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´╗┐Title: The Cruise of the Mary Rose - Here and There in the Pacific
Author: Kingston, William Henry Giles, 1814-1880
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Cruise of the Mary Rose - Here and There in the Pacific" ***

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The Cruise of the Mary Rose, or Here and There in the Pacific, by
William H G Kingston.

________________________________________________________________________

This book is very largely about the work of Christian missionaries in
the Pacific.  There is a thin plot, but otherwise we are treated to
lengthy texts extracted from the reports of various missionaries, and of
Naval officers who had visited the area.

The book is dressed up with a cover and a title that makes it look like
a boy's adventure story from the second half of the nineteenth century.
I imagine that many a kindly old aunt, searching for a Christmas present
for a favourite nephew, will have bought a copy, and been surprised when
the "thank-you" letter didn't seem as effusive as she expected.  But
don't let me stop you reading it if you are interested in the work of
these brave missionaries.

Kingston is generally quite pious in his writings, so you can imagine
how pious he is when trying to out-missionary the missionaries.

Some of their more nauseous habits of their "clients" are described,
such as eating your enemy when you have killed him.

________________________________________________________________________

THE CRUISE OF THE MARY ROSE, OR HERE AND THERE IN THE PACIFIC, BY
WILLIAM H G KINGSTON.



CHAPTER ONE.

UNCLE JOHN'S JOURNAL.

My family had for centuries owned the same estate, handed down from
father to son undiminished in size, and much increased in value.  I
believe there had been among them in past generations those who feared
the Lord.  I know that my father was a man of true piety.  "Casting all
your care upon Him, for He careth for you," was his favourite motto.
What a world of doubt and anxiety, of plotting, and contriving, and
scheming, does this trust in God save those who possess it.  On this
blessed assurance my father took his stand in all the difficulties of
life.  It never failed him, and so we his sons had a good training and a
godly example.

The younger members of each generation followed various honourable
professions, but they failed to rise to high rank in them, owing, I
fancy, to a want of worldly ambition--the general characteristic of our
race.  Altogether, however, I believe them to have been a simple-minded,
upright, clear sighted set of people, who did whatever their hands found
to do honestly and with all their might.  Such people ought to rise, it
may be said.  So they do,--but not to what the world calls the summit.
They generally rise to a position of independence, where they may enjoy
fair scope for the exercise of their mental and spiritual faculties.
There they are content to remain, for a time.  This world is not their
rest.  Another world opens to their view.  In that they see the goal at
which they aim.  There is the golden crown.  Why then be distracted by
the glittering baubles which are held up to draw their attention from
the real jewel--the gem without price?  I am happy in the belief that
such was the reason that my ancestors did not become men of much worldly
note.

The occupant of the family estate had always attended to its
cultivation, and was properly called a gentleman farmer.  Unostentatious
and frugal, he never lacked means, in spite of bad harvests or
unexpected losses, to assist the younger members of the family in
starting in life, or to help forward any good cause which required aid.

My father, Paul Harvey, was a perfect type of the family--so was my
elder brother, his namesake.  John came next; a daughter followed; I was
his fourth child.  He kept up a good old custom--never broken through
from any excuse.  An hour before bed-time his children and the whole
household assembled in the sitting-room, when he read and explained a
chapter in the Bible.  A hymn was sung, and prayers full of fervour were
offered up to the throne of grace.  After this a simple supper was
placed on the table, and we were encouraged to speak on the events of
the day, or on what we had read or thought of.  That hour was generally
the pleasantest of the twenty-four.  Our father guided, if he did not
lead the conversation, and generally managed to infuse his spirit into
it.  Although many of the subjects discussed even now rise up to my
memory, I will mention but one, which had a powerful influence on the
career of some of those present.  I had been reading an account of the
Crusades, and my enthusiasm had been unusually stirred up on the
subject.  "I wish that I could have lived in those days!"  I exclaimed
(I was but a lad it must be remembered.) "What a glorious work those
warriors of old undertook, who with sword and lance, under the banner of
the cross, they went forth to conquer infidels, to establish the true
faith, to recover the blessed land, hallowed by the Redeemer's
footsteps, from the power of the cruel followers of the false prophet of
Mecca.  How degenerate are we Christians of the present generation!  Who
among us dreams of expelling the Turks from Syria?  On the contrary, our
statesmen devote their energies to keep them there.  I really believe
that were Peter the Hermit to rise from his grave, he would not find a
dozen true men to follow him."

"Possibly not," said my father, quietly; "though he might find two dozen
fully as wise, and as honest, too, as those he led to destruction.  But
has it not struck you, David, that there are other conquests to be
achieved in the present age more important than winning Palestine from
the Moslem; that there is more real fighting to be done than all the
true soldiers of the cross, even were they to be united in one firm
phalanx, could accomplish?  Sword and spear surely are not the weapons
our loving Saviour desires His followers to employ when striving to
bring fresh subjects under His kingdom.  That they were to be used was
indeed the idea of our ignorant ancestors, when the teaching of a
corrupt Church had thrown a dark veil over their understandings.
Christians only in name, the truth was so disfigured and transformed
among them, that it exercised no influence over their hearts; and though
they believed the Bible to be of value, they regarded it rather in the
light of a mystic charm than the word of God.  Thus all the great truths
of our most holy faith were so travestied and changed as to produce
alone a degrading superstition.  They believed that the Bible had the
power of exorcising spirits of evil.  So it has; but it is not the
closed Bible, which they in their ignorance employed--not the mere
printed paper bound into a volume--unread, or if read, misunderstood, at
which the devil and his angels tremble.  No; it is the open Bible--the
Bible in many tongues--read and understood through God's gracious
teaching, sought for by prayer earnestly.  It is the blessed gospel of
peace which alone can put to flight debasing superstition, gross
customs, murderous propensities, cruel dispositions, barbarism in its
varied forms, and all the works of darkness instigated by Satan and his
angels.  Again, I say that the Bible, and the Bible alone, is the true
crusader's weapon; armed with that sword of the Spirit, with the shield
of faith on his arm, and under the guidance (never to be withdrawn while
he seeks it) of God's Holy Spirit, he may go boldly forth conquering and
to conquer the numberless hosts of heathenism arrayed for battle against
the truth.  These weapons are dreaded by the spirit of evil more than
all those iron implements of warfare on which man in his folly and
blindness relies.  The victories won by the Bible are lasting in this
world, and not only in this world, but through eternity.

"To drop metaphor, what is, and what long has been the condition of
those lands the crusaders vainly boasted they had won from the followers
of Mohammed?  In what state do we find those vast territories of the New
World conquered by Spain? both gained by sword and spear, under a banner
falsely called the `banner of the cross.'  Compare these and similar
conquests over heathenism with those victories won in pagan lands by the
Bible--the sword of the Spirit.  How great the contrast!"

Our father spoke with far more animation than was his wont.  I listened
respectfully, though I confess that at first I did not comprehend the
full meaning of his remarks.  Still, they considerably dimmed the bright
halo with which my imagination had surrounded the crusades.  My second
brother, John, however, fixing his eyes attentively on our father, drank
in every word he uttered.  "Yes, glorious indeed are the victories
gained by the gospel of peace in heathen lands, and happy are those
permitted to fight them," he whispered, with a sigh, after a few
minutes' silence.  John was less robust in health than were most of us,
and it was intended that he should devote himself to mercantile
pursuits, for which I had long suspected that he had no great taste;
still, at the call, as he believed, of duty, he had begun the task of
acquiring the necessary knowledge.

"I suppose, father, that you are alluding to the labours of missionaries
in foreign lands?"  I observed.  "But I have heard it said, that in
spite of all the money expended, their preaching produces but meagre
results.  In India, for instance, the Company will not admit them.  In
Africa, the climate destroys them.  The fanatical Turks and other
Mohammedan nations will not listen to their message; and it would be but
time lost and energies wasted were they to attempt to preach to the
cannibals of New Zealand and the other islands of the Pacific, or to the
almost baboons of Australia and New Guinea."

"You have not, I see, given much thought to the subject, David,"
observed my father, mildly; "God's grace is sufficient for all men.  The
gospel is to be preached to all men, without distinction of race, or
colour, or nation, or rank.  What says the Bible?  `Go ye into all the
world, and preach the gospel to every creature.'  Who is to decide then
from what depths of moral degradation the power of God's grace will fail
to lift up a human being?  Certainly, we mortals, fallible, helpless,
sinful, as we must feel ourselves, are not capable of judging.  All we
have to do is to receive the plain command, and obey it.  Oh, there is
scope, believe me, for the exertions, not of one missionary only, but of
hundreds and thousands of the soldiers of the cross in those very
regions of which you have spoken.  How can we dare to doubt how the
gospel will in the end be received?  `Blessed are ye which sow beside
all waters,' `Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it
after many days.'  `In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening
withhold not thine hand, for thou knowest not which shall prosper,
either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.'  Our
duty as disciples of Christ is plain.  We are to sow.  `God giveth the
increase.'  That is not to be our care.  We are to `preach the gospel to
every creature.'  Some will hear; some will turn away from the truth.
With that we have nothing to do, except to pray and work on, awaiting
God's time.  You have none of you seen more than the outside of my Uncle
John's journal.  Indeed, I had not myself till lately looked into it.
He was, as you may have heard, a seaman, and he made more than one
voyage to the Pacific.  Possessing more education than most officers in
the merchant service in those days, he seems to have carefully noted the
observations he made as he sailed from place to place.  His descriptions
are graphic, and he was of an acute and inquiring mind; his remarks,
too, are of value.  I think, therefore, that we may glean from it both
amusement and instruction."

We of course all expressed a wish to hear the contents of our relative's
journal, and it was agreed that the next few evenings should be devoted
to its perusal.  I should observe that our father's interest in the
subject of missions to the heathen in foreign lands had lately been
awakened by the visit of an old friend, one of that band of great and
good men who were then endeavouring against contumely, ridicule, and
every opposition which the prince of this world could raise, to send the
glad tidings of salvation to the perishing millions scattered thickly on
the surface of the globe, over which midnight--the midnight of heathen
darkness--reigned.

I believe that the thought of our dear father's heart at that time
was--"I have many sons given me by God; surely not one of them have I a
right to withhold from His service; all, all, every one of them should
be freely, joyfully given if it be His will to accept their services."
I do not mean to say that he uttered these words, but that such was the
language of his heart spoken to heaven, I am certain, from conversations
and circumstances which subsequently occurred.  Of all the family our
brother, John, appeared to be the most deeply impressed with the remarks
which had dropped from our father's lips, and as I watched his
expressive countenance, I observed the changes passing over it, and am
now certain that feelings were then working within his bosom too deep
for utterance, and which afterwards exerted a powerful influence on his
career.

The following evening, the word of God having been read and our frugal
supper discussed, the looked-for journal, a dogskin-covered, somewhat
worn folio, was produced.  John, by a unanimous vote, was chosen to read
it, and I am bound to say that the honest seaman's descriptions gained
considerably by the spirit which our brother's animated voice threw into
them.



CHAPTER TWO.

Supped at the "Three Crowns" with Phineas Golding our supercargo, and so
aboard, my leave being up, and work enough and over to get the ship
ready for sea.  A long voyage before us of four, or it may be of five
years.  Meeting our supercargo at the owner's, I had deemed him a quiet,
well-behaved young man; I now find him a slashing blade, ever ready with
his fist, or his sword, as with his pen,--hot in dispute, and always
eager to bring a quarrel to the arbitration of one of the former.  How
differently do men appear when in presence of those they serve and when
out of their sight!  There exists One out of whose sight we cannot
escape.  How comes it that we do not always bear that truth in mind?
Are we more afraid of a fellow-creature than of the Maker and Judge of
all the world?  I said thus much to Phineas Golding.  He replied with an
oath, which caused me to feel that I had been casting pearls before
swine.  And yet I was right, surely; for by speaking the truth boldly on
fitting occasions, I do hold that the truth will in the end prevail, and
may be conquer the unbeliever's heart.  On one thing, therefore, I am
resolved, to go on as I have begun, and speak the truth always with
earnestness of purpose.

Of my other shipmates I will speak a word.  The master Simon Fuller, is
grave man, the snows of nearly sixty winters settling on his head.  He
has made many voyages, and seems a fit man to command men.  The first
mate, too, James Festing, is every inch a seaman, but somewhat handy
with his fist, a rope's end, or a marline spike, or, truth to say,
whatever lies nearest, and withal not over choice in his words when
angered, or desirous of getting work done smartly.  Of myself, as second
mate, it becometh me not to speak.  I have been five years at sea, am a
fair navigator, and an average seaman.  I fear God, and strive to do my
duty, though not always succeeding.  Our ship's company muster
thirty-five good men, I hope, all told fore and aft.  The ship, as is
requisite, is well armed, with six guns with swivels on the quarters,
and muskets, pikes, axes, and cutlasses for all hands.  We have to visit
many strange places and strange people, and we must expect often and
again to fight for our lives with the savages.  Phineas Golding rejoices
in adventure, and says such chiefly induced him to leave home.  He has
never before been at sea, and dreams not of the troubles in store for
him.

_June_.--We have taken our departure from the land, which is even now
sinking astern, a strong breeze blowing from the north-east.

_July_.--We have touched at Madeira, belonging to the Portingalls, as
the old voyagers call them.  They are a suspicious people, though civil
when not angered.  I witnessed some public exhibitions, which I was told
were religious.  I cannot suppose that such performances are acceptable
to our Lord and Master, or He would surely have ordered such.  But it
becomes not me, after so slight acquaintance with a people, to pass much
censure on their customs, though I see not how to approve them.

