that visibly almost overpowered their subject : —
' In this work of God, belonging to all eternity,
and to the Holy Catholic Church, are we influenced
by any private feelings, any personal regard } The
charge which St. Paul gives to Timothy, in words of
awful solemnity, " to lay hands suddenly on no man,"
may well cause much searching of heart. " I charge
thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the
elect angels, that thou observe these things, without
preferring one before another, doing nothing by
partiality." Does our own partial love deceive us
in this choice ? We were all trained in the same
place of education, united in the same circle of
friends ; in boyhood, youth, manhood, we have
1 86 1.] The Consecration 491
shared the same services, and joys, and hopes, and
fears. I received this, my son in the ministry of
Christ Jesus, from the hands of a father, of whose
old age he was the comfort. He sent him forth
without a murmur, nay, rather with joy and thank-
fulness, to these distant parts of the earth. He
never asked even to see him again, but gave him
up without reserve to the Lord's work. Pray, dear
brethren, for your Bishops, that our partial love may
not deceive us in this choice, for we cannot so strive
against natural affection as to be quite impartial.'
And again, as the Primate, addressing more
especially his beloved son in the ministry, ex-
claimed, * May Christ be with you when you go
forth in His name, and for His sake, to those poor
and needy people,' and his eye went along the
dusky countenances of his ten boys, Coleridge
Patteson could hardly restrain his intensity of
Another letter from the same lady to the sisters
adds further details to the scene, after describing the
figures in the church : —
Lady Martin, who had never seen the dress (the
cassock and rochet) before, said that Coley reminded
her of the figures of some young knight watching
his armour, as he stood in his calm stedfastness, and
answered the questions put to him by the Primate.
The whole service was very nicely ordered, and
the special Psalm well chanted. With one exception
(which was, alas ! the Veni Creator), the music was
good, and Coley says was a special help to him ; the
pleasure of it, and the external hold that it gave,
helping him out of himself, as it were, and sustaining
492 Life of yohn Coleridge Patteson [Ch. ix.
Lady Martin adds her touch to the picture ; and it
may perhaps be recorded for those who may in after
times read the history of the first Bishop of the
Melanesian Church, that whatever might be wanting
in the beauty of St. Paul's, Auckland, never were
there three Bishops who outwardly as well as inwardly
more answered to the dignity of their office than
the three who stood over the kneeling Coleridge
I shall never forget the expression of his face as
he knelt in the quaint rochet. It was meek and
holy and calm, as though all conflict was over and he
was resting in the Divine strength. 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 then the long line of island boys, and of
St. Stephen's native teachers and their wives, were
living testimonies of Mission work. Coley had told
us in the morning of a consecration he had seen at
Rome, where a young Greek deacon had held a large
illuminated book for the Pope to read the words of
Consecration. We had no such gorgeous dresses
as they, but nothing could have been more simply
beautiful and touching than the sight of Tagalana's
young face as he did the same good ofiice. There
was nothing artistic about it ; the boy came forward
with a wondering yet bright look on his pleasant
face, just dressed in his simple grey blouse.
You will read the sermon, so there is no need to
talk about it. Your brother was overcome for a
minute at the reference to his father, but the comfort
and favour of His Heavenly Master kept him
sinc^ularly calm, though the week before he had
i86i.] Fellozvship at Mcrto)i 493
undoubtedly had much struggle, and his bodily health
All the friends who were thus brought together were
like one family, and still called the new Bishop by the
never disused abbreviation that recalled his home. He
was the guest of the now retired Chief Justice and
Lady Martin, who were occupying themselves in a
manner probably unique in the history of law and
lawyers, by taking charge of the native school at St.
The next two were great days of letter writing.
Another long full letter was written to the father,
telling of the additional record which each of the three
consecrating Bishops had written in the Bible of his
childhood, and then going into business matters,
especially hoping that the Warden and Fellows of
Merton would not suppose that as a Bishop he
necessarily had 5,000/. a year and a palace, whereas in
fact the see had no more than the capital of 5,000/.
required by Government ! He had already agreed with
his father that his own share of the inheritance should
go to the Mission ; and, as he says, on hearing the
amount : —
Hard enough you worked, my dear Father, to leave
your children so well off. Dear old Jem will have
enough ; and my children now dwell in 200 islands,
and will need all that I can o-ive them. God erant
that the day may come when many of them may
understand these things, and rise up and call your
memory blessed !
