Christianity Among The New Zealanders
By the Right Rev. William Williams, D.C.L. Bishop of Waiapu.
CHAPTER IV 1826, 1827.
BUILDING OF THE SCHOONER "HERALD" - VOYAGE TO BAY OF PLENTY - STUDY OF NATIVE LANGUAGE - WESLEYAN STATION AT WHANGAPAROA - HONGI ATTACKS WHANGAROA - MISSION STATION DESTROYED - HONGI WOUNDED - FLIGHT OF MISSIONARIES TO PAIHIA - BRIG "WELLINGTON" SEIZED BY CONVICTS, AND RE-TAKEN IN BAY OF ISLANDS - VISIT TO HONGI - DEATHS OF LUCY AND RURERURE - TE KOIKOI - A PLUNDERING PARTY THWARTED - BOOK OF TRANSLATIONS PRINTED - AKAIPIKIA - DEATH OF HONGI
WHEN Mr. Marsden visited the river Thames, he was full of hope that the labours of the missionaries would be extended to that part of the island. We have seen how this benevolent design was brought to naught by the devastating wars of the Bay of Islanders. The savage thirst of the natives had been in some measure satiated, and it was hoped that now at length there would be an opening for intercourse with the southern parts of the island. The Rev. H. Williams had spent the early part of his life in the navy, and Mr. Marsden thought that his nautical knowledge might be turned to good account. He proposed, therefore, that a small schooner, of about sixty tons burthen, should be built under Mr. Williams's direction. Communication with the colony of New South Wales was not frequent at that period, and as a large portion of the supplies required for carrying on the mission was procured from thence, the proposed vessel would secure the advantage of having these necessaries conveyed with regularity. But the chief benefit which was looked was the means of intercourse with the southern tribes. This vessel was immediately commenced by two carpenters, one of whom was a regular shipwright. It proved to be a very laborious work, and the missionaries at the station felt it necessary to render as much assistance as they were capable of undertaking; and on her completion, in the year 1826, the first voyage was made to New South Wales. After this Mr. Williams made two visits to the Bay of Plenty, accompanied by Mr. Davis and Mr. Clarke, where they had much satisfactory intercourse with the natives of Tauranga, though at another place they narrowly escaped destruction from a party who pulled off to the ship with the intention of seizing her, a fate which befell the brig Haweis two years after, when several of her crew were killed.
On every part of the coast there seemed to be a large population, and a strong desire was expressed that missionaries should go and live among them, and several sons of chiefs were allowed to return in the vessel, in confidence that under the care of the missionaries they would be safe from their old enemies of the Bay of Islands.
At the stations in the Bay of Islands much attention was given to the study of the native language, with a view to the translation of portions of the scripture; and the young persons who were conveyed from the south in the schooner Herald, together with the natives living in the mission families, chiefly slaves from the distant tribes, were brought under regular instruction, which was gradually to prepare them to communicate a benefit to their countrymen.
The general plan pursued at Paihia at that time was as follows:- At five in the morning the large bell was rung to arouse the settlement. At six the natives and the mission families assembled for prayers; at seven instruction was given to the natives; and from nine till eleven the native language was studied, and an attempt was made to translate portions of scripture. By carrying on this work in a body, there was mutual benefit derived. They had also the valuable help of Mr. Puckey, who had lived in the island from his youth.
The native congregations had hitherto been so small that they met together without difficulty in the dwelling houses of the missionaries. It now became necessary to erect a separate building of larger dimensions, which might serve the double purpose of church and schoolroom. "It cheers us," it was observed, "to be obliged to enlarge the place of our tent, to stretch forth the curtains of our habitation, to lengthen our cords, and strengthen our stakes; and we feel assured that the Gospel will here break forth on the right hand and on the left, and that this barren desert will become a fruitful field." This was a pleasing indication, but still deep-rooted superstition and every evil disposition continued to hold undisturbed possession of the body of the natives.
Towards the end of the year 1826 Hongi had been seized with a violent pain in the knee while on board a ship in the harbour. His people fancied he had been bewitched by a chief of the river Thames, whose destruction consequently was determined on. Some bloodthirsty creatures proposed to kill all Hongi's slaves, who were very numerous, [The usual mode of showing respect to a great man when any calamity had befallen him, was to carry off all his property, or kill his slaves,] but he protested strongly against the sacrifice of any life on his account, and told the slaves to fly for their safety. But Ururoa, his brother-in-law, seeing one pass with a load of firewood on her back, shot her dead on the spot, and another chief immediately killed a boy.
