TUPU WHAKARANGI OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF MAORI POSTAL AOTEAROA
“From Darkness into the Light” see story inside, page 14.
Ka mea a Ihu, “Ko Ahau te huarahi, te pono, te ora; e kore rawa tetahi tangata e haere ake ki te Matua, ki te kahore Ahau” -- (Hoani 14:6).
Why is he so special?
When, as a very young person, I first heard of Jesus Christ, I had a lot of questions. It struck me as rather strange that nobody wanted to talk about Jesus Christ – at least not seriously. It seemed to me that preachers were the only ones who talked about Jesus, and I thought they did so because they were paid to. Some people use the name of Jesus when they swear. But if asked about Him they become suddenly and strangely silent.
If He is just another good man, we can appreciate the good things He did. Yet thousands of people have done good things and none have made the impact on human history that He has. So, He must be more than just another good man.
There are three questions about Jesus which are important for us to consider. First of all, who is Jesus anyway? When I was younger I found it hard to get a sensible answer to this question. Then there is a second question: What did Jesus do? He surely must have done something important for His name to be so well known even though few people seem to want to talk about Him. Finally there is the third question: What has it all to do with me? It was not until some years later that I really found out the answers to these questions and I came to trust Jesus as my own Lord and Saviour. So, to answer our first question -- WHO IS JESUS ANYWAY?
How shall we find out who He is? We will need to turn to the Bible. First, what did He say about Himself. In John chapter 6, verse 38 He said, “I have come down from Heaven not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent me”. Now He said something you and I could never say. We didn’t come down from Heaven. When a baby is born we sometimes speak of it as a bundle sent from Heaven; but what we really mean, of course, is that all life comes
from God. We know that the baby did not come directly from Heaven. So Jesus is different from every other person. He said, “I came down from Heaven.”
humanity. And so He was different from every other person who has ever lived on earth -- He was the God-Man. He was truly God, yet become truly human. Why did He become human? Jesus came to show us what God is like and to do what the Father wanted Him to do. By His miracles He showed us God’s power and that He truly was who He claimed to be. By His compassion He showed us God’s love. The Bible says in John chapter 3, verse 16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”. Again in John chapter 1, verse 29, John the Baptist referred to Jesus as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”. In His sacrificial death on the cross Jesus took the penalty for our sin.
In John chapter 8, verse 58, Jesus said, “Before Abraham was born, I AM!” Abraham lived more than 2000 years before Jesus came to earth. That’s a long time! Yet Jesus said, “Before Abraham existed, I was way back there.” But more than this, Jesus applied to Himself one of the special names for God. He said, “I AM.” That was the name in which God revealed Himself to Moses. Jesus was saying that He is God! Another verse to help us understand this is John’s Gospel, chapter 1, verse 1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, AND THE WORD WAS GOD.” One of the names the Bible gives to the Lord Jesus is “The Word” because He is the very expression of God to us. Here we see that Jesus was there before Creation. He was with God, but more than this -- He was God. This verse implies the three Persons that make up God -- God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that Jesus is God the Son. He was “with God” because, as God the Son He dwelt with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Our second question was, WHAT DID HE DO? We are told in John chapter 1, verse 14 that “The Word became flesh”. He became human, like one of us except He was without sin and He was still God. His God nature was veiled or hidden by His
And now for our third question: WHAT HAS THIS TO DO WITH ME? God the Father sent Jesus into the world because of His great love for us. Jesus came in obedience to the Father because He also loves us. His death on the cross was the greatest expression of God’s love. When we understand something of what Jesus suffered on that cruel cross we can never again doubt His love for us. Jesus died so that we would not need to perish in our sin. Our sins have destroyed our relationship with God, our Creator, and have placed us under His judgment. Without Jesus we are like the prisoner on death row who is just waiting for the sentence against him to be carried out.
Hell is the ultimate penalty for our sin. Jesus paid the price for our sin and now we
can be set free not only from its power over us but also from its punishment. The Bible says, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians chapter 15, verse 3). But not only did Jesus die, He rose from the dead the third day and so He is able to save us, give us new life and keep us. There is just one other question we should ask: “Because Jesus has died for the sins of the world, does this mean that I now have eternal life?” The Bible makes it clear that salvation is only for those who BELIEVE in Him. The word “believe” does not just mean that you believe that Jesus came, died and rose again. It means that you TRUST HIM WITH YOUR WHOLE LIFE. It means that you commit yourself to Him and you are prepared for Him to be the Master of your life. It also means that you be willing to turn from your own sinful way to live the way God wants you to live as shown in the Bible. In this magazine you will read of people who have made this life-changing commitment and the blessings and power they have received for living can also be yours. When you sincerely do this you will then understand why Jesus is so special. He will be far more than just another person in history to you. You will come into a living relationship with Him and you will know him personally as your Saviour, Friend and Lord. He will bring true peace, purity and power into your life which you can never have without Him. -- Editor.
