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Title: G. A. Selwyn, D.D. - Bishop of New Zealand and Lichfield
Author: Creighton, Louise
Language: English
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    [Illustration: NEW ZEALAND]

                           G. A. SELWYN, D.D.
                  Bishop Of New Zealand and Lichfield

                            LOUISE CREIGHTON

                        “_Here am I, send me._”

                             _WITH 2 MAPS_

                        LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO.
                   39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON, E.C. 4
                           NEW YORK, TORONTO
                      BOMBAY, CALCUTTA, AND MADRAS

                        _Made in Great Britain_


  Preface                                                            vii
  Chronological Table                                               viii
  Introduction                                                        ix
  I.—Childhood and Youth                                               1
  II.—Early Missions in New Zealand                                   13
  III.—First Impressions of New Zealand                               23
  IV.—The Maoris and the Settlers                                     48
  V.—The Call of the Pacific                                          64
  VI.—Church Organization in New Zealand                              85
  VII.—Bishop Selwyn’s Work in England for Foreign Missions          108
  VIII.—The Melanesian Mission                                       120
  IX.—The Maori Wars                                                 141
  X.—Return To England and Last Years                                161


  New Zealand                                             _Frontispiece_
  Pacific Ocean                                               _page xii_


The work that Bishop Selwyn did in laying the foundations of the Church
in New Zealand, and his views as to Church organization have special
lessons to teach us in these days. It is to bring these lessons to the
notice of those who are unable to study larger biographies that this
short life has been written.

No one can write about Bishop Selwyn without expressing great
indebtedness to the Rev. H. W. Tucker whose _Memoir_ of the Bishop,
founded on the letters and papers entrusted to him by the Bishop’s
family, contains most of what can be known about him. In this little
book I have freely used Mr. Tucker’s _Memoir_, indeed the book could not
have been written without it. I have consulted many other books bearing
on the history of New Zealand and Melanesia, but my object has been to
write about Selwyn, and about New Zealand and Melanesia only so far as
they concerned him. I have tried to show what manner of man he was by
telling of what he did and said, and to let him reveal himself by his
own words and by his letters, rather than to attempt to explain him in
my own words. I cannot claim to have had access to any new material, I
have only selected from what is already published that which will enable
my readers to learn something of the life and work of a man of
distinguished gifts and a great leader in the Church.

                                                       Louise Creighton.

                          CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE

  Birth 1809.
  Ordained Deacon 1833.
  Consecrated Bishop of New Zealand 1841.
  Reaches New Zealand 1842.
  First Voyage to the Pacific 1847.
  Visit to England 1854.
  The Maori War 1862-1865.
  Second Visit to England 1867.
  Bishop of Lichfield 1868.
  Death 1878.


The life of George Augustus Selwyn has many lessons to teach us. In the
position which he was called upon to fill, there were exceptional
opportunities which his own natural gifts enabled him to meet in an
exceptional way. He showed himself to be not only a devoted missionary
and a capable organizer, but a statesman, able to grasp a big situation
and to lay wise foundations for the future. As a missionary bishop, he
had the care of a specially virile and promising race in the Maoris, and
of the other very varied races that inhabited the countless islands of
the Pacific. But he had also to provide for the spiritual needs of the
colonists who came to his diocese in ever growing numbers, attracted by
the rich promise of New Zealand. The claims made upon his time and
thought by the colonists, the Maoris and the islanders had all to be met
and adjusted, and in the midst of all the urgent demands for the
pressing work of each moment, he had to be building up the church of the
future. He could not think only of the native Church. His call was not
only to be a missionary, to bring the heathen to Christ, but also to lay
the foundations of a Church which was to witness to Christ in a land
destined for a great future, as part of the British Empire. He had to
consider how black and white could be welded into one nation, and into
one Church. His could not be the simple straightforward task of the
teacher or the evangelist. Yet he was ever at heart a missionary,
animated by a true sense of vocation. There are those whose own life of
devotion and service is their chief witness for Christ, their great gift
to His Church; but Selwyn was called to do more than witness for Christ
by his life and his individual work. His work as an organizer was
inspired by a desire for efficiency, for making the best use in God’s
service of the men and the money entrusted to his care. But more than
this, he had ever before him a vision of what the Church in New Zealand
should be in the future. He saw it a Church, founded on the best
traditions of the past, able to grow and expand to meet all the needs of
the future, in communion with the Anglican Church throughout the world,
that Church which he believed by its origin and history to be the branch
of the Catholic Church best fitted to the genius of the Anglo-Saxon
people. Rooted in the past, throbbing with the active life of the
present, ready to meet the great possibilities of the future, the Church
was the inspiration of all his efforts. But in his devotion to the
whole, he never lost sight of the individual. It is the combination of
far reaching views with tender care for each individual soul which gives
him his special charm and makes him so valuable an example for others.
Organization was never to him an object in itself. In the midst of big
schemes, struggling with big plans, there was no service however menial
that he was not eager to render to any sufferer however humble, there
was no task however arduous that he was not ready to undertake. He lived
intensely, and though life was to him a constant act of self-surrender,
he could rejoice in it and in all that it brought to him of beauty,
interest and affection.

    [Illustration: _PACIFIC OCEAN_]

                               CHAPTER I
                          CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH

George Augustus Selwyn had all the advantages of birth and education
which would have made a brilliant career in England easy for him. He
came of a distinguished family, and his father, a successful lawyer, was
in a position to give him every educational advantage. Born in 1809, he
was the second of four brothers, who all had brilliant school and
college careers. His energy, his capacity for rule, his sympathy showed
itself even when he was a boy. His sister says, “he was truly the family
friend and counsellor, ever ready to help in all difficulties.” A
specially tender tie bound him to his mother; she suffered grievously
from nervous depression and he gave up much time in his holidays to
cheering her. By her bedside he probably learned that tender care for
the suffering which marked him throughout life. At the early age of
seven he was sent to a large preparatory school at Ealing, and from
there went on to Eton where he was said to be the best boy on the river,
nearly the first boy in learning and the greatest diver in the school.
His exact scholarship and his skill in swimming and diving were all
alike capacities which helped to fit him for his future life. Very
popular in the school and distinguished in athletics, he never neglected
his studies. One of his friends says that “he seemed to be always
preparing himself for some unrevealed future of usefulness.” It was the
same when he went on to St. John’s College, Cambridge, in 1827, and
entered with his usual ardour into both the studies and the sports of
the university. Mathematics were very distasteful to him and in the
class list of 1831 he was only a _junior optime_, but he was the second
classic of his year. He rowed in the Cambridge boat in the first Oxford
and Cambridge boat race.

When he left Cambridge, he spent four months in travel on the continent
and returned to Eton as private tutor to the sons of Lord Powis. The
same energetic life of work and play was continued in his new position
at Eton. He it was who persuaded Dr. Hawtrey to draw up rules for
bathing and boating on the river. Till then there had been no rules, and
the river was considered out of bounds. He wished the boys to have
freedom to enjoy the river, but to be obliged to learn to swim before
they boated. He himself loved boating and long walks, finding his way
across country by a compass; he took part in steeplechases, and so
learned to ride horses of all kinds over rough country. Whilst he
enjoyed all these varied occupations which were to prove a preparation
for the life before him, he had as yet not the slightest idea of going
to work abroad. A letter written many years afterwards (1850) to his son
shows how uncertain he was as a young man about his future career. “I
remember that at your age, though I had some desire for the ministerial
office I had not any fixed or devoted purpose of heart to undertake its
duties, nor any steadfast resolution to frame my life so as to make it a
preparation for it. It pleased God that much of the restless energy
which then found its vent in mere amusement and running to and fro, as
it seemed without point or aim, was a training of which I have since
felt the value, to enable me to do the work of an evangelist in seeking
out the sheep of Christ that are scattered over a thousand hills.”

Before long he began to study Hebrew and theology in preparation for his
ordination which took place in 1833. Still remaining a tutor at Eton, he
worked first as curate of Boveney and later at the Windsor Parish
Church, giving up the curate’s salary for two years in order to help the
financial difficulties of the parish. The spirit in which he worked is
shown by the following remark in a letter to a friend: “I believe that
as clergymen we ought to be willing to be tied like furze bushes to a
donkey’s tail, if we can thereby do any good by stimulating what is lazy
and quickening what is slow.” He threw himself with zeal into every part
of the work of his parish, developing new organizations of many kinds.
By his devotion as well as by his preaching he won the warm affection of
the parishioners, and together with all this parish work he kept up a
close connexion with Eton. His old schoolfellow W. E. Gladstone, said of
him: “he was attached to Eton with a love surpassing the love of
Etonians. In himself he formed a large part of the life of Eton, and
Eton formed a large part of his life.” Always a great organizer, he had
much influence both amongst masters and boys, at a time when various
reforms were being introduced into the school. The impression he made
was of one who had a high ideal of personal and Christian life, not an
ascetic, but one who valued bodily training and plain living, because
they conduced to success in good work.

In 1839 Selwyn married Sarah Richardson, daughter of Sir J. Richardson,
a judge of the Court of Common Pleas, in whom he found a companion ready
to share with him all the risks and difficulties of an adventurous life.
At the time of his marriage there seemed no prospect before him beyond
that of a successful ecclesiastical career in England. Full of work,
full of zeal, with many friends, living in a place that he loved, and
now with a happy home of his own, he was absolutely content with life.
But it was ever his firm conviction that an officer in the Church was as
much bound as an officer in the army, to obey the command of his
superior and to go wherever he was sent. On his marriage he asked his
wife never to oppose his going wherever he might be ordered on duty.

At that time the authorities of the Church were seriously considering
the need of increasing the number of bishops in the colonies, since
every year more emigrants left England for the newly settled lands
beyond the seas. Amongst the leaders of the Church there were men who
were determined that there should be no repetition of the past shameful
neglect which had left the American colonies so long without a bishop of
their own. The matter was brought forward by Bishop Blomfield of London,
and a Colonial Bishoprics Fund was started. Thirteen countries were
named as most urgently in need of Bishops, and amongst these New Zealand
stood first. The Church Missionary Society had had missions established
there since 1814, and Bishop Broughton of Australia had once been able
to visit them, but could not do so again. The most experienced of the
New Zealand missionaries, Henry Williams, wrote in 1841 “Many questions
of moment frequently present themselves, on which we possess no
authority to enter. We much hope that a Bishop for this colony will soon
make his appearance.” The formation in 1839 of the New Zealand Company,
with the object of buying up land from the natives and encouraging
settlers, had brought with it many new problems and difficulties. The
need for a Bishop as head of the Church which was called to minister
both to Maoris and settlers was recognized by all. The Church Missionary
Society promised £600 a year for his support and it was hoped that the
Government would give a like sum. The Crown was to appoint the Bishop.
The first name suggested was that of Professor Selwyn, George Selwyn’s
elder brother, but he felt unable to leave his Cambridge professorship.
The bishopric was then offered to George Selwyn in a letter from the
Bishop of London to which Selwyn, who had no personal desire for such an
office and who had no wish to change his actual work, answered as

  “Whatever part in the work of the ministry the Church of England as
  represented by her Archbishops and Bishops may call upon me to
  undertake, I trust I shall be willing to accept with all obedience and
  humility. The same reasons which would prevent me from seeking the
  office of a bishop, forbid me to decline an authoritative invitation
  to a post so full of responsibility, but at the same time of spiritual
  promise.... It has never seemed to me to lie in the power of an
  individual to choose the field of labour most suited to his own
  powers. Those who are the eyes of the Church and have seen him acting
  in the station in which God has placed him, are the best judges
  whether he ‘ought to go up higher.’ Whether the advancement be at home
  or abroad ... with whatever prospects or adjuncts of emolument or
  dignity or without any, the only course seems to be to undertake it at
  the bidding of the proper authority and to endeavour to execute it
  with all faithfulness.... Allow me to offer my best thanks to your
  Lordship for your kind letter and to place myself unreservedly in the
  hands of the Episcopal Council to dispose my services as they may
  think best for the Church.”

The actual offer had to be made by Lord John Russell and meanwhile
doubts had arisen whether Parliament would be willing to grant the money
proposed towards the Bishop’s stipend, but this uncertainty did not
influence Selwyn’s decision. There were other difficulties which weighed
more with him. A colonial bishop was in those days appointed under
Letters Patent from the Crown, and these were so worded as to make it
appear that the bishop’s right to exercise the spiritual functions of
his office was derived solely from the Crown. Selwyn could do no more
than make a formal protest against such wording. An absurd blunder was
also made in the Letters Patent through the ignorance of the Colonial
Office, and jurisdiction was given to the Bishop over sixty-eight more
degrees of latitude than was intended. In this way it came about that
Melanesia was included in the diocese of New Zealand.

The New Zealand Company was ready to make grants of land for the
purposes of the Church, but under conditions which should ensure that
their property was benefited through the Church. They wished the Bishop
to settle on the land they gave, and he was told that his future
popularity would be sacrificed if he did not make his home and build his
cathedral at the place they indicated. But Selwyn was going to promise
nothing until he had himself studied the country. He said that he would
“rent a house for his family and pitch a tent near to it a soon as he
landed and the very next day begin daily service, never he hoped to be
interrupted. He meant then to go away and visit all the islands and when
his choice was made to move his tent thither and continue the services,
and by its side build a wooden church, and outside of the wooden
building to begin to build a chancel of stone in Norman style, and as
soon as any part of the stone cathedral was finished the wooden work
would be taken down.”

From the very first he wished to have some holy place set apart for the
daily service of God, and he carefully superintended the making of the
church tent which was to be the first cathedral of the island church.

Amidst the important questions that occupied his mind during these busy
weeks of preparation, details were not forgotten. His sister remembers
“sitting up half the night helping him to make a water proof belt for
his watch and pedometer. He meant to swim the rivers, pushing his
clothes in front of him.” During all his preparations the thought of the
great spiritual work to which he was dedicating his life filled his
thoughts. One who was with him at the time writes: “He said the
‘Consecration Service’ had lately been his constant study, and that
after next Sunday (his Consecration day) his existence as an individual
must cease, and that all his own individual interests and ties must
undergo the change with him. Sarah (his wife) knelt down beside him and
looking up in his face said, ‘I know at any rate you will not love me
any the less.’ He stroked back the hair from her forehead, kissed it,
saying, ‘Surely not the less but the more.’ He went on to explain that
what he meant was ‘that his very being, with all its powers and
affections must now be dedicated to God in a more peculiar and solemn
degree than heretofore, and be absorbed into higher powers and boundless

He was consecrated on October 17th in the Chapel at Lambeth Palace. It
was not yet the custom to hold consecrations in the Abbey or at S.
Paul’s Cathedral. There was not room for the many friends who wished to
be with him in the Chapel, which was crowded as it had never been before
on such an occasion. Exceptional interest was felt in his going forth,
due to the affection and admiration with which he was regarded by so
many, and to the sense of the brilliant prospects at home that he was
gladly giving up to go to a distant land only just emerging from

Two days after his Consecration, Selwyn received an offer from the Rev.
C. J. Abraham, one of the ablest Eton masters, to come and work with him
in New Zealand as soon as he could be free from the special work he had
undertaken at Eton. To this offer Selwyn answered at once:

  “I am quite overwhelmed with joy at your letter and have just risen
  from my knees after having poured forth my thankfulness to God....
  When I think of the position in which the course of His providence has
  placed me ... I tremble at the thought of my weakness, and though I
  know the sufficiency of Divine Grace, still I long for brethren of a
  like mind to share with me the labours and the joys of the coming
  harvest. Men talk of sacrifices as a loss. I thank God that the
  enlarged comprehension of His scheme of mercy, which He has lately
  given me, has made me feel that no worldly advancement could
  compensate for the loss of one single moment of the peaceful and
  thankful and yet humble state of mind which I have enjoyed since the
  scales of all earthly objects of desire fell from my eyes.... I
  encourage you to cherish the feelings in which your letter was
  written, to dwell upon them; and in the end to act upon them; not on
  the spur of the present occasion, but with the calm, deep and
  deliberate devotion of a balanced judgment. Men think enthusiasm
  necessary to missionary enterprise. May we be enabled to show that the
  highest range of spiritual thought, the most entire and uncompromising
  obedience to the letter of the Gospel, being no more than our bounden
  duty, is compatible with the most perfect evenness of mind, and with
  the subdued and rational exercise of the understanding.

  “Being called to the Episcopate at an early age I feel at liberty to
  look forward to a long course of pastoral superintendence over the
  Church in New Zealand. In that course many great and important changes
  must occur, for which I must be prepared.... Could I find a few men
  like yourself, who would silently work with me by the devotion of
  themselves and their means to the same cause, we should see year after
  year, parish after parish, archdeaconry after archdeaconry start into
  life, not with the mere appurtenances of temporal endowment, but with
  the provision of a living hand to give life and spirit to the
  institution.... Will you be one of the feeders of my Church, with the
  view of being in the course of time one of its pastors?”

During the farewell days spent at Eton and Windsor many friends gathered
to show him their affection and to do him honour. At a meeting held in
Windsor, he spoke again of the motives which had made him ready to go
forth and of his readiness to go anywhere he might be sent, and of his
deep thankfulness because “that land of promise, New Zealand, a land
literally flowing with milk and honey, was to be his.”

The party that was to accompany the Bishop and his wife and child to New
Zealand, consisted of his two chaplains, Mr. Cotton, Student of Christ
Church, Oxford and Mr. Whytehead, Fellow of St. John’s, Cambridge, three
missionary clergy, three catechists and two school teachers. Mrs.
(afterwards Lady) Martin, wife of the first Chief Justice of New
Zealand, travelled with them to join her husband. The Chief Justice, who
had gone out a few months before, came to be one of Selwyn’s chief
helpers and friends. The spirit in which he had entered upon his work is
shown by the fact that he had impressed upon his wife that “the
aborigines of their new country were to be worked for and cared for.”
The voyage to New Zealand was in those days of course undertaken in a
sailing ship, and the party were delayed some days at Plymouth waiting
for a favourable wind. Those relatives and friends who had come to see
them off were obliged one by one to leave. The Bishop settled himself in
the ship on Christmas eve and held his first service on board on
Christmas day. On the next day after prayers with those friends that
remained, the last farewells were said and the little ship _Tomatin_ was
off on its long voyage.

                               CHAPTER II
                     EARLY MISSIONS IN NEW ZEALAND

Selwyn might speak of New Zealand as a land of promise, but he knew well
that it had not yet emerged from barbarism. Its inhabitants, the Maoris,
were a race splendidly gifted both physically and intellectually, but
they were constantly involved in internecine warfare, tribe fighting
against tribe, and all alike delighting to feast on the bodies of their
captured foes. New Zealand had been discovered by Jasman, the Dutch
navigator, in 1642, but no European had landed on the islands till
Captain Cook sailed round them in 1769. His reports led to visits from
traders, whose treacherous treatment of the natives was followed by
cruel retaliations, so that the Maoris got a very bad reputation for
barbarism. Their intercourse with some of the settlers in New South
Wales, brought them to the notice of Samuel Marsden, a Government
chaplain sent out to the convicts in Botany Bay. Marsden was a true
evangelist, labouring under most adverse conditions and in face of
bitter opposition, to do what he could for the unhappy convicts. His
heart was large enough to make him wish to help the Maoris also. He
welcomed such of them as came over to New South Wales to his house in
Paramatta, and put up huts for them in his garden, where sometimes he
had as many as thirty at once. One of the Maori chiefs struck by what he
saw of more civilized ways, implored Marsden to send someone to teach
his countrymen, and when Marsden Visited England in 1806 he went to the
office of the Church Missionary Society and told the committee of the
rich field that New Zealand offered for their work. The C.M.S. was then
in its infancy. So far it had only sent out five missionaries, who had
gone to West Africa. Marsden asked them to send three mechanics to New
Zealand. He thought then that the first thing to do was to teach the
Maoris something of the arts of civilised life. It was not long before
he discovered his mistake and realized that the first thing needed was
the work of the evangelist, and that it was through the teaching of the
Gospel that the foundations of an ordered life must be laid. At first
the mission seemed doomed to failure, but Marsden never lost heart, till
in 1822 Henry Williams, the man who was to lay the foundations of
Christianity in New Zealand, was sent out with his wife and two
children. He had been an officer in the navy before his ordination, and
his knowledge of seafaring ways proved of immense use in his new work.
The C.M.S. sent him out with the injunction “to bring the noble but
benighted race of New Zealanders into the enjoyment of the light and
freedom of the Gospel.” With this object he laboured till his death in
1867, never once returning to England. Neither did Marsden forget the
Mission. He visited New Zealand seven times, giving constant help and
encouragement to the missionaries. His devoted work earned for him the
title of the Apostle of New Zealand.

Henry Williams with his wife and children settled on the Bay of Islands,
in the North East of New Zealand, at Paihai, a great resort of whalers.
It was in this district that most of the early missions were
established, Wesleyan and Roman Catholic as well as Anglican. Henry
Williams was soon after joined by his brother William, and together,
with wives and families they lived for nine years at Paihai. William
showed at once an extraordinary aptitude for learning the language. His
brother said of him he “appears not to learn it but it seems to flow
naturally from him.” His presence at Paihai enabled Henry to travel and
visit distant parts of the island with the view of extending the
mission. The experiences of these two brothers and their families belong
to the romance of missions. They gained a remarkable knowledge of the
Maoris and their customs, and won a great influence over them.
Absolutely fearless in the way in which they exposed themselves to
danger, they were often able to make peace between the tribes in the
fierce conflicts which were constantly breaking out. The wrongdoing of
an individual was punished by the most bloody vengeance on his whole
tribe, and defeated enemies were killed and eaten. Unfortunately
fire-arms had been introduced among the Maoris by the traders, and this
made their warfare much more deadly. They hoped at first that the
missionaries also would provide them with fire-arms, and by refusing to
do so, the Williams were at the beginning reduced to great privations
for want of food. They not only refused to give fire-arms in exchange
for the necessaries of life, but never carried them themselves. The
Maoris soon recognized the difference between them and the traders, but
the beginnings of the mission were full of dangers and difficulties.

The savage attacks of the Maoris threatened several times to destroy the
mission, but amidst all dangers, not only to himself but to his wife and
children, Williams remained calm and unafraid. He gained an amazing
personal ascendency over the Maoris, and exposed himself fearlessly
again and again in order to stop their feuds and bring an end to their
repeated and cruel wars. It was not only the Maoris he had to fear, he
met with much opposition from the settlers also, who objected to the
efforts of the missionaries to secure fair treatment for the natives,
and threatened to turn them out of the country. Williams was in no hurry
to make converts. He would have no hasty baptisms. For each there must
be a long period of probation; but when, after due preparation and
testing, the first had been baptized, the number of Christians increased
rapidly. Williams gave himself with great energy to language study. He
found the Maori dialects very corrupt and difficult to reduce to order.
In this work he was greatly helped by his brother William, who was an
Oxford scholar, and who helped to fix the language and give it its
grammar. Portions of the Bible were translated and the Maoris, old
chiefs as well as young boys, after being taught in the schools set up
by the missionaries, became eager readers.

It was the constant recurrence of native wars that weighed most heavily
upon Williams’ mind. In 1832, he wrote of himself as “in much distress
of mind at the present state of things in this land. All is dark, dreary
and in dire confusion.” But he was not often cast down. The chief
mission station, Paihai in the Waimate, where he lived, was a centre of
education and industry. Charles Darwin, visiting it during his voyage in
the _Beagle_ in 1835, wrote of it: “The lesson of the missionary is the
enchanter’s wand. I thought the whole scene admirable and to think that
this was the centre of cannibalism, murder and all atrocious crimes.”

In time some of the most bloodthirsty old chiefs died and the young ones
were more ready to listen to the new teaching. They became eager readers
of the Bible, they attended the schools, were ready to learn simple
handicrafts and after their baptism gave up their desire to fight and
seek revenge for every provocation.

After a time the missionaries who now had amongst their converts some
who were eager to help in the work of teaching, were able to start other
missions further south than the Bay of Islands, in the neighbourhood of
the Waikato and the Thames rivers. Richard Taylor, one of the early
missionaries, writes:

  “The Gospel could not have made the progress it did or have obtained
  such a permanent hold upon the native mind, had it not been for the
  agency of the native teachers. In many places they were the first
  bearers of the Gospel, and some laid down their lives.”

In 1838 Bishop Broughton came from Australia to confirm the candidates
taught and prepared by the missionaries. He reported to the C.M.S.
committee at home on the flourishing condition of the Mission. The
Christians were said to number thirty thousand, and Bishop Broughton
urged the desirability of sending out a Bishop to superintend the work
of the Church in New Zealand. The special conditions of the country
demanded that the influence of the Church should be felt in all the new
circumstances that were arising. Settlers were pouring in, many of them
convicts from Australia, unprincipled men with no desire for anything
but their own gain. Contact with them was teaching the Maoris their evil
ways, and leading to much corruption and drunkenness. To the settlers
the natives with their old established customs of land tenure, their
great attachment to their lands, and their constant tendency to fight
for their rights, were hindrances in their way. They desired only to
exterminate them. The home government realized that this was not a state
of affairs that could be left to settle itself. In the interests of
peace, they determined that New Zealand must be made into a British
Colony. This was strongly opposed by the C.M.S. who encouraged by the
progress that Christianity had made amongst the Maoris, believed that
before long the whole people would become Christian and believed that
the arrival of colonists would only disturb the peaceful development of
the natives. It was, however, impossible to imagine that a country as
full of resources as New Zealand could be left to its scanty native
population. Settlers were sure to come, and it was better for all that a
good and stable government should be set up in the land. An English
officer, Captain Hobson, was therefore sent out to enter into peaceful
negotiations with the chiefs, in order to establish the sovereignty of
the Queen in New Zealand. This was not an easy matter, for the chiefs
feared that to agree to this would mean that they would have to give up
to the Queen of England the ownership of their lands. They had heard of
what had happened in other countries and how the people had been reduced
to the position of slaves by the coming of the white settlers. A great
gathering of the chiefs was held at Waitangi early in 1840, when Captain
Hobson explained to them what was proposed, and told them that “the
shadow would go to the Queen and the substance would remain, and that
they might rely implicitly on the good faith of Her Majesty’s
Government.” The question was long discussed. The missionaries urged the
chiefs to trust in the words of Captain Hobson. At last one of the
chiefs said to him, “You must be our father, you must not allow us to
become slaves; you must preserve our customs, and never permit our land
to be wrested from us,” and the majority of the chiefs ended by signing
the treaty of Waitangi. Captain Hobson fixed the seat of government for
the new colony at Auckland in the northern island, where the Maori
population was densest, and which possessed splendid water
communications in every direction.

