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THE LATE BISHOP PATTESON.

♦ '-. .-. — {From the Southern Cross, Nov. 1.) j Yesterday, on the arrival of the missionary schooner Southern Cross,; : a. sense of profound I sorrow was spread through"' the city when it became known that the Ri^ht Rev. Bishop Patteson, D.D., who wai'i expected to have arrived with her in this port, had finished his woi'k on earth. Eveiy available source of obtaining any information respecting the event was literally besieged. Many hoped that the rumour might prove unfounded, but the truth gradually dawned upon the public mind that Bishop Pattesdn and his co-worker, thje Rev. Joseph Atkin, were now wearing their martyr's crown. The Cathedral bell in Parnell was tolled, and iriany other marks of sorrow were manifested afcjthe sad intelligence. Those who knew the late "Bishop best, and who knew how heartily '-and earnestly he engaged in the missionary work amongst the islands in the South Pacific, felt that orie worker in the Lord's vineyard had been removed to whom it would be difficult indeed to find a fitting successor. Almost every quality, . mental and physical, which ifc was necessary to possess to attain an unwonted measure of success in the particular field of labour in which he was engaged, was possessed by the late Bishop Patteson. Though not owning a robust constitution, it was one particularly adapted to a hot climate. '. He was possessed of mental qualifications which left him few equals. Naturally fond of philological studies, he had cultivated this gift to a very high degree ; indeed, for linguistical attainments we believe that, out : of Germany, few equalled him, and still fewer excelled, him. We have no doubt a short biographical sketch and a notice of a few of the leading events of his active and useful life will at this time be read with a melancholy interest. The late Bishop of Melanesia, John Coleridge Patteson, D.D., was a son of Judge Patteson, of Fenniton Court, Honiton, Devonshire, England. He was born on the Ist of April, 1826, and was thus somewhat more than 45 years of age at the time of his death. He was educated at Eton College ; and the late Bishop Abraham, of Wellington, formerly of Parnell, was one of his teachers. On leaving Eton, Mr Patteson entered Merton College, Oxford, where he had a most ample opportunity of indulging in his ruling taste. In time he became a Fellow of Merton College, and retained his Fellowship up to the period of his untimely death. We do not know the exact date of his ordination to the ministry of which he afterwards became so bright but believe that that event occurred in 1852. At any rate, when Bishop Selwyn went to Britain in J. 855, tho then Mr Pattespn was the curate in the parish in which hisyf ather resided. For years previously Mr Patteson's thoughts had wandered amongst the scenes in which Bishop Solwyn was engaged, the two having at one time being classmates together, and thus a friendly recollection was entertained of tho one who Sydney Smith predicted would be copked and eaten by the cannibalistic New Zealahders. It will be ; remembered by old settlers that in 1848 Bishop Selwyn took the fii^t sfcep to lay the foundation of what has since : become designated ,as the Melanesian mission, and when ho began to realise the truth of the statement made to him in Britain before he was sent out, that " his mission acquired an importance exceeding all calculation, wjien his see was regarded as the central point ofi a ; system extending its influence in all directions as a fountain diffusing the streams of? salvation over fche islands and coasts of* the Pacific." In that year he visited the Wesleyan and London Missionary .stations in the Friendly and Navigator group, in H.M.S. Dido,.and touched at Aneitiura, the most southerly of the New Hebrides, and afc fche Isle of Pines, adjoining New Caledonia.. Then there were no European teachers in the whole of Melanesia, but Bishop Selwyn saw enough to convince him that the work