Your words of comfort and blessing come to
me with fresh strength just now, two days only after
the time when you too, had you been here, would in
private have laid your hand on my head and called
494 Life of John Coleridge Patteson [Ch. ix.
down God's blessing upon me. I shall never know
in this world what I owe to your prayers.
There is much, too, of his brother's marriage ; and
in a separate letter to the sisters there are individual
acknowledgments of each article of the equipment,
gratifying the donor by informing her that the ' cutaway '
coat was actually to be worn that very evening at a
dinner party at the Chief Justice's, and admiring the
' o-ambroon,' which turned out to be the material of the
cassock, so much as to wish for a coat made of it for
the islands. Apropos of the hat :— ' You know my
forehead is square, so that an oval hat does not fit ; it
would hang on by the temples, which form a kind of
rieht anofle with the forehead.'
Another letter of that 26th was from the Bishop of
Wellington to Dr. Goodford respecting this much-loved
old pupil : —
You recollect probably that as a boy he was good,
pure, and true as gold, but then he.was very indolent,
and except at cricket or hockey showed no signs of
energy or ability, and I fancy his career at Oxford
was very similar. After being admitted to a Fel-
lowship at Merton, he seems by his own account to
have had his intellectual tastes stimulated by travel ;
but the repose of a small and pretty curacy in
Devonshire called out all his best moral feelings, yet
could hardly, I fancy, have developed much energy.
All this natural disposition to repose makes the
energy and devotedness of the last five years the
more remarkable and more evidently the work of
grace and duty.
Anything more conscientious and painstaking
cannot be conceived than the way he has steadily
directed every talent, every hour or minute of his
1 86 1.] " The Coining Work 495
life, to the one work he had set before him. However
small or uncongenial or drumdrudgery-like his oc-
cupation, however hard, or dangerous, or difficult,
it seemed to be always met in the same calm, gentle,
self-possessed spirit of love and duty, which I should
fancy that those who well knew his good and large-
minded, large-hearted father, and his mother, whom
I have always heard spoken of as saintly, could best
understand. Perhaps the most marked feature in
his character is his genuine simplicity and humility.
I never saw it equalled in one so gifted and so
honoured and beloved.
It is really creditable to the community to see how
universal is the admiration for his character, for he
is so very good, so exceedingly unworldly, and
therefore such a living rebuke to the selfishness of
the world ; and though so gentle, yet so firm and
uncompromising that you would have supposed he
would hardly be popular outside the circle of friends
who know him and, understand him. Certainly he is
the most perfect character I ever met.'
On the Monday, life and school at Kohimarama
went on as before. From the budget of the next mail
is extracted a letter to Mrs. Martyn : —
St. Andrew's College, Kohimarama : April 3.
My dear Sophy, — h letter from you by this mail
gives good accounts of you all. . . .
I know, dear Sophy, that you do think of and
pray for me, as you say. I don't suppose I realise
it yet ; but I shall have to learn what it is to be a
Bishop by the trials and anxieties that will come.
God will doubtless give strength, if only I seek it
aright ; but here is the point — I need the prayers of
you all indeed. Don't you often think, had dear
49^ Life of yohn Coleridge PatlesojL [Ch. ix.
Uncle been still with us in the body, what loving letters
he would have written — how, on the whole, he
would have rejoiced, as in a son of his own, yet
rejoiced with fear ; for the work is great, and the
responsibility — I may well dread to face the thought
of it ? I have never been alone yet, I have always
had natives with me — communicants. I am seven
months a-year absent from New Zealand, but never
alone for very long.
Last year, Mr. Dudley, two Nengone and two
Lifu men and I were the small band among the
heathen. This year Mr. Pritt (Bishop of Nelson's
chaplain) and Mr. Kerr go with me. Our Nengone
and Lifu friends will be, perhaps, picked up at their
islands. I may spend much of this winter in my
boat, and in other islands than Mota ; yet I shall,
D.V., return from time to time, and then administer
the blessed Sacrament. And very solemn it is to
be gathered together, a small group in the great
wide waste of Melanesia.
