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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

Letter II

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Letter II.


My Lord,

If I am not greatly in error, the opposition exhibited to the New Zealand Colonization Bill, during the last session of Parliament, originated chiefly among the friends and supporters of Christian Missions, and especially among the friends and supporters of the Church of England's Society's Mission to the Aborigines of that Island. I confess, my Lord, there was something generous, philanthropic, and Christian in the very aspect of this opposition; and no wonder, therefore, that it should have been completely successful in preventing the passing of the Bill. It professed to treat with profound respect the rights and interests of one of the noblest races of Aborigines on the face of the globe. It professed to sympathise with the feeble efforts of that race to rise to a higher level in the scale of humanity, and to occupy a prominent place in the catalogue of civilized nations. And more than all this, it professed to deprecate the serious obstacles which a community of European colonists might, in all likelihood, throw in the way of the general reception of the Christian religion by the natives of New Zealand. I am sorry, however, to be called on, from a sacred regard to the interests of truth, as well as to the cause of humanity and the Christian religion; I am sorry, my Lord, to be obliged to state, that the anticipations of page 19 unmingled benefit to the Aborigines of that island, which were thus founded on the prospect of their being left entirely, for the future, to the charities of the Church Mission in New Zealand, were alike unwarranted by the past history, and by the present condition, of that mission.

Your Lordship is doubtless aware that, for upwards of half a century past, the missionary or apostolic spirit has been at an exceedingly low ebb in both of the Protestant established churches of this great empire; and that whatever may be asserted to the contrary, the maxim that is almost universally acted on by the clergy of both establishments is, that after a young man has spent a certain number of years in preparing for the Christian ministry, at an English or Scotch University, his time and talents are too precious to be thrown away in promoting the great object of that ministry, either in the colonies or among the heathen. Men, who are utterly unable to offer a single reason why they should not have gone forth themselves to these high places of the field of Christian warfare, in obedience to the divine command, contrive to satisfy their own consciences in staying at home, by subscribing a guinea a-year for missions to the heathen, and by telling the Christian public at their annual meetings, that their "hearts bleed," forsooth, "for the heathen." My Lord, in the course of five voyages round the globe, and a residence of many years in the uttermost parts of the earth, where it has been my lot to come in contact with many missionaries, who ought never to have been honoured with so sacred a character, I have learned to estimate, at its proper value, this fashionable species of clerical hypocrisy.

From the cause I have assigned, it has come to pass that, instead of sending forth to those interesting and important stations beyond seas, that demanded the Pauls and Silases of our national establishments, men of superior talents, and education, and piety, and zeal,—we have been sending forth, with only a few solitary exceptions, the lame, the halt, and the blind of these establishments; or in other words, we have been page 20 endeavouring to serve God in the colonies and among the heathen "with that which has cost us nought." Hence it is, my Lord, that instead of telling, as we might otherwise have done (that is, if we had only followed the apostolic example), of whole territories won from heathen darkness and superstition to the light and liberty of the Gospel, we can tell only, at least for the most part, of disappointment and disaster. The history and present aspect of the Church of England's mission to New Zealand affords a melancholy comment on these observations.

