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The New Zealand Evangelist

Notes Of December

page 166

Notes Of December.

Rural Phenomena.

Happily for the community, December has furnished little that requires to be chronicled in our pages; but that little is mostly of a pleasing character. The season is in all respects nearly a month in advance; the weather has been unusually warm and beautiful, and vegetation both in the wild wastes and in the cultivated enclosures is in a state of forwardness and luxuriance; the dark red flowers of the rata, in stripes and clusters amid the deep green folivge around, gives an aspect of beauty and grandeur to the scanery of the forest. In the valley of the Hutt especially, over many a broad acre the wheat waves, tall and heavy, delighting the eye and cheering the heart of the enterprising, hardworking husbandman; from fields of beans and clover the air is loaded with fragrant sweets, and stores are furnished in ample profusion from which the inmates of the dairy and the apiary eliminate productions of more certain value than the nectar and ambrosia of the poets, and which, from their abundance as well as excellence, will secure for this country the title of a “land flowing with milk and honey.” The orchards, though fearfully scourged by the south-easters of October, are giving full promises and fair pledges of what they will become in future years. The warm sunshine and the smooth, smiling waters have given an early and earnest impulse to the aquatic exercises of the season: the delicate are seeking health and the robust are seeking enjoyment in the delightful and invigorating exercise of bathing. It is to be regretted that, in a climate where bathing is more of a necessary than a luxury, some steps are not taken by which females might more easily and extensively enjoy the benefits of this practice during the summer months. The public health has been uncommonly good for several months; notwithstanding the great amount of exposure during the earthquakes, there has scarcely been a case of sickness in the whole community, and epidemics of every kind have been un known. The state and prospects of the settlement are in almost every respect prosperous and cheering, and such as call for gratitude and thankfulness. “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works unto the children of men!”

The Auckland Benefaction.

The sympathy that has been evinced towards us by our fellow Colonists in Auckland is extremely gratifying. As soon as the accounts of the earthquake reached Auokland a public meeting was called, a subscription commenced, and in a short time upwards of of £600 was raised, to relieve the distress that they were led to be lieve existed, or might exist, in this scttlement. When the money page 167 was received here, the Committee to whom it was intrusted called a public meeting to consider what should be done with the bene faction. At this meeting it was all but unamiously agreed, that as the impression produced upon the minds of the people in Auck-land was caused by intelligence furnished at the time when the excitement and alarm here were at their very height, and as the distress apprehended did not at all, as they believed, exist, it would be alike ungenerous and unjust to accept of money raised in these circumstances, and that the remittance should therefore be returned with the best thanks of the community for their prompt, generous, and munificent liberality. We rejoice to think that our recent, calamity has been the occasion of calling forth such a reciprocal display of friendly feeling between the two settlements; of generosity on the one part and gratitude on the other; we fondly hope that the ties of brotherly kindness will become stronger and closer in all time to come.

Places of Public Worship.

Among all the different religious denominations, nearly the same life and activity appear to continue. The Wesleyan Congregation are exerting themselves with great energy to raise the requisite funds for erecting a place of worship, in room of the one destroyed by the earthquake. They have received a very munificent contribution from their brethren in Auckland, and the members and adherents of the Wesleyan Church here, are coming forward with praiseworthy liberality. They contemplate the erection of a strong, commodious, and elegant building; one that shall comprise the highest possible combination of utility, elegance, and economy. The Lord should be served with the best of our property. The Independent Congregation have prooured a site at Kumutoto, for their place of worship, and have succeeded beyond their expectations in raising the funds necessary for the erection of a suitable building. This will be a much more suitable locality than that in which their former Chapel stood, a matter of no small importance; for all other things being equal, the Church that is most conveniently situated will always be the best attended.

Accidents.—Loss of Life.

It is with deep regret that we have to record this month the loss to the colony of two valuable settlers;—a loss irreparable to their respective families. Mr. Ewen Cameron, while ascending a narrow foot path to his own house, and within a short distance of his own door, missed his footing, was precipitated over a rock, and killed instantaneously by the fall. Mr. W. Caverhill was crossing the Wairarapa river on horseback, and whilst his horse was mounting a steep bank, it missed its footing, and both horse and rider tumbled back into a deep part of the river. Mr. Caverhill had evidently been either stunned by the fall, or had got entangled in the river, as he never rose to the surface. We sincerely sympathised page 168 with the families who have suffered these trying and afficting bereavements, and pray that God may pour the balm of consolation into their wounded spirits.

The number of deaths by accidents here, as in all new Colonies, is unusually large, and this feature in our annual bills of mortality should lead us to cultivate a habitual preparation for death, to live daily a life of faith upon the Son of God, and to feel ourselves constantly under the powers of the world to come.