Crossing the Line, we had a usual Father Neptune and his Tritons on
board.  Tony Hinks, our boatswain, was Neptune.  He and his mates
severely handled some of the men who had shown ill manners or bad
tempers, tarring their faces, and shaving their chins with rusty hoops.
Phineas vowed that he would not be so treated, but had to succumb,
escaping with a thorough sousing from a dozen buckets.  Phineas vows
vengeance on the boatswain; but I warn him that Tony Hinks followed but
the custom of the sea, and is not a man over whom it would be easy to
get an advantage, for he boasts that he always sleeps with one eye open.

We have touched at Rio, the chief town in the Brazils.  From what I saw,
I should take the people to be heathens, such as I have read of in Roman
and Grecian history; but they say that they are Christians.  One thing
is certain, that if they desire to keep the sabbath holy, they have a
curious way of so doing.  Still I say, it would be easy to sail from
place to place and to condemn all we visit unheard.  One thought occurs
to me: "Look to it that we fall not into like errors."

Proceeding south before rounding Cape Horn, we again made the land, and
standing in, anchored the ship in a sheltered cove.  It was the southern
part of that region known as Patagonia.  The captain, with Phineas
Golding and I, with a crew of eight men, well armed, took the long boat
and went ashore.  The aspect of the country was not pleasant; rocks, and
trees, and marshes, but no signs of cultivation.  Suddenly from among
the rocks some creatures appeared watching us.  "Are they men or are
they baboons?" asked Phineas, levelling his musket; but the master held
back his arm.  They approaching slowly and with hesitation, we
discovered that they were human beings, though marvellously ill-favoured
in aspect.  Their skin, which seemed of a dark brown, was covered with
dirt, and their faces, which were flat with high cheek-bones, were
besmeared with red and yellow ochre.  Their long black coarse hair
hanging down straight over their shoulders, their small twinkling
bleared eyes peeping out between it, like two hot coals.  They had
spears in their hands and short clubs.  They were nearly naked, their
chief garment consisting in a piece of sealskin, which they wore on the
side whence the wind blew.  Again Phineas was about to shoot in very
wantonness.

"What's the harm?" he asked.  "We have no chance of trading with such
people; and if we were to kill a few, what would it matter?"

"They have souls, Master Golding," said I, for I could not keep silence;
"and souls, I have learned, are precious things."

A scornful laugh was his reply, and he still kept his musket ready, as
if to fire.  The savages, however, seemed in no way afraid, but lifted
up their hands, and made as if they too had muskets; and when we laughed
they laughed, and when we shook our fists they shook theirs; and so we
discovered that, though hideous, they were a harmless race, and great
mimics.  They readily accepted beads, and knives, and coloured
handkerchiefs, and such like things.

These people, we learn from Tony Hinks, who has before been on the coast
(indeed where has he not been?) are different from the tribes of
Patagonians who inhabit the country to the north as far as the Spanish
settlements.  These latter are a fierce race, often of large stature,
though not giants, as some suppose, and dress in skins and ride on
horseback.  Again, there are other tribes whose dwellings are among the
marshes and inlets of the sea up the Straits of Magellan.  They move
about only in their canoes, living on shell-fish, seals' flesh, and
fish, their habits being more filthy and disgusting even than are those
of our present friends.  Phineas laughs at the notion of their being our
fellow-creatures, and says that they must have sprung from apes; but
Tony, who has seen many strange people, says that he would not give a
fig for the supercargo's opinion, for that he has known white men become
almost as brutish in their appearance, and much more brutish in their
manners, just from living a few years among born savages, cut off from
all communication with their fellow whites.  A little practical
experience often shows the folly of these would-be philosophers.

On the Pacific coast of this end of America are found the unsubdued
tribes of the Araucanians in vast numbers, so that in this one small
portion of the continent are many hundred thousand savages, all lying in
the midnight of heathen darkness.

Phineas observes that it is a pity they cannot be swept away, and
civilised men, with whom it would be an advantage to trade, introduced
in their stead.  He esteems men in proportion as they are able to
exchange gold dust, ivory, spices or precious stones, not knowing their
value, for glass beads and Brummagem knives and needles.  I cannot help
thinking that all those savages have immortal souls, and regretting that
they should be allowed to pass away from this life without having the
light of gospel truth set before them.  Year after year passes by,
thousands are swept away, and still darkness dense as ever broods over
the land.

Once more we are under weigh.  With a fair breeze gliding over a long
heavy swell, we pass Cape Horn, which stands out boldly into the blue
waters, and enter the mighty Pacific.  Tony Hinks tells us that, though
peaceable enough at times, he has seen here as fierce gales and heavy
seas as ever sent tall ships to the bottom.  Grant that we do not
encounter the loss and disaster met with by Lord Anson, whose voyage I
have been reading.  Hitherto a kind Providence has favoured us, and we
are standing up along the coast of Chili, the lofty Andes rising blue
and distinct against the sky in the distance.



CHAPTER THREE.

TAHITI IN HEATHEN DAYS.

Anchored in the Bay of Conception to obtain meat and vegetables, and to
refresh our ship's company.  The town whence we obtained supplies is
Talcaguana, the old town of Conception having been destroyed by an
earthquake, and the new town standing some way inland.  It is a wealthy
place--no lack of silver and gold utensils in the houses, and flocks and
herds outside, but the inhabitants lead uneasy lives, for not far off
beyond the mountains are found tribes of fierce Araucanians, who, riding
fleet horses, now and again pounce down on the town, and never fail to
carry off a rich booty.  They care not for the Spanish artillery and
musketry, they keep out of range of them; but might not the power of
gospel truth spoken in season change their savage natures?  Could some
Christian men find their way among them, they might tell them of happier
employments than killing each other, and robbing their neighbours.  Yet
I dream.  Such seems to be the chief occupation, not only of savages,
but of civilised people all over the world.  What power can assuage such
a flood of iniquity?  There is one and one alone, the bright light of
gospel truth, and the living power of Divine grace.

Having shipped our stores, the boat was leaving the shore for the last
time, when a brown man, dressed as a seaman, with strange marks on his
face and hands, came down begging to be taken on board.  His name he
said was Taro, and that he was a native of an island far to the west,
also that he had long been on board an English ship, the master of which
had left him here sick.  Captain Fuller believing his tale, and well
pleased to obtain the services of one who might prove useful as an
interpreter, consented to receive him among the crew.  Our ship's
company gave him at first the name of Tar, and hence he soon became
known among them as Tom Tar.  He proves an amusing, and seemingly a
good-natured fellow till he is angered, and then he will cast off his
clothes, and seizing a billet of wood or whatever comes to hand, will
flourish it, threatening the lives of all near him, exhibiting his body
covered with strange devices, appearing, as he is still, the fierce,
vindictive savage.  He comes from an island called New Zealand, where
the inhabitants are terribly fierce, and undoubted cannibals.  I asked
Taro whether he had ever eaten any of his fellow-creatures.  He nodded,
laughing, and I doubt not, from the expression of his countenance, that
he had often done so, and would not hesitate in again indulging in such
a practice.  Though living so long among men professing to be
Christians, he is still a heathen in all his thoughts and ways.  I asked
him one day how this was.  His answer was simple: "They say and do just
what heathen man say and do.  They no pray to their God; they no care
for their God; they no love their God.  Why should I?"

Taro spoke the truth; I felt abashed.  How can we expect the heathen to
become Christians, when those who call themselves so show so little
regard to the religion of Christ?  I see the same sad shortcoming on
shore.  Christians do not strive to bring honour to the name of Christ.

For three weeks and more we traverse the Pacific, keeping bright
look-out by night and day for rocks and reefs.

"Land on the starboard bow," is the cry.  We haul up for it.  As the
ship rises and falls on the long, slow swell, now the trees appear
partly out of the water, now they disappear looking thus at a distance
like a fleet at anchor.  There are cocoa-nut palms, pandanus trees, and
many shrubs, growing on a low island, fifteen feet at most above the
level of the sea, some twelve miles long, and not a quarter of a mile
wide, with a deep blue lagoon inside.  This is one of those wonderful
coral islands of which I have read, formed by minute insects working
upwards from rocky foundations amid the ocean, and ceasing their work
when they have reached the surface.  The waves have torn off masses and
thrown them up so as to form an elevation above the water; then birds
have come, dropped seeds, and formed their nests, and dwelt there; and
timber and plants floating about have been cast on shore, and their
vitality not yet destroyed, have taken root; and more coral and shells
have been heaved up and ground fine by the toiling waves to form a
beach; and thus a fit dwelling-place for man has been formed.  Nearing
the sandy beach we heave-to for soundings, but finding none, the ship
stands off, while Phineas and I, with Tom Tar and our boat's crew, well
armed, pull in with the intention of landing.  This the surf will not
let us do; and as we are lying off on our oars, presently, from out of
the bushes, rush a herd of savages with spears and clubs, which they
flourish furiously, making signs to us to be gone.  We pull on, however,
and find an opening in the reef, through which we get close to the
beach.  The natives shout and gesticulate more vehemently than ever.
They declare (so Taro interprets) that we come for no good purpose, and
that they want no strangers.  Phineas hopes that they may possess pearls
with which to trade, so we row in, he standing up in the bows of the
boat, holding up a looking-glass and a string of glass beads in one
hand, while he keeps his musket ready in the other.  He is bold, and
leaping on shore, approaches the natives.  At first the savages retire;
then one advances, stops, gazes at the supercargo, and with a loud
shout, flourishing his club, rushes towards him.  Phineas, flinging down
the looking-glass and the beads, springs back, firing his musket in the
air.  The savage is upon him.  In another moment that huge club will
have dashed out his brains.  I see his danger.  I have no thought but to
save him--no feeling that I am about to slay a fellow-creature.  I raise
my musket to my shoulder and fire, taking good aim.  The savage falls.
Phineas, shouting to us to give the Indians a volley, is hauled in.  The
men obey as the Indians, with terrific howls, rush towards us.  Five
more fall, some in the water, which is tinged with their blood, others
on the land.  Our passions are up.  Golding urges us to load and fire
again.  Having thus done, we pull away.  Says Golding, "They'll not
meddle another time with strangers who peaceably visit their shores to
trade."  We leave ten or twelve poor heathens dead or wounded on their
native strand.  My thoughts are sad.  The face of that hapless savage as
he turned his eye on me when falling is still in my sight.  True, I
fired to save the life of a shipmate.  Yet it is an awful thing to shed
the blood of a fellow-being, let it be in warfare or in any other way
which men justify as from stern necessity.

Are such, too, the blessings which we Christian and civilised men
distribute in our course round the globe?  The loud laugh of my
companion sounds in my ear.  "Come, rouse thee, John Harvey," he says.
"Art down-hearted, lad, because we have not been more successful in our
traffic?  Not a good beginning, but the Pacific is wide, and there will
be no lack of customers."

Standing on for three days we sight several islands.  On the nearest is
a grove of fine cocoa-nut trees.  We require a supply of nuts.  Two
boats with crews well armed leave the ship.  An opening appears in the
reef--we pull through it and land easily.  Our men climb the tall trees
and shake down the nuts in heavy showers.  While we are collecting the
nuts, the men in the trees shout that they see a fleet of large canoes
crossing from another island.  We deem that it will be prudent to regain
the boats.  The Indians, seeing the broken nuts strewing the ground, and
the heap we are carrying away, shriek, and shout, and shake their clubs
and spears, and then furiously rush towards us.  Golding, as before,
cries out to the men to fire, but I order them to shove off, that we may
escape without killing any, for which I see no necessity.  We have
stolen the savages' provisions, and they have right on their side.  The
men obey me, and we strive to get the boat afloat.  No time to lose.
The Indians draw their bows, and the arrows fall thick around us; some
come on with stones, and others plunge into the water with clubs and
spears to do battle for their rights.  Our lives are in jeopardy, and
one of our men is fearfully wounded.  The savages throng around the boat
and try to drag her to the shore.  We keep back the savages with the
stretchers, and I hope to escape without bloodshed.  Again Golding
shouts out, "Fire, lads! fire!  Why keep back the men from firing?  We
shall all be murdered."  Urged by his example, the men fire a volley
among the surrounding savages.  With fearful howls those grasping the
boat let go; others fall back killed; the mass rush in terror up the
beach.  We escape into deep water, two or three arrows sticking in the
arms of our men and in the sides of the boat.  Golding cries out for
vengeance; and the men fire till every savage has disappeared.

We return on board.  It strikes me that we cannot appear very well
favoured in the sight of these poor savages.  I say as much that day at
dinner to the captain.  He is a man of few words.

"You are right, John; the next comers will suffer," he remarks.

"That matters nought to us," says Phineas Golding.  "We shall not come
here again."

"Scant kindness to the next comers; as scant as that we have showed the
natives," I observe.

"We must all look out for ourselves in these seas," says the captain.
"It will be our own fault if we are at any time caught unawares.
Remember that, Master Harvey."

I make no answer, for the captain does not bear contradiction.  The
first mate, Golding, and the doctor, keep always well with him.  So do
I, for this reason: I heard him once say, "That John Harvey needs
keeping under."  On that, I resolved, as far as it should lie in my
power, to keep myself under--to do my duty, and give him no occasion to
find fault.  Thus far I have succeeded--but not always with ease; for
Simon Fuller has had uncontrolled power as a sea captain for many a long
year, often over rogues and vagabonds, whom fear alone will keep in
order, so he fancies.  I have heard say that the rule of kindness will
work wonders.  I have never seen it tried as I could desire, but I find
that the worst of our ship's company obey me more readily than they do
James Festing, and yet the first mate is an older, and, I truly believe,
a better seaman than I am.  I speak quietly to the lads, eschew oaths,
and never handle a rope's end in wrath.  He swears loudly, and uses
both.