Those nights when I lie down, in a long hut,
among forty or fifty naked men, cannibals, the only
Christian on the island, that is the time, Sophy, to
pour out the heart in prayer and supplication that
they — those dark wild heathens about me — may be
turned from Satan unto God.
And now to me it is committed to ' hold up the
weak, heal the sick, bind up the broken, bring again
the otUcasts, seek the lost' those wonderful, beautiful
words ! How I held tight my Bible that dear Father
gave me on my fifth birthday, with both hands, and
the Bishop held it tight too, as he gave me that
charge in the name of Christ ; and I saw in spirit the
multitudes of Melanesia scattered as sheep amidst a
iS6i.] Installation of the Bishop 497
Good-bye, dear Sophy, my kindest love to dear Aunty,
and dear Pena.
Your loving Cousin,
J. C. Patteson, Missionary Bishop.
The last day of February was that of the Installa-
Again Mrs. Abraham must speak : —
On Thursday last we had another happy day
at Kohimarama, where Bishop Patteson was duly
installed in the temporary chapel of St. Andrew's
College, as we hope to call it, after the church at
Cocksmoor, in ' The Daisy Chain.' The morning was
grey, and we feared rain would keep us ladies away,
but we made the venture with our willing squire,
Mr. M , in the ' Iris' boat to help us. The pity
was, that after all Lady Martin could not go, as she
had an invalid among her Maori tlock, whom she
could not trust all day by herself. The day lightened,
and our sail was pleasant.
The Primate and Missionary Bishop planted a
Norfolk pine in the centre of the quadrangle — ' the
tree planted by the water side,' &c. The Bishop
then robed and proceeded to chapel, and the Primate
led the little service in which he spoke the words of
Installation, and the new Bishop took the oath
of allegiance to him. The Vcni Creator was sung,
and the Primate's blessing given. The island boys
looked on from one transept, the ' Iris' sailors from
another, and Charlie^ stood beside me. I am
afraid his chief remembrance of the day is fixed
upon Kanambat's tiny boat and outrigger, which
he sat in on the beach, and went on voyages, in
' Her little boy.
I. K K
498 Life of yolui Coleridge Patteson [Ch. ix.
which the owner waded by his side, and saw him
(Kanambat) skim along the waves hke a white butter-
fly. We all dined in hall, after the boys, on roast
beef and plum pudding, melons and w^ter melons,
and strolled about the place and beach at leisure, till
it was time to sail back again.
On the Sunday the new Bishop preached at St.
Mary's one of the sermons that broke from him
when he was too much excited (if the word may be
used) for his usual metaphysical style. The subject
was the promise of the Comforter, His eternal pre-
sence and anointing, and the need of intercessory
prayer, for which the preacher besought earnestly,
as one too young for his office, and needing to in-
crease in the Holy Spirit more and more. Very far
were these from beingf unrealised words. God's orrace
had gone along with him, and had led him through
every step and stage of his life, and so mastered his
natural defects, that friends who only knew him in
these years hear with Incredulous indignation of those
flaws he had conquered in his younger days. ' Fearless
as a man, tender as a woman, showing both the
best sides of human nature,' says one of the New
Zealand friends who knew him best ; ' always draw-
ing out the good in all about him by force of sym-
pathy, and not only taking care that nothing should
be done by others that he would not do himself, but
doing himself what he did not like to ask of them, and
thinking that they excelled him.' Humility, the effort
of his life, was achieved at last the more truly because
The letter to his father was again almost wholly on
money matters ; but at the end come two notable sen-
tences : —
t86i.] Tagahnia 499
How can I thank you for giving me up to this
work, and for all the wise and lovln"; words with
which you constantly cheer me and encourage me ?
Your blessing comes now to strengthen me, as work
and'responsibilities are fast accumulating upon me. I
thank God that He enables us at the two ends of the
world to see this matter in the same way, so that no
conflict of duties arises in my mind.
This book, ' Essa)'S and Reviews,' I have, but
pray send your copy also ; also any good books that
may be produced bearing on that great question of
the Atonement, and on Inspiration, Authority of
Scripture, &c. How sad it is to see that spirit of
intellectualism thinking to deal with religion in
forgetfulness of the necessar}^ conditions of humility
and faith ! How different from the true i
Kohimarama : April 29, 1861.