Mention has been already made of Whangaroa, the scene of the massacre of the Boyd. It is necessary again to recur to it, because some events of painful interest happened there at this time. The harbour is approached by a narrow entrance between rocky cliffs, which are formed by the disruption of a mountain range. The hills are broken into every variety of form, evidently the effect of some violent convulsion of remote ages. There are two remarkable rocks on the opposite shores, to which navigators have given the names Peter and Paul, and by a singular coincidence, the former of these has been subsequently occupied by a Romish priest, the latter by a catechist of the Church Missionary Society. Within the heads the harbour expands into a basin, which affords safe anchorage for shipping, and on every side the ground rises to a great elevation, and is covered with forest of kauri and other trees. Several smaller rivers fall into the bay from the surrounding hills, the banks of which are cultivated. Always yielding to the natives a rich return for their labour. Up one of these fertile valleys, not far from the spot where Captain Thompson was killed, a Wesleyan station was established in the year 1823. It was most romantically situated upon a rising ground, looking towards the opening harbour on the one side, and on the other to the village of Kaeo, where the son of George and his other relatives were still residing. His tribe Ngatipo had lived some years before in the Bay of Islands, and it was they who cut off the French navigator Marion with part of his crew. Subsequently, in consequence of some domestic quarrel with their neighbours, they were driven away to Whangaroa. It seemed, however, that a retributive justice was still to follow them. They received the missionaries to live among them, but they treated them so harshly, that for a time they were glad to take refuge in the Church Mission station at Kerikeri. The Gospel was taken to them, but they did not accept it.
In the summer of 1826 this beautiful valley was teeming with the fertility of native crops, and the wheat sown by the missionaries for their own support was now white for the harvest. Not so in the moral field of the native inhabitants. In three weeks the restless spirit of Hongi, who had been annoyed by the misconduct of a near relative, stirred him up to undertake some expedition, no matter where, for the relief of his own excited feelings. A pretext was never wanting to a New Zealander. If there was not one of late occurrence, it might be sought for in the past generation. He went to Whangaroa with a body of chosen followers, and without much previous notice destroyed two fortified villages, while the natives who lived at Kaeo fled away to their friends at Hokianga. The missionaries were thus left without native protection, and although Hongi had strictly charged his followers not to molest them, a straggling party went off without his knowledge, attracted by the prospect of plunder, and pillaged the missionary premises, and then burnt them to the ground, obliging the occupants to fly for refuge to the Bay of Islands. The missionaries had hitherto been kept from harm for the space of twelve years, and though continually living in the midst of dangers, they had never met with any serious obstruction in their work. There was a sort of reverence paid to them and their object; but now a breach had been made, and those who had possessed themselves of the property at Whangaroa exulted in the act.
While Hongi was in pursuit of some of the fugitives, he received a serious wound through the lungs. It was soon reported that he was dead, and although this turned out to be incorrect, the feelings of the natives were expressed without disguise. They all agreed that if Hongi's wound should prove mortal, the mission station at Kerikeri should share the same fate with that at Whangaroa. "It is beyond doubt," wrote Mr. Williams, "that according to the present disposition of the natives, as soon as Hongi dies, our brethren at Kerikeri, who are considered to belong to him, will be plundered. This is according to the custom of the country. We have also been told that when our chief Te Koki dies we must expect the same fate." In this unsettled state of things, the missionaries considered themselves merely as tenants at will, who might be ejected at any hour. The rumours were of such a character that it seemed not improbable that they all might be obliged to leave the island together, though it was their intention to continue as long as they could keep their ground. Four days afterwards news was received which led to the supposition that Hongi was either dead or very near his death. If this had been true, all that was anticipated respecting the settlements was likely to have come to pass. At nine o'clock in the evening a messenger from Kerikeri arrived at Paihia, stating that Hongi was dead, and that the missionaries hourly expected to be turned out of doors, and plundered of everything. [This report turned out to be incorrect, but still a strong ground for apprehension continued]. The boat was sent up immediately to fetch Mrs. Clarke, who was ill in health; the rest were to stand their ground to the last. During this great excitement the minds of the missionaries were preserved from that anxiety which might have been expected, believing that whatsoever might happen, God would overrule all for good.
