I am very hopeful about the Banks Archipelago,
though at Mota only has any real work been done,
and there it is but the beginning. I think that from
Fanny you will have heard enough to make it un-
necessary for me to write more, and I have but a
Dear Mr. Keble wrote me a letter when
Fanny was at Hursley, such a great pleasure to me.
Oh ! so humbling to receive such a letter from him !
What do you say to this plan of Joan and Fan ?
If they clearly see the difficulties, and yet resolve
to come, what joy for me ! To talk over all that
took place last year at Feniton, to pour out long
suppressed feelings. Ah ! I must not think it a
reality yet. Much may happen in a few months
even should they come ; and I hope to visit many
islands this winter among which there are some
where I know I must be cautious.
I need not tell )'ou that you are specially remem-
bered in thought when we pray and give thanks
daily for all who, by prayers and almsgiving, are
partakers with us in the ministry.
Your affectionate Cousin,
J. C. Patteson, Missionary Bishop.
Fanny Patteson had spent several days at Hursley
in the course of the winter, and the Vicar and Mrs.
Keble had greatly delighted in hearing her brother's
letters. The following letter from Mr. Keble was
written, as will be perceived, immediately after hearing
the account of the Baptism of the dying child at
Mota : —
i862.] Letter from John Keble 563
Hursley, February 19, 1862.
My dear Bishop Patteson, — I seat myself down on a
low chair between the pictures of your uncle and
your Metropolitan, and that by command of your
sister, who is on a footstool in the corner opposite,
I to send two words, she 200, or, for aught I know,
2,000, to greet you on the other side of the world.
We have the more right, as your kind sisters have
kept us well up to your Missionary doings from time
to time, and we seem to be very often with you on
board or in your islands (I say we, for my dear wife
is more than half of me, as you may well suppose,
in such sympathies), and it seems to me that, perhaps,
in the present state of your island or sea-work you
may have more time than by-and-by for thinking of
one and another; anyhow we trust that that may
happen which we ask for every evening — that we
may be vouchsafed a part in the holy prayers which
have been that day offered to the Throne of Grace,
in Melanesia or elsewhere. I don't know whether I
am right, but I fancy you at times something between
a Hermit and a Missionary. God grant you a double
blessing ! and as you are a Bishop besides, you will
breathe us a blessing in return for this, such as it is.
Fanny's visit has been, as you know it would be,
most charming and genial to us old folks (not that
my wife ought to be so spoken of), and I shall always
think it so kind of her to have spared us the time
when she had so much to do and so short a time to
do it in : but she seems like one going about with a
bag of what Bishop Selwyn calls ' hope-seed,' and
sowing it in every place ; yet when one comes to
look close at it, it all consists of memories, chiefly
you know of zvhom. I only wish I could rightly and
564 Life of John Coleridge Pattesofi [Ch. ix.
truly treasure up all she has kindly told us of your
dear Father ; but it must be a special grace to
remember and really understand such things. It
will be a most peculiar satisfaction, now that we have
had her with us in this way, to think of you all three
together, should God's Providence allow the meeting
of which we understand there is a hope. The last
thing she has told us of is the baptism on St.
Barnabas' Day — ' the first fruits of Mota unto
Christ.' What a thought — what a subject for prayer
and thanksgiving ! God grant it may prove to you
more than we can ask or think.
Ever yours, my dear Bishop,
Don't trouble yourself to write, but think of us.
Of course there was no obeying this postscript, and
the immediate reply was : —
My dear dear Mr, Keble, — Few things have ever
given me more real pleasure than the receipt of your
letter by this mail. I never doubted your interest
in New Zealand and Melanesia, and your affection
for me for my dear Father's sake. I felt quite sure
that prayers were being offered up for us in many
places, and where more frequently than at Hursley ?
Even as on this day, five years ago, when I touched
the reef at Guadalcanar, in the presence of three
hundred armed and naked men, (I heard afterwards)
prayers were being uttered in the dead of your
night by my dear old governess. Miss Neill, that
God would have me in his safe keeping. But it is
most pleasant, most helpful to me, to read your
letter, and to feel that I have a kind of right now to
write to you, as I hope I may do while I live fully
1 862.] Missionary Pleasures 565
I do not say a word concerning the idea some of you
in England seem to take of my life here. It is very
humbling to me, as it ought to be, to read such a
letter from you. How different it is really !
