning to Port Jackson to take him back thither. Another attempt was made after a while, and this time Ruatara did land; and the result of his intercourse with the other chiefs was that though they received his descriptions of civilized life with mocking scepticism, they agreed to welcome the settlers.

Ruatara departs Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) for New Zealand to ascertain the prospects of Maori receiving settlers. Maori agree.

    But now Marsden encountered fresh obstacles. The Colony of New South Wales thought the extermination of Maori savages more desirable than their conversion; and the traders who were profiting by fraud and violence all over the Southern Ocean objected to any attempt by missionaries, whether in New Zealand or at Tahiti, to preach honesty and morality and peace. Every possible slander was set on foot against Marsden; no one supported him; no ship would take him and his mechanics across; nor indeed would the Governor give him temporary leave from his duties as chaplain to enable him to go. At last he purchased a small brig of 110 tons, the Active, and sent Kendall and Hall over to make further inquiries; and on their return with a favourable report, and bringing Ruatara and other chiefs with them, the Governor gave him permission to go, and take the whole party with him, i.e. the three men from England, with their wives and children, and half a dozen mechanics from Port Jackson, and the Maori chiefs. The strange condition of South Sea society at the time may be gathered from the composition of the crew of the Active: one Englishman, one Irishman, one Prussian, one Swede, one Norwegian, one American, one white Colonist, one Maori, two Tahitians, and one Sandwich Islander!

1814. More opposition to Marsden, traders retaliate and N.S.W. Colony consider it better off to exterminate Maori.
Maori still in favour of Christian settlers

Marsden, Kendall, Hall and others depart for N.Z.

    These few details have been given in order to convey, if possible, some slight idea of the difficulties attending even the preparations for a Mission to New Zealand in those days. It was now November, 1814. Five years and three months had elapsed since the Ann left England. Another year and three months were yet to pass before the Society at home heard of the settlement having really been begun. This was not sowing the seed and waiting patiently for the harvest. It was waiting for even an opportunity to sow the seed. Truly patience had her perfect work in those days!


    The voyage from Sydney to North Cape, the northern extremity of New Zealand, about 1000 miles due east, is now done in four or five days by steamer. The Active left Port Jackson on November 28th, and sighted North Cape on December 15th, a good voyage for a little sailing vessel. The Bay of Islands, whither she was bound, being the entrance to the district where Ruatara and other friendly chiefs were dominant, is a little to the south of North Cape, on the further (east) side. How Marsden heard that a deadly feud had sprung up between Ruatara's tribe and another; how he at once landed, despite Ruatara's warnings, and, with only one Sydney man and an interpreter, went,

1814, November, the Active leaves Port Jackson for the Bay of Islands.

unarmed, straight to the hostile party; how he slept that night in their midst under the open canopy of heaven; how in the morning he persuaded them to make peace; how he went on joyfully with his whole party to Ruatara's tribe; how the horse, the bull, and the cows he had brought with him, excited the Natives, whose largest animal was the pig; how everything betokened a prosperous start for the settlement, - has often been told, and can be read again and again with deepest interest. Let us come to Christmas Day. It fell that year on Sunday. Ruatara had gathered his fellow-chiefs and people together. "A very solemn silence prevailed. I rose and began the service by singing the Old Hundredth Psalm, and I felt may very soul melt within me when I viewed my congregation, and considered the state they were in. After reading the service, I preached from St. Luke ii. 10, 'Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.' Such is Marsden's simple account of one of the great historic scenes in the history of Missions, - indeed one of the really great scenes in the history of the British Colonial Empire, for the very existence of the now flourishing Colony of New Zealand is due to the courage and faith of Samuel Marsden in flinging himself among the Maoris. The Mission he initiated on Christmas Day, 1814, tamed the race; and then, in poured the colonists.

Horse, bull and cows excite Maori
Marsden ministers to congregation of chiefs and people Christmas day 1814.

