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Octavius Hadfield

Letter written by Octavius Hadfield to his mother December 21, 1843

To his mother.

The Bishop has just come to visit us and I have come in here to meet him. I was with him some hours yesterday and he purposes following me to Waikanae in a few days. Mr. Cotton has been staying with me for a few days. The Bishop is a pleasing and talented man, but I hear rather inclined to Popery. I shall however have a further opportunity of seeing him shortly, and forming a more accurate and correct opinion of him and his religious views. I may have to act in opposition to him, but hope that so painful a state of things may be spared me.

Matters among the natives are going on much as usual. I think I can see, or rather foresee, that considerable difficulty will shortly exist in settling matters between the whites and the natives which will eventually lead to much evil and be very prejudicial to the cause of the Gospel. The land question here is in a most complicated state; the Company misunderstanding the Government, and the native misunderstanding both: and as a consequence considerable excitement existing.

I am called upon by all parties to give advice, and both Col. Wakefield, the Company's agent, and Major Richmond, the Chief Magistrate here wish me to make a statement of affairs to the new Governor. The truth is, it is not so much my knowledge of the state of things which recommends me to them, as the difficulty of finding a person at once acquainted with the state of affairs and not personally interested in the question.

I much fear that there will be a rapid decay shortly in the religion of the natives, in saying so I believe I am almost singular in my opinion, but I see causes working which must lead to it, if not shortly remedied. I had great confidence in the Bishop: he has plenty of ability, but now question whether he sees the question in a right point of view. We must have scriptural remedies applied and not ones of human invention. Would that I had more faith and more holy love and could watch and pray more.