I was called forward to see Tom Collis, the poor fellow who was wounded
in the boat.  The surgeon can do nothing for him, he says, and I see
that the man's countenance is marked by death's hand.  Around us, as I
sit by him, we hear laughter, and oaths, and gross talking.  Collis is
suffering great agony.  "Mercy! mercy!" he shrieks out.  "To die thus--
no time for repentance, with hideous crimes weighing down my soul!"
Sometimes he raves, and says things which make my blood run cold; but I
talk quietly to him, and he grows calmer.  I tell him in few words of
that simple plan God in His gracious mercy arranged before the world
began, by which sinners even great as he might be saved.  He drinks in
every word.  I tell him how the loving Jesus came on earth to live as a
man a life of suffering, that men might understand that He knows how
they suffer; that He was tempted, that they might feel assured He
pities, and will help them when they are tempted; that He was
crucified,--made a sacrifice, that He might take their sins on His
shoulders; that His blood was shed that it might wash away the sins of
all who trust in it, and look to Him; that He was buried, and rose
again, that He might conquer death, and show that all who follow Him
must conquer too; and that He ascended up on high, that He might present
all who place their faith in Him washed from their sins pure and
undefiled before the throne of God.

"But all that could not be done for such a wretch as me," says Collis.
"If God would let me live, I might repent, and lead a different sort of
life, and do all sorts of things to please Him; and then perchance He
might think me more fit for heaven."

"Oh, my dear shipmate," I say, "don't think of such folly.  You could
never do anything to make you more fit for heaven than you now are,
vile, sinful, guilty wretch as you may be."

I then read to him how the Israelites, bit by the fiery serpents in the
wilderness, were saved from death and cured by looking at the brazen
serpent held up by Moses.  And then I read about the thief on the cross,
and then I say:

"Just look to Jesus in that way.  Feel that you are bitten by sin,
helpless, and dying, and deserving of death; and He says to you, as He
said to the thief on the cross, `To-day shalt thou be with Me in
paradise.'--`Thy sins are forgiven thee.'"

"What, sir!" exclaims Collis, "you don't mean to say that the Son of the
great God who made heaven and earth, and all those thousands of stars we
see up there, did all that for me, and such as me,--that He says all
that to me, and such as me?"

"Shipmate," I answer, solemnly, "He did do all that for you, and such as
you,--and He says all that to you.  Take hold of but the hem of His
garment, so to speak, by faith, and you are saved.  As to satisfaction
to Divine justice, it is done.  You have nothing to do with that, you
have but to feel that you are sinful and guilty.  You have to repent,
which, may God the Holy Spirit help you to do.  You have to look to
Jesus as the only cure, as the only Saviour,--to His blood as the only
means by which you can be cleansed; and the holy word of God says it,
`Thy faith hath saved thee,'--`By faith ye are saved,'--`His blood
cleanseth from all sin.'  He doesn't say from little sins, or slight
sins, but from all sin.  He doesn't say He will receive you by-and-by,
perhaps, when you have done something to please Him; but He does invite
you, He does receive you.  No power of earth or hell can prevent Him
from presenting you faultless before the throne of grace.  Shipmate, if
you only feel your guiltiness, it is you He invites, with all your sins
upon you, to come to Him,--it is you He will present faultless and
fearless before God's judgment throne, welcomed as a son of God,--not
crying out, as numbers will be doing, for the mountains to cover them,
for the rocks to fall on them."

"This is news indeed,--glorious news!" says the poor fellow, in a
cheerful, happy tone, very different from what he had before spoken in.
"I wish that I had known it before.  But I know it now, and that's
enough.  Jesus died for me, and I trust in Jesus."

I have soon to leave him to attend to my duty on deck.  Captain Fuller
would not hold it as an excuse that I was attending to a dying man.
After some time, my watch on deck being almost out, Tony Hinks comes to
me and tells me that Collis is dead; but says he, "It was strange to
hear him saying over and over, again and again, `Jesus died for me, and
I trust in Jesus.'  What does that mean, Mr Harvey?"

I tell him.  He goes forward, muttering, "Strange!  I never heard the
like."

I see Collis once more before he is sewn up in his hammock.  There is a
smile on his features, such as I had never before seen there.

Six days more, and we sight the high land of King George the Third
Island, called by the natives Otaheite, or Taheite.  As we draw near it,
the prospect becomes truly pleasing to the sight.  Lofty hills, covered
with beautiful flowering shrubs, and fringed by pandanus, cocoa-nut, and
various other trees which we see in these tropical regions, rise up into
the clear blue sky, with green valleys between them, and sparkling
waterfalls rushing down their sides.  A line of white breakers
intervene, however, foaming over a coral reef, with a belt of deep blue
water between it and the white glittering beach and the feathery fringe
of vegetation which springs up close to the strand, the trees
overshadowing it with their branches.  Never have I seen a more lovely
picture; and Tony Hinks, who has been here before, tells us there is no
country, to his mind, more pleasant to dwell in.  "A man may live here,"
says he, "with nothing to do, abundance to eat, and plenty of people to
tend on him."  He gives the first mate and me a hint to keep a sharp
look-out on the ship's company, or some of them may be missing when we
sail.  No wonder, I think, if the place is such an earthly paradise.  He
speaks of many other things likely to prove attractive to seamen.  I ask
if the natives are Christians.  "Christians? no," he answers, with a
laugh.  "They would be spoilt, to my mind, if they were.  They are much
better as they are, as you'll agree, Mr Harvey, when you go on shore."
I am inclined to be at issue with Tony on that point; but still I would
fain judge of the savage virtues of which he speaks before I condemn
them.

We coast some way round the island, till we reach an opening in the
reef, entering through which we moor the ship in a commodious harbour.
Soon she is surrounded with native canoes, laden with cocoa-nuts,
bananas, bread-fruits, apples, figs, and other pleasant vegetable
productions.  The natives bring boughs with them, which Tom Tar tells us
we are to make fast to the rigging, to show that we are friends.  We now
drive a brisk trade, giving beads, and trinkets, and looking-glasses,
and bits of cloth and coloured calico, for fruit, vegetables, pigs, and
fowls; but the captain will allow no one to come on board.  He says that
they are arrant thieves, and so we find them.  By-and-by Phineas, with
the doctor, Tony, and I, having Tom Tar to interpret, go on shore, but
take ten men well armed at our heels.  It is a hard matter to keep the
men together: but it is not safe to let them separate.  The natives are
treacherous and revengeful, at least if they are like those we have
already encountered.  Our men might easily provoke them, especially by
rude conduct to the women.  Seldom have I seen more comely females.
Their manners are attractive, and they know how to add to their charms,
by dressing their glossy hair with flowers and shells, and such like
ornaments.  The country is as beautiful as it appeared a distance.  The
houses are mostly open at the sides, and thatched with palmetto leaves;
but some are enclosed, and all are neat and clean.  A house is offered
to us by the chief, in which we may take up our abode while we remain on
shore.  It is amidst a grove of trees, with matting for the walls and
floor.  A sparkling torrent, rushing down the side of a hill, flows in
front of it, cooling the air, while afar off is seen the deep blue sea.
Provisions of all sorts are sent us by the king,--baked pig, and roasted
bread-fruit, and plantains, and fish, and other articles of food, all
served in large leaves.  The bread-fruit is about the size of a
horse-chestnut, and when baked is somewhat of the consistency of new
bread.  It is not fit to be eaten raw.  The king and the people seem
friendly; but to my mind there is no dependence to be placed on them.
It is made clear to us that they are sadly depraved, nor can I describe
many of the scenes which take place.  Suffice it to say that, like other
heathens who know not God, they give themselves up to work all manner of
abominations without constraint or shame.  We place a guard during the
night; but when we awake there is great shouting among our party for
missing articles, and it is found that we all have been robbed of
articles of dress, knives, pistols, handkerchiefs, and pocket-books.
Phineas declares that he will shoot the first savage he finds
purloining, chief or not.  We complain of our loss to the king, who gets
back some of the articles; but Taro surmises that he has got the
remainder himself.

After a bountiful breakfast we continue our progress through the island.
Our surprise is great to come upon a large edifice of stone among a
people supposed only able to erect huts of leaves.  It is a pyramid,
nearly three hundred feet long and one hundred wide, with a flight of
steps on either side leading to the summit, which is fifty feet from the
ground.  On the top is a bird made of wood, and a fish of stone.  This
building forms one side of a court, the other three sides being composed
of a wall of hewn stone; the enclosed area is covered with a pavement of
flat stones.  In this court are several altars of stone, on which are
placed baskets of bread-fruit, sweet potatoes, cocoa-nuts, and other
food, which we conclude were offerings to their Eatuas, or gods, which
they ignorantly worship.  Not far off we come upon a figure of one of
these gods.  It is made of wicker-work, in the form of a man; it is
seven feet high, and covered over with black and white feathers.  We
learn that this pyramid is a temple, and that the court is a
burying-place, called a Morai; the altars are called Ewattuas.  While we
are about to proceed on our journey we see a concourse of people
collecting from all quarters, and hurrying toward the morai.  We inquire
of Taro for what object they are assembling.

"To offer a sacrifice to their Eatua, their god," he answers.

"Of what will the sacrifice consist?"  I ask, thinking that it would be
of the bread-fruit and other fruits we saw on the altars.

"You will see," he answered, with one of those gleams of savage pleasure
which ever and anon pass over his countenance.

We remark that there are only men and boys among the crowd,--no women
nor girls.  The crowd increases,--there is expectation on their
countenances, as if something of importance is about to happen.  Still
we can obtain no information from Taro; he only says, "You will see, you
will see."

"A very well-behaved set of people are these," observes Golding.  "In
England, among such a crowd, there would be fighting and squabbling.  I
would as lief be one of these happy islanders as an Englishman, with all
our religion and civilisation."

"I have an idea, begging pardon, Master Golding, that you are not yet
very well acquainted with these happy islanders," observes Tony Hinks.
"It strikes me that ere long you will change your opinion.  Wait a bit;
as Tom Tar says, you will see--you will see."



CHAPTER FOUR.

A NARROW ESCAPE.

The air is warm and balmy, the blue sea sparkles brightly, the lofty
mountains, glowing in the sunshine, rise up majestically into the clear
sky, the graceful palm-trees gently wave their boughs; all nature is
smiling with life, and health, and beauty, and all the perfections which
a bountiful Creator has spread over these regions.  "What a paradise,"
exclaims the surgeon.  "I agree with Golding, I should be well content
to remain here to end my days."

While watching for what is next to occur, we see four chief men, so they
seem by their dress and bearing, walking along the beach.  Taro says
they are priests.  There are several men in attendance.  They stop, as
if waiting for some one.  They are armed with clubs and knives.  Among
the crowd comes a young man taller than his companions, and comely in
his appearance.  He seems joyous and light of heart, for he sings and
laughs, regardless of coming ill.  The priests, watching him
steadfastly, slowly approach.  He stops and looks at them with an
inquiring expression on his youthful countenance.  "We require one quick
of foot to bear a message to the Eatua," says the chief priest.  The
youth starts.  Before he can reply, a blow from the priest's club lays
him low on the sand.  The others fall on him with their clubs, and drive
out any life remaining.  The priests, surrounding the corpse, place it
with the feet towards the sea, and utter some long incantations, each
priest holding in his hand a bunch of red feathers.  Then they rise and
place the body of their victim parallel with the line of the sea beach,
and more incantations are uttered.  The king, meantime, and his
principal chiefs have assembled, and take their stand near the temple.
Hair is now plucked from the head of the victim, and one eye is taken
out and wrapped in leaves, and presented to the king.  With drums
beating slowly the body is now borne up by the attendants of the
priests, and placed on one of the altars.  The tufts of red feathers are
at the feet, and rolls of cloth at the head.  After this, for a quarter
of an hour or more the chief priest addresses it, and pretends to give
the message it is to convey to the world of spirits.  The surrounding
populace look on with stupid amazement, no one knowing whose turn it may
be next to be slaughtered as a sacrifice to their blood-loving deity.

While the priests are chanting round the corpse the attendants dig a
shallow grave, into which it is thrown with little ceremony, and covered
up with stones and earth.  Fires are now lighted, and dogs and pigs are
slaughtered and roasted, and these being placed on the altars, the Eatua
is invited to partake of the feast prepared for him.  When we left the
spot, I shuddering with a horror I had never before felt, the provisions
remained on the altars.  Taro tells us that the priests, if angered with
a person, avenge themselves by selecting him as a victim, and that for
fear of offending them no one ventures to interfere.  The priests have
thus gained more real power than the chiefs themselves.  They generally,
however, select some of the poorer people as their victims.

We see arranged near the morai a pile of sixty skulls, and that of the
youth just slain is now added to it.  They appear but little changed by
the air, and Taro says that they are those of victims who have all been
offered up within the last few months.  He tells us that whenever one of
the chiefs is about to commence an undertaking, he selects some unhappy
victim, who is forthwith slaughtered and sacrificed.  We have undoubted
evidence, too, that they often eat their enemies, and they do this
without shame or compunction.  We see many of the chiefs and warriors
going about with human jawbones hanging as ornaments round their necks,
and we learn that they are those of enemies slain in war.

Sick at heart I accompany my shipmates.  "Friend Golding, what do you
now say of these pleasant-mannered, happy islanders?"  I ask.

"I knock under," says he.  "England is a better place; but there are
thousands there who get on very well without religion, so I say religion
has nothing to do with it."

"Religion has everything to do with it," I answer, in a somewhat hasty
tone.  "Religion influences those who have no religion themselves.  The
heathen world of old, with all its civilisation, was not one jot better
than are these cannibals, equally given over to work all manner of
uncleanness.  If it were not for the true faith of some, influencing
general opinion, many Englishmen would even yet be the same as these
savages.  I may say, as said a pious minister of whom I have read, if it
were not for God's grace, we ourselves should be as are these poor
barbarians; we might well see ourselves in them."

"A truce with your preaching, John Harvey.  You would make us all out
blacker than we are," says Phineas, walking on quickly.

