W hat I believe to be genuine and authentic the collected publications of William Colenso

“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.”

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“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.”

About four years ago, I heard from one of our members (Mr. Meinertzhagen) that he had captured at Waimarama a butterfly of this species. On his communicating with me concerning it, I identified it as one I had more than once seen in my travels in New Zealand many years before. Shortly after that I saw a pair of them flying here on the hill-side, at Napier; other specimens were also caught much about the same time, one, or more, of which are now in the Museum of the Athenæum in this town. And Mr. Meinertzhagen, and subsequently Mr. Huntley, found from the Maoris that they knew the insect well. [280]

Mr. R.W. Fereday, of Canterbury, has a paper on the Waimarama butterfly, in Vol. VI. of the “Transactions of the N.Z. Institute.” In that paper Mr. Fereday mentions two species (or varieties) D. erippus and D. archippus, specimens of both being in the Canterbury Museum. The former, D. erippus, having been sent from Melbourne; the latter, D. archippus, from San Francisco. Mr. Fereday doubts our New Zealand butterfly being distinct from D. erippus; at the same time he prefers giving it the specific name of berenice—which has superseded that of erippus in some published catalogues.

Mr. Fereday further says, that Mr. Nairn, of Poureerere, had found some larvæ of this insect on plants of Gomphocarptis ovata growing in his garden. It is not at all unlikely that the “cotton plants,” whence Mr. Huntley obtained his specimens, were a species of Gomphocarpus, from the scrap of a spinous capsule, or follicle, I found remaining in the box; but the leaves were long and lanceolate, as I subsequently found from Mr. Huntley. I know several species of Gomphocarpus, but none bearing the specific name of ovata.

From a portion of a newspaper lately received from a friend, I find that our butterfly, or a species very nearly allied to it, was represented, in two very fair characteristic cuts, in the “Australian Sketcher,” of July 12, 1873, under the name of Danais archippus, on the authority of Professor McCoy of Melbourne, where it had been lately captured, who says it is found very commonly in America from Canada to Brazil; but only of late years observed in North Australia, Queensland, and the northern parts of New South Wales, and more recently in Melbourne.

I venture, however, to doubt our insect being identical with the Australian one, as therein represented and described; there seems a slight difference in its markings, and a still greater one in its colour. Those differences, however, may be only sexual ones. Should it hereafter prove, on full examination and comparison of specimens of both sexes, to be distinct from both the Australian and American insects, I trust it will have, and retain, the name of Danais novœ-zealandiœ.


1878 Tracts for the times; No. 1, On the Sabbath and its due observance.299 Napier, Dinwiddie, Morrison & Co. 46p.
(Reprinted from The Hawke’s Bay Herald.)

“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”—Jesus.

Speak thou the Truth. Let others fence,
And trim their words for pay;
In pleasant sunshine of pretence
Let others bask their day.

Guard thou the Fact: though clouds of night
Down on thy watch-tower stoop;
Though thou shoulds’t see thine heart’s delight
Borne from thee by their swoop.

Face thou the Wind. Though safer seem
In Shelter to abide,
We were not made to sit and dream
The safe must first be tried.”


“I speak as to wise men, judge ye what I say.”—Paul.


