صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[graphic][merged small]

little of the savage about him; he was chieftain of seventeen different places, but chiefly resided at one called Keri-Keri; ingenious himself, he was very anxious to learn European arts. The bust of himself, showing his own tattoo, which he made at Mr. Marsden's request, a bit of an old iron hoop being his only tool, is still to be seen in the Church Missionary House, a remarkable specimen of native ingenuity.

A residence of some months with Mr. Marsden at Port Jackson, strengthened his hold upon the Maori ruler, and decided the former to accede to his earnest request, and found a second missionary station, under his especial protection, at Keri-Keri. It was formed on a beautiful spot, on the banks of the river of the same name, not far from a waterfall, to which the natives had given the poetic title of "Rainbow-water." The soil was more fertile than that at Rangi-hona, and having more experience to begin with, facilitated the progress of the work. Two years after, we read of ten natives regularly employed upon the farm, productive corn fields, and crops not only of vegetables, but peaches, apricots, and oranges from the gardens. Hongi, indeed, was engaged in continual petty warfare with other tribes, and his people partook of his proud and ferocious character, but on the whole, he showed himself at this time the firm friend and protector of the missionaries, always, when appealed to, interfering in their behalf.

In 1820, Mr. Kendal returning to England, Hongi and another young chief, named Waikato, accompanied him, and their residence at Cambridge for several months, near Professor Lee, enabled him to render the important service of

preparing the New Zealand grammar which bears his name. They were welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. Bickersteth in Salisbury Square, and his children can still remember the lively interest with which he re-called making their first acquaintance, as strangers from a land in those days almost as marvellous in its associations as Gulliver's imaginary islands are to us. He was then rejoicing for the first time in the happiness of being a father, and writes, "Our babe laughs heartily at their tattooed faces." faces." Hongi describes his own objects in coming to England thus, "We have come to London to see the king, the multitude of his people, what they are all doing, and the goodness of their land. We wish to remain one month, and then return, to take back with us 100 men, miners, to search for iron, blacksmiths, carpenters, and missionaries, to teach them the arts and religion in their own tongue. We are anxious to have twenty British soldiers, and three officers to keep them in order. We will protect them, and give them plenty of land."

Great interest was awakened in England by the visit of these chiefs. George IV. honoured them with an interview, showed them his armoury, and presented each with a complete suit of armour, double-barrelled gun, &c. Waikato coveted all he saw; Hongi had eyes only for military affairs, and only pleasure in the gift of weapons. The king had many things purchased, which he thought the Maori would value, amongst others some fine looking-glasses, which he had arranged so as to show them off to advantage. But when taken to see them, the chief quietly remarked to the royal donor, "What are all these glasses for, to multiply shadows, when I have plenty of real men? I do not

want such things." His bearing and deportment were extremely dignified when treated as a prince, but when he thought himself an object of curiosity only, he never failed to show his disgust. Once when he saw some ladies smiling, as he thought, at his tattooed face, he threw himself upon three chairs, and covering his face with his hands, remained thus till they left. In the winter he became dangerously ill with a chest attack, for which a blister was prescribed; he long refused to have it put on, but yielded at last, and when it gave him speedy relief, declared he would not quit the country without a pot full of that valuable medicine.

Alas, the visit which promised such good things for the Maori, was indirectly the cause of the frightful wars which desolated their country under Hongi for years afterwards. Though he did not betray it while in England, the soul of the savage chieftain was then fired with one ardent ambition, to become sole ruler in the islands, as King George was in England; with this object he exchanged on the way back everything else he had received for larger supplies of guns, powder, and shot. Visiting Mr. Marsden again while passing through Sydney, he met there the chief Hinaki and another. Determined to turn the deadly gifts he had received to account, he urged some trifling cause of complaint against Hinaki's tribe, as a reason for war with him. Thrusting out his tongue, and distorting his countenance, he bade him make haste home and put his pah (native enclosure) in a state of defence, for as soon as he could assemble his people he should fight him. In vain did Hinaki try to make peace; they sat at the same table, slept under the same roof, and no one would have dreamt they were foes. But

nothing could alter Hongi's savage purpose, and Hinaki finding there was no alternative, hastened home and prepared to resist the invader. The tribes were related to each other, but the pleasure to Hongi of trying his new military stores prevailed over every other feeling. The battle, however, was for some time doubtful. Hinaki, a man of noble form and determined courage, long maintained the combat, until at last he fell, having received four balls; his ferocious conqueror rushed forward, and with his English clasp knife scooped out the eye of his expiring enemy and swallowed it; he then stabbed him in the neck, and drank his blood as it gushed from the wound. About a thousand men were slain in this battle, and three hundred cooked and eaten on the field. Hongi returned with twenty prisoners on his canoe, intended to be kept as slaves, but his daughter, finding that her own husband had been killed, seized the sword which King George had presented to her father,