    Marsden spent two months in the country, and then returned to his own duties in New South Wales. From Paramatta he sent a full report of his proceedings home to England. It arrived early in 1816, while Edward Bickersteth was on his voyage out to Africa, and just before William Johnson sailed thither. It excited the liveliest interest. There were yet to pass many years before praise could ascend to God at the news of Maori conversions; but prayerful sympathy was called forth, and Africa had already taught the Society that there must be a sowing in tears before there could be a reaping in joy. One ripe ear, however, was very quickly reaped, though not in New Zealand itself. A young Maori, named Maui (Mowhee), who had been under Marsden's instruction at Paramatta, worked his way to London, England as a common sailor, and on reaching London was taken by the captain to the Church Missionary House. The Society received him, and sent him to Basil Woodd at Paddington; and there he showed evident signs of Divine grace in his heart. He set to work to learn how to teach, hoping to go back to his own country as a teacher; but, as in the case of Simeon Wilhelm

A young Maori, Maui, dies in London.

the Susoo lad, disease struck him, and he died in the faith of Christ on December 28th, 1816, just two years after Marsden's Christmas sermon at the Bay of Islands. A deep impression was made by the Christian deaths of the young Negro and the young Maori in London, within a few months of each other, and before any decided encouragement had come to the praying members of the Society from either Africa or New Zealand. The names of Mowhee and Simeon Wilhelm were coupled in many utterances of thankfulness in sermons and speeches all over England; and both their portraits appear in the same volume of the Missionary Register, 1818.


    Meanwhile Marsden was carrying on a Maori Seminary at Paramatta, where Natives might be more effectively trained in "the arts of life" under his own eye than in New Zealand itself; suitable men being sent over from time to time. This Seminary lasted for some years, with varying fortunes. At the Bay of Islands, the little band of settlers were patiently trying to win their way among the Maoris. It proved wearying and discouraging work. Ruatara had died before Marsden left, and the loss of his help and protection was keenly felt. Savagery of all kinds abounded; robberies were incessant; and repeatedly the settlers and their families were warned at night that they would be murdered before morning. Hall and King made no progress in the language, though Kendall did; and it was hard to get even the friendly Natives to learn anything, whether reading or writing or handicrafts. And with all this, there was constant peril from a settlement of escaped convicts on the opposite side of the Bay - men of most reckless character, whose wicked treatment of the Maoris continually endangered the lives of all white people. In 1819, however, when, after the lapse of four years and a half, Marsden paid a second visit to New Zealand, taking with him a clergyman sent out by the Society to be the spiritual head of the Mission - Mr. Butler, - and again when he paid his third visit, in 1820, - things looked brighter in several ways. The "arts of life" really seemed to be progressing. There were fields of wheat; there were horses and cattle; fruit-trees sent from Sydney were nourishing; blacksmith's shops, saw-pits, rope-walks, were at work; and a boarding-school was , successful in taming and teaching even the wild and volatile Maori children. Kendall was especially efficient: he was the schoolmaster, the farmer, the doctor, and the linguist. He had already prepared some small papers in the Maori language. The settlers were gaining respect and influence, insomuch that, although, within a year or two, about one hundred Natives had been murdered by European traders and escaped convicts, no retaliation had been attempted upon the Mission settlement. The Committee were much encouraged: they saw the good influence of even the small beginnings

The Missionary Settlement
Death of Ruatara

of industrial, educational, medical, and linguistic work; and they hoped great things from the efforts of the new Governor of New South Wales, Sir Thomas Brisbane, in putting down the outrages perpetrated by Europeans - concerning which they had in an earner Report used this strong language : -

"Your Committee feel it strongly that Providential Guidance has thrown the Society, in its two attempts among the more uncivilized Heathen, into conflict with the most rapacious of their countrymen. But whether it respects Western Africa or New Zealand, they will not cease to protest against these enormities, and to wipe their hands of these crimes : nor will they desist from employing all practicable methods of redress, till such redress is actually obtained."

Trials, threats, robberies and danger plague mission.
1820. Wheat, fruit trees, blacksmiths shops, boarding school etc. now established 
About 100 Maori murdered by European Traders and convicts, but no retaliation by Maori on Mission.

