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purpose—the last in 1837, when he had attained the advanced age of seventy-two. Throughout the whole of his long and useful career as a missionary superintendent he secured and maintained the highest respect of missionaries belonging to other Churches than his own, to which a simple and beautiful testimony was borne in the following “pulpit notice," read in the Wesleyan Church at Paramatta, Sydney, where he had died, on the Sunday preceding the one on which his funeral sermon was preached : “Next Sunday morning we intend to close this place of worship, and, as a mark of respect to the memory of our late venerable friend, go to the English Church to hear his funeral serinon."
The first Wesleyan missionary was the Rev. Samuel Leigh, who arrived in Sydney from England on the 10th of August, 1815, where he remained till 1818. In that year he proceeded to New Zealand, staying but nine months, during which period his soul was stirred within him as he witnessed the appalling degradation of the people. Returning again to Sydney, he remained there but a short time, when he proceeded to England with the object of persuading the Wesleyan Missionary Society to open a mission in New Zealand. In this he was successful, and accordingly, he, along with his wife, set sail for the new land, arriving at the Bay of Islands in the month of February, 1822. Acting under the advice of the Episcopal missionaries, who gave every assistance to their Methodist brother, Mr. Leigh, on the 10th of June, 1823, secured a piece of land at Wangaroa for a mission station, in a beautiful valley, to which he gave the name of “Wesley Dale.” Here, within two or three days after claiming this lovely spot for the Redeemer, heathenism made one of its revolting displays on Christ's own day, when, a war-canoe coming into harbor crowded with slaves, one of them was killed, roasted, and eaten. Mr. Leigh did not remain long in New Zealand, the health of his wife requiring his return to Sydney toward the end of 1823. Yet in this brief period, not long enough to acquire a competent knowledge of the Maori language, he learned what were the perils and annoyances of a life among a haughty and savage people. His constancy was put to a severe test because he would not supply them with arms or gunpowder in exchange for food. Not merely did they temptingly offer as much as a hundred baskets of potatoes for one musket, but they determinedly refused to receive any thing else as payment. The description of their behavior given by an early missionary represents them as treating the new arrivals with the most provoking contempt:
They are almost past bearing, coming into our houses when they please, demanding food, thieving whatever they can lay hands on, breaking down our garden-fences, stripping the ships' boats of every thing they can. They seem, in fact, ripe for every mischief.
Says the Rev. James Buller :
When at family prayer it was not uncommon for the natives to creep in and steal something. A chief, for instance, would secrete the teapot within his mat. One day the dinner was cooked in the yard; while the table was being laid inside a hawkeyed fellow got over the fence and walked
dinner, and all. On washing-days, basket and line, as well as garments, were tempting baits, and had to be narrowly watched.
In 1823, and before Mr. and Mrs. Leigh had left New Zealand, the Rev. Nathaniel Turner and Mrs. Turner, and the Rev. John Hobbs arrived. The mission party now consisted of four missionaries, a missionary's wife, an artisan, and a nurse-girl that Mrs. Turner had brought with her; of whom but one could speak the Maori language. Surrounding them were tribes described as the vilest in the land, of whose degradation Mr. Turner had very soon full proof, when one morning, not very far from his home, he came upon a small tribe preparing to sit down to feast on the body of a slave just cooked. A deputation from the London Missionary Society, consisting of the Rev. Messrs. Tyermann and Bennett, accompanied with a Mr. Thielkeld and son, had about this time a very narrow escape from being cooked and eaten. Putting in to Wangaroa, with the intention of seeing their Wesleyan brethren, the ship in which they were sailing, the “Endeavour," had no sooner been brought to anchor before the Maoris crowded the deck and began their pilfering tricks. In trying to clear the deck a chief was jostled by the captain, and fell into the sea. Thereupon the natives took possession of the ship, and made the officers and crew prisoners, at the same time arming themselves with axes, billets of wood, and whatever else they could lay hold of. Not one of the passengers or crew dare move. While
spears and clubs menaced the captain, Mr. Bennett was made secure by his arms being pinioned, his two friends being, at the same time, secured in another part of the ship. Terrible excitement prevailed, the howlings and yellings of the infuriated savages mingling in frightful discord as they menaced their helpless prisoners, who looked for every moment as their last. The ax had already been uplifted, awaiting but the signal to give the blow, when the attention of the cannibals was providentially diverted from their present murderous purpose by the appearance of a sail, which proved to be a boat having on board some of the Wesleyan missionaries and a native chief, Te Ara, the object of whose visit was to give an invitation to the deputation to visit Wesley Dale. Their timely appearance and interference saved the imperiled lives from destruction ; but the invitation was not accepted, for the visitors had received such a fright that they adjudged it wiser to at once take their departure. Accordingly, they lifted the anchor and went out to sea, two of the missionaries remaining on board with them until they were fairly away.
