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SIMPLE METHOD OF PRODUCING FIRE.
colour, much resembling many of the beds of trap-stone in Europe.
On the contrary bank of the river, the rocks are so intricately over-grown with underwood that it was too difficult for us to ascertain whether they were of corresponding structure; but about a quarter of a mile higher up the current, the basaltic form was apparent on both sides. There the clustered columns are lying in almost every conceivable position with respect to each other, yet all in so regular a state as to imply that they have not been disturbed since their first arrangement, by whatever means that may have been produced.
A heavy shower of rain hastened our departure, after some time spent in beholding and admiring this stupendous work of almighty skill. On our way home, we had an opportunity of observing the simple and ingenious process by which the islanders obtain fire. A man took a piece of dry purau wood, twelve inches long, and two thick. With another stick of the same tree, sharpened to a point, and held with both his hands, at an angle of about 45°, he rubbed the former gently, as it lay on the ground, till he had scratched a groove in it several inches long. Then, continuing the same operation, but pressing the point harder upon the lower piece, and increasing the velocity of the motion, some brown dust was soon formed within the groove, and collected at one end. In a few seconds smoke was apparent, and the dust was ignited. The spark was then immediately conveyed into a finger-hole opened in a handful of dry grass. The man blew upon it, and, waving the tuft in the air, the grass was quickly in a flame. The whole experiment did not occupy more than two minutes.
Nov. 2. From an interesting conversation with Messrs.
TRAITS OF TAHITIAN CHARACTER.
Nott and Wilson, this evening, we obtained the following information. King Pomare, though his power has long been absolute, has never intermeddled with the spiritual concerns of the missions, or of the Christian churches formed in his dominions. He was long ago baptized, but has never yet partaken of the Lord's Supper, nor sought admission to it, often saying that he is not a fit subject. In fact, he seems to have a dread of this ordinance, lest, by unworthily receiving it, he should incur the Divine displeasure.
The Tahitians, in their heathen state, never forgot a benefit or forgave an injury. In the last war between the Christians and idolaters, the latter being vanquished fled to the fastnesses of the mountains. A chief of the victorious party, learning that, among the enemy who had thus escaped, there was a man who had shewn kindness to himself in a former war, set off to find him, tracking the fugitive as well as he could from hill to hill, and thicket to thicket, frequently calling him by name, to the extent of his voice, imploring him to come forth, and promising him safety and subsistence. At length he found the poor fellow, received him under his protection, brought him from the wilderness to his own house, and there fed and treated him with the hospitality of a kind friend. Nor were instances of such gratitude rare. On the other hand, their revenge was implacable, following its victim from island to island, or waiting from year to year, till it could revel in his agonies and exult over his death. Christianity has confirmed what was good, and extinguished what was evil, in the habits and dispositions of these people. They love as brethren, and they can forgive, as they pray to be forgiven. This was signally exemplified in the war above alluded to, which was conducted without ferocity, and in
which, for the first time, mercy was shown to the vanquished. The Christians conquered by their valour, but they triumphed by their forbearance. Neither plunder, nor violence, nor massacre followed the defeat of their foes ; and the latter, astonished at this new thing in the islands, were soon induced to submit to such magnanimous conquerors.
The ancient wars of this people were horribly destructive--when the weapons were slings, spears, clubs, &c. and the conflict was decided, man to man, at close quarters. The greater part, on both sides, often fell; the prisoners were butchered in cold blood; and those who fled to the mountains were hunted down and slain, like wild beasts. Since they have procured fire-arms from European visitors, and learned the use of them, the slaughter on their battlefields has not been so great in proportion as formerly. The gospel of peace, however, has abolished all wars in those islands which have cordially received it.
Nov. 3. Several persons brought us presents of fruit, this morning, among whom was a female chief, whose husband is “a man of low degree." Such unequal matches are frequent, but they affect the condition of neither; the woman retains her rank and authority, but does not exalt her partner to an equality with herself in these respects. The children of such marriages, under the reign of idolatry, were always destroyed at their birth, as being degraded by the inferiority of their father. Now all children are not only spared, but tenderly nourished and trained, by both parents, who are affectionately fond of them. Yesterday we saw at the church-meeting a woman, who is now regarded as a pious character, who, “in her times of ignorance," had killed eight of her offspring with her own hands. What ought to be our detestation of
ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENT.
a system which thus outraged Nature in her dearest charities! What our admiration of that religion which proposes to reclaim the beings whom that. system had perverted —and which has reclaimed them, in hundreds, yea, thousands, of instances !
This afternoon our kitchen took fire, and the whole fabric was quickly consumed before our eyes. The loss was not great. Our provisions are dressed, at a short distance from the dwelling, under a wide-spreading purau tree. A fire is made on the ground, and, to prevent its being extinguished by a sudden fall of rain, a few large leaves were formed into a kind of roof, which was suspended by a string fastened to an over-hanging branch. By some accident the flames caught this awning; in an instant all was in a blaze, and a few moments afterwards all in ashes.
our wants in this happy land, and they are easily supplied; in no part of the world, probably, with less variety of materials for providing the comforts of life, are the latter more accessible to every body, in all places and circumstances. The evils of wealth and poverty are scarcely known, where `hogs and fowls are all that are needed for animal food, and wholesome fruits may be plucked from almost every bough; while, to build dwelling-houses, frame vessels to navigate the ocean, and furnish clothing suitable to the climate,—the wood, the bark, the leaves of trees, self-planted, or improved with small culture, abundantly suffice.
Nov. 4. Being sacrament-day, we partook, for the first time, of this ordinance, with our brethren and sisters from among the Gentiles. We had the privilege of carrying the elements to the communicants, and were deeply affected to observe the becoming solemnity with which they were received-in some cases, with tears, and with
ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENT.
trembling. From the devotion which was manifested, and the great care taken by their pastors in receiving candidates to the Lord's table, there was good cause to hope that those who here commemorated the dying love of their Redeemer were worthy, however little they might seem in their own eyes. There were sixty-five natives, men and women, present. All who have been baptized are candidates for this ordinance; but none are admitted till the Missionaries are fully satisfied of the sincerity of their professions, and the reality of their religion, by the consistency of their conduct and conversation. Among the communicants, this day, was a man who had been a priest and a prophet of Oro, the god of war-and not the Mars only, but the Moloch of Polynesia so cruel and abominable were the rites with which that representative of Satan was worshipped. This votary, however, once so honoured and enriched by his office, when he felt the gospel as the power of God, renounced his distinctions, forsook the craft whereby he got his wealth, and became, so far as man can judge, a sincere and humble disciple of the Lord Jesus. The fact and evidence of this, and many a like conversion, cannot be doubted by infidel or gainsayer; the common daylight reveals these; and God who knoweth the heart, we must believe, will shew, in his own time, that, in the majority at least, the changes were not less real and spiritual than avowed and apparent.—How delightful it was to us to witness such a company as were assembled this day, in such a place, words cannot express. Their whole behaviour in the house of God corresponded with that of an old-established congregation; and their appearance was that of respectable people, according to the peculiar habits and manners of their country; modesty, cleanliness, and neatness characterizing their deportment, their persons, and their apparel.