"That were a hard matter," I say.  "Be not offended, I include myself,
remember.  It is only as we see ourselves in Christ Jesus that we are
otherwise than most black, guilty, and lost."

"I understand you not, John," he answers.  "But you shall not force me
to acknowledge that I am not better than these half-naked savages."

"I did not say that; by God's grace, or in His providence, there are
great differences, but all are sinners in the sight of God's holy law.
But we will talk more of this another time."

This island of Tahiti, or Otaheite, is the largest of a group known as
the Society Islands.  It is about fifty miles long, consisting of two
peninsulas joined by a narrow isthmus.  It contains a mountain rising
twelve thousand feet above the level of the sea.  The other islands of
the group are mostly lofty.  They are Eimeo, Huaheine, Ulitea, Bolabola,
and others.  They are volcanic, and mostly fertile in the extreme.

We visit Ulitea, a beautiful island where there is a vast morai.
Numbers of priests reside here, and it is looked on as the sacred island
of the group.  In reality it is more given over to horrible wickedness
than any other.  While on shore we witness another terrible human
sacrifice.  Not a week passes but some unhappy people fall victims to
the bloodthirsty passions of the priests.

This my first introduction to savage life makes me feel doubly grateful
to God that I was born of Christian parents, and in a land where the law
of Christ, however imperfectly obeyed, is acknowledged in some sort as
the standard.

The wind being fair, we sail north-east towards the Marquesas.

We have been for ten days at the anchorage of Taogou, off the island of
Ohevahoa, the most fertile of the Marquesas.  We have been engaged most
profitably in purchasing sandal-wood, and hogs, and fruits, and
vegetables of all sorts, and Phineas Golding is in high spirits, and
declares that these are a people truly after his own heart.  Their
country certainly is beautiful, for though the mountains are not so
lofty as those of the islands we have lately left, they equally please
the eye, as do the groves, the valleys, and the waterfalls.  The men are
tall, handsome, and athletic, and the women are scarcely inferior in
beauty to those of Tahiti.  Alas, that I can say no more in their
praise.  Both men and women are most depraved, of which we have constant
evidence.  Hitherto we have been on good terms with these islanders.  We
have a strict watch kept, and whatever may be their secret disposition,
they have had no opportunity of taking us at advantage.  Taro warns us
to be on our guard.  He tells us that they are treacherous, and that if
they thought they would gain by murdering every man of our crew they
would do so.  Taro understands their language, which is much like that
of Tahiti and his own country.  The men are much tattooed, their only
clothing being a piece of native cloth round their loins, but the women
wear a petticoat and a mantle over the shoulder.  This cloth is made of
the fibre of a sort of mulberry tree--not woven, but beaten into a
consistency of paper.  When torn the rent is mended by beating on a
fresh piece.  It will bear washing only once.  A garment thus lasts
about six weeks.  The women are better treated than among most Indian
tribes.  Their occupations are entirely domestic--they manufacture
cloth, cook, tend the house, and look after the children, but from all
we hear and see, their morals are degraded in the extreme.

Having completed refitting the ship as far as is necessary, I have been
able to go on shore.  We form a strong body, twelve officers and men in
all, with muskets.  Our chief object is to visit a valley where the
sandal-wood grows, to learn on what supply we can depend.  High up the
valley we come suddenly on a platform on which grows a large grove of
bread-fruit, cocoa-nut, toa, and other trees.  Amid them is a large idol
of hewn stone of a man in a squatting posture.  The figure is not ill
sculptured.  His mouth is wide, and his eyes and ears large, while his
arms and legs are short and out of proportion.  There are numerous other
idols, of the same size and form, made out of the bread-fruit tree,
arranged on either side and behind him, as if they were his ministers
and attendants.  To the right and left of these hideous idols are two
obelisks, about thirty-five feet in height, built very neatly of
bamboos, with the leaves of palm and cocoa-nut trees interwoven.  At the
base are hung the heads of hogs and tortoises, offerings to the idols.
They are also ornamented with streamers of white cloth.  A few paces to
the right of the grove we see four large war-canoes, furnished with
their out-riggers, and decorated with ornaments of human hair, coral,
shells, and white streamers.  In the stern of each sits the figure of a
man steering with a paddle, and in full dress, with plumes, ear-rings
shaped like whale's teeth, and all the ornaments fashionable in the
country.  These canoes are placed here to be blessed, we suppose, by the
priests.  These priests have great power, for they are looked upon as
little inferior to the idols.  We see this same stone idol represented
in a variety of ways, made of human bones, hung round their necks, or
carved on their clubs, or making handles to their fans and
walking-sticks.

We find that there is no lack of sandal-wood, which raises Golding's
spirits.  Mine sink when I see the idolatry of these poor people, with
no hope that they may be taught better.  On descending the valley we
pass a morai, or worshipping place, I may call it.  On the ground is
seated the chief, with his sons, and a large number of his attendants,
or courtiers.  In front of them are a number of little houses, or sheds,
made of bamboo, each about two feet long and rather less in height, and
ornamented with shreds of cloth.  There are a dozen or more, forming a
cluster like a village.  The chief and the rest are singing and clapping
their hands, and thus they go on for an hour or more.  This they call
praying to their gods,--a fit homage to gods of wood and stone.
Sometimes they stop, and laugh and talk together, as if they have
forgotten what they are about.  We have seen no human sacrifices, but we
have reason to believe that they take place, and from what we hear the
people are undoubtedly cannibals.  There are several tribes on the
islands, in some instances two or more an the same island, who carry on
devastating wars with each other, and who all slaughter and eat the
captives taken in battle.  Though they seem much attached to their
country, they firmly hold to the belief that there is a far better land
to the east, and numbers are seized with a strong desire to visit it.
Year after year the largest canoes are fitted out and provisioned, and
men, women, and children crowding on board, they set sail, and away they
glide, never to return.  Strange to say, that although those who have
gone have not again been heard of, others are found equally ready to go
in the same direction, believing that their predecessors have reached
the happy land.  The priests encourage this infatuation, as those who
embark leave their property to them.  This is faith, but alas! sadly
misdirected.  It shows a yearning for something better,--to escape from
cruel wars and practices and misgovernment, to attain peace and quiet
and rest.  It is certain that almost all who thus embark perish horribly
at sea.  A few may be thrown on coral islands,--probably to die,--
certainly never to return.

I must speak of the sandal-wood in which we are trading.  It is a small
tree, with numerous irregular branches, and which with the trunk are
covered with a thick red-brown bark.  The leaves, which turn inwards,
are of a very dark green colour.  The flowers, growing in clusters, are
white, with a red exterior.  The wood is of a light yellow colour, and
is very fragrant.  It is sold to the Chinese, who burn it as incense in
their temples, and manufacture from it a variety of articles.  Candles
are also made from it thus: a thin sheet of the wood forms a wick, which
is surrounded by a mixture of its sawdust and rice-paste.

Our traffic has continued without interruption.  Tony Hinks, in command
of a boat with Golding, is embarking the sandal-wood, of which a pile
lies on the beach.  I am watching from the deck through my glass what is
taking place.  The vendor of the wood is a young chief: he has been
examining the articles given him in barter.  Suddenly he seems
discontented with them, and refuses to put more wood into the boat
Golding, who is on shore, threatens him.  He lifts his club, and I
believe that the last moment of the supercargo has arrived.  Tony Hinks
is in the boat; he lifts his musket, and before the club can descend on
Golding's head a bullet is sent through the chiefs shoulder, and the
weapon drops powerless.  Howling with rage, he retreats; but it is to
summon his countrymen, who with threatening gestures rush on.  Golding
leaps into the boat amid showers of stones cast from the natives'
slings, followed by spears and darts.  While some of the men shove off
others fire, and load again and fire.  The boat is heavily laden, and
can with difficulty be moved.  I fear that my shipmates will be cut off,
and share the fate of Captain Cook, and many others since his day.  I
order another boat to be lowered, and cry out for volunteers.  No lack
of them.  I send down to the captain--there is not a moment to be lost.
I, with eight hands, leap into the boat.  Away we pull.  The captain
comes on deck and calls us back.  He points to a fleet of war-canoes
coming round the point: he fears that we also shall be cut off, and that
the ship, with the loss of half her crew, may fall a prey to the
savages.  Still I cannot without an effort see my shipmates destroyed.
We dash on,--the foam flies from our bows.  Hinks has got his boat
afloat, but several of his men are wounded; yet they struggle bravely.
We open fire, and keep the savages at bay.  The war-canoes, however,
approach,--Hinks' boat gets up to us.  It is doubtful whether we or our
enemies will gain the ship first.  We pull for our lives.  Simon Fuller
will fight his ship to the last.  Our shipmates are casting loose the
guns ready for action.  The savages in the war-canoes stand up ready to
shower down their darts and stones at us.

"Give them a volley,--give them a volley," shouts Golding.

"It were lost time," I tell my men.  "It were better get on board."

We keep ahead of the enemy, and gain the ship's side.  The falls are
ready,--we hook on,--the boats are hoisted up, and we hasten to man the
guns.  There is a favourable breeze out of the harbour, the anchor is
being hove up, the sails are loosed.  The canoes gather round us; the
savages begin to assail us with all their weapons, shouting and
shrieking terribly.  The ship gathers way; the savages, grown bold, are
climbing up the sides.

"Depress your guns, lads," says the captain.  "Small-arm men, give it
them."

The shot goes crashing in among the canoes, knocking many to pieces.
Not a native clinging to the sides escapes the small-arm men.  Again and
again we fire, leaving the natives terrified and amazed at the power of
our arms.  Our guns loaded with langrage commit great havoc among them.
They lose courage,--the ship is clear of them.

"And so we bid you farewell," says Phineas Golding, firing his musket at
a chief with whom he had the day before been lodging.  We sail out of
the bay, firing shot on either side.

"We have a good supply of sandal-wood, however," observes Phineas
Golding.  "But we had a narrow escape from the savages."

Not a word does he say of his merciful preservation from death; and far
be it from me to hint that by my promptness I had a second time saved
him, and all with him, from destruction.  Tony Hinks, however, when we
are clear away at sea, comes up to me and says--

"We owe our lives to you, Mr Harvey.  If you hadn't come when you did,
it's my belief that not one of us would have escaped."



CHAPTER FIVE.

AMONG THE CANNIBALS.

Afar off appears above the blue line of the horizon a silvery dome
clearly defined against the sky.  It might be taken for a cloud, but
that it never moves its position.  It is the summit of the lofty
mountain of Mona Roa in Owhyee, the largest of the Sandwich islands, now
fully fifty miles away.  There are ten of these islands, though eight
only are inhabited, the other two being barren rocks on which fishermen
dry their nets.  As we draw near, other mountain tops are seen, those of
Mona Kea and Mona Huararia.  Mona Roa is a volcano, and the whole
country round is volcanic.  It is said to rise above twelve thousand
feet above the level of the sea.  It is night before we cast anchor in a
sheltered bay.  Next morning we are surrounded by canoes, and many
people come swimming off to the ship, for they are as expert as other
islanders of the Pacific in the water.  We are plentifully supplied with
taro, yams, cocoa-nuts, bananas, and water melons, also with hogs, which
are of a large size.  Friend Golding, however, finds that he cannot
trade with them on the same easy terms as with other savages we have
met, for many ships have visited them, and they now require firearms,
and powder and shot.  These people are much in appearance like those we
have before seen--they are tall and athletic, and many of the chief
people, both men and women, are of great bulk.

I cannot but remember that it was at this island the renowned navigator,
Captain Cook, was slain; and the people have long in consequence been
looked upon as very savage and treacherous.  This we do not find them to
be, but they are heathens given up to gross superstition, and are
ignorant and immoral.  They carry on bloody wars with each other, offer
up human sacrifices, and are, it is reported, cannibals.  But if so be
they are all this, and more, surely it behoves us as Christians to teach
them better things.  What, however, do we do?  We sell them firearms and
ammunition to carry on their wars, we partake in their immorality; so
far from showing them any of the graces of our religion, we make them by
our lives believe that we have no religion at all, while by all those
who visit these shores not a voice is raised to tell them of the truth.
We find them more mild and gentle than the people of Tahiti, and very
different from the fierce savages of the Marquesas.  Not far off is
Karakaka Bay, where Captain Cook fell.

We communicate with two other ships while lying here, and the officers
all speak in favourable terms of the people.  Captain Fuller, therefore,
allows us to visit the shore more than he would otherwise have
considered safe.  We find these people very different from the wild
inhabitants of the coral islands we have visited.  They have attained
considerable proficiency in many arts--their cloth is fine, and
beautifully ornamented, as are their mats, but they excel in feather
work.  The helmets, and mantles, and capes of their chiefs are very
beautiful.  The helmets are in the form of those of ancient Greece, and
are covered with bright red feathers, worked in to look like velvet,
with tall plumes, and as their cloaks are of the same texture and
colour, and the wearers are tall, powerful men, they have, when armed
with dubs or spears, a very imposing and warlike appearance.  The king
alone is allowed to wear a dress of yellow feathers.  The common people,
however, wear but scant clothing, none being required in this favoured
climate.  Their great war-god is Tairi.  To propitiate him human
sacrifices are offered up, and his idol is carried at the head of their
armies.  Lesser chiefs have also their idols carried before them.  One
of their temples, a morai, merits description.  It is formed by walls of
great thickness, like that at Tahiti.  It is an irregular parallelogram,
two hundred and twenty-four feet long, and a hundred wide.  The walls on
three sides are twenty feet high and twelve feet thick, but narrowing
towards the top.  The wall nearest the sea is only eight feet high.  The
only entrance is by a narrow passage between two high walls leading up
to an inner court, where stands the grim god of war, with numerous other
idols on either side of him.  In front rises a lofty obelisk of
wicker-work, and inside this the priest who acts the part of the oracle
takes his stand.  Just outside this inner court is the altar on which
the human sacrifices are made.  Near it stands the house occupied by the
king when he resides in the temple, and numerous other idols fill the
rest of the space.  All have hideous countenances, large gaping mouths,
and staring eyes.  Tairi is crowned with a helmet, and covered with red
feathers.  Great labour must have been expended in rearing this vast
structure, and in carving all these hideous images, and sad indeed is it
to consider the object for which all these pains have been taken.