In your issue of September 9th, you give a pretty full and clear account of a sermon preached the day before by the Rev. D. Sidey in the Presbyterian Church, Napier, on “Sabbath Observance.” I trust, therefore, you will allow me the like courtesy of giving publicity to a few of my thoughts (or matured convictions) on this subject in your columns. I wish to make them public for several reasons. Before, however, that I briefly give those reasons, I would say,—that I have greatly desired to make known what I believe on this head in a series of lectures in Napier, admission free; where I should have more scope, and where what I should state could be taken down (by Mr Harding or some other equally competent writer), and, if approved of by my audience, printed: and did I belong to any one Public Denomination among us, I think I should have done so. Now my reasons for making known my convictions on this subject, are, (1) I believe, that whatever knowledge any man has gained, —whether by enquiry, experiment, travel, good luck, study, deep research, or experience, in whatever branch of Science or knowledge,— that he should not keep it locked-up in his own breast, but should seek to make it known to his fellow-men (2) especially if he reasonably believes such to be for their future welfare: (3) more particularly so, if (as in my own case) he should be nearing the allotted “three score years and ten” of man. To such a person and at such a time, th wise saying of the ancients is most appropriate and should act as a spur, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” (4) Further, I utterly disbelieve that unreasonable remark, which we so often hear, viz, that things of great—or of momentous—interest to mankind,— things popularly believed as more pertaining to the soul and to a future state of being, (generally lumped together as “religious matters,”) should not be entered on in the columns of a newspaper! Why not? Can this be reasonably answered? For my own part I verily believe, that it would be far better for us all, if more of truth of science of reason and of true religion were taken up in all our papers in a proper spirit,—especially in those which are looked upon as family Papers. And so with theatres and theatrical performances; these should be sought to be raised from their present low standard (especially here in Napier), by the reasonable and intelligent and by the religious portions of the community uniting and endeavoring to do so. For do what we may, man will have amusements as well as instruction,—such are natural to him and cannot be abolished. Let such, however, who oppose this view (and, no doubt, there are some who do so, as they believe, conscientiously, religiously,) let such just quietIy ask themselves the question,—Where did Jesus, and, after him, his disciples, teach and make known their views and opinions? Was it not the streets and highways, in the desert and on the mountain, in the houses of the Pharisees and in the courts of the temple, in the village of Mary and Martha [3] and at the grave of Lazarus, by the pool of Siloam and the sea of Galilee, on land or on the water, on Mar’s hill at Athens or in the school of Tyrannus at Ephesus,—wherever “a multitude” was found to listen, among whom were, sometimes, a few followers, but always plenty of enemies and scoffers. As then, so now. Principles have not altered, these are permanent; outward things, such as rules and methods, have, these are changing. Can it be reasonably supposed, that if the art—the great Science—of Printing, with all its advantages and blessings, was then known,—and if Jesus and his disciples knew how to write for the Press, that they would not have done so? Sure I am, that he,—one of the greatest of Reformers and a true Protestant,—would have done so gladly, if he could have found any Jewish Editor of a Paper willing to print his articles. Neither Jesus nor his followers would have entertained such a thought for a moment, as that his teachings—even the holiest and highest—could be lowered or contaminated by being published to the world in the columns of a newspaper. Such a notion was the very antagonistic opposite of all his and their teaching. And why? Because Great is truth and must prevail. Indeed he had early said to his followers “What ye hear in the ear” (from me, when we are alone, or it may be travelling together,) “proclaim upon the housetops,”—as an Oriental Muezzin or public crier;—or, in other and modern words,—Make known through the Daily Press.—

The great Jewish doctor Ebn Ezra said,— “God has given the Law to men of intelligence only, and those who have no intelligence have no Law.” (This saying involves a beautiful principle.) Most intelligent men have their own peculiar studies, their own particular knowledge; indeed, this, in a higher or lower degree, belongs to all craftsmen and trades. Hence, with our fathers, in order to secure it to their children, the 7 years apprenticeship. Now without boasting (all such ill becomes me,) I may perhaps he allowed to say, that there are a few (and only a few) things, (during a long and active life, of which I trust I know a little, viz.:—

1. The Polynesian language, and, in particular, the Maori dialect.

2. The Botany of New Zealand.

3. This subject of the Sabbath (and with it two or three other kindred matters).

And therefore it is, as I have said before, that I wish to make known what little I have gained on this head—of the Sabbath.

And if any one among us should still be inclined to ask, (1) How should I particularly know such a subject? my answer must be, Because I have for many years painfully and closely studied it, in all its bearings, and with the help of every aid. And if the further question should arise,—(2) Do you think you understand it better and know it more than the Rev. D. Sidey, or the Rev. Mr. Irvine, or the Rev. Messrs Oliver and Lockwood, or Archdeacon Williams, or even Bishop Stuart? My quiet answer must be (if I am to speak what I believe to be the truth)—Yes: (1) Because I have, as I have already said, made it my particular study,—having had ample means, in desire, time, books, and opportunity, which all those persons have not so largely possessed: (2) Because I am older: and (3) Because I am, (thank God!) set free from all Denominational and Ecclesiastical bias and prejudice,— rules, or “blinkers.” Did I not thus firmly believe I were an ass to undertake to write upon this subject.

