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RETROSPECTIVE REFLECTIONS.

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Where we have held public worship to-day, it is probable that God was never acknowledged before since the creation. It is an affecting consideration, that whether we follow the same meridian round the globe, north and south, or the same parallel of latitude, east and west, it will not conduct us across a single spot where the true God is known or served. If we traverse the meridian, and encircle the earth, north and south, we shall pass over the western parts of North America, where all is darkness; if we follow the parallel of latitude, till the extremes of “ east and west become the same,” we shall intersect South America and Africa, Madagascar, New Holland, the New Hebrides, and the Friendly Islands, (leaving Tahiti and its adjacencies a little to the right of our return,) where all--all is darkness. In the little islands last mentioned, the true light has at length shined, and thousands of their Gentile inhabitants know the day of their visitation. When shall the Sun of Righteousness arise over all the nations with healing beams ?—Lord God, thou knowest !

It is now nearly four months since we saw land, or (with the exception of two) any other ship than our ownany other human beings than ourselves. All this time we have been in the centre of a circle of ocean, whose circumference may be a hundred miles, under a canopy of sky, , diversified by day with ever-varying clouds, and beautiful by night with those resplendent stars and planets which are seen no where to so much advantage as from the plane of the great deep. Every instant the centre of our floating circle has been changing place, while the horizon-ring has moved with it in exact agreement, and at the same invariable distance. This idea, and the image connected with it, reminds us of Him, concerning whom the ancients said, “ His centre is every where, his circumference no where." S. lat. 16° 59'. W. long. 133o. Thermometer 77o.

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INDICATIONS OF LAND.

A magnificent meteor was seen this evening, about eleven o'clock. Its apparent diameter was equal to that of the moon, and during its appearance the whole horizon, sea, and sky, were lighted up like mid-day. It commenced its progress from the zenith, eastward, descending with great velocity, and being visible about fourteen seconds, when it exploded into ten or twelve fragments, each of which for an instant was as bright as the planet Venus, and immediately afterwards the whole vanished.

Sept. 18. Many small white birds having been fluttering about us this morning, we judged that we must be near some land; of which, indeed, there had been other usual indications yesterday. On account of the imperfections of all our charts, the captain deems it necessary to send a boat a-head, with a light on board, in the night-time, about two miles in advance, to make signals if any reefs or islands should be perceived, these seas being crowded, in some parts, with sunken rocks and coral prominences. Like a star on the face of the dark ocean, this leading torch glides on before, and prepares our way, as an assurance of safety, or a warning of danger.

Sept. 19. The first green island of the west saluted our view about sunrise; and how welcome it was to our hearts, how lovely to our eyes, they only can know who have endured the captivity of months on board a narrow ship, ever floating, yet never in appearance approximating the harbour, which thought can reach in a moment, and there linger and weary itself with looking, in imagination, from the shore, for the first glimpse of the expected vessel; as though the spirit could spring to its destination at once, and wait, for days and weeks together, the slow arrival of the body. Such romantic, yet perfectly natural, feelings, they must have experienced, who, like us, have traversed thousands of leagues of watery waste, with their whole desires towards

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AN UNKNOWN ISLAND.

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the haven whither they were bound, and yet only knowing by lapse of time that the space between them and their destination was diminishing in proportion. The sea-birds below, and the stars above, changing according to the latitudes which we crossed, had hitherto been the chief tokens and evidences to our sight of progress on our voyage over the monotonous abyss; one horizon of water being as undistinguishable from another as two hemispheres of sky. We gazed, therefore, with unsatisfied delight on this first nameless spot of earth on the face of the Pacific, which we had discovered, and on which (so little explored as yet are these regions) probably no eye of European had ever rested before, and perhaps no human eye which could see, in its existence and productions, the being and beneficence of the Creator and Upholder of all things. This island was about five miles in length, well wooded, and indicating the climate under which it flourished by the cocoa-nut and palm-trees with which it was adorned. The land was flat, and surrounded by a coral reef, on the south-east and north-west of which the waves broke tremendously, forbidding all approach. We could perceive many of the natives running along the white shore. They were nearly naked, and seemed to look very earnestly but hesitatingly towards us, whether they should put out in their canoes, of which there were several on the margin of the beach. One carried a long staff, probably a spear, which he often brandished in his hand. We find no distinct account of this island by former voyagers. It may, indeed, be St. Narcisso ; but, if so, it is laid down very incorrectly in the charts, its true place being 17° 24' S. lat., and 139° 33' W. long. This day four months we left Portsmouth; we have hitherto been safely, pleasantly, and expeditiously brought on our voyage by a merciful Providence.

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RESOLUTION, AND OTHER ISLANDS.

Sept. 20. Early this morning land was again announced from the mast-head, as being under our larboard-bow. It proved to be Resolution Island, discovered by Captain Cook, and named after his ship. It is small, and not ascertained to be inhabited. Doubtful Island, first seen by M. de Bougainville, next presented itself; it is of considerable extent; we observed smoke rising in various places from among the trees as we passed, at the distance of seven miles, in the evening. Our hearts yearned over the benighted people of these sequestered tracts, unvisited by the dayspring from on high, while in low accents—lost amidst the murmur of the waves, except to that ear with which the spirit listens to the still soft wailings of humanity, wherever they are uttered--we seemed to hear the forlorn inhabitants saying, “ No man careth for our souls !" In the name of the Society that sent us, in the name of the Lord, whom we serve, our hearts responded, 66 God be merciful unto you, and bless you, that his name may be known throughout your islands, and his saving health experienced by all the dwellers upon earth.”

Sept. 21. Having lain to for the night (being now in the maze of the Dangerous Archipelago), at day-light land was again discovered ; and as no name was found for it, nor its existence traced in the charts, we called it Tuscan Island, from our vessel. It lies S. lat. 17° 22. W. long. ]43° 20'. In the afternoon, the captain sailed towards the shore in one of the boats, and hailed the natives, who were assembled to gaze at the strange spectacle of a European ship on their lone waters. Several of them came off in their little canoes, two of whom ventured, though timidly, into his boat. He gave them some trifling matters, and they presented him with two large pearl oysters in return. This is the twenty-sixth anniversary of the first general

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meeting of the London Missionary Society, and we joyfully commemorated it, in gratitude for the great things which the Lord hath already done for us, and in hope of the yet greater which He is even now performing. Of the latter, we expect soon to be eye-witnesses, and to obtain an impression of their glory and reality beyond any thing that we could receive by the hearing of the ear.

Sept. 22. To another undescribed island, which we passed to-day, we gave the name of Birnie, in honour of the worthy owner of that ship in which, by his generosity, we were enjoying a free passage to the scene of our appointment.

Sept. 23. We passed the curious series of islets, linked together, on which Captain Cook conferred the appropriate appellation of Chain Island. The young Tahitian, Robert, who came out with us, viewing this group with remarkable emotion, was asked the reason; when he informed us that his father and mother resided there; also that he himself was born there, though he had lived a long time in Tahiti.

Sept. 24. Maiatia, or Osnaburgh Island, hove in sight, at a distance of five or six leagues. As we approached within ten miles, the land rose in the form of a sugar-loaf, of vast dimensions, and seemed a mere naked rock, standing in the sea, and towering to the clouds. It is of a character very dissimilar to the low, verdant patches of earth which we have passed, and which seem to be altogether coral reefs, whereupon soil has been gradually formed, and plants and trees introduced by means easily conjectured; while animals and men, from time to time, being brought thither, have settled and become naturalized on finding the means of subsistence. Maiatia, on the contrary, is of more ancient structure, and most majestic elevation. The crags

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