The Church of England's Mission to New Zealand was formed at the instance of the late Rev. Samuel Marsden, Principal Episcopal Chaplain of New South Wales, in the year 1812, but was not properly in operation till the year 1814. It was originally established, and for a long time systematically conducted, on the principle of first civilizing and then christianizing, the natives; and for this purpose, a large number of artizans, of various handicrafts, were engaged, some in England, and some in New South Wales, as lay-missionaries, to teach the natives the various processes of civilized life. Reversing the apostolic plan, the missionary carpenter, the missionary boat-builder, the missionary blacksmith, the missionary ploughman, the missionary rope-spinner, &C., were all set to work at their various occupations, and the natives were expected forthwith to imitate their example. In fact, the mission settlement in New Zealand was for a long time a complete lumber yard, or factory, in which all sorts of labour were going on but the proper labour of a missionary: the very clergyman, for there was only one on the island, being in no respect different from a common agricultural labourer, except that he mounted a pulpit and read prayers in a surplice every Sunday. That clergyman, the Rev. Mr. Butler, told me himself, in the year 1824—the year he left the New Zealand mission and returned to England,—that, during the previous season, he had ploughed and sown eleven acres of ground for wheat, at the mission settlement, on the Kidikidi page 21 River, with his own hands; having previously, with the assistance of his son Samuel, who was afterwards drowned in New Zealand, grubbed up the whole of the ground, which had been originally overgrown with tall fern. Fortunately, indeed, a laborious occupation of this kind was more congenial to the taste and habits of Mr. B. than labour of a more intellectual or missionary character; for previous to his ordination for foreign parts, and his appointment to the offices of Superintendent of the Church of England's mission in New Zealand, and Justice of Peace in that island, under the Government of New South Wales, he had merely been the out-of-door clerk or foreman of a large London establishment, for forwarding goods by common carriers and canal boats.

If such occupations had been indispensably necessary for the support of the mission, it would not only have been allowable but praiseworthy to have pursued them. But they were alike unnecessary and unwarranted; and the result, as might have been expected, was that they had just as little influence in civilizing, as it may be supposed they had in christianizing the natives. The native ware or house, and the native canoe, both of which occasionally display considerable taste and ingenuity, were quite sufficient for all the purposes of the New Zealander in his unchristianized state; he was sufficiently acquainted with agriculture to enable him to procure, in abundance, all the necessaries of life; and of all the missionary artisans who were sent out by the Church Missionary Society to effect his civilization, the missionary blacksmith, who could mend his broken musket, and thereby enable him to commit murder upon his fellow-man, was in reality the only one whose talents commanded his unfeigned respect. Indeed, as a general maxim, I would say that it is by no means particularly desirable that the New Zealanders should acquire a knowledge of European arts till they have embraced the religion of Europeans, when they will acquire them as a matter of course. Pomare, the chief I have already mentioned, offered, in the month of February last, to dispose of all his right and title to Barrier Island, at the page 22 mouth of the River Thames, for a small English schooner, of the value of £200. But what was the object of the savage in desiring to get possession of the schooner ? Why, it was simply that he might be able to carry all his lighting-men, in one body, to some part of the coast where the natives are still unacquainted with the use of fire-arms, and where he could consequently plunder and murder them at discretion, after the example of the old buccaneers of America.

Whether most of the individuals who were employed to work the preposterous system I have described, were originally bad men, or whether the system itself (which utterly failed of accomplishing its primary object, the civilization of the New Zealanders,) was calculated to make them so, I cannot determine :* it is undeniable, however, that utter inefficiency and

* Bad as some of the earlier missionaries were, I consider the system under which they were acting to have been much worse. Some of them maintained that they were hired as mechanics, and had nothing to do with missionary labour properly so-called. Others maintained that they were engaged as missionaries, and had nothing to do with mechanical or agricultural employment; and some, as for instance, the missionary rope-spinner, whose ineffectual attempts to adapt English machinery to the manufacture of the native flax only excited the ridicule of the natives, found that their particular qualifications were of no use whatever in the island. For some time the missionary settlement, with its workshops, its bell to ring the people in and out, &C., was an exact copy of the Lumber Yard in Sydney, and some of the natives who had been in New South Wales, were quick-sighted enough to perceive the resemblance, and to act accordingly. For when the stout missionary ploughman, who was the only ordained missionary on the island at the time I allude to, arrayed himself in his canonicals, and read prayers on Sunday, the natives shrewdly observed that he was the only Rangatira, or gentleman, among them, and that the rest were only cookes or slaves. The Society's missionary rope-spinner was originally a reputable mechanic in one of the dockyards in England, where he had probably attracted notice by keeping a Sabbath-school for other workmen's children. His wife, a superior woman, having died shortly after his arrival in New South Wales, he married a native of that colony, who unfortunately died also, in New Zealand, a few years thereafter. He is now settled on his own account at the Kaiparra River, on the West Coast, where, I was credibly informed at the Bay of Islands, both himself and his son are actually living in a state of concubinage with two native women, under the same roof!

