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plot being discovered, the two ringleaders were apprehended, tried, and condemned. Tahitians seldom deny a crime of which they have been guilty, when charged with it ; and these culprits frankly acknowledged theirs. They were sentenced to death, and hanged upon a tree in the presence of multitudes, who witnessed the execution with indescribable horror, as a scene equally new and terrible; justice not having been wont to be administered with such solemnity, of old, when the most summary and cruel punishments were inflicted on offenders without any legal forms. Mr. Crook attended on the spot, and while the bodies were hanging (which they did for an hour) earnestly addressed the spectators, and 6 reasoned with them of righteousness, temperance, and a judgment to come,” allowing brief intervals of awful silence, that their minds might be more affected by ruminating on the subjects thus brought home to their consciences.
In connection with the vengeance formerly wreaked upon criminals, and the monstrous atrocities committed against vanquished enemies, we have been told that there are wild men in the mountains who have haunted the highest accessible eminences for many years, and living in such deplorable degradation, that the barbarism of their countrymen, before they received the gospel, was civilization in comparison with their state. These were principally persons who had offended the king, the chiefs, or the priests, or had been vanquished in battle, and fled to the fastnesses and woods in the interior of the island for refuge. One of these stray beings had been taken alive some short time ago, and brought to a Christian village, where he was treated with the utmost kindness and hospitality by the people, as well as introduced to their religious meetings, but without any apparent happy
influence upon his sullen and untractable disposition. He seized the first convenient opportunity, when unobserved, to steal away from the custody of benevolence, and escape back to his rude freedom and hard fare
the mountains; nor has he since been heard of. Several others are known to be yet living in those forlorn and hideous solitudes.
Oct. 5. Mr. Nott received a letter from the king, at Eimeo, who expresses high satisfaction on hearing of the arrival of the deputation, and those who accompanied them as future settlers. He says that he regards us as friends, shall treat us as such, and furnish us with food and other necessaries. He proposes to return from Eimeo as soon as his health will allow him, and particularly requests that, in the meantime, the presents from the society intended for him
may not be shown to any one else. We are glad to hear that Pomare spends his evenings in listening to “ the words of eternal life”—portions of the Scriptures which he himself has essentially aided to translate into his own tongue being read to him by the chiefs and other persons in attendance. He has sometimes twenty and more of these sitting around him, taking verse by verse in turn. Of these he has himself taught several to read, and he delights to improve others. He learned to read in the year 1802, and began to write about the same time. He may be said in a great measure to have taught himself both these accomplishments, which were never acquired by a South Sea Islander before.
He engaged the missionaries to furnish him with lessons, consisting of syllables, words, sentences, and paragraphs, in gradation, upon slips of paper : these he took with him when travelling from place to place, and copied at his leisure, with unwearying diligence and application ; thus reading and
writing at the same time, and giving his instructors very little trouble. He is wont also to engage in extemporary prayer in his own family; though he occasionally calls upon one or other of his attendants to officiate. Prayer is thus offered twice a day beneath his roof, and he permits no business whatever to prevent the regular discharge of this duty.
It is lamentable, however, that an example in many respects so much to be commended, and so worthy of imitation, should be counteracted in its benign influence by some debasing habits to which the king is 'unhappily addicted. He is inordinately fond of spirituous liquors, but as he is dependent upon ships touching on his coast for supplies of these, he is frequently, for long intervals, abstemious from necessity. This is remarkable, when it is known that he has ample materials for making spirits in his own land, and is well acquainted with the art of distilling. Not only does the sugar-cane grow luxuriantly here, but also the tiż plant, from the root of which excellent spirit may be extracted. Before Christianity was embraced, there were multitudes of stills throughout Tahiti and the adjacent islands, and vast quantities of spirits were manufactured. But when the gospel change took place, every still was destroyed, and their use in future entirely prohibited. Thus is this extraordinary man so deeply sensible of the evils of intoxication, that he will not suffer ardent spirits to be prepared even for himself, notwithstanding his infatuated love of strong drink, rather than hazard the consequences to his people, were they again to be exposed to such perilous temptations. When some Russian ships of discovery touched at Tahiti, not long ago, the commander soon discovered Pomare's besetting infirmity, and expressed his astonishment that, having the
PROGRESS OF CHRISTIANITY AT RAIVAVAI.
means of indulgence within his power, he did not avail himself of them. His astonishment was of another kind when the missionaries explained to him the reason of such extraordinary self-denial.
But whatever Pomare may have been formerly, while he was a heathen ; whatever he may be now in the sight of God, professing as he does the Christian faith, without works, in all respects, corresponding thereto;—he has always acted in the most friendly manner towards the missionaries, and the cause in which they have been labouring among his subjects; never failing, when opportunity offered, to employ his influence for the promulgation of the gospel. In the year 1820, he visited Raivavai, or High Island, lying about four hundred miles southward of Tahiti, where, notwithstanding its distance, his authority was acknowledged. On his arrival, he found two parties at war with each other, and devastating the country by their feuds. Pomare interposed, brought the hostile leaders together, and reconciled them. When he was about to return home, he left this charge :-“ Watch and see;—the man who stirs up war again, let him be put to death.” The inhabitants, at his persuasion, had cast away their idols; and two Tahitian converts were stationed among them, at his departure, to instruct the willing savages in reading, writing, and other useful arts. The king's visit on this occasion appears, from accounts received a few months
ago, to have been followed by the most auspicious effects. The peace had not been broken ; a large chapel had been erected, which was crowded on the Sabbath with eager audiences. The ship Captain, who brought this intelligence, said, that on the Sunday when he was there, he counted eight hundred and forty-eight persons at public worship-seven hundred within, and the rest standing
Íslands which have received Christianity–Language of the Natives of
the Society Islands_Destruction of Idols-Domestic ManufacturesPresents from the King—Hiro, the God of Thieves—War-spear-Missionaries prepare a Code of Laws Tatooing abandoned— Visit to Eimeo -Strolling Players Public Service-Introduction to Pomare-Interview with Christian Church and Congregation—Social Meetings for Religious Improvement.
Oct. 7. We have spent a second blessed Sabbath-day here.—The following islands are known to have cast away their idols, and declared themselves worshippers of the living God :-Tahiti, Eimeo, Huahine, Raiatea, Taha, Borabora, Maupiti, which may be seen from Borabora, thirty miles off; also Tetaroa, twenty-eight miles northwest of Tahiti; Maiaoiti, Tubuai, three hundred miles south of Tahiti; Raivavai, upwards of sixty miles east by south of Tubuai; and Rurutu, upwards of three hundred miles south of Maiaoiti. It is believed, that several of the islands in the Dangerous Archipelago have likewise abandoned paganism, and are waiting for the gospel. Though some of the avowedly Christian islands have no European missionaries resident upon them, native teachers, by the blessing of God, conduct the Sabbath and week-day devotions, reading the scriptures, singing, and praying, “ in the great congregation;" as well as privately, and from house to house, expounding the truths of Christianity