If my dear sisters do come out to me for a while,
which, after their letters by this February mail,
seems less impossible than before, they will soon see
what I mean : a missionary's life does not procure
him any immunity from temptations, nor from falling
into them ; though, thanks be to God, it has indeed
its rich and abundant blessings. It is 2. blessed
thing to draw a little fellow, only six months ago a
wild little savage, down upon one's knee, and hear
his first confession of his past life, and his shy
hesitating account of the words he uses when he
prays to his newly-found God and Saviour. These
are rare moments, but they do occur ; and, if they
don't, why the duty is to work all the same.
The intelligence of some of these lads and young
men really surprises me. Some with me now, last
October were utterly wild, never had worn a stitch
of clothing, were familiar with every kind of vice.
They now write an account of a Scripture print, or
answer my MS. questions without copy, of course,
fairly and legibly in their books, and read their own
language — only quite lately reduced to writing — with
ease. What an encouragement ! And this applies
to, I think, the great majority of these islanders.
One child, I suppose some thirteen or fourteen
years of age, I baptized on Christmas Day. Three
days afterwards I married her to a young man who
had been for some years with us. They are both
natives of Nengone, one of the Loyalty Isles. I ad-
ministered the Holy Eucharist to her last Saturday,
and she is dying peacefully of consumption. What
566 Life of John Coleridge Patteson [Cm. ix.
a blessed thing ! This Httle one, fresh from Baptism,
with all Church ministrations round her, passing
gently away to her eternal rest. She looks at me
with her soft dark eyes, and fondles my hand, and
says she is not unhappy. She has, I verily believe,
the secret of real happiness in her heart.
I must write more when at sea. I have very
little time here.
I hope by God's blessing to make a long round
among my many Islands this winter ; some, I know,
must be approached with great caution. Your prayers
will be offered for me and those with me, I know,
and am greatly comforted by the knowledge of it.
Fanny tells me what you have said to her about
supplying any deficit in the money required for our
vessel. I feel as if this ought not in one sense to
come upon you, but how can I venture to speak to
you on such matters ? You know all that I think
and feel about it. Send me once more your
blessing. I feel cares and anxieties now. My kind
love to Mrs. Keble.
J. C. Patteson, Missionary Bishop.
It was little Mary, Harper Malo's bride, who was
thus, like so many of her countrywomen, sinking in
decline. She died a month or two later.
The other reference in his letter is to a plan of his
sisters of coming out to pay him a visit of a year before
they made a new home for themselves after their father's
death — a plan then under deliberation, and which
afforded him great pleasure while he dwelt on the hope.
The same mail took the following letter, in acknow-
ledgment for the photograph.
1 862. ] Desire for L etters 567
St. Andrew's College, Auckland: May 9, 1862.
Mr dear Dr. Moberly, — I have no right to address
you ill this way ; nor, indeed, to occupy your time
by writing to you at all ; and yet you will not think
it wrong nor unnatural.
I hear much of you, as I have always known
much, from friends in England ; and you cannot
wonder at my greatly desiring to know personally
those who take so true and loving an interest in this
It is not so much because I see your name in the
Ship List at my banker's, that I write to you. I
should not dream of thanking you in the ordinary
way for a gift so bestowed ; but I know that your
prayers and your love go along with your gift, and
for them I may and do thank you.
This last mail brings to me a note from Mr.
Keble. I can hardly tell you how large a space
that little note fills in my mind. It is a real comfort
and help to me ; and a letter from you, too, if you
can find time now and then to send only a line, will
greatly encourage and strengthen me. I know that
you are praying for us, but it is good too to read the
loving earnest words in the midst of my busy, busy,
life ; and you will give me this that I ask for, I
know. Miss Yonge sent me the other day a photo-
graph of Hursley with Mr. and Mrs. Keble, and
you too, so that I think of you all together.
You know something of me, perhaps, from my
dear good Aunt (as I call her). Miss Rennell ; ^ so
that, on the whole, I have some excuse for sending this
note. I sail (D.V.) for Melanesia in a month, hoping
to make a long round, and to visit many islands.