page 23 moral delinquency were for a long time the characteristic features of the New Zealand mission. I have a manuscript account, which I drew up myself, from unquestionable authority, so early as the year 1824, of every missionary that had set foot on New Zealand up to that period, as well as of every important transaction which had occurred till then in connection with the New Zealand mission; and I am confident, my Lord, it would be impossible to find a parallel in the history of any Protestant mission since the Reformation, to the amount of inefficiency and moral worthlessness which that record presents. Indeed, Divine Providence appears to have frowned upon the New Zealand mission all along, and blighting and blasting from Heaven seem to have rested upon it even until now. The first three heads of the mission—the last of the three so lately as in the year 1836—were all dismissed for the grossest immorality; and although I have reason to believe it is now purged from such enormities, and am happy to add that it has several excellent and christian men zealously engaged in its most interesting field, there is still a most flagrant abuse tolerated and practised by the great majority of its members, of sufficient magnitude to neutralize the efforts even of a whole college of apostles.

The Church Missionary Society's establishment in New Zealand comprises about thirty missionaries; the principal stations being Waimaté at the Kídi-kídi River; Paihia and Tippunah, at the Bay of Islands; the Bay of Plenty, on the east coast to the southward; and the vicinity of the North Cape. There is also a station forming at the River Thames, or rather on the Manukau River, right across the river, on the west coast. The population of the portion of the northern island comprehended within these limits probably comprises from forty to fifty thousand souls, of whom from ten to twelve thousand are thus brought within the reach of Christian influence; having the ordinances of religion dispensed among them either regularly or occasionally, and many of their number being taught to read and write their native tongue. Indeed, the eagerness which the natives page 24 evince for the attainment of these most important arts of civilization, and the facility with which they acquire them, their desire for books when taught to read, and their willingness to place themselves under the regular dispensation of the ordinances of religion—all of which dispositions are undoubtedly evinced by the New Zealanders, independently altogether of the operation of Christian principle—are the most favourable traits ill their national character, and doubtless the most deeply interesting. In short, humanly speaking, there are probably fewer obstacles to overcome in the way of missionary enterprise among the New Zealanders than among any other heathen people on the face of the earth. With the universal idea of a God or Great Spirit, they have no disposition to idolatry; and even the customs and superstitions which have been handed down to them from the remotest antiquity, seem to exert but a slight influence on their minds, and are readily abandoned for those of Europeans.

Why is it then that the Christian religion, as exhibited in the teaching of the missionaries of the Church Missionary Society, has hitherto taken so slight a hold—for such is unquestionably the fact—on the hearts and affections of the New Zealander; for while the baptized natives do not exceed two hundred and fifty altogether, there are frequent instances of apostacy even among them? Why, my Lord, although the ministers of the Gospel are in no respect responsible for the success of their ministry, provided they discharge the duties of their office honestly and conscientiously, it is nevertheless undeniable, that if they do not engage in their work with a single eye to the glory of God, and the extension of the Kingdom of Christ, but endeavour to "serve God and Mammon," their efforts will undoubtedly issue in disappointment, and their failure be chargeable entirely upon themselves. Now, I apprehend, my Lord, that this is exactly the case of the New Zealand mission, and the true source of that want of success which has hitherto been experienced by the missionaries, and is so generally complained of in the island. For instead of page 25 confining themselves with the disinterestedness that became their office to the conscientious discharge of their important duties, as the professed disciples of "Him who, though rich, for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be right," the missionaries of the Church Missionary Society in New Zealand, utterly incredible as it may appear in England, have actually been the principals in the grand conspiracy of the European inhabitants of the island to rob and plunder the natives of their land !