And, lest any one should deem me to be boasting (a thing I hate), let me add,—Just look at our English Surgeons, or Physicians; they are all alike “Doctors” yet one has paid extra attention to diseases of the ear,—and is, therefore, an acknowledged Aurist; another to those of the eye,—and is, therefore, an Oculist; another to Midwifery,—and is, therefore, looked-up to in all such matters; now all these are alike “Doctors,” yet each possesses his own peculiar skill and knowledge in that which he made his particular branch of study. While, to the churchman, in addition, I would also say,—bear in mind the words of the Poet (not [4] David) in the 119 Psalm (vv. 99, 100),— “I am wiser than my enemies; I have more understanding than all my teachers.” On which verses Canon Perowne, in his new translation of the Psalms (2nd Edition), strikingly remarks,— “The teachers whom he has outstript may have been those whose disciple he once was;—or he may refer to authorized teachers, to whom he listened because they sat in Moses’ seat, though he felt that they had really nothing to teach him.” (Verb. sap.)

I purpose, then, prosecuting my subject thus:—

1. Introductory.

2. Historically.

3. Ecclesiastically.

4. Reasonably (including, (1) Theologically, and (2) Humanly).

5. Concluding Remarks.

I cannot close this first, or Introductory part of my subject better, than in the glowing words of a true man and a great modern writer—Emerson: whose name, I am happy in knowing, will be perpetuated here in Napier. He says,—“There is a persuasion in the soul of man that he is here for cause, that he was put down in this place by the Creator to do the work for which He inspires him, that thus he is an overmatch for all antagonists that could combine against him.— — — Napoleon said well, “My hand is immediately connected with my head;” but the sacred courage is connected with the heart. The head is a half, a fraction, until it is enlarged and inspired by the moral sentiment. For it is not the means on which we draw, as health or wealth, practical skill or dexterous talent, or multitudes of followers, that count, but the aims only. The aim reacts back on the means. A great aim aggrandises the means. The meal and water that are the commissariat of the forlorn hope that stake their lives to defend the pass are sacred as the Holy Grail, or as if one had eyes to see in chemistry the fuel that is rushing to feed the Sun.”


(Before the Birth of Christ.)

Here, one great difficulty presents itself at the very threshold, namely, the popular opinion respecting the Bible. I call it, the popular opinion; and yet it may not quite amount to that. Be this as it may, it is that notion, that the Bible is peculiarly one book,—comprising an entirety or complete whole in itself; that as such it is also the only Revelation, or dirert Word of God to man. I can very well understand how ready some good folks are to bristle up, and to shew fight, at even the bare mention of a doubt of such being the case; and I can make every allowance for them, aye, and sympathise with them,—for I once so believed and so acted myself. And I did not readily give in, either,—until long (oh! very long) and painful and prayerful research and study brought me to see clearly that such a position was no longer tenable,—could not, in fact, be any longer truthfully held or supported,—and so I was obliged to give in, after contesting every position inch by inch. But have I, as a Christian, really lost any truth,—any good thing, thereby? No, by no means; very far from it, as I hope to shew in the end. This much, however, in passing, I will here say, that the Sacred Volume,—notwithstanding its unhistorical character, its variance with scientific certainties, its discrepancies, and contradictions,—the more it is studied the more Divine it seems, the more full of real support and solid comfort for the soul of man.

I must, however, remind my reasonable and thoughtful readers,—to consider (briefly) a few needful facts respecting the Bible.—

(1) It is a volume containing writings made by many and different writers [5] extending over a period of several hundred years.

(2) That many of the several separate books themselves were not written by a single individual, but by several persons, and that, too, from time to time; and that the writers of many of those books are wholly unknown.

(3) That, in addition to what Protestants know as the Old and the New Testaments, there are also the ancient books called (by them) “the Apocrypha,”—in which, however, are to be found some Divine passages, as much so as any we read in the Canonical writings; which are received alike with the other books by both the extensive Roman and Greek Christian Churches,—comprising, by far, the larger part of Christendom.

(4) That at the time of the Jewish captivity under Nebuchadnezzar (600 years before Christ), their sacred books had been burnt, and that thus the Jews account for their reproduction.—

This tradition stands recorded in the second book of Esdras, where Esdras, or Ezra, is introduced as saying, “Thy Law is burnt: therefore no man knoweth the things that are done of Thee, or the works that shall begin. But, if I have found grace before Thee, send the Holy Ghost into me, and I shall write all that hath been done in the world since the beginning, which were written in Thy Law; that men may find Thy path, and that they, which live in the latter days, may live.” And Ezra further says that his prayer was heard, and he received a command to retire into a private place with five men, “ready to write swiftly, and many tables of box-wood to write upon.—And they sat forty days, and they wrote in the day what he told them, and at night they ate bread.”

