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LESSON 97.

THE NEW ZEALAND MISSION.-PART III.

EARLY in the year 1830, several natives came to the missionaries, and said they believed their words, and • wished to turn from their own evil ways that they might become the servants of Jesus Christ. In the course of some months, twenty were baptized, and the desire to hear the Gospel still grew and spread more widely amongst the people. Three mission stations had been planted on the coast ; but the missionaries were desirous to penetrate farther into the country, and form a settlement in the midst of the natives. While the New Zealanders were either indifferent or averse to the preaching of the Gospel, this could not be done ; but now, they looked upon the missionaries as welcome visitors, and wished to have them for neighbours. A fine piece of land was purchased, therefore, ten miles from the coast, and surrounded by native villagesthis was the Waimate station. The missionaries began now to farm; partly that they might grow corn for their own use (for hitherto they had received all their flour, at great cost, from New South Wales), but also, that they might show the natives how to cultivate their land. The New Zealanders, having only their potato-grounds to attend to, spent half their time in roaming about and talking, or, as one expressed it, “working with their mouth while the white people worked with their hands.” The “ white people” thought that when they saw how abundantly God rewards the labours of the diligent husbandman, they

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too would work with their hands. And the experiments succeeded almost better than they could have hoped. There were about forty native men, and the same number of boys, at the mission station; and in three years' time, these men and boys, under the direction of the missionaries, had felled and sawn up 700,000 feet of the timber that grew upon the land, broken

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80 acres, and laid them out in corn-fields, orchards, &c., and they had reaped their first harvest of 30 acres of wheat. They had made a great quantity of bricks for chimneys and other purposes, and built all the houses, workshops, and stabling necessary for the farm, and they had learned how to make the ploughs and harrows, and other iron-work, as well as how to use them. They had also learned how to tend and manage the horses, and looked upon them with much admiration, and even surprise, never having seen so large a quadruped before. The only piece of work they had not done, was to build the mill, for that required an experienced millwright. In the midst of these out-door labours, they had not neglected their school learning; two hours were generally given to it on working day, and all attended the Sunday-school. A chapel, large enough for 350 persons, had been erected at the station, but many more often resorted to the house of prayer. The people who lived at the villages within thirty miles of the Waimate, cut roads through the forest by which the missionaries could visit them the more easily; for in a New Zealand forest the trees are so garlanded and hung about with climbing plants, which hang down like ropes from the branches, that one must cut a path to avoid being entangled and and thrown down, or caught up by the chin,

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at almost every step. The chiefs took the lead in this; and here is a letter which one of them wrote to the missionaries when he had completed his work :“Finished is the road through the wood for your horse and you to come to Mangakahia. Come, come ; we are all waiting to hear you say, 'It is a good road.' Perhaps you will say it is good, perhaps bad: We were thirty-five men, three weeks and four days, and we all say, no payment must we have for this work ; it is a road for the teachers to come and tell us about Jesus Christ; that is our payment. You have been only four times to Mangakahia, but now the road is made, you must come every moon, that we may not forget your words. Come quickly.” In all the villages there was now a Sunday-school, and often they met every day, and were taught by youths who had been in the mission schools.

It is a very good feature in the character of the New Zealanders, that they are alike willing to teach and to learn. When a man has received the Gospel, he will travel one or two hundred miles to visit his friends and instruct them : in this way, a great many were taught whom the missionaries had never seen ; and as soon as a few of them began to read the Bible, they would erect a little chapel of rushes, or of bark sewn together, in which to meet on Sundays and every morning and evening for prayer. Part of the Scriptures and the Liturgy, had been translated, and printed in the years 1830 and 1833, and the natives were much struck with the prayers. Strangers who came from a distance to the mission-stations, and heard them for the first time, would say, “Ah! those are not native prayers; if we did as those persons pray for us to do, we should

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be very different-we should cast away all our bad doings—we should believe in their God.” Some, alas ! made this a reason for not listening to them, or to the words of the Bible. “What you say is too good for us, and we native men had better live as we are ; your prayers require too much, more than we can do, if we tried.” Thus, in his last days, spoke a chief whom the missionaries had vainly endeavoured to lead to the Saviour; and the friends who surrounded him, likeminded with himself, chimed in with the cry, “ Yes, yes, the truth is with Rapu, we cannot do it. We can talk about God, but we have no heart to try to do what is written. We will sit as we are. Rapu, do not listen--turn away—cover your ears—do not listen !” Poor Rapu did turn away-he refused to the last the grace offered to him.

But others of the principal men set a far different example to their people. Ripi, a chief who was baptized in 1832, was one of these. He had been a great warrior; but from the time that he became a soldier and servant of Jesus Christ, all his thoughts were bent to do men good, and not to destroy them. Reasoning with one of his former warlike companions, he said to him: “The name and reputation which we acquire by war and bloodshed is like the hoar-frost, which disappears as soon as the sun shines upon it; but when a man is brave in seeking the things of Jesus Christ, his name lives for ever.” Ripi was brave after that manner; he was just and noble in all his dealings, patient under suffering, never weary of learning God's will and trying to teach it to his countrymen; and after twelve years so spent, he fell asleep peacefully in Christ, looking for the resurrection. In 1837, the venerable Mr. Marsden, who had already visited New Zealand six times to assist the missionaries with his advice, came to see them for the last time. He travelled over one hundred miles of country, observing the wonderful change which had taken place in the habits of the people, and his heart was filled with joy. The Waimate district, which had been remarkable for quarrels and wars, was now, he said, become the most orderly, peaceful place he had ever been in, numbers of the people having been baptized and living as Christians ought to do, in love towards God and man. He gave them his last blessing, and bade farewell to this flock so lately gathered into Christ's fold, saying, like the holy Simeon,“ Lord, now lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” In the following year he was called to his rest, being then nearly 73 years of age.

LESSON 98.

AN ODE.
How are thy servants blest, O Lord !

How sure is there defence !
Eternal wisdom is their guide,

Their help, Omnipotence.
In foreign realms and lands remote,

Supported by thy care,
Through burning climes I pass'd unhurt,

And breath'd in tainted air.
Thy mercy sweeten'd every soil,

Made every region please ;
The hoary frozen hills it warm’d,

And smooth'd the boist'rous seas.

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