    But a much darker period now ensued. A great chief named Hongi, [Written "Shung-hee " in the earlier Reports] who was supposed by the missionaries and by Marsden to be their best Maori friend and one likely to be soon influenced by the Gospel, came to England with Kendall. He was received with much respect and kindness by the Society's leaders; and one good thing resulted from the visit - he and Kendall were sent to Cambridge for two months to enable that great scholar, Professor Samuel Lee, "the Society's Orientalist," to fix the grammar of the Maori language; and the Grammar and Vocabulary produced by Lee became the foundation of all subsequent Maori translations. Kendall was admitted to holy orders during their stay, and high hopes were entertained of the future of the Mission. But it turned out that Hongi's chief object in coming to England was to obtain guns and gunpowder; that he had obtained a large quantity, and that on his way back he purchased more at Sydney by selling the valuable presents given him, including some from George IV., who had granted him an interview; and his return to New Zealand was the signal, not for peace and advance in civilisation, but for war and massacre and cannibalism. The narratives of his proceedings are truly dreadful; and the settlers were filled with horror when they saw the heads of men and women tossed about in wild fury, and tit-bits from human corpses brought to their own dwellings and offered to them to eat. Worst of all, to the shame and dismay of the little band, Kendall himself was proved to be the ally of Hongi, and seemingly the instigator, not indeed of his cannibalism, but of his ambitious designs. The Society had laid down strict rules against the use of guns and gunpowder in bartering for food, and honest men like Hall and King were ready to starve - as indeed they nearly did - rather than disobey this rule. Kendall opposed them, and claimed liberty to trade in arms and ammunition, and one or two of the Sydney men sided with him. This led to the discovery of his alliance with Hongi. In the Report of 1822, the Committee say, referring to the change in the chief's temper and attitude, - "Into the

circumstances which led to this they -will not now enter; they have obtained a clue to them, which will lead, they fear, to some painful conclusions." In the following year the Committee say: -

"Had the whole number of labourers in this Mission maintained among these Heathens the Christian spirit and character, the Committee would have made comparatively light of its external difficulties; but it is with grief that they add that its main trials have arisen from within. It has been found requisite, in the faithful discharge of the duty which Christian Communities owe to the honour of that Name by which they are called, to separate from the Society two Members of the Mission, for conduct disgraceful to their profession. The Committee trust that it will never become necessary again to exercise this painful duty: but should the necessity at any time recur, the path of duty is obvious, as no blessing from God can be expected, but in proportion as the simplicity and purity of the Christian character are maintained."

Hongi and Kendall to England.
Hongi trades gifts for guns and gunpowder. War and canibalism
Samuel Lee fixes Maori Language grammar.
Samuel Lee: Was a carpenter's apprentice who had acquired a knowledge of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, Arabic, Persian, and Hindustani, before he was 25 years of age! He came under the notice of the C.M.S. Committee who arranged for him to go to Cambridge at the Society's expense.! There he quickly made his mark as a scholar, and for some years he was employed by the C.M.S. Committee, and called "the Society's Orientalist." His name, and the works upon which he was engaged, frequently occur in the Reports of this period. He afterwards became Professor of Arabic and Canon of Bristol.

    One of the two dismissed was, of course, Kendall; the other was Mr. Butler's son. In the following year, a third man, a mechanic, was dismissed; and Mr. Butler himself, who had come to England, withdrew. But several others - thirteen had gone out from England up to 1823, and some from New South Wales - were working and praying earnestly. In the Report of 1824 the Committee say : -

"In the midst of the evils which have arisen to this Mission from the sins of some who have been engaged in it, and the infirmities of others, God has not left Himself without witness in this land, but has maintained among His people, under all the trials endured from the Natives, and the still greater trials from some of their own body, faithful and devoted Labourers, who, though they have felt, to use their own expression, as living Martyrs,' have continued to lift up holy hands in the midst of these savage tribes, to labour unweariedly for their good, and to cause the light of a meek and holy conversation to shine around them."

Kendall and two others dismissed from C.M.S. employment.

    When we remember that all these sore trials were burdening the minds and hearts of the Committee in the very year of the terrible mortality at Sierra Leone, described in the Thirteenth Chapter, we cannot but praise God that His grace enabled them to hold on with unfaltering faith; and that the blessing vouchsafed to Johnson's work at Regent was fresh in their memories as a token, after all, of the favour of the Lord. Marsden, too, upon whom fell the heaviest burden, in grappling on the spot with the difficulties of the Mission, both external and internal, never despaired for a moment. He had his previous experience with the L.M.S. Tahiti Mission to fall back upon; and that Mission now, after years of trial, was being blessed beyond anticipation : -

"I had many a battle to fight [he wrote] for years, with some of the first settlers sent out to the Society Islands, who turned out unprincipled men. The Directors of the London Missionary Society despaired of success, after they had expended many thousands of pounds; and they frequently wrote to me on the subject, expressing their fears that they must abandon the Mission. I never had myself, however, but one

opinion relative to that Mission - and that was that it would succeed: and God has now blessed the word of His grace to thousands of the poor Heathen in those Islands."