jumped on board, and smote off the heads of sixteen out of the twenty with her own hand. She then first shot and afterwards strangled herself. Such horrors would have been past all credence had they not been related by eye-witnesses. This battle was only the commencement of a series of such cruel and devastating wars, that the very extinction of the Maori race seemed to be threatened. Hongi became the Napoleon of New Zealand.

The aspect of things at Keri-Keri was entirely changed. The missionaries wrote, "The natives are almost past bearing, coming into our homes when they please, demanding food, and stealing whatever they can lay hands upon. We feared for the whole of our property, but the Lord has heard our prayers." While Hongi was at a distance with his warriors, they had more peace, but when he returned, the anguish of the scenes they were compelled to witness passes all description-heads borne along as trophies, women and even children falling on the unhappy



prisoners, murdering them with yells of triumph, and then the loathsome feast, which crowned the other horrors.

At length this monster murderer received a check in his desperate career. In the beginning of 1827, he plundered and burned the Wesleyan Missionary station at Whangaroa. He was successful, as usual, but after the battle received a shot from which he never recovered. To the last he urged his people to carry on the war, and exterminate his enemies. "Thus will you avenge my death, and thus only do I wish to be revenged," were his last words. It is almost too terrible to think of this man going to his last account, and at the same time to realise him once in the Church Missionary House in Salisbury Square, breathing the holy and loving atmosphere of Edward Bickersteth's family, and truly, as it then seemed, not far from the Kingdom of God.

[ocr errors]




WONDER now whether there is anything in it after all,

or whether it is as I have thought all along, only a delusion on his part."

So spoke Leith Lancaster on the evening after the events mentioned in the last chapter, as he let the Times drop from his hands, and drawing his chair nearer the fire stirred it into a blaze. Mrs. Lancaster, sitting at the opposite side of the fireplace working, supposing her son to have been all the while deep in his paper, looked up and smiled. She was always ready to enter into an argument, and was only too pleased to discuss the day's news with him, and supposing his words to have reference to what he had been reading, she asked, "What is it you are interested in? I have not read the paper to-day."

"Nor have I," said Leith, laughing. "All the time my eyes have been running through the columns, my mind has been full of something else, and upon my word, little mother, I haven't a notion as to what I have been reading."

"I am often guilty of that, and sometimes find I have read pages without taking in a word. But what or whom have your thoughts been busy about?"

"Why, I can't get Mr. North out of my mind, poor old fellow!"

"I wanted to know how he is: have you been to see him then this afternoon?"

"Yes, but he is very weak, and hardly able to care for my visit I'm afraid. I only wish I could solve his problem, and find this mysterious 'bit of sunshine' for him."

"Bit of sunshine! What do you mean?"

"What does he mean? that is the question. I have suspected all this time that his imagination was at work, but I am beginning to think that after all there may be something in it, and that his 'bit of sunshine' is made of human flesh and blood; if only I could find it for him, I believe the old fellow would soon be himself again, but as it is, he makes himself worse by worrying and fretting over it, and the doctor thinks seriously of him."

"It sounds very mysterious," said Mrs. Lancaster, who happened just at that moment to be counting the stitches for the heel of the sock she was making her boy, and had only half heard what Leith had been saying. "He seems to have something lying heavily on his conscience," added Leith. I sometimes wish you knew him: the very sight of you would, I believe, do his poor old eyes good; besides, you have a quiet way of finding out people's troubles and helping them."

[ocr errors]

"If he would care to see me, I would certainly go."

Since that morning when Leith had seen Mr. North for the first time in Mrs. Caston's shop, he had become intimately acquainted with him. The friendship had begun by Leith sending him presents of fish, without, however, the slightest intention of ever knowing him any better.

But Jessie, remembering his lonely words, repeated them to her mistress; accordingly, when Leith Lancaster appeared next time, Mrs. Caston asked him if he would step up and see Mr. North. Leith hesitated. It was a lovely summer's evening, and he felt pretty sure that if he went straight back he would just be in time to see Sasie Ogilvie home, for he happened to know she was going to afternoon tea with his mother that day! If, on the other hand, he went upstairs to see Mr. North, he would miss her. There was no doubt as to which course of action would be most pleasant, but Leith before now had learnt to follow in the footsteps of Him who "pleased not Himself." So after a moment's hesitation he followed Mrs. Caston upstairs; and that was by no means the last visit that Leith Lancaster paid to the lonely old man.

