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Papers Relative to the Native Meeting Held at Peria, in October, 1862

Translation. — Sermon By Bishop Selwyn at the Peria Meeting, October 26th, 1862

Sermon By Bishop Selwyn at the Peria Meeting, October 26th, 1862.

" Behold how good and how pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell together in unity."—Psalm 133, Iv.

I searched in the Scriptures to see whether God approved of division; I searched invain from the beginning to the end. The only thing that I saw was, that God approved of unity. It is Satan who causes division; unity is Christ's. It was for this that Christ came into this world, as a good shepherd to collect all the scattered sheep that they might be called one flock. Satan's work, on the contrary, is, to scatter the sheep. (John 10–12.) You have seen this, and have frequently read this

"How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." Now, the men of the different tribes of Waikato, Hauraki, Ngatihaua, Ngatirangi, Ngatiwhakane, Whakatohea, Ngatiporou, and Ngatikahungunu, have with one accord assembled together at this meeting. How good and how pleasant it is thus to dwell, to dwell in unity. There is one thing wanting. and that is, that the Pakeha should sit together with you. The words of our psalm have not quite been fulfilled yet. The elder brother has arrived, the younger has staid away. Let the elder and the younger brother sit together.

Who is the elder brother? You, who are the children of Shem, Who is the younger brother? We, who are the children of Japheth. Must we dwell apart, or dwell together? Care-fully consider my question.

The coming of the Pakeha to this land was not an unauthorised act; they were led here by God (or they were moved to come here by God), the Pakeha ministers. The. last words of Christ, the son of God, were:—"Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature." (Mark 16–15.)

This is God's word for us all, for the children of Japheth. "God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem." (Genesis 9–27.)

This is the real meaning of our psalm. " Let there be no strife between me and thee, for we are brethren." (Genesis 13–8.) "But well and pleasantly let brethren dwell together in unity." You have heard what God approves of; Satan's work is different. Let Israel be a warning to us.

Solomon, the son of David, was a very wise man, but when he grew old his heart changed, and he followed the worship of idols, therefore God commanded that his kingdom should be divided in two. It was consideration for his father David that delayed the separation, but in the days of his son Rehoboam the separation was finally accomplished. Ten tribes to the kingdom of Israel, and two to the kingdom of Judea. The cause of this was the hardness of Rehoboam. He was a rash young man, who did not listen to his parents. I believe that hardness (obstinacy) is-the real parent of evil. Talk together, and let each party yield (a little), and there will be no wars. Jeroboam then arose. God placed him in a good position, but he put himself in a bad position. Had he approved of unity he would have been in a good position. His being in a bad position was through division. He did not approve of his people going to worship at Jerusalem. He divided the temple in twain; divided the worship, a d divided the law. He did as Solomon did, worshipped images, and made two golden ealves, imitating the worship of Egypt. Then a succession of bad kings reigned over Israel, until the day in which the ten tribes were carried away captive and lost. Hence he is called " Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin."

At the expiration of one thousand years Christ came; some of the Children of Israel had returned to Samaria, but their feud still continued. You remember Christ's conversation with the woman of Samaria, (John 4-9 ) The only thing they eared for was prohibition of intercourse. There was an interdiet on food, on the roads, on the water, and on the people. There was no intercourse between the Jews and the men of Samaria. No man was received whose face was set towards Jerusalem. (Luke 9–53.)

When Christ appeared, the system of separation and non-intercourse was at an end. The division fence was broken down, the partition torn asunder and the mountains levelled; the swamps were covered over, the crooked made straight, and the rough places smooth, and the deep waters were dried up to make a way for his chosen. All the fowls of heaven were called to fly together to one tree, there to be sheltered: the sheep were brought to one fold, and the fish into one net. Children of Shem, Ham, and Japheth; children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, come all to one God and to one Lord; to be saved by the same religion, to be kept in the same love, and to stand in the same law.

Here we stand, the elder and the younger brother, in one and the same mind; the younger brother is the Pakeha bishop, the elder the Maori minister. This has been my desire of old, to ordain Maoriminiaters, to bo like (or equal to) ourselves. The Pakehas might say that "they will never be equal; " but I did not agree (with them.) Although the Maoris might say formerly,—" Who wants Maori ministers? we shall not turn (to them)." Yet I would not agree. For twenty years I have continued to plant, and behold! this is God's fruit. I look at my elder brothers, these Maori page 9ministers sitting here, and repeat with fervour our psalm; "How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." I give a Maori parable in conclusion. I have seen a solitary piece of water (manga, a branch, i.e., of a stream) which sprung up in a swamp; it was only great in mud and the end of it was, it disappeared altogether (or was lost); it was neither water nor land. No man drank of it, horses could not walk on it, nor could canoes paddle there. It was not ploughed with a plough, nor could vessels sail upon it. It remained alone in its stupid greatness, this branch stream which refused to flow to the river; it is left for eels to crawl through, and for pigs to wallow in. But a good and pleasant stream newly born from the womb of the heavens; behold! with what vigour it leaps the falls and flows down the rapids. It perseveres in doing its work, that is, in increasing the size of the river. By the time that it reaches the confluence its name has ceased; the Punia is lost in the Waipa, the Waipa in the Waikato, and the Waikato in the ocean. This is the greatness of the branch stream, to be lost in the river, and that of the river to be lost in the sea. So in like manner this is my greatness, that of the one man, to be lost in the Church, that of the Church to be lost in Christ, and the greatness of Christ is, to be lost in God, "That God may be all in all"—(Corinth. 15–28.)