The king, with whom we have been on good terms, sends to Captain Fuller
to beg that he will lend him some of his ship's guns and muskets, and a
few of his crew, as he is about to make war on a neighbouring island.  I
am on shore with Golding and Taro, and while a message is being
returned, he invites us to witness the usual ceremonies which take place
before war.  As we accompany him to the morai, we see dragged on by the
crowd no less than eleven men, whose looks of terror, show that
something they dread is about to happen.  Arrived before the temple,
there is a cry from the multitude, who instantly set on them with their
clubs.  Taro tells us not to grieve; that some are prisoners taken in
war, others guilty persons who have broken a taboo, and others the
lowest of the people.  While we stand shuddering, a concourse of people
arrive bearing fruits of all sorts, and hogs, and dogs.  The human
victims are stripped of all their garments, and placed in rows on the
altars; the priests now offer up some prayers to the hideous idol, and
then the hogs and dogs are piled up over the human bodies, and the
whole, we are told, are left to rot together.  Sometimes, on occasions
of great importance, twenty-two persons have been offered up.

The oracle is favourable, we hear, and the king sends round to all his
subjects to collect at his camp with their arms--spears, clubs,
javelins, and slings--ready for battle.  No one dares refuse.  Vast
numbers assemble, but a few only of his immediate attendants have
firearms.  Nothing can be more fittingly hideous than their idol god of
war, with his grinning mouth armed with triple rows of sharks' teeth.  A
hundred war-canoes are prepared.  The army embarks, and, like a flight
of locusts, they descend on the opposite coast.  We see flames ascending
from spots where lately stood smiling villages.  A few days pass, and
the army returns victorious with numerous captives.  Some are forthwith
offered up to the war-god, others are kept to be sacrificed on a future
occasion.  A great chief dies of his wounds, and several victims are
offered at his tomb, while, as a sign of grief, his relations and
followers knock out their front teeth, and fix them in a tree in his
morai.  His people also appear to have gone mad, committing every
species of abomination, and we hear that many people lose their lives on
the occasion.

The Sandwich Islanders have many more idols than those of which I have
spoken.  There is Mooaru, or the shark god, whose temple stands on
almost every point or headland.  To him the fishermen offer, on landing,
the first fish they have caught that day--for they imagine that he it is
who drives the fish to their shores.  But the greatest of all their
gods, or, at all events, the most feared, is Pele, the goddess of the
volcano.  She resides on the summit of Mona Roa, and descends in fire
and flames to punish her enemies below.  She has many priestesses, who
appear in the villages with singed garments and marks of fire on their
persons, to demand tribute from the inhabitants to avert her vengeance.
I do not hear of one of their idols who has a mild or beneficent
disposition.  All the sacrifices offered are simply to avert their
vengeance.  The people have no love nor veneration for their idols, and
they believe that their idols' chief pleasure is in tormenting and
punishing them.

One of the most remarkable objects I have met with in the Sandwich
Islands is what may properly be called a city of refuge.  It is a sort
of morai, surrounded by strong walls, with an entrance on each side.  In
the interior are temples and numerous houses, in which the priests and
occasional occupants reside.  Here, whatever crime a fugitive may have
committed, if he can reach it he is safe.  A victorious enemy in pursuit
of foes will come up to the gates, but if the vanquished have entered
they are safe.  During an invasion of the territory, therefore, all the
women and children are sent in here, where they may remain in security.
There are several such places of refuge in the islands.

The taboo system is also very curious.  The priests govern chiefly in
this matter.  They settle what or who is to be tabooed, and how long it
is to last.  To taboo is not only to set aside for a particular object,
but to make sacred.  The king, a hog, or a house, may be tabooed.
During that time people may not do certain acts, and animals or things
may not be touched or used.  So important are these taboos held, that
any person breaking through one of them is punished severely, often with
death.

Is it not possible that some of the customs I have mentioned, though
barbarous and debased, may have been derived from ancient tradition?
Whence has sprung that strange expectation of the return of their
long-lost god, Rona, to bring a blessing on their nation?  What means
that longing for a better land far away in the east, entertained by the
Marquesas islanders?  The king of this island seems to have great power.
He is the owner of all the land, and is the lord and master of all his
subjects.  He rules wisely, and has the affection of his people.

I might say a great deal more about these Sandwich islanders--their
history, habits, and customs, and of the events which have taken place
since we have been here, but should I write all I might, my journal
would be soon filled.  To describe them briefly thus:--Their islands are
grand and picturesque; they are very intelligent, and are physically
powerful, but they seem abandoned to a debased idolatry, to cruel
customs, and to a gross licentiousness.  Constant and barbarous warfare,
infanticide, and the diseases introduced by their foreign visitors have
so rapidly decreased their numbers that the population consists of
one-third less now than it did at the time of Cook.  Captain Fuller, and
the other masters and mates of the ships here laugh at the idea of their
ever becoming Christians or civilised, and, in truth, unless they have
faith in God's grace, it would seem a hard matter; but I know that He
can order all things according to His will, and that, in spite of all
man's theories and doubts, He will find means to accomplish His work.

Phineas Golding has just come on board in high glee.  He says that he
has just heard from Taro, who gets the information I know not how, that
there are to the southward of this several coral islands, where
abundance of mother-of-pearl and also pearls of great size are to be
procured; and thus, instead of sailing west, as we had proposed, he has
arranged with Captain Fuller to sail once more south towards the Hervey
group, and to touch at the Friendly, Fiji, and many other islands, ere
we once more steer north-west towards our destination.  To complete our
stores, we take in a good supply of salt, to be obtained here in
abundance; and then bidding farewell to our friends the Sandwich
islanders, we make sail, and steer south.

We find a young lad, the son of a chief, who had managed to secrete
himself on board.  We ask him why he has done so.  He answers that he
wishes to see the great country from which we come, and promises to do
everything we require if we will let him remain.  Captain Fuller
consents; but I fear sometimes that he will have a hard life of it.  I
resolve, however, to protect him as far as I can.  He gets the name of
Charlie, but no other.

We have sighted several low coral islands, but at length we reach the
neighbourhood of a group known as the Penrhyn Islands, about six hundred
miles due north of the Hervey group, which we also purpose to visit.  We
sight a coral island, which we estimate as fifty feet high, nine or ten
miles long and five broad, with a deep lagoon in the centre.  It is as
if a huge coral ring had been thrown down in the ocean.  At one end
there is an opening, through which a boat can enter the lagoon.  The
island is covered with groves of cocoa-nut, pandanus, and other trees;
and, from the number of huts we see, and the people moving about, it
seems to be thickly populated.  While the ship is hove-to, I take charge
of a boat to carry the supercargo, and Taro, and Charlie; with six men,
on shore.  We pull round, but find that there is so heavy a surf running
that we cannot land on the outside.  To save time, Taro and Charlie swim
on shore to communicate with the natives.  I anxiously wait off to
receive their report.  After some time we see them running, pursued by
many natives.  They leap into the water, and dash through the surf.
Some of the natives attempt to follow, but our shipmates distance them,
and are taken safe on board.

They say the natives, though looking very wild and fierce, were kind in
their manners, and invited them up to their houses, and brought them
food; but that they soon pressed round them, and began to strip off
their clothes, and to take possession of everything they had.  Seeing
them preparing some hot stones with which to heat an oven, they believed
that they were to be cooked and eaten, and so starting up, they rushed
headlong for the shore, so completely taking their entertainers by
surprise, that no one at first attempted to stop them.  They report,
however, that they saw pearl-shell ornaments, and even pearls, worn by
the savages; which so excites Golding's imagination, that he insists on
our attempting further communication with the people.  Finding at length
the opening into the lagoon, we approach the mouth, the surf breaking
over the rocks on either side with great violence.  There is a narrow
lane of clear water; we pull in; a strong current carries the boat along
with fearful speed, and several seas break into her.  It seems as if we
were in a whirlpool.  The rudder has lost its power, and we are spun
round and round helplessly; about every moment it seems to be hove on
the rocks.  She violently rises and falls, and then we are cast, as it
were, into the smooth water of the lagoon, though still carried upward
for some distance.  It strikes me at the moment that we are like mice
caught in a trap, and that it must depend on the pacific disposition of
the natives whether or not we escape.

At length we steer for the shore, where we see several Indians
collected.  They retire as we draw near.  We again send Taro and Charlie
on shore with looking-glasses and trinkets; they go not very willingly.
The savages stop, and cast at us glances of suspicion.  Then they make a
rush forward, seize all the articles they can lay hands on, and again
run off.  Our two interpreters now come down shaking their heads, and
saying that there is no hope of trading with these savages.  Still
Phineas will not give up the attempt; he has seen the pearls, and is
longing for them.

"Why, such a necklace as that would be worth a hundred pounds, or more,"
he exclaims.  "We must have the fellow dead or alive."

He stands up in the boat with his piece, ready to fire.  I sternly draw
him back, crying out, indignantly:

"I will not allow murder to be committed; for murder it would be, if the
men were ten times more savage than they are.  They have souls immortal
as ours, which we have no right to drive out of their bodies before
their time."

"Souls or not, mate, you have made me lose my pearl necklace," says the
supercargo, angrily.

"It were better to lose a dozen pearl necklaces, or all the pearls the
bottom of the sea can produce, than commit a great crime," I answer,
more hotly than usual; and then, knowing that another sort of argument
would have more weight with such a man, I added, "Remember, too, we are
yet inside the trap.  If we kill one of these people, their countrymen
may assemble at the entrance, and slaughter every one of us."

This silenced Golding.  We pull some way up the lagoon.  The water
swarms with fish, and the shore seems more fertile than any of the coral
islands we have visited.  In all directions we see signs of inhabitants,
and in some places small canoes hauled up, but none approach us.  We now
pull back towards the passage by which we entered; but the tide still
runs in like a mill-stream.  Suddenly we run aground.  The men jump out
and lift the boat off.  We are in a wrong channel.  We at length get
into what we believe to be the right passage.  The men track the boat
along, but we make little way.  Night comes on rapidly.  There will be a
moon, but it has not yet risen, and without its light we cannot escape.
We secure the boat to the rock, and wait anxiously for that time.  Few
of us can sleep, for we know not any moment whether the savages may be
upon us.  Both Taro and Charlie declare, from what they saw on shore,
that the people are cannibals.  There was also the remains of a wreck
burnt on the beach, and they declare their belief that some ship has
been cast away there, and the unfortunate crew destroyed.  We wait
anxiously.  Golding says very little; he is evidently ill at ease.  I
write it, not to boast, but my own mind is far more at ease; for I can
say, "In God put I my trust: I will not fear what man can do unto me."
Thus, through God's grace, I have always been allowed to feel when in
positions of great peril.  My shipmates I have heard speak of me as the
bravest man among them.  So I verily believe I am; but then I am brave
not in my own strength, but in the strength of Him who is strong to
save.  There would be many more brave men in the world, if all knew on
whom they may leap confidently for support.  There is a kind of bravery
that is natural to some, and is a constitutional fearlessness; but a far
higher and surer courage belongs to those who have committed their souls
to their God and Saviour, and who feel that whatever may befall them,
when in the way of duty, must be for the best.

These thoughts pass through my mind as I keep watch while the men are
sleeping around me.  Still the night continues dark; but as I peep
through the obscurity, I fancy that I see against the sky some objects
flitting here and there over the rocks.  I step cautiously back into the
boat, rouse up the men, who seize their arms, and with the oars ready to
shove off, if necessary, we wait prepared.  The figures approach
silently in great numbers, but cautiously stealing along, as if not
aware that we are awake.  We make no sound.  On they come over the
rocks, with more ease than we could advance in daylight.  In less than a
minute they will be upon us.  I wish to save bloodshed.  There is a
faint light in the sky: it is the looked-for moon about to rise.
Suddenly the silence is broken by loud unearthly yells, and hundreds of
naked forms spring up as it were from the ground upon us.



CHAPTER SIX.

SAVED BY A STORM.

Never have I heard yells more terrific than those with which the Penrhyn
Islanders set on us.  We are assailed also with showers of darts and
stones, which wound many of our people sorely.  Golding, brave as he is
on most occasions, utters a cry of terror, and nearly leaps overboard on
the opposite side of the boat I give unwillingly the word to fire.  Many
of the foremost savages fall--the rest hang back.  We shove off.  The
oars are quickly got out.  The moon rises.  I distinguish the channel.
It is almost slack water.  We pull for our lives.  Golding and Taro
stand up and fire.  The savages either do not see their comrades fall or
do not dread the bullets, for they rush along the rocks still within a
few yards of us hurling their stones and darts.  I feel assured that if
we strike a rock our lives will pay the penalty.  The rising moon gives
me more light to steer, and allows Golding and Taro to take better aim.
It shows us, however, more clearly to the savages.  There is still the
narrowest channel to pass.  The savages are making for the point when,
Golding and Taro firing together, two of their chief men fall.  It is as
I thought, they had not before noticed who had been struck.  Now they
stop, and with loud howls lift up the bodies of their chiefs.  Our men
bend to their oars--we dart through the narrow opening, and though many
of the savages spring after us, they fail to reach the point in time.
Golding and Taro continue firing without necessity.  The poor wretches
have received punishment enough, and why thus slaughter them when our
own safety does not sternly require us to kill?  The lights on board our
ship greet our sight, and we pull gladly towards her--Golding still
uttering his regrets at the loss of his pearl necklace.  We reach the
ship, and stand off for the night, Golding insisting that he will try
his luck to-morrow.  The morrow comes, but when we pull in the aspect of
the people on shore is so hostile that even Golding acknowledges that we
are not likely to get pearls from them this visit.  Captain Fuller,
therefore, resolves to steer south for the Hervey Islands, according to
orders, although, from the accounts I find in Captain Cook's voyages, I
doubt much whether our supercargo will be satisfied with the traffic we
may chance to open up with the natives.

