Page:Picturesque New Zealand, 1913.djvu/446

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PICTURESQUE NEW ZEALAND

would start at the beginning to give his history. "No use to start from the limbs of a tree and work down," said he emphatically. "I will start at the roots." The metaphorical tree proved to have tremendous roots; it could n't have been anything less than a Sequoia gigantea. Details were one of his specialties, and he all but went back to the days of Adam for some of them. He certainly submitted a good case for himself, and possibly he imagined I believed everything he told me.

"I was born," he began, "in 1868. At twelve years of age I began to ponder on the questions of life. I thought on the Maoris' future, and dwelt on their past. I saw that to do right man must live right; but though I thought much, I was not bold to speak my opinions, fearing the elders among my people would say, 'He is too young for that.'

"In 1906 I could see clearly. God's power came to me, and people who knew me as a boy recalled the sayings of my youth. Then these said, 'Rua talked sense in those days.' I saw there were two laws in the world—one, God's, the other, man's; the law that came from the Spirit, and the law that comes from man's mind. But it is God's law that should direct man. I talked to my people about this. I told them I was not taught in any school, but that my knowledge and inspiration came from God. God was my teacher. God's schooling is everything. He is in all knowledge.

"In 1908 I saw all the faults of the Maoris, and I had more of God's power in me then than in 1906. I was not