JESUS - The Light of the World When we see this famous painting by Holman Hunt we know immediately that our own story is found here upon the canvas. Holman Hunt presents us with the figure of Jesus knocking on an “overgrown and long unopened door”— it is the door of our own heart and mind. The door has no handle on the outside and can be only opened from within, showing that we are free to keep the door of our heart locked, leaving the Divine Guest on the doorstep, or, if we choose, free to let Him enter our life. Jesus approaches the door as a gentleman; we can tell he is not going to beat it down, nor show any anger. He does not want to impose himself against our will. On the contrary, his knocking will be a gentle tap and the invitation he makes, should we choose to listen, will be reminiscent of Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will sit side by side, and share a meal together.” Nonetheless, while a gentleman, Jesus is still an imposing figure and there is no doubt who is in charge. He wears two crowns upon his head: The crown of glory and the crown of thorns. Jesus takes up the whole centre of the painting, his solidity and mass stressing that he is alive for ever more, firmly and substantially waiting for the stirring of 4 our sleeping soul. He may knock gently
Above: Famous Painting by Holman Hunt
but he will also knock persistently. We can’t help but notice a sorrowful expression on Jesus’ face. How long will he have to knock? Is he knocking in vain? It is only after noticing Jesus and the locked door that our attention is drawn to the secondary elements of the painting: The brambles, the bat, and the lantern. Notice the brambles: They represent the sinful and evil things which have taken over the unkempt garden of virtue because of neglect. Flittering around in the darkness, above the door, is a bat, a natural symbol of darkness, of ruin, evil, and neglect. Fruit has fallen to the ground and lies uncared for and unattended. Yet Jesus towers over the brambles and the bat, and it seems that with a simple invitation he will crush them underfoot effortlessly, “All things
are under his feet” (Hebrews 2:8). Perhaps it is his presence which has quietly kept the fruit from rotting. Making the painting a night scene allows Mr Hunt to use Christ’s lamp as the primary source of light. Whether it is symbolic of the light of conscience, the light of the Word, or the light of the Church, it is Christ who holds it, and the way in which the cords of the lamp are twisted around his wrist shows the unity between the light and Christ: All three emanate from him. See how the lamp’s rays fall gently upon the door, the weeds, and the fruit. If the door was opened there is no doubt that the light would be “a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105), and the owner would hear “the night is far spent; the day is at hand” (Romans 13:12). What will happen next? You hold 5 the key.
Mavis was born in Auckland and grew up in a home with Christian principles. During her teenage years her parents were badly injured in an accident and, as the oldest daughter, she had to manage the household even while suffering from Glandular Fever. During the war Mavis was manpowered into nursing until she contracted rheumatic fever and had to give up her training. Eventually she went to Opotiki and worked as a maternity nurse. While in Opotiki she met Bob Towns at a youth group held at the home of Harry Miles. Mavis and Bob were married in Auckland on 26 May, 1951. They lived in Opotiki for a short time before moving to Orini where both Brian and Margaret were born. It was while they were in Orini that Bob was called by God to work amongst the Maori people. They felt that God was calling them back to Opotiki to work among the people there, and were commissioned by Orini Assembly. After moving back to Opotiki they had Stephen and Judelle. Their ministry involved running Sunday School, Every Boys and Girls Rally, Bible Studies in many homes, Youth Group, Bible-in-Schools, Ladies meetings and many Church Services and Conferences. Although Bible-in-Schools were already established in the two town schools, Bob and Mavis started going into the outlying schools in the area. As these were predominantly Maori Schools they used the Maori Postal Sunday School lessons in the classrooms. Bob took the senior classes while Mavis took the junior classes. At the time of Bobâ€™s death in 1981 they were in 14 local schools. Mavis faithfully continued in the majority of the schools for a number of years until age, health and changes in School policies meant she had to give up a lot of the schools. She finally retired from Bible-in-Schools when she turned 85 but continued marking the lessons until the Lord called her home. Mavis is now in the arms of her Lord and Saviour whom she faithfully served her whole life. She has left a great legacy for others to continue. The following hymn which was sung at her funeral service, was written by her late husband, Bob: -6
Verse 1 There are times when I am lonely In this world of sin and shame There are times when I must suffer For the sake of His dear Name But the joy of serving Jesus Far outweighs the sorrows borne For I know that He has promised I am never alone
Verse 2 Oh yes, He cares for me It was proved at Calvary When He died for my sins On the cruel tree Now He lives in intercession Bringing peace to you and me Who are waiting for the promise Of His glory to see
Verse 3 Are you longing for salvation Truly searching for the way? Are you tired of bearing sorrows That the world canâ€™t take away? Give your life right now to Jesus He will all your problems meet As you humbly come before Him Bowing down at His feet
The Glorious God The glory of God’s Kingdom Shines down from Heaven above, Abundant, merciful and forgiving, Full of unconditional love, Lifting up our spirits, Opening our hearts and mind, To edify everything righteous – A gift He gave all mankind.
Its power so rich and truthful, Its words we must obey, Of the pureness of the Holy Bible We must live by every day. Faithful we will conquer obstacles In this life we choose to live, Strong and sincere determination Our life to God we give. Trust in our Heavenly Father, He will be our light In a world full of darkness The devil He will fight. God has given us wisdom and freedom Through His one and only Son, Jesus Christ our Saviour And the miracles He has done. Let our voices rejoice from the roof-tops, Shout out His holy name, No longer must the truth be hidden, No longer must we hide in shame. People of each and every nation, Let your voices be heard again, For we must stand tall in God now Or Jesus had died in vain.
We have been given a chance to live – The Holy Spirit lives in you, A gift of inspiration within us Keeping us safe and true. So we can live with God always, Nothing can hurt us inside, Unless we turn from God’s commandments There’s no reason we should hide. Let God give you meaning and purpose, Never let Him go – In the end you will strongly be rewarded For the Godliness you show! By Joseph Hurley
The MPA Float entered in the Whanganui Christmas Parade.
MPA Float in Christmas Parade On November 30th, 2013, for the first time in the history of MPA we had a float representing us in the Whanganui Christmas Parade, organized by Tony and Rachel Ahie who are workers at MPA Headquarters. Several hundred calendars, enrolment forms and other literature was handed out. We were thankful to the Lord that the rain kept off until our float had completed its circuit and then the skies opened up and it bucketed down for an hour or so. MPA Stall at “Stone Soup” That same day we attended a local outdoor community function called “Stone Soup”. It is sponsored by Te Ora Hou and involves various community organizations such as the police and fire brigade as a public relations effort. Throughout the day there were items and games put on by the locals and events for the children. A delicious hangi meal was available for lunch. Altogether there were about 300-400 people in attendance. It was another good opportunity to hand out calendars and Gospel literature and again it was all well received. “STONE SOUP” -- Where did the name come from? The story goes that some travelers came to a certain village, carrying nothing more than an empty cooking pot. Upon their arrival, the villagers were unwilling to share any of their food stores with the hungry travelers. Then the travelers went to a stream and filled the pot with water, dropped a large stone in it, and placed it over a fire. One of the villagers became curious and asked what they were doing. The travelers answered that they were making “stone soup, which tastes wonderful”, they said, although it still needed a little bit of garnish to improve the flavour. The villager did not mind parting with a few carrots to help them out, so that got added to the soup. Another villager walked by, inquiring about the pot, and the travelers again mentioned their stone soup which had not reached its full potential yet. The villager handed them a little bit of seasoning to help them out. More and more villagers walked by, each adding another ingredient. Finally, a delicious and nourishing pot of soup was enjoyed by all. – Editor.
The MPA stall at “Stone Soup”.
Some of the crowd at “Stone Soup” in attendance on the day. Lining up for the hangi lunch.
Northland MPA Stall
MAORI POSTAL have a lot of Bible based resources including Bible lessons for tamariki, a study book series to take you from the basics through to the deeper truths, Karakia Posters and Magnets which are credit card size available to put on your fridge, colouring pictures, stickers, the PAIPERA TAPU, the Maori translation of the Bible $25 and a lot more.
Zekiel and Lydia Frater with their 6th, 7th and 8th year shields. They are two excellent pupils who work hard and well. Mrs Frances Neate is their MPA leader.
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www.maoripostal.co.nz TUPU WHAKARANGI issue 214 Janine Williams reports that her team of willing workers had a great day on December 7th running the MPA stall in Northland on behalf of Bill and Topsy Wynyard. They were able to enrol several families for the lessons including one from Australia. They are keen to do the stall again this year. The photos show Janine and her daughter, Emily top, and willing helper Lynn Welsh below. 12
At Pukehina Beach, Kiara rescued this penguin before a dog found it. Later it was released in a safe place where dogs were not allowed.
All English Bible references from the NIV unless otherwise stated. Editor: Graham Batson Mail: PO Box 10, Whanganui 4540 E: email@example.com
spending a lot of time away gambling – card games, etc. So I hardly saw much of my Mum as the older children looked after us. There were nights when I would cry myself to sleep with mixed emotions and deep down inside I missed my Dad.
FROM THE DARKNESS INTO THE LIGHT E ora hoki nga tangata katoa e karanga ana ki te ingoa o te Ariki. (Roma 10:13) Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:13) Kia Ora greetings in the mighty name of Jesus. My name is John Shortcliffe Stone. I was born in Papakura, Auckland, on 28th August, 1967. I am the second to youngest of 13 – nine girls, four boys, having been raised in a family where violence, drugs and alcohol, gangs, and crime were common factors. My Dad passed away when I was 6 years old, so with no father role it was hard for our mother to raise 13 children on her own.
I looked to my older brothers as role models and what they showed me was what I followed. Seeing violence, verbal abuse, drunkenness, crime, drug dealing with gang members around all the time wheeling and dealing became attractive to me. Being the second to youngest I was quite lonely at times growing up in a home where love was rarely shown. Our Mum struggled with us and she had turned heavily to alcohol and started 14
to burglar houses, factories, as well as stealing cars, drinking alcohol, partying, meeting girls in that circle where we were attracted to one another because of our common rebellious mind-set. It was all leading down the road to destruction with the brakes off.
Mum would come home with other men, drunk, and it confused me so much that here I was seeing my Mum with other men. As a young child I did not understand about putting walls up around my heart and feelings, so I would be so angry at what I was seeing. Here I was experiencing the word hatred. As a young boy I was so mixed up. Going to school was hard as I would feel left out because my Dad was not present. It was very difficult to concentrate and focus on school work, so I found no enjoyment in school. I started wagging and, because I was not attending school I would hide in the parks and streets, etc. At that time I started meeting kids of the same age as myself who had similar backgrounds to me. When I would return home Mum would give me a hiding with the broom or jug cord then when my oldest brother came home Mum would tell him what I had been up to so I got an even bigger hiding. I started to rebel more towards schooling and authority figures. As years went by things only got worse.
At this stage the law started to get involved. The police would catch me, because I was young and they would take me home to my Mum and again I would be beaten by my older brother. When I look back it was hypocrisy how he was trying to straighten me out while he was going in and out of jail himself. What kind of role model was that? I started to hate him as to me he was living a double standard life telling me not to do crime, running away, stealing, drinking and fighting. So I thought he was a hypocrite. My heart became so hardened that I did not know what the meaning of love was. Then one day I met a young woman same age as me. She seemed different and the strange thing was that where we met was a Christian camp weekend. How I ended up there was that this young lady walked into a pool parlour where me and all my gang mates were hanging out. She came over to me and invited me to come to this camp weekend – FREE! That buzzed me out! I looked at my mates and said to them we should go to it because we had intentions to go check them out and rob them. But I believe to this day that was the beginning of my life where
At the age of 13 I had become a young man. I was introduced to crime, gangs and violence. I became involved in a street gang in Auckland that was characterised by all the above mentioned. I started 15
God who I had no knowledge of at that time was trying to get my attention. But I did not respond. I also did not rob them but what I heard that weekend was food for thought.
make the shock even worse for him, she was pregnant. He told us both that he loved us and asked us both if we needed help. So life began again. But what a mess I had made over the years that had gone by! She became pregnant again we had two sons in total. But after 15 years we separated.
That weekend I didn’t make any commitments but I had made a date with this girl who had invited me to this Christian Camp weekend and she had accepted. Little did I know her whole family were missionaries and her mother and father were God-fearing people. So as we started dating I began to meet her family. Her father did not approve of me as I was heavily involved in gang activity and he also knew my family and was not happy for me to be dating his daughter. So it became tough as I kind of fell for this young girl because I knew something was different with her. She had also fallen for me and I believe I had deceived her. I gave her an ultimatum to leave her life and the church and told her to run away with me -- and she did. We ran away up north where we stayed with a family member of mine and began a life of doom and gloom.
So once again relationships, unfaithfulness, partying and a new gang life began. Riding motorcycles with an outlaw club was up the social ladder to a higher level where crime and drug dealing was different. Violence was different and now the love of money and possessions became a big part of my life. I thought I had everything. I had accumulated over my years many thousands of dollars’ worth of motorcycles, countless cars -- everything money could buy. I became the master mind criminal but was still lonely deep inside. In all this time as the years went by my Mum had found Jesus and was born again. She had then started to pray for me, that Jesus would save me. Then one day when I had hit my rock bottom I ended up in lock-up facing some serious charges. It was God’s time to touch my heart and He knew I was ready.
At the age of 15 my partner became pregnant and in that time of being away from her parents she had been reported as a missing person. The day came when there was a knock on our door, and when I opened the door to our surprise it was my partner’s father and what a shock it was! He asked to see his daughter and she came to the door. Her Dad cried, seeing his daughter after 2 years. To
It took one Scripture that was written on a dungy prison wall, Romans 10, verse 13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved”. As I was heading back to my cell to be locked up again I began thinking about those words. All of a sudden I fell to my 16
knees. It was like a TV screen was turned on and my whole life flashed before me – from my childhood to where I was in that moment in life. I cried out that Scripture and called out to the Lord to save me. Suddenly a beam of light came through the tiny cell window and hit me right there. I was delivered of alcoholism, drug dependency, violence, anger, etc. I had received Jesus Christ as my own personal Saviour.
We are a Christian Motor Cycle Ministry and are a non-profitable organisation. We reach out to the unsaved in our own community Levin. We started meeting in our home for fellowship with similar people and now meet every Saturday at a hall in Levin where many lives are touched and transformed to the glory of Jesus our Saviour. We meet both spiritual and physical needs and are always looking for those who can help. If anyone is interested in fellowshipping with us you can contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was set free from being locked up and bound by the enemy – Satan -- and I began a new journey as a follower of Jesus. It amazes me how there was so much power in God’s Word. (Read Hebrews 4, verse 12. This verse says it all). I was born again in 1990 and for several years stayed faithful to my commitment. In 1997 my mother passed away and that had a huge impact on me.
We stand on the Word of God (Matthew 28, verses 18 to 20, John 3:16, Acts 2, verse 38-47, Hebrews 11 [which demonstrates true faith] as well as 1 Corinthians 13). Here is a prayer you could pray if you truly want your life to be changed by God’s power: Heavenly Father, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe in You and that Your word is true. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that He died on the cross so that I may have forgiveness for my sins and eternal life. I know that without You in my heart my life is meaningless.
In 2000 I backslid and returned to the life I once lived – doom and gloom once again. In 2007 I moved from Tauranga to Levin. So 7 years of being in the wilderness -- I had become a prodigal son. But I had had enough of the dark and knew it was time to return and in that time living in Levin I had met a beautiful lady named Jodene who I connected with. We both made a decision to follow Jesus, get married, clean up our lives and serve Him. At this stage we have three beautiful daughters – Shanica, Ani and the youngest is Faithful. We are involved in a group called “The Redeemed”. If you want to check it out on our website: www.theredeemed.org.nz
I believe in my heart that You, Lord God, raised Jesus from the dead. Please Lord Jesus forgive me, for every sin I have ever committed. Please Lord Jesus come into my heart as my personal Lord and Saviour today. I need You to be my Lord and my friend. Help me to live for You each day from now on. – Amen. 17
Samuel Marsden’s - ACCOUNT OF -
Christmas Day 1814
This year, 2014, is the 200th anniversary of the first Gospel sermon ever preached on the shores of Aotearoa. An extract from the “Letters and Journals” of Samuel Marsden.
Duaterra [Ruatara]* passed the remaining part of the day in preparing for the Sabbath. He enclosed about half an acre of land with a fence, erected a pulpit and reading-desk in the centre, and covered the whole, either with black native cloth, or some duck which he had brought with him from Port Jackson. He also procured some
bottoms of old canoes and fixed them up as seats on each side of the pulpit for the Europeans to sit upon, intending to have Divine Service performed there the next day. These preparations he made of his own accord; and in the evening, informed me that everything was ready for Divine service. I was much pleased with this singular mark of his attention.
The reading-desk was about three feet from the ground and the pulpit about six feet. The black cloth covered the top of the pulpit and hung over the sides. The bottom of the pulpit as well as the reading desk was part of a canoe. The whole was becoming and had a solemn appearance. He had also erected a flagstaff on the highest hill in the village, which had a very commanding view. On Sunday morning (December 25th) when I was upon deck I saw the English flag flying, which was a pleasing sight in New Zealand. I considered it as the signal for the dawn of civilization, liberty, and religion in that dark and benighted land. I never viewed the British colours
with more gratification, and flattered myself they would never be removed till the natives of that island enjoyed all the happiness of British subjects. About ten o’clock we prepared to go ashore to publish the glad tidings of the Gospel for the first time. I was under no apprehensions for the safety of the vessel, and therefore ordered all on board to go on shore to attend Divine service, except the master and one man. When we landed we found Korokoro, Duaterra [Ruatara], Shunghee [Hongi Hika] dressed in regimentals which Governor Macquarie had given them, with their men drawn up ready to march into the enclosure to attend Divine service. They had their swords by their sides and a switch in their hands. We entered the enclosure and were placed in the seats on each side of the pulpit. Korokoro marched his men on and placed them on my right hand in the rear of the Europeans and Duaterra [Ruatara] placed his men on the left. The inhabitants of the town with the women and children and a number of other chiefs formed a circle round the whole. A very solemn silence prevailed–the sight was truly impressive. I got up and began the service with the singing of the Old Hundred Psalm, and felt my very soul melt within me when I viewed my congregation and considered the state they were in. After reading the service, during which the natives stood up and sat down at the 19 signal given by the motion of Korokoro’s
switch which was regulated by the movements of the Europeans, it being Christmas Day, I preached from the second chapter of St. Luke’s Gospel, and tenth verse: “Behold! I bring you glad tidings of great joy.” The Natives told Duaterra [Ruatara] that they could not understand what I meant. He replied that they were not to mind that now for they would understand by and by, and that he would explain my meaning as far as he could. When I had done preaching, he informed them what I had been talking about. Duaterra [Ruatara] was very much pleased that he had been able to make all the necessary preparations for the performance of Divine service in so short a time, and we felt much obliged to him for his attention. He was extremely anxious to convince us that he would do everything for us that lay in his power and that the good of his country was his principal consideration. In this manner the Gospel has been introduced into New Zealand; and I fervently pray that the glory of it may never depart from its inhabitants, till time shall be no more.
administered the Holy Sacrament on board the Active in remembrance of our Saviour’s birth and what He had done and suffered for us. *Ruatara, of Nga Puhi, was discovered in England in a sick and neglected state. He travelled with Marsden and was to spend eight months with him, teaching him the rudiments of the Maori language. Source: J.R. Elder, ed., The Letters and Journals of Samuel Marsden 1765-1838, Dunedin: Coulls Somerville Wilkie, 1932, pp.93-94.
Biography of SAMUEL MARSDEN 1765–1838 The following is from the biography by G. S. Parsonson which was first published in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Volume 1, 1990. ACCORDING TO RELIABLE SOURCES Samuel Marsden was born on 25 June, 1765, at Farsley, Yorkshire, England, the eldest of seven children of Bathsheba Brown and her husband, Thomas Marsden. At the age of 14 or 15 he went to work in his uncle’s smithy, and in 1786 was recruited by an Anglican evangelical group, who sent him to Magdalene College, Cambridge, in 1790. Two years later he accepted an appointment as assistant chaplain to the colony of New South Wales. In 1793 he was ordained, and at Hull on 21 April he married Elizabeth Fristan. Marsden arrived at Sydney Cove on 10 March 1794 with his wife and new-born daughter, Ann, the first of their eight children. He took up residence at Parramatta in July, and concerned himself with the welfare of orphan children and female convicts. In October he took up a 100 acre block, where he quickly put to good use the gardening and farming implements he had brought with him. Late in 1795 he also consented to serve as a magistrate and as superintendent of government affairs.
When the service was over we returned on board, much gratified with the reception we had met with, and we could not but feel the strongest persuasion that the time was at hand when the Glory of the Lord would be revealed to these poor benighted heathens and that those who were to remain on the island had strong reason to believe that their labours would be crowned and blessed with success. In the evening I
In the next few years Marsden was very busy, not merely as chaplain and magistrate but as a rising landowner. However, he felt the call to evangelise and lent his warm support to the infant missions to the South Seas. In 1804 he took up the post of local agent for the London Missionary Society’s Pacific operations. Marsden’s attention gradually turned to the Maori people of New Zealand and often accommodated visiting Maori, putting them up in his own house and teaching them, entirely at his own expense. As early as 1805 Te Pahi was a visitor.
The extension of the mission to New Zealand was another matter. In 1800 Marsden had been called on to act as sole chaplain for New South Wales, and it was not until 1807 that he was free to return to London to plead his cause before the Church Missionary Society. He then raised a band of lay settlers to prepare the way for ordained missionaries. They were William Hall, a joiner; Thomas Kendall, a schoolmaster; and John King, a rope maker. In August 1809 Marsden left England aboard the Ann with Hall and King. Ruatara, of Nga Puhi, who was discovered in England in a sick and neglected state, travelled with them and was to spend eight months with Marsden, teaching him the rudiments of the Maori language.
A year or two later things were no better. Marsden’s chief ground for complaint at this stage was the private trade in firearms, which he had banned as early as 1815. In February 1819 he was obliged to entreat his settlers once again to desist. They all except Hall agreed to do so, and then promptly yielded to temptation once more. Marsden’s own connection with the venture was also in doubt. In New South Wales his material success, and his disagreements with the governor, Lachlan Macquarie, and others had caused his missionary ventures to be regarded with suspicion and even contempt. In response to Macquarie’s repeated refusal to grant him leave to revisit the Bay of Islands, Marsden took in increasing numbers of Maori at Parramatta and taught them fish-curing, ropemaking, and brickmaking. He also added to his properties so that he could employ all who came in gardening and agriculture, mixed with moral and religious instruction. He plied the settlers at Rangihoua with advice, supplies, and extra hands at his own cost, and kept the Active going back and forth, to pick up pork and timber and more visitors.
The missionary societies rejected Marsden’s proposal to link Sydney, Tahiti and New Zealand, and, early in 1814 he was obliged to buy his own ship, the Active, for £1,400, most of which came out of his own pocket. The temporary Colonial Office veto of any further settlement in New Zealand almost proved the last straw. Hall and Kendall (who had come out in 1813) did not reach the Bay of Islands until June 1814. Marsden himself did not arrive until December.
In mid-1819, with the Church Missionary Society’s blessing, Marsden moved to take an even firmer grip on the venture. In the course of his second visit to New Zealand, from 12 August to 9 November 1819, he dismissed two of the settlers and banned once more the traffic in powder and muskets. In February 1820, at the beginning of his third visit, he remonstrated in vain with Kendall about the latter’s impending visit to England with Hongi. In June 1822 he suspended Kendall for adultery with a Maori woman. He also found himself obliged to report the disobedience of the Reverend J. G. Butler, the superintendent of the mission since July 1819.
On the face of it the new venture began well enough. On 20 December, at Matauri Bay, Marsden persuaded Ngati Uru and Nga Puhi to make peace. On the 22nd he landed at Rangihoua, Ruatara’s place. On Christmas Day Marsden led off with the Old Hundredth (Psalm 100) and then preached from Luke 2:10 – “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy” – to a large congregation. Ruatara translated for him. On the 26th Marsden set up a charcoal forge to replenish his stock of axes; and on the 27th he went to Kawakawa to lay in a supply of kahikatea. Early in the New Year he traversed the bounds of his extended parish with Hongi Hika and Ruatara. On 13 January 1815 he went aboard the Active with Te Morenga of Tai-a-mai, near Waimate North, another old friend, to prospect the coast as far as the Thames. On 15 February he completed his cargo of flax and timber, and on the 24th, after buying the mission site of some 200 acres at Rangihoua, he cleared for Sydney.
In the same period he also set about strengthening the mission. In 1819 he established a new settlement at Kerikeri, and bought from Hongi a 13,000 acre block of land there, which he thought might answer the needs of any poor colonising families the society might send out. In 1820 he stationed James Shepherd with Te Morenga at Tai-a-mai. In August 1823 he opened a further station at Paihia for the Reverend Henry Williams. He also gave what help he could to the infant Wesleyan Methodist mission established at Kaeo, near Whangaroa, in 1823.
But success was far from assured. In his walks abroad Marsden had seen much want and misery. He had also been made aware of the deep-rooted jealousy of the hapu, their tendency to violence and revenge, their attachment to tapu and to their own gods. The death of Ruatara soon after Marsden’s departure was a serious blow. The evil conduct of the crews of passing ships, the matching of violence with violence, was further cause for concern. In addition, the ever-increasing cost of blankets, clothes and tools for visiting chiefs at Rangihoua and Parramatta, rice and potatoes for Kendall’s school, provisions for the mission village at Rangihoua, and the salaries of the New Zealand settlers, was soon a major worry. The Active had to be sent whaling to pay her way.
The objectives of Marsden’s visits to New Zealand at this stage were, however, very different in kind. He wanted to see the country and its people, and his remaining journals describe in vivid detail his long journeys, often in rugged, heavily bushed country where no European had ventured. On his third visit, from 27 February to 5 December 1820, he went as far as Tauranga, then back to Kaipara, accompanied by Te Morenga. He also wished to examine at first hand Maori economy, institutions and religious beliefs. Above all, he had come to teach and to preach. Wherever he went he talked, often far into the
night, on all manner of subjects – agriculture, commerce, navigation, the principles of government – but especially on the absurdity of tapu, the root cause of all their wars. He spoke about the works of Creation, the being and attributes of God, and the institution of the Sabbath Day, and the resurrection of the dead. He also hoped to press ahead with the translation of the Bible into Maori.
not only spent endless hours at committee meetings on all manner of subjects, but ventured many times with Henry Williams into the rival grog-drenched, convict-infested pa, in a vain effort to negotiate an enduring peace between Pomare II and Titore. More happily, he visited most of the mission stations within 100 miles of Waimate North, to teach and preach to their scattered parishioners and to lend the weight of his name to the rapid spread of the arts of reading and writing, the diffusion of peace and order and of the Gospels.
In his latter years Marsden was still to suffer much pain and sorrow in the pursuit of what he believed to be the Lord’s calling. The setting aside of his claims as archdeacon in 1824 he looked on as of small moment, but he was deeply distressed by certain libellous accusations against him. He felt he had served his country faithfully and to the best of his ability for 34 years, and at the last had been portrayed as a promoter of public discord.
His final departure was on 2 June, 1837, aboard the Rattlesnake, via the Thames and Cloudy Bay. On his arrival at Sydney he spoke of returning to New Zealand perhaps once a year. He became progressively feeble, however, and on 12 May 1838, on a visit to Windsor, he breathed his last. He was buried in the churchyard of St John’s Church, Parramatta.
The crisis passed, and Marsden’s publication in London in 1826 of an answer to certain calumnies, and the removal of Douglass from office in 1827, silenced his enemies and produced an effect in his favour in the colony. Even more happily, the new governor, Ralph Darling, encouraged his missionary endeavours, although Marsden’s advice to the New Zealand mission was not always accepted.
Inevitably, Marsden was much misunderstood in his generation and just as often misrepresented. In essence he was simple-minded and honest, even to a fault. He was also open-handed with his time and his money. He looked with pity on the fallen and the lost; he often befriended convicts. He was extraordinarily generous towards those who disappointed him, or even those who hated him. As he was always ready to admit he could make mistakes, from human weakness, or from lack of counsellors in times of trouble.
Marsden’s brief visits to the Bay of Islands were packed with action. On his fifth visit, in April 1827, he pointed out to various chiefs their crimes in robbing the Wesleyans at Whangaroa. On his sixth visit, with his daughter Mary, from March to May 1830, he played a vital part in restoring peace between the rival armies in the “Girls’ War”. (It is called the Girls’ War because it began with insults and curses being exchanged between young, high-ranking Māori women). A no less significant move was to set up a farm at Waimate North, to render the settlers less dependent on uncertain and expensive supplies from New South Wales and to set an example of peaceful, constructive industry. He threw himself into the work of teaching the small groups of anxious young inquirers who visited him in the evenings, and preaching in Maori to the crowds who gathered round him wherever he went.
His role in the gradual emergence of New Zealand is difficult to assess. Without him the conversion of Maori to Christianity might have been long delayed. Marsden also transformed the Maori economy and laid the foundations of New Zealand agriculture. It can be said, too, that he made a notable contribution to the debate which ended in the British annexation of New Zealand. In 1831 he urged Darling to put a stop to the growing trade in tattooed heads, and protested with great energy the participation of a British captain and crew in the abduction and torture of Tama-i-hara-nui of Ngai Tahu by Ngati Toa. He urged the dispatch of a naval vessel with due power to restrain such scandalous misbehaviour, and recommended the appointment of a British Resident with proper authority, to whom Maori could appeal for redress.
Marsden never really retired, although in his latter years he began to show signs of wear and tear. In October 1835 Elizabeth Marsden died. She had been disabled since 1811. The following December Marsden himself was taken ill. He recovered, but still refused to rest. In February 1837, with his daughter Martha, he undertook yet another voyage to New Zealand, at his own expense. This visit assumed the proportions of a triumphal procession. At Hokianga hundreds came to pay their respects to the grand old man. On his arrival at Waimate North, where he was borne on a litter through the bush, he was greeted with reverence.
In the last resort, however, as Marsden recognised, all this would hardly be enough. He saw the need for a wider, properly constituted authority to be established. Such would be necessary to take New Zealand under its protection if the anarchy that prevailed at Kororareka (Russell) were not to become universal. That power was ultimately Great Britain and was in large measure due to the apostolic labours of Samuel Marsden.
On 1 April he visited Kaitaia where Maori came in party after party. For all his physical weakness he nonetheless threw himself into the ordinary business of the mission. He
“what is an infidel?” This is a true story and the author, Rick Mathes, is a well-known leader in prison ministry. The Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion per capita in the United States, especially in the minority races! Last month I attended my annual training session that’s required for maintaining my state prison security clearance.
been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can have a place in Heaven. Is that correct?” The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He sheepishly replied, “Yes”.
During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who each explained their beliefs. I was particularly interested in what the Islamic had to say. The Muslim gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a video. After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers.
I then stated, “Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine the Pope commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr Charles Stanley ordering all Protestants to do the same in order to guarantee them a place in heaven!” The Muslim was speechless! I continued, “I also have a problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me! Let me ask you a question: Would you rather have your Allah, who tells you to kill me in order for you to go to Heaven, or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to Heaven and He wants you to be there with me?”
When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Muslim and asked: ‘Please, correct me if I’m wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad (holy war) against the infidels of the world and, that by killing an infidel (which is a command to all Muslims) they are assured of a place in Heaven. If that’s the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?’
You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head. Needless to say, the organizers and/or promoters of the ‘Diversification’ training seminar were not happy with my way of dealing with the Islamic Imam, and exposing the truth about the Muslims’ beliefs.
There was no disagreement with my statements and, without hesitation, he replied, “Non-believers!” I responded, “So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have
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