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bringing down the blessing of God—for Blessed are the peace-makers / The Committee refer to the following Minute of the Settlers made at a Meeting held on the 1st of January of last year:
On the eve of Mr. Marsden's departure, a report was received, by a Native who had returned from the war at Kiperro, that the Chiefs of Kiddeekiddee had been very merciful in sparing the prisoners whom they had taken; on which account, Mr. Marsden proposed to give them some present as an acknowledgment of the lenity which they had shewn ; and to point out to them how much better it is to spare than to kill, to save life rather than to destroy it. The Committee, having taken this into consideration, rewarded the Chiefs as follows:—to Rewa, Moco, Warreenewee, and Aheehee, each an axe and a hoe; and to Charles Shunghee, a hatchet.
At the date of the last advices, the unsettled state of the Natives, as might be expected, occasioned the delay of various plans for their benefit. Mr. Marsden had wished some of the Settlers to fix at the Gambier and on the west side of the Thames; but, at a meeting held in October, it was considered requisite, under the peculiar circumstances of the country, that every one should, for the present, continue at his Station. Supplies were requested from the Society, for the erection of Places of Worship and School Rooms at Rangheehoo and Kiddeekiddee, in the confidence that the state of things would improve, though the immediate prospects were discouraging. The difficult circumstances of the Mission had prevented that attention to Schools, which will prove, under the blessing of God, one of the main instruments of its success. It was, indeed, one of the evil effects of the disturbances, that the people became disinclined to send their Children to learn any thing of the Settlers. Shunghee declared that he wanted his Children to learn to fight, not to read. From the same despatches it appears that Cultivation was prospering, at the close of the year, at both Settlements. Mr. W. Hall writes of Rangheehoo—
I have a sufficient quantity of wheat growing to serve my 2 house and family the year round, if nothing happens; besides several patches in different parts of the surrounding country, among the Natives.
Mr. Francis Hall writes, of himself and Mr. Kemp, at Kiddeekiddee—
We have in our garden, European fruit-trees and vegetables of many kinds. Oh, that the people were as good in proportion as the soil and climate! it would then be a pleasure to live among them. We have cut asparagus as thick as my finger, which I planted since we came to Kiddeekiddee. There are peach-trees five feet high, which I planted from stones at the same time. I have distributed among the neighbouring Chiefs, many peach-trees, vines, seeds, &c.; and perhaps at some future day, when they taste the sweets of them, they may remember and be sorry for their bad conduct. We have upward of three acres of as fine wheat as ever grew, and an acreand-half of barley; which will be enough for our family for the coming year, if we are permitted to reap.
Mr. Butler says of the cultivation and buildings under his own immediate care at Kiddeekiddee—
I have seven acres of wheat and six of barley and oats, growing at this time, all looking remarkably well: I sowed all the grain with my own hands, and had no assistance to work the land but my Natives. Our garden is full of a variety of vegetables, with many young fruit-trees, and an excellent bed of hops, containing 14 hills. We have also 158 rods of seven feet pale-fencing standing round our paddock, garden, house, and yard ; made almost entirely by Natives, with the assistance of myself and my Son: also a new Potatoe-house, 30 feet by 10; a Fowl-house, 21 feet by 10; a Goat-house, 8 feet by 10; a house for the Working Natives to live in, and for a School for them, 27 feet by 10; the Natives' house not yet finished.
