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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 22 / G99 Vol 1 – 26
July 14 1884
Dear Mr Chesson, Birmingham.
Here is … thro Miss C.A. Gordon toward the expense of Mr Spencer being with the maories. I am afraid I wrote confusedly the other day abt the Bibles and dear Mrs Austen’s £5, she wished each Maori to have a Maori bible from her (perhaps Mr George Skidmore would prefer an English one) and the remainder of her gift to be a donation toward Mr Spencer’s stipend and wd give another £5 if needed but as Miss Peckover and Miss … both gave donations, I suppose that altogether you have enough in hand comfortable to meet all expenses. One wd I agree with you wish to meet all Mr Spencer’s incidental expenses, such as his train tickets for when accompanying them any where and if he pays his share of cab expenses. I know the Maories well enough to know that they will view him as a gentleman and be more desposed to heed his instructions. I was started to get a note from Mr Spencer on Saturday saying that he was starting for Durham to be ordained priest, and I feld very sorry for him to have so momentous a blessing coming to him in such haste. In our diocese of Salisbury those to be ordained have to spend 3 whole days at Salisbury engaged in special services of much prayer and listening to addresses and making a very solemn time of preparation for ordination. Liddon drew up many years ago the special forms of prayer and all the examination as to knowledge and fitness take place about 7 weeks before the ordination wh seems a good arrangement as then the men go up for spiritual profit with an undistracted mind for the ordination. I thought much of Mr Spencer and of the maories too and wrote to Mrs Selwyn about it that he might have the benefit of her prayers. I had meant to go this week to … to the Kymberley’s but I so decidedly the better in some respects for being here where I can be carried up and down stairs that as the Wilsons have asked me to stay on with them until they go to their house … I have accepted, hoping thus to be able perhaps to go up to London and spend 2 weeks or 4 near the Maories and so before they leave England be able to see them. I began a note to you last week and wrote parts of it on different days but never got it finished and only send it now that you may see the thoughts … in my mind about it all. Pain I have had so much of more or less all my life from my weak spine that its no new trial and we know that it is but the touch of his hand and all in love, and weakness he blesses too. But I own it has been a trial not to be with the maories all these weeks. I have a real love for natives and it wd have been so pleasant to be listening to their talk etc, but I feared less I shd be drawn into moving abt more than I ought. Now that they have Mr Spencer to escort them etc the aspect is changed and if I cd get 2 rooms on one floor I cd get along without any going out for 2 or 3 weeks. I had gained strength during the 5 weeks at home and here have also. But I wonder how much longer the Maories will be in town: only I must not trouble you to answer more questions. I also much wish to know if these Maories who profess themselves Ch men are communicants and have been told that each Sunday in churches in London there is Holy Communion and they will receive and so gain in grace. I fear much heed will hardly be given to their petition and I suspect Tawhiao will be downcast and need to be affectly cheered and urged to persevere in righteous peaceful ways to lead his tribe to be industrious and to become more educated and to give up all uncivilized and communistic habits and so to encourage good family life, the lack of wh tends to such evils amongst the Maories. At last the binder sent me the Maori prayerbooks wh I have posted to them and hope they will study all parts of them with Mr Spencer and thus come to acknowledge of the doctrine and discipline of the church. I thank you so much for all you have done strived to do for the Maories and am hopeful that in many ways their visit to England may be productive of good to themselves. I got Mr Davidson to write at my invitation the other day when very … to George Skidmore who came with Tawhiao to England and long ago wrote to me. Is the said George Skidmore a well behaved man? Often the halfcastes are less intelligent and less moral than the natives. I often wonder abt this man as the halfcastes are usually the children of sin and shame so that one thinks of them with deep compassion. If he is a fairly educated and intelligent man and godly, I sh have pleasure in giving him some books as he wd thus improve his mind and so often lowclass newspapers comprise all the study. Thank you for all your letters abt the maories over whom my heart yearns and I shd like to get the photographs you spoke of whilst here to show to the Wilsons and others who I am now seeing. With kind regards,
Yrs very sincerely,