    He added, significantly, - "The way is still open, if Labourers can only be procured fit for the work; and God will find these and send them forth when He sees meet. You have some excellent ones of the earth in New Zealand, whom the Lord will assuredly bless; but we must not sow and expect to reap in the same day."


    In that very year, 1822, was sent forth the man whom we may regard as the first of the second generation of New Zealand missionaries, and who was destined in God's providence to be one of the chief instruments in the evangelization of the Maori race. Henry Williams had been an officer in the Navy, and had served in the wars with both France and the United States. He offered to the Society in 1820, and received his education for the ministry under a clerical relative, the Rev. E. G. Marsh. He was the second candidate to receive holy orders from the Bishop of London under the new Colonial Service Act; and he sailed, with his wife and three children, on August 7th, 1822. The Instructions given him are very significant. The Committee were now realizing that if Civilization preceded Christianity, it was very likely to prove an obstacle to Christianity, and that the Gospel did not need the "arts of life" as its precursors, however useful they might be to win attention to tho Divine message, and, as in this case, to make a Mission partly self-supporting. "It is the great and ultimate purpose of this Mission," they said to Henry Williams, "to bring the noble but benighted race of New Zealanders into the enjoyment of the light and freedom of the Gospel. To this grand end, all the Society's measures are subordinate."

The new Epoch:
Henry Williams
Henry Williams was the first of the 2nd generation of missionaries. Henry had remarkably different instructions to that of Marsden, in that the C.M.S realising the error of promoting civilization first, now endure him to preach the Gospel above all other measures.

"The Committee are the more earnest with you on this point, because, in the constant attention which this Mission will require, for years to come, to secular business, the temptation of the Labourers has been, and will be, not to give a due proportion in their plans to Religious Education and Instruction. . . .
"Go forth, then, in the true spirit of a devoted Missionary, having no secular object in view, but desirous of bringing glory to God by advancing the Kingdom of His Son. . . . "The result of your labours, be well assured, will in due time show itself. What a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Indefatigable labours, unwearied patience, persevering prayer, simple faith, and unfailing love, will in the end produce their visible fruit to the praise and glory of God; while self-will, evil tempers, indolence, self-indulgence, pursuit of gain, a worldly spirit, strife and contention, neglect of devotion, and all those other evils to which we are by nature prone, would render you unprofitable to New Zealand, and a burden to the Society; and would fill you with self-reproach and sorrow, if they did not end, as they have done in some awful instances, in a state of apostasy from God."

C.M.S. Instructions to Henry.

    In the Address delivered at the same time by E. G. Marsh, there is a striking passage about self-defence. The New Zealand missionaries were not only forbidden to use muskets for barter, Mr. Marsh enjoins them not to use arms at all, even to save the lives of their families : -

NO firearms!.

" As you are about to enter the territories of a savage and powerful people, to commit yourselves to their hospitality, and to live under their laws, it would be vain to think of protecting yourselves by force against their violence. It is impossible to shut your eyes to the fact that, so far as human means are concerned, you must be considered as in their power and at their mercy. . . . All offensive instruments, therefore, it is wise for a Missionary to renounce. As his object is peaceful, so should his hand be unarmed. He should carry the olive-branch, and not the sword; and should exhibit the example of a person who comes into the enemy's camp in the sacred character of a Herald of Peace. He will therefore neither wear a sword, nor bestow one. He will persist in abstaining from earthly weapons while he is prosecuting a spiritual warfare. He will say under all provocations,' I will go in the strength of the Lord God; I will make mention of His righteousness only.'"


    The reply of Henry Williams is also interesting, and just such as might be expected from a naval officer entering missionary service. He assures the Committee that he shall "consider it a most sacred duty to regard" their orders at all times "as rigidly as ever he did those of his Senior Officer while he was in His Majesty's Service"; and, referring to his wife, he says, "With regard to Mrs. Williams, I beg to say that she does not accompany me merely as my wife, but as a fellow-helper in the work." Even at the end of the century, Henry Williams's example would not be out of date!

