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A History of the English Church in New Zealand

Hadfield is stricken with a mortal illness

NOTE.--With regard to the rest of those whom Mr. Collier calls the "peccant missionaries" there is not much to be said. One of them, Clarke, was certainly treated with strange injustice. The governor brought an action against him in the Supreme Court, as already related. He did not defend himself, but was dismissed by the C.M.S. on a charge of having gone to law with the governor! A full list of the landgrants may be seen in Thompson's "Story of New Zealand," Vol. II., p. 155. It is not pleasant reading; one could have wished that the missionaries had not been driven to acquire land as they did. Perhaps some of them were led on further than was wise or right. Taylor's claim for 50,000 acres was startling, but he bought the land at Henry Williams' request to save a war between two tribes who both claimed it. When the grants came to be legally made by Governor Fitzroy, Taylor received only 1,704 acres. Maunsell, Chapman, Hadfield, Morgan, Stack, and some others, never bought any land at all; and the amounts claimed by some of the others were very small. The total number of missionaries on the schedule is 36: the total number of acres granted is 66,713. It must be remembered that the families of the grantees were generally large, and that the quality of the land was usually very poor.




We must suffer for the sin of others as for our own; and in this suffering we find a healing and purifying power and element. --_Shorthouse._

The land-grant controversy did not, of course, occupy the whole of Bishop Selwyn's time during the years of its painful and weary course. The journeys by land and sea were still carried on, and were even extended in their range. In 1848 the bishop sailed away eastward, out of sight of land, in a small schooner of 21 tons, and after ten days reached the Chathams; in 1849 he even ventured in the same vessel far to the northward among the coral islands of Melanesia. In 1847 he had held a second synod, and there were some cheering occurrences among the Maoris, especially in the south-west district. At Otaki, for instance, the bishop found 300 men, with Rauparaha at their head, engaged in raising the great pillars of a splendid church, around which a town (to be called "Hadfield") was being laid out. At Wanganui the Rev. R. Taylor held remarkable Christmas gatherings each year. From every _pa_ on the banks, a contingent, headed by its native teacher, would come down the river to Wanganui. The thousands who thus assembled were publicly examined for some days as to their Christian conduct, and some hundreds were admitted to the Holy Communion, which had to be celebrated in the open field. At one of these meetings two chiefs volunteered to carry the Gospel to a hostile tribe at Taupo. They went, and were both murdered. One of them, after being disabled, lingered from morning until sunset, and all through these hours of agony was praying for his murderers that they might receive the light.

But, on the whole, a note of sadness makes itself heard throughout the period. Some of the missionaries, like Maunsell, can "watch the clouds pass overhead," and thank God that the storms of war and of false accusation leave them untouched. But none can feel altogether happy amidst the troubles of his brethren. Hadfield is stricken with a mortal illness, and lies helpless for four years in Wellington. Reay dies at Waiapu, and Bolland at Taranaki. This last-named excellent priest was a brother-in-law of the saintly Whytehead, and carried some of the elder man's inspiring influence into the building and furnishing of the stone church at New Plymouth. His death was greatly mourned by his people, as well as by Selwyn, who confessed a special regard for this beautiful portion of his diocese, and now felt that a holy memory had shed upon it a peculiar lustre. Nelson was hardly keeping up to its early rate of progress, and its central mound, instead of a church bore an ugly fort, into which the nervous townsfolk passed over a drawbridge for their Sunday worship. Wellington was still unsatisfactory, its one wooden church serving for a congregation which was "neither so regular nor so good" as might have been wished. Altogether the diocese appeared to the bishop as "an inert mass which I am utterly unable to heave."

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