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stations put together; and, what is of material consequence, the soil is rich, and capable with culture of raising corn and potatoes, &c. sufficient for the consumption of the whole mission; thus to a great extent rendering it independent of those periodical supplies, which have hitherto been received from New South Wales. The importance of forming an agricultural establishment, with this object in view, was early pressed on the attention of the Society by the Rev. Samuel Marsden, the father and the founder of the New Zealand Mission, as being, at the same time, calculated materially to advance the civilization and prosperity of the natives; and it cannot but prove gratifying to him to learn that all his anticipations on this subject are now in the progress of being amply realized.
Those who, like myself, have but recently traversed newly formed colonies, and have witnessed the slow progress generally made in the Herculean task of clearing and cultivating the soil, building houses, and fencing paddocks, will best be able to appreciate the labours of the Waimate missionaries. The settlement is formed on a level, open space, and, as it is first seen on the approach from Paihia, it has rather an imposing appearance: for, instead of the miserable bark or log huts in which settlers in our colonies are generally contented to reside for the first few years of their career, with a few patches of cultivation for the supply of their immediate wants, I here beheld a row of most comfortable looking houses nearly finished; each detached in the centre of well cultivated gardens, with a neat but strong paling fence surrounding the whole settlement, aud enclosing several acres of
ground in a high state of cultivation; groaning under crops of wheat, barley, Indian corn, and potatoes, sufficient, it was conjectured, for half a year's consumption for the whole of the New Zealand Mission, though only the second year of the settlement. Indeed the agricultural branch of the Mission scarcely be said to have been brought into operation before the present year, the principal part of the land now producing barley, wheat, and Indian corn, having been this year sown for the first time; and, although the ground was so full of roots, and other obstructions to the plough and the harrow, that the utmost difficulty was experienced in breaking it up, the crops give encouraging promise of an abundant harvest. The potatoes were nearly ripe, and of a size quite equal, if not superior, to the produce of Van Diemen's Land or England. The wheat or barley appeard dwarfish in comparison with the same grain in Van Diemen's Land, though in other respects looking well; and the maize was finer than any I had seen out of India.
As we rode along the front of the settlement, I could not help contrasting these abodes of prosperity and peace, which the busy hand of industry had thus beantified, with the surrounding, almost interminable, wilderness, where, like the undisturbed race of nature, the rude inhabitants have, till lately, remained almost entirely neglected and unimproved. The striking contrast forceably reminded me of those beautiful lines of Cowper on a similar subject.
'Well spake the Prophet let the desert sing; Where sprang the thorn, the spiry fir shall spring:
And where unsightly and rank thistle grew,
Nor did a closer inspection of the operations of this mission at all disappoint me, for my subsequent observations fully proclaimed the progress of a gradual, but radical, transformation of the moral character of those natives who are residing within its influence, which is so beautifully symbolized in the lines just quoted. Nor ought we for a moment to doubt that, under the same Divine blessing which has thus conspicuously rested on the commencement of this mission Christianity will continue to spread, and eventually diffuse its sacred influence throughout the whole of that now benighted country. Indeed, we have every encouragement to expect that, before many years elapse, the same Poet's further description of the effects of Christianity upon the no less barbarous tribes of North America, now but partially applicable to our mission settlements in New Zealand, will become strictly true of the whole of its savage inhabitants.
'What were they? what some fools are made by
They were by nature, Atheists, head and heart:
The gross idolatry blind heathens teach
Was too refined for them, beyond their reach.'
And sucked in dizzy madness with his draft;
Abhors the thought he boasted of before,
Glistening at once with pity and surprise,
The agricultural branch is steadily and successfully progressing under the able superintendance of Mr. Davis, whose indefatigable exertions in this depart ment show him to be an experienced and highly respectable English farmer. In all my tours in Van Diemen's Land and New South Wales, I do not recollect to have seen a settlement exhibiting agricultural operations, limited though they be in extent, turned out of hand in more satisfactory and workman-like style, or so much substantial improvement effected in so short a period; and that without other aid than from the then untutored natives of the place. Another
*The above lines are literally verified in many happy instances amongst the converted New Zealanders, some of whom, having been barbarous cannibals and bloody murderers, now exhibit, if any thing, a still more striking transformation of character than that amongst the Esquinaux Indians above referred to. It may be proper to add, that drunkenness is far from common; indeed it is scarcely known amongst the New Zealanders, who appear at first naturally to dislike ardent spirits, though an aversion too often overcome on board ship, and is sometimes, though not frequently, succeeded by confirmed habits of inebriety. The New Zealanders are not idolaters, and their notions of a supreme Deity, if believed in at all, are extremely vague. Evil spirits or deities appear to be the objects of their dread, to propitiate whom is the sole end of their superstitious observances.
year will complete the extent of cultivation at present intended for this settlement, when the whole New Zealand Mission will be, in a great measure independent of our adjacent colonies for its supplies of flour, now one of the heaviest items of expenditure in the Mission. Nor let it be for a moment imagined, that these secular occupations, trying and laborious as they must have been, are injurious to the general cause, for the promotion of which the missionaries have been sent out. On the contrary, the labors of Mr. Davis, Mr. Clark, and their coadjutors, however oppressive, (from the hardest and most difficult portion devolving upon themselves,) have proved highly conducive to the improvement of the natives; for it must ever be remembered, that although Christianity is not mere civilization, or knowing the arts, yet, as an operating principle, its excellence is thus powerfully recommended by those who have devoted themselves to the instruction of savages. It is in the every day duties of life, in indifferent stations and callings, that the operation of Christian principles, and the beauty of the Christian life are the most strikingly displayed; and it is, at the same time, a subject of gratulation to find that the attention of the catechists of the New Zealand Mission has been thus steadily and uniformly directed to the advancement of the spiritual interests of the natives, to which all their secular pursuits have in their proper places been made subservient.