Mrs H. Williams

    Henry Williams proved to be a man after Marsden's own heart. From the time of his arrival in New Zealand, the whole Mission improved; and Mrs. Williams, as he had said, was a true fellow-worker. Trials, however, were not over. A new station was established, among new people; and the thieving and threats from which the earlier settlers had suffered, had now to be again encountered. Moreover, "four young children in a very small dwelling, which effectually excluded neither wind nor rain, was in itself sufficiently inconvenient; and to this was added the want of a fire even in cold weather, for the walls of rushes were too combustible to allow of one in the house"; while the cooking Mrs. Williams had to do in an open shed, whatever the weather. That is, when there was anything to cook; but the Natives stole their fowls and destroyed their vegetables, and refused to supply

food except in exchange for guns and powder, which Williams resolutely declined to barter." Often," wrote he of his wife, "is she tired in her work, but never of it."

Henry and Mrs Williams establish a new station. Thieving and threats. Use of fireplace impossible as walls of house too combustible.

    Another of God's chosen instruments for the evangelization of New Zealand was now on his way out, in the person of Henry Williams's brother. William Williams had been brought up to the medical profession, and had been assistant to a surgeon at Southwell; but on Henry's going forth as a missionary, he determined to follow him. He went to Magdalen Hall (now Hertford College), Oxford, and took his degree in 1824; and in July, 1825, he sailed with his young wife for New Zealand. In the Instructions, the Committee, perhaps encouraged by the words that Henry Williams had uttered about his wife three years before, specially addressed Mrs. William Williams. They exhorted her to remember that "no country can be happy or Christian but in proportion as its Females become so," and to seek every opportunity of influencing the Maori women. "You should rank," they said, "with those honourable Women of old who laboured with even Apostles in the Gospel," In all missionary history, has any woman proved herself more worthy of this "rank" than Jane Williams?

William Williams


Mrs William Williams

    When William Williams and his wife reached Sydney, they were met by Henry in a little vessel, the Herald, which he, profiting by his naval experience, had himself built at the Bay of Islands, with the assistance of W. Hall, who, as will be remembered, had learned something of ship-building at Hull before leaving England seventeen years before. The Active had been sold some time previously; a vessel which had taken Marsden to New Zealand for his fourth visit in 1823 had been wrecked; and Henry Williams had determined to supply the want himself.


    Meanwhile, not a few signs had appeared of the grace of God working in Maori hearts. There were inquirers after the way of salvation; there were hopeful deaths; and on September 14th, 1825, the first baptism took place, that of a chief named Rangi, on his deathbed. There could be no doubt of the genuineness of his faith: he received the name of "Christian"; and he was the first of a great company of believers destined to be gathered out of one of the most savage and ferocious races over met with. But the great ingathering was not yet.

First convert

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Chapter XXIV (24)

page 356]
    William Williams joined his brother Henry in 1826, and then began the forty years' united work of the two leading evangelists - par nobile fratrum - of the Maori race. But heavy clouds came with the dawn. In 1827 the Wesleyan station at "Whangaroa was destroyed by hostile Natives, and the members of that Mission were obliged to leave the island. In the following year, the great chief Hongi died. Cruel savage as he was, he had always befriended the missionaries, and when dying he exhorted his people to protect them. Indeed he never would take the life of a white man, despite the shocking outrages perpetrated on his race by escaped convicts and other reckless adventurers who landed from time to time. But his illness and death and the confusion that ensued, put the Mission in imminent peril; and they sent away all books, stores, &c., that could possibly be spared, -by a vessel just sailing for Sydney. As for themselves, and their wives and children, they resolved to cling to their posts to the last. "When the natives," wrote "William Williams, "are in our houses, carrying away our things, it will be time for us to take to our boats." Nay, hearing of two leading tribes preparing for war, Henry Williams hastened to the place where the two bands of warriors were encamped and awaiting the signal for battle, hoisted a white flag between them, persuaded them to remain quiet till after the Ra-tapu (Sunday), held a service for them all on that day, and on the Monday succeeded in making peace between them. In all missionary history there is no more thrilling incident than this, which led to what was called the Peace of Hokianga, March 24th, 1828.*

Williams brothers.

* See Carlton's 'Life of Henry Williams", p.69 for whole narrative.

