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Biography of John Coleridge Patteson

Missionary. New Zealand, discovered by Captain Cook in 1769, lay derelict for half a century, and like others of our Colonies it came very near to passing under the rule of France. From this it was saved in 1840 by the foresight and energy of Gibbon Wakefield, who forced the hand of our reluctant Government; and its steady progress was secured by the sagacity of Sir George Grey, one of our greatest empire-builders in Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. Thanks to them and to others, there has arisen in the Southern Pacific a state which, more than any other, seems to resemble the mother country with its sea-girt islands, its temperate climate, its mountains and its plains. A population almost entirely British, living in these conditions, might be expected to repeat the history of their ancestors. In politics and social questions its sons show the same independence of spirit and even greater enterprise. The names of two other men deserve recognition here for the part they played in the history of these islands. In 1814, before they became a British possession, Samuel Marsden came from Australia to carry the Gospel to their inhabitants, and formed settlements in the Northern districts, in days when the lives of settlers were in constant peril from the Maoris. But nothing could daunt his courage; and whenever they came into personal contact with him, these childlike savages felt his power and responded to his influence, and he was able to lay a good foundation. In 1841 the English Church sent out George Augustus Selwyn as first Missionary Bishop of New Zealand, giving him...

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