Of the extent of land belonging to the Society as a corporate body, at the principal stations of Waimaté, Paihia, and Tippunah, I had no means of obtaining a correct account. I have reason to believe, however, it is by no means extensive. But the missionaries themselves, like the ancient Gehazi, have made ample amends for the moderation of—their Master Elisha—the Society in England, in the extent of land of which they have become the purchasers, forsooth, from the natives on their own private account. For I was credibly informed on the island that there is scarcely one of them who has not managed in this way to secure for himself or his children in perpetuity a large extent of valuable territory.

Mr. S., for example, a lay missionary from New South Wales, and the son of a respectable emancipist, residing at Kissing Point on the Parramatta River, in that colony, bought a large tract of eligible land from the natives, having a frontage of from four to five miles on one of the navigable rivers in the Bay of Islands, for two check shirts and an iron pot, or go-ashore, as it is called by the natives! I was credibly informed, moreover, in New Zealand, that Captain Blenkinsop, the master of a South Sea whaler, who was afterwards unfortunately drowned by the upsetting of a whale-boat in Encounter Bay, in the province of South Australia, along with Sir John Jeffcott, the first judge of that colony, had, in entire ignorance of Mr. S.'s previous purchase, purchased the very same tract from some other person, who, it seems, pretended to be its proprietor. During his absence on the south coast of New Holland, Capt.

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Blenkinsop's agent at the Bay of Islands, erected a house on the land, agreeable to the instructions of his principal, who intended to settle in New Zealand on his return; but no sooner was the house finished than Mr. S. gave Captain B.s agent notice to quit, and produced his own deeds. On the agent's remonstrating with Mr. S. for allowing him, in such circumstances, to go on with the building of the house, Mr. S. coolly replied, that the erection of the house rendered the land the more valuable to himself. I refrain from making any remarks on this transaction; but Mr. S., your Lordship will observe, is a native of Botany Bay, who has exported, in his own person, a portion of the surplus Christianity, forsooth, of his native land, for the moral advancement of the aborigines of New Zealand. I have reason to believe also that Mr. S. has another estate, procured in a similar way, towards the .North Cape, where he is at present stationed as a missionary.

Mr. F., who was merely a journeyman coach-maker, and by no means of apostolic character either, in the village of Parramatta, in New South Wales, when he was engaged as a lay-missionary for New Zealand by the late Rev. Samuel Marsden, has purchased, forsooth, from the natives, a tract of land, to the northward of the River Thames, having a frontage from thirty-five to forty miles on the east cost of the island towards the Pacific Ocean. I could not learn how far back from the sea Mr. F. goes, or what the valuable consideration had been for this princely estate.

The Rev. Mr. W., formerly a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, but now the ordained head of the New Zealand Mission, has a large tract of land, in conjunction with Mr. F., adjoining the Society's settlement at Paihia, in the Bay of Islands, and stretching along the left bank of the Kauakaua River.

Messrs. C. and D., who were originally sent out as missionary agriculturists on the civilizing system, have selected their domains on a somewhat similar scale with those of the S. and F. estates, towards the Hokianga River, on the west coast; while those of Messrs. K. and K. are situated towards the North Cape.

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I was unfortunately unable, my Lord, to ascertain exactly the real extent of the land possessed or claimed, on the ground of alleged purchases from the natives, by the Church Missionaries and their sons in New Zealand, either in English acres or square miles * (the latter is the usual mode of computation in the island); but your Lordship will be able to form some idea on the subject, when I state, on the authority of several intelligent persons residing on the spot, and unconnected with the Society, that if the valuable live timber growing on the land so claimed, or possessed, were to be cut down and disposed of, it would be worth, at the present market price in New South Wales, not less than half a million sterling.