Sometimes he only had time to run in and give him a look, or if he had an hour or two to spare he would have a game of chess with him, or read to him. Even his mother had no idea of the time he spent in Mr. North's room; but Leith had his reward. Lessons he learnt from that old man's trembling lips which he never forgot; he found he was brought nearer to God, and new thoughts and ideas of life and its duties opened up before

him. He was no loser by giving up these hours to enliven and cheer his old friend; and who indeed is ever the loser for obeying God's Commandments and following in the footsteps of his Lord?

There were, however, days when even Leith's footstep on the stairs brought no smile to the old man's lips, or light to his eyes; days when it seemed as if he could not overcome the depression which hung over him; it was at such times as these that he would shade his eyes with his hand, and look vaguely about in search of his "bit of sunshine," and the memory of a sin he apparently had committed in the past seemed connected in some mysterious way with it.

It was late in the afternoon of one of these days, that Leith had come across his old friend lying still and white in the quiet village street. He had seen him in the morning, and had left with a sad heart, little imagining where he would next meet him. At first Leith feared he was dead, and it was indeed some time before he showed signs of life, but gradually he became conscious, and his first words were about his "bit of sunshine." "I was watching for her," he kept on saying, "for she promised to come to me, but in vain-in vain."

Leith Lancaster puzzled over these words, and walking down the village street the day following found himself stopping at the spot where he had come across Mr. North the evening before.

"Just opposite the Vennings' house," he thought to himself. "Could it be possible that old Mr. North could have so surrounded Ella and Beatrice with his own fancy as to describe either of them as his 'bit of sunshine'?" "Light hair and dark eyes, and looking just as if the sun was always shining upon her," he had said again and again. "No, these words could not apply to the Vennings," thought Leith, but as he turned homewards his face became gradually graver. "I am determined to find out," was his inward resolve, as he hung up his hat in the hall, and entered the drawing-room, where he found his mother.

"There is only one in Inglesby who at all comes up to his description," said Leith, breaking the silence into which they had fallen since his mother last spoke.

"What was his description?" asked Mrs. Lancaster.

"A little bit of sunshine'; mother, there is only one girl I know who can be so described."

Mrs. Lancaster looked up suddenly at Leith. He was leaning forward, his hands clasped round one of his knees, his eyes bent on the fire; was he seeing the "bit of sunshine" there, for his eyes and lips were smiling? A pain shot through his mother's heart as her eyes fell on her work again, but she simply asked, " And who is that girl?"

Leith remained silent; he either did not hear, or did not wish to answer, but suddenly at the sound of a light footstep he sprang to his feet, and looked towards the door; there stood Sasie Ogilvie.

At the sight of her Nona's heart seemed to stand still. Was Sasie the answer to her question? She had never thought or dreamt of such a thing, but something in Leith's face and manner as he went towards her convinced his mother that he had been thinking of none other than Sasie when he had uttered those words a few minutes ago.

"Come in, Sasie," she said kindly, but it must be confessed with a certain effort. "I did not expect you to-day."

"No; but I could not resist coming in as I was passing, and it is only just five o'clock," said Sasie, who was always sure of a welcome from her friend. She little imagined that for the first time in her life Nona wished she had not come. "How nice and cosy you look," she added, taking a cup of tea from Leith's hands. "But I am afraid I have interrupted you," glancing at the Times. "Were you reading to your mother, Leith?" "No, we were only talking, or rather I believe we had lapsed into silence; eh, mother?"

Mrs. Lancaster did not look up from her work, for she was afraid of the tale her face might tell. She had never felt it difficult to meet Sasie's eyes before, and though she knew she was looking at her with the pretty loving expression on her face which had always pleased her till now, she could not answer the smile just yet.

"I thought you were going over to the Stantons' this afternoon?" said Sasie, looking up at Leith.

"Yes, I was, but something kept me. By-the-bye, Sasie, where had you been yesterday afternoon before you came home? "I had been to see the Vennings. Why?"

"How strange," said Leith, the expression of his face altering. "You must actually have passed him; do you know what I found on my way back through High Street? it was quite dark, you remember, when I left your house."

"I know; indeed it was so before I reached home myself."

