James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

September 16

Bishop Patteson

By Menella Bute Smedley (1820–1877)

  • An English missionary Bishop of Melanesia murdered by the natives of the Santa Cruz islands on Sept. 16, 1871.

  • AN ANGEL came and cried to him by night,

    “God needs a Martyr from your little band;

    Name me the purest soul, which, closely scanned,

    Still overflows with sweetness and with light

    That find no limit till they reach the Land

    Whence first they sprang!” Weeping for what must be,

    He named them all, with love adorning each;

    And still that angel smiled upon his speech,

    And, smiling still, went upward silently

    Not marking any name. Amazed he knelt,

    Pondering the silent choice. But when the stroke,

    Fell, not an Angel, but the Master, spoke,

    With voice so strong that nothing else was felt;

    “Thou art the man! Beloved, come to Me!”