essential to the carrying on this peculiar Mission that
we should have a vessel bi a peculiar kind.
I trust that by God's mercy I may find Wadro-
kala and Harper, two Nengone young men of
(say) twenty-four and seventeen respectively, at their
island, recovered from a fearful illness which nearly
carried them off last October and November.
spent last winter with me on the Banks Islands.
For years they have been with us. I trust that by
God's blessing they may ere long be ordained.
They have for three or four years been regular
communicants. They would be here now, but they
were so ill when I touched at Nens^one in November
that I dared not bring them on to New Zealand,
though they even then wished to come.
Tagalana, from Mota (Sugar Loaf Island), in the
Banks archipelago, is, I think, likely by God's great
mercy to become the first-fruits of that cluster of
islands unto Christ. He is here for the third time ;
and I have infinite comfort in seeinQf the earnestness
of his character, and the deep sense of what he was,
and what he is going to be, so truly realised.
He is now so unlike what still his people are, so
bright and open in manner, and all who see him
say, ' What is come to the lad, his manner and very
appearance so changed ! ' ' Clothed,' thank God, he
is, ' and in his right mind,' soon to sit, if not already
seated, at the feet of Christ. You may, if you think
fit, let your thoughts centre more especially in him.
He, of all who have come into my hands absolutely
stark naked and savage, gives now the greatest
5o6 Life of Jo Jin Coleridge Patteson [Ch. ix.
ground for hope and thanksgiving. I shall (D.V.)
think of all your dear friends assembled in your
church and house on St. Barnabas Day. May God
bless and reward you all for your work of charity
to Melanesia !
Very sincerely yours,
J. C. Patteson (Missionary Bishop).
P.S. — I hope to baptize that dear boy Tagalana on
his own island in the course of the winter. I should
wish to make the service as impressive as possible,
in the presence of as many islanders as I can bring
to the spot, under the shadow of a mighty banyan
tree, and above the sparkling waves of the great
The * Dunedin ' was patched up into sailing with
the new Bishop for his cathedral — the banyan tree of
It carried him away to his work, away from all
knowledge of the blow that was preparing for him at
home, and thinking of the delight that was in store
for his family in a visit from Mrs. Selwyn, who, im-
mediately before his Consecration, had returned home
to spend a year in England on business.
Sir John Patteson's happiness in his son's work and
worth were far greater than those of the actual worker,
having none of the drawbacks that consciousness of
weakness must necessarily excite. The joy this gave
his heart may, without exaggeration, be deliberately
said to have been full compensation for the loss of the
presence so nobly sacrificed. On January 22 he had
written to the Bishop of New Zealand : —
You write most kindly touching him, dear fellow,
and truly I am to be envied, qui natinn Jiabcrcni
tali ingenio prcedilion. Not for a moment have I
1 86 1.] Illness of Sh' John Pattcson 507
repented of giving' my sanction to his going out to
New Zealand ; and I fully believe that God will
prosper his work, I did not contemplate his be-
coming a Bishop, nor is that the circumstance which
gives me the great satisfaction I feel. It is his
devotion to so good a work, and that he should have
been found adequate to its performance ; whether as
a Bishop or as a Priest is not of itself of so much
Perhaps he may have been consecrated before
I am writing this, though I am puzzled as to the
time. . . .
May God bless with the fullest success the labours
of both of you in your high and Christian works !
There had for more than a year been cause of
anxiety for Sir John's health, but it was not the disease,
that had then threatened, which occasioned the follow-
ing calm-hearted letter to be written to his son : —
Feniton Court : March 22, i86r.
My own dearest Coley, — I promised always to tell you
the truth respecting myself, and will do so. About
a month ago, on my rising from reading prayers, the
girls and the Dawlish party who were here exclaimed
that my voice was broken, at which I laughed.
Whitby was in London, but his partner happened
to call, and looking at my throat found It relaxed,
and recommended a mustard poultice on the front.