In the mean time the Rev. H. Williams and Mr. Davis had gone off to Whangaroa upon the first intimation of the troubles of the Wesleyan missionaries, and met the forlorn party midway between Kerikeri and Whangaroa. It was a mournful sight, when on the 111th of January, 1927, the large boat of Paihia was seen on its way from Kerikeri, with as many passengers crowded into it as it was capable of carrying. It contained all that remained of the mission station of Whangaroa, Mrs. Turner, with her three little children, and the rest of their mission party. Their clothes were contained in a few small bundles, which they carried in their hands the distance of twenty miles. Arriving at Kerikeri, the natives would not allow them to remain, fearing that that place would be the next to fall. They were thankful, therefore, to proceed onward to Paihia.
It is not easy to describe the effect of this breach which had been made upon the mission body. The first thought was to comfort and relieve our friends who had lost their all, those friends whom some of us had visited in peace and security not two months before: the next was apprehension for our brethren at Kerikeri. Then, too, it was felt that every one must immediately pack up all they could send away by the ship Sisters, which was about to sail to New South Wales. News from every quarter showed that all the tribes were more or less involved in this horrible civil war, and the fate of Whangaroa opened our ears to listen to reports we had before disregarded, and showed us we were all exposed to a like danger. During this interval the boat at Kerikeri was kept in a state of readiness, and in a back room of Mr. Kemp's house, which was contiguous to the water, there was a heap of small bundles containing changes of linen for each of the little children, with as many paddles as could be used in the boat, so that on the first alarm their faithful natives might snatch up all that could be carried in addition to the children, and place them safely in the boat.
But to return to Whangaroa. After Hongi was wounded another pa was taken, where a great number of the natives had sought refuge, and men, women, and children were all massacred without any regard to age or sex. Hongi gave orders that not one should be spared except the slaves, who were to be incorporated into his tribe. Some messengers had been sent from Kerikeri to inquire the particulars of Hongi's wound, and while they were there several of the Whangaroa natives were dragged from their hiding places and killed. The scenes of cruelty exceeded description, and the messengers said they could not have conceived the horrible sights they were obliged to witness.
A remarkable event had occurred at this time, which, under God's providence, proved to be a great relief in a season of extreme anxiety. The brig Wellington, having on board sixty convicts, bound from Sydney to Norfolk Island, had been seized by the prisoners and came forward to the Bay of Islands for a supply of water, the convicts hoping to make their way to the coast of South America. She arrived on Friday, and the next day a strong breeze from the north-west not only prevented her from getting under weigh, but drove her close up to two whaling vessels which were lying at anchor, the crews of which came to the bold determination not to allow her to escape. At daybreak on Sunday morning they opened fire upon her, and when their few round shot were expended they loaded their guns with coopers' rivets, and nails, for the purpose of cutting up the rigging. After a few hours the convicts proposed to capitulate, on condition that they should be allowed to go on shore, taking with them their clothes, which were no doubt the property of the soldiers and the seamen. This proposal was agreed to, and instruction was at the same time given to the natives, who were in great numbers on the shore, to secure them on landing, and not to allow any two of them to be together. On the following morning they were all brought back, and the payment of a musket or a cask of powder was given for each. It was then arranged that one of these whalers should go to New South Wales with half the prisoners, and this circumstance furnished a conveyance to the Wesleyan missionaries, who left the island for a season. [After a sojourn of a few months in New South Wales, they returned again to re-establish their mission at Hokianga, on the western coast.] The church missionaries also were able to send off a part of their property, which might still be preserved for their use if they were driven to extremities. When these arrangements had been made, the missionaries were in a position to await quietly the result, ready to follow out the path to which God might direct them. They were now prepared to depart or stay, according to the behaviour of the natives; but it was their united determination to remain until they should be absolutely driven away. When the natives should enter their houses and plunder their contents, it would then be time for them to take refuge in the boats. There seemed now to be great indifference on the part of the chiefs as to whether the missionaries remained or not; and many of those who had been kind in their behaviour had taken a prominent part in the late scenes of depredation. It seemed possible that it might be the will of God that the missionary work should be interrupted for a season, in order to its being carried on with greater vigour at a future time. Of this there can be no doubt, that a change would soon take place, and a proof of this was the great opposition stirred up by the wicked one.