The implications of the Treaty of Waitangi were by no means recognised
by the settlers who were arriving in New Zealand in ever increasing
numbers. They were attracted by the promises of the New Zealand Land
Company. The Company had little understanding of the Maori customs of
land tenure. It ignored the fact that in the opinion of the Maoris the
whole land already had owners, with boundaries well known to the
different chiefs, and it sold lands to intending settlers before it had
duly acquired their ownership. In consequence, there were abundant
possibilities for discontent on the part of emigrants when they arrived
to take possession of lands which they believed were theirs by purchase,
and for hostility on the part of the natives who felt that they had been
betrayed. In this way the seeds of many future wars were sown.

In those early days of the life of the colony, natives and settlers
alike needed Christian teaching and education to show them how to live
in peace and develop the country. The newly set up government needed
help from those who had lived and worked amongst the natives, in their
important task of establishing order and justice. New Zealand with its
beautiful climate and its rich resources was bound to become a great and
prosperous country. It was necessary that the foundations of its future
greatness should be laid in principles of righteousness and justice. The
labours of Marsden, the two Williams and others had established
Christianity throughout New Zealand, what was needed now was
organization to make their work permanent. Selwyn as he viewed the task
before him felt the full joy of a born organizer and administrator. He
wrote, “I find myself placed in a position such as was never granted to
any English Bishop before, with a power to mould the institutions of the
Church from the beginning according to true principles.” The ground was
well prepared for his work. The year before his arrival Henry Williams
could write, “The whole fabric of native superstition is gone—their
weapons of warfare are laid by—their petty quarrels are settled by
arbitration.” It was a too sanguine view as later events showed, but
that it could be held at all was a sign of how much had been done.

                              CHAPTER III

Bishop Selwyn and his party left Plymouth on December 26th, 1841, in the
_Tomatin_. The long voyage in a sailing vessel was spent in preparing
for the work that was before them. To Selwyn’s great joy there was a
Maori boy on board who could be used to teach him and his party the
Maori language. Lady Martin thus describes the voyage:

  “We had a quiet, prosperous voyage in a small barque which would be
  thought very squeezy nowadays. We had none of the modern luxuries
  required in steamers—no fresh bread, no stewardess to wait on us, no
  delicate fare. But we had compensations of an unusual kind. If we had
  plain living, we certainly had the opportunity of high thinking. Our
  party consisted of the Bishop of New Zealand, his two chaplains, both
  men of great gifts, and other clergymen and students. There were daily
  classes after breakfast for all who wished to learn the native
  language. There was no printed Maori grammar, only a manuscript
  grammar and vocabulary, and copies of S. Matthew’s Gospel, just
  printed by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. But we had a
  walking dictionary in a Maori boy, who had been brought to England by
  a gentleman and sent to school for two years. He was not a favourable
  specimen, for he had been the plaything of the servant’s hall in
  holiday time, and had little more than superficial civilization.
  However, he was very useful on board, and undertook to teach correct

The Bishop writes in a letter to his mother:

  “On Monday, January 3rd, we began regular habits; reading the daily
  prayers at eight in the morning, and the Psalms and Lessons, in the
  original languages, each at their appointed hour. Besides this, there
  is a New Zealand class, comprising nearly all the party, and a
  mathematical class for the study of navigation. The whole of the
  morning is thus occupied, leaving the evening to the discretion of the
  party, and for preparation for the next day. On Church festivals when
  the full service is read, the Eton practice of a whole holiday is
  followed. The advantage of this regular plan is generally admitted,
  as, instead of the voyage being tedious, very few find the day long
  enough. We have taken different departments for the study of the New
  Zealand language. Mr. Cotton and Mr. Reay are making a Concordance of
  the native Testament. I am compiling from the Rarotonga, Tahitian and
  New Zealand translations of the New Testament, a Comparative Grammar
  of those three dialects, which are all from the same root and
  illustrate one another. I hope to be quite familiar with the three
  dialects by the end of the voyage, which will much facilitate the plan
  which I have conceived—and which may God give me grace to carry into
  effect—of extending the branches of the Church of New Zealand
  throughout the Southern Pacific.

  “I am studying practical navigation under our captain in order that I
  may be my own _Master_ in my visitation voyages.”

One of the clergy of the party was appointed as chaplain to the steerage
passengers, two others as chaplains to the crew. There were daily
prayers in the steerage, and the steerage passengers attended all the
public services. In Holy Week one of the six clergy on board was chosen
to preach every day, and on a lovely Easter day, service was held on the
quarterdeck when thirty-four communicated.

On April 10th Selwyn was able to write to his mother:

  “I can now converse with Rupai fluently in New Zealand. My navigation
  has prospered, so that I can now find the ship’s latitude and
  longitude, and shape her course.”

On April 14th, 1842, the ship reached Sydney. There Selwyn had the
opportunity of meeting Bishop Broughton and learning from him something
about the affairs of the Church in this new world. Broughton was filled
with affection and respect by what he saw of the new Bishop, and
inspired with great hopes for the work he might be able to accomplish.

The _Tomatin_ had received some damage in going up Sydney harbour, and
the Bishop was too impatient to wait till its repairs were completed. He
succeeded in chartering a small brig to convey him and a few others of
his party to New Zealand, without waiting for the _Tomatin_. There had
been those who dreaded the coming of a bishop, thinking that the
conditions of New Zealand were not suitable for an ecclesiastical
dignitary. Captain Hobson had said: “What can a bishop do in New
Zealand, where there are no roads for his coach?” The Bishop’s conduct
soon dispelled all doubts. He landed at Auckland on May 31st. His first
act on reaching the shore was to kneel down on the sands and give thanks
to God. On the following Sunday, to the delight of all, he said prayers
and preached in Maori. The next place he visited was Paihai, and Mrs.
Williams thus describes his arrival in her diary:

  “While Henry was engaged with his Bible class, William came in and
  exclaimed: ‘the Bishop of New Zealand on the beach!’ He went down and
  found the Bishop dragging up a boat in which they had come from Cape
  Brett, steering for this house with a pocket compass. The Bishop’s
  manner was most prepossessing. When summoned to tea, both the Bishop
  and his Chaplain seemed surprised at the long tea table of the two
  families of Williams, set for twenty-four.”

Henry Williams himself wrote to a friend on June 24th, 1842:

  “The Bishop is now in my house having landed after dark on Monday
  evening last. We were all taken by surprise and put into an immediate
  bustle. I was delighted to see his face and to hear him speak and was
  relieved from many forebodings. I have seen very much of this good man
  during the few days of his sojourn amongst us. We have spoken freely
  upon various subjects in connexion with the Mission, and it is very
  remarkable that in no one instance have we had a contrary idea. He so
  fully enters into our views upon all missionary points, that I am at
  times under some apprehension of forgetting that he is our Bishop....
  We are all of us delighted at the knowledge the Bishop has obtained of
  our language. He can to the surprise of all converse with ease and
  directness. The Bishop observes moreover that he shall require all his
  clergy to acquire the language, that they may attend to the
  natives.... I feel fully satisfied to leave all the affairs of the
  Mission or my own as a missionary in his hands.”

In another letter he writes:

  “He has captivated every heart by his kindness and courteous
  manners.... I am persuaded that nothing will escape his notice,
  however trifling the circumstance.... He is now going to make a tour
  of the Island visiting every station.”

Of his first Sunday at Paihai the Bishop himself writes:

  “I administered the Lord’s Supper to one hundred and fifty native
  communicants and was much struck with their orderly and reverential
  demeanour. All were dressed in European clothing, and, with the
  exception of their colour, presented the appearance of an English

The Bishop spent several days with this experienced missionary learning
all he could from him about the condition of the country, about the
complicated land question, and about the different mission stations. All
that he observed and learned helped him to mature his plans for the
future. He had chosen to be called Bishop of New Zealand because he did
not wish, by taking the title for his see from one particular settlement
to provoke the jealousy of others. But it was necessary to decide where
he should fix his residence. The New Zealand Company wished him to go to
Wellington where they had secured a great deal of land and the agent
went so far as to tell him that if he decided to settle at Auckland,
instead of being looked upon by them with affectionate regard as their
best friend, he would be regarded coldly as a prop of a rival
settlement. Auckland was then the seat of government, though what was in
a few years to become a beautiful city was still only a cluster of huts.
Lady Martin described it as follows:

  “Government House was only a one-storied cottage standing back from
  the road. A few wooden houses were dotted about, in which the
  Government officials lived. There were wooden barracks which contained
  about fifty soldiers; a supreme court-house, where the Judge held his
  court in the week, and which on Sundays was used as a church; a
  milliner’s shop, a blacksmith’s forge, and two or three stores.
  Butcher and baker were unknown, there was no beef or mutton to sell,
  and no roads for carts to travel along had there been.”

The climate was genial and the situation beautiful, and the Bishop hoped
that Auckland might be the future cathedral city. For the moment,
however, it seemed best that he should settle at the Waimate on the Bay
of Islands. It had been the first headquarters of the C.M.S. mission and
the Bishop went to inspect it immediately on his arrival in New Zealand.
He described it as follows:

  “I walked round the mission station and inspected Mr. Clarke’s house,
  which I decided would accommodate Sarah and such of the party as I
  might leave with her. The house is a little out of repair.... The
  garden has been overrun with cattle, but most of the plants are still
  alive, and with a little care may soon recover.... Seen from a
  distance the Waimate presents the appearance of an English village
  with a white church and spire, comfortable houses and gardens. This is
  by far the most settled place in the country. I am informed that four
  hundred native communicants assemble at the Lord’s Table. This will
  probably be my headquarters for some years, till I can deliberately
  choose a site for my residence and erect substantial buildings.”

For the moment Mrs. Selwyn was to stay with the Williams, whilst the
Bishop went off on a journey to visit the other mission stations. He was
very pleased with what he saw of the missionaries and wrote:

  “They seem to be very zealous and able ministers, and I think myself
  happy in having under me a body in whom I shall see so much to commend
  and so little to reprove. The state of the mission is really
  wonderfully good.”

A year’s experience satisfied him that he had been right in the choice
of the Waimate for his residence and for his college. He wrote:

  “Every day convinces me more and more that we are better placed here
  than in one of the English towns. The general laxity of morals, and
  defect of Church principles in the new settlements, would make them
  dangerous places for the education of the young, and render it almost
  impossible to keep up that high tone of religious character and
  strictness of discipline which is required, both as a protest against
  the prevailing order of things, and as a training for our candidates
  for Holy Orders. At the Waimate, I am fettered by no usages, subject
  to no fashions, influenced by no expectations of other men. I can take
  the course which seems to me best.”

Already before leaving England, he had thought out how to make the
Church in New Zealand independent of home support as soon as possible.
With this purpose he asked the S.P.G. to allow him to use what money
they could grant him not in paying salaries to the clergy, but in buying
sites for future churches, and lands which might provide for some
endowments. He wished in the plans he made to avoid both the evils in
connexion with endowments which he had seen at home and the dependence
on annual grants. He proposed to have a general endowment fund so as to
avoid inequalities of endowment, and he determined to allow of no
private patronage. Into this general endowment fund he urged all those
who received stipends from England, through the Societies or otherwise,
to pay what they received, as he himself did. In time he set up in every
settlement an archdeaconry church fund into which all money collected or
given to the Church was to be paid, and out of which each minister was
to receive his stipend. Deacons were to begin with £100, rising
gradually to £300 as priests, archdeacons £400, and bishops £500 as soon
as they should be appointed. In each case, if possible, a house was to
be provided, though it was not guaranteed. In all his plans from the
first, he aimed at keeping the Church completely independent of State
control. He preferred as he said, “to maintain the Church’s
independence, and to commit her support to the free charities of God.”

These plans, thought out before he left England, he set himself to carry
out as opportunity arose. He proceeded at once to buy suitable land for
the Church. But whilst his fertile brain was thus full of plans for the
future, he was equally keen to study the conditions of the present, and
before even unpacking his books, he started on a journey to visit all
the mission stations in the Northern Island. One of the first places
which he stopped at was Wellington, which he reached by a small trading
vessel. Here he spent three weeks, much occupied in nursing a young man
who had come out with him from England, and from whom he had hoped much
as a fellow worker. In this he showed his ability to turn his hand to
anything and his tenderness as a nurse. One who watched him wrote:

  “He practised every little art that nourishment might be supplied to
  his patient. He pounded chicken into fine powder; he made jellies, he
  listened to every sound; he sat up the whole night through by the
  bed-side. In short he did everything worthy of his noble nature.”

His care unfortunately was in vain and to his great sorrow the young man
died. Chief Justice Martin, who was going to accompany him for part of
his visitation, arrived to find the Bishop pale and worn with his long
nursing. The two friends then started on their journey. Most of it had
to be made on foot, often wading through rivers. Sometimes it was
possible to ride on horse back, sometimes to go in a canoe on the
rivers. Both Bishop and Judge made light of any hardships they might
meet. The beauty of the country was a constant delight, and it was a
great joy to the Bishop to find the large and devout congregations of
Maoris which gathered at the mission stations on Sundays. Where there
were English settlers a service for them followed the native service.
The Bishop writes: “I never felt the full blessing of the Lord’s day as
a day of rest more than in New Zealand.” Everywhere they were warmly
welcomed, alike by missionaries and natives, and the Bishop was much
pleased with all that he saw. Of one evening he writes:

  “The natives assembled in considerable numbers for evening service and
  scripture questions. After I had questioned them as much as I thought
  fit, I invited them to ask me their difficulties; upon which such a
  series of scriptural questions was asked that our meeting did not
  break up till ten at night, and then only because I explained that my
  party were tired and wanted to go to sleep.”

On another occasion he writes:

  “The natives, on seeing us, sent canoes to bring us to the island,
  where we were received with all ceremony, welcomed with speeches, and
  presented with ducks, potatoes and lake shell fish. I made my return
  as usual in Gospels of St. Matthew.”

Some of the stations were ministered to only by native catechists and on
one occasion, he was much struck by the venerable figure and manner of a
fine old blind man catechising his class. It seemed as if the Christian
teaching of the missionaries was already spread throughout the whole
land; little churches and schools were to be found in many places, the
fields around the stations were well cultivated, industries were being
introduced; the Maoris, a race famous for their ferocity, were learning
to live quietly and peacefully. The Bishop writes:

  “There is much to encourage me: vast numbers can now read and write
  well and when I have lectures of an evening, it amuses me to see the
  means they resort to, climbing up on stands inside the building, and
  many come half an hour before the bell rings, so anxious are they to
  hear the word of God explained. Some travel ten miles on the Saturday
  for the services of the next day.”

One of the most interesting stations visited was that at Waikanoe, where
the experienced missionary, Rev. O. Hadfield, was in charge. From there
the Bishop wrote:

  “You would be surprised at the comparative comfort which I enjoy in my
  encampments. My tent is strewn with dry fern and grass. My air-bed is
  laid upon it. My books, clothes and other goods lie beside it; and
  though the whole dimensions of my dwelling do not exceed eight feet by
  five, I have more room than I require and am as comfortable as it is
  possible for a man to be when he is absent from those he loves most. I
  spent October 17th, the anniversary of my consecration, in my tent on
  the sandhills, with no companion but three natives.... I was led
  naturally to contrast my present position with the very different
  scenes at Fulham and Lambeth last year. I can assure you that the
  comparison brought with it no feelings of discontent; on the contrary,
  I spent the greater part of the day, after the usual services and
  readings with my natives, in thinking with gratitude over the many
  mercies and blessings granted to me in the past year.”

After a night spent in Mr. Hadfield’s house, service was held in the
chapel: “more than 500 had come from various parts, so that the chapel
and the space outside the walls was quite full.” Later on during this
journey, he was met by William Williams, whom he had decided to appoint
Archdeacon of Waiapu, so that he might have the oversight of the eastern
half of the Island. All that he had seen had strengthened his conviction
of the need that from the first the Church should be organized on a firm
basis, and as he could not be everywhere and oversee everything himself,
he wished to have the help of archdeacons working under him. In spite of
the large congregations of natives, he wrote that:

  “This people is a very wicked people, and if ‘civilized’ without the
  influence of the Gospel upon it, they will not be benefited in any
  way. The influence of the immoral English living in the land is the
  greatest difficulty I have to contend with.”

At Ahuriri he found “a very numerous Christian community though they had
only once been visited by a missionary. The chapel was a substantial
building capable of containing four hundred people. In the evening our
canoe having stuck fast, we were left without tents or food till
midnight; we then procured one tent, in which the first Chief Justice,
the first Bishop and the first Archdeacon of New Zealand huddled in
their blankets for the night. Surely such an aggregate of legal and
clerical dignity was never before collected under one piece of canvas.”
He describes a Sunday on their tour a few day’s later:

  “The morning opened as usual with the morning hymn of the birds, which
  Captain Cook compared to a concert of silver bells. When this ceased
  at sunrise, the sound of native voices chanting around our tents
  carried on the same tribute of praise and thanksgiving, while audible
  murmurs brought to our ears the passages of the Bible which they were
  reading.... I cannot convey to you the least idea of the train of
  innumerable thoughts which are suggested continually both by the
  beauty of the scenery, the character of the natives, the various
  plants, insects and birds.”

The next Sunday there gathered on Poverty Bay “a noble congregation of
at least a thousand, assembled amid the ruins of their chapel, which had
been blown down.... After morning service the natives formed into
classes for reading and saying the catechism—old tattoed and boys, and
submitting to lose their places for every mistake with perfect good
humour.” The Bishop’s tour took him right across the centre of the
island, where he walked over hills covered with fern trees, and
sometimes enjoyed the rest of being paddled along a beautiful river. At
one station that he visited he met the missionary, Rev. R. Maunsell,
said to be one of the best linguists on the mission, and after
consultation with him formed a “translation committee, composed of two
clergymen and two catechists, from which he hoped in due time to get a
standard copy of both Bible and Prayer-book to be published under
authority.” The Chief Justice had left him to return to Auckland by sea,
and on January 3rd, the Bishop also turned in the direction of Auckland
and thus describes the last bit of his journey:

  “My last pair of thick shoes being worn out, and my feet much
  blistered by walking on the stumps, I borrowed a horse from the native
  teacher and started at 4 a.m. to go twelve miles to Mr. Hamlin’s
  mission station on Manakan harbour. Then ten miles by boat across the
  harbour. After a beautiful run of two hours, I landed with my faithful
  Maori, Rota, who had steadily accompanied me all the way, carrying my
  bag with gown and cassock, the only articles in my possession which
  would have fetched sixpence in the Auckland rag market. The suit which
  I wore was kept sufficiently decent, by much care, to enable me to
  enter Auckland by daylight; and my last remaining pair of shoes (thin
  ones) were strong enough for the light and sandy walk of six miles. At
  two p.m. I reached the Judge’s house by a path avoiding the town, and
  passing over land which I have bought for the site of the cathedral; a
  spot which I hope may hereafter be traversed by the feet of many
  bishops, better shod and far less ragged than myself. It is a noble
  site overlooking the whole town and with a sea-view stretching out
  over the numerous islands.”

On this journey of six months, the Bishop had travelled 2,277 miles, of
which he had walked 762. His chief object had been to learn to know the
country and its needs, so that he might plan his future work wisely. He
notes with satisfaction that on this journey he met Mr. Williams on the
exact day which he had appointed more than a month before, showing how,
even in travelling through wild country, it was possible to be punctual.

When Selwyn got back to the Waimate, having learned much about the
country, his first care was the College. He had hoped that his friend,
Mr. Whytehead, who had come out with him from England would be its head.
But to his deep sorrow, he heard that Mr. Whytehead had been taken ill
at Sydney, and died three months after reaching the Waimate, leaving the
memory of a saintly character to inspire those who should work after

The chief object of the College was to train clergy. Besides the College
there was a boarding school, where Selwyn’s plan was to educate Maori
lads and the sons of settlers together. He had most carefully thought
out the principles upon which both college and school were to be
founded. He believed that it was perfectly possible to civilize the
whole rising generation of New Zealanders; the one impediment was the
difficulty of getting enough English teachers, for not only must
education be provided, but also instruction in the “most minute details
of daily life and in every useful and industrious habit.” “We are apt,”
he wrote, “to forget the laborious procession by which we acquired in
early life the routine duties of cleanliness, order, method and
punctuality.” Men were needed to train the scholars who had no sense of
their own dignity and thought nothing beneath it, “who will go into the
lowest and darkest corner of the native character to see where the
difficulty lies which keeps them from being assimilated to ourselves.
They have received the Gospel freely, and with an unquestioning faith,
but the unfavourable tendency of native habits is every day dragging
back many into the state of sin from which they seemed to have
escaped.... We require men who will number every hair of a native’s
head, as part of the work of Him who made and redeemed the world.” He
found that the bane of the native people was desultory work interrupted
by total idleness, and their inclination to waste their occasional
earnings on useless horses or cast-off dress clothes. He feared lest the
sons of the settlers should grow up with a sense of superiority and look
upon honest labour as disreputable, because of the class of servile
natives who clustered round the towns. So he desired “to raise the
character of both races by humbling them” and teaching them the dignity
of labour. All the students were to spend part of their time in some
useful occupation for the support of the institutions. There were
industrial classes, where printing, carpentry, carving and weaving were
taught. Selwyn considered printing, of all trades, the best fitted
morally and mechanically to train “the wayward and careless disposition
of an uncivilized youth,” since, “to print at all, he must work
orderly.” The youngest boys were to work in the garden, the elder ones
to learn farming and forestry.

In the College, though the students were to take their part in the
manual labours, he wished to preserve an academic atmosphere, and the
students wore caps and gowns, at any rate on special occasions. Its
chief purpose was to train the clergy of the future, as he could not
hope to obtain a sufficient supply from England. He wrote:

  “We must go to all orders of colonists and to the native people
  without respect of persons, and select from among their children the
  future candidates for Holy Orders.”

But since it was impossible to be sure that those so chosen would grow
up fitted for the ministerial vocation, no pledges were asked of them,
and the opportunities of secular training provided fitted the youth to
enter upon other lines of life, should it appear when the right time
came that he was not fitted for the special studies needed for Holy
Orders. He expected that strangers would hardly be able to understand
the complex character of the Institution, but he wrote:

  “There is an open and undisguised reality about our work, which seems
  to be highly favourable to the discrimination of character, and
  therefore to the due selection of instruments: a class of demure
  students with face and tone of voice and manner conformed to the
  standard which they believe to be expected, would be a poor exchange
  for a healthful and mirthful company of youths, as yet unconstrained
  by pledges and professions, who show their true character in every act
  of their lives whether of business or amusement.”

And again:

  “The only real endowment for St. John’s College is the industry and
  self-denial of all its members. Even if industry were not in itself
  honourable, the purposes of the institution would be enough to hallow
  every useful art and manual labour by which its resources might be

All the members of the mission shared in the manual work, and all,
including Mrs. Selwyn, dined together with the students in the Hall. She
was much beloved by the natives; they called her Mother Bishop, and
described her as “having great grace.”

At Keri-keri, a few miles from Paihai, what was to be the Cathedral
library was set up, in the one stone house on the island, which had been
used as a store for mission supplies. This library was a very real joy
to the Bishop, he speaks of a day in it as “a day of literary luxury”
when he sat “looking upon the books, occasionally dipping into them. The
very sight of so many venerable folios is most refreshing in this land
where everything is so new”; and again “as a charming retreat for his
wife when over-wearied with her many and varied duties.... The quiet is
as unbroken as the most nervous person could desire, and in this respect
entirely different from the inevitable noise of wooden buildings. Here
also I may retire in my old age, which will probably be premature, and
superintend my College at the Waimate without being subject to all its
perturbations.... The charm of this library is that it is so utterly
uncolonial. Its walls are worthy of a college. My books carry me back to
the first ages of the Church. It is true that when I step outside the
door I stumble over a mass of utilitarian treasures. Bales of blankets,
iron pots, barrels of all kinds are the miscellaneous furniture of my
ante-chambers; but within, everything that can most elevate and purify
the mind is to be found. Leisure alone is at present wanting for us to
use our treasures; but as the Church system is developed, and active
archdeacons stationed at all the principal settlements, I hope to be
able to give myself more to meditation and every other profitable
exercise, that there may be some abundance in my own heart to flow forth
for the benefit of my diocese.”

Material things which might conduce to the well-being of his people were
not forgotten by the Bishop. There were then already sheep in New
Zealand, but he found that “the Maoris did not know how ‘to transfer the
fleece from the back of the sheep to that of the man.’” He was
distressed to see precious wool buried in the ground because the natives
did not know how to use it, and wrote to a friend in Wales to ask about
spinning machines suitable for the manufacture of coarse cloth in his
native school, and for a supply of knitting pins for the children.

As was natural there were many interruptions to peaceful progress. News
of a conflict between Maoris and settlers at Wairan near Nelson which
lead to the massacre of twenty-three settlers, gave the Bishop “the
gloomiest day he had yet spent in New Zealand.” This conflict arose as
usual over a dispute about land, from misunderstanding of native
customs, and from the little knowledge on the part of the settlers of
the native language and character. Selwyn was afraid lest news of it
should give a bad impression of the natives. He himself was convinced of
the absolute safety of free intercourse with them and wrote:

  “We have no fastenings to our windows, even on the ground floor, and
  the door is rarely locked. In travelling I pitch my tent at whatever
  place I happen to reach at nightfall, and am always hospitably
  received. In the course of some hundred miles of travelling I have
  never lost anything.”

In 1844, the Bishop made a second long visitation of his diocese, and
for the first time visited the southern island, then much more sparcely
inhabited than the northern. It was not easy to get about on land; many
rivers had to be forded and one of the party could not swim, so the
Bishop’s air-bed had to be converted into a raft in order to convey him
across the rivers. In one part of the island the Bishop was much
troubled to find religious dissensions amongst the natives, some of whom
had been taught by a Wesleyan missionary. He wrote sadly, “controversy
has preceded truth, and as usual darkened true knowledge.” As his later
policy showed, had he found a really strong Wesleyan mission
established, he would not have attempted to interfere; but he found that
the mission had only been roused into some sort of activity when other
teachers had appeared on the field. He could not recognize that the mere
fact of the residence of one missionary, entitled that one to claim the
spiritual care of all the southern islands. Neither would he countenance
intercommunion between Wesleyans and Anglicans as had been the custom in
some parts before his coming. But his personal intercourse with the
Wesleyan missionary was most friendly. He writes:

  “I stayed one day and a half in his house; but I told him that I could
  make no transfer of catechumens; that we must hold our own.”

