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MARSDEN CENTENARY.

DAWN OF CHRISTIANITY. CELEBRATIONS AT OD3I. SIMPLE BUT IMPRESSIVE CEREMONY, j ■ .-* ■• 'With a . simple but* singuarly impressive ceremony the centenary of the introduction of Christianity into New Zealand was celebrated this Christmas Day. on the spot where the Rev.. Samuel Marsden, exactly 100 years ago, brought to the natives of New Zealand "tidings of great joy." Originally the services at the . cross had been ' planned on a broad basis, with a splendid ceremonial suitable to the occasion. Men interested were to come from the corners of the world, the Church wasto be represented by many high ecclesiastical dignitaries mid laymen, and the tiibes of the North wei'i - *. tivbp gathered together. Owing to tlie Avar. ko\cV*er, the plans had to be greatly modified, and, though perhaps no less impressive in their solemn thanksgiving,*, were restricted to much » '•.".-rower limits. J In the morning at the foot of the - cross at Oihi, Bay of Islands, there was communion service, and at the same spot a thanksgiving. service was held in the afternoon. From early morning launches crept across the bay to tbe inlet where the grey Celtic cross marks; the : place, where- Marsden set alight in New Zealand -the ; flame" of s Christianity. ■■ The weather,*- was ideal, the sea being calm, and a light 'breeze : tempered •the; hot rays', of .the sun. As. the launches ran to the beach little groups of peoplemade their .way to the. foot of .the .cross. Thov sat in^ semi-circles on the side of the hill sloping above and in a .complete circle rounti the cross. There, were about 500. people present, but 500. people, prove a, mere' handful-. in a great cathedral like that in which, the Marsden cross- is placed. • .... . THE CLERGY IN ATTENDANCE. In winding procession the bishop /and clergy,^ came,*: to ' the foot of the cfosa where the altar had. been raised. The clergy ph-esent ; were : — Dr A. W.fAverjlH' Anglican Bishop of Auckland, Archdeacon. Hawkiris, .Canon Williams;. \Revs. Hetekia Pika, Hekekana Poata, Hone Karaka, H. -M Parata, E. E. Wayne, K. A- Karaka, Pene.Topi,-H. N. Parata, T. Taiirere/W. Venables, W. H. Keretene.*J.*T. McWilliam, R..F, Ge'd-' dis,' F. -fl; .Spencer, leri Te Heihei, fl, T. Ropata, Hare Mete, arid Hepi Pbhi'; Among .the people gathered there .were Miss" Bettb/ of*'Parrairiatta, : 'New Soiith Wales, . grand-daughter, and MrA.^MV' Be^ts, Mayof* of r Goulburn; New- - South Wales, grandson yst" the Rev. Samuel Marsden',. and* M§s-'< -Marsden, daUgltter of the late Dr. Marsden, Bishop of Batluu-st, . who .was a grandson ■> of '■* the Rev. "SSmiiel" Marsdeh., and , 'Mi's" Bedbngi :ton, : of Whangarei, whose mother was a pupil in the Rev. Samuel Marsden's .Suiiday-scho'ol at.. Parrariiatta, and' who •herself well remembers the- Rev. Marsden'^ last visit to New Zealand. : ANY AFFECTED TO tea'rs. ' The unusual * surroundings, the v solemnity .of; the service and" the' 'moving address of Bishop Averill-;affected '"many to tears.: The hymns -were'- sung' by the Maoris in' their native language, and 1 by the Europeans in English.- 'fri-addre&s-ing'. the people' before administering' the sacrament, * Bishop. Averill,- taking his text from »Pfolm -« 100/ "O : Be Joyful in 1 the Lord All' Yo Lands," said tliat when Samuel Marsden commenced his service 100 years V ago* by singing the Old HundrodCi, hie must have sung it as a prayer, ; and with, a, great, hope. . To-day they would sing- it as a great I ' act "of thanksgiving and, praise, and an acknowledgment :of what" God had 'wrougbt through His servants during the oast 100 years. As they stood -on''.that^sllowed • spot,' the cradle of Christianityin New Zealand, oh' that ; Christmas' morning, as' representatives of God's church, as- they saw Maori clergy* ana .laity taking 'part in that historic service,, and as they joined -with their Maori brethren and knelt together 'to partake of the Holy Qbmmunion, they sav arid felt something of the results of the work which Samuel Marsden commenced on Christmas Day, 1814. --r *. .. . ; . - WHAT 100 ' YEARS HAS BROUGHT ;-■.