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field, were wholly subdued by the clemency of Pomare in sparing his vanquished enemies, a thing unheard of before in the exterminating wars of these islanders. Since then neither war nor battle has been known throughout the whole windward group. [See Ellis's Polynesian Researches, vol. I. chap. x. pp. 245 to 280; and this Journal, vol. I. chap. vi. p. 158.] In the Leeward Islands, at Huahine, an idolatrous army of rebels yielded, without a blow, to Hautia, when that Christian chief offered them pardon and peace. [See this Journal, vol. I. chap. xiii. p. 278.] In Tahaa the idolaters, under King Fenuapeho, were routed by Tamatoa, King of Raiatea, and after the conflict the lives of the prisoners, including Fenuapeho himself, being spared, this chief and all his people submitted to the conqueror, who restored to the former his sovereignty, and to the latter their insular independence. [See this Journal, vol. I. chap. xxvi. p. 555.] The universal rejection of heathenism, and acceptance of the gospel, in each of these cases, followed the merciful use of victory by the champions of the truth. There are on record shocking instances of the murder of natives for embracing the “new religion,” by the bigoted adherents of the old; but Captain Kotzebue may be safely challenged to produce one example of an individual being put to the alternative of preferring “ death to the renunciation of his ancient faith.” It rests with him also to shew when, how, where, and by whom, “ whole races were exterminated;" -certainly not in any island, whose inhabitants have been converted to Christianity, in the South Seas. What he means at page 169, by “ the bloody persecution instigated by the Missionaries, which performed the work of a
desolating infection,” he would find hard to explain before the bar of God or man. At each he is answerable for it.
“ The religion taught by the Missionaries is not true Christianity.” [Vol. I. p. 168.] If that which Captain Kotzebue practises be “ true Christianity,” assuredly that which the Missionaries teach is not. Try him by his own test. In an interview with the queen, he says, “ She asked me whether I was a Christian, and how often I prayed daily ?»
“ I merely replied, that we should be judged according to our actions, rather than the number of our prayers.” [Vol. I. p. 183.] Every page of his fables and lucubrations, respecting the Missionaries and their people, proves that he is not of that religion which says, “ Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” One example may suffice. Vol. I. p. 193, he observes, “ Though the vice of theft has certainly greatly diminished among the Tahaitans, they cannot always refrain from endeavouring to appropriate the articles they prize so highly. For instance, I THINK, if any one of the Tahaitan ladies had found an opportunity of stealing a bit of the mock-gold-lace, the temptation would be too great to withstand.” Thus, as an instance of irresistible thieving propensity in " the Tahaitan ladies,” he thinks if something which did not happen had happened, then a certain consequence would have followed ! What can any honest man think of “ Otto von Kotzebue, Post Captain in the Russian Imperial Navy, and Commander of the ship Predpriate ?”
The rest of his slanders, sarcasms, and insinuations (especially at pp. 196-7, which are fitter for a court of justice than of criticism,) may be left, for the present, to the exposure which awaits them. It must be acknowledged that in these the
renowned circumnavigator has afforded the public, opportunity enough for judging of his Christianity by his “actions;":--one cannot help wishing, however, that he had left one solitary specimen of his “prayers."
If he had, it is not uncharitable to suppose that it might have begun thus: “God, I thank thee that I am not like," &c. The reader may fill up the form; and, to assist him in doing this, the following paragraph may be useful. It seems that, on a former voyage, Captain Kotzebue had introduced yams into Otdia, one of the Navigators’ Islands, where, during his absence, they had been so successfully cultivated that, on his visit there after leaving Tahiti, he was “shewn a pretty large field very well stocked with them.” He says, “ The delightful feelings with which I surveyed the new plantatión may be imagined, when it is recollected that these poor islanders, from want of means of subsistence, are compelled, assuredly with heavy hearts, to murder their own offspring, and that this yam alone is sufficient to remove so horrible a necessity. I might joyfully affirm, that, through my instrumentality, the distressed mother need no longer look forward to the birth of her third or fourth child with the dreadful consciousness that she has endured all her pains only to deliver a sacrifice to the hand of the murderer. When she should clasp her child to her breast, and see her husband look on it with a father's tenderness, they might both remember Totabu,* and the beneficent plants which he had given them.”—The man who had done this good deed, and could enjoy, by anticipation, such a reward of it in his own bosom, might have been taught, by his better feelings, to
* Kotzebue, in the island-dialect.
“ think” and speak otherwise than he has done of men, who have not only introduced fruits and roots, but herds and flocks, mechanic arts, reading and writing, civilized manners and domestic comforts, (to say nothing of “true Christianity,”) into not one but many islands—men who, according to his own confessions, have almost banished drunken'ness, thieving, and profligacy, so far as their influence has reached;—men, through whose “instrumentality,” not in imagination, but in fact, thousands of mothers have been taught to spare all their children, instead of delivering” -not the third or the fourth” only, but three-fourths of them, as soon as they were born, as “sacrifices to the hand of the murderer.”
To return to the main burthen of the present Journal of the first Missionary Voyage ever made round the world :an authority of a far higher standard in literature and morals than Captain Kotzebue, thus speaks of the humanizing effects of the gospel :—“ Even over the wild people, inhabiting a country as savage as themselves, the Sun of Righteousness arose with healing under his wings. Good men, on whom the name of saint (while not used in a superstitious sense) was justly bestowed, to whom life and the pleasures of the world were as nothing, so they could call souls to Christianity, undertook, and succeeded in, the perilous task of enlightening these savages. Religion, although it did not at first change the manners of nations waxed old in barbarism, failed not to introduce those institutions on which rest the dignity and happiness of social life. The law of marriage was established among them, and all the brutalizing evils of polygamy gave place to the consequences of a union which tends, most directly, to separate the human from the
brute species. The abolition of idolatrous ceremonies took away many brutalizing practices; and the gospel, like the grain of mustard-seed, grew and flourished, in noiseless increase, insinuating into men's hearts the blessings inseparable from its influence.”—Sir Walter Scott's History of Scotland.
All this has been literally realized in the islands of the South Seas, so far as they have received Christianity. Innumerable proofs of it will appear in the following pages. The former and present circumstances of these minute portions of the inhabited globe are not less truly than poetically contrasted by a living writer :
“ Where, in the furthest deserts of the deep,
On his startled ear,
From The Star in the East, by Josiah CONDER.
May 2, 1831.