He saw need for vigorous work in the south amongst the half-caste
population, “where the fathers and mothers have been living together for
some years, I married them and baptized their children: in all
twenty-five couples married and sixty-one children baptized. I must have
a visiting clergyman in the Straits as soon as possible, but where to
find a man fit for the work I know not.... Many of the old whalers and
sealers are settling down into a more quiet life, and are to a man
anxious that their children should not follow the course of life which
they have led themselves.” The problems he met with on this visitation
made him think much of his future plans for the diocese, seeking
guidance in framing them from the first three centuries of the Church’s

Amongst the Bishop’s difficulties were his relations with the Church
Missionary Society. Whilst full of admiration for the work of their
missionaries, he would not ordain the laymen among them except on the
condition that he decided the sphere of their work. As the Society
refused to accept this condition, the Bishop would not ordain the
catechists in their missions. He also refused to ordain any as priests
who had not attained a certain standard of learning, and he waited to
ordain any native till he considered him sufficiently educated. In all
these matters, the Society had a different policy. They were accustomed
to control their own missions from home and were not inclined to give
way to a Bishop who had only come out after the missions had been well
established. These and other difficulties and misunderstandings led to
the refusal of the Society to rent permanently to the Bishop the wooden
buildings at the Waimate, where he had set up his College.

As he could not stay at the Waimate Selwyn determined to move at once to
Auckland which he had always intended to be the Episcopal See. When the
Maoris in the Waimate district heard of his intended removal, there was
much disturbance. Lady Martin describes the scene that followed. It was
on what was called market day, when the Maoris brought their wares for
sale, and before the traffic began there was school and cathechising in
the chapel after morning prayers.

  “The people had heard a rumour of the Bishop’s intention to remove to
  Auckland, and there was a great deal of speech-making on the subject.
  A powerful speaker opened the debate. The orator began by trotting
  slowly up and down a given space, always beginning and ending each
  sentence with his run to and fro. After a while he got warmed up and
  excited, and then he rushed backwards and forwards, he leaped up off
  the ground, he slapped his thigh, shouted, waved his spear.”

It seemed more as if he were breathing out death and destruction than as
if he were urging the Bishop to stay among his people.

  “It was very amusing to see the two brothers Williams stand up and
  answer them. Archdeacon Henry Williams, a stout, old-fashioned looking
  clergyman with broad-brimmed hat and spectacles, marched up and down
  with a spear in his hand, and elicited shouts of applause. Then his
  brother drew a large space on the gravel, and divided it into three
  parts, and asked whether it was not fair that the Bishop should live
  in the middle of the diocese instead of at either end. There was a
  loud murmur of voices, ‘It is just,’ but all the same they did not
  like to lose him and his large party from among them.”

A month later, the Bishop, with his family and friends, started for
Auckland. Mrs. Selwyn and their little boy rode, the Bishop walked,
carrying his infant son swathed in a plaid to his side. As they left the
Waimate, crowds gathered to bid them farewell. At Auckland the large
party, together with the native students, had to live in tents till the
college buildings were ready for them.

In order that there might be someone to superintend the Church in the
Waimate district, Selwyn appointed Henry Williams to be Archdeacon of
the Waimate, saying in his letter to him, “your long experience, and
your great influence with the natives, will give me the greatest
confidence in delegating to you the charge of this portion of my

In September, 1844, as a further step to that complete organization
which he contemplated, the Bishop summoned a Synod of his clergy. Three
Archdeacons, four other priests and two deacons met together with him,
in order “to frame rules for the better management of the mission and
the general government of the Church.” On this occasion they discussed
only questions of church discipline and extension, but it was the
beginning of that complete system of self-government which was to
establish the independence of the Church in New Zealand.

                               CHAPTER IV
                      THE MAORIS AND THE SETTLERS

The Maori chiefs regarded the treaty of Waitangi as the Charter of their
liberties, and in the opinion of Bishop Selwyn it was “highly beneficial
to the people of New Zealand since it gave them the protection of the
British Government and assured them ‘that no land would be taken from
them which they were not willing to sell.’” But the treaty was obnoxious
to the members of the New Zealand Company, since it was a continual
hindrance to their plans for the development of the Colony. They were
constantly arousing the suspicions of the Maoris by their efforts to
evade it. The conditions of the country were rapidly changing and as yet
the new order had not been firmly established. On the one side were the
fears and suspicions of the Maoris that they had been betrayed and would
lose their lands, suspicions encouraged by those white adventurers who
disliked the idea of a settled government. On the other side was what
Selwyn described as “the discontented and insubordinate temper of our
own settlers.” He writes of the situation as follows:

  “The one general imputation against all of us was a concealed
  intention of dispossessing the natives of their land, and reducing
  them to slavery. In support of this, the acts of our countrymen in
  other lands were related to them.”

The missionaries made constant efforts for peace and assured the natives
that the British Government was determined to protect their rights and
property. Great was their surprise and consternation when a Report of
the House of Commons stated that “all lands not actually occupied by the
natives are declared to be vested in the Crown.” Selwyn wrote:

  “The natives of New Zealand cannot bear this uncertainty; they can see
  the merits of a question as clearly as we can; but if they detect us
  in a falsehood, or even in a change of purpose the reason of which
  they cannot understand, our influence with them is lost.”

It was in the neighbourhood of the Bay of Islands that there was most
restlessness, and here the discontented Maoris gathered round a chief
named John Heke. On a hill overlooking the village of Kororareke there
was a blockhouse with a few soldiers and a flagstaff on which the
British flag was flying. This was to the natives a symbol of British
sovereignty. Heke was a Christian and had no hostility to the
missionaries, nor did he desire to destroy the property of the settlers.
It was the fear lest his people should be reduced to the condition of
slaves that aroused his hostility. The Bishop writes:

  “Meetings began to be held at which John Heke was the chief speaker,
  the subject of discussion being the cutting down of the flagstaff. In
  the month of August, 1844, Heke assembled a party of armed men, and
  proceeded to Kororareke, where he spent Saturday and part of Sunday in
  alarming the natives and early on Monday morning, mounted the hill and
  cut down the flagstaff. I was at Paihai at the time, engaged in the
  native school, at the close of which the first words I heard were ‘the
  colour has fallen.’ I shuddered at the thought of this beginning of
  hostilities, so full of presage of evil for the future. Heke then
  crossed to Paihai, and with his party danced the war dance in my face,
  after which many violent speeches were made.”

The Bishop’s fears were justified; a troubled period of anarchy
followed. Soldiers were sent for from Sydney to defend the settlers and
their property. The fighting was most serious in the district round
Kororareke. During the next two years the flagstaff was cut down on
three more occasions, and the town of Kororareke was captured by the
Maori rebels. The Bishop watched the attack from his little sailing
vessel, to which he had brought some of the wives and children of the
settlers for safety. Then he landed with Mr. Williams to recover and
bury the bodies of the dead. He wrote:

  “We found the town in the possession of the natives, who were busily
  engaged in plundering the houses. Their behaviour to us was perfectly
  civil and inoffensive. Several immediately guided us to the spots
  where the bodies were down upon this day of sorrow.... The state of
  the town after the withdrawal of the troops was very characteristic.
  The natives carried on their work of plunder with perfect composure,
  neither quarrelling among themselves nor resenting any attempt on the
  part of the English to recover portions of their property.... With
  sorrow I observed that many of the natives were wheeling off casks of
  spirits; but they listened patiently to my remonstrances, and in one
  instance they allowed me to turn the cock and let the liquor run out
  upon the ground.”

That evening he rode to the Waimate and from there watched the burning
of Kororareke, the whole sky lighted up by the blaze of burning houses.
The next morning passing near the scene of desolation to get to his
boat, he noticed how “all that had been devoted to mammon was gone, but
heathen vengeance had spared the patrimony of God. The two chapels and
the houses of the clergy remained undestroyed.” It was impossible to say
what would be the result of this native success upon the “position and
prospects” of the Christian teachers. But there were some hopeful signs,
and the Bishop was clear as to the part he intended to play. “My hope is
that by cautious and judicious management, the Church interest in this
country may be kept clear of all political dissensions. On one point I
think that I may speak decisively, that there is no evidence of any
general or indiscriminate hatred of the natives towards the English
settlers, or any disposition to bloodthirsty or savage acts of violence.
The proceedings at Kororareke were conducted with all the usages of
European warfare.... In the midst of much that was fearful, there was
much also that proved the indirect effect of religion and civilization
upon the minds of the natives.... There are many signs which give us
great hopes for the future.”

The Bishop exerted himself on every possible occasion to promote peace
and to save life, exposing himself fearlessly in his efforts to bring
off safely the wives and children of the settlers, who were conveyed to
Auckland and there cared for by Mrs. Selwyn and the other ladies. But
his absolute neutrality was not appreciated and he was called a traitor
because he would not share in the general hatred of the natives. He did
not allow his unpopularity to disturb him and wrote:

  “The real subject of grief is the injury which is done to religion by
  the un-Christian feelings and language which many permit and justify
  in themselves. In this perversion of public feeling it becomes
  necessary to stand firm and let the flood sweep by.”

But his courage and devotion were amply recognized by those who
witnessed it. The officer commanding the _Hazard_, the British vessel
which had brought the troops from Sydney to the ill-fated encounter with
the natives, wrote to him saying:

  “There is not a single man on board who does not appreciate your
  conduct.... Go where you will, you will carry with you the good wishes
  of all who saw you under the late trying circumstances.”

The disturbances had begun whilst the Bishop was on a confirmation tour.
At one place he had confirmed 300 natives, and there were numbers of
Christian natives quite ready to fight for him should he desire it. Now
that there was a general fear lest the unrest caused by the rising of
Heke should spread and endanger the settlements further south, the
Bishop was anxious to visit them and do all he could to promote peace.
On this journey he took Mrs. Selwyn with him. She helped in the work of
spreading confidence by her ministrations to the sick. She felt no fear
of any possible unfriendliness on the part of the natives, for as she

  “If you live among them, you find them looking up to you and clinging
  to you in all points, and the fear ceases.”

To her great delight she was taken on a little bush expedition, as she
longed to see with her own eyes how so large a part of the Bishop’s life
was spent. During these next years he carried on the work of ministering
to his people and administering his diocese in the midst of continual
anxiety caused by the Maori unrest, consequent on the efforts of the New
Zealand Company to get possession of the native lands.

The failure of the Governor, Captain Fitzroy, to restore order led to
his removal, and Sir George Grey, a young and able administrator, was
sent from South Australia to take his place. Under his energetic
measures conditions were improving, when news came from England that the
pressure brought to bear upon the Colonial Office by the New Zealand
Company, had led to an Act being passed through Parliament (1846) which
set aside the Treaty of Waitangi and annulled its provisions. Against
this both Judge Martin and Bishop Selwyn protested in no measured terms.
They considered it a breach of faith, destructive of the honour of
England and certain to put an end to all hope of peaceful relations with
the Maoris. The strength of the Bishop’s feelings is shown in a letter
to a friend in which he says:

  “I would rather that he (Earl Grey, the Colonial Secretary) cut me in
  pieces than induced me, by any personal compliments, to resign the New
  Zealanders to the tender mercies of men, who avow the right to take
  the land of the New Zealanders, and who would not scruple to use force
  for that purpose.”

The Bishop’s protest led to his being spoken of in the House of Commons
by the radical member, Joseph Hume, as “a turbulent priest.” Sir George
Grey realized at once the impossibility of carrying out the instructions
sent by the Colonial Office. He professed to believe that they were not
meant to be carried out literally, and his representations led the
English Government to agree to suspend the execution of the Act passed
by Parliament for five years, during which time Sir George Grey devoted
himself to framing a new constitution for the colony.

Unfortunately the difficulties of the land question disturbed the
relations of the Bishop with one of the most experienced and revered
missionaries in the country, Henry Williams, whom he had made Archdeacon
of Waimate. Williams, in order to make provision for his family, had
bought land from the natives on which he had settled his sons, who
cultivated it with great success. His claim to these lands was approved
by the Council set up in 1844 by Governor Fitzroy to consider the whole
question of land claims. In recommending the awards made to Henry
Williams the Governor said, “that there could be no doubt that Mr.
Williams had done more for the advancement and improvement of the
aboriginal race than any other individual member of the missionary
body.” But the missionaries by their defence of the rights of the
natives were extremely unpopular with the New Zealand Company, and the
good condition of the lands held by the Williams family, owing to their
excellent farming, excited the jealousy of the incoming colonists. The
new Governor, Sir George Grey, saw that questions of land tenure were
the chief cause of all the troubles with the natives. In his early days,
when only insufficiently acquainted with conditions in New Zealand, he
was much too ready to believe the accusations made by the Company
against the missionaries of having used their position to acquire
unlawfully large tracts of lands from the natives. He wrote home to the
Colonial Office a private dispatch condemning in strong language the
land purchases of the missionaries. Bishop Selwyn, who on other
occasions had vigorously defended the missionaries against the Company,
did not on principle approve of missionaries owning land for themselves.
He wished that their sons should be trained for the service of the
Church, and he appealed to the missionaries to teach their children “to
renounce the barren pride of ownership for the moral husbandry of
Christ’s kingdom in the harvest of souls.” In his zeal and eagerness he
seems to have forgotten that all young men are not fitted to be
missionaries or teachers. To him it was a plain issue; he did not
sufficiently understand Williams’ position. To Williams it appeared that
the Bishop was in alliance with the Governor against him, and he felt
bitterly the seeming desertion of the man whom he had admired so warmly.
When urged by the Bishop to give up the title deeds to his lands he
refused. Strong in the consciousness of his own uprightness, he would
consent to no compromise by which it might have seemed that he felt
himself to be in the wrong. It was not his property that he was
defending, but his character, which had been impugned by the charges
made against his conduct by the Governor to the Home Government. The
whole matter was of course brought before the Church Missionary Society
at home. They were plunged into great perplexity. They did not feel
themselves strong enough to oppose the authorities both at home and in
New Zealand, and they did not really thoroughly know the facts. They
decided at last that the wisest course to pursue was to dismiss Henry
Williams from their service. He made no further attempt to defend
himself, but, deeply hurt at the treatment he had received after his
long and devoted service, he left his home at Paihai and retired to his
sons’ farm at Pakaraka, amidst the loud regrets of the people amongst
whom he had lived and worked for twenty-seven years, and amongst whom he
had hoped to die. He had defended himself warmly, with all the
impetuosity of his nature, for he had felt himself to be a man cruelly
caluminated. Now he would say no more. He continued to work amongst the
Maoris in his neighbourhood, and a church was built for him by his sons
in which he ministered. Meanwhile his brother went to England and
explained the case fully to the C.M.S. In 1854 when Bishop Selwyn and
Sir George Grey were both in England, they too, having no doubt arrived
at a fuller understanding of the matter, visited the C.M.S., and the
Bishop expressed his wish that Williams should be reinstated, which was

The complexity and importance of the land question in New Zealand is
shown by this painful controversy, in which men of the high character of
Bishop Selwyn and Sir George Grey were led, in their zeal for order and
for the rights of the Maoris, to condemn, on insufficient knowledge a
man of the character and devotion of Henry Williams. He himself no doubt
added to the difficulty by his impetuous character and his caustic way
of expressing himself, but on the question in dispute itself, not a
shadow of blame can be attached to him. Selwyn seems to have judged over
hastily, and to have shown incapacity to see all sides of the question,
in his desire that the missionaries should show themselves superior to
all worldly considerations. Henry Williams believed that the Bishop was
led away by his love of power, and that he was unable to give way when
he first discovered that he had made a mistake. In later years friendly
relations between him and the Williams family were fully resumed. How
much he valued and appreciated the family, is shown by the fact that
William Williams was amongst the first of the men he recommended to fill
one of the new sees formed when his diocese was divided.

These three men, Selwyn, Grey and Williams, were all equally anxious to
uphold justice and the best interests of the Maoris, though they
differed so seriously on this occasion. Selwyn’s attitude towards the
Maoris made him most unpopular for a time amongst the settlers. His
constant effort was to promote peace and to ensure prosperity and
justice for all, but long afterwards, he would recall how his arrival
used to be greeted by the settlers with “Here comes the Bishop to
prevent us fighting with the natives.” One day when he was landing in a
small boat from his schooner at Wellington, he heard a man asking his
companion: “What’s that schooner that has come in this evening?” and the
reply was, “Oh, that old fool the Bishop’s.” Jumping on shore at that
moment he called out, chuckling and rubbing his hands, “Yes, and here’s
the old fool himself.” He went on his way careless of popularity and
heedless of the criticism inevitable in the case of a man of such vigour
and so many activities.

He found relief from his many anxieties in the work connected with his
college and schools at Auckland. These were beautifully situated about
five miles outside the town. Gifts from England enabled him to erect
solid stone buildings, a hospital as well as the schools; each year
there was some improvement. There were playing fields where the Maori
boys could play cricket, pastures for cattle and sheep, as well as
gardens, fields, a printing press, weaving and carpentering sheds. In
1846 there were already one hundred and thirty persons, English and
Maori, connected with the College. All alike shared in the cultivation
of the estate and lived together as one family. The Bishop wrote:

  “I have given up house-keeping and have brought all my income to bear
  on the College.”

Mrs. Selwyn shared his work in every way in her power. She taught in the
girls’ school and nursed in the hospital. In Judge Martin and his wife
they had friends who sympathized with all their plans and gave them much
personal help.

When visiting the mission stations round the coast in his little sailing
vessel, the Bishop was always on the look out for new scholars. He wrote
to a friend whilst on one of these voyages:

  “Can you conceive a more interesting employment than hunting in this
  wild country for hopeful plants to stock my nursery at Auckland. One
  of my main employments during this journey has been to collect the
  children of the native settlements and examine them; and where I found
  anyone who especially pleased me, to invite his father to bring him up
  to my school. In no case have I met with a refusal.... I have no doubt
  that I can have as many as we can afford to maintain from all parts of
  the island. My Eton experience I hope will be of use to me in this
  search, for nothing used to interest me more than to form opinions of
  the character of the boys from their physiognomy, and then watch their
  progress through the school. I think that I have heard you say as a
  dahlia fancier that Brown, of Slough, is in the habit of growing
  thousands of seedlings in the hope of raising one rare and valuable
  flower; and so people, in the hope of rearing some few who may
  hereafter be admitted to the ministry. That they have intellectual
  powers of a high order I have no doubt; what they want is an entire
  correction of habits.”

The Maoris had learned confidence in him, and men, old, prejudiced and
bloodstained had come to desire a better training for their children. He
had well advanced plans for a second College in the Southern Island, but
this he was not able to establish owing to the pressure of other calls.

The Bishop’s desire was to educate the sons of the settlers and the
Maoris together, and this was done at first. He wrote in 1849:

  “I must be a tyrant, and to be a good natured tyrant is the
  difficulty. The explosive element in all countries having a mixed
  population, is the disposition of the one to domineer over the other.
  We are succeeding at last, I hope in amalgamating the two races in an
  equality of privileges and position; but it is uphill work; it seemed
  so natural to every English boy and man to have a Maori for his fag. I
  think that by God’s blessing we shall succeed at last, and if we do it
  will be a glorious measure of success.”

This growing work made the Bishop anxiously eager for more helpers. He
wrote urgently to Mr. Abraham who had promised to leave Eton and join
him as soon as he could. The work he saw before him was too great for
one man. He wrote:

  “To move my diocese in any perceptible degree, I must multiply my own
  single force through a multitude of wheels and powers; alone I am
  powerless. Before me lies an inert mass which I am utterly unable to
  heave; and there is no engine ready by which I can supply the defects
  of my own weakness. I am bewildered by the multitude of details, and
  sometimes doubt whether I am right in complicating the episcopate with
  all the machinery of the subordinate ministries; and yet I feel that
  without that pervading influence, the whole system will be powerless.”

These words show what the organization of his diocese meant to him. He
was planting a free and independent Church which was to endure, not
doing a piece of individual mission work. Cherishing these wide plans
for the future, he wanted helpers who could take his place when he had
to be absent on his visitation journeys. “I have scarcely a person in
the place,” he writes, “who has any eye for minute and careful
arrangement, without which no barbarous people, I am sure, can ever be
thoroughly Christianised. Throughout the whole mission the delusion has
prevailed more or less, that the Gospel will give habits as well as
teach principles. My conviction is that habits uncorrected will be the
thorns which will choke the good seed ... to get that personal and
parental care bestowed upon the native children which will qualify them
to be hereafter Christian parents in every sense, is the difficulty
which almost weighs me to the ground.” The smaller cares and the great
visions of the future all had their place in his mind, but he could not
help fearing what might be the effect on an over-detailed mind of the
increasing serving of tables. He felt that he specially needed the help
of his friend when “the very causes which most require earnestness in
prayer made him unable to pray as he ought.

“Expect nothing from us,” he wrote, “but bring with you as large a
spiritual treasure as you can. Come to help rather than to be helped.”
Two years later in 1849, when he at last heard that Mr. Abraham was able
to come, he wrote to his close friend, Edward Coleridge,

  “My heart beats with joy at the prospect of Abraham coming. O what a
  blessing it will be to a mind not only beginning to be overwrought but
  beginning to be conscious of it....  Abraham will sustain part of the
  spiritual and intellectual strain which falls upon the head of such an
  institution as this....  If I could but feel that I was so growing in
  grace as to increase in fitness for the work as the work itself
  increases, I could then bound over the sea and over every New Zealand
  forest and mountain with the lightest of hearts and the most buoyant
  of hopes. But if the work should increase faster than the supply of
  inward strength, and if help should be withheld in the form in which
  it would be most welcome, by the subdivision of the diocese, it is not
  any bodily decay which I fear so much as that overmuch service may
  make my mind careful and troubled about many things, and unable even
  in old age, to sit in contemplation at the feet of Christ.”

                               CHAPTER V
                        THE CALL OF THE PACIFIC

It will be remembered that through a clerical error, the Melanesian
Islands had been included in Bishop Selwyn’s diocese. He did not forget
this, but he believed that his first duty was to get to know New Zealand
itself. When by his various journeys on land, on foot or on horseback,
up the rivers in canoes, and round the coast in little sailing vessels,
he had learned to know the work and needs of the Church in New Zealand,
and had by a second Synod held in 1847 arranged for its organization,
his thoughts were free to go out to the vast stretch of ocean and
islands which by a mere accident had been entrusted to his charge. An
opportunity to make a preliminary voyage to the islands was given to him
by the request that he should act as chaplain on the _Dido_, a warship
which was being sent at the end of 1847, to investigate the causes of an
affray between the natives and two English vessels. The islands were
much visited by traders chiefly in search of sandal wood, and the
conduct of these traders had again and again aroused the animosity of
the natives, who had often avenged themselves by murder and treachery,
so that landing on the islands was reputed very unsafe. On this first
voyage to the Pacific, the Bishop learned a lesson of great use to him
afterwards. He wanted to land on the Isle of Pines, an island which had
a bad reputation. The captain and the officers of the _Dido_ in vain
tried to dissuade him, but he got into a small boat and rowed himself
into the lagoon. There to his surprise, he found an English schooner.
Its captain was trading for sandal wood and, when Selwyn asked him how
it was that he could smoke his pipe contentedly in the lagoon of one of
the worst islands of the Pacific, where a man-of-war was afraid to
enter, he answered, “By kindness and fair dealing I have traded with
these people for many years. They have cut many thousand feet of sandal
wood for me and brought it on my schooner. I never cheated them. I never
treated them badly—we thoroughly understand each other.” In talk with
this man, Captain Paddon, Selwyn learned much about the islanders, how
their confidence could be won and how to treat them, and also the
necessity of avoiding those islands where unprincipled traders had
aroused suspicion and anger. He used always to speak of Captain Paddon
as his tutor.

The voyage on the _Dido_ was a voyage of observation. The Bishop had to
discover how the problems presented by Melanesia could best be met.
There were already missions of various denominations at work in the
islands. Heroic work had been done especially by the London Missionary
Society. Both missionaries and Christian natives had suffered death for
their faith. At Tonga he visited a Wesleyan station and made friends
with Mr. Thomas, the senior missionary who had spent twenty years in the
islands. Selwyn was charmed with his schools full of smiling children,
and with the beautiful mission chapel, which he described as “a noble
building, without nails, bound together with the cocoa nut rope,
beautifully arranged in variegated patterns.” In visiting the missions
of other denominations, the Bishop did not feel it right to join in
their public services, but was glad, when their guest, to share their
family prayers. In one island he found a village divided into rival
factions by the rivalry of two native teachers, “separate chapels,
services and systems attesting the power of Satan, even in this peaceful
island, in dividing the house of Christ against itself.... This is one
instance out of many, and it will surely strike every thoughtful
Christian, that I, who have been charged with bigotry and intolerance
for advocating unity and opposing dissent, should have had the evils of
schisms again and again brought under my notice by members of the
English Independent body and of the Scottish secession.” How to avoid
adding to the confusion caused by religious differences, was one of the
chief problems which the conditions in Melanesia presented to him, but
he seemed to see the future development clear before him. He was
determined not to encroach on islands already occupied by other missions
nor to “inflict upon those simple islanders all the technical
difficulties of English dissent.” He wrote:

  “Nature has marked out for each missionary body its field of duty. The
  clusters of islands together like constellations in the heavens seem
  formed to become new branches of the Church of Christ, and each a
  Church complete in itself. It is of little consequence whether these
  babes in Christ have been nourished by their own true Mother, or by
  other faithful nurses provided that they have been fed by the sincere
  milk of the word. The time must come, I think, when they will be no
  longer under tutors or guardians, for this present government by
  English Societies is admitted to be preparatory to the introduction of
  self-government by native Churches, and then I shall be free to
  communicate with every branch of the great Polynesian family as with
  bodies in no respect liable to the imputation of dissent or schism.”