' Daughter of Dean Rennell of Winchester and sister of Mrs. WiUiam
568 Life of JoJm Coleridge Patteson [Ch. ix.
We number four clergymen now, and three native
teachers. Mr. Pritt and Mr. Dudley will be again
at Mota for the winter ; and Mr. Kerr and I intend,
all being well, to sail together. He has been sadly
prostrated by fever and ague, and I dare not leave
him on an island again just yet ; indeed, I wish to
look in upon the others pretty often. The climate
is trying — not, I think, dangerous ; but we have to
go through an acclimatising process.
The Primate is well, and rejoicing in the return
of his wife and son. How much I wish I had time
to write to you and others fully of the working of
our Synods ; the real power that the Church is
thereby exercising ; the reality in her living organi-
sation, which is operating on man, woman, and
child in this country ; so little comparatively left to
depend upon the individual efforts of the particular
clergyman or Bishop even, but the Church collec-
tively doing her work, and affording her own
guarantee for that work being a permanent one. It
is a great and deep subject, and I cannot write upon
it now. It is, no doubt, a matter of earnest con-
sideration with you all, who know so much more of
the theory, but may perhaps scarcely realise the
actual existence of such a machinery.
I feel sure that you will not mind my writing to
I remain, my dear Dr. Moberly,
Very truly yours,
J. C. Patteson, Missionary Bishop.
Two more notes followed in quick succession to
Hursley Vicarage, almost entirely upon the matter of
the new * Southern Cross,' which was being built under
Mr. Tilly's eye. The two Bishops were scrupulous
about letting Mr. Kcble give more than a fair proportion
1 862.] Farewell before the Voyage 569
towards the vessel, which was not to cost more than
3,000/., though more roomy than her lamented pre-
decessor. Meantime the 'Sea Breeze' was again to
serve for the winter voyage : —
St. Barnabas Day, Auckland : 1862.
My dear Sisters, — Think of my being ashore, and in a
Christian land on this day ! So it is. We sail
(D.V.) in six days, as it may be this day week.
The Melanesians are very good and pretty well in
health, but we are all anxious to be in warm climates.
I think that most matters are settled. Primate and
I have finished our accounts. Think of his wise
stewardship ! The endowment in land and money,
and no debts contracted ! I hope that I leave
nothing behind me to cause difficulty, should any-
thing happen. The Primate and Sir William Mar-
tin are my executors. Melanesia, as you would ex-
pect, my heir. I may have forgotten many items,
personal reminiscences. Ask for anything, should
anything happen. I see no reason to anticipate it,
humanly speaking, but it is always well to think of
such things. I am just going to the little Taurarua
chapel to our Melanesian Commemoration service
with Holy Communion.
Oh ! if it should please God to grant us a meeting
Great blessings have been given me this summer
in seeing the progress made by the scholars, so great
as to make me feel sober-minded and almost fearful ;
but that is wrong and faithless perhaps, and yet
surely the trials must come some day.
God bless you all, and keep you all safe from all
Your loving Brother,
J. C. Patteson, Bishop.
I. p p
570 Life of Jo Im Coleridge Pattcsoii [Cri. ix.
Friday, fune ijth, 2 p.m. — How you are thinking
of all that took place that last night on earth!
He was taking his departure for a long voyage,
rather he was entering into the haven where he
would be ! May God give us grace to follow his holy
example, his patient endurance of his many trials,
the greatest his constant trial of deafness !
I think, if the weather be fair, that we shall go off
to-morrow. Oh ! if we do meet, and spend, it may
be, Christmas together !
2^tk, 3 P.M. — The first anniversary of our dear
Father's death. How you are all recalling what took
place then ! How full of thankfulness for his gain,
far outweighing the sorrow for our loss ! And yet
how you must feel it, more than I do, and yet I feel
it deeply ; but tlie little fond memories of the last
months, and above all, the looks and spoken words
of love, I can't altogether enter into them. His
letters are all that letters can be, more than any
other letters can be, but they are not the same thing
in all ways. The Primate has left us to hurry down
the sailing master of the ' Sea Breeze.' It was a
very rough morning, but is calm now, boats passing
and repassing between the shore and the schooner at
anchor off Kohimarama.
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