The New Zealand Evangelist
It is with feelings of deep regret that we record the death of Colonel William Wakefield, Principal Agent of the New Zealand Company, who died on the 10th ult., after a severe illness of four days, caused by a fit of apoplexy, in the 47th year of his age. At his funeral which took place on the 22nd, the utmost respect was shown to his memory by all classes, both Europeans and Natives. The event has produced a deep sensation throughout the community. May the Lord bless it for producing salutary and saving page 96 impressions on the hearts of many! From the proverbial salubrity of this climate; the nearly total absence of epidemics; the general health of the community; the small ratio of mortality; and from the fact that the bulk of the population are either young, or in the vigor of life, or at most and that in few instances only, in green, hale old age; we are under a strong temptation to put the evil day far away, to place death at nearest in the dim distance, and to think we have plenty of time to prepare for his approach. But to dispel this illusion, and produce a salutary fear in our hearts, God has so ordered it in his providence that in almost every instance here, death has been either sudden or striking, and frequently both. God has commissioned the winds and the waves; the storm has arisen in its strength, and gone forth in its fury, and the young and the strong have been buried in a watery grave; the still wilder passions of man have been let loose, and war with its horrors, and murder with its atrocities have, each in its turn, numbered the living instantaneously with the dead; and again disease, powerful and mysterious has assailed life in its strongest citadels, rendered friendly aid and medical skill unavailing, and the most healthy and vigorous have been cut down with little or no warning. In the present instance we cannot but see the hand of the Lord. The founder of this colony; the first civilian in the community, in the very prime of life; when qualified by experience for greatest usefulness; when in consequence of pending arrangements and opening prospects, his life was most needed; with every appearance of a vigorous constitution, with the best attendance and the highest medical skill at his command; from being in seemingly more than usual good health, in four short days he was numbered with “the congregation of the dead.” Surely God has some purpose in view by this. No man, particularly no public man, liveth or dieth to himself alone. God speaks by these events to the entire community. Is it not the voice of rebuke to us? “For the trausgression of a land many are the princes there of.” Is it not a voice of warning to us? God preaches by his providence as well as by his word; those who will not listen to the one shall be made to hear the other. Is not God saying by this event to every one in the community, “Be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh!”
On the 22nd ult., of consumption, in the 20th year of her age, Jessie, the wife of the Rev. B. Cole, A.M., and daughter of the late G. Hunter, Esq. We sincerely sympathize with the bereaved husband and relatives. The hand of the Lord has been heavy upon them. Their trials and bereavements have been frequent and heavy. Our prayer is, that as their afflictions abound, their consolations through Christ may much more abound.Printed at the Office of the "Wellington Independent," Lambton-quay.