Another problem was presented by the great variety of dialects spoken,
sometimes more than one in the same small island. Selwyn wrote:

  “Nothing but a special interposition of the divine power could have
  produced such a confusion of tongues as we find here. In islands not
  larger than the Isle of Wight, we find dialects so distinct that the
  inhabitants of the various districts hold no communication with one
  another. Here have I been for a fortnight working away as I supposed
  at the language of New Caledonia and just when I have begun to see my
  way, I learn that this is only a dialect used in the southern
  extremity of the island, and not understood in the parts I wish to
  attack first.”

There were also difficulties caused by the unscrupulous conduct of the
traders, and the fear of consequent treacherous action on the part of
the natives. The number of the islands made it impossible to contemplate
providing English teachers for each. The Bishop decided that the only
way to meet the need was to aim at securing a sufficient supply of
native teachers and to raise up a native ministry. As he thought over
the call that came to him from this vast region, he reproached himself
for the enforced delay in responding to it and wrote:

  “While I have been sleeping in my bed in New Zealand, these islands
  have been riddled through and through by black slug, the bêche-de-mer,
  has been dragged out of its hole in every coral reef to make black
  broth for Chinese Mandarins, by the unconquerable daring of English
  traders, while I, like a worse black slug, as I am, have left the
  world all its field of mischief to itself. The same daring men have
  robbed every one of these islands of its sandal wood, to furnish
  incense for the idolatrous worship of Chinese temples, before I have
  taught a single islander to offer up his sacrifice of prayer to the
  true and only God. Even a mere Sydney speculator could induce nearly a
  hundred men from some of the wildest islands in the Pacific to sail in
  his ships to Sydney to keep his flocks and herds, before I, to whom
  the Chief Shepherd has given commandment to seek out His sheep that
  are scattered over a thousand isles, have sought out or found so much
  as one of those which have strayed and are lost.”

In 1849, the year after his voyage of observation in the _Dido_, Selwyn
sailed again to the Pacific, this time in his own little yacht the
_Undine_, which he had used in his visitations of the coast of New
Zealand and the adjacent islands. The _Undine_ was a tiny vessel of only
21 tons. The Bishop was his own navigator, and had no charts to guide
him in those unknown seas. He set to work at once to make charts and
maps, which were afterwards thankfully accepted by the Admiralty. He was
so good at managing a ship that the captain of a merchant vessel once
said it almost made him a Christian and a Churchman to see the Bishop
bring his schooner into harbour. The _Undine_ carried no arms; from the
first the Bishop, though taking all due precautions, was absolutely
fearless in landing on the islands. He said: “Where a trader will go for
gain, there the missionary ought to go for the merchandise of souls,”
and again: “It is the duty of a missionary to go to the extreme point of
boldness short of an exposure to known and certain danger.” His
departure from Auckland is thus described:

  “We have just parted with our Bishop, and seen him go off on his
  lonely mission voyage. Our feelings have been strangely varied. We
  rejoice to see him enter on such a work, and are thankful for these
  opening prospects; and yet saddening thoughts and human fears will
  mingle with high hopes: fears of perils by sea and of perils by the
  heathen. Some at home and here talk of risks, and that the Bishop has
  enough to do in his immediate diocese, and that it is better to build
  up what is planted and the like. But it seems like a great instinct in
  our Bishop’s mind that he must dig foundations and hew stones, and
  heave them up single-handed; and they that come after him will do the
  polishing and ornamenting. Not that he is unfitted for the fine work.
  Few better able than he to construct and build up. But then everybody
  likes the nice work. Nobody likes the rough beginnings which have no
  present results and small glorification. Perhaps the very thing
  needful for him is to go with care on his lonely path sowing precious
  seed. We would fain see him go in a larger vessel. But he is anxious
  about incurring any extra expense. He has no fear and has run so many
  voyages in his little schooner that it is difficult to say much. He
  and his wife are scrupulously careful in all their own expenses while
  so large-hearted and handed in everything for the public good.”

The _Undine_ started with a prosperous run of one thousand miles to
Anaiteum, made in ten days. Such a voyage was a great rest and
refreshment for Selwyn. He wrote to a friend in England:

  “Few men are so entirely at their ease at sea, or so able to use every
  moment of time, perhaps more effectually because with less distraction
  than on shore. The effect of this is that in a voyage of reasonable
  duration I can master the elements of a new language sufficiently to
  enter at once into communications, more or less, with the native
  people. I feel myself called upon by these natural advantages to carry
  the Gospel into every island which has not received it.”

At Anaiteum a Presbyterian mission was established, and the Bishop in
consequence did not attempt to begin any work there, but had much
friendly intercourse with the Scotch missionaries. He met there
according to appointment with Captain Erskine, commanding the
_Havannah_, and the _Undine_ accompanied the larger vessel in visits to
some other islands. Captain Erskine considered the Bishop’s plan of
travelling with no arms of any sort as “one of no little risk.” When he
heard that some natives of an island, notorious for its hostility to
white men, had been allowed to come on board the _Undine_, he wrote that
he “was ready to allow that it required the perfect presence of mind and
dignified bearing of Bishop Selwyn, which seemed never to fail in
impressing these savages with a feeling of his superiority, to render
such an act one of safety and prudence.”

The Bishop recognized clearly the risks he ran in visiting the different
islands and wrote:

  “It is quite uncertain from visit to visit in what temper the natives
  may be found. If any violence or loss of life should have occurred in
  the interval between the missionary’s visits, his blood may be
  required as much as that of any other white man.”

On this cruise, which lasted only two months, he went to New Caledonia,
the New Hebrides and the Loyalty Isles, and came across many different
men of many different kinds.

  “On one day it is my lot to keep company with sandal wood traders, and
  on the next with her Majesty’s Men of War. As sources of information,
  the sandal wooders are most useful companions; I have received much
  kindness and civility from them.”

He thus described his future plan for the conversion of the Melanesian

  “To select a few promising youths from all the islands, to prove and
  test them, first by observation of their habits on board a floating
  school; then to take them for further training to New Zealand; and,
  lastly when they are sufficiently advanced, to send them back as
  teachers to their own people, if possible with some English missionary
  to give effect and regularity to their work. All the ordinary losses
  by sickness, violence and theft which occur frequently where
  missionaries are stationed at once on unknown ground will be avoided.”

From this first voyage he brought back five boys, enough to crowd his
tiny cabin. They reached Auckland safely:

  “The walk from Auckland to the College was most amusing from the
  frequent exclamations of surprise raised by my native companions at
  every new object which they saw.”

Some months afterwards he had to start on a second voyage to take back
the boys to their own homes, lest they should suffer from the New
Zealand winter. He could then write:

  “We find that even this first experiment, small and imperfect as it
  has been, has opened to us a way for future these islands as
  strangers, but we have our own scholars as friends and interpreters to
  explain our objects. The report seems to be favourable, as we have now
  several applications from the New Caledonian youths for leave to go to
  New Zealand. At present I have no intention of taking any, as the
  winter is coming on and they would find the change to our climate very
  uncomfortable. But if it should please God to prolong my life, I hope
  to return, and with increased means of information to select carefully
  the next class of scholars and to take them with me to New Zealand.”

He rejoiced in the beauty of the islands and felt hopeful about the
future development of their inhabitants.

  “It is not true that only man is vile, these people are the most
  friendly people in the world.... To go among the heathen as an equal
  and a brother is far more profitable than to risk that subtle kind of
  self-righteousness which creeps into mission work, akin to the
  thanking God that we are not as other men are.”

He wished to put this Pacific work on a permanent basis and believed
that, if God would enable him before his death “to lay out the ground
plan of a great design, succeeding bishops would not refuse to add each
his course of stone to the rising edifice.” When shortly after his
return from this cruise he went in September, 1850, to a meeting at
Sydney of the Synod of the Church in Australia, one of his chief objects
was to persuade the Australian Bishops to form a Board of Missions.
especially with a view to the needs of Melanesia. His proposals were
sympathetically received, the Australasian Board of Missions was formed,
and the Melanesian mission was solemnly adopted by the Australian and
New Zealand colonies. Selwyn expressed himself as willing to do the
active work of the Mission if Australia would assist him with the
necessary funds. Money was raised in New South Wales to supply a vessel
of one hundred tons, the _Border Maid_, for the Bishop’s voyages to and
fro to the islands with his pupils, and Bishop Tyrrell, of Newcastle,
New South Wales, an old Cambridge friend, agreed to accompany him on his
first voyage in the new mission ship.

On his return to Auckland Selwyn at once founded a Branch of the new
Board of Missions, thus making the New Zealand Church from the first
recognize its missionary responsibilities; his ambition was to make his
diocese the great missionary centre of the Southern Ocean. The carrying
out of his many schemes had been made easier for him by the arrival this
year of his friend, Mr. Abraham, with his wife. Abraham had at last
found himself free to leave Eton and now came to be head of St. John’s
College at Auckland. With him came Mr. Lloyd, another helper, and their
arrival and the hopes thus given of further development so encouraged
Selwyn that he was wont to call this year, 1850, his _Annus Mirabilis_.

The sight of what Selwyn had already accomplished made a deep impression
upon Abraham, which finds expression in a letter home from Mrs. Abraham.

  “What do we find in him? All that he was; all that we believed.... You
  can feel the deep joy it is to feel this day by day pressed home to
  one’s conviction ... to find that it was not any mere fancy, any
  imaginary greatness or goodness, with which memory and friendship had
  invested him in absence, but that he was in his simple unvarnished
  reality, more than all he (Mr. Abraham) had thought and trusted to and
  reverenced for these nine years past—the entire renunciation of self
  and all belonging to him in comparison with the duty and the object of
  the present moment is so shown forth in his daily life, so
  transparently open to all who have eyes to see and hearts to receive
  the witness of such an example, that one must be dead and dull indeed
  not to feel continually the all-pervading power of such a life.... One
  feels that he is the one man to pioneer the way and lay
  foundations.... My husband owns that he cannot gainsay or resist the
  wisdom with which he speaks, though he is thankful to find the Judge
  quite joins with him in his feeling that a drag-chain rather than a
  spur is needed on his favourite Melanesian Mission; and is disposed to
  watch his widening schemes in that direction with a zealous regard for
  this country, which must after all be the real battlefield in behalf
  of the coloured race, and also with anxiety for the personal health
  and safety of the Bishop himself, which they all feel is certainly
  risked in each one of these voyages.... I do not wonder at the hold
  these islands have upon him, after hearing his stories of his
  intercourse with them, and especially about the boys he had here last

The Abrahams were both amused and impressed by the quiet way in which
the Bishop walked “through any mention of State interference and
ecclesiastical law apart from Church authority.” They saw at once how
determined he was to make the Church of New Zealand independent and
self-governed, and to make it realize its responsibility for the
education of the people. In his discussion on these subjects he went on
to thoughts of the Church at home and of the work of Bishops there, and
said that at home too the clergy must take education into their own
hands by doing the work, and that there should be an “episcopate of £500
a year bishops, given to hospitality and not clothing flunkeys in

Abraham wrote his first impressions of St. John’s College, to Dr.
Hawtrey, the headmaster of Eton.

  “The Bishop and myself are the only persons in the colony almost who
  possess libraries; and the taste for such things has to be created, as
  at present a mere utilitarian idea of education prevails. Perhaps for
  the purposes of the settlers here and the clergy a practical education
  is the best suited, and I must confess that I quite quail before the
  attainments of some of my scholars, who will make most valuable
  missionaries among natives and round a sea girt isle. Only conceive
  what a thoroughly αὐταρκης man will be formed out of a boy who at the
  age of nineteen knows more divinity than most boys at Eton in the
  Sixth Form, who is thoroughly acquainted with French and Maori ... is
  a good musician and able to teach the natives singing—a good
  mathematician and able to sail the _Undine_ from hence to the New
  Hebrides and back, taking sights and managing rigging.... Of course
  none of them are scholars in our sense of the words; they devote too
  little time to scholarship, having to pay for their support by bodily
  work, so that two hours a day, four times a week is all a boy gets of
  school. He is either printing, or farming, or weaving, or digging, or
  making shoes, etc., the rest of his time. Altogether it is a strange
  life we lead here. I am sure I never realized it before I came, but I
  will try to put you in possession of our principle; and when I say
  our, I mean the Bishop’s—for only his vast head and noble heart could
  conceive and execute so complicated a plan.

  “The first generation of converts to Christianity is passing rapidly
  from this scene, and the middle-aged folk now are very nominal
  Christians indeed. They have abandoned cannibalism certainly, and the
  horrors of frequent war, thank God, but their moral and religious
  state is very questionable. The old chief close by us is a heathen,
  and he and many of his people point to the bad lives of the Christian
  people as their stumbling block.... The fact is that they are not
  educated. The Bishop was told by the missionaries that it was
  impossible and visionary to attempt to break through their habits. His
  faith was too great to allow him to leave it unattempted, and his
  perseverance too strong to be easily deterred or baffled. He
  established the college, to which he draws as many as he can afford,
  which is only fifty. He first has a native school for children (it
  stands about a hundred yards from this; his house and the chapel is
  between us). There are twenty or twenty-five of these little brown
  mice, living in a wooden Swiss-like cottage, with a master (a
  candidate for Holy Orders) and an assistant, one of the scholars, to
  look after them. They learn English, arithmetic, singing, writing and
  scripture—dig in the garden, make and mend their clothes which are not
  extensive. When they are thirteen or fourteen they are drafted off
  into the labour departments (to which twenty-five more belong and live
  in different houses, under the superintendence of the students) and
  become either bakers or cooks, weavers or shoemakers, carpenters or
  farmers, etc., attending school half the day, and working the other
  half at their trade. All these working departments the Bishop is well
  able to superintend. He might have made a capital farmer, or a good
  carpenter or a weaver or a printer.

  “At 7 a.m. we all meet in chapel. At 2 p.m. hall, we all dine
  together. There is an upper table for the clergy and the ladies; the
  different departments dine together, presided over by their foreman,
  at different tables—plain, good, wholesome fare. From 4 to 6 school or
  work—at 6 tea in hall—7 chapel.... The attachment of the natives to
  the Bishop is wonderful. They thoroughly appreciate his care for

Mr. Abraham’s presence made it easier for the Bishop to move about his
diocese, now that he had one whom he could thoroughly trust to leave in
charge at Auckland. When some little time after his return from the
Synod the new mission ship, the _Border Maid_, arrived with Bishop
Tyrrell on board, he started in it for another voyage to the Pacific,
taking back with him four boys who had been brought over to school by
Captain Erskine in the _Havannah_. Two of the boys were to be landed at
Erromango, where some years before Mr. Williams, a member of the London
Missionary Society, had been murdered. There the Bishop was very
cautious about landing, though the boys assured him “No fight, no
fight.” When the chiefs came down to meet him, he landed and went two
miles inland with the boys to their home. There he knelt down and said
prayers with them, bidding them tell their friends what they were doing,
and what it meant. The boys wept when he parted from them on the beach.
Other boys, who had been at Auckland, were visited on their islands. On
one island, Neugone, Samoan teachers were working and had built a chapel
in which Selwyn preached in Samoan to a large congregation. They
earnestly desired a permanent minister, but it was not possible yet to
give them one, though not long after Selwyn was able to place Mr. Nihill
there. Five boys were brought away for training. One young chief was
most anxious to come, and wept bitterly when his father would not allow
it. The Bishop comforted him by promising to call for him next time. The
most anxious moment of the voyage is described in a letter from the
Bishop of Newcastle to a friend:

  “The greatest danger to which we were exposed arose from the natives
  at the Island of Malicolo. Only one ship is known to have visited this
  harbour before and the natives did not know one word of English or of
  the language of the other islands. Numbers collected on the shore as
  we entered the harbour and as we wanted to replenish our water we at
  once communicated with them.... The place shown by them as the best
  for obtaining water, proved so inconvenient, that the Bishop of New
  Zealand and myself rowed along the shores of the harbour to find, if
  possible, a more convenient stream or pool. We found one more
  accessible and returned after an absence of two hours to the ship.
  Whenever we left the ship, we always gave directions to the chief mate
  to allow a few natives to come on board at a time, if they came in
  their canoes, and wished to see the ship, and seemed quiet and
  friendly. On our return the mate told, us that they had allowed one or
  two small parties to come on board, but that afterwards so many came
  and looked so questionable, armed with their clubs and spears, that he
  thought it prudent to refuse permission to them to come on deck. The
  Bishop of New Zealand still thought it important to procure some
  water, so we arranged that we should not both go in the boats as the
  place we had selected as the best for obtaining water, while I
  remained in charge of the ship. At dawn the boats went with casks to
  fetch the water. I was left in the ship with the mate and one sailor,
  and two or three of the native boys from the other islands. Within an
  hour after the boats had left the ship, two or three canoes came off
  to the ship, filled with huge men, most of them were armed with their
  clubs and bows and spears. In the first canoe the chief man was such a
  ferocious looking ruffian that I at once determined he should not come
  on board. Later, five or six other canoes came off to the ship, and
  there must have been at least fifty of these huge men in them, many
  armed. Every now and then one more forward than the rest would take
  hold of the ship and plant his foot on a slight projection, so that
  one spring would bring him on deck. No sooner had he planted his foot
  and looked up, than he saw me just over him directing him very calmly
  but decidedly to get back into his canoe. All this time the native
  boys from the other islands who were on board were in the greatest
  terror.... After two hours the men in the canoes consulted together,
  evidently came to the conclusion that it was no use to try any longer,
  and began to move off.... Next came the most anxious hour that I have
  ever passed. When the canoes had moved off a little way, they stopped
  and every eye was directed towards the two boats of the ship which
  were lying off the shore, where the water was being fetched from a
  pool about a quarter of a mile inland. The men in the canoes consulted
  together, then changed their places, filling the two largest canoes
  with those who were evidently the greatest fighters, and these two
  canoes paddled towards the boats.... The danger was lest the two
  canoes should reach the two boats and overpower the two men before the
  Bishop of New Zealand came down with his body of men from the
  water-pool. I called to the mate and asked whether we could render any
  assistance? ‘None my Lord.’ I paced the deck a few seconds and then
  asked again, have we any means of self-defence in the ship? The answer
  was, ‘None.’ This information did not disconcert me; I felt it a duty
  to inquire whether anything could be done, and if anything could have
  been suggested should at once have set about it. But the thought that
  something fatal might happen on shore brought with it a sickening
  feeling of reckless disregard as to what might happen to myself. I
  therefore paced the deck and rendered the only aid I could render—that
  of fervent prayer to Almighty God.... I saw soon the canoes reach the
  boats: I saw two of the natives in one of the boats; I heard a noise
  and a shout from the shore—I could not trust my eyes when I thought I
  saw the boats move from the shore rowed by our own men—I gave the
  telescope to the mate and eagerly asked whether he could see the men
  in the boat and the Bishop with them. He looked and answered, ‘Yes,
  they are all there—and his Lordship steers the first boat.’ The Bishop
  on reaching the shore with his band of water carriers, had seen one of
  the ship’s boats waiting to receive them, surrounded by natives, who
  were brandishing their clubs round the boy left in charge and making
  all sorts of threatening gestures, while he sat unmoved only quietly
  resisting their efforts to take the oars from him. The Bishop and his
  water-bearers made their way steadily onward to the water’s edge. He
  said, ‘Go on,’ and they walked into the water lifting their casks
  higher and higher as they advanced. As they approached the boat the
  natives made off.”

This adventure illustrates the firm and courageous way in which Selwyn
met the difficulties and risks that attended these voyages, and the
personal ascendency which he gained over the islanders by his courage
and demeanour. Bold and fearless, he yet thought for everyone, prepared
for every contingency and knew how to choose the right persons to trust.

The _Border Maid_ brought back from this voyage thirteen scholars from
six different islands, amongst them two who had gone away with the
Bishop and now returned after visiting their homes. The Maori scholars
at the College went out to meet the long file of black boys on their
arrival, and there were many greetings and much shaking of hands. Three
weeks afterwards, on All Saints’ day, both a confirmation and a baptism
service were held in the College Chapel. The Bishop writes in his diary

  “The candidates clothed in white robes represented people speaking ten
  languages, gathered from one fifth part of the world’s circumference,
  from east and west, and one-tenth part from north and south.”

The voyages to the Islands had to be frequent as the scholars could not
stand the New Zealand winter and had to be taken back to their islands
during the cold months. Their education was continued during the voyage.
The hammocks in which they slept in the hold were rolled up during the
daytime, and the hold became a schoolroom, where the same work hours as
at the College were followed. In 1852 the Bishop, who was anxious to
secure Christian wives for his young men, was able to his great delight
to bring back two girls from the Islands. During the voyage he himself
made dresses for them out of a patchwork quilt, and on reaching Auckland
proudly brought them up the beach, one on each arm, dressed in the
garments he had made out of the quilt, ornamented with scarlet bows. His
voyages gave him opportunities for showing kindness to other
missionaries. This year he took out with him a Presbyterian teacher with
his wife, a horse and much baggage and landed them at their mission

Between 1848 and 1852, he visited more than fifty islands, and had given
into his care forty scholars speaking ten different languages. The
Melanesian mission was very dear to his heart. He loved sailing about
amongst the lovely islands, and delighted in the friendliness shown by
the great majority of the people. But the New Zealand colonists did not
look at all favourably upon this extension of his work, and did not
approve of his being so much away from them. Some of his friends thought
that he exposed himself to too many dangers. Even in England some said
that he was neglecting his diocese. To this he replied that Melanesia
was included in the diocese entrusted to him, and though it might be
urged that this was only a clerical error, yet the Archbishop and
Bishops who had consecrated him had “consigned to him the oversight over
the progress of religion in the Coasts and Islands of the Pacific.”
Writing to his dear friend, Mr. Coleridge, he defended himself as

  “For seven years, during the troubles of New Zealand, I neglected
  altogether this part of my diocese, and now bitterly rue the
  consequences of this delay, as fields then untrodden by the foot of a
  missionary are now overrun with Papists and others.... Considering
  that within the last twelve months, I have visited every English
  settlement in New Zealand (except Whanganui) of 150 inhabitants from
  Stewart’s Island to the Bay of Islands, and that the larger
  settlements have been visited every year upon the average at least
  once, since I arrived ... and that I have visited on foot twice every
  mission station; and am now preparing, at the end of my ninth year, to
  visit them a third time, in the course of a walk of about one thousand
  miles ... considering, I say, all these things, I think that objectors
  had much better hold their tongues, and not ‘compel’ me to seem to
  ‘boast’ when I would much rather dwell in silence upon my own infinite

His increasing knowledge of the islands confirmed his sense of the
extent and importance of the work to be done, and he wrote in his diary:

  “The careful superintendence of this multitude of islands will require
  the services of a missionary bishop, able and willing to devote
  himself to the work.”

                               CHAPTER VI

As we consider in detail any portion of Bishop Selwyn’s varied work, we
must never forget that behind the details of the moment, the great work
needed for the future was ever present to his mind. Yet he was never
lost in visionary schemes, details did not escape him, attention to them
was one of the ways in which his great plans were made possible. All
that he did, he saw in the light of the great call that he believed had
come to him, to lay in New Zealand the foundations of a living Church,
self-governing and independent. He had no desire to be an autocrat, but
wished as far as possible to work with and through others. It will be
well to bring together the various measures he adopted for the
organization of the Church, whilst neglecting none of the work for
education and evangelisation which was so dear to him. We have seen how
one of his first acts had been to appoint in 1844 an archdeacon, that he
might have at least one trusted adviser to whom he could delegate some
part of his responsibility. Then followed the first tiny Synod of his
clergy, called two years later. He looked to the future, but he built on
the experience and traditions of the past. He wrote to a friend in the
year that the first Synod met:

  “My first charge if I ever find time to write it, will be an attempt
  to deduce a plan of operations, suitable to the peculiar case of New
  Zealand, from the records of the first three centuries of the Church.
  In my endeavours to avoid all party shibboleths I am much assisted by
  the natural effect of the native Church in enforcing simplicity of
  doctrine and regularity of discipline. I hope to make this a fulcrum
  for moving the chaotic mass of the English settlements, which are more
  like a fortuitous concourse of atoms than anything else, with the
  additional disadvantage that every atom has an opinion and voice of
  his own, and thinks himself a mountain.”

He longed for the help of others in the great work before him, and for
opportunities of consultation with wise and experienced men as to its
problems. This first synod met at Waimate and consisted of three
Archdeacons, four priests and two deacons. It was summoned “to frame
rules for the better management of the mission and the general
government of the Church.” It dealt chiefly with questions of church
extension and with some of the difficulties found in all missionary
lands, problems concerned with baptism and marriage in a population
partly heathen and partly Christian. But humble though it was, it met
with much criticism in England, and was regarded by some as an unlawful
assumption of authority and independence. It was the first attempted
Synod of the Anglican Church since Convocation was suppressed in 1717.
There were then no Diocesan Conferences or other authorised meetings of
clergy and bishops. The Church was regarded as a State Establishment,
and some regarded Bishop Selwyn’s Synod as an infringement of the royal
supremacy, and blamed the Bishop for priestly assumption.

With one of the criticisms of his first Synod the Bishop was quite ready
to agree. It was stated that it was not a true Synod, because the laity
were not represented. In 1847 at his second Synod, he proposed a
constitution of the Church in New Zealand, according to which
representatives of the laity as well as bishops and clergy should meet
together, and he inaugurated the discussions preliminary to its
adoption. To this Synod he delivered his primary charge. In it he showed
both how he looked back and how he looked forward in making his plans.
He said:

  “Our present meeting may be looked upon as one of a long series,
  beginning at the Council of Jerusalem, in which it the will of God by
  the assembling together of the ministers of Christ for social prayer
  and mutual counsel.... If I did not believe that our position in this
  country, both as regards the simplicity and primitive character of our
  Church establishment, and its freedom from all political connexion,
  gives us good reason to hope that we may be enabled to avoid the evils
  into which other Synods have fallen, I should have shrunk from the
  course which I now propose to you, and fallen back upon the practice
  sanctioned by custom, if not approved by reason, of a formal charge
  _ex cathedrâ_, upon the authority of the Bishop alone. I might then
  have found as has often been the case, that some would have consented
  _ex animo_, some without consenting would have obeyed conscientiously,
  some would have denied that their promise of canonical obedience
  applied to the points of which they disapproved. At the best there
  would have been much to check co-operation and engender distrust.”