- -■: * .- --FORTH. ~ r ' - br-.**) After, describing ; the fii?stj service, Dr. Averill said 'that Mter it began theherd's struggle. .It wasia glorious fight against great odds. 'What a contrast there'.wa&v , to^lay. Only a, fraction of tl\e oiumber. of Maoris were .now* left, but what /a change! The majority of them Christians, 50 or 60 Maori clergy, huridredsiof aiaori laiy; readers and communicants, Maori, churches everywhere', 'Maori schools, primary and secondary, four. Maori members of Parliament, doctors and lawyers, • and **in. camp 500 Maoris were being trained to take their place side .by" side with the pakeha in tbe struggle to support the principles of justice, truth, and honor. The future wain God's hands, but also in iheir own. To-day they must pray for a continuance of God's blessing to their country and the Maori race. • To-day they must pray for courage arid perseverance , to carry on the work of Marsden. To-. day they must- consecrate themselves anew to Marsden's God,' • the Maoris' God, and their God. , After the sacrament had been administered, nuriibers knelt on the hillside in silent prayer. The service was closed with the' singing of the hymn,* "While Shepherds sWatclied, Their Flocks by Night," the Maoris, as au echo, repeating the last verse, the Europeans remaining silent. ' ' ■■' " SENTIMENTS OF THE MAORIS, After lunch , the Maori chiefs, Hevemai Riripo, Rawiri Te Ruru, Mathiu liapa, and the Rev. Makore addressed the Bishop, and thanked him, on behalf of the Maori people, for the good work the Church, had accomplished.. They . also explained how pleased all tlie Nor- • thern tribes were to see the high honor paid to the memory of the great friend of their race, Samuel Marsden. In reply, Bishop. Averill thanked tho Maoris for their welcome. This' was a day he had lopked forward to for years. They hardly needed a monument for : Marsden, ' because if - they wished to see the real monument to the great pioneer they should look round and • see these Maori clergymen, these . Maori .lay. readers', and Maori Christian men and women. MESSAGESiFROM AUSTRALIA. ,. . Mr' A. M. Betts<, grandson of the. Rev. Samuel Marsden, -thanked the people of the Bay of Islands and Auckland 'for the kindness, that had been shown him, and thanked the Bishop* for sending. him an invitation W- be He conveyed a message from the Bishop of Goulburri, who desired -to express his : sympathy with the celebration and his wishes for the prosperity 'of 'the Church -of the province of New Zealand. He had- brought an apology from Archdeacon Gurither, who had. taken a warm interest' in*- the Marsden centenary celebrations,'' but who was too far advanced in years to be present. -The Stv Saviour's Cathedral Council, Goulburn, " had • asked v him to convey its' good wishes to the. Church in New Zealand, and a similar request lad. been made by Canon Carver. They all stated that they were proud to have a grandson of Samuel Marsaen _s their messenger, and they were proud of the message Samuel Marsden gave to New Zealand 100 years ago. - A Bible and a prayer book that Samuel Marsden bad used; for 30' years was in the possession 'of the family, and when the,. nieniorial church -was erected, it would' be placed iii-it.-- '■■ - : ''The singing of the National Anthem brought the meeting to a close. The Bishop read the • chapter iiand Archdeacori Hawkins a short lesson, and the Marsden centenary services at the cross closed \vith a short pray er.— -Auckland Herald- '■'.'■

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/PBH19141228.2.30

Bibliographic details

MARSDEN CENTENARY., Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLI, Issue 13572, 28 December 1914

Word Count
1,229

MARSDEN CENTENARY. Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLI, Issue 13572, 28 December 1914

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