In short, the largest seigniories in New Zealand are the property of the Church Missionaries and their sons; and the poor ignorant and deluded natives have thus, my Lord, been "scattered and peeled" by the very men who ought to have been their natural protectors, and to have remonstrated and protested to the British Government again, and again, against any attempt, on the part of British subjects, to obtain possession of any part of their land, without the express consent and authority of the British Government. It is peculiarly aggra-

* It is extremely difficult to get at the real extent of European estates in New Zealand. There is a laudable obscurity on the subject in particular cases, which might almost be supposed designed to hold out a premium for the future gentlemen of the long robe in that island. Mr. John Wright, for example, a respectable settler and merchant at the Bay of Islands, has a property in that neighbourhood, of which three of the boundary lines are well defined : viz. "by the salt water in front and by the lands of neighbouring proprietors on the right and left but the fourth boundary line being "as far back as the said John Wright shall think proper," it will doubtless be a matter of some difficulty for the future doctors of the civil law in New Zealand to decide where that boundary shall be. It is perhaps best in such cases to go back to the salt water on the other side, as the earlier American colonists wished to do, when King James the First forgot to define their boundary to the westward. They were quite willing—honest men !—to take the Pacific or Great Ocean for their western boundary, wherever it might be.

page 28 vating, for instance, to reflect that the patrimony of poor Riva, of Kororadika, the native chief I have already mentioned, is now the private property of certain of the missionaries and their children; and that much of Pomare's land has also fallen into the same hands.

Yes, my Lord, it is mortifying in the extreme, to any man of the least pretensions to Christian philanthropy, to reflect, that instead of endeavouring to protect the New Zealanders—the interesting and confiding people of their charge—from the aggressions of unprincipled European adventurers, the missionaries of the Church Missionary Society have themselves been the foremost and the most successful in despoiling them of their land. In short, the case of these missionaries is, in this respect, the most monstrous that has occurred in the whole history of missions since the Reformation—the most disgraceful to Protestant Christianity. There has, doubtless, been no express agreement between the Church Missionary Society and its missionaries in New Zealand, that the latter should not be permitted to purchase land for themselves from the natives. But the thing is universally understood, my Lord, and daily acted on in every other instance with which I am acquainted, that the missionary shall not be permitted to acquire property for himself individually; and that although the Society he belongs to may procure, either by gift or purchase, a site for its missionary buildings and operations, the missionaries themselves shall not be permitted to abuse their influence and opportunities by becoming landholders or cattleholders among the heathen. This abuse, however, has prevailed, my Lord, among the missionaries of the Church Missionary Society to an incredible extent—to such an extent as even to bring scandal on the cause of Christian Missions altogether, and to constitute one of the grossest breaches of trust, on the part of its own office-bearers, that the evangelical portion of the Christian Church has witnessed for a century past.

I should be sorry, my Lord, to insinuate that the Committee of the Church Missionary Society is at all acquainted with page 29 these transactions. That committee, I have every reason to believe, consists of honourable and Christian men, whose conduct, in regard to the missionary——, affords a guarantee to the Christian public that they will act with the same faithfulness in every instance. But your Lordship knows very well, it is a long way to New Zealand, and the missionaries are not bound to tell the whole truth to the Society respecting their private affairs. Having sacrificed their worldly prospects in England or New South Wales, to dwell in the midst of cannibals in a heathen land, they may doubtless conceive, and perhaps delude one another, as well as themselves individually in conceiving, that they had an undoubted right to drive a good bargain for themselves individually, as they have certainly done in right earnest, with the ignorant natives. For whatever may have been the case in the days of the Divine Author of the Christian religion, it is certainly not always the case now that "the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light."

Besides, it is extremely hazardous for any man who has the least regard for his own reputation in this country to say a single word, to the discredit of missionaries to the heathen, either individually or collectively; for the man who does so, whatever be his standing or profession, is instantly set down as an enemy of missions altogether, and his testimony is forthwith got rid of accordingly. In fact, the task of telling the plain truth respecting missionaries to the heathen, if that truth is in any way disparaging, is as invidious in regard to its bearings on the truth-teller in the eye of the religious public, as that of the parliamentary impeachment of a Minister of State. It is thus, however, that the grossest abuses are perpetuated, and that Christianity is wounded, as it always is the most deeply, in the house of its friends.