He went on to speak of the missionary obligations of the New Zealand
Church, and said that New Zealand must become a missionary centre:

  “We cannot consider our work accomplished till every dialect in the
  South Seas has its representative members in our Missionary Colleges
  ... however inadequate a Church may be to its own internal wants, it
  must on no account suspend its missionary duties.”

He expressed his horror of controversy:

  “Of controversy in general I would say that it is the bane of the
  Gospel among a heathen people.... I can never forget the pointed
  illustration of the old chief of Taupo, when I asked him why he still
  refused to believe. ‘Show me the way,’ he said, ‘I have come to the
  cross road. Three ways branch out before me. Each teacher says his own
  way is the best. I am sitting down and doubting which guide I shall
  follow.’ He remained in doubt till a landslip burst from the mountain
  under which he lived, and overwhelmed him with all his house.... The
  course seems to be to teach truth rather by what it is than by what it
  is not. Let us give our converts the true standard and they will apply
  it themselves to the discovery and contradiction of error.... Much of
  what has been said applies also to our relations with our own
  countrymen. We cannot expect unanimity, let us at least seek peace.
  Much has been written upon unity, but as yet little has been done
  towards a union of all religious bodies in one. This at least seems
  clear, that such a union, however highly desirable, must not be
  effected by a compromise of truth. When all shall have thoroughly
  examined the grounds of their own belief, and rejected such errors as
  they may find, then it is certain that all must come to unity of
  doctrine, because all will have been conformed to the same unalterable
  standard of truth.”

Of his own episcopal authority he said:

  “I believe the monarchical idea of the Episcopate to be as foreign to
  the true mind of the Church, as it is adverse to the Gospel doctrine
  of humility. Let it never be thought that I alone am interested in the
  good government of our Church, and that you are merely subjects to
  obey. Whatever interest I have in the work you have also.... I would
  rather resign my office, than be reduced to act as a single and
  isolated being. It remains then to define, by some general principles,
  the terms of our co-operation. They are simply these: that neither
  will I act without you, nor can you act without me. The source of all
  diocesan action is in the Bishop; and therefore it behoves him so much
  the more to take care that he act with a mind informed and re-inforced
  by conference with his clergy.”

The desire of the laity to take part in the work of the Church was shown
by a letter addressed to the Bishop in 1850, signed by both clergy and
laity, amongst whom were Sir George Grey and Chief Justice Martin. In
this they spoke of the responsibilities of the New Zealand Church as
being the most advanced and remote outpost of the Church of England, of
the call to them to aid in the foundation of a great nation and in
moulding its institutions as well as of their duties to the heathen
peoples in their neighbourhood. They stated their sense of the necessity
for some speedy establishment of Church government amongst them which
“by assigning to each order in the Church its appropriate duties, might
call forth the energies of all, and thus enable the whole Church most
efficiently to perform its functions.” To this letter an outline
Constitution was appended, which had been drawn up by Sir George Grey
during the enforced leisure of a sick bed. It proposed that a General
Convention should be summoned, resembling “that which has proved so
beneficial to our brethren in America.”

Selwyn had the advantage of discussing this matter at the Conference of
Bishops in Sydney which he attended the same year. In a Pastoral Letter
sent out in 1852, he explained further the objects he was aiming at. A
Constitution was needed because the Church in New Zealand was not
established by law, and therefore a large portion of the Ecclesiastical
law of England did not apply to it. If they were to have laws to guide
them, they must apply for the power granted to all incorporated bodies
to frame their own bye-laws. He added a list of the general principles
which should guide the framing of such bye-laws. During the two
following years, meetings were called in all the settlements in New
Zealand to discuss these principles. He wished the constitution to have
the full approval of the people and not to be imposed upon them by
authority from above. The delight of the laity at realising that they
were once more part of a living church is illustrated by the words of a
farmer who said:

  “When I heard the church bell ring this evening and summon me to the
  first vestry meeting I had attended for twelve years, and for the
  first time in this country, I was quite overcome and affected to

At these meetings the Bishop called the attention of the people amongst
other things to the fact of their dependence for their religious
ministrations on money sent from England, often from the savings of the
poor. His plan was to endow every minister to the extent of half his
income, and to leave the rest to be supplied by his own people. In this
way the minister would be partially dependent on, and partially
independent of his flock. The principles of the proposed constitution
were thoroughly discussed at these various meetings, often by men who
had little knowledge or experience to bring to the consideration of the
matter. The Bishop bore patiently with questions and interruptions not
always of the most courteous kind. In a letter written by one who was
present at these meetings it is said:

  “I mention these facts to give you some notion of colonial church life
  in its less interesting and romantic features. There are some hard,
  coarse, rough scenes to be gone through—such as would astonish an
  English bishop if he were to come across them. It is just as well that
  people at home should know that the trials of colonial bishops do not
  so much consist in the pleasant excitement of walking through the
  glorious forests, and swimming the rivers of New Zealand, or the like,
  nor in the novelty and refreshment of missionary work among a simple
  or savage people, but in being brought into contact day by day with
  the rudest and coarsest spirits of unrestrained colonialism, which
  vaunts itself and prides itself in saying and doing the most offensive
  things in the most offensive way. Our Bishop has practically
  exemplified an old saying we used to have at Eton, ‘You must go on
  never minding.’”

The Bishop was willing patiently to let them talk, hoping that “they
would feel their feet for themselves and stand all the firmer for it.”

In England there was a good deal of difference of opinion, even amongst
great lawyers, as to the status of the Church in the Colonies, and the
right of colonial bishops to hold synods or conventions of their clergy
in order to legislate for the Church. Selwyn became convinced that, in
order to get the matter settled, he would have to pay a visit to England
and he began to prepare to return home for this purpose. He wished above
all that the method should be determined by which more bishops could be
appointed to aid in a work which it became increasingly impossible for
one man to carry on. Both in the colony itself and in England, many
criticisms were made as to the way in which he apportioned his time
between the three great claims made upon him, the evangelisation of the
Maoris, the care of the settlers, and the mission to the Melanesians. In
a letter written in 1852, he speaks of a statement he had drawn up as to
the way in which he had spent his time during his ten years in New
Zealand, and says:

  “The results are curious and illustrative of the life of a colonial
  bishop, which can scarcely be understood and certainly not felt by any
  of the good questionists in England. One whole year I have spent at
  sea, between the English settlements, distant one thousand miles at
  their extreme points, and requiring a voyage of two thousand five
  hundred or three thousand miles to visit them all. During the whole of
  this year of voyages, I was lost to all the direct objects of my
  office; but in that time my charge, journals, study of languages and
  navigation, and the chief part of my correspondence have been
  accomplished; all bearing upon that work for which I live, and to
  which such powers as God has given me of mind and body have been
  devoted. It appears that the English and native duties have occupied
  nearly equal portions of time, and the Northern (that is the
  Melanesian) missions only half as much as either of them; but the
  collegiate duties as being the husbandry of my best garden plot, have
  absorbed as much time as the English and native visitations put

His methodical and orderly habits which made the arrangements of his
tiny cabin a wonder to all who saw it, his exactness and punctuality,
alone made it possible for him to carry out such a multitude of varied
duties. His visitations were carefully planned so that no part of New
Zealand should escape his notice. On a tour round the Southern Island in
1851, he held forty-four confirmations, and confirmed about three
thousand candidates. His programme for each day was marked with D.V. and
where the engagement was fulfilled, he added D.G. After this particular
tour he could write in his diary:

  “End of confirmation tour on which every D.V. has been marked with a
  D.G. to the exact day.”

But the tour had its own special disappointment, for there were but few
young people amongst the candidates for confirmation. This he attributed
to the lack of schools, which he must now try to get the missions to
provide. Meanwhile new settlers were constantly arriving. In 1847 a
large number of military pensioners had been settled by the Government
in the neighbourhood of Auckland. No provision for chaplains or for any
religious ministry had been made for them. The Bishop set to work at
once and provided each of these settlements with a little wooden church.
He himself, and the young deacons working with him, conducted the
services in these little churches. They went on foot through mud and
mire every Sunday to the different settlements, the Bishop always taking
the hardest part of the work and the largest number of services. In the
evenings all the clergy and lay readers met together at St. John’s for
what was called the “Unity Service,” after being widely scattered for
their different duties during the day, and joined with the students from
the college, dark-faced islanders, English and Maori boys, in a last act
of prayer and praise.

In 1850 an important new settlement was made in the Southern Island near
Lyttelton. It had been planned in England and was carried out under the
auspices of what was called the Canterbury Association, formed in order
to send out a band of settlers belonging to the Church of England,
accompanied from the first by a number of clergy and teachers, and a
prospective Bishop, who came out to view the land before deciding
whether he would accept the appointment. Selwyn was very glad to learn
that some one was coming who would relieve him of the charge of the
Southern Island, but he was not previously consulted as to the
Settlement and doubted the wisdom of the arrangements made. He wrote:

  “My growing unpopularity with the Company for advocating native rights
  is, I conclude, the reason why a plan like this of the ‘Canterbury
  Settlement’ is forced on in the same hurried and reckless manner which
  has caused all former disasters—without a single enquiry of any kind
  being addressed to the Bishop of the Diocese. If I were a mere land
  agent, my local knowledge of every part of New Zealand both of the
  coast line and of the interior, with few exceptions, wherever human
  beings are settled, might have induced reasonable men to write to me
  before they pledged themselves to such a partial and profoundly
  ignorant body as the New Zealand Company. But the Company must sell
  land or die.... I cannot compromise myself to a recommendation of any
  site within the Southern Province unless the whole be accurately
  mapped, and facility given to every purchaser to know exactly what
  kind of land he is buying.... Wherever the settlements be formed, the
  actual surface of the country must be taken into account. Let the site
  of every town, village, school, church, etc., be marked before a
  single acre is sold.”

He wrote thus on seeing the printed prospectus of the Settlement. It had
filled his mind with anxiety because of his intense love for New Zealand
and his eager desire for anything that might benefit the Church and the
country. But when the Canterbury pilgrims began to arrive, he hastened
to Lyttelton to greet them. As soon as the _Undine_ was seen to enter
the harbour, two of the newly-arrived clergy hastened on board. One of
them thus describes his visit:

  “Both wore cap and gown, at which the Bishop seemed pleased (one
  wonders whether it would not have been truer to say amused), they
  gazed around with awe and interest until the awe at least was
  dispelled by the cordial reception they met with, and the unequalled
  charm of the Bishop’s presence and conversation. The marvellous
  neatness of that diminutive cabin and the ingenuity of its
  arrangements, are never to be forgotten.... On the following Sunday
  the Bishop celebrated the Holy Communion in a loft over a good’s
  store, reached by a ladder, the seats being extemporised by resting
  planks on sugar barrels.”

The Bishop himself writes to a friend interested in the Settlement:

  “Here I am among the Canterbury pilgrims; and a very good set of
  colonists they are, as far as I can judge. But a great mistake has
  been made in sending out too many at once, and in allowing any
  consideration to prevent their instant occupation of land. They are
  not allowed to choose till two months after their arrival, by which
  time many will have become demoralized by idleness and desultory
  habits.... I repeat again and again the same advice: send out your
  parochial staff ready organized—clergymen, landowners, labourers, not
  turned adrift upon an interminable plain: far less cooped up in a
  Dutch oven at Lyttelton; but to go at once to a parish known and
  chosen by themselves, and to a church and school already built; so
  that not one single day’s delay may occur in resuming those good
  habits in their new country which they have learned in England. I find
  neither church, nor school, nor parsonage in existence. Money enough
  has been spent, but all in civil engineering. Last Sunday I
  administered the Holy Communion in a crowded loft over a store. I do
  not care for these things if they are unavoidable; but where it has
  been part of the plan from the first to put religion in its right
  place, I do object to spacious and costly offices, long lines of
  wharves, roads, piers, etc., and not one sixpence of expenditure in
  any form for the glory of God, or for the comfort of the clergy. I
  shall, of course, make the best of the matter.”

A few weeks later another ship arrived, bringing more emigrants, several
schoolmasters, and the Bishop designate. Selwyn who had been away on a
further voyage, returned to meet him, and at a conference with him and
the clergy of the settlement, agreed to resign into his hands the
southern portion of the diocese of New Zealand. The meeting was held in
an unfurnished room in the immigration barracks at Lyttelton. It was
brought to a close by the announcement made to Selwyn that the wind was
favourable for his departure. Before leaving he expressed “his great
thankfulness at finding such a spirit of unity among the clergy of this
new branch of the Church of God,” and gave them his blessing. He
returned again towards the end of the year to assist with his advice in
the organization of the new diocese, so that all might be from the first
established on a sound basis. But the hope that he was going at once to
be relieved of the charge of the Southern Island was disappointed. The
Bishop designate felt himself unfit for the post for which he had been
selected, and returned to England. It was five years before a Bishop for
this new diocese of Christchurch was sent out.

Bishop Selwyn’s immense responsibility continued unrelieved. He had not
only the supervision of all the missions to the Maoris, the planning of
the work amongst the Pacific Islands, but the provision for the
religious and educational needs of the increasing number of colonists
who were attracted by the rich promise of New Zealand. During these
years he had gained a full knowledge of the country. He wrote in 1853:

  “The dim and visionary idea of New Zealand, which I used to brood over
  in 1841, before we left England, is changed by God’s blessing to an
  accurate knowledge of every accessible part of the coast, and of
  almost every inhabited place in the interior.”

Towards the end of 1853, he had the great joy of ordaining his first
Maori Deacon, Rota Waitoa, who had been for ten years his constant
companion in his travels. It was a consolation in the midst of bitter
sorrow, for he had been obliged temporarily to close the College at
Auckland on account of the grave misconduct of two in whom he had
trusted, and which put an end to his hope of educating together the
Maori youths and the sons of the colonists. When the College was able to
be re-opened it had to be for white scholars only, and other provision
was made for the Maoris. Rota had adopted every Christian and civilized
habit, and had risen from one post of usefulness to another and been
found faithful and blameless in all. The older missionaries were
doubtful of the wisdom of ordaining a Maori, believing that it was
difficult to be sure that the tendency to barbarism was yet eradicated.
But the Bishop’s confidence in Rota was not disappointed, and he served
the Church faithfully till his death twelve years later. Unlike the
ordinary natives who were generally characterized by great self-conceit,
he was unusually diffident of himself, and he was always eager to seize
any opportunity of learning more. When he had worked for eighteen months
in the village which had been put under his charge, he told his people
that he must go up to the College to fill his seed bags again, having
sown all that he took down with him the year before. The English, who
saw him at the College on that visit, were “struck by the perfect ease
and simplicity of his manner, without the least assumption of

This first ordination of a native marked an important stage in the
growth of the New Zealand Church, but the difficult questions as to the
constitution of the Church could not be settled without a visit to
England, and the Bishop had now made up his mind, to undertake the long
journey home. He started with Mrs. Selwyn and his younger son, the elder
was already in England for his education, on the last day of 1853,
having spent twelve years of arduous work in New Zealand. His desire was
to do his business in England and get back as quickly as possible. He
wrote during the voyage to his friend, Mr. Coleridge, saying that his
objects were the subdivision of the diocese, the enactment of free
powers for the Church in New Zealand to meet in Convocation of Clergy
and Laity and to manage its own affairs within certain limits, and the
recognition of his plans as regards the Melanesian mission. He added:

  “Pray use your influence with our friends now in power to give me
  quick dispatch, as Colonial Bishops being unconnected with the State,
  are not used to ante-chambers and only wish to get work done with as
  little formality as possible.”

As he had thoroughly discussed his plans with people in New Zealand he
could say that he came authorised by his people “to take such steps as
might be necessary for carrying into effect the wishes of his diocese.”

There was much consideration of his proposals and many discussions with
the authorities, but it seemed to them impossible to give legal sanction
for the organization of an independent colonial Church. At the same time
they said that there could be no legal objection to colonial bishops
holding synods within their own dioceses. Selwyn therefore gave up all
attempts to get legal sanction for the proposed Constitution of the New
Zealand Church of England. On his return to New Zealand he at once
proceeded to make arrangements for the government of the Church and the
final acceptance of its suggested Constitution.

Those members of the Church who were willing to administer its property
were asked to associate themselves together on the basis of _mutual
compact_, and to establish a representative governing body to manage its
affairs and regulate its extension. Selwyn summoned a general conference
of Bishops, Clergy and Laity to meet on May 14th, 1857, and approve
finally the Constitution. In his opening address to this Conference he
said that as “the colonial churches must have laws for their own
government, and as neither the Church nor the State at home is able to
make laws for them, they must be free to legislate for themselves.”
Whilst in England he had drawn up the outline of a constitution, based
on his former proposals and guided by the advice of eminent legal
authorities. This constitution he now submitted to the Conference for
their final approval. In it the Church in New Zealand was described as a
Branch of the United Church of England and Ireland, associated with the
mother Church by voluntary compact, and free to govern itself through a
representative body. It was to maintain the doctrine and sacraments of
the Church of England, and to accept its book of Common Prayer. In the
main the constitution followed the lines of that of the American
Episcopal Church. The Church of New Zealand was to be autonomous and
free from the State Legislature. This Constitution was revised in
various particulars in later years, but for the most part it stands as
it was originally settled. There was much criticism of it at first,
especially in the Canterbury Diocese, where more freedom for the various
diocesan conferences was demanded, and objections were made to the
powers vested in the central authority. For a time there seemed danger
of a severance between that diocese and the rest of the New Zealand
Church. Fortunately the firm and wise management of the Bishop effected
a compromise on the various points in dispute. The Constitution was
finally settled at the General Synod held at Christchurch in 1865 and at
the same time steps were taken which completely separated the Church in
New Zealand from the Crown, and gave it the appointment of its bishops.

Whilst in England the Bishop had also made plans for the division of his
Diocese and secured the appointment of three new bishops to whom in the
old way letters patent were to be granted by the Crown, and they were
consecrated in England. After this the Bishops in New Zealand were
chosen by the Diocesan Synods.

The first General Synod under the new Constitution met at Wellington in
1859. The Bishop in his opening address spoke of it as the fulfilment of
hopes cherished during a period of fifteen years. He told of the
difficulties that had to be surmounted before his hopes could be
realised, and how the Constitution was founded on the basis of mutual
and voluntary compact. The property of the Church was to be held by
trustees; the Church was to be governed by diocesan Synods, and their
work was to be co-ordinated under the General Synod. In the work of all
these Synods the laity were to have their full share. He spoke of the
danger lest they should be tempted to rely on mere external and material
organization, and trust to it rather than to the life of the Spirit, but
said that it would be vain to seek for spiritual life by neglecting
outward organization; they must trust to the quickening spirit to make
them living stones, so that each doing his appointed work and using his
own special gift, they might see to it that their Church should grow
into a holy temple of the Lord.

He spoke of the chains with which the Church of England had been bound
by her past history; of the abuses “which had been encrusted on her
system,” such as private patronage, the sale of spiritual offices, the
inequalities of clerical incomes, and the repeated efforts which had
been made to remove them. From these chains the Colonial Church was
saved; as faithful children it was their part to show how glorious might
be the purity of her doctrine and the holiness of her liturgy, free from
those chains.

There were to be diocesan boards to appoint the clergy, whose
maintenance was to be provided by the Diocesan Synods, partly from
endowment funds, and partly by voluntary contributions. This was a
principle dear to Bishop Selwyn’s heart, which he had advocated ever
since he came to New Zealand. The discipline of the clergy was to be in
the hands of a Tribunal appointed by the Diocesan Synod and presided
over by the Bishop. The electors to the Synods were to be those who
declared themselves willing to obey the laws of the Synod, its members
must be communicants. He then described what would be the duties of the
Synods. Finally he dwelt upon their responsibilities for the native
races in New Zealand and Melanesia, and on the urgent need to raise up a
native ministry. He rejoiced over the faithful men who had already been
ordained, but said it was impossible not to feel some doubts as to the
future stability of the native Church. He said: “My recent journey
through the Mission Stations has left me in a balanced state between
hope and fear”; fear caused by the signs of decaying faith, and by the
fact that the native youth were “departing from the example of their
fathers, given to self-indulgence, drunkenness and sloth.” He was
convinced that the time was coming when it would “be found impossible to
carry on a double government for the Colonial and the Missionary
Church,” but their blending must be a gradual work though it should be
begun immediately. It was with great thankfulness that he told the Synod
of the formation of the new missionary diocese of Waiapu for the
Southern Island, to which he hoped to consecrate Archdeacon William
Williams. “One whose age and experience had often made him feel ashamed
that he should have been preferred before him.” The three new Bishops of
Christchurch, Wellington and Nelson, who had been appointed in England,
were present at the Synod and joined with him at its close in
consecrating William Williams, who was thus the first Bishop to be
consecrated in New Zealand. Selwyn wrote of this to a friend:

  “I wish that you could have been present to see our little church at
  the Antipodes, represented by its four Eton Bishops, lighting a fifth
  candlestick to be a light to lighten our native Christians. The new
  Bishop was already at his work in New Zealand while I was still a boy
  at Eton; and though a veteran, who might have claimed some relaxation
  of his work, has just pulled down a comfortable house at his mission
  station to remove to a wild tract of uncultivated land, and there
  begin again the first perturbations of a native school for the purpose
  of training up the New Zealand youth to take their place in the new
  order of things.”

This brief account of the organization of the autonomous Church in New
Zealand has been carried to its fitting conclusion in the account of the
first meeting of the General Synod and of the first consecration of a
Bishop in the country. Bishop Selwyn had accomplished the great work
which gave New Zealand a self-governing Church, with a constitution
sufficiently elastic to allow it to develop in accordance with its own
needs, and yet safely established on those “fundamental principles,”
which would for ever secure its union with the Mother Church. By his
skill and zeal in bringing this difficult matter to a safe conclusion,
he had not only secured a great future for the Church in New Zealand,
but he showed the way to other branches of the Anglican Church in other
parts of the world. His clear vision, his talent for organization, his
indomitable perseverance, his conspicuous power in managing and
persuading men, had all combined to make it possible to realize his
object in the short period of eighteen years, amidst all the pressure of
other work, the strain of constant journeyings to and fro by sea and
land, and the cruel anxieties of native wars. What had been achieved
filled him with thankfulness and hope for the future. He had worked
throughout in full co-operation with others, and on true democratic
principles, as befitted a Bishop in a new land. He had no desire to be
an autocrat or to win credit for himself.

                              CHAPTER VII

The primary object of Selwyn’s visit to England was to make arrangements
for the organization of the Church in New Zealand. The result of his
efforts in that direction has been told in the last chapter. But his
visit to England was fruitful in other respects also. He had no
intention of lingering there, and had written from his ship on the way
to England to his friend, Rev. E. Coleridge:

  “Do not urge me to prolong my stay, but use your influence to get my
  work speedily done, and send me to my own element again.”

He reached England with Mrs. Selwyn in the Spring of 1854, just when the
Crimean War was beginning, but in spite of the pre-occupation of the
mind of the country with the war, his energy and eloquence gained him a
hearing for the spiritual needs of New Zealand. He spoke and preached in
many different places, and four sermons which he delivered before the
University of Cambridge created a specially deep impression. He told his
hearers that those who came back from the Mission Field were not likely
to be able to add anything to the store of learning at home, but that
they might be able to bring to them “some deep experience from the
fountains of the human heart, some glimpses of primitive Christianity
granted to the servants of God in their lonely mission-field.”

He dwelt much in these sermons on the need for unity in the Church at
home; it was not then a question of re-union with other denominations
which concerned him; that question had hardly arisen yet. It was unity
within the Church itself that he felt to be so urgent. The controversies
which were distracting it when he returned to England had made a very
painful impression upon him. With characteristic tact he attributed them
to the increased interest in religious questions roused by the two
movements which had sprung up in the Universities during his absence,
the Tractarian movement at Oxford and the Evangelical movement at
Cambridge. These movements had made so great a change in England in the
thirteen years that he had been away that he could say: “now it is a
very rare thing to see a careless clergyman or a neglected parish.” He
said that it was easy to see how Christian zeal tended to religious
strife whilst it led to greater zeal in seeking religious truth. The
cure for the evils of controversy which he offered to young men was “to
enter into life burning to do their duty in that state of life to which
God may call them.” “The best interpreter of Christian doctrine is
Christian work.” He added: “For instance, in our mission work, our
standard of necessary doctrine is, what we can translate into our native
languages, and explain to our native converts. This we know to be all
that is really necessary for their salvation.” This test would suffice
until the Church should be able to set up tribunals of doctrine to
decide “whether the increase of knowledge in the present day would allow
of stricter definitions or greater fulness of language.” Much that he
said bearing on the special difficulties of the time is of universal
application. “There is reason to fear that a great delusion often lurks
under the plea of conscience. An over-scrupulous conscience may often be
the mere veil for a lack of charity.” He spoke of how a true conception
of the Church would lead men to work amongst the poor and the outcast;
“to deal with every single soul as if our own lives depended upon the
issue. If this be done the Church will soon by God’s blessing reabsorb
all dissent within herself, for every sect is still part of the Church.”
He believed that the great work given us by God to do was “too vast and
too important to be lost in unprofitable discussion.”

From thoughts of the Church’s work at home he passed on to her work in
the Colonies, and spoke of the call to provide for the spiritual needs
of the emigrants who were leaving England in thousands to people the new
lands overseas, and of how the Church had at first neglected this task.
England “had enlarged her empire but she had not extended her Church; it
was the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel alone that at first
helped to save the settlers from the guilt of first destroying their
native brethren, and then abjuring religion and denying God.” He spoke
of the need for “men of energy, and piety, and learning in every colony”
and said that the Church would be disgraced for ever if it neglected
either the needs of the poor at home or of the settlers overseas. He
urged the men listening to him not “to forget, in the comforts of home,
what it is to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ”; adding “I forbear to
speak of myself because it has pleased God to cast my lot in a fair land
and in a goodly heritage, in the healthful climate of New Zealand and
among the clustered isles and on the sparkling waves of the Pacific.
There is too much real enjoyment for me to be able to invite anyone to
unite himself with me as an exercise of ministerial self-denial.”

