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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62

First Missionary Efforts

First Missionary Efforts.

About forty years later the first efforts to evangelise the natives were made. The Rev. Samuel Marsden, Senior Chaplain of the then infant colony of New South Wales, induced the Church Missionary Society to make an attempt to found a Missionary Colony. In 1814 Messrs. Hall and Kendall were sent as forerunners of this grand old man, who embarked himself on the 19th November of that year, bringing with him the first shipment of horses and cattle, which, to the immense delight and amazement of the natives, were safely landed, just before Christmas, at the Bay of Islands. His first sermon was preached on Christmas day, 1814, the lesson appointed for that day containing that glorious passage—" Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." In three months time Mr. Marsden returned to Sydney, his predecessors having left before his arrival. It was not till 1821 that missionary work was put on anything like a permanent basis. To the Wesleyan Methodist Church belongs the honour of having founded the first mission station. The Rev. Mr. Leigh and his devoted wife settled in the Kaeo Wangaroa Valley on the 10th June, 1823.