The Committee cannot but earnestly commend this Mission, under its peculiar difficulties, to the sympathy and prayers of the whole Society. It might be expected that the God of the World would contend fiercely for that dominion, which he exercises over these oppressed and degraded tribes. It is not, therefore, in this conflict, against flesh and blood only,the depravity of the people themselves, that we wrestle; but, as exercising over these people an especial and malignant tyranny, against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
All the Settlers concur in representing the field of labour in this Mission to be vast indeed ; and the prospect, until thus clouded and darkened, to be highly encouraging: and it has been sufficiently shewn, that great numbers of the Natives long earnestly for times of peace and security, and are bent on availing themselves of the aid of Christians. The Committee are not, therefore, disheartened by present appearances. Nor are the good men who have offered themselves to this service disheartened : one family, as has been already stated, has just embarked for this Mission under the hope of a favourable change of circumstances; and another is preparing for the same destination. It is the Cause of Him, who has promised to bruise Satan shortly under the feet of His Servants, in which these willing labourers engage ; and your Committee are well persuaded, that, great and numerous as the difficulties are which these Servants of God have to encounter, they will all give way before the grace and patience of devoted and self-denying men, who shall dedicate themselves, with their whole heart, to the Lord, for the salvation of this people. Some such men are already engaged in the Mission: with the devout sentiments and prayer of one of them, the Committee will conclude:—
Notwithstanding all our difficulties, and the stumblingblocks which the Adversary puts in our way, we know that the Word of God is true—we know that its exceeding great and precious promises must be fulfilled—we know that New Zealand shall one day be won to Christ, and that this inhospitable desert shall one day blossom as the rose. When I can read the Bible with profit, which has seldom been the case lately, I am encouraged to go forward, though I cannot run : but, in times of darkness, I am full of doubts and fears. Though we should only be permitted to pick up a few stones to make a high-way for others to follow, I hope we shall, through the grace of God, be enabled to hold out unto the end.
Oh that Christians, in highly-favoured England, did but well know the spiritual and temporal wants of this fine race of Heathens !—they would pray earnestly, and throw open their purses, so that there wou d be no lack of Labourers for this desert, which shall one day be as the garden of the Lord, though, at present, all is darkness and the shadow of death.
- A NT I GU A. The last Return of the Schools with which the Society is connected in this Island is as follows:–
Of the Schools in this List, those at English-Harbour remain under the care of the English-Harbour Sunday-School Society: the Seven Country Schools are more immediately connected with this Society. Of these Schools, those of Bethesda, Hope, and Old Road were formerly established : the other four are New Schools. That at Pope's Head, mentioned in the last Report, has been given up in consequence of the removal of the friends on whose care it chiefly depended.
The total number of Scholars has been increased
by about 200; the last Report stating them at 1424.
Mr. Dawes, and Mr. and Mrs. Thwaites, continue in the superintendence of the Society’s Schools; and are assisted by William Anderson and his Wife, he having married again, in December. Patrick Skerrett, also, has been appointed a Teacher under Mr. Thwaites. The establishment of Inspectors, stated in the last Report, has been found beneficial both to the Scholars and to themselves.
The School at Bethesda labours under some disadvantages; but is, on the whole, prosperous. The Young People who attend there discover great attachment to it, and there is reason to think well of the religious state of several.
At the Hope School, the increase of Scholars made a new School-Room necessary. A spot of land has, in consequence, been purchased, and a building erected, fifty feet by thirty-two, at an expense to the Society of about 370l. currency. The New School was opened on the 26th of November; and though twice as large as the former room, it can only now conveniently accommodate the Scholars who attend. Of this School some very encouraging particulars are reported:—
All the stones, and most of the water used for making mortar, were supplied by the Children and Young People belonging to the School, on Saturday afternoons and moonlight nights; who laboured with cheerfulness to accomplish this much-desired object. The Elder Slaves also, especially the Parents of Children in the School, brought water from a distance of half-a-mile, generally before day-light. The expense of the building was much diminished by these means.
The Children are emulous to improve. Those, who are too small for the purposes of labour, are making rapid progress on those Estates where they have the advantage of being taught daily. On one Estate in particular, the little creatures are at the doors of the huts where they assemble, before they are opened in the morning; and, as soon as they are admitted, commence their different exercises; in all which they so much delight, that they will hardly allow themselves time for their . It is highly gratifying to observe that the persons, at whose huts the Children assemble, give both the use of those huts and their own attention gratuitously. The Elder Scholars have also made great improvement, within the last twelve months; and several of them have become steady and useful Teachers.
But that which will afford the highest satisfaction to those who rightly estimate the worth of souls and the benefits of true religion, is, that more than Sixty of the Young People are awakened to a serious concern for their eternal interests, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance.
A Young Negro Woman belonging to this School has concluded her earthly race. About a year before her death, she became decidedly pious; and, though much exposed to temptation, preserved her integrity to her dying day.
Some of the Elder Slaves, and the Inspectors in particular, declare that they have gained much spiritual light by being present at the Night Schools.
At the School at Old Road, some of the Scholars have made good progress, and most of them have improved as to regularity of attendance: in several,