Two weeks after Hongi was wounded, he sent a request to the writer to visit him. It was somewhat dangerous at that time to travel through the woods, and the party of mission natives who went in company requested that they might carry hatchets with them for their own protection. Night overtook the party in the dense forest, not many miles from Kaeo. We withdrew from the path into a secluded spot, that we might not attract the notice of any straggling foe. When the day dawned, the tent, and whatever was carried by the natives in the way of baggage, was securely hidden in the forest, each one marking the spot where he had deposited his load, and then we proceeded towards Hongi's encampment. As soon as the valley of Kaeo opened, there were seen the abundant crops of Ngatipo, who had now forsaken the place for ever, and the natives began to regale themselves upon the water melons, which were laying in great profusion. Suddenly a movement was observed among the foremost natives, which showed their was an apprehension of danger. The rest all rushed forward, when five or six men armed with muskets and hatchets, were seen among the bushes standing at bay, gazing silently on our party. It was soon know that these were Hong's followers, and about 150 more presently came up all armed. They had come to forage for the rest of the army. As we passed up the valley we saw the work of desolation on every side; the dwelling-houses were all burnt to the ground, and all moveable property had been taken away. But the site of the late mission station was still more melancholy. The black ashes of the wooden buildings and of the stack of wheat alone remained to mark the spot, while the grave of Mrs. Turner's infant had been disturbed, and the coffin broken open, in hopes of finding some relic of value. Hongi was encamped about five miles further on, within one of the pas he had taken. How different was the state of things a few weeks before, when its former inhabitants were dwelling in security. Not one of them was now remaining. Those who were not killed had fled for their lives, and it was in pursuing the fugitives in the woods with a very few followers that Hongi received his mortal wound. He had never been hit before, and he fancied that he was invulnerable, but now a ball had passed through his lungs, and he was lying helpless, with a very slender prospect of recovery. The people around were careless and secure, elated with their recent victory, but Hongi was cast down and thoughtful, feeling perhaps that it was doubtful whether he would ever be able to resume his former career. He appreciated, however, the attention which was shown to him, and a few weeks later he directed his people to convey him by canoe to Paihia, hoping that he might recover from the effects of his wound.
The anticipations of danger to the missionary stations in the Bay Islands were happily not realized, but the excitement continued, and there seemed to be little prospect of any change for the better. There were so many circumstances on all sides to keep alive the feeling of bitter hostility, chiefly dependent on the death of relatives who had been killed in battle, even though at a remote period, that a cause for going to war was never wanting; and were it not for the assurance from the word of God that there is to be a glorious period, when the inhabitants of the earth shall learn righteousness, and war be no more known, it would have been hopeless to expect an improvement. If the chiefs were asked when their wars would be at an end, they replied never, because it is the custom of every tribe which loses a man not to be content without satisfaction, and nothing less than the death of one individual can atone for the death of another. Hongi returned to Whangaroa, and determined to make that place his residence. There seemed to be a prospect of his recovery, and he was hoping to go again to fight. His restless spirit was stirring up a desire within him to obtain satisfaction for the wound he had received the preceding summer, and he had already requested different chiefs to join him.
Among the surrounding tribes there did not appear to be one gleam of hope of the progress of the Gospel, but God granted from time to time in the missionary stations a few indications of improvement, which were received as an earnest of future good. In June, 1827, the Rev. H. Williams writes from Paihia:- "It appeared evident that our little native girl Lucy, who had been with us three years, was at the point of death. We conversed with her on the love of Jesus and the delights of heaven. She listened with great attention, and expressed an earnest desire to go there. She extended her feeble hand to us, and leaned her head against me. We left her at eleven in charge of her brother and a faithful slave, and at two o'clock I was told she was dead. We think there is ground of hope in her death, and that she was looking to Christ for the pardon of her sins."
Shortly after this a still more satisfactory case occurred at Rangihoua, the oldest mission station. Rurerure had been long under the instruction of Mr. King. His own account of himself was that he formerly used to disbelieve all that was said about Jesus Christ, and thought Jehovah to be a very angry God; but now, for about five months, the word of God had made a deep impression upon him, and he was much afraid. The natives who lived with him reported that he often prayed that his soul might be washed in the blood of Christ, and that God would not permit him to go to hell, but take him to himself. The Rev. H Williams visited him shortly before his death, when the following conversation took place:- "What do you think concerning death?" "I have so much pain that I can not give you a correct account of my thoughts." "Whither do you think you will go when you die?" "To heaven." "Why do you expect to go to heaven?" "I believe that God will take me there." "How can you look for that, seeing that you are a sinner?" "Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, and I believe in Jesus Christ." He inquired if he were right, and if he should go to heaven? He was assured of the love of Jesus, and that he came down from heaven to gather to himself and to purify from sin all persons from every people who should flee to him. The subject of baptism was now mentioned, but as it was new to him, it was proposed to visit him again in two days, but in the interval his spirit was removed to another world, and was doubtless received by him who said to the thief upon the cross, "To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise." This case was the more encouraging because, as Mr. Williams remarked at that time, he was not aware that there was even a single instance in the whole mission of a native who was really earnest in his inquiries. In the midst of many trials God was pleased to grant that there should be an occasional gleam of light. The Gospel message was constantly delivered, but most frequently it appeared to be the seed which fell by the wayside, and sometimes it aroused the hostile feelings of those that heard it.