The first island we made is that of Atiu, the same which Captain Cook
calls Wateeoo.  It is about seven hundred miles west of Tahiti.  We
passed not far from the low island known as Hervey Island, which gives
its name to the whole group.

We now sail round this island of Atiu, in hopes of finding a
landing-place, but none appears--a coral reef surrounds the whole.
Still our bold supercargo is anxious to land, and so while the ship
stands off and on, I take him, with Taro as interpreter, towards the
shore, in the long boat, in which we have a gun mounted.  We pull in as
close as we may venture outside the surf.  Numerous natives are on the
shore.  Taro beckons, and three small canoes are launched.  They paddle
swiftly through the surf, and come alongside.  Those on the shore stand
waving green branches as a sign of amity, so Golding determines to land
with Taro.  Away they go, and as I may not quit the boat, I watch them
anxiously.  They land in safety, and vast numbers of the natives
instantly close round them.  I see them borne up by the throng away from
the beach, and then lose sight of them.  Two hours pass away, and they
do not appear.  I begin to dread that they have been cut off.  I wait
another hour.  Just as I am about to return to the ship, the canoes are
launched.  As they approach, to my disappointment I do not see our
shipmates.  "The Indians are just thinking that they will knock us on
the head," I hear one of my men say.  "It will be our fault if we let
them," I answer, not feeling, however, altogether satisfied that the man
was wrong, yet unwilling to show any fear; "we'll let them know what we
can do if they play us tricks.  Hand me the slow match."  There was a
clump of palm-trees close down to the beach.  I step forward to the gun,
and have the boat's head put towards the shore.  On come the Indian
canoes paddling rapidly through the surf--the men shouting and
shrieking, and whirling their paddles round their heads.  I am unwilling
to injure the poor wretches.  I aim instead at the trees.  The white
splinters start off on either side from a palm-tree struck by the shot.
The effect is like magic, the Indians' threatening shrieks are changed
to cries of terror, and in hot haste they dash back through the surf
towards the shore.  Still we are left in doubt as to the fate of our
friends.  It is clear that we cannot land to go to their assistance.
But I resolve not to give them up.  We rest on our oars watching the
beach.  At length we see a concourse of people coming over a ridge of
sand which shuts out the view of the interior from us.  Golding and Taro
appear in the midst of them.  The savages seem to be paying them great
respect, and Golding bows with infinite condescension now on one side,
now on the other.  Canoes are launched, they step into them, and the
obedient natives come paddling off to us through the surf.  Golding
steps on board and signs to the Indians to return.  "Now, Harvey, get on
board as fast as we can," says he.  "It has been a question in my mind
all day whether we were to be treated as gods, or to be cooked and
eaten; and even now I don't feel quite comfortable on the subject.  Your
shot turned the scale in our favour, for notwithstanding all Taro's
boastings, they had no great opinion of us when they found that we could
not bring our big boat through the surf."  Taro at length bethought
himself of boasting that we could make thunder and lightning, and set
off a few cartridges he had in his pocket to convince them.  The effect
was considerable, but not as great as was hoped for.  There was the
lightning, but the thunder was wanting.  On the hill-side were some
ovens with fire in them heating.  Taro looked at them suspiciously, not
quite satisfied that he might not before long be put inside one of them.
Turning about, he saw some warriors walking round and round with huge
clubs in their hands.  He had no longer any doubt of their intentions.
Golding saw them also, and became not slightly uncomfortable.  Just then
our gun was fired.  Many of the natives fell flat on the ground, others
rushed hither and thither, while some of the braver examined the trees
which had been struck, and reported the effects of the white man's
thunder and lightning.  Instead of knocking our friends on the head and
eating them as they had purposed, the savages came crouching down before
them in the most abject manner, as if they were beings altogether of a
different nature.  Still, as Golding says, the look of those ovens made
him glad to get down to the beach, lest the Indians should again change
their minds about him.

Two days after this we sight another island.  Again Golding goes on
shore with Taro, and the captain, and Tony Hinks.

I cannot be surprised if some day Golding is cut off by the savages.  He
is bold and daring, and far from cautious.  Aitutaki is the name of the
island.  Natives come off to us in great numbers singing and shouting.
They are tattooed from head to foot.  Never have I seen wilder savages.
Some of their faces are smeared with ochre, others with charcoal, and
are frightful to behold.  We keep on our guard, for we know not any
moment that they may venture to attack us.  As Taro is on shore we
cannot understand what they say.  Festing and I allow only a few at a
time to come on board.  They attempt to climb up the sides, but we keep
them off by striking at their hands with boarding pikes, and pointing to
the gangway, showing that they may only enter there, a few at a time.
Still they persist, when Festing taking up a musket ready at hand, fires
it over their heads.  They look around for a moment, as if not certain
whether they are standing on their heads or their feet, and then leap
headlong, some into their canoes and some into the water.  They paddle
to a distance, but then stopping, look back and threaten us.  Festing
insists that the only way to make these countries of any use is to sweep
the people off into the sea.  As to civilising them, that, he says, is
impossible.  I differ from him.  We wait anxiously as before for the
return of the captain and our other shipmates.  Hour after hour passes
by.  However great the danger in which they may be placed, we cannot go
to their assistance.  We begin to fear that they have fallen victims to
the savages.

"You and I, Harvey, will have to take the ship home, I suspect,"
observes Festing; "I am sorry for the old man especially, as we can do
nothing to revenge his death."

"That were small consolation," I observe; "nor is that as God wills it."

Festing looks astonished.  He would be very angry if he were accused of
not being a Christian, and yet, it seems to me, that he encourages
feelings and ideas very much opposed to the rules Christ our Master laid
down for the government of His disciples.

Evening approaches.  With thankfulness I see the boat putting off from
the beach.  We stand in as close as the reef will let us to meet her.
She makes for a narrow channel between the breakers.  It is a question
whether she will get through.  The spray, as it curls upwards,
completely conceals her.  Or--I look through my glass--has she been
capsized by the breakers?  No, she is seen again.  Her crew give way.
She is soon alongside.  All have come back safe, though they have been
in great peril of their lives.

Captain Fuller has a curious story to tell of the inhabitants of this
lovely spot.  They are the wildest savages he has ever seen.  More like
wild beasts than men, yet not so cruel as some of the islanders we have
met.  As an example.  It appears from what Taro has learned on shore,
that a vessel calling off here but a few days back, landed a number of
natives from another island, who, instead of being killed and eaten,
have been kindly treated.  The name of the island is Raratonga, but
whereabouts it lies Taro could not learn, for the vessel appeared off
the coast at early dawn on the east side, and no one saw whence she
came.  They are young women, and have a pitiable tale to tell of the
cruel way in which they were kidnapped by these monsters in human shape.
Probably to prevent disputes among his crew, the captain landed these
poor creatures, certainly from no motives of humanity if the account
Taro gives of them is true.

The vessel only left the island three days ago, so that we may chance to
fall in with her.  Both Captain Fuller and the supercargo declare that
they will give the master a bit of their mind.  "Suppose," say they, "we
had chanced to call off that island directly after those fellows had
perpetrated this rascality, not suspecting harm, what would have been
our fate?  Without doubt we should have been clubbed."

"So we might, indeed!"  I observe, but I think to myself, what may other
voyagers say who follow in our footsteps.  Have we not shot down the
poor savages, who have been defending their own shores?  Well may the
islanders be ready to destroy any white men they can get into their
power.

Captain Fuller says that he never was in greater danger of losing his
life than on this morning.  If one of the party had wavered, the savages
would have been encouraged to rush in on them and club them.  He and
Golding talk of looking for Raratonga in the hopes of trading with the
natives, but we can by no means learn in what direction it is to be
found.  There is another group we hear of to the south of the Society
Islands called the Austral Islands, but it would take up too much time
to visit them, and so we shape a course for the Tonga or Friendly
Islands.  Rumours have reached us that the people do not quite deserve
the character given of them by Captain Cook.

Steeling west, we again sight land.  We stand in, and heave-to off the
coast.  It is Savage Island, justly so-called by Captain Cook.  Several
canoes, with uncouth, fierce-looking savages, come off to us, with
painted faces and long hair, even more brutal than those of Aitutaki.
Taro ascertains from them that another vessel with two masts has just
called there, but gone away,--undoubtedly the brig which carried off the
poor people from Raratonga, the unknown island.  We may therefore
overtake her.  A calm comes on,--the savages surround the vessel, and
contemplate an attack on us, it seems.  The guns are loaded with
langrage, and Captain Fuller issues orders to prepare for our defence.
Their numbers increase.  Taro warns us that they are about to commence
an assault on the vessel.  He signs to them that they had better not
make the attempt; but by their gestures they show their contempt and
boldness.  Again with loud shouts they come on, shooting their arrows,
and hurling darts, and spears, and stones.

"Depress the guns, and fire," cries Captain Fuller.

The order is obeyed.  In an instant the sea is covered with the forms of
human beings, some swimming from their canoes cut in two, others having
jumped overboard through terror.  The sea is red with the blood of those
wounded.  The captain orders that the guns be again loaded.  Shrieks,
and groans, and cries rise from the water.  It is fear, I feel sure,
prevents the poor wretches moving.  I wish that I might beg the captain
not again to fire; but he would not listen.  He is about to lift his
hand when I see the topsails fill, and the vessel glides out from among
the crowd of canoes.

"Hold," cries the captain; "they have had enough of it."

Away we sail, following the setting sun.  "A pretty day's work," I think
to myself, as I get into my berth.  "Yet how is it to be avoided?"

I drop asleep.  I know that I am asleep, and yet I fancy that I am
looking over the side of a vessel,--not the _Mary Rose_, though,--and I
see the ocean covered with the forms of men, their skins brown, and
white, and black, swimming towards all points of the compass.  They swim
strongly and boldly; each on his head wears a crown of gold, and in his
right hand carries a book,--an open book.  I look again,--it is the
Bible.  They read the book as they swim, and it gives them strength to
persevere; for sharks rise up to threaten them, and other monsters of
the deep.  And now land appears, the very island we have left, and two
or more swim towards it, and the savage inhabitants come out in their
canoes to attack them, and I tremble for their fate; but the swimmers
hold up their Bibles, and the savages let them pass, and follow slowly.
Soon the swimmers land, and numbers collect round them and listen
attentively while they read.  Weapons are cast away,--the countenances
of the islanders are no longer savage.  They kneel,--they clasp their
hands--they lift up their eyes towards heaven,--their lips move in
prayer.  They soon appear well clothed, parents with their children
dwelling in neat cottages, and lo! a large edifice rises before my eyes:
it is a house of God.  A bell sounds, and from every side come men,
women, and children all neatly clad; and then the words of a hymn strike
my ear.  The music is sweet, but the words are strange.  It grows louder
and louder, till I hear the cry of "All hands shorten sail!"

I spring on deck.  The ship has been struck by a squall; she is almost
on her beam-ends.  It is blowing heavily, the thunder rolls along the
sky, the lightning flashes vividly.  Not without difficulty the canvas
is got off her.  Once more she rights, and now away she flies before the
gale.  The sea rises covered with foam.  Still she flies on.  We prepare
to heave her to; for thus running on, with coral islands abounding, may
prove our destruction.  It is a moment of anxiety, for it is questioned
whether the canvas will stand.  It requires all hands, and even then our
strength is scarce sufficient for the work.  We, under circumstances
like these, see the true character of men.  Golding, hitherto so daring
and boastful, trembles like an aspen leaf.  He believes that the ship is
going down, and dares not look death in the face.  I may write what I
feel: "Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe," as says
Solomon, and as his father David had often said in other words before
him.  It is this knowledge makes the truly bold and brave seaman at all
times.

This night is one truly to make a stout heart sink not thus supported.
At the main-mast-head appears a ball of fire.  Now it descends,--now it
runs along the main-yard-arm,--now it appears at the mizen-mast-head,--
now there is a ball at each mast-head.  The men declare that it is a
spirit of evil come to guide us to destruction.  Often while the foaming
seas are roaring and hissing round us, and the wind is shrieking and
whistling through the shrouds, and all is so dark that a hand held up at
arm's length can scarcely be seen, flashes of lightning burst forth
making it light as day, and revealing the pale and affrighted
countenances of those standing around.

Day dawns at length.  As I looked to leeward, not half a mile away, I
see a vessel.  She is dismasted, labouring heavily.  We are drifting
slowly down towards her.  Now she rises, now she falls in the trough of
the sea, and is hid from view.  She is a brig, as we discover by the
stumps of her two masts, and we do not doubt the very vessel of which we
have lately heard.  A signal of distress is flying from a staff lashed
to the main-mast; but, with the sea now running, what help can we render
her hapless crew?

We watch her anxiously; even Phineas Golding, his thoughts generally
running on dollars, seems to commiserate the fate of those on board,
especially when Tony Hinks remarks in his hearing that such may be ours
ere long.  The men are at the pumps, and we can see them working for
their lives; but, by the way she labours, there seems but little chance
that they will keep her afloat.  We are gradually dropping down towards
her; we can distinguish through our glasses the countenances of the
crew, their hair streaming in the gale.  What looks of horror, of
hopeless despair are there!  They know that we cannot help them, though
so near.  The vessel is sinking lower and lower; the crew desert the
pumps, and hold out their hands imploringly towards us as we drive down
towards them.  Their boats have been all washed away: it were madness in
us to attempt to lower one.  Some with hatchets are cutting away at the
bulwarks and companion hatch to form rafts, others run shrieking below
to the spirit-room, or rush bewildered here and there; not one do I see
on bended knees imploring aid from heaven.  The vessel now labours more
heavily than ever; a huge sea rolls towards her,--she gives a fearful
plunge.  Many of our people, rough and hardened as they are, utter cries
of horror.  I pass my hands across my eyes, and look, and look again.
She is gone!--not a trace of her remains but a few struggling forms amid
the white foam.  One by one they disappear, till one alone remains
clinging to a plank.  We see him tossed to and fro, looking wildly
towards us for help.  Not another human being of those who stood on the
deck of the foundered vessel remains alive.  Will this one be saved?  I
feel a deep pity for him.  As I watch him, I lift up my heart in prayer
to God that he may be saved.