He described the kind of men who were wanted in the Colonies: “men who
can live in the midst of disturbing elements and yet themselves remain
unshaken ... men who can stamp upon a new community an image of
themselves, and yet give to God all the glory ... men who can be
dependent upon their congregations, without being subservient; and bold
in rebuking sin, yet gentle in their admonition of the sinner. Above
all, we need men who can stand alone, like heaven-descended priests of
the Most High God, where a few shepherds feed their scattered flocks,
with no comforter but the Spirit of God—no friend but their ever present
Lord.” He was convinced that there were such minds amongst those
listening to him. “But they are as backward to offer as the Church is
backward to call. One or other must break through this natural reserve.
Offer yourselves to the Archbishop as twelve hundred young men have
already offered themselves to the commander-in-chief. Let the head of
our Church have about him, as his staff, or on his list of volunteers, a
body of young men, who are willing to go anywhere, and be anything.”

In his last sermon he spoke of work amongst the heathen. “There, too,
above all things, there was need for unity, ‘a real and visible unity’;
no inward and spiritual unity can act as an outward evidence: the keen
sighted native convert soon detects a difference of system.... We make a
rule never to introduce controversy among a native people, or to impair
the simplicity of their faith. If the fairest openings for missionary
effort lie before us, if the ground has been pre-occupied by any other
religious body, we forbear to enter. And I can speak with confidence
upon this point from observation ranging over nearly one-half of the
Southern Pacific Ocean, that wherever this law of religious unity is
adopted, there the Gospel has its full and unchecked and undivided
power. Nature itself has so divided our Mission Field that each labourer
may work without interference with his neighbour. Each island circled
with its own coral reef, is a field in which each missionary may carry
out his own system with native teachers trained under his own eye....
Many of these islands I visited in their days of darkness, and therefore
I can rejoice in the light that now bursts upon them, from whatever
quarter it may come. I feel that there is an episcopate of love, as well
as of authority ... above all things it is our duty to guard against
inflicting upon them the curse of our disunion, lest we make every
little island in the ocean a counterpart of our own divided and
contentious Church. And further I would point to the Mission Field as
the great outlet for the excited and sensitive spirit of the Church at
home. There are minds, by nature intolerant of rule, in whom not even
the spirit of the Gospel can implant an acquiescence in anything which
they believe to be an error.... Such men would be the very salt of the
earth, if they would but go out into the Mission Field.... They would
find satisfaction for their zeal in its free and unbounded range ... the
work itself will humble them ... will correct its own errors.... Is it
then a hope too unreasonable to be entertained that the power which will
heal the divisions of the Church at home, may come from her distant
fields of missionary work?... Let it be no longer a reproach to the
universities that they have sent so few missionaries to the heathen.”

These four sermons are a revelation of Selwyn’s inmost mind, whilst they
have a special interest of their own as throwing light on the condition
of the Church both at home and overseas in the middle of the nineteenth
century. They reveal his deepest thoughts on the questions which the
experiences of his own varied life had brought to him, as he dwelt on
them during his long voyages and his many journeys on horse and foot
through the wilds of New Zealand. They show us what the man had become,
what life had taught him; they tell of his hopes for his Church and its
work throughout the world.

These and his other sermons and addresses given during his visit to
England aroused much interest and produced a deep impression. One young
man after hearing his appeal, being possessed of £12,000 offered it all
to the Bishop for his work. The Bishop, however, refused to profit by
what might only be a passing impulse and would not accept it. He needed
money for his work, but still more he needed men, men of the right sort,
and to his great joy, one young man, of just the kind he needed, was
amongst the fruits of this visit to England. John Coleridge Patteson,
fellow of Merton College, and now working as a curate in Devon, had long
cherished the desire for mission work overseas. It had been aroused in
him by Selwyn’s farewell sermon at Windsor, when he was still an Eton
school boy. But he had felt it right to stay in England as long as his
father, who was old and in poor health, lived. Now it came about that he
met Bishop Selwyn whilst he was visiting his father, Judge Patteson, an
old friend. Walking with him in the garden, the Bishop asked him if his
life satisfied him, and Patteson told him of his desire at some future
time to go out as a missionary. The Bishop replied that if he really
meant this, he ought not to put it off, he should go when in full
strength and vigour. They talked long and earnestly and finally Patteson
agreed to leave the decision in the hands of his father and the Bishop.
When Sir John Patteson heard of his son’s wish, his first exclamation
was: “I can’t let him go”; but it was followed in a moment with the
words: “God forbid I should stop him.” When finally he spoke to the
Bishop on the subject he said: “Mind, I give him wholly, not with any
thought of seeing him again. I will not have him thinking he must come
home again to see me.” Selwyn thankfully accepted the gift. With his
whole heart he invited Patteson to come and work with him, saying, that
it would be a great comfort to have him for a friend and companion.

It would seem as if from the first Selwyn saw in young Patteson the man
he needed as Bishop of Melanesia. The same week that he received
Patteson’s offer, he wrote an appeal to his friend, Rev. E. Coleridge,
to help in raising the money needed for this bishopric. He said that if
only the organization of the Church in New Zealand had been a little
more advanced, he would gladly have undertaken the charge of Melanesia
as his own diocese. The sum of £10,000 for which he asked was speedily
collected. One of the most enthusiastic supporters of the Melanesian
Mission was Miss Yonge, the novelist, a close friend of the Pattesons.
Later on she gave the whole proceeds of one of her most popular books,
_The Daisy Chain_, to the support of the Mission. Now the readers of
_The Heir of Redcliffe_, which first won her popularity, made a special
contribution to help to raise funds to provide a new vessel, the
_Southern Cross_, for Selwyn’s use.

The Bishop had hoped to return to New Zealand in the _Southern Cross_,
but there proved to be faults in its construction, and its departure was
so much delayed that he was obliged to start on March 29th, 1855, in a
quicker vessel, leaving the _Southern Cross_ to follow. He had spent ten
busy months in England and though deeply grieved at parting from his
aged father whom he could not hope to see again, he was eager to get
back to his work.

Mrs. Selwyn and Patteson went with him, his two sons had to be left in
England for their education. The necessary parting from them was a
bitter grief, but he had faced what it would be some years before, on
the death of a baby daughter whom in his busy life he had only known for
twelve days. He had then written:

  “I cannot and must not look to children as a source of personal and
  domestic enjoyment, but may hope to rejoice, if it be God’s will, in
  reports of their well doing.”

Patteson’s companionship was now a great source of joy and consolation.
He wrote:

  “Coley Patteson is a treasure which I humbly set down as a divine
  recompense for our own boys.”

He said of him that he possessed the three indispensable requisites for
his special task: “the sailor’s gift of enduring hardness, the priest’s
gift of drawing men by cords of love and detaining them by gentle
discipline, the linguist’s gift of quickly mastering many dissimilar

They reached Auckland sooner than was expected by their friends there. A
strange vessel was discerned threading all the intricacies of the
harbour, without having fired the gun for a pilot, and at once people
began to say: “there must be someone on board who knows what he is
about, and all the tides and currents of the harbour; and who so likely
as the Bishop.” His friends thought he looked dreadfully worn on his
arrival. Every one was painfully struck with his appearance, but the
cause was soon discovered. He had been up for two or three nights
piloting the ship down the coast and through all the islets. He soon
recovered his good looks and it was gladly recognised that he “was all
the better for English air and for the bracing of mind and body” that
his journey had given him.

Bishop Selwyn could now look forward to working under new and more
satisfactory conditions. The next few years saw the final steps taken
for the complete organization of the Church in New Zealand which has
been described in the last chapter. Instead of having the whole charge
of New Zealand he would now have four other Bishops working with him, as
well as duly organized synods by means of which the laity too would
share in the work of the Church. The lands which he had been careful to
acquire as sites for churches and to provide endowments could now be
vested in trustees, and proper attention could be paid to the rapidly
increasing number of colonists, attracted specially during recent years
by the discovery of gold in the Southern Island.

                              CHAPTER VIII
                         THE MELANESIAN MISSION

A fortnight after Bishop Selwyn reached Auckland on his return from
England, the _Southern Cross_, the new mission ship, arrived. She was
first sighted on a very wet day, and as soon as the Bishop was sure it
was her, he called Patteson to come with him to meet her. Patteson
describes the scene:

  “I hurried on waterproofs knowing that we were in for some mudlarking.
  Off we went, lugged down a borrowed boat to the water. I took one oar,
  a Maori another, the Bishop steering. After twenty minutes pull we met
  her, jumped on board, and then such a broadside of questions and
  answers. Mudlarking very slight on this occasion, but on Tuesday we
  had a rich scene. Bishop and I went to the _Duke of Portland_ and
  brought off our things ... the custom is for carts to go over the
  muddy sand ... in went our cart, with three valuable horses, while the
  Bishop and I stood on the edge of the water. Presently one of the
  horses lost his footing, and then all at once all three slipped up.
  Instanter Bishop and I had our coats off, and in we rushed to the
  horses, such a plunging and splashing but they were all got out safe.
  ‘This is your first lesson in mudlarking, Coley,’ was the Bishop’s

Before Selwyn could sail for his first voyage in the _Southern Cross_,
he was called upon by the Governor to go to make peace in a native
quarrel, which threatened to lead to trouble with the settlers. The
disturbance had arisen in the neighbourhood of Taranaki, called by the
colonists New Plymouth. A chief had tried to sell some land, the
ownership of which was disputed, to the English, and another chief,
Katatore, had shot him down in cold blood, unarmed. The settlers fearful
of the disturbance that might follow, asked that some troops should be
sent to protect them, but the Governor, thinking that the presence of
English soldiers would only add to the difficulty, begged the Bishop to
go down to see whether he could bring about a peaceful settlement. The
Bishop started at once accompanied by Dr. Abraham and his faithful Maori
Deacon, Rota. They had a hard fortnight’s walk through difficult country
to the Pah, that is the camp, of William King, a well known native
chief, who had taken the part of Katatore, and here they met with a
friendly reception. The next day the conference began in Katatore’s Pah,
and Abraham thus describes what happened. They found “one hundred men or
so within; all were seated on the ground to hear what the Bishop had to
say. After a few minutes a man dressed like a would-be flash criminal at
Newgate came up to us. It was Katatore, a little cunning, ill-favoured
looking rascal, dressed in a black paletot, moleskin trousers, boots and
a little black hat on the top of an immense bush of hair. He then told
us the story of the murder. When he came to it, the Bishop said: ‘So
then you killed an unarmed man in cold blood for the matter of land?’
‘Yes.’ ‘Then you repeated the act of Cain towards Abel, and in the sight
of God and man you are a murderer.”

“The man started up in great wrath, but the Bishop calmly repeated it.
The man started on his feet and left the ring of people, muttering and
growling; but his own people did not seem disposed to support him on
that point, nor to question the Bishop’s judgment.”

Some days after, the soldiers arrived, and the natives grew very excited
thinking that the Bishop had broken faith with them; but he reassured
them and finally after giving good advice to both sides in the dispute
restored peace. Abraham writes:

  “It was very striking to see the men’s delight when he wound up his
  speech with their old song, the Maori equivalent for ‘Lady bird, lady
  bird, fly away home.’ All the good advice seemed to tell but little,
  but this quotation set the whole party on the alert.”

During the days spent in this work of peace-making, Selwyn held many
services with both colonists and natives, and persuaded the colonists to
provide themselves with churches. Whilst waiting for the steamer which
was to take him away, he with his party set to work to mend a road full
of great holes, which he had in vain tried to persuade the people to
mend. They made the road passable in a day and a half’s work; and were
watched by the passers-by with amusement, but unfortunately not with
shame for their own idleness.

The Bishop was violently attacked in the local papers for his conduct in
the Taranaki dispute. In one of them it was said:

  “Bishop Selwyn is again lending his blighting influence to New
  Zealand, has again taken the murderer by the hand.... It is reserved
  for the Bishop of New Zealand to use his undoubted influence to shield
  notorious criminals from justice when those criminals appeal to his
  sympathies through the medium of a dark skin.”

He was accused of preventing the sale of land to the settlers in New
Plymouth. Thinking that some members of the Church might have been
offended by the reports they had heard of his opinion and conduct, he
felt it to be a religious duty to explain his opinions in a pastoral
letter to them. In this he stated what he considered to be the cause of
the hostility between the Maoris and the settlers. He said that land had
been acquired too hastily without sufficient investigation of the
titles, and went on:

  “My advice to the natives in all parts of New Zealand has always been
  to sell all the land which they are not able to occupy or cultivate. I
  had two reasons for this: first to avoid continual jealousies between
  the races; and secondly to bring the native population within narrower
  limits, in order that religion, law, education and civilization might
  be brought to bear more effectually upon them.”

He referred to the strong feeling amongst the Maoris for their land, and
to their accurate knowledge with regard to its ownership, saying: “No
menaces of military interference are likely to have any effect upon men
who from their childhood, have been accustomed to regard it as a point
of honour to shed their last drop of blood for the inheritance of their
tribe.” He expressed his conviction “that the lives and property of our
fellow settlers, scattered as they are, can only be preserved by the
greatest forbearance and the strictest justice in our dealings with the
native people.”

On Bishop Selwyn’s return to Auckland, he ordained a second Maori
Deacon, Levi, a man of 38, whose character had had long testing, and
whose final preparation for ordination he had begun immediately on his
return from England. He was now free to set off on his first voyage with
Patteson in the _Southern Cross_. This was to be a visitation tour to
the Chatham Islands and to the Southern settlements in New Zealand.
Selwyn was able to leave the vessel in charge of Patteson and to make
some long journeys on foot. He had planned a journey of one thousand
miles and fixed the exact time which it should take. A week before the
appointed end he wrote to Mr. Abraham asking him to meet him at a
certain place at 1 o’clock on the day fixed. Mr. Abraham writes:

  “As my watch pointed to the hour I looked up and saw him emerge from a
  bush looking well, wiry and bushy. He had walked five hundred and
  fifty-miles and ridden four hundred and fifty in the course of the
  last three months, having examined and confirmed one thousand, five
  hundred people. He was alone nearly all the way and had great
  difficulty getting the horses he did, so engaged are the people in
  their cultivations, etc., that they could not spare time to go with
  him.... He gave an amusing account of the way in which he shamed them
  sometimes into giving him a horse to ride. He would go to a village
  and ask for a horse and guide. There were none was the answer. He
  would point to a herd of thirty or forty not far off—no one knew to
  whom they belonged. He would then put down his pack and begin to throw
  out the most useless articles, and pack it up again and begin to strap
  it on. ‘What are you about?’ ‘Lightening my burden for a walk.’ This
  touched some woman’s heart, who would either herself fetch, or urge
  her husband to get a horse. One morning at dawn, as he was just
  starting on his lonely march he found a woman standing with a horse
  ready for him.... The last month’s journey was the worst, perhaps, as
  he was obliged to leave his blankets behind to lighten his shoulders,
  and had to sleep under his tent with nothing but a thin maude these
  cold autumnal evenings.”

The thought that soon there would be another Bishop to care for these
scattered southern settlements must often have cheered Selwyn during his
lonely wanderings.

His thoughts were now turning to the Pacific Islands which he hoped
would be the sphere of Patteson’s future work. On Ascension Day, 1855,
he left Auckland in the _Southern Cross_ again. Ascension Day was his
favourite day for starting, for he felt the charge ringing in his ears:
“Go ye and teach all nations.” He went first with Mrs. Selwyn and
Patteson to Sydney. He wished to get permission to set up his school for
the young Melanesians in Norfolk Island. He had become convinced that it
was impossible to go on bringing the young islanders to school at
Auckland, and then on account of the climate, to have to take them back
after a few months to their own homes. This was much too expensive and
wasteful a method to be continued, and he wished to find a suitable
island where a school and a centre for the mission might be set up.
Norfolk Island struck him as eminently suited for the purpose. It had
been used as a convict settlement, but this had now been given up.
Selwyn had visited the island with Sir George Grey, who approved of his
idea, and wrote to the home government asking that the disused prison
and a portion of the land should be granted to the Bishop for his
school. Objections were made in some quarters because of another
proposal for using Norfolk Island. There had been discovered in a
Pacific Island named Pitcairn, an English population who proved to be
the descendants of a certain John Adams, the leader of a mutiny in a
Government vessel called the _Bounty_. Adams had brought up the children
of the mutineers who survived and their descendants with great care,
during the years in which they had lived unknown and separated from the
outer world. Now that they had been discovered in their lonely home, it
was considered that they were too many to go on living on the little
island of Pitcairn, and the English Government intended to transport
them to Norfolk Island. Objections were made in England to the idea of
bringing native islanders from the Pacific to live alongside with the
Pitcairners, lest they should corrupt these interesting descendants of
English mutineers, who, it was asserted, had grown up in a state of
primitive innocence under a patriarchal system. Bishop Selwyn, however,
urged that it would be good for the Pitcairners to help in the work of
training the natives and of navigating the Mission vessel. But the
Governor of New South Wales would not agree to his proposal. The Bishop
was much interested in the Pitcairners and waited to see them on their
arrival at Norfolk Island before he started for the Pacific. He was
warmly welcomed by them. The careful provision of John Adams had seen to
it that they were brought up as Christians, but naturally none of them
had been confirmed. It was decided therefore to leave Mrs. Selwyn on the
Island to teach and prepare the girls and women for confirmation, whilst
Selwyn and Patteson went for their cruise to visit the northern Pacific

Before leaving Sydney, a crowded meeting was held by the Australian
Board of Missions to hear Bishop Selwyn speak on the Melanesian Mission,
and at this meeting Patteson was introduced by the Bishop as his dear
friend, one for whose companionship he ought to thank God. After this
they took Mrs. Selwyn to Norfolk Island and sailed for the Pacific. They
went first to the Presbyterian mission at Anaiteum, and deposited goods
and letters that they had brought for the missionaries, Mr. and Mrs.
Ingles. Patteson much admired their schools and wrote of their work as
full of hope and encouragement. After this many islands new to the
Bishop were visited. Near one of them they came across a brig with a
sandal wood trader who was notorious for “dark deeds of revenge and
unscrupulous retaliation upon the natives.” In the past the Bishop had
been one of those who had helped to bring him to justice, but he had
remained friends with him and had baptised his only son. Now he
introduced Patteson to him, saying, “Mr. Patteson is come from England
on purpose to look after these islands.” He was convinced that the
knowledge that there were those who watched their doings would have a
restraining effect upon the traders.

Patteson was able to learn from the behaviour of the Bishop how to be on
the look out for signs of danger. Selwyn’s quick eye was always on the
watch and without any apparent suspicion of fear, he was ever on the
alert to detect any slight intimation of possible danger. On one
occasion whilst they were happily bartering fish hooks for cocoanuts,
the Bishop, to Patteson’s surprise, made a sudden sign to come away.
When they were in their boat he said: “I saw some young men running
through the bushes with bows and arrows, and these young gentry have not
the sense to behave well like their parents.”

The Bishop’s method in his work among the islands has been described by
one who watched it as follows:

  “On first invading the land he tries to make a favourable impression
  on the people’s minds by presents, and by letting them see that he is
  not come to trade. This he does by leaving his boat ten or twenty
  yards from the reef, where some hundred people are standing and
  shouting; he then plunges into the water arranging no end of presents
  on his back, which he has been showing to their astounded eyes out of
  the boat. He probably has learnt from some stray canoe or a
  neighbouring island the name of the chief. He calls out his name; he
  steps forward; the Bishop hands him a tomahawk, and holds out his hand
  for the chief’s bow and arrows. The old chief with innate courtesy
  sends the tomahawk to the rear, to show that he is safe and may place
  confidence in him. The Bishop pats the children on the head, gives
  them fishhooks and red tape, for there is an enormous demand for red
  tape in these islands. Probably then the Bishop has some ‘tame
  elephant’ with him—a black boy from some other island—and he has
  clothed him, and taught him to read or the like; and he brings forward
  this specimen and sample, and tries to make them understand that he
  wants some of their boys to treat in like manner. The Bishop gets as
  many names written down as he can and picks up as many words as he
  can; establishes a friendly relation, and after a while swims off to
  his boats. Next year he will go and call out the names of his old
  friends, get two or three on board, induce them to take a trip with
  him while he goes to the neighbouring islands. So he learns their
  language enough to tell them what he has come for.”

During this trip with Patteson, he landed on sixty islands, and they
brought back thirty-three scholars, who were looked upon as Patteson’s
boys. They stopped at Norfolk Island to hold what Selwyn described as
“one of the most remarkable confirmations in the history of the Church.
The whole adult population of the Pitcairn Islanders, except those who
were too feeble to attend, presented themselves to me in nine classes to
be examined and confirmed.” The eldest of the candidates, a woman over
seventy, was a daughter of John Adams. The service was held in the old
convict chapel, which opened on to the prison yard, “in every corner
heaps of rusty fetters and cast-off garments.” The Confirmation was
followed by a Celebration of Holy Communion.

This time the boys from the Islands had again to be taken to Auckland as
no other place was ready for them. Selwyn wrote from there to Judge
Patteson expressing his delight in the help given him by his son:

  “I do indeed most thankfully acknowledge the goodness of God in giving
  me timely aid when I was pledged to a great work without any steady
  force to carry it on. Coley is the right man in the right place
  physically and mentally.... You know in what direction my wishes tend,
  viz., that Coley, when he has come to suitable age, and has developed
  as I have no doubt he will, a fitness for the work, should be the
  first island Bishop.”

Some years would have to pass before these wishes could be fulfilled,
but already in 1856, Selwyn had the joy of welcoming Dr. Harper,
appointed Bishop of Christchurch, who came out with all his family,
immediately after his consecration in Lambeth Chapel. Selwyn went to
Christchurch to meet him in the _Southern Cross_ and wrote in his diary:

  “Went on board at 8 took off the Bishop and his whole family in our
  two boats; carried them to the _Southern Cross_; whole Harper family
  seated round our cabin, fourteen or fifteen happy faces. Went on
  shore, borrowed trucks, pulled baggage up bridle path; three cheers on
  the top.”

Bishop Harper was installed at once and Selwyn wrote:

  “This day fifteen years I left England, and this morning I woke up
  with a thankful feeling that my load was at length lightened by the
  transfer to the Bishop of Christchurch of one-third of New Zealand.”

Both he and the colonists in the other provinces were impatient that the
remaining dioceses which had been fixed upon should be speedily
completed. Selwyn wrote:

  “The number of persons to be confirmed is not the labour, but the
  distance to be gone in search of them. My average is about one
  candidate for confirmation for every mile of travelling. In all other
  respects of organising institutions and giving a tone to a new
  society, it is absolutely necessary that a bishop should be early in
  the field and have a field within the compass of his powers.”

Selwyn’s care for the interests and needs of the colonists in New
Zealand never distracted him from the wider mission field amongst the
heathen, which was ever so dear to his heart. The arrival of Bishop
Harper was followed in a few months by the meeting of the Conference at
Auckland, which finally settled the constitution of the New Zealand
Church as described in the last chapter. Whilst Selwyn was busy with it,
Patteson made a voyage alone to take back the boys from the Islands, as
the New Zealand winter was coming on. The Conference over, Selwyn
started with Patteson for a long cruise in the Pacific, first leaving
Mrs. Selwyn at Norfolk Island to carry on her work amongst the
Pitcairners. A long and prosperous voyage followed during which many
islands were visited. In three there were urgent demands that they
should be given a teacher, but the Bishop had none to give. All that
could be done was, wherever possible, to persuade boys to come back with
him to be taught. Finally after a cruise of four months they returned to
Auckland bringing with them thirty-three Melanesians, gathered from nine
islands and speaking eight languages. They had visited sixty-six islands
and landed eighty-one times, wading and swimming; they had visited
amongst others, some islands where the London Missionary Society had
been at work, and where the native teachers had been left for a long
while without any English missionary. They now gladly turned to Bishop
Selwyn for advice and help. But nearly all the islands they visited were
still untouched by any missionary work. A second voyage was made that
year, and on that occasion, the _Southern Cross_ ran aground, in the
lagoon at New Caledonia. After many exertions she was got off the ledge
on which she had stuck, but it was impossible to be certain that her
bottom was uninjured. There were no divers to be got, but as one who was
present described the scene: “the Bishop was equal to the occasion. He
caused the ship to be heeled over as far as was safe; and then, having
stripped himself to his tweed trousers and jersey, in the presence of
the captain of the _Bayonnais_ (a French warship that was in the
harbour) and some of his officers, and amid their exclamations of
admiration, made a succession of dives, during which he felt over the
whole of the keel and forward part of the vessel, much to the detriment
of his hands, which were cut to pieces by the jagged copper; and
ascertained the exact condition of her bottom and the nature of the
injuries sustained. No wonder that the next day, after dining on board
the Frenchman, he was sent away with a salute of eleven guns.”

When this accident happened, the Bishop was on his way to call for
Patteson who had been left on the Island of Lifu with his scholars. Now
the _Southern Cross_ had to be taken to Auckland to be repaired and
contrary to his usual punctual habits, he was a month late in reaching
Lifu. There followed a rapid voyage back, picking up scholars by the way
till forty-seven were collected, amongst them three young married women
and two babies; with the crew there were sixty-three persons in the
little ship. Patteson writes:

  “As you may suppose the little _Southern Cross_ is cram full, but the
  Bishop’s excellent arrangements in the construction of the vessel for
  securing ventilation, preserve us from harm by God’s blessing. Every
  day a thorough cleaning and sweeping goes on and frequent washing, and
  as all beds turn up like the flap of a table, and some thirty lads
  sleep on the floor on mats and blankets, by 7 a.m. all traces of the
  night’s arrangements have vanished. The cabin looks and feels airy;
  meals go on regularly.... A vessel of this size unless arranged with
  special reference to such objects, could not carry safely so large a
  party, but we have nothing on board to create, conceal or accumulate

School and prayers were held regularly every day. Part of the Bishop’s
own cabin was screened off for the three women and two babies; and he
himself looked after them, washing the babies and tending the women when

Selwyn was grateful indeed that it was now possible happily to leave all
these new scholars at Auckland under Patteson’s care, for plenty of work
awaited him. He had to start off at once on a confirmation tour of one
thousand miles and then be at Wellington early in the coming year for
the meeting of the first Synod. The year, 1858, that was drawing to a
close, he described as “a year of many blessings. Two prosperous voyages
to the Islands, one prosperous voyage to the Southern Settlements,
one-third of the Visitation Tour by land accomplished, the consecration
of the Bishops of Wellington and Nelson.” These two, both consecrated in
England were old friends; his fellow worker, Archdeacon Abraham, had
been appointed Bishop of Wellington, and Rev. E. Hobhouse, Bishop of

In 1859, after the Synod was over, Selwyn made his last voyage to
Melanesia again in company with Patteson. They touched at Lifu where
they had before visited the native teachers belonging to the mission of
the London Missionary Society. These men, as they had not had an English
missionary among them for a long while, implored to be connected with
the Anglican Mission. But they were told that two missionaries from
L.M.S. were on their way from Sydney to Lifu, and that it would do harm
to have two rival systems on the island. Patteson writes:

  “They acquiesced but not heartily, and it was a sad affair altogether,
  all parties unhappy and dissatisfied and yet unable to solve the

They called at Lifu again on their way back and found that the two
missionaries had arrived, but learned also that there were two French
Roman Catholic priests in the north of the island who were attracting
many to them. So again possibilities of true comity disappeared, and the
simple islanders were disturbed by the unhappy differences between

After this voyage, Bishop Selwyn left to Patteson the whole guidance of
the Melanesian mission. He had served his apprenticeship under the
Bishop and gained a full knowledge of the nature of the work, and had
shown that he possessed the gifts necessary to carry it on, so that he
could be given full responsibility for what had been to Selwyn one of
the most delightful parts of his great work.