might be begun. The reports of this cruise by Bishop Selwyn seem to have made a permanent impression on the mind of Mr Patteson. From the cursory view that Bishop Selwyn had obtained of the various islands on the occasion referred to, he seems to have formed the conviction that, from the very unhealthy character of many of the islands a prolonged residence upon them by Europeans would be impossible ; aud, if they were to be occupied as a mission field, natives of those islands must be removed and educated elsewhere by Europeans, in some place less trying to European constitutions, and sufficiently mild for fche children of those sultry climes. New Zealand was chosen, and, as is well known, the establishment at Koliimaraina was devoted to that purpose. In 1849 Bishop Selwyn made his first voyage amongst the islands of Melanesia in quest of scholars, and succeeded in bringing away five — three from Nengoue, one from Lif v, of the Loyalty Islands, and one from New Caledonia before tlie French took possession of it. In the following year the scholars were returned to their homes, and others were brought away in his little vessel, the Undine — some from the Loyalty Islands and the Southern Hebrides, and one from the Solomon group. In 1850 the Australian Board of Missions was formed at a conference of the Bishops in Sydney, and tho Melauesian Mission was solemnly adopted as the work of tho Australian and New Zealand colonies. The Bishop of Newcastle, together with Bishop Selwyn, paid a visit to a large number of those islands in a small vessel, tho Border Maid, liberally provided by the Churchmen of New South Wales. In 1851 thirteen scholars were brought from those islands to New Zealand, to be educated as teachers to their fellow countrymen ; and in 1852 the Rev. William Nihil, who had for some time been engaged with the Melanesian scholars at Sfc. John's College, was stationed on the Island of Nengone, with the language of wliich he was well acquainted. At this time, so great had been the effect of the labours of the teachers for Easter Island, followed up by the working of the New Zealand school, that no fewer than 19 natives of the island were considered fit for baptism, and who wore accordingly baptised by Bishop Selwyn in '.yjthe presence of their own people. The perusal in England of the; reports of these and other missionary expeditions, undertaken by .and under the direction of Bishop Selwyn made a deep impression on the mind of young Mr Patteson, and, although enjoying a quiet country curacy in England, his thoughts, were frequently amongst the islands in .the* South Pacific. This was his state of mind when Bishop Selwyn visited England as above stated in 1855. After the Bishop had been some time at ; home, when rumours reached Judge Patteson that the Bishop of New Zealand intended to visit Devonshire, he felt satisfied that he would lose his son, the Rev J. C. Patteson, fche subject of our remarks. These forebodings proved but too well founded, and events resulted as anticipated, and the Rev Mr Patteson joined Bishop-Selwyn, and in 1856 they arrived in New. Zealand together, followed shortly afterwards by the missionary schooner Southern Cross, -which had been provided by the liberality of friends at home. In 1857, in this new vessel, the most complete survey of the islands in Melanesia, which had taken place up to that time, was made, 78 islands being visited, and laridings effected on 60 of them. Thirty-three scholars were brought back to New Zealand from this cruise, and thus the future Bishop Patteson entered on his work. By the occupation of the island of Nengone by representatives of the London Missionary Society, that island was lost to the friends of the Melanesian mission, and the group known as Solomon Islands was closely searched to find a suitable point whence the native teachers might be distributed. This resulted in the discovery of an excellent harbour in Banks Island, wliich was named Port Patteson. This island had the advantage of being situated about the centre of the group, and the natives of which, though in some respects behind the other Melanesians, were alone nofc cannibals, and by their friendliness and apparent docility seemed most promising subjects of missionary influence, this group having since been the most thoroughly worked of the numberless islands in that great archipelago. In 1858 the experiment was tried of wintering the scholars at Lif v, in the Loyalty Group, and tliat year Bishop Patteson stayed there during the winter. Our space forbids us to trace with anything like minuteness the steps of this master missionary, or give in detail the progress of the mission in the service of which his life has just been closed. Suffice it to say that about this time the thought was entertained which has since been so successfully carried out, of removing the training-school from New Zealand to Norfolk Island — a place less distant from the scene of operations amongst the islands, and possessed of a climate more congenial to the dusky sons of the tropics, and yefc not too-warm for European constitutions to bear for; lengthened periods. In 1861 on St Matthias's Day, the Rev. Mr Patteson was consecrated a Bishop, at Sfc Paul's Church in this city, by Bishop Selwyn ; Bishops Abrahairi, Hobhouse, and the present Primate of New Zealand, Dr Harper assisting. From thii time tho whole direction of the Melanesian Mission was entrusted to the hands of Bishop Patteson, and Bishop Sslwyn, the first founder and director of it, retired from the position he had so long filled, although up to the, time of his departure f rom New Zealand he took a most lively interest in its progress. Li this year (1861) Bishop Patteson, in H.M.S. Cordelia, was enabled to penetrate further to thoi north than he had formerly done, and made acquaintance with the natives in tho island of Isabel, on the 7th parallel of south latitude, from which the first scholar was brought to jSt Andrews's College, Kohimarama. About 1866, the training-school at Kohimarama was removed to Norfolk Island. A .mission press had been established, and, besides turning out translations of por-