The gale has been decreasing, and the ship lies-to more easily.  We hope
in a short time to make sail.  The seaman still floats in sight.  At
length I believe a boat would live.  I ask Captain Fuller leave to go in
search of the man, and sing out for volunteers.  No lack of them.  We
must have drifted some way to leeward of the man; but still, as I took
the bearings when I last saw him, I believe that I can find him.  Away
we pull; the seas are heavy, but long, and do not break much.  I look
out in vain for the seaman.

"He must have gone down before this," I hear one of the crew remark.

"But the plank would be floating still," I observe.  "That man has a
soul, whoever he may be.  If we save his body, by God's grace his soul
may be saved."

This thought encourages me to persevere.  Often the boat is half full of
water, but we bail her out, and pull on.  Already we are at some
distance from the ship, when I see a dark, speck rise on the crest of a
sea and then disappear.  My hopes rise that it is the person of whom we
are in search.  We hear a faint cry.  He is still alive.  The crew
cheer, and pull lustily towards him.  The stranger gazes at us eagerly:
he if a youth, with long light hair hanging back in the water.  His
strength is evidently failing.  I urge on my men.  Even now I fear that
he will let go his hold ere we can reach him.  Again he cries out
imploringly.  A sea striking the boat half fills her with water, and I
lose sight of the lad.

"He is gone, he is gone!" some of the men cry out.  But no; I see his
hair far down, close under the stern of the boat I plunge in, and
diving, grasp it and bring him to the surface.  The boat has forged
ahead.  With difficulty I get him alongside, and we are hauled on board.
The young man has still life in him, but cannot speak.  We pull back to
the ship, more than once narrowly escaping being swamped.  It is some
time before the stranger can speak.  Even then he does not seem willing
to say much.  He does not mention the name of the brig to which he
belonged, nor whether he was serving before the mast or as an officer;
but he speaks like a lad of education.  He is, however, so much
exhausted, that it would be cruel to ask him questions.  Indeed, from a
remark he made, I suspect that he believes himself to be dying.  I fear
that he may be right; but, alas! it is without hope that he looks on
death,--only with dark horror and despair.  I speak to him of One who
died to save all sinners who look to Him for salvation and repent; but
my words seem to fall unheeded on the young man's car.



CHAPTER SEVEN.

A LAND OF HORRORS.

The young man we picked up two days ago is better.  He takes more to me
than to any one else, yet he is reserved even to me.  His name is, he
says, Joseph Bent, and the brig was the _Wanderer_.  I suspect that he
is one of those castaways who have fled from the restraints of parents,
or pastors and masters, and that he has been reaping the fruits of his
folly, and found them bitter.  The brig undoubtedly visited the island
of which we have heard, and her crew were the men who committed those
black deeds of which I have spoken, but do not here again describe.

How soon are they all sent to their dread accounts except this youth!
Great is his astonishment when I speak to him of what was done, and of
the poor natives so barbarously carried away.

"The vengeance of a pure and just God quickly finds out the doers of
such deeds," I remark.  "And, Joseph, my friend, where would you now
have been had you not been rescued by the hand of mercy from the jaws of
death?"

"In torment--in torment!" he shrieks out; "in everlasting torments!
Rightly condemned--rightly condemned!"

"But, think you not, that the same loving hand which saved your life
from destruction will preserve your far more precious soul from death
eternal if you will but believe in His power and will to save you?  Do
not have any doubts on the subject.  The most guilty are entreated to
repent and to come to Jesus--the loving Saviour--the Friend of sinners."

"These are strange words you speak, mate," said the young man sitting up
and looking earnestly at me.

"Not strange, friend," say I.  "Thousands and thousands of times have
they been spoken before to the saving of many a perishing soul.  Let
them not be spoken to you in vain."

Thus do I continue for some time, till I see tears starting into the
eyes of the young man.  The knowledge of a Saviour's love softens his
heart, while his sins still make him afraid.

"I remember to have heard words like those you have been speaking, mate,
long, long ago," he observes.  "I forgot them till now.  They sound
sweetly to my ears."

"Never forget them again, friend," I answered, having now to go on deck
to keep my watch.

Joseph Bent lives, and is gaining strength, but as he does so he seems
to be hardening his heart, and avoids religious subjects; yet he speaks
of the doings of his late shipmates at Raratonga.  What must have been
their feelings when their ship was going down, and the thoughts of their
late evil deeds came rushing on their minds.  If people would but
reflect each morning as they rise, and say to themselves, "For what I do
this day I must most assuredly account before the judgment-seat of the
Almighty," how many a sin might be avoided; and yet, surely, the love of
Jesus, the dread of grieving our blessed Master, will do more than that.
With me love is the constraining power--with some men the fear of
judgment may have more effect; fear may prevent sin, but love surely
advances more the honour and glory of Christ's kingdom.  It is love to
his blessed Master which will make a man give up home and country, and
go forth to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to the perishing
heathen; fear will keep him strictly observant of his religious duties
at home: fear rules where the law exists; love reigns through the
liberty of the gospel.  Yes, I am sure, that love, and love alone, will
make a man a persevering missionary of the truth.

We bring up at length on the north shore of Tongatabu, at the same spot
where, many years back, Captain Cook anchored his ships, when he called
the island Amsterdam.  It is the largest by far of all the Friendly
Islands, being some twenty miles long and twelve broad, and it is very
beautiful, though not rising anywhere more that sixty feet above the
level of the sea.  Its beauty consists in the great variety of trees and
shrubs with which it is covered, while few spots on the earth's surface
are more productive; added to this there is a clearness and brightness
in the atmosphere which is in itself lovely.  Captain Cook bestowed the
name of the Friendly Islands on this group, on account of the friendly
way in which the natives received him.  Captain Fuller says that he has
heard certain reports which make him doubt as to the friendliness of the
natives.  They come off to us in large double canoes, unlike any we have
before seen.  They consist of two canoes secured side by side, though at
some distance apart, by a strong platform, which serves as a deck.  In
the centre is a house with a flat roof on which the chiefs stand.  The
sail is triangular, and formed of matting, and long oars are also used,
worked on either side.  These canoes carry a hundred men or more, and
make long voyages, often to Fiji, on the east, and lo! the Navigators
Islands, on the north.  When sailing forth for war covered with armed
men, blowing conch-shells and flourishing their clubs and spears, they
have a very formidable appearance.  Many smaller single canoes came off
to us ringing fruits and fowl of all sorts.  They are a very fine race
of men, taller than most Englishmen, and well formed and of a light
healthy brown colour.  They come on board in great numbers, and laugh,
and appear to be well disposed.  The Captain's suspicions are soon
lulled, and so are Golding's.  He wishes to trade with them for
cocoa-nut oil and other articles.  Several of our men ask leave to go on
shore, and the captain allows them.

Just as they have gone off, Joseph Bent comes on deck.  He has, he tells
me, been living on shore here for some time, and knows the people.
Notwithstanding their pleasant manners and handsome figures and
countenances, they are treacherous in the extreme.  He tells that of
which I have not before heard, that missionaries have already been sent
out to these seas; that some were landed on this very island, of whom
three were killed, and the rest driven away.  Some, strange to say, were
in King George's Islands while we were there, but we heard not of them
nor they of us.  Indeed, I fear that our captain would have taken but
little interest in the matter, though he might have shown those poor
banished ones, as countrymen, some of the courtesies of life.  Thus I
see that people may visit a place, and fancy that they know all about
it, and yet be very ignorant of what is going on within.  Other
missionaries have gone, so says Bent, to the Marquesas Islands.  We
heard nothing of them; indeed, our captain laughs at the notion of such
savages being turned into Christians.

"Who can this Bent really be?"  I have asked myself more than once.  For
one so young he knows much about these seas, and what has taken place
here.  While I have been thinking how good a thing it would be to have
missionaries sent out among them, I find that people at home have
already done so, though as yet to no purpose, as far as man can see.
The people seem everywhere sunk in heathen darkness.  When Bent sees
that some of our men are going on shore, he urges that they may be at
once recalled; but Captain Fuller says that the supercargo, Taro, and
Tony Hinks, will take care they do not get into mischief.  The
half-naked chiefs, with their clubs in their hands, and many other
people are wandering about the deck, examining everything they see, and
now and then standing and talking, as if expressing their wonder.  I
observe Bent moving quietly among them.  Soon afterwards he comes up to
me.

"Mate," he says, in an ordinary tone, as if there was nothing the
matter, "These men are plotting to take the ship.  The fellows on shore
will all be murdered, and so shall we unless we manage well.  My advice
is to get the chiefs into the cabin on pretence of giving them a feast,
and then seize them and hold them as hostages.  Directly that is done,
run the after-guns inboard and clear the decks.  It will be better to
knock away the bulwarks than to be clubbed."

The captain seems unwilling to believe this.

"I have little to thank you for in saving my life if you do not now take
my advice," says Bent, earnestly.  "You, and I, and all on board may be
numbered with the dead before many minutes are over.  Look at those
men's arms, and at their heavy clubs.  Whose head would stand a single
blow from one of them?"

I urge the point with the captain, for I am convinced that Bent is
right.  He is still irresolute, when we see some more canoes coming off
from the shore.  This decides him.  Fortunately the men's dinner is
ready.  The captain sends for it into the cabin, and the steward covers
the table with all other food he has at hand.  We then fix upon four of
the leading chiefs whom Bent points out, and by signs invite them to
feast below.  They look suspicious, and, we are afraid, will not come.
Bent stands by to hear what they say.  He whispers to me that one of
them proposes coming, as it will throw us more off our guard.  Again, by
signs, we press them to come below.  When at length they comply, we
endeavour not to show too much satisfaction.  We treat them with great
courtesy seemingly, keeping our eyes, however, constantly fixed on them.
We have the steward and two other men concealed with ropes ready to
spring out and secure them.  The captain, Festing, and Bent, go below,
while I remain in charge of the deck, and Festing hands me up a brace of
pistols and a cutlass, through the companion hatch.  The crew have been
prepared, and stand ready to run in the after-guns and to slew them
round the instant the chiefs are secured.  I listen for the signal,
anxiously watching the proceedings of the savages.  Now I see them
talking together; now they handle their clubs, and look towards the
cabin, as if waiting for the return of their chiefs to begin the work of
death.  They eye our men askance.  It is clear that both parties
mistrust each other.  The suspense is painful in the extreme.  There is
a sound of struggling, and shouts from the cabin; the savage warriors
press aft.  Just then the captain cries out that the chiefs are secured.
I order the guns to be slewed round, and sign to the natives to keep
back.  They are about to make a rush, when Bent springs on deck, and
shouts to them in their own language, warning them that if they move our
war-fire will burst forth on them, and that their chiefs will be killed.
The men, looking grim and fierce, stand match in hand at the guns.
Bent now orders the savages to return to their canoes.  Sulkily, and
with many a glance of defiance at us, they stand, unwilling to obey,
till Captain Fuller brings on deck, bound, one of their chiefs, holding
a pistol to his ear.  The chief speaks to them, and one by one they go
down the ship's side.  Bent now tells them that unless all our
companions return in safety the lives of the chiefs will be taken.  I
bethink me of writing a note to the supercargo, telling him what has
occurred, and urging him to return instantly.  I give it to the last
savage who leaves the deck, and Bent explains to whom the paper is to be
delivered.  We now use all haste to get ready for sailing.  We have for
the present escaped a great danger, but we tremble for the fate of our
shipmates, and we are convinced that fear alone will keep these savages
in order.  The chiefs, finding that Bent can speak their language,
endeavour to persuade him to let them go.  "When our friends return you
will be set at liberty," is his answer.  It seems at present very
doubtful whether they ever will return.  Bent says that these people are
treacherous in the extreme, worshippers of devils, offerers up of human
sacrifices, and cannibals, though not so bad as the people of Fiji, the
next islands we are to visit.  The chiefs all this time are kept in
durance below.  I have seldom seen four finer men in figure and feature.
The children, Bent says, are often quite white, like English children,
but as heathens they are born, and as heathens they die, without hope.

A boat is now reported coming off from the shore.  A large canoe
follows.  In the boat are fewer men than left the ship.  What has been
the fate of the rest?  They come alongside, and we order the big canoe
to keep off.  The supercargo and Taro make their appearance on deck.
Their escape has been most miraculous.  Already had the clubs of the
natives begun to play on the heads of their companions, and five had
fallen.  Golding tells me that he expected every moment to be his last.
The man next him had been struck down, and lay writhing on the ground,
when a cry was raised, and the canoes were seen hurrying away from the
ship, the savages refrained from letting drop their uplifted clubs, and
watched the approaching canoes.

