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might lie close, A peg was then driven into the hole, to keep it from slackening, till another stitch had been taken; and the work was secured after the last stitch in the same way by a pin, that filled up the hole, and wedged the end fast. In this manner the largest canoes are built, or rather are manufactured; the numerous pieces of which they consist being compactly held together by this kind of thread, which lasts as long as the timber itself, however exposed to the changes of weather, action of water, and ordinary wear and tear. The joints are made to correspond as exactly as possible before the parts are sewed together, and they are afterwards caulked with the shorter fibres of the cocoa husk.

Near this industrious pair, some men were fishing. One of these had a spear, with two iron arrow-shaped heads, fixed on the top of a bamboo shaft, upwards of ten feet in length. The other had a similar shaft with a bunch of slender sharp-pointed sticks tied at the upper end, resembling a small carpet-broom. Armed with these simple instruments, they waded knee-deep into the water, watching for their prey, which they struck with admirable dexterity as soon as it came within their reach.

Oct. 3. This day the division of stores and presents sent out by the directors, under our care, to the resident Missionaries was completed, when they all expressed themselves highly gratified with the kindness and liberality which had thus remembered them on their distant stations. Mr. Wilson mentioned the following circumstance in the course of conversation. Five years ago, being at Eimeo, a ship was driven upon the reef which circumscribes its shores. Pomare, with nineteen of his subjects, accompanied by Mr. Wilson, went off to assist the crew in getting the vessel from the rocks, where she was in danger of being

174

HORRORS OF IDOLATRY.

beaten to pieces. No sooner had they set her afloat than a violent gale came on, which drove the ship with them all on board as far as Raiatea, one of the Leeward Islands, where they landed. A great feast was immediately prepared by the hospitable inhabitants for Pomare and his company. Mr. Wilson embraced this opportunity of preaching the gospel where it had never been heard before. This he continued to do for three months, during which he was detained there by contrary winds; and he had good reason to believe that many who heard the joyful sound learned to know it, and to walk in the light of God's countenance. One day, while he was teaching the people, an old man stood up, and exclaimed, “ My forefathers worshipped Oro, the god of war, and so have I; nor shall any thing that you can say persuade me to forsake this way. And,” continued he, addressing the missionary, “ what do you want more than you have already? Have you not won over such a chief, and such a chief ;-aye, and you have Pomare himself !—what want you more?” “ All—all the people of Raiatea ; and you yourself, I want !" replied Mr. Wilson. “ No, no," cried the old man ;

shall never have me! I will do as my fathers have done I will worship Oro; you shall never have me,

I assure you.” Yet, within six months from that time, this staunch, inflexible, inveterate adherent of the bloody superstition of Oro (the Moloch of the Pacific) abandoned his idol, and became a worshipper of the true God.

Some time afterwards, when Mr. Wilson was coasting on a preaching tour round Tahiti, his boat struck upon a reef, his books and his stores were all drenched in water, and his little boy narrowly escaped being drowned. In this dilemma, when he was ready to abandon his object,

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and return home, a man came to him, and said, “ Do you remember what you told me at Raiatea ?” replied he; “ who are you, and what was it that I said to you?” Thereupon, with much emotion, the other informed him that his preaching, while he was detained at Raiatea (on the above occasion) had made him so unhappy, under the burthen of his sins, that he could no longer continue his idolatrous practices, but had renounced them, and begun to serve and pray to Jehovah alone. The missionary, at these unexpected good tidings, thanked God, took courage, and proceeded on his way.

We see and hear, wherever we go, evidences of the glorious and blessed moral, religious, social and political revolution, which the gospel has wrought in these islands. Pomare, while yet a heathen, was, like all his barbarian ancestors, exceedingly cruel in wreaking vengeance on his enemies. A king of Tahiti has been known to take the living children of those whom he had slain in battle, make holes through their heads at the juncture of the neck, and passing a cord of cinet through the wounds, drag the little innocents, shrieking and struggling, along the beach, till they expired in agonies; the savage conqueror meanwhile remorselessly rejoicing in his trophies like a fiend incarnate. The princes and chiefs were equally regardless of justice towards their subjects as of mercy towards their foes. A certain man having a fine sow and ten pigs, the sovereign sent him word that he desired to have them. The owner surrendered the pigs, but kept back the sow, at which his majesty was furiously enraged, but forbore to take by force what he had failed to obtain by intimidation. Another person had raised a luxuriant crop of tobacco on his ground; the king heard of it, and ordered the whole to be cut down and cured for his own use.

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Resistance would have been vain, or have cost the injured man his life. If he wanted a canoe, he had only to demand and have the best that belonged to any of his people. The very mats on which a man and his family slept have been unceremoniously, and without any offer of compensation, required and given up to gratify the royal rapacity. Some time ago, choosing to send a present of hogs and canoes to one of the Leeward Islands, Pomare got every thing of the kind that lay readily within his grasp; but the objects of his bounty were as little benefited by it as his subjects from whom it was extorted. The messengers whom he dispatched with the gift to Huahine remained so long there, that they devoured ninety-eight large hogs, and consumed a proportionate quantity of fruits and other provisions, to the great distress of the inhabitants. All the inconveniences attending this mode of exaction from his subjects are not yet removed; though more regular forms of paying tribute are gradually introduced. Late circumstances connected with Pomare's commercial speculations, which have involved him in difficulties, have urged him to be more rigorous in taxing his subjects in the old arbitrary way. Yet he keeps nothing for himself more than is necessary for the maintenance of his household; the large remainder of his revenue being swallowed up by those hungry chiefs and soldiers who usually attend him, as counsellors and guards, and on whom he is principally dependent.

At Eimeo a Christian chapel has been built, upon the site of a marae, or temple. When this place of worship was opened, and the sacrament was administered alike to converts of both sexes, an aged man, who had been a priest under the reign of idolatry, was indignant that the women should be admitted to eat with the men, and seriously

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proposed to the king that all the females who had communicated at the Lord's table should be killed, because the spot on which this offence against heathen prejudice had been committed was holy ground, which women had never been permitted to pollute by treading upon it. Pomare of course rejected the Satanic counsel, and the hoaryheaded priest himself afterwards saw and acknowledged his

error.

In their pagan state, these islanders, like all uncivilized tribes, were excessively revengeful, and would pursue or watch the object of their enmity from place to place, and from shore to shore, for many years, if an earlier opportunity occurred not to gratify their cruel rage. On such occasions, when they have at length slain their victim, the murderer has been known to pound the body to pulp with large stones, and then, spreading it to the sun till it was dried like leather, he would cut a hole in the middle,

, through which to thrust his head, and wear it as a tibuta, the arms dangling down in front, and the legs behind, till it was worn out, and fell in pieces from his back. A practice similar to this, it is said, obtained among the ferocious New Zealanders. How different is the character of the South Sea converts now! No people are more harmless and inoffensive; none more “kindly affectioned one toward another."

A few weeks before our arrival, some dissatisfaction had arisen in a district of Tahiti, in consequence of the king's partiality in distributing his property among his chiefs. An individual had sent Pomare a large hog, for which he humbly asked a black-lead pencil in return. This being refused, he and some others who had taken offence for similar causes formed a conspiracy to destroy the king, and to effect a revolution in the government. The

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