In this way Ezra is supposed, in the tradition of the Jews of that age, to have recovered the very identical words of the Pentateuch. And several of the ancient fathers of the Early Christian Church seemed to have fully believed this strange story. Thus Clement of Alexandria says

“When the Scriptures had been destroyed in the captivity of Nebuchadnezzar, in the time of Artaxerxes the King of the Persians, Esdras the priest, having become inspired, renewed again and produced prophetically all the ancient Scriptures.”—

And Irenreus says:—

“In the time of Artaxerxes, the King of the Persians, He inspired Eadras the priest to set in order again all the words of the former prophets, and restore to the people the legislation by Moses.”

And Jerome says:—

“Whether you choose to say that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch, or Esdras the renewer of the work, I make no objection.”

But the truth is, that we know nothing certainly about this. Here I will briefly quote from The Bible and its Interpreters, by the learned Dr. Irons, Prebendary of St. Paul’s, London; he says, “There is no proof that Ezra did it.” And even if we allow that Ezra did all which is ascribed to him, yet then, as Dr. Irons justly observes,— “It is on the gifts and inspiration of the transcribers in Ezra’s day, that we are really depending,—gifts and inspiration, which yet are a mere hypothesis, of which the possessors tell us no single word! And before Ezra’s day we are thus owning, unmistakeably, that the literary history of the Old Testament is lost! Let all those, who would identify this with God’s entire Revelation, see to what they have brought us?”

But, I would say, let us not do this. For, while I agree entirely with this author—that “a more hopeless, carnal, and eventually sceptical position, it is impossible to conceive,” than that “which identifies the Written Word with God’s only Revelation” of Himself to man,—and because I believe it to be so unsound and dangerous,—I will do my best, God helping me, to show you “a more excellent way.”

To return:—the first direct mention of the Sabbath in the Old Testament as a rule to man, is at the giving of the Manna to the Israelites in the Wilderness (Ex. 16.). Shortly after, however, we have it more fully stated as a Law among the ten Commandments given on Mount Sinai (Ex. 20). And here let me call your particular [6] attention to the reason assigned for so keeping the Sabbath:— “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: therefore the Lord blessed the seventh day and hallowed it.” This, however, is very differently given in Deuteronomy (5. 15),— “And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched-out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath-day.” And note further, that both statements are equally said to be the very words of God, and to have been engraved by Him in stone.

How is this great discrepancy to be reasonably accounted for?

Did Moses really write those 5 Books called the Pentateuch?

In our English translation they are termed the first (second, or third, &c.) Book of Moses, but that is an addition, such not being in the original. Such, however, may mean about Moses; just as the Books of Samuel, Job, Esther, &c., are about them, and were not written by them.

It is highly doubtful if the first four were written by Moses; and it is all but absolutely certain the 5th. (or Deuteronomy) was never written by him.

If Moses wrote the first account of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai (in Exodus), is it possible that he could have forgotten what was then said when he wrote the second account (in Deuteronorny)? and so set down contrary words, and say, that God uttered them? If Moses did not forget, could he have dared to alter them? And, if he either forgot, or dared to alter,—what becomes of the so-called inspiration, the Infallibility, the entire truthfulness of the story? But if, as I have said above, the book of Deuteronomy was not written by Moses, then we can see clearly how another person, writing some hundreds of years after, could thus write; provided that he did not himself regard the 10 Commandments in their original form as Mosaic and Divine and therefore inexpressibly holy; for if he did, then he could no more have dared to change them than Moses himself. Moreover, if such a Commandment concerning the Sabbath was so given— amid earthquakes and thunderings and lightnings—and with the penalty of death recorded for doing any work, or even kindling a fire in any house (Ex. 31. 15) on the Sabbath-day, how comes it to pass that the Sabbath was not observed by the Jews? Especially with that dreadful story in Numbers (15), of the man found gathering sticks in the wilderness on the Sabbath-day having been put to death, and that sentence too as being immediately pronounced by the Lord!