When we came to put it on, we discovered that the
glands of the throat were much swelled and in hard
knots. Whitby returned in two days, and was much
alarmed. He declared that It was serious, and
nothing but Iodine could check it. I had been
unable to take Iodine under Watson some years ago,
as it affected my head tremenclousl)^ so he applied
5o8 Life of John Coleridge Patteson [Ch. IX.
it outwardly by painting ; this painting did not re-
duce them, and he strongly pressed my having
London advice, for he said that if not reduced and
the swellings increased internally, they would press
on the windpipe and choke me : it was somewhat a
surgical matter. So on Tuesday the 12th inst. we
went to London, and I consulted Paget. He entirely
agreed with Whitby, and thought it very serious,
and ordered iodine internally at all hazards. I took
it, and by God's mercy it agreed with me. Paget
wished to talk over the case with Watson, and they
met on the i6th, Saturday. They quite agreed, and
did not conceal from me that if iodine did not reduce
the swellings, and they should increase internally, the
result must be fatal. How soon, or in what particular
manner, they could not tell ; it might even become
cancerous. They did not wish me to stay in town,
but thought I was better here, and Paget, knowing
Whitby, has perfect confidence in his watching, and
will correspond with him, if necessary. At present
there is no reduction of the swellinQ;s. The iodine
has certainly lessened the pains in my limbs, but
does not seem, so to speak, to determine to the
throat, but it may be there has been hardly time to
say that it will not. My own impression is, that it
will not, and that it is highly improbable that I shall
last very long. I mean that I shall not see 1862,
nor perhaps the summer or autumn of this year. I
cannot tell why, but this near prospect of death has
not given me any severe shock, as perhaps it ought
to have done. It brings more than ever to my
mind serious recollection of the sins of my youth,
and the shortcomings of my after life in thousands
of instances. I have never been a hardened sinner,
but years ago, if I did what was sin, it smote mc,
1 86 1 .] Increasing Illness 509
and I tried to repent ; yet there has always been
in me a want of fervid love to God, and to my
blessed Redeemer for His unspeakable love in suffer-
ing for my sins ; but it has been cold — that may
have been the natural constitution of the man, I
cannot tell — but I never have placed my hopes of
forgiveness and of blessedness hereafter in anything
but in His merits, and most undeserved goodness in
offering me salvation, if I have not thrown it away.
But what shall I say ? As the time approaches, it
may please Him in his mercy to give me a warmer
heart, and a more vivid perception of all that He has
done for me. If I were to say that I am not a
sinner, the truth w^ould not be in me ; and if I am
washed in His blood and cleansed, it is not by any
efforts or merits of my own, but by His unlimited
mercy and goodness. Pray for me, that when the
time comes I may not for any fears of death fall
from Him. You know that as far as regards this
world and its enjoyments, save the love of my dear
good children, they have sate but lightly upon me
for some time ; but it is not because we have no-
thing that we are unwilling to leave, therefore we
are prepared for that which is to come. Perhaps it
may please God to give me still a short time that I
may try more strenuously to prepare myself. We
shall never meet again in this world. Oh ! may
Almighty God in His infinite mercy grant us to meet
again in His kingdom, through the merits of our
blessed Redeemer. . . .
Oh ! my dearest Coley, what comfort I have had
in you — what delightful conversations we have had
together, and how thankful we ought to be to our
gracious God for allowing it to be so : and still not
less thankful for the blessings of being watched and
5IO Life of John Coleridge Pailesoii [Ch. IX.
comforted and soothed by the dear gu'ls, and by
that dear and good Jem. All so good in their
various ways, and I so little worthy of them ... of
Francis.^ That will indeed, humanely speaking, be
a terrible loss to his family, for they want his fatherly
care, and will do so for years. Not so with me ; and
as I am in my seventy-second year, it cannot be said
that I am cut off prematurely ; but on the contrary,
fall like a fruit or a sheaf at its proper ripeness. Oh !
that It may be so spiritually indeed.
Another letter followed the next month.
Fcniton Coiiit : April 24, 1861.
My own dearest Coley, — How many more letters you
may receive from me, God only knows, but, as I
think, not many. The iodine fails altogether, and
has produced no effect on the swellings in my
throat ; on the contrary, they steadily increase,
though not rapidly. Doubtless they will have their
own course, and in someway or other deliver my
soul from the burden of the flesh. Oh ! may it by
God's mercy be the soul of a faithful man ! Faith
and love I think I have, and have long had : but
I am not so sure that I have really repented for my
past sins, or only abandoned them when circum-
stances had removed almost the temptation to
commit them. Yet I do trust that my repentance
has generally been sincere, and though I may have
fallen again, that I may by God's grace have risen
airain. I have no assurance that I have fouo'ht the
good fight like St. Paul, and that henceforth there
is laid up a crown of gold ; }'ct I have a full and
linn li()])c that I am not be)ond the pale of God's
' Jliis alludcb l(j tlic long and lingering illness of l'"rancis Coleridge,
the eldest of Ihc nuich-loved familv al the Manor House.
