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A History of the English Church in New Zealand

And Bishop Harper was Selwyn's friend


Such

was the ecclesiastical situation for the next three years--1862 to 1865. The position was serious, and there was just the possibility of a schism. But it was hardly more than a possibility. Selwyn seems not to have disquieted himself very greatly about the matter. For there was one saving feature in the case. Christchurch could hardly set up for itself on a diocesan basis without its bishop; and Bishop Harper was Selwyn's friend, and he was loyal to the constitution. The whole synod of Christchurch might pass threatening resolutions--as it did in 1863 and 1864--but as long as Henry Harper occupied the bishop's seat they were bound to be blocked by the episcopal veto. And before the next General Synod the Church was to pass through such tragic occurrences that the question at issue could no longer command the same primary and absorbing interest.

CHAPTER XIV.

RUIN AND DESOLATION.

(1862-1868).

Our heart's consuming pain, At sight of ruined altars, prophets slain, And God's own ark with blood of souls defiled! --_Keble._

The armed truce which lasted from June, 1861, to May, 1863, was marked by strenuous efforts on both sides to bring about a lasting peace. To appreciate the gravity of the situation, it is necessary to remember that the European settlements

were still but a fringe round the coast, while the whole of the interior of the island was occupied by the Maoris. But that race had so dwindled away during the last half-century, and the Europeans had poured in so fast during the last twenty years, that the relative numbers were now not very unequal. If the Maoris had been united, they might even yet have driven the immigrants from the land. That they were not united in any such hostile policy was due almost entirely to the influence of the missionaries. There would have been no hostility at all if just and considerate treatment had been the rule throughout.

In justification of this statement we have only to follow the action of the king-maker, Tamihana, of the old "king," Potatau, and even of his successor, Tawhiao. As long as he lived, old Potatau said _Amen_ at the end of the prayer for the Queen. Even when many of the "king's" adherents had joined the Taranaki army, which was fighting for its life against the Imperial troops, the prayer was still offered up day by day without curtailment, though perhaps with some misgiving, that her majesty might be strengthened to "vanquish and overcome all her enemies." Sir George Grey established Mr. Gorst as magistrate and schoolmaster in the heart of the Waikato. The native authorities would allow no one to appear as a suitor in his court, but they took an interest in his school, and visited it from time to time.


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