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Think, O my soul! devoutly think,
Confusion dwelt in every face,
And fear in every heart,
When waves on waves, and gulfs on gulfs,
Yet then, from all my griefs, O Lord!
Whilst, in the confidence of prayer,
For, though in dreadful whirls we hung
I knew Thou wert not slow to hear,
The storm was laid, the winds retir'd,
The sea that roar'd at thy command,
In midst of dangers, fears, and death,
And praise Thee for thy mercies past,
My life, if thou preserv'st my life,
Thy sacrifice shall be;
And death, if death must be my doom,
Shall join my soul to thee.
THE NEW ZEALAND MISSION.-PART IV. ENGLISH emigrants now began to arrive in considerable numbers in New Zealand, and it became a British colony. Towns were founded by the settlers, in the course of a few years, at Wellington, New Plymouth, Auckland, and other places in the Northern Island; and at Nelson, Otago, and Canterbury, in the Middle Island.
A governor was appointed by the Queen in 1840; and the next year New Zealand was made a bishop's see. The Rev. G. A. Selwyn was consecrated the first bishop, and arrived in his diocese in May 1842. Having visited the English settlements, and set in order all that related to the churches, he began to walk into the interior of the island to visit his Maori flock. (The New Zealanders call themselves Maoris, and the English Pakehas.)
Before leaving England, the bishop had taken a New Zealand youth into his service, and with his assistance had learned so much of the language during his voyage out, that he was able from the first to preach and catechize. The only way in which he could visit all the little villages and settlements scattered over his immense diocese was by walking; and accordingly it is by journeys on foot, of more than a thousand miles each, that the bishop has become acquainted with every portion of his flock, whether English or native, and has taught them in all places himself. Everywhere the natives came forward with a hearty welcome, and listened eagerly to
what he said; and sometimes the bishop was teaching and preaching every day in the week. On Sundays they assembled in great numbers: the morning service was always early, and in the middle of the day the whole congregation would come to school: old men and women stood up in class with their grandchildren, and the chiefs side by side with their servants; and the bishop was much amused to see the old tattooed warriors submitting to lose their places for every mistake, as good-humouredly as possible. Very often the sons of the chiefs were the principal teachers and catechists; and sometimes the chiefs themselves held school, or led the devotions of their people.
The bishop heard that two tribes, quite in the north, had quarrelled and were going to battle: he went to the place to try and reconcile them, and arriving late on Saturday evening, pitched his tent between the two hostile camps. On Sunday morning he saw the people on both sides walking about quietly, unarmed, and was told that they would not fight on the Lord's Day; and when, soon afterwards, he went over to the encampment of one of their leaders, he found the chief reading the Litany to his men. The bishop allowed him to finish, and then preached to them on these words "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another."
During the first eighteen months after his arrival in New Zealand, the bishop confirmed and received at the Lord's Supper many hundred natives; and amongst them was a man who had been concerned in that cruel massacre of the ship's crew at Wangaroa, thirty-four years before.
Having finished his first tour of visitation in the Northern Island, the bishop now, in the beginning of 1844, set sail for the south of the diocese. The natives in that part of the country had been instructed in the Gospel by two young men, the son and nephew of Rauperaha, a great war-chief and leader among the tribes living near Cook's Straits. Some native Christians came to Rauperaha's village, and preached the Gospel: the old chief gave little heed to it, but the young men embraced it with all their hearts, and set out to the mission-stations in the north, to beg that an English teacher would come and instruct them more perfectly in the things of God. At first, no one was able to go, but they were not to be discouraged, and their earnest entreaty led Mr. Hadfield to form a mission-station there. Seeing how anxious these young men were that others should come to the knowledge of God, Mr. Hadfield proposed to them to undertake a missionary voyage to the south. They went accordingly, and were absent more than a year, during which time they had sailed upwards of a thousand miles in an open boat. They taught the people, and catechized at every native settlement in the Southern Island and in Foveaux Straits; and when the bishop afterwards visited those places, he found many Christian natives who ascribed their conversion to those young chiefs.
At that very time Rauperaha was doing much injury to the English settlers at Wellington; and he was afterwards one of the chiefs who stirred up the natives to resist the English government in 1844. A great deal of mischief was done to the settlers in the Bay of Islands, and many lives were lost in various
attacks made by the natives; and some men, of whom the missionaries had hoped better things, now caused themselves to be tattooed, and returned to the heathen customs of their forefathers. Yet in the midst of these disturbances the churches and houses of the missionaries appeared to be considered sacred. The greater number of the natives remained faithful to the British Government, and in 1847 peace was entirely restored-never, it may be hoped, to be again broken, for the New Zealanders are so rapidly adopting English habits, that Maoris and Pakehas will soon be but one people. Even Rauperaha ended his days in a quiet, Christian manner, and exerted himself particularly in building a large church in his village of Otaki, of which his son, the missionary chief, is now the head.
Otaki looks as pleasant as a pretty English village ; the cottages are surrounded by gardens and fruittrees, and the pastures and corn-lands are enlivened by busy labourers, horses, and cattle in abundance. But there are now several such prosperous and pleasant native villages, and the number still goes on increasing.
And now that these islands have become Christian, and that "there is not a village from Kaitaia at the North Cape, to Stewart's Island at the South, in which the Holy Scriptures are unknown," the bishop is endeavouring to make New Zealand the source of Christian light to those hundred other islands of the Western Pacific, where all is now darkness and the shadow of death. Amongst these are the large islands of New Caledonia and New Britain, and the almost unknown regions of New Guinea.