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The Founders of Canterbury

Reigate, Tuesday night

Reigate, Tuesday night.

My Dear Wynter,

—Not being sure but that I may have to go to London to-morrow, I am tempted, after refreshment by "40 winks," to add to my former letter, the expression of an anxious hope that the removal of the contingency may enable you to induce Mr. Maddock to withdraw his refusal. Two good men declining the offer must prove "a heavy blow and great discouragement." Maddock's name as the intended Bishop has spread through the religious world. His refusal of a notorious offer casts a slur on the appointment and the settlement. What can we say? "That we felt sure he was going to accept: otherwise the offer would not have been made." But that, though a good apology for the blunder of the Association, will in no degree blunt the sharp point of the offer long entertained and deliberately refused. Add to this the running down of the enterprise by the Low Church party, the common belief that it is a "Puseyite affair," and the ill-will, not inactive, of Selwyn's friends—together with the goring of each other by Gorham and Philpotts: put all these things together, and you will see that the affair is, ecclesiastically, in a desperate mess. Nothing can put it right in time, but relief from the heavy burthen of Maddock's deliberate refusal. That will be attributed to his having found out that it is "a Puseyite affair." It is simply impossible to get the Association and the Primate to adopt a third good man in time. "In time" means before Wednesday the 17th, when the public meeting will attract foes as well as friends, and if there is not a Bishop to present, the grand distinctive feature page 254of the New Zealand Canterbury will be exhibited in a wounded and miserable plight. This is sober truth, though I write spoutingly from being greatly moved.