1 86 1.] Increasing Ilbicss 511
mercy, and that I may have hold of the righteous-
ness of Christ, and may be partaker of that happi-
ness which He has purchased for His own by His
atoning blood. No other hope have I ; and in all
humility I from my heart feel that any apparent
good that I may have done has been His work in
me and not my own. May it please Him that you
and I, my dear son, may meet hereafter together
with all those blessed ones, who have already
departed this life in His faith and fear, in His
My head aches occasionally, and is not so clear as
it used to be. . . . The next mail will bring us more
definite news, if indeed I am not myself removed
before then. ... I am afraid that you discern by
what I have written that I am become stupid, and
though I could never write decently, yet you will
see that continued dull pain in the head, and other
pains in various parts, have made me altogether
heavy and stupid. I have had the kindest letters
and messages from various quarters when it became
known, as it is always very soon, that my health
was in a precarious state : one particularly from the
Bishop of Lichfield^ (all companions in Old Court,
King's, you know) which is very consoling. He
says. If not for such as you, for whom did Christ
die ? I will not go on in such strains, for it is of no
use. Only do not despair of me, my beloved Son,
and believe me always,
Your loving Father,
' Bishop Lonsdale.
512 Life of yohn Coleridge Patteson [ch. IX.
Feniton Court : May 25, 1861,
O my own dearest Coley, — Almighty God be thanked
that he has preserved my Hfe to hear from you and
others of your actual consecration as a Missionary
Bishop of the Holy Catholic Church : and may He
enable you by His grace and the powerful assistance
of His Spirit to bring to His Faith and fear very
many who have not known Him, and to keep and
preserve in it many others who already profess and
call themselves Christians.
I was too ill to be present at the whole service on
Sunday, but I attended the Holy Sacrament, and
hope to do so to-morrow. We have with us our
dear Sarah Selwyn, who came on Thursday : she
came in the most kind and affectionate spirit, the
first visit that she could make, that she might if
possible see me : ' I will go and see him before he
dies.' What delight this has been to me you may
easily imagine, and what talk, and what anecdotes
we have had about you and all your circle ; for
though your letters have all along let us in wonder-
fully into your daily life, yet there were many things
to be filled up, which we have now seen more clearly
and more perfectly recollect as long as our lives are
What at present intensely fills our hearts and
minds is all that took place on St. Matthias Day,
and the day or two before and after. Passages and
circumstances there were, which it is almost wonder-
ful that you all could respectively bear, some affect-
ing one the more and sonie the other ; but the
absorbing feeling that a great work was then done,
and the ardent trust and prayer that it might turn
out to the glory of God, and the good of mankind,
supported every one, I have no doubt. It was
1 86 1.] Last Days of Sii^ JoJui Pattcson 513
about one of those days that I was first informed of the
nature of the complaint which had just been dis-
covered, and which is bringing me gradually to the
Trinity Sunday. — I am just returned from receiv-
ing the Holy Sacrament. You will do so the same
in a few hours, and they may well be joined together,
and probably the last that you and I shall receive
together in this world. My time is probably very
short. Dear Sarah will hereafter tell you more par-
ticulars of these few days. Dear Joan and Fanny are
watching me continually ; it is hard work for them
continually and most uncertain, but in my mind it
cannot be very long. Jem is here helping them
continually, but his wife's mother is grievously ill
at a relation's in Gloucestershire, and I will not have
him withdrawn from her. I hope that next week
she may be removed to Jem's new cottage, next
Hyde Park, and then they, Joan and Fanny will
watch me, and Jem on a telegraph notice may come
to me. If I dare express a hope, it is that this
state of things may not last long. But I have no
desire to express any hope at all ; the matter is in
the hands of a good God, who will order all things
as is best. ... I would write more, but I am under
the serious impression that I shall be dead before
this letter reaches you.