    Meanwhile, many signs appeared that the patient teaching of the Word of God was not fruitless. It will be remembered that the first baptism, of the dying chief Rangi, had taken place in 1825. Another man, Ruri-ruri, showed unmistakable tokens of the working of divine grace in his heart; but he fell sick and died without baptism. Many of the Natives had learned to read; and in 1827, the arrival from Sydney of some books in their own tongue (containing Gen. i.-iii., Exod. xx., Matt, v., John i., the Lord's Prayer, and some hymns) caused the utmost excitement and delight. "We have had," wrote one of the missionaries, "dying testimonies; now we can bless God for living witnesses."Some of the people began to ask that their children might be baptized, though hesitating, or not sufficiently instructed, to take the decisive step themselves; and in August, 1829, four children of a ferocious chief named Taiwhanga were publicly admitted to the Church, together with the infant son of William Williams. The missionaries little dreamed that that infant son, sixty-six years after, would be consecrated third Bishop of Waiapu! But six months after, on February 7th, 1830, the first public baptismal

Fruits at last.
Ruri-ruri: originally written as 'Dudi-dudi'.

service for adults was held in New Zealand; and one of the candidates received into the Church that day was Taiwhanga himself, to whom, was given the name of Rawiri (the native form of David). An outpouring of the Spirit upon the people followed: many came to the missionaries in deep conviction of sin; classes and prayer-meetings were arranged; more books came from Sydney, containing portions of the Gospels and 1st Corinthians, and of the Prayer-book and Catechism, and were eagerly devoured; and in the midst of it all came Samuel Marsden, on his sixth visit. Who can describe the old man's joy! At the very time, on Sunday, March 14th, when a Maori congregation, in his presence, joined in the Church service, savage fighting was going on only two miles off. "At one glance," he wrote, "might be seen the miseries of Heathenism and the blessings of the Gospel!"

Marsden's joy.

    During this time the missionaries at work, besides the brothers Williams, had all, except one (Yate), been lay agents, though some of these had been under training for a time at Islington. There were, in 1830, John King, one of tho two original settlors (Hall had lately retired to New South Wales, after several years' good work), J. Kemp, G. Clarke, R. Davis, J. Hamlin (the first Islington student), C. Baker, from England; and ,J. Shepherd, W. Fairburn, and W. Puckey, from New South Wales. But the Rev. Alfred N. Brown (also one of the first batch of Islington students, but ordained by the Bishop of London), had just arrived. In the next twelve years the following were (among others) sent out: T. Chapman, J. Matthews, J. A. Wilson, J. Morgan, B. Y. Ashwell, Rev. E. Maunsell (B.A., Trin. Coll., Dublin), Rev. E. Taylor (M.A., Queens', Camb.), 0. Hadfield (Pemb. Coll.,Oxford), Rev. E. Burrows, and S. M. Spencer; and G. A. Kissling, the Basle man whose health had failed in West Africa, was transferred to New Zealand in 1841, after ordination by the Bishop of London. All these did good service - some of them, it may be truly said, splendid service - for many years; and several of the laymen were afterwards ordained. Most of them never once returned to England. It is a fact worth noting that a surgeon, who may be called the Society's first medical missionary, Mr. S. H. Ford, went out in 1836; and the Committee's lnstructions to him are very interesting. But he withdrew after four years. Here it may be mentioned that the first death in the New Zealand Mission in twenty-seven years occurred on February 1st, 1837, when Mrs. E. Davis entered into rest, deeply lamented.

A goodly band of missionaries.

The second was a, very sad one. The Rev. J. Mason was drowned in crossing a river, in January, 1843.


    Hitherto the Mission had not gone far from the shores of the Bay of Islands; but Henry Williams now planned extension, and in the next few years new stations were planted at Waimate and Kaitaia, in the north; then in the Hot Lakes district; then on the Waikato River; then on the Bay of Plenty. In 1839 two still more important steps were taken. William Williams moved to the East Coast, into the country which afterwards formed the diocese of Waiapu, and took up his abode at Turanga, on Poverty Bay, where the town of Gisborne now stands; and Octavius Hadfield settled at Otaki, in the south, now in the diocese of Wellington. Both these good men, long afterwards, became Bishops in the very territories in which they had been the pioneers of the Gospel. Some of these extensions were due to the zeal of Maori converts, many of whom showed real earnestness in spreading the faith to distant tribes. The detailed narratives, of travel, of the preaching of Christ, of the true conversion of soul after soul, of the examples of Christian life shown by the Natives, are of exceeding interest. Nothing in the modern history of the Uganda Mission, - which in so many ways resembles that of the New Zealand Mission - is more thrilling, or affords more signal illustrations of the power of the Holy Ghost. W. Williams had completed and revised the Maori New Testament and Prayer book, and many thousands of copies had been printed and sold. In 1840, the year when New Zealand became a British Colony, there were thirty thousand Maori attendants on public worship.

