The New Zealand Evangelist
Local Religious Intelligence
Local Religious Intelligence.
Waimate.—Mortality Among the Natives.
The Natives are dying in all directions in Ngatiruanui! Searcely a day but we hear of some one departing this-life! The winter has been very severe. Notwithstanding the remonstrances of their friends in urging them to abandon their present mode of life, eating improper food, exposing themselves to the cold air and damp, after being shut up in their wharepunis, they still go on heedless of warning, and will have their own way. If the Natives die at the same ratio in other places in the country, in a few years they will be greatly diminished. Influenza has been very prevalent; and at this moment many appear suspended between life and death. Some who have, died have given pleasing accounts of the hope that was in them, in prospect page 245 of spending a blissful immortality, where sickness and suffering are unknown; others have been so weak and ill as to be incapable of expressing themselves; but I am encoura ged to hope that they too are “Far from a world of grief and sin, With God eternally shut in.”
A few have lost their lives by their imprudence, after vaccination for the small pox; inflammation having succeeded from lying by the fire, which has thrown it into the system, and death has terminated their sufferings. A young man went to New Plymouth a few weeks ago, was vaccinated, returned home, exposed himself in the way described, and in a few days he was a corpse!
A question is asked in a New Zealander of August last, to this effect:—“Are the Natives increasing or decreasing in the land?” The latter I believe will be found to be the fact.
On Sunday, December 2, a new chapel was opened for the Congregational Church in this place. The Rev. H. Groube has recommenced his labours among his own people and we cordially wish him God speed. The chapel is a neat building and has cost about £54, all of which has been paid, and an appeal is made to raise the further sum of £7 10s., which if accomplished will pay for the purchase of the ground, and the chapel will then be freehold and free of debt.
“Wesley Church,” Motueka, was opened for Divine Worship on Sunday, November 20. It is a neat well finished structure with lancet windows, and we are happy to hear that Mr. Jenkins labours in a very promising field.
“Ebenezer Chapel,” was to be opened at Stoke, a little village about four miles from Nelson, on December 6; a School and Place of Worship at Waka-puaka, on the 18th.; and Mr. Nicholson's Church in Nelson, on the 23rd.; further notices of which we may be able to furnish in our next.