But who can possibly believe that such a command as that ever proceeded from the Ever-Blessed God? a command, too, which would appear to have been powerless to prevent the Evil, which it proposed to cure,—which did not hinder the people at large from defiling the Sabbath with pollutions infinitely worse than that of gathering a few sticks for a fire,— “Your new moons and Sabbaths I cannot away with: Your hands are full of blood.” (Is. 1.) And what a noble work is that of Modern Biblical Criticism, which enables us to regard the Bible with true reverence, as containing the words of a Divine Revelation, with out therefore maintaining that it has been supernaturally protected from all the defects and faults of human productions,—which relieves the character of God our Heavenly Father, from the dark stains, which such narratives as these must in any reflecting mind attach to it, if believed to be divinely- guaranteed statements of infallible truth! For here, in this very story we have a proof that it was not written by Moses.—The words are, “While the children of Israel were in the wilderness,”— how could those words be written by Moses, who never came out of the wilderness, who “died there in the land of Moab”?

But now, with respect to the Jewish Sabbath, it is very noticeable that, except in the Pentateuch itself, where the laws are thickly laid down for its observance, as an express Divine Institution, there are no signs of its having ever been kept [7] with strictness, or of any attempt having been made, by the most pious Kings or prophets, to enforce the keeping of it, before the time of King Josiah,—that is shortly before the Babylonish Captivity. On the contrary, in the very few passages in which the Sabbath is mentioned at all, it is put upon the same level as the day of the “new moon.” Not at all as having any peculiar honour,—as having been enjoined by express Divine authority amidst the terrors of Sinai. Thus, in the affecting story of Elisha and the Shunammite mother, whose child was dead, she determines to “run to the man of God, and come again.” Upon which her husband says, “Wherefore wilt thou go to him to-day? It is neither New Moon nor Sabbath.” (From which story it may also be fairly inferred, that they commonly rode on the Sabbath.) So, also, the prophet Isaiah (i. 13, 15); Amos (viii. 4, 5); and Hosea (ii. 11.) Again, in the book of Chronicles,—a book written after the return of the Jews from the Captivity, (or 1000 years after Moses,)—brief mention is made of the Sabbath but always with the new moons and feasts; but great care must be exercised in using this book. Here I will briefly quote from Dr. Irons:— “The writer of the book of Chronicles gives us certain statements of the authorities referred to for the history of his people. But he does not say who was authorised to draw up the summaries of the story, which now are called ‘Books of Samuel,’ and ‘Kings,’ or his own ‘Chronicles.’ In fact, the writings of Samuel, Nathan, Gad, Ahija, Shemaiah, Iddo, Azariah, Hanani, Jehu, Elijah, and Chosai, and the Chronicles of Isaiah and others (all referred to as the literary basis of the National History), have perished without exception. The outlines which survive are by another hand and have been drawn with a design of their own. Nothing can exceed the plainness, with which the sacred author of the Chronicles acknowledges that they, who seek mere History, must look for it elsewhere. He is writing for another purpose.... The results are simply and undeniably these —that after the Jewish Captivity in Babylon (within a hundred years of that event) the merely historical, as distinct from the sacred, records of their nation—having no doubt been examined—disappear, and the religious Books, called Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, are found in their present form.”

The two books of Chronicles, in a very great part of their contents, are not historically true,—they are written, as Dr. Irons says, “with a design of their own;” and that “design” is, evidently, to blot out as much as possible from the earlier history of the people, as it is written in the older Books of Samuel and Kings, the plain signs which those Books exhibit, that the Law of Moses—the laws of the Pentateuch—were habitually disregarded by the very best of the Kings of Judah, and to represent them as in force all along. Now this fact —that of the unhistorical character of the narrative in the Chronicles—is one of the greatest importance, therefore it is that I so dwell upon it. For you cannot possibly acquire a clear idea of the real History of Israel, (from the time of the conquest of Canaan down to the Captivity,) unless your minds are disabused of the traditionary notion, as to the infallible accuracy of every line and letter in the History of the Chronicler, while yet his statements repeatedly contradict the statements of the older Books and even his own. You may easily satisfy yourselves on this point, by merely reading your Bible, carefully, with open eyes and clear understandings, employing a Bible with the marginal references and making use of them.

You will find that the Chronicler never gives a hint of David’s sins of adultery and murder,—nor of Solomon’s taking many heathen wives, and of their turning away his heart from the Living God: he says nothing of Solomon going after “Ashtaroth, the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites,” —of his “building a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.”

Again, the writer of the Book of Kings tolls us that “Abijah, the sun of Rehoboam,

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