It was in the month that followed the peaceful death of Rurerure that the Rev. H. Williams went to the neighbouring village at Te Haumi, where a powerful chief from the interior, named Te Koikoi, was on a visit. Tohitapu, the old priest, requested that nothing might be said about the place of fire and brimstone, as a place for wicked people, while this man was with him, because he was a very great man. But this was a challenge which could not be passed by. Te Koikoi was asked if he had never heard of that place, and he replied, "No." He was then told that God had declared that the wicked should be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God, and was exhorted to flee from the wrath to come, and to lay hold of eternal life. It was of the more importance to speak plainly to this man, because he was a great chief, and a great savage, and the natives had said that the missionaries would be afraid to speak on these subjects to him and to Hongi. The old man appeared to be attentive and not at all offended. He asked Tohitapu if this was the usual mode of address, and was told it was. Whether this chief was really offended, or only thought it a favourable opportunity for extorting something in the way of payment for an alleged insult, this conversation was made a pretext for a hostile attack. A few weeks afterwards news arrived that a large party was on its way, with Te Koikoi at its head, with the object of plundering the mission station. There came, however, three friendly chiefs who had traveled by night in order to gain time. They said that they had directed their own people to follow them for the protection of the station. Soon after Koikoi was at hand marching at the head of his people towards the gate. The old man paid Mr. Williams the compliment of rubbing noses with him. He was accompanied by an excellent native, Wharerahi, who had been with him all the night trying to moderate his anger, and it seemed likely, from his manner, that no serious mischief would ensue. Te Koikoi told his people to sit down. He stated to the chiefs present that Mr. Williams had invited him to his house some time before, and had not given him a present, and that when he saw him at Te Haumi he told him he would be cast into the place of fire and brimstone, and that he was now come to obtain satisfaction. He was told it was a mistake to imagine that he was entitled to any present, and that he had better direct his anger against Tohitapu, who had led him to expect one. In answer to the second charge, e was reminded that the words spoken, were the words of God to him, and to all men, and that it was for the purpose of declaring these things that teachers had come to their country. To this he could not answer a word, and the chiefs acknowledged the truth of what was said. He then intimated that he had come to make peace, and wanted something to be given him. This, however, was refused, as the precedent would have been bad, considering that the grievance originated entirely with himself. In a short time he turned away in a rage, and some of the natives looked on with astonishment, wondering what would follow. In the afternoon he returned again, but his appearance and that of his people was very different from what it had been in the morning. They came in procession without arms, and some were carrying baskets of cooked food, which were distributed to each of the houses; and thus ended peaceably a device which had been intended by the evil one for great mischief.
On another occasion, the simple declaration of the objects for which the missionaries had come to the country, together with that influence which God was pleased to grant for their protection, had the effect of turning from their purpose a body of men who had evidently come in quest of plunder. A large party had arrived from the coast for the purpose of committing depredations upon a tribe near Paihia. On Sunday, towards the conclusion of English service, the natives came to say that a number of strangers were in the settlement, and beginning to be very troublesome. They had empty baskets with them, and seemed bent upon taking a crop of potatoes which were nearly ripe. The people were entire strangers, and were vociferating in a most angry mood, and striking the fence with their hatchets. They appeared to be ready to make a rush for general plunder. The missionaries, however, went out into the midst of them, and after a while, persuaded them to sit down on the ground. They were in number about a hundred and fifty. It was thought that the most likely way to quiet them, would be to speak boldly concerning the great message. Instead, therefore, of expostulating with them for coming on the errand which it was clear they were bent on, they were told of their own condition, their danger, and the remedy. They listened quietly, and though they frequently cast a wistful eye upon the potatoes, and spoke of taking them, they at length walked off and gave no further trouble. The same tribe a year before had plundered the garden of the Wesleyan missionaries at Whangaroa, and threatened their house also, a few weeks before their mission was broken up, and there is not the least doubt that their intention was most mischievous when they now came to Paihia; but there was a restraining hand upon them. A friendly chief was sitting at a distance, anxiously waiting for the result. He observed, that though the people were pacified at present, they would soon rise up and be very angry, and carry off everything. He was not aware of the Christians' confidence, that stronger is he that is for us than they who are against us; but the result quickly proved this to him.