The subject of the landed property of the Missionaries of the Church Missionary Society in New Zealand, has of late been brought frequently before the Colonial public of New South Wales; and I have been told myself, by the relatives of some page 30 of the Missionaries in that colony, in reference to the statements on the subject published from time to time in the colonial press, that "as they have families to provide for, they are fully warranted to avail themselves of their opportunities of doing the best for them they can." My Lord, I have a family to provide for in that Colony also; but having been early stationed, in the good providence of God, in a country in which almost every man I saw, whether clergyman or layman, was a proprietor of sheep or cattle—intent chiefly on improving his stock or in increasing the quantity of his wool—I deemed it my bounden duty, as a minister of the gospel, "whose own hands must be clean in bearing the vessels of the Lord," never to become the owner of a single head of either.

For every acre of land belonging to the Church Missionary Society, as a corporate body, in New Zealand, I am confident, my Lord, that the full price has been paid. And as that price was, at the suggestion of the late Rev. Samuel Marsden, the Society's agent in New South Wales, principally paid in cattle, sheep, and horses from that colony; and as Mr. Marsden himself was long famous for having one of the best breeds of horned cattle in New South Wales—the Marsden breed—there can be no doubt whatever that the whole transaction, as far as the Society and Mr. Marsden were concerned, was characterized by honesty and fair dealing.* But as the natives had no idea either of flocks and herds, or of rearing sheep and cattle for food, they soon grew tired of the few sheep, and the bull-calf or heifer that had fallen to their lot individually, and had furnished them with amusement for a time, and they then sold

* There are few large proprietors in New South Wales who have dealtso extensively in sheep and cattle as the late Rev. Mr. Marsden, long and generally known as the apostle of New Zealend. Mr. Marsden always prided himself, to use the mercantile phrase, on keeping a good article. He was one of the firstimporters of Spanish sheep and English cattle into the colony; his breeds uniformlly bore a high character among colonial graziers, and his prices, as I have been informed, were correspondingly high. But he was never unwilling to allow a liberal credit to respectable free immigrants arriving in the colony with limited means; and many families, who are now wealthy in New South Wales, have in this way been indebted to Mr. Marsden for the groundwork of their colonial fortunes. As a magistrate of the territory, which he was for about thirty years, Mr. M. was a strict disciplinarian, and was nothing loth to prescribe the requisite number of lashes to the delinquents of his congregation at Parramatta, whenever they required it.

page 31 them to the missionaries ! Old Riva, for instance, had been in New South Wales many years ago, and had carried up with him a present of four large live hogs to the Governor, who gave him a fine horse in return, which he brought back with him to New Zealand. But Riva having probably been the first of his family who had ever seen a horse, and having no imaginable use for one himself—his style and equipage as a New Zealand chief being quite complete without any such appendage—he soon sold the animal to the missionaries I Whether it was in this way that Mr. K. or Mr. K. (for I forget which of these individuals it was; but the one of them, at all events, was a missionary blacksmith or musket-mender, and the other a missionary shoemaker,) laid the foundation of his sheep stock in New Zealand, I am not aware; but it is certainly worth mentioning, as an instance of the extraordinary capabilities of the country, that he lately forwarded to Sydney, from his estate in New Zealand, towards the northern extremity of the island, his first investment of New Zealand wool, amounting to ten bales (containing probably 250 lbs. each), which, from its superior quality, as well as from the superior style in which it had been got up, in consequence of the abundance of fresh water in the island, was sold by public auction, in Sydney, for exportation to London, at 1s. 10½d. per lb., or about £234 17s. 6d. altogether.

