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REPORT OF THE DEPUTATION
This day three years ago the old king died, in a full and firm attachment to his idols. Soon after this, his son and successor held a public feast to commemorate this event. At this feast he publicly set at defiance the tabu, or idolatrous system, by sitting down and eating with his wives, and the wives of many other chiefs. This took place when the American missionaries were on their voyage to these islands, where they arrived on the 31st of March, 1820, and were allowed by the king and his people to settle among them. However, it does not appear that the king demolished idolatry from any preference to Christianity, or any other religion. His father charged him, immediately before his death, to support the idolatrous system, and to abstain from drinking spirituous liquors, both of which he has equally disregarded. Last Lord's day he held the third public anniversary, commemorating his father's death. We were all invited to attend. Of course we declined, and did all we could to persuade him to defer it till the next day; but it was the proper day, according to the age of the moon, and his chiefs were not willing to make the alteration; it was therefore held on that day. The dinner, we understand, was conducted with great order and propriety. The king is able to display a degree of grandeur on these occasions, far beyond what you would expect in this country.
The prospects of the missionaries are very promising. These islands are populous, and seem to be waiting for the Savior's law. This small island contains not fewer than 20,000 souls; and the other islands of this group are populous in proportion.
A place of worship has been erected near the house of the missionaries, fifty feet long by twenty feet wide. This is the only building of the kind in the eleven islands that form this interesting group, all of which are now under the dominion of king Rihoriho.
The missionaries have not as yet acquired the language so as to be able to preach in it to the people; they are obliged to address them through an interpreter.
It will perhaps be interesting to you to hear that the language of the Sandwich Islands is radically the same as that of the Society Islands. Mr. Ellis, and the people who accompany us, can converse with these people with ease, and they understand each other without difficulty. The principal difference arises from the use of the k here, which is not
in the Tahitian language. The people themselves are evidently of the same origin, though in person the Tahitians are much superior; in color there is not any material difference-these may be a shade darker.
FROM THE SANDWICH ISLANDS.
We have no doubt that some important ends are to be accomplished by our visit to these islands, to which a singular interposition of Providence has led us. It is remarkable that a few months ago a vessel was quite ready to take one of the missionaries, with some of the chiefs, to the Society Islands, on purpose to pay a visit to the missionaries there, and to witness, with their own eyes, the change which they had heard had taken place. Many false and scandalous reports had been propagated here, injurious to the character of the missionaries there, and detrimental to that glorious work. These reports were put in circulation here, from interested motives, in order to prejudice the minds of the king and chiefs. Those foreigners who had invented and propagated these falsehoods were greatly alarmed on finding that a vessel was going expressly to examine into the truth of these reports, and used all their might in order to prevent her from sailing; and they succeeded. The voyage was, therefore, deferred, if not abandoned. When we arrived, these enemies were greatly confounded, while the missionaries as greatly rejoiced. We have borne our public testimony against them. The chiefs who accompanied us have been most rigidly questioned by the king and chiefs, who are now all satisfied of the falsehood of former reports, and of the advantageous effects of the gospel in the Society Islands. Besides this, an intercourse will now be opened between our missionaries and those of America, which will be mutually advantageous.
Our visit will also put the missionaries here in possession of the plans on which our brethren have acted in the South Sea islands, as well as of the facts which relate to the change; and, from the joy and gratitude which our beloved friends here express on seeing us, we indulge the humble hope that our visit may be the means of strengthening their hands, and encouraging their hearts, in the good work in which they are engaged. It is the day of small things; but few of the natives attend public worship, and but little value is put by the people upon their labors; but we unite with them in the confident hope that a glorious day has begun to dawn
REPORT OF THE DEPUTATION
upon these benighted lands. Nothing is too hard for the Lord.
An event has taken place which will detain us two months longer here than we had at all anticipated. Our captain has engaged to make a trip to Fanning's island, which lies two degrees on the north of the line, of a mercantile nature, which will take him about six weeks to complete. This will be highly to his own advantage; and, as we have our passage gratis, we are unable to exert any control over his plans. We lament this delay, but Providence means something by it, and, in the hope of our detention being in some way or other useful here, we bow to His sovereign will who does all things well. It will, at all events, afford us an opportunity of making ourselves more intimately acquainted with the state of these islands, and the condition of the people.
This day we remember with joy your anniversary in London; we also hold a public service here in the afternoon, in order to commemorate the same delightful event. May that Divine Spirit be graciously poured upon us, which we have been imploring so largely for you, and the Society, and all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in our beloved country.