About the close of the year 1827, after a season of unusual trouble, it became evident that there was a more general diffusion of that divine influence, which was to extend on the right hand and on the left. In the missionary stations there were a few who began to pay more serious attention. It was noticed that some met together for prayer and reading the Scriptures. A small book was printed at this time in New South Wales, consisting of the first three chapters of Genesis, the twentieth of Exodus, the fifth of St. Matthew, and the first of St. John's Gospel. This was a small matter in itself, but it was a beginning, and the little book was of great use among the few who were disposed to profit by it.
In some of the villages also there were a few who gave reason to hope that the leaven of God's word was working in their minds. Wini, a brother of Christian Rangi, was of this number. On being told that unless the hearts of men are changed they cannot see the kingdom of heaven, Wini replied that they had called upon God frequently to give them new hearts, and to forgive their sins; "but perhaps," he added, "God will not hear us; we have called upon him for a long time, without perceiving any great change." He was reminded of the declaration of our Saviour, "If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts," &c. "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find." "Aye," said he, "God will hear if we ask him, but perhaps he is like us, when anyone asks for a thing, and we say, 'taihoa,' by-and-bye I will do it." In explaining the scheme of Salvation through Christ, there are always at hand illustrations of the vicarious satisfaction of the Gospel, in the universal practice among this people of demanding payment for every offence done to them. Wini seemed to have some insight into the way of salvation, and desired to learn more. He said in conclusion, that "he was vexed with himself on account of the excessive hardness of his heart." At another village the head of the family, who had only been visited once, said. "I have forgotten the words you directed me to make use of in prayer, when you came here last." He was told he must pray for the pardon of his sins, and for a new heart, and while a few particulars of our Lord's history, and his future coming to judge the world, were related, the people seemed to listen as attentively as any Christian congregation.
It was at this time that communication was held with an interesting old man who subsequently lived at Paihia, a most consistent Christian till the day of his death. Akaipikia was a chief of some note, possessing a remarkably fine countenance, with much natural intelligence; but he had for many years lost the use of his lower extremities, it was said, through eating the poisonous berries of the karaka-tree. Three weeks had elapsed since a former visit had been paid to him. He said he had observed Sunday, though he had looked in vain for any one to teach him during the two preceding weeks. "Here is my mark," said he, pointing to the roof of his little shed, which was constructed with seven sticks as rafters "I count one for each day, and when I come to the last, I make the day sacred." He then said a few words to one of his children, who was living at Paihia, and had accompanied the missionary. But recollecting himself, he said, "I have been talking to her on another subject, but let us proceed with our conversation." He said he had prayed according to the direction given him, and repeated a petition, which was for pardon; but he added that he did not know whether God had heard him. "If he would 'whakao mai ki a au,' (that is, if he would make a sound, such as a man makes when called by another at a distance,) I should know that he heard me." He asked if he was not very good to remain quiet and not go to war. On being reminded that he only remained at home because he was lame and could not go, "True," he said; "I used to be an angry man formerly, and very bold, but now I am obliged to sit still."
Great apprehensions had been entertained for the safety of the missionaries in consequence of the expected death of Hongi, but this event did not take place for fifteen months after he had received the wound which was to terminate his life. Time was thus given for the excited feelings of the natives to wear off. The manner in which this event was ordered was a loud call for thankfulness. Had he died when he received his wound at Whangaroa, there is not a doubt that the natives would have proceeded to very great lengths; he was, however, permitted to live at Whangaroa so long, that his connexion with the missionaries who resided at Kerikeri was in a great measure broken off, and when his death did take place, the only party from whom mischief could be apprehended was absent on the western coast. Hongi died as he had lived, a heathen. His behaviour towards the missionaries was always friendly, with the exception of a short interval after his return from England, and his last moments were spent in requesting his survivors to treat them well. Respecting his state of mind, and views of eternity, all was midnight darkness, though he was sensible that his departure was near at hand. He had often heard of the glorious Gospel of peace, but it interfered too much with his ambitious plans: he consequently rejected the offer of mercy held out to him to the very last.
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