In such circumstances as those I have thus detailed, your Lordship will not be astonished that the New Zealand Mission should hitherto have made so slight an impression for good, as it has confessedly done, on the interesting natives of that island, notwithstanding the enormous expense at which it has page 32 hitherto been conducted.* Indeed, if that mission had been extensively attended with the Divine blessing, like various other Protestant Missions in the South Seas, all our inferences and deductions from the precepts and declarations of the Divine Author of Christianity would have been at fault. "Love not the world, neither the things of the world," is the injunction of Christ to every professed Christian man, but especially to each and every Missionary. Indeed, disinterestedness is so much a sine qua non in a Christian Missionary, that the idea of a Missionary of an opposite character implies a contradiction in terms. The exhibition of that God-like attribute on the part of the individual who professes to be seeking his welfare, is intelligible even to the most untutored savage; and it never fails, eventually, to produce its effect. It is humiliating, however, to reflect, that instead of exhibiting that Christian virtue to the natives of New Zealand, so many of the Missionaries of the Church Mission in that island should have actually been making common cause with the veriest spoilers of the natives in the land; and that the natives should have had such good reason to say of them, as they have done again and again, that "their only reason for coming to New Zealand was that it was a better country than their own."

At all events, your Lordship will perceive from the preceding pages, how peculiarly out of place were the reasonings and declamations of the friends and supporters of the Church Mission in New Zealand in opposition to the Bill for the colonization of that island on the principles of the South Australian Colony, during the last Session of Parliament. So far from protecting the natives from the aggressions of unprincipled European adventurers, under the system at present in operation in that island, the Missionaries have actually set the example of such aggression in their own persons. So far from

* Its present cost, I believe, is £15,000 per annum. It has been as high as £17,000.

page 33 doing everything in their power to establish an effectual bulwark for the preservation of the natives from political and moral degradation, the Missionaries have virtually been doing their utmost to accelerate the process of degradation, by despoiling them of their land, under the specious pretext of iniquitous bargains, of which any man professing the Christian religion, but especially a Missionary, ought to have been ashamed.

The Wesleyan Methodists have also had a mission towards the northern extremity of the Northern Island of New Zealand, which they are now extending along the coast to the southward, for a number of years past; and I am happy to add that, from all I could learn on the subject, from the most respectable European inhabitants of the island, it is in a highly prosperous state: their principal settlement being at the Hokianga River, on the West Coast. Your Lordship may perhaps imagine that the greater success of that mission may arise from the fact that Wesleyans, as a religious denomination, are much more likely to obtain suitable persons for carrying on such a mission, from among their own members, than the Church of England. This is doubtless the case to a certain extent; but the greater success of the Wesleyan Mission, as compared with the Church Mission in New Zealand, must, I conceive, be ascribed in no small degree to the fact that the Wesleyan Missionaries are strictly prohibited, by the fundamental laws and constitution of their society, from acquiring property of any kind, whether in land or in agricultural stock, at their missionary stations. The advantages of such a regulation, even as regards the Missionaries themselves, are incalculable, as it removes them at once from all temptation, so long as they remain in connection with their society. Its advantages, as regards the success of their mission and the reception of the Gospel by the heathen, are self-evident.

There has also been a French Roman Catholic mission recently formed on the Hokianga River, of which the native population is still very considerable. It is conducted by M.