My dearest Father, — As I read your letters of Feb.
21-25, you are, I trust, reading mine, which tell
you of what took place on Feb. 24. That point is
settled. I almost fear to write that I am a Bishop
in the Church of Christ. May God strengthen me
for the duties of the oftice to which I trust He has
indeed called me !
As I read of what you say so .wisely and truly,
and dear Joan and Fan and Aunt James and all, of
my having expected results too rapidly at Mota, I
had sitting with me that dear boy Tagalana, who
for two months last winter was in the great sacred
enclosure, though, dear lad, not by his own will, yet
his faith was weak, and no wonder.
Now, God's holy name be praised for it, he is, I
verily believe, in his very soul, taught by the Spirit
to see and desire to do his dut}'. I feel more conii-
]v K 2
500 Life of fohn Coleridge Patteson [ch. IX.
dence about him than I have ever clone about any-
one who has come into my hands orighially in a
state of complete heathenism. It is not that his
knowledge only is accurate and clearly grasped, but
the humility, the loving spirit, the (apparent) per-
sonal appropriation of the blessing of having been
brought to know the love of God and the redemp-
tion wrought for him by the death of Christ ; this is
what, as I look upon his clear truthful eyes, makes
me feel so full of thankfulness and praise.
' But, Tagalana, if I should die, you used to say
that without my help you should perhaps fall back
again : is that true ? '
* No, no ; I did not feel it then as I do now In my
heart. I can't tell how it came there, only I know
He can never die, and will always be with me.
You knovv^ you said you were only like a sign-post,
to point out the way that leads to Him, and I see
that we ought to follow you, but to go altogether to
I can't tell you, my dearest Father, what makes up
the sum of my reasons for thinking that God is in His
mercy bringing this dear boy to be the first-fruits of
Mota unto Christ, but I think that there is an inward
teaching going on now in his heart, which gives me
sure hope, for I know it is not my doing.
All you all say about Mota is most true : I never
thought otherwise really, but I wrote down my
emotions and impulses rather than my deliberate
thoughts, that my letter written under such strange
circumstances might become as a record of the effect
produced day by day upon us by outward circum-
What some of you say about self-possession on
one's going about among the people being marvel-
i86i.] Thoughts on Missionary Work 501
lous, is just what of course appears to me common-
place. Of course It is wrong to risk one's life, but to
carry one's life in one's hand is what other soldiers
besides those of the Cross do habitually ; and no one,
as I think, would willingly hurt a hair of my head
in Melanesia, or that part of it where I am at all
How I think of those islands ! How I see those
bright coral and sandy beaches, strips of burning
sunshine fringing the masses of forest rising into
ridges of hills, covered with a dense mat of vegeta-
tion. Hundreds of people are crowding upon them,
naked, armed, with wild uncouth cries and gestures ;
I cannot talk to them but by signs. But they are
my children now ! May God enable me to do my
duty to them !
I have now as I write a deepening sense of what
the change must be that has passed upon me. Again
I go by God's blessing for seven months to Melanesia.
All that our experience has taught us we try to re-
member : food, medicine, articles of trade and barter.
But what may be the result ? Who can tell ?
You know it is not of myself that I am thinking.
If God of His great mercy lead me in His way, to
me there is little worth living for but the going on-
ward with His blessed work, though I like my talks
with the dear Bishop and the Judge. But others
are committed to me — Mr. Pritt and Mr. Kerr go
with me. Shall I find dear old Wadrokala and Harper
alive, and if alive, well ?
And yet, thank God, we go on, day by day, so
happy, so hopeful !
I see two sermons by the Bishop of Oxford, ' God's
Revelation Man's Trial,'please send them. They bear,
I conclude, on the controversy of the day. I need
502 Life of John Coleridge Patteson [Ch. ix.
not tell you that I find a very great Interest In read-
ing these books, or rather at present In talking now
and then, when we meet, with the Judge on the
subject of which those books treat. The books I
have not read. But I know no refreshment so great
as the reading any books which deal with these
questions thoughtfully. I hope you don't think It
wrong and dangerous for me to do so ; pray tell me.
