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Natives towards them had been friendly, and the had been mercifully enabled to continue their labours without molestation; but the unsettled state of the Natives, and the want of assistance, had prevented their visiting the people as often as they wished.
The following general view of the Station is given by Mr. Kemp, in August:—
Although we have had many troubles to contend with, we have been enabled to stand our ground, and have been permitted to go on with our work of instructing the Natives; from some of whom we have encouragement to persevere in our labours. Hitherto, most of our time and attention have been directed to the Natives living with us, generally from 30 to 40 in number: they regularly assemble together mornin and evening, for prayer in the Chapel; and twice in the wee besides we give i. religious instruction; and two of us go out to visit the Natives at their homes as often as we can.
A portion of five days in the week is appropriated to the study of the language.
There were in the schools, in July, 22 Boys and Adults, and 12 Girls; and Mr. Clarke, under that date, gives the following encouraging account of this department of labour, as well as of the general state of the Mission:—
Amidst various interruptions, we have continued our Schools with success. Many of the Children and Adults have made considerable progress in reading, writing, and arithmetic; and others are gaining progressive knowledge. Many, I hope, are thus preparing to assist their countrymen out of their horrid state of barbarism, to become useful members of society, and I hope living members of Christ's Church. We have frequent changes in our School, by some leaving and others coming : our regular number at this Station, under instruction in reading and writing, is from 30 to 40. We are often refreshed in this part of our work by the progress which the Natives are making in reading and writing, by the attention which they sometimes pay to religious instruction, and by their consistent conduct. Several who have married from the Schools are, and have been for several years, living with us: at present they manifest no disposition to leave; but whether they will be allowed to remain with us in peace is very doubtful. They will at all times, if living with us, be very much exposed, and liable to be Fo of whatever they may possess: besides, nothing ess than a principle of Grace will enable them for any length of time to bear the scoffs and taunts of their ungodly countrymen, or to take up their cross daily, and follow Christ. Our partners regularly attend alternately to the Girls' School in the afternoon; where they are taught reading, writing, and needlework: their number has generally amounted to 15, and has never been less than 10. They are also encouraged in their efforts to benefit the state of female society. In our late trying circumstances, both Boys and Girls behaved remarkably well: very few of them left us; they seemed determined to suffer with us, if in any way called to it.
The following extracts from the Letters of Mr. Clarke and Mr. Kemp shew the gradually improving state of the native character among those who are brought more immediately into contact with the Labourers in the Mission. Mr. Clarke, after noticing the dislike to the Truth of God manifested by the people in general, makes the following remarks:—
Among the Natives living with our Families and on the Settlement, our prospect is brighter; yet the difficulties are not few among them, as will appear if we consider the manner in which they have been brought up. Every New-Zealand child is an indulged child; permitted from its infancy to have its own will in all things; taught to despise the counsel of its' }. yea, even to curse them to their faces; accustomed from early age to obscene sights and tales, without controul or reproof. Their evil habits are, therefore, very early formed; and it requires very much patience, forbearance, and compassion, to effect much good among them : yet, through the bless-ing of God upon our labours, many obstructions are removed ; some of the Natives about us begin to bear reproof, and will even acknowledge their faults; prejudices are removed, convictions are taking place, and some concern for their future welfare is sometimes evident. This encourages us, among a number of discouragements, to hope, that ere long the Holy Spirit will be copiously poured out upon them, which will effectually deliver them from the bondage of sin and Satan. The attendance of the Natives in the Settlement to the Means of Grace is also pleasing: this being : the appointed means, we do hope to see a blessing attend it.
In November, Mr. Clarke writes—
The instruction of the Adults and Children occupies much of our time, but it promises much fruit: their improvement and general conduct continue to be pretty good. We have three Natives married to girls educated in our families, who live comfortably with their Wives. The number under instruction at this Settlement is 34: from 12 to 15 girls are regularly instructed by our Wives.
Mr. Kemp writes, under the same date—
The Natives that live with us afford us considerable encouragement; many have learnt to read and write, and are now reading portions of Scripture, which have been translated into their language, and lately printed in the Colony. We have from 30 to 40 Natives residing with us, and their conduct in general is pleasing: many of them have attained to a considerable knowledge of the Gospel-plan of Salvation, though I fear that they are at present destitute of its power.
Amidst these encouraging circumstances, it should not be forgotten, that the general character of the people continues to be marked by the same features —savage brutality, alienation from God, and enmity against His Truth. These appalling features are thus noticed by Mr. Clarke, shortly after the attack on Whangarooa and the outrage on the Wesleyan Missionaries, which was mentioned in the last Report. Mr. Clarke writes—
Shunghee's party took the Pā [a fortified place], where a great number of the Whangarooa Natives had sought refuge: men, women, and children, were all massacred, without any regard to age or sex. Some of the Chiefs were desirous of sparing some of them; but Shunghee gave orders that not one should be spared, except the slaves, who were to be taken as slaves to Shunghee's Tribe.
