But what had a more important effect on the Mission was a conference between Sir William Wiseman and Sir John Young, the Governor of New South Wales, resulting in an offer from the latter of a grant of land on Norfolk Island for the Mission, for the sake of the benefit to the Pitcairners; at the same time the Commodore offered him a passage in the ‘Curacoa’ back to Auckland, touching at Norfolk Island by the way. The plan was carried out, and brought him home in time for Christmas, to find all and prosperous under Mr. Pritt at St. Andrew’s. His mind was nearly made up on the expedience of a change to a place which was likely to suit both English and tropical constitutions alike, and he hoped to make the experiment the ensuing winter with Mr. Palmer and a small body of scholars.
The removal of his much-loved correspondent did not long withhold the outpouring of Bishop Patteson’s heart to his family; while his work was going on at the College, according to his own definition of education which was given about this time in a speech at St. John’s: ’Education consists in teaching people to bear responsibilities, and laying the responsibilities on them as they are able to bear them.’
Meanwhile, he wrote as follows to Miss Mackenzie, on receiving the book she had promised to send him as a relic of her brother:—
’January 1, 1866.
’My dear Miss Mackenzie,—I have this evening received your brother’s Thomas a Kempis, and your letter. I valued the letter much, as a true faithful record of one whom may God grant that I may know hereafter, if, indeed, I may be enabled to follow him as he followed Christ. And as for the former, what can I say but I hope that the thought of your dear brother may help me to read that holy book in something of the spirit in which he read and meditated on it.
’It seems to bring me very near to him in thought. Send me one of his autographs to paste into it. I don’t like to cut out the one I have in the long letter to the Scottish Episcopal Church, which you kindly sent me.
’I found, too, in one of Mr. Codrington’s boxes, a small sextant for me, which, being packed with the Thomas a Kempis, I think may have been your brother’s. Do you really mean this for me too? If so, I shall value it scarcely less than the book. Indeed, I think that, divided as I am from all relations and home influences and affections, I cling all the more to such means as I may still enjoy of keeping up associations. I like to have my father’s watch-chain in use, and to write on his old desk. I remember my inkstand in our drawing-room in London. So I value much these memorials of the first Missionary Bishop of the Church of England, in modern days at all events, and night by night as I read a few lines in his book, and think of him, it brings me, I hope, nearer in spirit to him and to others, who, like him, have done their duty well and now rest in Christ.