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Pompallier, Bishop of Maronée in partibus, a French ecclesiastic of superior education, polished manners, and acknowledged zeal; and as five Roman Catholic Priests have recently been ordained at Lyons to act under his orders in different parts of the island, and are now probably on their way for that purpose to New South Wales, it is evident not only that the Church of England's mission in New Zealand will have a formidable rival in the Romish New Zealand Mission, but that the friends of Protestant Christianity, in the Southern Hemisphere generally, have good reason to strengthen their posts, and to stand upon their guard. The New Zealanders, as I have already observed, are by no means predisposed to idolatry; and their universal idea of a Great, Pervading, Invisible Spirit, who cannot be represented by any image, nor confined within any temple made with hands, refers us at once for their origin and mythology, in common with those of their evident congeners, the Indians of America, to those times of remotest antiquity, when the primitive and heaven-taught theology of mankind had not yet been degraded into what Mr. Gibbon calls "the elegant mythology of the Greeks." At the same time there is something in the Romish religion so universally congenial to the feelings and affections of unregenerate humanity, that I would not attempt to conceal my own serious apprehensions of M. Pompallier's success; for, considering the paralyzing influence which that religion uniformly exerts on its votaries, I have no hesitation in acknowledging that I should regard the success of a Romish Mission in Now Zealand in no other light than as a serious calamity to the Southern Hemisphere. Yes, my Lord, it is not merely the prevalence of the French race, but the paralysing influence of the Romish religion that has left Lower Canada in all the darkness and inertness of the middle ages, in the midst of a whole continent of enlightened and energetic freemen. Your Lordship will doubtless recollect that in the reign of Louis XIII., the single Protestant town of Rochelle possessed a commercial navy nearly equal to that of all France besides; and if Protestantism had not then and shortly there- page 35 after been well nigh extirpated from that kingdom by the strong hand of tyranny, guided by the fiendish spirit of intolerance, there is reason to doubt whether Great Britain, our own beloved country, would have stood so conspicuous among the nations as she now does, or maintained so long the empire of the seas. It is on the prevalence of Protestant Christianity, under the glorious flag of England, in the Southern Hemisphere, that the hopes of millions and millions more in that hemisphere undoubtedly depend.

One of the means of conversion to the Roman Catholic faith which M. Pompallier employs, in his intercourse with the New Zealanders at Hokianga, is the distribution of little brass trinkets in the form of crucifixes, and "brazen images" of the Virgin Mary, bearing the Latin inscription Mater Dolorosa. These the New Zealanders suspend to their ears, as they are in the habit of doing with anything else, and especially anything foreign, which they conceive ornamental. I have seen the buckle of an English saddle-girth suspended in the same way, the tooth of a shark, the wing of a bird enclosing a native herb, which affords an agreeable perfume, and an ornament of greenstone. Occasionally, however, the New Zealanders suspend the crucifixes and the brazen images of the Romish goddess to the necks of their dogs!

Of the European population on the Hokianga River, a considerable proportion consists of Irish Roman Catholics, who have originally been convicts in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, and who are now employed as labourers, sawyers, &C., on the different establishments for cutting timber for exportation on that river. And as most of these depraved individuals are living in concubinage with native women, some of them even with the daughters of native chiefs, they doubtless afford a ready access to the natives to the Romish missionary, and a powerful means of influence on the native mind.

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In short the accommodating spirit of the Romish system, which allows the veriest reprobates, on the one hand, to consider themselves religious characters, on their merely complying with the prescribed observances of their church, and which easily engrafts itself on the other, upon any system of heathenism whatever, must afford it a prodigious advantage in such circumstances as these.

From the preceding statement it will doubtless be evident to your Lordship, that whether the New Zealanders remain in their unconverted and heathen state, or adopt such a mere nominal profession of Chritianity as they are likely to arrive at under the influence of land-jobbing missionaries, the prospect for that unfortunate people is gloomy in the extreme. In either case they will infallibly disappear from the land of their forefathers, like the snow from their native mountains on the return of spring. The idea of the New Zealanders being able to form a government for themselves, or even to protect themselves from the aggressions of unprincipled and rapacious Europeans, is pre-eminently absurd. Every succeeding year will witness the formation of additional trading establishments from New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, and of additional points of intercourse between the unfortunate natives and the numerous whalers of the Southern Pacific, along a coast line of upwards of two thousand miles; and the process of demoralization and extermination will be rapid beyond conception. In short, as the present unfortunate and critical condition of that most interesting people is unquestionably the result of the extension of British Commerce and British Colonization in the Southern Hemisphere, I cannot conceive how Her Majesty's Government can possibly refrain from interfering on their behalf any longer. And as to the sort of interference which is necessary on the part of the British Government, I am decidedly of opinion that the establishment of a British Colony, founded page 37 and conducted on Christian principles, in their native isle, affords the only prospect of preserving the New Zealanders from the ruin and extermination with which they are at present threatened, as well from their professed friends as from their undoubted foes.

I have the honour to be, My Lord, &C., &C.