I don't believe that I am wrong In doing it, yet it
may be that I read them as an intellectual treat, and
prefer them to thoughtful l^ooks on other subjects
because they deal with a study which I am a little
more conversant with than with history, science, &c.
Besides, I do see that we have, many of us, very
vague notions of the meaning of terms vvdiich we use,
and I see that I must be prepared (I speak for my-
self) to expect that a clergyman may not with im-
punity use a language wanting In definlteness and
precision. It is possible that men do too passively
receive hereditary and conventional opinions which
never have a living reality to them. But this, you
know, I do not confound with the humble submission
to authoritative teaching, given upon authority, to
supersede the necessity of every person investigating
for himself the primary grounds of his religious
It is quite evident that the verdict passed by you,
and generally by the Bishops and others at home,
must be conclusive to all persons of ordinary humility
as to * Essays and Reviews.' I do not, I hope, express
the slightest disposition to trille with so solemn a
matter If I say that a personal knowledge of an
author's idiosyncrasy may enable a man to account
for some things which to him by reason of that
personal knowledge appear less startling than they
1 86 1.] Controversies of the Day 503
do to a stranger. This docs not affect the general
import of a man's words or writings. I have only
glanced at Jowett's Essay in that volume, I cannot
profess to know anything about it. But I should
like to ask him this simple question : — Have the
clergy of the Churcli of England, or have they not,
a positive teaching committed to their trust, which
they are commissioned to deliver ? If they have, is it
conceivable that upon his principle of interpretation
such positive teaching can be intelligible to the great
mass of the people ? Is scientific enquiry to be
substituted for the simple acceptance of authorised
creeds ? Is there to be professedly an esoteric treat-
ment of all doctrinal truth ?
Meanwhile the book and the consciousness of the
existence among us of the spirit which produced the
book, may result in calling forth a greater appreciation
of the necessity of a more distinct teaching of dogmatic
It is worth noting how the Bishop submits his
reading to his father's approval, as when he was a
young boy. Alas ! no more such letters of comfort
and counsel would be exchanged. This one could
hardly have been received by that much-loved father.
Preparations for the voyage were going on ; but the
' Dunedin,' the only vessel to be procured, at best a
cart-horse to a racer compared with the ' Southern
Cross,' was far from being in a satisfactory state, as
appears in a note of the 3rd of May to the Bishop of
Wellington : —
Here we are still. The only vessel that I could
make any arrangement about not yet returned, and
known to be in such a state that the pumps were
going every two hours. I have not chartered her,.
504 Life of Johii Coleridge Patteson [Cn. ix.
but only agreed with the owner a month ago nearly
that I would take her at a certain sum per day,
subject to divers conditions about being caulked
(which is all she wants, I have ascertained), being
provided with spare sails, spars, chronometer, boat,
&€., and all agreement to be off unless by a certain
day (already past) she was in a state satisfactory
to Mr. Kerr. But there is, I fear, none other, and I
am in a difficulty.
Thank God, the weather is not cold, though rough
and wet, and my small party continues in excellent
health and spirits.
My dear Father has not been so well — not, as far as
I can see, breaking up yet, but still I am trying to
hold myself in readiness for what may come. ... I
know you will not fail to think of us all, and especially
of me. Sometimes I think it hardly can be real.
Of the same day is a letter to the Rev. Stephen
Hawtrey : —
Taurarua, Auckland : May 6, 1861.
My dear Mr. Hawtrey, — I was highly pleased to re-
ceive a note from you. Though I never doubt of
■ the hearty sympathy and co-operation of all Eton
friends (how could you do so with such an annual
subscription list ?), yet it is very pleasant and more
than pleasant to be reminded by word or by letter
that prayers and wishes are being offered up for
Melanesia by many good men throughout the world.
I hope my letter to Dr. Goodford will make our
present position and our future prospects intelligible
to you. I should like to send a special appeal for a
Mission Vessel by the next mail. We cannot get on
without one. Vessels built for freight are to the
' Southern Cross ' as a cart-horse to a thoroughbred
186 1.] Need of a Mission Vessel 505
steed, and we must have some vessel which can. do
the work quickly among the multitude of the isles,
and man)^ other reasons there are which we seamen
only perhaps can judge fully, which make it quite