Methodist Survey

John Wesley's Theology | Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

John Wesley's Theology | Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Methodist Personalities | Stories of early New Zealand Methodism

Methodist Personalities | Stories of early New Zealand Methodism

Rev Dr James Stuart Insights Into Methodism

Rev Dr James Stuart Insights Into Methodism

William Morley's Centennial History of New Zealand Methodism

William Morley's Centennial History of New Zealand Methodism

Stateman of New Zealand Methodism


 The History of Methodism In New Zealand

Final Note


The Editor’s task is completed. He has sought to recall the heroism, enterprise, and success of the founders of the Maori Mission; to state the causes which led to the diminution of the Native Churches, and to intimate the means which should be taken to renew their energies. While never privileged himself to labour among the Maoris, he was acquainted with most of the early labourers, and has embodied their views and convictions in the narrative given. While he himself is responsible for the general opinions expressed, he has allowed them, whenever possible, to speak for themselves.
Of the threescore years’ history of the Colonial Church, he has been personally cognisant of and interested in its working for more than half the time. He has travelled through the whole Colony several times, is personally acquainted with a majority of the Church workers; and has ministered to most of the congregations. Of their origin and growth, he has striven to obtain and present a faithful and accurate history up to date. The time for estimating the influence of the Church on the moral progress of the entire community has not yet arrived. We are too near the actors. At the end of the Twentieth Century this will probably be attempted. The facts and incidents here recorded may serve as data for the philosophic generalisations and deductions of such a writer. Probably the Methodists of the intervening period, as well as those of A.D. 2000, will be interested in the representations of the buildings in which their fathers worshipped, and in gazing upon the portraits of the pioneers and founders of the Church. Meantime, thankful for the past, and hopeful for the future, we repeat the words of Holy Writ and say: “Not unto us, not unto us, O Lord; but unto Thy Name give we glory, for Thy mercy and for Thy truth’s sake.”

Rev Dr William Morley, 1900

Go to Morley's Centennial History

More resources about Methodism

Optional Extras



Links to NZ Methodist history/theology resources

Go to the John Kinder Library online church newspapers out of print will also take you to the Outlook, the Methodist and Presbyterian newspaper in the colonial period.

The best freebie in New Zealand Methodism: a very high quality PDF reproduction of William Morley's History of New Zealand.

Go to Wesley Historical Society NZ

Go to Sung and Unsung Personalities by Rev Donald Phillipps, Rev Dr Susan thompson, Rev Dr David Bell

Go to Rev Dr James Stuart, video and associated resources, including links to the John Wesley Code Study Guide, PGPL


An Astonishing Contribution

The Extraordinary Primitive Methodist: Daniel Dutton

Once in a blue moon under geometry's golden sun

Anglican Primates Today Repeat Mistakes of the 19th Century

New truths and old as Butler debates evolution

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Stuart Manins
19 February 2016, 10:49 AM

David Bell continues to select outstandingly important issues to debate. I note that contemporary theological authorities are still divided on these matters. Ian Harris and a professor Murray Rae of Otago

University are people we know about. The latter defends the belief in God the Creator in this way:

"The matter of the Christian God's existence is not decided of course by popular vote, but it is important to correct the impression Mr Harris seeks to cultivate that his conception of God is widely accepted among leading theologians.

That is not the case.

The particular theologians I am thinking of at the institutions named above, along with many others, including those who teach at the University of Otago, continue to believe, in accordance with Christian tradition, that the God revealed and present with us through Jesus of Nazareth is the creator and sustainer of all things.

Manifesting an impressive spirit of open and rigorous inquiry, and deeply engaged in fruitful conversation with other disciplines and with other faiths, such theologians continue to believe the traditional view of God as our creator has more explanatory power in respect of the world we live in than any of its rivals.

Equally important, this God, revealed and present with us in Jesus, is the one in whom we can continue to place our hope and our trust.

A "God'' who is the product of our own thought, even our most noble thought, is frail in comparison."


Here's my statement: No matter what you believe, at least you can know that it exists in your mind. You may think it was planted there from somewhere else, or created by something else, but you can't prove this. It doesn't mean it's wrong; just not proven. Let's continue to beware of dogmatism and intolerance.


19 February 2016, 11:27 AM

I am not a theologian or a scholar but I can say a person-in-the-pew 'Amen' to your statement Stuart. But, and I don't see it as a problem, I can also mutter Amens to Ian Harris and Murray Rae, along with various others including some conservatives because I can identify with their positions as within my experience. My statement is this: Whatever belief makes one a better person (more sensitive, understanding and compassionate, a person of faith and good works) is of God. The Godde I believe in is too big for any definition other than LOVE 

Max Thomson
13 March 2016, 7:57 PM

It is most helpful to have access to these theological insights through and I look forward to working through many of them as time allows. Dogmatism appears to be the source of many of the world's problems today. Lack of communication would appear to enhance these problems and inhibit the solutions.

17 March 2016, 9:55 AM

I attend a regular U3A house group where participants bring a topic for the group to discuss for 10 mins. On Tuesday I raised the topic of a credible God for the 21 century. This bunch of: lapsed Protestants across a range of denominations, two regular church attenders and a Jew who claims her beliefs are moderated by science, were keen to share their opinions. They want to believe in a higher power that represents goodness. Their big fear is that without revering a moral God society will collapse through lack of commonly held virtues and values. The loving God portrayed by Jesus is what they want to believe in.

David Bell
17 March 2016, 10:38 PM

That's an interesting scenario for a study group Rosalie. I can't see the fear is necessarily well-founded.

Christian empires and countries have been neither more nor less moral than non-Christian. I am reading a book - or have been dipping into it for a few years Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Haraari. Soon - when I revise the bookclub layout I will post in a review.

It will belong to a guided reading trio Quest for a Moral Compass, Evolution of Everything, Sapiens. One way or another they all tackle your U3A group's concern.

Meantime if you go over to March in Through the year with John Wesley you will find the latest video on Donald Phillipps. It stimulated me to put up your work on the early missionaries. I will revise this into a better layout PDF sometime in the next month, but meantime thought it an excellent adjunct  to Donald's notes. If folk want it directly I've also attached it.

18 March 2016, 11:09 AM

So many good things come out of Dunedin, Donald's outstanding work in history, Colin's in music, and even you and I have been touched by the 'Dunedin experience'.

Thanks for putting up my file on Missionary Families - I found it fascinating feeling into what it must have been like to coping with small children and giving birth in this frighteningly different land and alien culture. The workload of the women was horrendous while creating a family home they were managing large households in very primitive conditions. As well as cooking, washing, gardening etc they were teachers and nurses to the community and often left in charge of the mission for long scary periods while their men went walkabout (by foot, horse or sail).

I see there is a mistake near the end of the file, the census I'm quoting is 1838 not 1938, sorry about this would you please correct it.