To Patteson it had meant much to begin his work in close association
with one whom he loved and admired as he did Bishop Selwyn. He still
looked constantly to him for help and support. He wrote to his father:

  “Of course no treat is so great to me as the occasional talks with the
  Bishop. Oh! the memory of those days and evenings on board the
  _Southern Cross_. Well, it was so happy a life that it was not good
  for me, I suppose, that it should last.”

It was not yet possible to move the school for the Melanesian boys to
Norfolk Island, but a more sheltered spot was found for it temporarily,
opposite to the entrance of Auckland harbour. St. John’s College was
reserved entirely for the sons of colonists. A new master, Rev. B.
Blackburn, had been found in England by Abraham who, as Archdeacon, had
been its head till he was appointed Bishop of Wellington. When Mr.
Blackburn was offered the post he accepted saying with what intense
pleasure he would work under as great a man as Bishop Selwyn. To which
Abraham answered: “he is a great man and would appear so to his valet if
he had one.” Blackburn was not disappointed when he first saw Selwyn on
arriving at Auckland. He described him as “a king every inch of him; he
would rule by a look, but stoop to perform the most menial office
without the slightest loss of dignity.” After helping to carry the
newcomer’s luggage from the ship, the Bishop suggested that they should
go to the chapel to give thanks for their safe voyage, and after a
little service of prayers and psalms laid his hands on each, down to the
baby in arms, giving them his blessing. Mr. Blackburn writes further:

  “Bishop Selwyn had a love of work, and great power of endurance. I
  have heard of his taking eight services in one day. When 10,000
  soldiers were landed in New Zealand with only one chaplain (and he a
  Roman Catholic) the Bishop felt it was his duty to provide for them:
  he started a number of services and held Bible classes with the men.
  The soldiers were enthusiastic about him. He knew exactly how to adapt
  his language to them. It was amusing to hear the officers speak of
  him. They not only admired him as a bishop, but they discovered in him
  great power for taking in the details of military life. They used to
  say that it was a shame he was not a general. The naval men were
  equally enthusiastic about his seamen-like qualities. They all agreed
  that he would have made a first rate admiral.”

In 1861, Patteson was consecrated first Bishop of Melanesia. Lady Martin
describes the consecration: “It was altogether a wonderful scene: the
three consecrating Bishops, all such noble-looking men, the goodly
company of clergy and Hohua’s fine intelligent brown face among them,
and the long line of island boys and of native teachers and their wives
were living testimonies of mission work.” To Selwyn, Patteson was like a
son, and in the sermon preached at his consecration he said, as he gazed
on one so dearly loved: “May Christ be with you when you go forth in His
name and for His sake to those poor and needy people.” The consecration
marked the final achievement of independence by the New Zealand Church.
So far no bishop had been appointed in the Church overseas except under
letters patent or under mandate from the Crown. If this necessity for
constant reference to government authority in England had continued, the
progress of the Church would have been subject to needless limitations.
Selwyn, always marked by wisdom and caution as well as by his zeal for
the development of the independent Church, after much anxious
consideration, suggested to the Colonial Secretary that the difficulty
about the appointment of a bishop would be got over if the New Zealand
bishops were allowed to exercise the powers inherent in their office, as
bishops of a distinct province of the Church, without any mandate from
the Crown. This was allowed, and henceforth the Church overseas was free
to develop on its own lines, without interference from the Colonial
Office and its legal advisers. Thus after nineteen years of work, the
Bishop who had been given the sole charge of New Zealand, and who had
started the mission to Melanesia, saw himself surrounded by five brother
bishops, with the missionary obligation of the Church to the Pacific
islands fully recognized, and entrusted to a man whom he loved as a son,
and who was specially gifted for this work.

                               CHAPTER IX
                             THE MAORI WARS

Bishop Selwyn had helped to make peace at Taranaki (New Plymouth) in
1855, but discontent continued to smoulder both amongst the Maoris and
the Colonists. The English continued to be eager to acquire more land
and not scrupulous enough as to the means used to acquire it. Disputes
about title deeds and the right to certain bits of land were frequent.
The Maoris were suspicious of the constant encroachments of the British
power. They felt that by degrees their country was passing from them
into foreign hands. They had no representation in the Parliament which
had been set up in New Zealand by the Constitution of 1853, and
practically no share in the general government of the country. Colonel
Browne, the Governor, was obliged to report to the Colonial Office in
England the unsatisfactory state of affairs. The difficulties were
increased because the respective powers of the Governor and his
executive were not clearly defined, and by the want of sympathy with the
natives shown by the colonists. Maori chiefs were often treated with
indignities when they went to Auckland. Bishop Selwyn said that “he was
quite ashamed to travel with his native deacons, men who dine at his own
table and behave there like gentlemen, because he cannot take them into
public rooms where a tipsy carter would be considered perfectly good

After the first trouble at Taranaki had been settled for the time,
Bishop Selwyn uttered the solemn warning which he was so soon to see
justified that “while nothing is more easy than to extinguish the native
title, nothing will be found more difficult than to extinguish a native
war.” Slowly the country was drifting towards war. In the Waikato
country, the Maori chiefs held a conference in 1857, at which both
Selwyn and the Wesleyan missionaries were present, and the chiefs chose
a king for themselves. No rebellion was meant, for they put up the flag
of their chosen king and the Union Jack side by side on the same staff,
and the Governor did not think it necessary to take this king movement
seriously. In Taranaki, the chiefs had also formed a land league and
refused to sell land to the whites. This was very irritating to the
settlers along the coast, who saw land, of which they were in great
need, lying idle. When one chief of his own accord sold some land to the
whites, the chief of the Maori land league refused to allow the sale.
The Governor, however, maintained that the sale was legal, and sent
troops to the spot to support the rights of the purchasers. This was the
beginning of long and disastrous war. At first the Maoris gained some
advantage over the troops and the settlers were much alarmed. It was
feared that the war would spread to the Waikato, and the general anxiety
increased when the irritation of the natives was inflamed by the
discovery of a Maori, lying killed by a gunshot wound in the forest
thirty miles south of Auckland.

A body of armed Maoris gathered to avenge his death on the settlers, who
fled in terror from their homes. Selwyn at once hastened to the spot to
make peace. He rode twenty-four miles through the night, and then walked
through the wood wading in mud up to his knees to the place where the
fighting party were expected to land in their canoes. He wrote to his

  “We could see at once by the open and bright expression of their
  countenances, that they did not mean mischief. The afternoon was spent
  as usual in much talk upon the subject and ended with evening service
  in a large house, filled with about two hundred men, with their arms
  piled around the central pillars.... We were glad to find that they
  were inclined to go back quietly.”

Afterwards he visited and pacified other natives in the district, and
encouraged the settlers to return to their homes, promising to remain
with them till the danger was past. One of them wrote afterwards:

  “And so he did, guarding us with jealous care, never seeming to sleep
  soundly, for upon any unusual noise in the night, he was up and out in
  a moment. On the Sunday he conducted in our little schoolroom divine
  service, and preached a sermon never to be forgotten—inspiring trust
  and confidence in God.”

Selwyn’s plea which he submitted in a formal memorandum to the Governor,
was that the rights of the New Zealanders as British subjects should be
considered identical with those of the English, that the rights of the
Maoris to the soil where the title deeds had not been extinguished
should be recognised; that all native customs in connexion with
proprietary right should be respected, that disputes should be submitted
to a competent tribunal, and that for the moment there should be an
armistice. But he was not listened to, and the settlers denounced his
conduct as political interference. They said that “no right to interfere
between Her Majesty’s Government and her native subjects could be
allowed to any minister of religion.” In his reply to these criticisms
he said (1861) “as the earliest settlers in this country—as agents
employed by Government in native affairs—as intimately acquainted with
the language, customs and feelings of the native race—and above all as
ministers of religion having the highest possible interest at stake—we
assert the privilege which the Crown allows to every man of laying our
petitions before the Crown and the Legislature.”

In this difficult moment Sir George Grey was asked to return as Governor
to the Colony which he had administered so wisely and where he was
respected by all. For a moment there was peace, but as the soldiers were
still in the land there was no sense of confidence or security. The
Bishop went on with his efforts for peace, and his consequent
unpopularity with the colonists continued to grow. He attended a great
assembly of the natives in the Waikato, and from there went on to the
English settlement at Taranaki where he was met on the beach by a mob
who shouted: “Three groans for Bishop Selwyn,” and followed him with
groans till he turned round and faced them saying: “Now it is more
English-like to look me in the face and tell me your grievances.” This
they did with much frankness, interspersed with rude outcries. They
accused him of grasping lands for the Church, of loving power, of
reviving all the old abuses of England. From this he went on to discuss
matters with the natives, who for the most part received him with much
friendliness, though at one place they said that no minister should go
through their land. But he slipped off in the dusk to the next village
and when he came back, the old chief apologised and said: “Now let us
how d’ye do, and henceforth all ministers may come and go as aforetime.
You are the great billow that has crushed the canoe; you are the great
fish that has broken through the net.” Alone and unarmed he went through
all this disaffected district. He knew the people well and sometimes by
a joke, sometimes by a serious word, sometimes by a parable could turn
aside their anger and win them to listen to him.

The natives at this time were very indignant because the Governor had
forbidden them to have arms; and one chief had said to him: “My custom
is to give my enemy a weapon if he has not one, that we may fight upon
equal terms. Now, O Governor, are you not ashamed of my defenceless
hands.” Soon after this an English carter and his boy were murdered by
the Maoris. Shortly afterwards, the Bishop, on his travels through the
country, was sitting round the fire with a large party of natives, who
were telling him some of their national myths. He said: “Now I will tell
you a ghost story. There was once a man who dreamt that he was sitting
with a large party round the fire, when out of the fire rose the figure
of a man who said, ‘O Governor if I had an enemy and he had no weapon, I
would give him one before we fought. O Governor were you not ashamed of
my defenceless hands?’ The people all applauded, but the dream went
further. ‘After a time another figure rose up slowly out of the fire,
with a white face, very pale, with blood streaming down; the figure was
dressed like an English boy and held a bullock whip. He too stretched
out his arms to the Maoris and said, ‘Were you not ashamed of my
defenceless hands?’” The Bishop refused to interpret the story, but it
was passed on amongst the Maoris, and told by many a camp fire. All knew
its meaning.

On one of these walks, the people in a particular village were persuaded
not to receive the Bishop, but to offer him a pigstye for his night’s
shelter. The Bishop at once set to work to turn out the pigs, clean the
stye and make himself a bed of clean ferns. This made the astonished
Maoris say: “You cannot degrade that man from being a gentleman.”

For some time an uncertain kind of peace prevailed, but the irritation
among the natives was all the time on the increase, and the trouble more
and more took the form of hostility on the part of the natives as a
whole to the whites. The chiefs in the Waikato began to gather their
forces to come to the help of the Maoris in the Taranaki district.
Bishop Selwyn, anxious to check the growth of this hostile Maori
feeling, went to a Conference of Maoris, where on the Sunday the Maori
chief preached to the assembled people on the text: “Behold how good and
joyful a thing it is, brethren, to dwell together in unity”; and spoke
of the gain it was that the Maoris were now joined together as one
brotherhood under a Maori king. When the next day the Bishop was allowed
to speak to the people, he said: “Here I am a mediator for New Zealand.
My word is mediation. I am not merely a Pakeha (Englishman) or a Maori;
I am a half-caste. I have eaten your food, I have slept in your houses;
I have talked with you, journeyed with you, prayed with you, partaken of
the Holy Communion with you. Therefore I say I am a half-caste. I cannot
rid myself of my half-caste; it is in my body, in my flesh, in my bones,
in my sinews. Yes, we are all of us half-castes. Your dress is
half-caste—a Maori mat and English clothes; your strength is
half-caste—your courage Maori; your weapons English guns.... Therefore I
say we are all half-castes; therefore let us dwell together with one
faith, one love, one law.” He proceeded to implore them to allow the
Waitara case about the disputed land to be tried by law; and that all
together should set right the wrong which had been done by men on both
sides. Finally he turned to the whole assembly and said: “O all ye
tribes of New Zealand, sitting in council here, I beseech you in the
name of our Lord Jesus Christ in whom we all believe and hope, agree to
the proposals by which we shall all live in peace and happiness.” Some
were convinced, but the majority refused to give up the lands. It was
not long before hostilities began. Sir George Grey came down to
investigate the question of the claim to Waitara, but he brought troops
with him and the suspicious Maoris felt this meant war. They ambushed a
small party of soldiers consisting of two officers and seven men, and
killed all but one. Sir George Grey, though in the meanwhile he had
discovered that the Maori title to the Waitara was sound, felt that
British authority must be vindicated and the murderers punished, so
fighting began.

We are not concerned to follow in any detail the course of the war, but
only to speak of Bishop Selwyn’s activities during it. Ten thousand
troops had gathered in the country and there was not a single chaplain
with them. The Bishop therefore joined the army as chaplain. He hoped
thus not only to minister to the troops, but to be in a position to
protect his native teachers and Christians. He lived in camp, pitched
his own tent and shared the life of the soldiers, who admired him for
his courage and endurance. An English officer describes how he first saw
him. Looking through his telescope he perceived the figure of a man on
foot rapidly making his way to the mission station; after a while he
came to a small stream, and was observed feeling for its bottom with a
long stick; when it proved too deep to be forded he stript, tied his
clothes in a bundle on his head and swam across. Selwyn was on his way
to warn a native clergyman of the coming of the English soldiers, and to
protect him and his school.

During the trying months of war which followed, he did all he could to
help both sides, and thus earned the criticism of both colonists and
Maoris, they could not understand his position, nor perceive that his
one desire was to mitigate the cruel sufferings of war. “If there must
be war,” he said, “our great effort ought to be to debrutalise it, and
the army from the General downwards, have shown every willingness that
it should be so.” He held constant services for the soldiers, attended
to the wounded, buried the dead, and fortunately got permission from the
War Office to appoint three other chaplains to assist him. During these
days he wrote (December 4th, 1863): to his sons in England:

  “It is a strange thing to be moving up the Waikato with an army, after
  twenty years of an annual visit of a peaceful kind. To see the hills
  crowned with English forts, and steamers smoking on the river, is a
  strange and to me a painful subject of reflection.”

He sought for wounded men, both Maori and English, in the swamps after
an engagement, fearless of stray gunshots. A naval chaplain, who was
helping him, was riding with him one day through dense bush, said to be
infested with Maoris, when they came to a part of the road cut up with
deep ruts on the side of a steep hill. The Bishop jumped from his horse
and proceeded to fill up the ruts so as to save the wagons for
provisioning the troops from being capsized. Further on, he found an
Irish soldier lying drunk and bareheaded, and got down to drag him into
shelter saying: “Those men do not know the danger of sunstroke.”

To the misery of watching these scenes of war was added the bitter
disappointment of seeing the conduct of the natives. Selwyn wrote to the
Bishop of Adelaide:

  “I have now one simple missionary idea before me—of watching over the
  remnant that is left. Our native work is a remnant in two senses, the
  remnant of a decaying people and the remnant of a decaying faith. The
  works of which you hear are not the works of heathens; they are the
  works of baptized men, whose love has grown cold.”

The Maoris could not understand the Bishop’s presence with the English
soldiers and looked upon him with suspicion as having gone over to the
cause of their enemies, not recognising that he could not leave the
troops without some one to minister to their spiritual needs. The
English officers soon learnt to love him and to admire his devotion and
courage. On a Sunday he would ride many miles, holding seven or eight
services in the day. There was a long ridge of about two miles exposed
to the fire from the Maoris below which connected two redoubts. The
Bishop rode along it at full canter, and the officers used to watch him
through their field glasses. They would see a puff of smoke and then the
Bishop still galloping along, and say: “It’s all right, they missed

He was comforted sometimes by hearing of truly Christian acts done by
Maoris. One Maori General was an old pupil of the Bishop’s; he himself
tended a wounded English prisoner all through one night, and when the
man asked for water and there was none in the Maori camp, he crept out
through the fern into the English lines and brought back a calabash of
water for the dying man. The Maori clergy to the Bishop’s great comfort
were faithful all through the war.

Lady Martin thus describes the effect of the war:

  “One by one the large flourishing schools on the Waikato and Waiapu
  rivers had to be closed, with their branch village schools under
  native teachers, which had become centres of light. The fine country
  which we had seen covered with wheat and crops became a
  battlefield—the mills were closed, the churches built by the natives
  were often used as barracks for the troops ... our bay became
  deserted. No invalids were brought to be nursed, no canoes heavily
  laden with produce skimmed across the harbour. It seemed as if the
  pleasant intercourse with the Maoris, which for twenty years had made
  our lives so bright was at an end.”

In 1864, a new horror was added to the war by the sudden appearance
amongst the Maoris of a fanatical sect, which gathered round an insane
chief who professed to have received revelations from the angel Gabriel.
His followers called themselves Hau Haus. In a condition of wild
excitement, indulging in excesses of every kind, they marched through
the land claiming the allegiance of other natives. Infuriated by meeting
resistance from some loyal Christian natives, they vowed vengeance to
all missionaries. It was in this mood that they reached Poverty Bay,
just as two missionaries, Volkner and Grace, arrived in a small schooner
bringing medicines and food for the people in the Bay who were suffering
from an epidemic of fever. Volkner was seized and murdered next morning
in a revolting way, whilst Grace was taken prisoner. As soon as this
news reached Bishop Selwyn he hastened to Poverty Bay to try to rescue
Grace. At Poverty Bay he found Bishop Williams in whose diocese it was,
and with him a great crowd of loyal natives. He described his adventures
in a letter to Mrs. Selwyn:

  “Went to the Bishop’s house, found all well and thankfully
  acknowledging the steadfastness of their people, who had gathered from
  all parts for their protection. Went out to a meeting at which the
  Bishop’s army appeared in fighting costume, with more of Maori-usage
  than I liked to see, as I would rather have seen the native clergymen
  with a hundred quiet men in brown coats than four hundred native
  warriors in brown skins.”

These men expressed themselves determined not to allow their Pakehas to
be touched, but they would not help to attack the murderers of Volkner.
They even made conditions about the release of a Maori prisoner before
they would write a letter asking for the release of Grace. Selwyn had to
send a schooner to fetch this prisoner and then went off with the letter
demanding Grace’s release to Opotiki, and sent boats to the shore which
brought off Grace and other white people who were there. He then, to his
great regret, had to hasten back to Auckland for the Synod; he believed
that the English clergy and others in that district were still in great
danger. He doubted, however, whether he could have done more to help
them as he had now become such an object of hatred and suspicion to the
rebel Maoris.

After a year of fighting the Maoris were driven back and dispersed. No
regular peace was made but both sides were weary of war, and the English
troops were withdrawn. It was many years before the interior of New
Zealand was really at peace and safe for settlers.

At the end of the year (1865) the Bishop wrote to an old friend in

  “How much of the buoyancy of hope has been sobered down by experience!
  when instead of a nation of believers welcoming me as their father, I
  find here and there a few scattered sheep, the remnant of a flock
  which has forsaken the shepherd. I do not know how far it is right to
  go among my people, though, in former times, peace or war made no
  difference in their willingness to receive me. At present we are the
  special objects of their suspicion and ill will. The part that I took
  in the Waikato campaign has destroyed my influence with many. You will
  ask then ‘Did I not foresee this? and if so why did I go?’ I answer
  that I could not neglect the dying and wounded soldiers. Then there
  were many wounded Maoris brought in from time to time to whom it was
  my duty to minister. Add to this two of our mission stations had been
  occupied by a native clergyman and catechist, whom no threats could
  induce to leave their posts after the English missionaries were
  advised to retire. It was my duty to see they were not injured when
  our troops advanced.... This has thrown me back in native estimation
  more, I fear, than my remaining years of life will enable me to
  recover.... In the midst of these sorrows we have solid comfort in the
  sight of the stability of our native clergymen who have never swerved
  from their duty.... The real cause of war in New Zealand has been the
  new constitution, and the cause of the greater bitterness of the
  strife has been the new element of confiscation introduced by the
  colonists against the will and express orders of the Home
  Government.... A Maori cares more for his land than anything else....
  We have every reason to think that the worst is now past.... We shall
  probably settle down upon the unsatisfactory basis of the questionable
  possession of one or two millions of very indifferent land, and of the
  entire repudiation of the Queen’s authority over the whole interior of
  the Northern Island. This is the result of seeking first ‘the other
  things’ instead of the ‘one.’”

The war was drawing to a close in 1864 when Bishop Hobhouse, after
accompanying Selwyn on one of his journeys to the camp, wrote the
following description of what he saw:

  “He was still obliged to provide for the chaplain’s duties, though the
  army was no longer massed, but was spread into numerous out-posts
  stretching as far as ninety miles from Auckland. This involved his
  starting every Friday with such clerical companions as he could get;
  calling at the various stations throughout Saturday to do any pastoral
  duty required amongst the troops, and planning with the officers how
  to make the most of his services on Sunday.... After forty-five miles
  we reached the Waikato river ... when the steamer arrived it was found
  to be towing some barges filled with the families of the new
  Australian settlers, a corps which had been raised in the Australian
  towns.... The arrival of these families was an opportunity for
  pastoral work.... The Bishop plunged into the barges.... One woman,
  the mother of a family was nearing her end. He induced the captain to
  put her on shore opposite to a wooden church which had been riddled by
  shot and dismantled in the war. Inside that inhospitable ruin he
  proposed to stay the night as the comforter of the poor woman, and
  bade me proceed to the nearest military post and await his arrival.
  Early on the Saturday morning he arrived after an unbroken night
  watch, during which he had seen his poor patient’s death, had
  committed her body to the grave and had made arrangements for the
  charge of her children. Without any sleep, he then hastened to depart
  on foot to the missionary station, where we had been expected
  overnight. During the many hours of the day as we passed over the
  fields of action with their gloomy records of ruined churches,
  abandoned paths, down-trodden enclosures, the Bishop poured out his
  heart to me more freely than was his wont. The scene was sad enough to
  have overwhelmed him with acute regret and despondency for the future.
  The Waikato tribe more than 10,000 strong, the most advanced of the
  powerful tribes in civilization and churchmanship, with churches and a
  complete set of schools endowed by themselves, were now driven from
  their fertile valley, estranged from British rule, and perhaps
  alienated from the Christian faith. The missionary work of forty years
  seemed all undone and the Bishop himself was regarded as a traitor.
  Yet all these gloomy reflections were put away, and his only thought
  was how to minister to the new settlers now pouring in from the
  Australian towns.... As we passed over the scene of bloodshed he said:
  ‘I have been in every action I could possibly reach. It was my duty to
  minister to the wounded natives as well as to the British.... Indeed I
  always ministered to the fallen Maori first so as to give a practical
  answer to their charge against me of forsaking and betraying them. It
  was needful that I should be in the midst of each fray and between two
  fires; but I was never hurt. I lay on the ground at night and shared
  soldier’s fare.’”

Whilst recalling all that he had gone through, the Bishop’s missionary
zeal still enabled him to make plans for fresh enterprises and to sketch
out new work amongst the settlers. But there were thoughts poured out
too about what he could do when no longer fit for the active life New
Zealand demanded. He thought he might best serve his Master by retiring
to Canterbury, and helping to train the next generation of missionaries
at St. Augustine’s College. But the time of retirement was not yet, and
the next day after a night spent sleeping on the ground, he took eight
separate services for the troops.

Many are the stories of his utter fearlessness during the war. One
settler years afterwards wrote to an Auckland paper saying that he was
sure many of the settlers owed their lives to Bishop Selwyn’s untiring
watchfulness. He told how once when returning to their homes at Mauku,
after a sudden flight, through fear of a Maori attack, the Bishop
appeared and, refusing all refreshment, asked merely to be allowed to
leave his horse for the night. He said he must go on at once to Purapura
which was some nine miles away, and to be reached only by a bush track;
that he needed no food as he had some bread in his kit, but would
probably be back next morning. At 4 o’clock next morning he duly
appeared, drenched to the skin, having walked all through the night and
having had to ford a creek. He then told them that the day before he had
heard that a band of the fiercest Maoris were on their way to attack the
settlement, and he had gone to see the chiefs assembled at Purapura to
persuade them to forbid their war party to go on. This they had promised
to do, but said the Bishop, I will stay till all danger from these wild
spirits is past. During the night he was up and out in a moment if there
was any unusual noise. The following Sunday he held a service in the
little schoolroom, preaching a sermon never to be forgotten, inspiring
trust and confidence in God.

At the end of the war, Bishop Selwyn was granted the same medal as was
given to the soldiers; and the officers and men among whom he had
ministered subscribed to give him money to ornament his private chapel.

The prayer which he drew up to be used in all the churches in New
Zealand, deserves to be recorded here as showing his inmost mind about
the war.

“O Lord whose never failing Providence ordereth all things both in
heaven and earth, we humbly beseech Thee to receive our prayer for the
Governor of this land and for all who are in authority that they may be
guided by Thee in all things, that the dominion of our Queen may be
established in this land in justice and mercy according to Thy Holy

“We commend to Thee oh merciful Father all our brethren who are gone
forth from amongst us to bear arms and to be exposed to the peril of
death, all who are thereby hindered from worshipping Thee in Thy house,
that Thou wilt keep them from forgetfulness of Thee and of Thy holy law:
all who are sick, all who are wounded, all who are drawing nigh unto
death; all who are bereaved. And we pray that Thy Holy Spirit may so
rule in all of us as to keep us from every unbecoming and unchristian
temper; from all cruel, unmerciful and vindictive thoughts.