tions of the Gospels into many languages and dialects of those islands, grammars and vocabularies in eleven different languages were produced. Since that time the number of both workers in the mission cause and the scholars has largely increased. A large and increasing number of scholars have been left at the station on Norfolk Island each year, and last year we believe fche number had increased to 160, while the missionary staff had increased to seven ordained European clergymen besides the Bishop — the Rev. R. H. Codrington, M.A., Rev. J. Palmer, Rev. J. Afckin, Rev. C. H. Brook, Rev. C. Bice, Rev. G. Sarawia, and the Rev. R. S. Jackson ; in addition to which was a large number of native teachers the annual income of the mission having been £3590 5s 9d. With Sir William Martin Bishop Patteson was on the most intimate terms, and, the tastes of both gentlemen having been directed to philological pursuits, their friendship was thus unusually intimate. With many European languages the late Bishop Patteson was thoroughly familiar, but the language of the East had a particular attraction for him." The ancient Hebrew was a favourite study, and we believe he had latterly found a key to satisfactorily unlock the difficulties presented by the arbitrary rules laid down respecting the tenses of that language. For several years past Bishop Patteson had been a constant correspondent of the celebrated Max Muller, upon the subject of the languages and dialects in Melanesia. With 16 or 18 ot* these he was thoroughly familiar, and we believe a short time ago, under an impression that his cud wa3 drawing near, he prepared complete grammars of seven or eight of these languages. He was a man of considerable private means, and, after the charge of the mission was wholly confided to his care, his funds were invested in the colony, a considerable portion of them in this city, and tho proceeds generously devoted hi aid of the mission in which he was engaged. Indeed had it not been for his unwonted liberality on several occasions the work of the mission would have been brought to an abrupt termination. Some time ago, on his recovery from an attack of inflammation, a thanks offering of £800 was anonymously presented to the mission fund, and some time before that a sum exceeding £1100 was similarly vpresen ted. Of course it wns well known Whence those sums came. During the last few years he has been in the habit, under a presentiment of coming danger, of making his wilL .previous to the undertaking of each voyage. On this last voyage these strange foreshadowings seem to have almost presented to his mind the force of reality. He nofc only prepared a will, as was his wont, bufc ho asked the ReV. Robert Henry Codrington, M.A., at the Norfolk School, to promise to take charge of the mission in the event of anything happening to himself. We understand that the required promise was given ; but not satisfied — with a strange consciousness of a death near at hand — ho wrote on board the schooner to the Rev. Mr Codrington on tho same subject, forcibly repeating his former request. It has so proved to be his last voyage, and a spirit so conscious of approaching dissolution could not have been unprepared to meet the fate which awaited him. It will be remembered by all who had the pleasure of knowing him that for years past his appearance has been that of the most gentle and saintly character. Thore is little doubt but his last wish in respect to his successor will be carried out ; but the cause of missionary effort has lost in him truly a master workman.

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THE LATE BISHOP PATTESON. Star, Issue 1162, 7 November 1871

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