May our Almighty God, three Persons, blessed
for evermore, grant that we may meet hereafter in a
blessed eternity !
One more letter was written : —
Feniton Court, Honiton : June 12, 1861.
Oh ! my dearest Right Reverend well-beloved Son,
how I thank God that it has pleased Him to save
I, L L
514 Life of John Coleridge Patteson [Ch. ix.
my life until I heard of the actual fact of your being
ordained and consecrated, as I have said more than
once since I heard of it. May it please Him to
prolong your life very many years, and to enable
you to fulfil all those jDurposes for which you have
been now consecrated, and that you may see the
fruit of your labour of love before He calls you to
His rest in heaven. But if not, may you have laid
such foundations for the spread of God's Word
throughout the countries committed to your charge,
that when it pleases God to summon you hence,
you may have a perfect consciousness of having
devoted all your time and labour, and so far as you
are concerned have advanced all the works as fastly
and as securely as it seem fit to your great Assister,
the Holy Spirit, that they should be advanced.
Only conceive that an old Judge of seventy-two,
cast out of his own work by infirmity, should yet
live to have a son in the Holy Office of Bishop, all
men rejoicing around him ; and so indeed they do
rejoice around me, mingling their loving expressions
at my illness and approaching death. . . .
I shall endeavour to write at intervals between
this and July mail. It tries me to write much at a
Your loving Father,
The calm of these letters was the pervading spirit
of Feniton. With perfect cheerfulness did the aged
Judge await the summons, aware that he carried the
* sentence of death within himself,' and that the manner
of his summons would probably be in itself sudden —
namely, one of the choking fits that increased in fre-
qucnc)\ He lived on with his children and relations
1 86 1 .] Tidings of the Consecration 5 1 5
round him, spending his time in his usual manner, so
far as his strength permitted — bright, kind, sunny as
ever, and not withdrawing his interest from the cares
and pleasures of others, but glad to talk more deeply,
though still peacefully, of his condition and his hopes.
One thing only troubled him. Once he said, and with
tears in his eyes, to his beloved brother-in-law. Sir
John Coleridge : ' Woe unto you when all men shall
speak well of you,' adding to this effect, ' Alas ! that
this has been my lot without my deserts. It pains me
now ! '
But as this popularity had come of no self-seeking
nor attempt to win applause, it was a grief that was
soon dispelled. Perhaps if there was one strong wish,
it was to hear of his son's actually having been received
into the order of Bishops, and that gratification was
granted to him. The letters with the record of
consecration arrived in time to be his Whitsuntide joy
— joy that he still participated in the congregation,
for though not able to be at church for the whole
service he still was always present at the celebration
of the Holy Communion.
On the day the letters came, there was great peace,
and a kind of awful joy on all the household. For
many weeks past, Sir John had not attempted to read
family prayers, but on this evening he desired his
daughters to let him do so. Where in the prayer
for missionaries he had always mentioned, ' the absent
member of this family,' he added in a clear tone,
* especially for John Coleridge Patteson, Missionary
Bishop.' That was the father's one note of triumph,
the last time he ever led the household prayers. In
a day or two Mrs. Selwyn came to him, and he wrote
the following to the Bishop of New Zealand.
L L 2
5t6 Life of John Coleridge Patteson [Ch. ix.
Feniton Court : May 24, 1861.
My very dear Friend, — Here I am, and I have with
me your dear and good wife, who arrived yesterday.
She looks well, and I trust is so. She has arranged
her visits so as to come to me as soon as possible.
' I will go and see him before he die,' and I feel
sensibly the kindness of it. What a mercy is it that
my life should have been preserved to receive from
my dear son Coley and from you by letter the
account of his having been consecrated by you as
Bishop of the true Catholic Church. There were
[accounts ?] of that most impressive service, which,
had I been present, would have, I fear, sent me to
the floor ; and you and Coley must have had
difficulty in holding up at those feeling statements
of your having received him at my old hands.
When you so received him, it was known I was
satisfied that his heart was really fixed on this
missionary work — that he felt a call to it. I believe
you know, and I am sure God knows, that I had not
the most distant notion in my mind that it would lead
to his becoming a Bishop, nor do I now rejoice in the
result, simply on account of the honour of the office ;
but because my confidence in the honesty and sin-
cerity of his then feelings has been justified, and that
it has pleased God to endow him with such abundant
graces. May it please God that you should continue
together in your respective governments in His
Church many years, and that we may all meet to-
gether in His kingdom above !