Henry Williams plans extension of mission beyond Bay of Islands.

    Before this, however, the Mission had received three important and interesting visits. In 1835, H.M.S. Beagle, then on its famous scientific voyage round the world, appeared off the coast, and Charles Darwin, then a young naturalist, visited the mission station at Waimate, where William Williams, Davis, and Clarke were at work. Viewing with admiration the external scene presented, the gardens, farmyard, cornfields, &c., he wrote, "Native workmanship, taught by the missionaries, has effected the change. The lesson of the missionary is the enchanter's wand. I thought the whole scene admirable. ....And to think that this was in the centre of cannibalism, murder, and all atrocious crimes! ....I took leave of the missionaries with thankfulness for their kind welcome, and with feelings of high respect for their gentlemanlike, useful, and upright characters. It would be difficult to find a body of men better adapted for the high office which they fulfil."

Charles Darwin aboard Beagle pays visit.

    A second visit was from Bishop Broughton. Australia was separated from the diocese of Calcutta in 1836, and Archdeacon

Broughton, of Sydney, was appointed Bishop of the new diocese. He was the first and only "Bishop of Australia," the title being altered to "Sydney" when other dioceses were formed out of his. At the request of the C.M.S. Committee he visited New Zealand in 1838, " though at much personal inconvenience," ordained Mr. Hadfield, and confirmed several candidates, but fewer than there would have been but for an outbreak of influenza among the Natives, and the Bishop's inability, for want of time, to visit more than three stations. On Christmas Day he preached at Paihia, not far from the spot where Marsden had preached the first Christian sermon in New Zealand exactly twenty-four years before.! His report to the Society bore high testimony to the reality of the work and the character of the agents, while faithfully pointing out features susceptible of improvement, and begging for a large increase of the staff.


    In the same year another bishop appeared, a French Romanist, with two priests. This was not one of our "three interesting visits," for they stayed; and stayed, it need scarcely be added, not in the still Heathen districts, but close to the existing Mission. Here is another feature in which New Zealand is like Uganda - and with still more unhappy results, as will appear hereafter.


    The third of the three visits - but the second in order of time, 1837 - was from Samuel Marsden. The old veteran, for the fourteenth time, sailed across the twelve hundred miles between Sydney and the Bay of Islands, to pay his seventh and last visit to the land and the people for whom he had done so much. At the age of seventy-two, bowed down by bodily infirmities, he was carried in a litter from station to station in the north by Maori bearers who loved him, and then went on by sea to the east and the south. Wherever he went, he was met by crowds of Natives, who journeyed long distances to see the benefactor of their race. With humble, lowly thankfulness the aged saint gazed on the results of his labours and his prayers; and "with paternal authority and affection, and with the solemnity of one who felt himself to be standing on the verge of eternity, he gave his parting benedictions to the missionaries and the converts." One night on deck, wrote Mr. A. N. Brown (June 8th, 1837), -

Marsdens 7th and last visit.

"He spoke of almost all his old friends having preceded him to the Eternal World - Romaine, Newton, the Milners, Scott, Robinson, Buchanan, Goode, Thomason, Legh Richmond, Simeon. He then alluded in a very touching manner to his late wife. They had passed, he observed, more than forty years of their pilgrimage in company; and he felt their separation more severely as the months rolled on. I remarked that their separation would be but for a short period longer. 'God grant it,' was his reply; and then, lifting his eyes toward the moon, which was peacefully shedding her beams on the sails of our gallant bark, he exclaimed, with intense feeling -


'Prepare me, Lord, for Thy right hand;
Thou, come the joyful day !'"


It was indeed "but for a short period." He returned to Sydney in August, after six months' absence, and on May 12th, 1838, at Paramatta, he entered into rest. ...


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