During the time our Boys were there, whom we had sent over to inquire into the particulars of Shunghee's wound, several of the Whangarooa Natives were dragged from their hiding-places and killed; and they had the appalling scene of seeing the bodies of the slain pulled to pieces and eaten by their countrymen, as dogs would a carcase; and young children, whose heads had been dashed to pieces before their parents' eyes, they saw these poor miserable cannibals preparing to devour. The scenes of cruelty exceed description; for again and again our Boys said we could not think of the horrible scenes which they had witnessed. We learned that the Natives of Whangarooa were destroyed as a satisfaction for the death of Shunghee's Wife, and to lead his mind from the gloomy scene.
In August, Mr. Clarke thus remarks on the Native character:—
Among the Natives there is still considerable commotion: and as the Spring is now fast approaching, the Natives will soon decide as to their summer projects. We can scarcely indulge the hope, that, in the present state of the Native mind, they will continue any very considerable time at peace with each other. There are so many breaches, on both sides, of contending parties to heal, so many friends' and relatives’ deaths to avenge, some of which are more than a century standing, that were it not for the assurance from the Word of God of such a glorious period when the inhabitants of the earth shall learn righteousness and war be no more known, we should despair of seeing them much otherwise than they now are. When we ask the Chiefs when their wars with each other will terminate, they reply “never; because it is the custom of every Tribe which loses a man, not to be content without a satisfaction; and nothing less than the death of one individual can atone for the death of another.” Shunghee is still living at Whangarooa, and has, I think, fully determined to make that place his entire residence. There is every probability of his recovering so far from his wound, as to enable him again to go to fight. I fear that fighting is become so habitual to him, that he will never cease till the cold hand of death arrest him: he is now talking of seeking satisfaction for the wound which he received last summer from the Natives of whan.
garooa, and has already been making requests to different Chiefs to join him.
While His servants have been thus harassed without, God has very graciously supported them, not only with encouragements among the Natives, but with what is of far higher value—the consciousness of His protecting arm, and the peace and the joy of His Holy Spirit. Of these Mr. Clarke thus speaks in August:— Though at times we have been considerably tried by the conduct of the Natives toward us and each other; yet we have also been comforted by others of them, in the regard which they manifest for us, and in the general improvement of their conduct. Considering their customs, the jarring interests of the different Chiefs, and their naturally cruel character and habits, as well as the opposition which they bear to the Gospel; and considering them completely under the influence of the powers of darkness, whose territories we have invaded; I do not so much wonder at our trials with them, as at our peace and continuance among them year after year; and can ascribe our safety alone to Him who said, Lo, I am with you always; to Him who cares for sparrows, and numbers the hairs of our heads. In November, he writes— Through the abounding mercy of our Heavenly Father, we are all in good health, and living peaceably among the poor Heathen, whose conduct for some months past has been very good. We lament that they are not more concerned about their spiritual welfare, but hope that there is a gradual and general improvement of character: this appears very evident, when we contrast them with the strangers who at times visit us from distant parts of the Island. We feel greatly encouraged that the Natives will listen to the message of the Gospel, remembering that faith cometh by hearing, and that, by listening, they are in the appointed way of salvation. In our visits, we find them more serious, and not so much disposed to scoff as formerly; and they shew a consciousness of guilt, by their endeavours to apologise and cover some of their crimes. We have of late been able to adopt a more regular plan for visiting the people of Waimate, about twelve miles distant: we regularly visit them once, and frequently twice, in the week. The Chiefs promise to assemble the people together when we visit them, and to cease from work on the Sunday; which, if they do, with the blessing of God on our labours, and our increasing knowledge of their language, it will enable us from time to time to lay before them more fully the great truths of the glorious Gospel. We are sometimes pleased to hear some of the most abandoned, cruel, and ferocious among the Natives asking us, with a degree of seriousness, many questions respecting the truth of some of the awful denunciations brought before them; and we humbly hope that the day is now drawing very near, when the arm of the Lord shall be made bare to rescue some, at least, of these miserable captives of Satan, and when the kingdom of our all-triumphing Emmanuel shall be established. Mr. Clarke subsequently adds— We feel especially thankful to our Heavenly Father for the peace which he gives us to enjoy among ourselves, and for that sympathy which is felt for one another, under our various little trials among these poor Heathen: If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it. May the Lord continue to us all grace to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace!