“Tamahana Te Rauparaha”
BIPOC Voices in the Victorian Periodical Press
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TAMAHANA TE RAUPARAHA.
TAMAHANA'S account of the Lord's gracious dealings with him has now drawn to its close—the present Number contains the last portion of it. It is his farewell to us on leaving the shores of England; and on some points which grieved him he speaks with the faithfulness of an affectionate friend. Would that Protestant England would be upon her guard against the dangers to which he points—the peculiar dangers of the present moment—the danger of permitting either business or pleasure to intrude upon the sanctity of the Sabbath, or interfere with its undivided surrender to the service of God; and the danger of forsaking the simplicity of our Protestant worship for mawkish imitations of the Popish church, until, unconsciously to themselves, men drink in its spirit and are absorbed by it! We believe there is no surer way of furthering the designs of Popery than lowering the tone of our Christian Sundays; and sincerely pray God that the hour may be far distant when national sanction shall be given to a systematic profanation of the Lord's holy day.
On April the 29th our ship came near the south of England, to the town of Plymouth. When I saw England I was very happy. I thought it was a very beautiful country. On May 1st I came to London in the railway. I feared at first, for it went very, very quick. But after we had gone some way my fear left me. I was happy to see the railway. When I was in the railway my heart thought, "Where shall I go?" and I prayed to God in my heart in the railway to lead me right. Mr. Williams found a house for me to live in. On May the 6th I went to the very great meeting in the large room. It was the first time I had seen an English great meeting. I was happy at seeing it, and happy also on thinking how I would tell my people about it. When I saw England and London first I feared to lose my way—so many people, so many houses; but after two weeks I did not fear. In the middle of May Mr. Williams came to me to talk about my going to the college. I said, "Oh! I should very much like to go to the college to learn the good ways of God, and your language, that I may be able to talk to the Committee about doing the work of God in New Zealand, my land."
On May the 15th I came to the college. This has been my home in England, and I have been very happy, very happy indeed here. I have seen and learned many things. My heart is very full of love to all my dear friends in Christ in the college.
Many are the good works I have seen in your land, but I have seen some bad ones also. I will tell them to you. One bad thing I have seen is, the people who sell on Sunday in the streets, and some who do not shut up their shops. I was very sorry to see it. If I had seen my own people doing it, I should have turned over their baskets and sent them away. I thought, "Why are not the chiefs of England strong to send the policemen to stop those people in their bad ways?"
I will tell you another thing, also, that has made my heart very dark. When I went to a church, I saw some candlesticks on the communion table. My heart was frightened, for I had seen that thing before in a Romish church in New Zealand. The Romans said it was the [sign of the] Holy Spirit. I thought, "Oh, why should the Protestants keep the things of the Romans? why should they not throw them all away?" The Protestants say the Romans go wrong. When the Romans see such things they will think, "Ah! the Protestants are coming our way;" and many Protestants, also, will go to the Romans, for they will think both ways are alike. New Zealanders did not pray to their idols: they only looked at the things, to make them think of their gods. I think that the Romans do just like the Maories used to do, with their candles, and their pictures, and their images. I was sorry to see those things, for I wish England to do right, to teach all the nations of the world right; and when England goes wrong she will lead the other people wrong. If I saw candlesticks in my church in New Zealand I should throw them down. Why do not the English chiefs do so?
Now, my dear friends in Christ, that is all about those things. Now I will tell you the thoughts of my heart. In the beginning, New Zealand dwelt in darkness. The Maories did the works of darkness. But then the light came, the darkness fled away before it, and we threw away our bad gods, our bad ways. Then we believed in God, we held fast the faith of the gospel. Then it was the wish of the Maories to leave off our old customs, and come in the way of the English. Now, my dear friends, that is why I have come to England, to learn those ways more, to teach my people. I hope English people will be kind to give me money to make a college to teach my people these good works and ways, and to teach them to be ministers, to preach the gospel of God in our own tongue, and to teach them also to make English clothes, to carpenter, to build, to print—every thing it would please God the Maories should do—and also to make a hospital for the sick people. It is the wish of my heart, also, that, now that the light has come to New Zealand, we should carry it to Chatham's Island, New Caledonia, and our brothers in all the islands round, who are yet very dark, and fight like we did before. My heart is dark for them: it longs to send Maories there to teach them. Four years I have been wishing it, but New Zealand is very poor: we have not been able to do it. Now I have come to England. England is rich. Perhaps English people will help us. It is not my work, only the work of God. I will give plenty of land, plenty of food, plenty of wood. Will not you be kind to give money to buy clothes, plates, knives, all things, for the young men who learn, to make it like an English college; and will you ask all the good people who love the work of God to give money to that work in New Zealand? When I heard from my dear father, Mr. Childe, that you had been kind to give me a schoolmaster, to teach my young men, my heart was very happy indeed. I love you very much. You are the Committee who sent the first Missionaries to teach us. All the Maories love you too. That is why I wish you to be the nursing father to my college. Do not forget me or my people, my dear fathers in Christ. Let us, the children of the far-distant land, be taken care of by you for Christ; for your God is our God, your Father our Father. The God of England is the God of New Zealand and all the world. Pray for me also, my dear brothers in Christ, that when I go back I may be strong to teach my people. My heart does not stay among the good things of England. Every day, every hour, it goes up to God first, and then down to New Zealand. My body lives in England, but my heart still lives in New Zealand. And yet I think, when I go back to New Zealand, while my body lives there my heart will remain in England, with my dear, good friends in Christ here, whom I love very much indeed in the Lord. My heart will go up to God in prayer for them, and then I hope my prayer will come down in blessing upon my friends in England. I will tell my people also to pray for them to our God.
And now, my dear fathers in Christ, good bye. I thank you again for all your love in taking care of the souls of my people in New Zealand, and of my body while I have been in your land. Soon I am going back to home. God bless you all. Good bye. You pray for me: I will pray for you. You will not see my face again. My eyes will see you no more. But we shall meet again in our home in heaven.
Digital Publication Details
Title: “Tamahana Te Rauparaha”
Creator(s): Anonymous; Tamahana Te Rauparaha
Publication date: (1852) 2022
Digital publishers: One More Voice, COVE
Critical encoding: Kenneth C. Crowell, Dino Franco Felluga, Cassie Fletcher, Kayla Morgan, Jocelyn Spoor, Adrian S. Wisnicki
One More Voice identifier: liv_026021
Cite (Chicago Author-Date): Anonymous, and Tamehana Te Rauparaha. (1852) 2022. “Tamahana Te Rauparaha.” Edited by Kenneth C. Crowell, Cassie Fletcher, Kayla Morgan, and Jocelyn Spoor. In “BIPOC Voices,” One More Voice, solidarity edition; Collaborative Organization for Virtual Education (COVE). https://onemorevoice.org/html/bipoc-voices/digital-editions-amd/liv_026021_HTML.html.
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
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