"I am glad you did not see him," said Leith, rather absently. The idea he had mooted a few minutes before to his mother seemed to be growing more distinct in his mind.

"How mysterious you are!" said Sasie, laughing. "What does he mean, Nona ? "

"Do you know old Mr. North, Mrs. Caston's lodger, Sasie?" Leith waited somewhat eagerly for the answer to his question.

Sasie looked up quickly with a frightened look in her eyes, and a guilty flush spreading over her face.

"I hope nothing is wrong with him?" she asked quickly, remembering where she had last seen him.

"I remember now. You met him surely last summer in the churchyard, did you not, Sasie?" remarked Mrs. Lancaster.

"Yes, it was last summer; but is he ill, Leith ? "

"The doctor gives only slight hopes of his recovery. I found him lying insensible in High Street last night on my way home."

"Oh!" was all Sasie could find to say.

"He was just opposite the Vennings' door, and from his first words when he recovered consciousness I judged that he was waiting for some one."

Sasie sat with her hands clasped on her knees, and her eyes bent on the ground; conscience was busy, and she dare not trust herself to speak.

"But I trust he will recover, dear," said Nona, seeing the girl's distress, and not knowing exactly the cause. "I suppose you have seen him

several times since the summer, and have become fond of him."

"I promised to go, but I never went," said Sasie, in a low voice. "And now-oh, Leith," she added, looking up quickly in his face, "is it too late; will he care to see me now?"

"Then you are his 'bit of sunshine,'" said Leith, gravely; and in his look Sasie saw plainly the added thought, "and you have broken your promise."

[ocr errors]


To the Editor.

EAR MR. EDITOR,-Readers of the GLEANER will not doubt that the regular study of missionary literature tends even more than attending annual meetings to quicken their interest in missionary work abroad. We believe that many will not doubt the further statement, but thank God for it, that the study of the records of missionary enterprise, self-denial, and success, tends to strengthen their faith, increase their hope, and enlarge their hearts.

The problem before us is how to increase the circulation which is attended with such benefits both to the missionary work abroad and to the readers at home. I have tried in this district a plan which others may be able to try with equal success in their own neighbourhoods. I obtained leave from the incumbents to visit their Sunday-schools and show copies of the GLEANER and canvas for orders. I got one person in each Sunday-school to be responsible for receiving a packet monthly, distributing the GLEANERS and receiving the pence in exchange. The curate or superintendent of the school is usually willing to undertake this. This one person is responsible to me for the money, and I order the packet to be sent to each such distributor from W. H. Smith & Sons' railway bookstall. I settle with W. H. Smith & Sons for the whole set each month. In this way over 250 copies are distributed monthly in this district, where a few months ago probably not twenty-five were seen, and many of the present readers were not aware of the existence of this admirable paper. This plan may be carried out in any town in England, and possibly the work may be a new mission of usefulness for some persons who wish to do good, but feel a want of some definite plan of usefulness. Many people will be quite pleased to give a penny monthly for the GLEANER when it is thus brought to them, who would not take the trouble to order it for themselves. Tract distributors might also add the GLEANER to their stock, as no better tract could be found. J. T. K.

ANOTHER SERVANT'S OFFERING.-The following letter was lately received by a clergyman from a domestic servant :-"Dear Sir,-Will you kindly accept thirty shillings towards the fund for sending out missionaries. I was going to buy a cloak, but prefer giving it to this."

GOSPEL TROPHIES. Old Asirvatham, of Surandei.

SURANDEI, November 29th, 1882. REGRET to inform you of the death of one Asirvatham, chettiar [ie., shop-keeper caste], a good Christian. I hope that it will be very interesting to the Christian friends to hear some account of this faithful servant of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was a hardened Hindu devotee, and even mocked the members of Christ. While living in this bigoted state, he had a special call from God one day. While lying on his bed he had a fearful struggle with some frightful appearance, when the words, "Jesus! save me," proceeded from his mouth; the struggle ended, and he got some relief in himself. Ever since, his attention was turned from Hinduism, and he tried to know something about Christ; and in order to obtain the knowledge about Him, he searched the Word of God. Though he was ridiculed and ill-treated by his relatives, he was not shaken.