“And we beseech Thee, good Lord, to restrain the evil passions of men,
and to deliver this land from the misery of strife and bloodshed and to
pour upon all the people of the land the spirit of concord and obedience
and peace. And this we pray through Him who is the Prince of Peace and
Saviour of all men, our Lord Jesus Christ.”

It is to be noted that he did not bid them pray for victory.

                               CHAPTER X

The discovery of gold in the Southern Island had brought such a rush of
new settlers that it seemed necessary to divide the Diocese of
Christchurch and form a new Diocese of Dunedin. All were agreed about
this, but unfortunately a controversy arose as to the actual appointment
of the new Bishop. Selwyn, eager to see someone appointed as quickly as
possible, wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury, with more definiteness
than the Rural Deanery Board at Dunedin was prepared for. The Archbishop
with unexpected promptitude, appointed and consecrated Dr. Jenner,
Bishop of Dunedin, but the Rural Deanery were not prepared for this,
they said that the necessary money had not yet been collected and
refused to recognise the appointment. This unfortunate incident shows
the difficulties that lay in the way of the Colonial Church, and its
relations with the Home Church in the early days, before experience had
regulated the situation. During the period of delay, Selwyn went himself
to Dunedin to try to promote the raising of the money needed. In this
way he saw the goldfields and was able to judge of their needs. He wrote
from there (1866) describing the hurry of the life, where everything had
to be improvised to meet the rush of new arrivals eager for gold. “The
traffic seems to go on Sundays and week-days alike, and a Scotchman whom
I invited in vain to church, admitted that all the lessons of the old
country were forgotten on the road.... Upon the whole as the thing had
to be done I am not sorry to have had to go over this province. Part of
my object is to visit as many of the diggers as I can and to hold
services wherever I find them disposed to attend. There was a large
party of them on board who assured me that it was a mistake to suppose
that there were not many among them who cared for better things than
digging gold. They have the character of being a manly and independent
body of men, for the most part orderly and honest. It is a comfort to
think that this is the last work of bishop-making in which it will be
necessary for me to engage; and when this is done I may break my wand.”
It is not necessary to follow the long controversy over the filling of
the See of Dunedin, since after this the matter did not really concern
Bishop Selwyn. It was not till 1871 that the difficulty was settled and
a Bishop appointed.

Writing to E. Coleridge at the end of 1865, Bishop Selwyn had said: “I
do not see my way to another visit to England. It is more congenial to
my present feelings to sit among my own ruins, not moping, but tracing
out the outlines of a new foundation, than to go through another course
of public life in England. So much has been said or written of late
about my order that I have begun to think it will be well for us to be
more sparing of our visits.” When, however, he received a summons from
the Archbishop of Canterbury to attend the first conference of Bishops
of the Anglican Communion, which was to be held at Lambeth in 1867, he
felt bound to go. He had always regarded it as a duty to obey the orders
of a superior in the service to which he had given his life, and his
desire for the general restoration of synodical government in the
Church, made him consider the proposed Lambeth Conference as of supreme
importance. He left his work in New Zealand with deep regret and there
was much sorrow amongst his people at parting with him even for a time,
increased by a lurking fear that he might never return. Before he left,
his friends met in the little Chapel at Auckland for a last Communion
together. There were seventy communicants too many for the chapel to
hold and they overflowed into the study behind. One who was there

  “I doubt if there was a single dry eye in the chapel; and the Bishop’s
  voice at times was scarcely audible, for the sobs which were heard on
  every hand.”

It was a disappointment to Selwyn to find on reaching England how little
interest was shown in the Lambeth Conference, how few even of the clergy
realized its importance. He wrote:

  “From our distant point of view we look upon this Conference as the
  most important opening for good which has ever been offered to our
  Anglican Church; but I have not yet seen any signs to lead me to
  believe that it is so considered here. I have invitations to meetings
  of all kinds up to the very day of the meeting, and the clergymen who
  write to me do not seem to be aware that I came to England for one
  object and that I am prepared to devote all my time and attention to
  that, and that therefore I must be free in mind and time to prepare
  for it beforehand, and, after the meeting is over to work up its

At the Conference he was described as “well nigh the most conspicuous
figure and certainly the most attractive spirit there.” Mrs. Selwyn
writes that he came back from the meetings “sometimes quite happy, and
sometimes quite desponding, the precious time being so frittered away.”
He was distressed at “the want of previous arrangement, at the lack of
all formality or of anything to give dignity in the eyes of the public
or honour to the brethren.” After the Lambeth Conference, he went to the
Wolverhampton Church Congress. There he had the support of other Bishops
from overseas in claiming that the Church in the Colonies should have
the right to manage its own affairs. He himself spoke on Missions
“doubtful how he could concentrate the lifetime of twenty-five years
into twenty-five minutes.” He did express the spirit in which he had
worked when he said: “I do not know what failure means.” He ended with
an earnest appeal for unity, the appeal which comes with ever growing
force to the Church at home from the mission field, and which again and
again falls on deaf ears:

“The best assistance you can give to us in our missionary work is to be
united amongst yourselves.... I have learned in that great Pacific, on
which my islands lie like little gems, to pray for the grace of God to
distil from the great ocean of the Catholic Church this essential salt
of unity, and with that salt to season all sacrifices, whether prayer,
praise or almsgiving, and whether at home or abroad may that sacrifice
be acceptable to God.”

Shortly after the Wolverhampton Congress, the Bishop of Lichfield died
and Lord Derby asked Selwyn to be his successor. Selwyn answered
immediately that after having taken counsel with no one but God in
prayer: “I have been led to the conclusion that it is my duty to return
to New Zealand (1) Because the native race to whose service I was first
called, requires all the effort of the few friends that remain to them;
(2) Because the organization of the Church in New Zealand is still
incomplete; (3) Because I have still so far as I can judge, health and
strength for the peculiar duties which habit has made familiar to me;
(4) Because my bishopric is not endowed with more than £80 per annum and
I have no reason to expect that the C.M.S. will continue their annual
grant of £400 to my successor.” These were the chief reasons he gave to
Lord Derby and he ended his letter with these words: “I could work with
all my heart in the ‘black country’ if it were not that my heart is in
New Zealand.”

The matter was not allowed to rest there. The Archbishop of Canterbury
wrote to Selwyn asking him to reconsider his decision. The Queen sent
for him and expressed her wish that he would accept the bishopric.
Selwyn then wrote to the Archbishop:

  “I had no other reason for going (to New Zealand) than because I was
  sent. Upon this question of obedience I am still of the same mind. I
  am a man under authority.... As a soldier of the Church I shall
  probably feel bound to do whatever my commander-in-chief bids me.”

To his dear friend, Sir W. Martin, he wrote first:

  “My own desire to return to New Zealand is so strong, that I cannot
  altogether trust my own judgment on a question of conscience.... How I
  wish I could take counsel with you. I have no one here, except Sarah
  (his wife), who can even feel the force of the argument on the New
  Zealand side.... The point of obedience is the only one upon which I
  see any light.... You may be sure that I shall not rest until
  everything is made as sure as I can for my dear old land if I am
  obliged to leave it.”

A month later, when he had felt it to be his duty to obey commands and
accept the bishopric of Lichfield and all was settled, he wrote again:

  “I shall go to work immediately to raise an endowment fund for the
  bishopric. Most of the furniture in the ‘palace’ will be left as an
  heirloom to the See, with the library.”

He had told the Archbishop before his appointment that it would be
absolutely necessary for him “to go back to New Zealand, if only for a
few weeks. Everything there was left at short notice.”

On January 9th, 1868, he was enthroned at Lichfield and for more than a
year he was Bishop both of New Zealand and of Lichfield. How he viewed
his new work is shown by his determination to give up at once Eccleshall
Castle, the house in the country twenty-five miles from Lichfield in
which his predecessors had lived, and to settle in the old palace in the
Cathedral close. He set to work at once to visit the forty-six rural
deaneries in his immense diocese, in order to gain some idea of what his
work would be, and he began to lay plans for synodical organization in
the diocese. _Punch_ had some verses about his appointment in which it
was said that he had been called “to his work among savages this side
the main,

  In the Black country, darker than ever New Zealand
  Mid worse ills than heathenism’s worst can combine,
  He must strive with the savages reared in our free land.”

He sailed for New Zealand in the summer and reached Auckland in time for
the General Synod of the Province in October, when six Bishops were
present. Patteson was there, having come from Melanesia in the _Southern
Cross_, filled with intense grief at the prospect of losing Bishop
Selwyn. He wrote:

  “I don’t think I ever quite felt till now, what you have been to me
  for many a long year,”

but he went on to say:

  “It is perfectly clear to my mind that you could not have done
  otherwise. I don’t grudge you to the mother Church one atom.”

In his address to the Synod, Selwyn dwelt upon the advantages of the
independent position of the Church. “I earnestly entreat you as one who
has seen the work of the Church on both sides of the world, hold fast to
your voluntary compact: make it as perfect as you can: seek for
Communion with all branches of our Anglican Church now scattered over
the world: aim at one common standard of faith and ritual in all
essential points, treasure up the memory of all the blessings and
privileges which we have inherited from our Holy Mother, that it may be
seen that by none is she more honoured and beloved than by the most
distant of her children.” The address which was presented to him by the
Synod shows how he was regarded. It is only possible to quote some
sentences from it. “It seems as if you had been sent first to warn the
most distant members here, and were called now to quicken the very heart
of our dear mother Church at home, so that the life blood may circulate
with fresh vigour throughout the body. How can we ever forget you? Every
spot in New Zealand is identified with you. Each hill and valley, each
river and bay and headland is full of memories of you; the busy town,
the lonely settlers’ hut, the countless islands of the sea, all speak to
us of you.”

An address from the Maoris in the Waimate was brought to him by their
own Maori Priest which said:

  “Sire our thought with regard to you is that you are like the poor
  man’s lamb, taken away by the rich man.... Go, Sire, we shall no more
  see each other in the body, but we shall see one another in our
  thoughts. However we are led and protected and sanctified by the same
  Spirit.... This is our lament for you in a few words:

  Love to our friend who has disappeared abruptly from the ranks!
  Is he a small man that he was so beloved?
  He has not his equal among the many.
  The food he dispensed is longed for by me.”

The general Maori address said:

  “You leave here these two peoples—the Maoris and the Europeans.... Go
  to your own country; go, the grace of God accompany you. Go on the
  face of the deep waters. Father take hence with you the commandments
  of God leaving the peoples here bewildered. Who can tell that after
  your departure things will be as well with us as during your stay in
  this island. Our love for you and our remembrance of you will never
  cease ...”

Selwyn left New Zealand full of hope for its future, confident that the
Maori Church would revive and that “The remnant is taking root downwards
and bearing fruit upwards.” He exhorted his Synod not to forget that
remnant of the faithful Christian Maoris, saying that no increase of
European population should make them “forget that it is still a remnant
in the great congregation of Christ.” His departure from Auckland was a
sort of triumph. All shops were shut, and he and Mrs. Selwyn, who was
raised up aloft in a high seat, were dragged by four horses to the pier
in a brilliantly coloured triumphal car, amidst the hurrahs of the
excited people, the Bishop stretching out his hand for a last shake as
he passed through them.

The pain of parting did not prevent him from looking on with eagerness
to the work which lay before him. At Sydney he wrote to his dear friend,
Judge Martin, and told how he had watched for the last time the familiar
landmarks of the coast as he passed them, adding:

  “And then the thought came upon me with great bitterness that I should
  never see the dear old land again. But the mind has now settled down
  upon its new bearings, and the magnet of English interests and work
  begins to draw me on.”

Six months after he had left England he was back again, and at the age
of 59 he settled down to the great new work that lay before him. With
the details of that work we are not here concerned. During the ten years
of his work as Bishop of Lichfield, he showed the same unbounded energy
and devotion which had characterised his life in New Zealand. The
experience gained there was turned to account in all he did and planned.
From his clergy he demanded the same energy and devotion to work which
he showed himself. He gave much attention to the training of the clergy
and to the development of the Theological College which had been
established at Lichfield. Sometimes he was considered exacting and hard
because he demanded and expected so much of others. He had no patience
with slackness and was not one to tolerate excuses. When a student to
whom he remarked: “I have not seen you at chapel lately,” answered, “No,
my Lord, I have had a bad cold,” he retorted: “I think your cold must
have been bad since the beginning of term.” Always exact and punctual in
keeping engagements himself, he could not tolerate failure in this
respect in others. But the students recognized his anxiety to help each
one in the College and knew that he was unsparing of his time in guiding
their studies. One of them writes:

  “We felt as we went forth to our work that we knew our Bishop, and
  that he knew us.”

The missionary spirit which had inspired him in his work in New Zealand
and Melanesia, found its opportunity in the work he did in the Potteries
and the dark places of his diocese. It was inspired alike in the Pahs of
the Maoris, in the Pacific islands and the slums of England, by his
profound conviction that under every human skin God has planted a human
heart, and that it is the business of God’s servants to go and find it.
So he visited workhouses, gaols and infirmaries, and started a barge
mission amongst the people on the canals.

Many great questions agitated the Church during the ten years of
Selwyn’s English episcopate, and in all of them he took active part. He
laboured especially to make the Councils of the Church a reality and to
bring about that Synodical government which he had always believed to be
so desirable. In consequence, he used his influence to promote a second
Lambeth Conference, as a means of bringing into close federation all the
branches of the Anglican Church. But as was to be expected what lay
nearest to his heart was to make his Church a really missionary Church.
When he first came to Lichfield he found that about two-thirds of the
parishes in his diocese did nothing for foreign missions, but he soon
made Lichfield a centre of missionary activity for the whole Church and
the place to which missionaries from far distant lands looked for help
and counsel. No fewer than five missionary bishops were chosen from
among the clergy in the Diocese. In 1871 at the invitation of the
American Church, Selwyn went to the Triennial Convention held at
Baltimore. Intercourse between the different branches of the Anglican
Church was not then so close and intimate as Selwyn longed for it to be
and as it has since become, partly through what he himself was able to
accomplish. During the Convention, the American Board of Missions held
its Jubilee, and to it Selwyn gave one of his great missionary
addresses. He spoke of the coldness and backwardness shown in regard to
Christian missions, which he attributed in part to the imputation of
failure and asserted that there is no such thing as failure in the works
of God, and asked how with the feeble efforts made, we could hope to
evangelise the world; in part also he attributed this backwardness to
the idea that there were races incapable of being taught, and
contradicted this error by asserting “that there is not one single being
on the face of God’s earth, who is shut out from the promises of the
Gospel by any difference of intellectual or of moral capacity.” This
belief he was able to illustrate from his own experience. The success of
missions he attributed to the fact that “missionaries had been found
who, instead of expecting wild men to conform to ours have made our
habits conformable to theirs, who have followed them from place to place
and won their confidence, who have lived the same rough lives that they
have lived.” He told the Americans of the immense privilege that was
theirs, owing to their vast population, of undertaking the charge of the
larger nations of the earth. The Bishop of Quebec, who was present on
this occasion, spoke of it as the grandest missionary meeting he had
ever witnessed, and said that Selwyn held the magnificent audience under
the spell of his burning thoughts.

It was after Selwyn’s return from America, that he heard in the year
1871, the crushing news of the murder of Bishop Patteson in one of the
Melanesian Islands. Patteson was dear to him as a son, he called him the
most perfect of men, and the news which he felt to be so disastrous for
the Melanesian Mission seemed to make him at once ten years older.
Patteson’s death bore abundant fruit, for it attracted attention to the
cause in which so gifted a man had laid down his life. Those who had
scoffed at missions were forced to think, and when we compare the way in
which they were spoken of by Sidney Smith with the estimation in which
they are held now, we can believe that the death of the martyr bishop
was one of the causes of the change. Two years afterwards, Selwyn’s own
son went out to work in the Pacific and in 1877 was chosen by the
General Synod of New Zealand to be Bishop of Melanesia.

It is impossible here to give any account of Bishop Selwyn’s many
activities and interests during these last busy years of his life. He
never spared himself, nor sought the ease and comfort which he had long
learned to do without. Sometimes his indignation with those unwilling to
face hard work and self-denial showed itself in sharp and hasty words,
which he afterwards regretted, for he was really one of the meekest and
tenderest of men. To one whom he had reproved perhaps too sharply for
neglected work he said: “I seem Sir, to have two duties to perform,
first to take you down and then to take myself down.” Sir William Martin
who had so closely watched his work in New Zealand wrote of him:

  “To him work was no drudgery. He was the willing servant of a loving
  master; paying little regard to praise from men, rather turning aside
  from it, and giving to others the credit of what he had done or spoken
  well. There was no moroseness or asceticism about his religion. He
  enjoyed as few do, the beauty of the world. Being strong in faith he
  was daring, direct and fearless; stern too, when sternness was needed;
  yet withal tender as a woman to the sick, the suffering, the penitent
  and to children.”

In March 1878 his splendid strength began to fail. But, though weak and
suffering, he would not give in, and held a Confirmation at Shrewsbury
on the 24th. When in the vestry someone remarked on the vigour he had
shown, he answered: “Yes, but it was like holding on to a ship in a
storm. I held on by my hands and feet.” Sinking into a chair he added,
“The end is come.” This confirmation was his last public act. He went
back to Lichfield the next day. Then came days of weakness and suffering
during which he still followed the work going on in his diocese, and
bade farewell to those near and dear to him. In his wanderings he
thought of the work to be done and said: “I ought to be there, I fear I
am getting idle.” When Sir William Martin came to see him, he turned to
thoughts of New Zealand days. His beloved Maoris were present to his
mind and he repeated several times “They will all come back.” Maori
words rose to his lips in his wanderings and almost his last words were
in Maori, “It is light.” He died on April 11th, 1878, glad to pass from
his work to that fuller light in which he so fervently believed.


  Abraham, Dr., 10, 61, 63, 74, 121, 122, 135, 137
  Abraham, Mrs., 75, 77
  Adams, John, 127, 130
  Adelaide, Bishop of, 151
  Ahuriri, 34
  American Board of Missions, 173
  Anaiteum 70, 71, 128
  Annus Mirabilis, 74
  Auckland, 26, 28, 36, 45, 46, 59, 72, 77, 118, 126-135, 142, 143
  Australasian Board of Missions, 73

  Baltimore Convention, 173
  Bay of Islands, 28, 49
  _Bayonnais_, The, 134
  Blackburn, Rev. S., 137, 138
  Blomfield, Bishop, 5
  _Border Maid_, The, 74, 78, 82
  _Bounty_, The, 127
  Boveney, 3
  Botany Bay, 13, 14
  Broughton, Bishop, 5, 18, 19, 25
  Browne, Colonel, 141

  Canterbury Association, 95-97
  Christchurch, 98
  Christchurch, Bishop of, 106, 131
  Church Missionary Society, 5, 6, 14, 18, 19, 45, 57, 58
  Coleridge, Edward, 63, 84, 100, 108, 116, 163
  Colonial Bishoprics Fund, 5
  Colonial Office, The, 54, 56
  Cook, Captain, 13
  Cotton, Mr., 12, 24
  Crimean War, The, 108
  Constitution of New Zealand Church, 90-92, 102

  _Daisy Chain, The_, 117
  Darwin, Charles, 18
  Derby, Lord, 165
  _Dido_, The, 64, 65, 66, 69
  Dunedin, Diocese of, 161, 162

  Eccleshall Castle, 167
  Endowments, 104, 105
  Erromango, 78
  Erskine, Captain, 71, 78
  Eton, 1-4

  Fitzroy, Captain, 53, 55
  Flagstaff, The, at Paihai, 49, 50

  Gladstone, W. E., 4
  Goldfields, The, 161, 162
  Grace, Mr., 153, 154
  Grey, Earl, 54
  Grey, Sir George, 53-55, 58, 145, 149

  Hadfield, Rev. O., 33, 34
  Hamlin, Mr., 36
  Harper, Dr., Bishop of Christchurch, 131, 132
  Hau Haus, The, 153
  _Havannah_, The, 78
  Hawtrey, Dr., 2, 76
  _Hazard_, The, 52
  Heke, John, 49
  _Heir of Radcliffe, The_, 117
  Hobhouse, E. Bishop of Nelson, 135, 156
  Hobson, Captain, 20, 25
  Hume, Joseph, 54

  Ingles, Mr. and Mrs., 128

  Jenner, Dr., 161

  Katatore, 121
  Keri-Keri, 40, 41
  King Movement, The, 142
  Kororareke, 49, 51

  Lambeth Chapel, 10
  Lambeth Conferences, 163, 164, 172
  Letters Patent, 7
  Levi, 124
  Lichfield, Bishop of, 165, 167
  Lifu, 134, 136
  Lloyd, Mr., 74
  Loyalty Isles, 71
  London Missionary Society, 66, 78, 133, 136
  Lyttelton, 95, 96, 98

  Malicolo, 79
  Marsden, Samuel, 13-15, 22
  Martin, Chief Justice, 12, 31, 32, 36, 54, 60, 89, 90, 166, 170,
          175, 176
  Martin, Lady, 12, 23, 28, 138, 152
  Maoris, The, ix., 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 21, 33, 37, 42, 45, 46, 48,
          93, 98, 142, 144, 146, 147, 152, 154
  Maori Church, The, 170
  Maori Clergy, The, 152
  Maori Deacon, The first, 99, 100
  Maori Farewell to Bishop Selwyn, 169, 170
  Maori Ordinations, 124
  Maori Wars, 141-160
  Melanesia, 8, 64, 66, 67, 135
  Melanesian Mission, 72-75, 93, 101, 116, 174
  Melanesia, Consecration of first Bishop of, 138, 139
  Military Pensioners, 94
  Missions in New Zealand, 15

  Nelson, 42
  Nelson, Bishop of, 106, 135
  Neugone, 79
  New Caledonia, 71, 133
  New Hebrides, 71
  New Plymouth, 121, 123
  New South Wales, 13, 14
  New Zealand Land Company, 6, 8, 21, 27, 48, 53-55
  Nihill, Mr., 79
  Norfolk Island, 126, 127, 130, 132, 137

  Opotiki, 154

  Paddon, Captain, 65
  Paihai, 15, 17, 26, 27, 40, 57
  Pakaraka, 57
  Patteson, Judge, 115, 116, 131
  Patteson, John Coleridge, 115-117, 120, 124, 126, 128, 129,
          133-139, 168, 174
  Pines, Island of, 65
  Pitcairners, 126, 127, 130, 132
  Poverty Bay, 35, 153
  Purapura, 158

  Richardson, Sir J., 4
  Richardson, Sarah, 4
  Roman Catholic Missions, 15
  Rota, 36, 99, 100, 121
  Russell, Lord John, 7
  Rupai, 25

  St. John’s College, Cambridge, 2
  Selwyn, George Augustus—
      Address at first General Synod, 104
      America, Visits, 173, 174
      Asked to be Bishop of New Zealand, 6, 7
      Birth and family, 1
      Chaplain to the Soldiers, 149, 150-152, 156
      Children, His, 117
      Consecration, 10
      Curacies, 3, 4
      Death, 176
      Disagreement with Henry Williams, 55-58
      Education, 2, 3
      Educational Ideas, 38-40, 60, 61
      Episcopacy, His views on, 89
      Farewell at Eton and Windsor, 11
      Farewell to his Synod, 168
      Horror of Controversy, 88, 113
      Independence of the Church in New Zealand, His work for the,
          30, 31, 47, 61, 87, 100-106, 107, 118, 119, 139
      Journeys in New Zealand, His, 32-37, 43, 44, 76, 125
      Laity, His relations with the, 91
      Lambeth Conference, Goes to the, 163
      Lands at Auckland, 26
      Lichfield, Bishop of, 165-167, 171-173
      Library, His, 41
      Maori Rights, His defence of, 54
      Marriage, 4
      Methodical Habits, His, 93, 94
      Move to Auckland, 46
      Ordination, 3
      Other Missions, His relations with, 67
      Pastoral, His, 90
      Preparations for New Zealand, 9
      Primary Charge, 87
      Return to New Zealand, 117
      Sermons in England, 109-115
      Spinning, Encourages, 42
      Unpopularity with the Settlers, 49-53, 59, 123, 145, 150, 157
      Visits England, 100, 108
      Voyage to New Zealand, 23-25
  Selwyn, Professor, 6
  Selwyn, Mrs., 9, 29, 40, 46, 52, 53, 60, 100, 108, 117, 126, 128,
          132, 153, 164, 170
  Settlers, The, 48, 123, 144
  Smith, Sidney, 175
  Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, 30, 111
  _Southern Cross_, The, 117, 120, 121, 124, 126, 131, 133, 134, 168
  Sydney, 73, 90
  Synods, 47, 73, 86, 88, 103-105, 135, 168

  Taranaki, 121, 123, 141, 142, 145, 147
  Taylor, Richard, 18
  Theological College at Lichfield, 171
  Thomas, Mr., 66
  _Tomatin_, The, 12, 23, 25
  Tonga, 66
  Traders in the Pacific, 64, 65, 68, 69, 72, 128
  Tyrell, Bishop, 78-80, 81

  Unity Service, 95
  _Undine_, The, 69-71, 76, 96

  Volkner, Mr., 153, 154

  Whytehead, Mr., 12, 37
  Williams, Archdeacon, 46
  Williams, Bishop, 153
  Williams, Henry, 6, 14-17, 22, 26, 47, 55, 56, 58
  Williams, William, 15-17, 34, 58, 106
  Williams, Mrs., 26
  Windsor, 3
  Wolverhampton Church Congress, 164, 165
  Waiapu, Bishop of, 106
  Waiapu, Diocese of, 106
  Waikato, 18, 142, 143, 145, 147, 150, 152
  Waikanoe, 33
  Waimate, 17, 28, 37, 45, 51, 86
  Waiapu, Archdeacon of, 34
  Wairan, 42
  Waitangi, Treaty of, 20, 21, 48, 54
  Waitara Case, The, 148
  Wellington, 27, 31, 103, 135
  Wellington, Bishop of, 106, 135
  Wesleyan Missions, 15, 43, 44, 66

                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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