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Historical Records of New Zealand

Rev. S. Marsden to Rev. J. Pratt

page 616

Rev. S. Marsden to Rev. J. Pratt.

Parramatta, Jany. 13th, 1824.

Revd. Sir,—

I have this day suspended the Revd. J. Butler from all connexion with the C. M. Society until the pleasure of the Committee is known at Home. It was my intention to have sent him to England if I could have prevailed upon him to have gone, as I did not know what step to take with him excepting this. When I received your letters on the 10th inst. I was much relieved. I then saw my way clear. I had an interview with Mr. Butler this morning, after I had written my letter to suspend him, a copy of which I have forwarded to you. I have determined upon purchasing a small estate immediately, about 34 miles from Port Jackson, in the interior. On this I shall establish the seminary for the general instruction of the New Zealand youths, and in which also the children of the missionaries may be maintained and educated together. I have no doubt but the allowance granted for the support and education of the missionaries’ children will be sufficient to meet all the expenses. Judge Field will explain all my views on that subject.…I informed Mr. Butler…that as he was now suspended from all connexion with the Society he was at liberty to act as he thought proper until his case was laid before the parent Com mittee; that I would hire him myself if he would quietly retire into the interior, and put the New Zealanders under his care. He consented to my terms.

I may here remark that the last year has been a year of toil, dangers, and anxieties both by sea and land, at home and abroad—continual fighting without and fears within. In the beginning of the year I spent near three months in Van Dieman’s Land, where I travelled across the island from sea to sea, 160 miles, and in different directions thro’ the land. We met with storms at sea both going and returning. I had many vexations when at home from the Magistrates at Parramatta; was brought before the Bench, convicted without information or evidence, fined, and an execution put into my house, and my property sold to the amount of the fine, merely to degrade me. Tho’ these are matters of trifling importance, yet they serve to vex and annoy. They are amongst the all things which work for the Christian’s good. The Magistrates convicted me of a flagrant breach of the Colonial Regulations when I had done no wrong—violated no regulation. I appealed to Cæsar, and obtained redress. As Judge Field can tell you, I was about 20 weeks absent on my voyage to New Zealand. Here I had, both pleasure and pain, as my journal will shew. I am not a little surprised that my strength should be equal to my day, page 617 that I have gone thro’ so much fatigue of body and anxiety of mind, and am still alive and well. God is still good to Israel. His care over me has been very great. I was weak and weary when I embarked for N. Zealand, but returned strong and healthy. I may say with the Psalmist “Of judgments and of mercies unto Thee O Lord will I sing.“

I remain. &c.,

Samuel Marsden

Revd. J. Pratt, &c., &c.