When I parted with him I did not expect to see
his face on earth, yet perhaps I hardly expected that
our separation would be so soon, though I am in my
seventy-second year. But in February I discovered
these swellings in my throat ; which, humanly speak-
1 86 1.] Death of Sir John Patteson 517
ing, could only be cured by iodine. Iodine has
failed, and other attempts at a cure fail also ; and it
is only a question of time when the soul will be de-
livered from the burthen of the flesh. So indeed it
is with all human beings ; but it is one thing to know
• this as a general proposition, and another to know
that the particular minister of death has hold of you,
and that you are really only living from day to day.
For all your many kindnesses to all of us and to my
son, I thank you from the very bottom of my soul,
and pray that we may meet hereafter, through the
merits, and for the sake of our blessed Mediator and
Redeemer Jesus Christ our Lord, that as we have
striven on earth to be followers of Him and His
glory, so we may be partakers of it in Heaven.
Your loving Friend,
The July mail was without a letter from the father.
The end had come in the early morning of June 28,
1 86 1, with a briefer, less painful struggle than had been
thought probable, and the great, sound, wise, tender
heart had ceased to beat.
There is no need to dwell on the spontaneous
honours that all of those who had ever been connected
with him paid to the good old Judge, when he was
laid beside his much-loved wife in Feniton churchyard.
Bishop Sumner of Winchester, the friend of his boy-
boy, read the funeral service.
' His works do follow him :' and we turn to that work
of his son's, in which assuredly he had his part, since
one word of his would have turned aside the course
that had brought such blessing on both, had he not
accepted the summons, even as Zebedee, when he was
left by the lake side, while his sons became fishers of
5i8 Life of John Coleridge Patteson [Ch. ix.
Unknowing of the tidings in reserve for him, the
Bishop was on his voyage, following the usual course ;
hearing at Anaiteum that a frightful mortality had
prevailed in many of these southern islands. Measles
had been imported by a trader, and had, in many cases,
brought on dysentery, and had swept away a third of
Mr. Geddie's Anaiteum flock. Mr. Gordon's letters
had spoken of it as equally fatal in Erromango, and
there were reports of the same, as well as of famine
and war, in Nengone.
On touching there, it proved that the sickness had
been less severe there, but that a war was still going
on between the Christians and heathen, and that about
fourteen had been killed. Wadrokala was quite well
again, and had just married a little wife, about thirteen
years old, and already able to read well. She was
taken on board for further education, together with her
husband. Harper was not equally recovered, and
dreaded another stay at Mota, though he came with
the Bishop to Lifu, and there was left as the guest of
John Cho, with whom the Bishop spent Saturday
night in talking over the sadly-perplexed affairs of the
island. 'God will give me men in His time; for
could I be cut up into five pieces already I would be
living at Nengone, Lifu, Mai, Mota and Bauro ! ' was
the comment on this visit ; and this need of men
inspired a letter to his uncle Edward, on a day dear to
the Etonian heart.
Schooner ' Dunedin,' 60 tons.
In sight of Erromango, New Hebrides: June 4, 1861.
My dear Tutor, — Naturally I think of Eton and of
you especially to-day. I hope you have as fine a
day coming on for the cricket-match and for Surley
as I have here. Thermometer 81° ; Tanna and Erro-
1 86 1.] What Sort of Men are wanted 519
mango, with their rugged hilly outlines, breaking the
line of the bright sparkling horizon.
I managed to charter the vessel for the voyage
just in time to escape cold weather in New Zealand.
She is slow, but sound ; the captain a teetotaller,
and crew respectable in all ways. So the voyage,
though lengthy, is pleasant.
I have some six or seven classes to take, for they
speak as many more languages ; and I get a little
time for reading and writing, but not much.
I need not tell you how heavily this new responsi-
bility presses on me, as I see the islands opening,
and at present feel how very difficult it must be to
obtain men to occupy this opening.
True, we have not to contend with subtle and
highly-elaborated systems of false religions. It is the
ignorantia pttrcs negatio7iis, comparatively speaking,