When the late Rev. D. Fenn, our beloved itinerating missionary, was on a visit to Surandei, this chettiar expressed a desire to be baptized, and after finding him properly fitted for it, Mr. Fenn baptized him, in the year 1861. The Bible was his companion, therefore he adhered to read it regularly and daily. He was blest with a spirit of supplication, therefore he used to pray always, and was very delighted in it. He never absented himself from public services and prayer-meetings. He was not ashamed to speak of Christ to his relatives, his wife, and children, who are still heathens. He preached the Gospel, not only to them, but for the souls of others also he had a great concern. He was a great help to me in visiting small neighbouring congregations, and taking prayers with them on Sundays when neither I nor either of my agents can go to them. He had the practice of remembering in his prayers the children for whom he stood sponsor. He composed many songs in praise of God on the subject of his conversion. Whenever he found any two of the congregation to be ill-disposed with each other, he acted as a reconciler, and would be at rest if he found them well-disposed. He would warn the offender and pacify the offended, and dismiss them with prayer. The names of his Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus our Saviour, and the Spirit our Sanctifier, were very precious to him.

Being very old, he fell sick in his seventieth year, and was confined to his bed for three months. He was ready for the call; his heart was close to the Triune God by prayers and meditations. He preached to his heathen relatives and friends, even when confined to his sick-bed. The members of the Bible and Prayer Union all over the world would be very glad to hear of his happy death. On the day previous to his death, after I had finished my prayer with him, he preached cheerfully to those who sat around him, on the words," The Lord is my God." His wife, knowing he had been suffering from his illness, and had had no sleep during the whole previous night, requested him to be quiet; to which he replied, While I have "My time is short, I will die either to-day or to-morrow.

the power to speak I must not remain a minute without speaking of our Saviour, who is stretching out His hands to receive me into His mighty arms." SUVISESHAMUTTU SWAMIDASEN, Pastor of Surandei, Tinnevelly.


F the Editor of the GLEANER can give me space I should like to tell the younger readers about a good and easy way of raising money for the Church Missionary Society.

For seven years we have had in this town (Ipswich) a nice large annual meeting for children and young people. The only hall that will hold the numbers who come is an expensive one to hire, while the collection is never large, as children have so little money. Some friends thought the meeting should be given up, others said, "By no means, it is too important!" At length we thought if the children really cared to have a meeting they would perhaps exert themselves to pay for it. But how? Reading in the Green Book, that in one place £40 was obtained by a "Waste Not" Society, we determined to try. A few children came together by invitation, and enrolled themselves as members. They were provided with some printed paper setting forth their object, with a request that grown-up people would help them; thus armed, they set to work. They called on their friends and requested them kindly to take care of old letters, envelopes, circulars, in fact, of all kinds of waste paper, and reserve it for them, allowing them to call for the collection every month.

If printed paper was given, they asked to have it kept separate from the written, as if mixed together the paper merchant only gives half as much money as he does if it is separated. Some of the young collectors asked for a sack into which to empty their spoils at home; others, who had not room for anything so bulky, preferred to bring their paper to a common depository. The first year of our "Waste Not" has just closed with a very satisfactory result of £5 5s, realised by the sale of waste paper collected by the untiring energy and zeal of a few children. We have started our new year full of hope that many more will join the "Waste Not" Society, and that we shall AGNES J. CLOWES. at least double the sum obtained last year.



OST of our friends

are aware that, in response to the earnest appeals of the Rev. Dr. Bruce, of the Persia Mission, when at home last year, the Committee decided to extend the operations of the Society by the occupation of the City of Bagdad. Some account of the place and people may therefore not be uninteresting.

The very name of the historic city seems to conjure up visions of Oriental splendour, and to lead us back to that period of Eastern pomp and magnificence the brilliant reign of Haroun Alraschid, or Aaron the Just, whose name will be familiar to all readers of the "Arabian Nights." Bagdad was built eleven centuries ago, or in the 145th year of the Hejira or flight of Mohammed to Medina. Situated in a most convenient position as the imperial city of the Arabian Kaliphs, lying as it did on the banks of the Tigris, and not far from the waters of "the great river, the river Euphrates," it became a large commercial city, and the centre of Mohammedan religion, learn


ing, and law.

After the death of the Kaliph Haroun Alraschid, Bagdad continued, except for a short time, to be the capital of the Kaliphs of the Abbaside dynasty (so called from its founder, Abbas, an uncle of Mohammed) and it ceased to be the imperial city only on the fall of that dynasty. For about five centuries the Kaliphs of this dynasty had reigned with varying fortunes; but with their downfall, in the middle of the thirteenth century, departed the glory of their imperial city. We find it sometimes occupied by the Tartars, then by the Persians. In 1258 A.D. it was captured and sacked by the Moguls. But it was speedily rebuilt, and, after passing through many changes, was at last captured

« السابقةمتابعة »