Nor was the mission party itself permitted to remain for long in undisturbed security. Addressing themselves cheerfully to their work, they had acquired the language, prepared several small books, and made visits to distant native villages, when suddenly their hopes of a bright day in store were for the present beclouded. Hongi, a blood-thirsty warrior, made an attack upon the tribes in the locality, and wrought fearful havoc among them. Robbery, fire, and slaughter prevailed, and the mission party with difficulty succeeded in making their escape. Gathering together some of their clothing, which they tied in a few small bundles, the fugitives, including Mrs. Turner and her three small children, hurried away from danger and from death, through forest and fern, for twenty miles, until they arrived at the Church of England mission station at Koriki. It was now too evident that all the tribes were more or less to be involved in horrible warfare ; and nothing remained for the party, who had lost their all, except a few articles of clothing, but to secure themselves by wholly departing from the scene of anarchy and blood. Accordingly, they left New Zealand for Sydney on January 31, 1827, where they remained for six months; at the end of which time, learning that a powerful chief, Patuone, who had saved their lives in their flight, was favorable to their return, the party, with the exception of Mr. and Mrs. Turner, returned, and settled on the river Hokianga, giving to the mission station the name of Mangungu, meaning in Maori, broken to pieces, a name appropriately descriptive of the irregular and broken appearance of the surrounding country. Mr. Turner returned to New Zealand in 1836, and remained in superintendence of the mission till 1839. On the death of Hongi, which took place soon after the missionaries' return, blood was again freely shed, and one of the most sanguinary contests that had been known in the country was threatened. "A great array of armed natives took place at Waima, ready for fierce encounter. By this time the mission aries had gained some influence over the savage mind, and, at the risk of their own lives, they ventured to mediate between the contestants, rejoicing after many days of delicate and difficult negotiations in being able to secure a mutual declaration of peace. In this victory of the gospel of peace over murderous passion and cannibalistic propensity, the missionaries beheld the first-fruits of a long and toilsome season of sowing in tears. These successful negotiations strengthened their hold upon the Maoris, who soon came to regard them as their friends and counselors. Distant tribes expressed their desire to receive among them the men, no longer strangers, whom they had begun to respect and love; the few books they had printed were eagerly received and mastered with gratifying diligence; while in many places unholy rites and superstitious incantations were abandoned for the pure and simple worship of the almighty God. In striking contrast with the ferocious character of the people from whom, a few years previously, Mr. Turner had to flee for his life, that devoted missionary was gratified by witnessing many instances of generosity and true kindness. One may be mentioned, when the missionaries' house was accidentally burned to the ground, at a time when his wife was confined to bed through illness for ten weeks. The fire occurring at night, the inmates had to escape in their night-dresses as best they could, when one of the native chiefs, throwing a blanket over Mrs. Turner, carried her away gently in his strong arms, and upon depositing her in a distant house, broke out in pathetic strains of sympathy: “O mother, let not your heart be distressed. Though your house and property are gone, your life, your husband, and your children are spared. I have no garments to give you; but you shall have pork and potatoes, and all such things as we have.”
Before Mr. Turner's return, in 1836, the Rev. Messrs. Whitebey, Wallis, and Woon had joined the little band; and in 1839 the Rev. John H. Bumby arrived, as successor in the superintendency to Mr. Turner, who was also accompanied by his sister, and the Rev. Messrs. Warren, Creed, and Ironside, with their wives. To these were added in the following year the Rev. Messrs. Buddle and Turton, with their wives, and Messrs. Buttle, Smales, and Aldred. It should be mentioned that as general superintendent of the Wesleyan missions in Australasia and Polynesia, the Rev. John Waterhouse was sent out by the English Missionary Society in 1839. His head-quarters were at Hobart Town, in Tasmania, whence he made several official visits to New Zealand, and where he died in 1842.
Nor was Mr. Bumby's career a long one; for while yet but thirty-two, in the full promise of usefulness, he met a sorrowful death, the year after his arrival in the colony. One day he was crossing the Waitemata in a canoe with twenty natives, himself seated in the stern with a book in his hand. A gentle breeze springing up, one of them rose to unfurl the sail, which, being heavy, others hastily stood up to assist him, capsizing the boat by so doing. Righting the canoe again, his brave boys succeeded in placing him in it; but some of them incautiously pressing into it, overturned it again. One of the Maoris, Hemi Karana, succeeded in placing his pastor on the upturned boat, where he supported him for half an hour, when a rolling wave passing over them drove them from their position, the missionary sinking beneath it before his faithful friend, who was a capital swimmer, had time to come to his
Fourteen out of the twenty were drowned. Eloquent as a preacher, and of thoughtful habits and studious tastes, the young missionary superintendent was much better adapted for the ministry in England than for the arduous and many-sided work of a missionary pioneer in New Zealand. Special gifts were his, but they had a most unsuitable sphere for their employment among fierce and proud warriors, upon whom the only telling arguments were plunder and blood and cannibalism.