Honolulu, in Oahu, 10th August, 1822.
From our first reaching these islands, they appeared to us to present a missionary field of the first magnitude, and of the greatest promise; and while lying at Hawaii, before we saw our missionary friends here, we frequently said to each other, "Would God, that missionaries were here, to speak to these people of the wonderful works and the grace of Jehovah, in their own language!" Whilst we were at Hawaii, the chief of that fine island, and many others, greatly desired that the pious natives who had come with us, and Mr. Ellis, should remain in these islands, "to teach them the Good Book, and all the good things which had been learned in the Society Islands." When we reached this island, many expressed the same wishes respecting Mr. Ellis and our Tahitian friends. But, though our hearts yearned with compassion for this numerous, ignorant, and vicious people, yet these repeated requests were in no degree hearkened to, un
FROM THE SANDWICH ISLANDS.
til the painful providence above referred to. While we were meditating what could be intended by our way being so hedged up as to prevent our visiting the Marquesas, and even our getting away from these islands, Auna (which is the name of one of the excellent deacons from Huahine) and his wife came up to us at the mission-house, from the king and queen of Tauai (with whom Auna and his wife have lived ever since they came to this island), with an earnest request from those important and influential personages.
But, before we proceed, perhaps it will be well to mention the singular providence which led to Auna's residence with them. When we landed at this island, while our missionary friends were requesting us, with our Tahitian companions, to take up our residence at the mission-house, a respectable-looking person was desiring our companions might go and reside with him, as they were his countrymen, having come from Tahiti some years ago. This was agreed to, and the deacons and their wives went with him. He introduced them into the house of the queen of Tauai; this person being her confidential attendant. Auna's wife soon discovered that this Tahitian was her own brother, who had left Tahiti when a boy, and they had not heard of him for nearly thirty years!
This was pleasing to all parties; the queen desired they would be her guests, and, ever since, Auna and his wife have been teaching the queen's household, which is large, many useful things, and also praying with them morning and evening. We now turn to the message which they brought to Mr. Ellis, and to us, from the king and queen of Tauai and many chiefs; which was, that Auna and his wife might stay here, and teach them and the people to read and to write, &c., and to worship Jehovah. Also that Mr. Ellis would go and fetch his wife and children, to settle here as a missionary, to teach them all good things.
We asked Auna, if he and his wife were willing to stay in this place; he said, their hearts desired it, if it was right; and if their ora madua (pastor), Mr. Ellis, would settle here, then they should be glad; because the Lord had brought us here, and perhaps it was his will we should remain. When we had received this interesting communication, we could not refrain from admiring the wisdom of all the divine dispensations, and remembered the exhortation
REPORT OF THE DEPUTATION
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
We quickly invited our American brethren to a consultation. Auna related before them what he had previously told us, and we desired their sentiments freely; which, after exchanging a few words with Mr. Ellis, they gave. Our missionary friends unanimously declared their opinion that the thing was from God; that at present there appeared a decisive indication that Mr. Ellis and the Tahitians should enter this missionary field; and that if, after due deliberation, inquiry, and prayer, it should continue to appear so, they should rejoice to receive them as brethren.
They had no doubt but Mr. Ellis's experience in missionary labors, among a people in many respects similar, and his acquaintance with the language, would prove a great blessing to all parties. This unanimous opinion of our friends, and Mr. Ellis's willingness to remove, notwithstanding his great usefulness at Huahine, has left no choice. The path appears quite plain; and, we may add, the king, Rihoriho, and his favorite queen also, desire Mr. Ellis to come. Our object now is to obtain the means of bringing Mr. Ellis and his family hither as quickly as possible; for which purpose we shall endeavor to charter a vessel from this place, or from New Holland, as we may be able. HE, however, who has hitherto enabled us to commit our ways to Him, who has so remarkably appointed our path, will, we trust, graciously continue to direct our steps.
It is now two months since Mr. Ellis consented to settle here, in aid of the mission at this place, though of course at the expense and under the auspices of our Society. Since this determination, a very close attention has been paid to the language of Hawaii; and he now preaches in it, with ease and fluency, two or three times a week, to attentive and increasing congregations.
Mr. Ellis has composed four hymns, in the Hawaiian language, which are sung in the chapel. You will hardly be able to conceive the delight we had in hearing these people, for the first time, uniting to sing the praises of Jehovah in their own tongue! A scene of great usefulness appears to be opening here. One, indeed, of greater interest and importance than that which is presented by the Sandwich Islands