When the messenger with the note arrived there was a long consultation.
Golding says he never felt so uneasy.  It was handed to Tony Hinks, who,
unable to read, gave it to Golding.  He assumed a tone of authority, and
through Taro told the savages that if all the survivors were not
released their chiefs would be carried away captives.  They seemed to
hesitate.  Golding believed that they were balancing in their minds
whether they loved their chiefs or the blood of the white strangers
most.  At last they decided to let Golding and Taro with three other men
go, and to keep Tony Hinks, whom they take to be a chief, as a hostage.
Tony was very unhappy at being left, and tried to escape, but the
savages held him fast, and Taro, it seems, who owes him a grudge, would
not help him.  Thus we are placed in a difficulty to know how to get
Tony back without first liberating the chiefs.  If it were not for the
boatswain, the captain says he would hang all four at the yard-arm.  At
last it is decided that one alone shall go, and Bent is instructed to
tell him, that unless the boatswain instantly returns alive and unhurt,
the other three shall be hung up.  I put him on board a canoe, which
comes out to meet our boat as we pull in.

Some time passes, and at length Tony appears on the beach.  We make
signals that he must be brought off in a canoe.  As he steps into the
boat, stout-hearted fellow as he generally is, he sinks down, overcome
with the terror he has been in.  Several of the crew cry out that now we
have got him back, we must hang the savages we have in our power in
revenge for our shipmates who have been clubbed.  The captain says that
we are bound to let one go.  I plead that all should be let go, that on
the faith of this Tony was returned to us, and that it is both our duty,
and wise as a Christian and civilised people, to show clemency to the
savages.  With difficulty, however, I prevail, and Bent tells the chiefs
that they may order a canoe to come alongside, and may go free.  They
appear very much astonished, and doubtful whether we are in earnest.  I
watch their eyes when they fully understand that they are free to go.
Savages though they may be, there is human sympathy between us; they are
grateful for the way we have treated them; and I feel sure that we
should be far safer on shore should we return, than if we had hanged
them as proposed.  "We are well quit of these savages," observes
Golding, as we get free of the reefs, and stand out to sea.

There is another group to the north of the Tongas called Samoa, or
Navigators Islands.  The people, Bent tells me, are very like those of
the Tonga group.  Of this Tonga group which we are leaving there are
numerous islands--the first collection to the north, called the Haabai
group, while further north is that of Vavau--all governed by different
chiefs, who spend their time in fighting with each other.

While I am on deck in charge of the watch that night I see a bright
light burst forth to the north-east, rising out of the sea and reaching
to the sky.  There is a noise at the same time as if there was distant
thunder.  I fancy at first that some hapless ship has caught fire, and I
send below to ask leave of the captain that we may steer towards her to
pick up any of the crew who may have escaped.  The captain bids me come
and examine the chart, and I see several islands with burning mountains
on them marked down.  The fire we see proceeds undoubtedly from one of
them--Koa, perhaps.  The matter is settled by finding our deck covered
with fine ashes fallen from the sky.

Four days after leaving Tonga we find ourselves among islands of every
size and shape and height, many of them having lofty mountains in their
centres, while coral reefs are in all directions.  Never has my eye
rested on scenes of greater loveliness than these islands present; they
are apparently fertile in the extreme, green gems dotting the blue
ocean.  If men could be perfectly happy and gentle and contented, loving
each other and being loved, it would, I should think, be here.  Each
island looks like a paradise--the abode of peace and innocence.  We are
standing in towards a secure harbour formed by a coral reef, a native
town appearing on the beach, with a hill covered with graceful trees
rising above it, down which a waterfall tumbles and glitters in the
sunbeams, forming a clear pool, from which we expect to fill our casks.
I remark on its beauty to Bent.

"No doubt about that, Mr Harvey," he answers.  "But we have more need
to be on our guard against the natives here than in any islands of the
Pacific.  A more treacherous, fierce, and determined race of cannibals
is not to be found.  Of all the islands we see scattered around, and of
many score more, the inhabitants of one dare not visit their nearest
neighbours, for fear of being entrapped and killed and eaten.  Their
great chiefs and warriors boast of the number of people they have killed
and devoured; and if they have no captives in their hands when they wish
to make a feast, they will kill some of their own slaves, or will send a
party of their warriors to any small island near, to knock as many
people on the head as they may require."

I fancy that Bent is joking, though it is not a lively subject to joke
about.  The captain, however, says that he will be on his guard, and a
strong party, well armed, will alone be allowed to go on shore.  Still,
as we require water and fuel and fresh meat and vegetables, we must put
in here to obtain them.

We drop our anchor in a calm bay, with scarce a ripple on the surface of
the clear blue waters, while against the outer edge of the coral reef
the sea rolls in and breaks in masses of white foam.  There is a town in
sight, surrounded by a ditch and bank, and bamboo stockades, and full of
cottages with high-thatched roofs.  Above the town, on the hill, is a
separate tall building with an exceedingly high-pitched roof, also
thatched, the ridge-pole extending out on either side.  It is a temple,
Bent says, where human sacrifices are offered, and many other abominable
things done.  The god may be a whale's tooth, or a piece of cloth, or a
hideous wooden idol.  Soon after we have furled sails, two large double
canoes make their appearance inside the reef, running for the town.
They have vast mat sails, and on the deck of each are fully a hundred
black warriors armed with clubs and spears and bows.  They are painted
hideously.  Several have huge heads of hair, and all are gesticulating
violently, as if recounting their deeds of valour.  They pass close to
our vessel, but do not seem to heed us much.  We have our guns run out
and the crew at quarters ready for them.

As I look through my glass I see in the bows of each some twenty dead
bodies arranged in rows--men, women, and children.  "Alas! were these
taken in war?"  I ask.  The canoes reach the beach, and crowds come down
with loud shouting and wild leaps, and the canoes are hauled on shore,
and then the dead bodies are dragged up the hill towards the temple, all
the men shouting and shrieking louder than ever.  They appear truly like
a horde of evil spirits let loose on earth.  I accompany the captain and
supercargo with Bent, Taro, and a boat's crew, all well armed, on shore.
Taro explains that we come as friends, and as the people see that we
are well prepared for war, no opposition is offered.  We enter the house
of a chief who has just died; his body lies at one end of a long hall
full of people.  Among them are some twenty women, most of them young
and fine-looking persons.  Their hair is adorned with flowers, and their
bodies are oiled.  Some look dull and indifferent to what is taking
place, others are weeping, and others look well pleased.  Taro tells us
that they are the wives of the king.  Several men stand near them; ropes
are cast round their necks, and suddenly, before we have time to rescue
them, as we feel inclined to do, five of them are strangled, and fall
dead corpses on the ground.  Their bodies are quickly carried off, with
that of the chief, and all are buried in one common grave.  The new king
now appears, and the crowd come to do him honour.  He is a tall, stout
young man--every inch a savage.  We look with horror at what we
witness--the bodies are dragged up the hill, and thrust into huge ovens.
Some of the captives not yet dead are blackened and bound in a sitting
posture, and thus, horrible to relate, are placed _in the ovens to be
baked alive_.

It is too sickening to write what afterwards follows.  None of us can
longer doubt that these people are the most terrible of cannibals.  I
feel inclined to charge forward to rescue them, but the captain orders
us all to stand fast, or we may chance to be treated in the same way
ourselves.

We now, through Taro, tell the chief that we require water and fruit and
vegetables and hogs and fowls, and that we will pay for all.  He
receives the message somewhat haughtily, and informs us with the air of
an emperor, that though he is one of the greatest sovereigns on earth,
and that all men bow down to and fear him, he will grant our request.
There he sits, a naked black savage, benighted and ignorant in the
extreme; and yet such is his opinion of himself.  I cannot help
thinking, as I look at him, that I have seen civilised men almost as
well contented with themselves with as little cause.  We do not find any
of our men inclined to straggle, after what they have seen.  We hurry
down to the beach.  The boat has been left hauled off at some distance,
under charge of three men, well armed.  They pull in when they see us,
and say that they are not a little glad to find us safe, for that many
canoes with fierce-looking savages have been paddling round and round
them, the cannibals showing their white teeth, and making signs that
they would like to eat them.  Whether this is only the fancy of our men
I cannot say.  Even Golding, when we get on board, looks pale and says
little.  It seems to me as if Satan had truly taken possession of the
people of these islands, for Bent tells me that the scenes we have
witnessed are only such as occur constantly.

We keep a watchful look-out all night, ready for action at a moment's
notice.  Again we visit the shore, armed as yesterday.  Preparations are
making to build a house for the new chief.  The four uprights for the
corners are already placed in large holes dug deep into the earth.  In
each hole stands a living man bound to the post, with upturned eyes
gazing at the light of day.  What is our horror to see parties of
savages begin to throw in the earth upon them.  It covers their breasts,
their shoulders, and rises up, the hapless wretches still breathing,
till the tops of their heads are concealed, and then with eager haste
the murderous wretches stamp down the ground over them.  Taro tells us
the savages say that the spirits of the dead men will guard the house,
so that no evil will befall its inmates.  Truly I shall be glad to be
clear of this land of horrors, yet it is a fruitful land, and one
producing a variety of articles for barter.  With cocoa-nut oil alone we
could quickly load our vessel, and with the population these islands
possess, what numberless other tropical productions might they not
furnish, if means could be found to civilise the people!



CHAPTER EIGHT.

IN PERILS VARIOUS.

Again we go on shore, armed as yesterday.  The men cast uneasy glances
around, and show no inclination to separate from each other.  We meet
the chief, who looks taller and fiercer than ever.  His black hair is
frizzled out in the most extraordinary manner, and on the top he wears
twisted round it a piece of smoke-coloured native cloth like a turban.
He has rings round his arms and legs, and a small piece of cloth round
his loins, but otherwise this great king, as he believes himself, is
entirely naked.  He carries in his hand a richly carved black club--so
heavy, that to strike with it is to kill.  He receives us in the same
haughty manner as before, as if he wished to impress us with his
importance.  As he strides along, the people fly on either side, or bow
down before him, though he does not in the slightest degree heed them.
He is on his way to witness the launching a large new war-canoe, and
which, now decked with streamers, we see at some distance from the
beach.  Conch-shells are sounding, and there is much shouting and
dancing.  As we draw near, a band of prisoners, with downcast looks of
horror, are driven along towards the canoe.  Men stand ready with long
ropes to drag her to the water.  Before she is moved, the captives,
bound hand and foot, are cast down before her; then loud shouts arise--
the men haul at the ropes--the canoe moves, and is dragged over the
bodies of the slaves, crushing them to death.  No one pities them.  This
night the cannibal chiefs will feast on their bodies.  Even now the
ovens in the great square are heating to cook them.  It strikes me that
these people take a pride in showing to us the enormities they dare to
commit.

As later in the day we are passing through the town, we see two people,
a man and woman, wrangling.  The man grows more and more angry.  A young
child is near them; it runs to its mother's arms, but the man seizes it,
and in an instant he has killed the poor little creature, and with a
fierce gesture thrown the yet panting body on the ground.  He gazes for
a few seconds moodily at the dead child.  The mother does not attempt to
touch it; then he orders her to bring a spade.  He digs a hole in the
floor; the still warm body is thrust in; the earth is thrown back; both
stamp it down, and then return to their seats as if nothing had
happened.

We see another day a young man buried alive by his own parents.  Taro
says he had grown weary of life, and they did it to please him.  We see
very few old people, and we hear that when people get weak and ill from
age, their children either strangle them or bury them alive.  Bent tells
me that human sacrifices are often made to their gods, when the priests
and chiefs feast on the victims.  We see many people with fingers cut
off, and we hear that they have been devoted as offerings to their
chiefs who have died, or may only have been ill.  No crime is more
common than that of killing children, especially girls, indeed, it is
remarkable that these people do not seem at all sensible that they are
committing crimes.  At all events they glory in their shame.

I might note down many more things we see and hear during our stay in
this group, but I feel sick at heart as I write and think of all that is
told me; and every day, as I tread these blood-stained shores, the very
air seems polluted, and the shrieks of the wretched victims of their
fellows cruelty, ring in my ears.  Wars seem never to cease among them.
One tribe is always attacking another, and those inhabiting islands
within two or three miles of each other cannot live at peace.  The
desire to retaliate is the great cause of all their quarrels.  If a man
is killed by those of another tribe, his friends are not content till
they have killed some of that tribe; then the people of that tribe do
not rest till they have avenged the death of their relations; and so it
goes on, each murder producing another, till there is not a man among
all their tribes who does not feel that there are numbers ready to take
his life, while he is also on the watch to kill certain people with whom
he is at feud.

Of another thing I hear, which, had I not seen so many horrible things
they do, I could scarcely credit.  If the people of a small island
offend a chief, he does not kill them at once, but he takes away all
their canoes, so that they cannot escape.  Then, whenever he wants
victims to offer in his temples, or to feast any friendly chief who may
visit him unexpectedly, he sends and brings off one or more families, or
parts of families, from the doomed island.  No one knows who will be
next taken, but they live on with the full consciousness of what their
fate will be.  They see their relatives and friends taken and carried
off to be baked, and they know that, perhaps, their turn may come next.
Bent was some time among them, protected by one of their chiefs, to whom
he made himself useful, yet he says that he never felt sure of his life
an hour together; and whenever he saw the chief handling his club, he
could not help fancying that it might come down on his head.

Dreadful as these accounts are, we can speak of little else on board.
"It would be as easy to wash a blackamoor white, as to make these men
Christians," observed Phineas, one evening, as we sit in the cabin.
"What say you, Mr Bent; would you like to make the attempt?"

Bent casts his eyes on the deck, and does not answer.  Golding looks at
me.  "I'll tell you my opinion," I reply.  "If man alone had to
accomplish the work, I would say, it is impossible.  But man works not
alone.  God's Holy Spirit is on his side.  We are all by nature vile; we
have all gone astray.  All our natural hearts are of stone.  God's grace
can alone soften our stony hearts, can alone bring us back to Himself,
and as He surely is all-powerful, to my mind He can just as easily shed
His grace on the hearts of these black heathen cannibals, and soften
them, and bring them to love and worship Him, as He can work the same
change in any white man; and so I see no reason to doubt that if the
gospel is put before them some will hear it gladly and accept it."

The captain, as I speak, begins to grow angry.  Golding bursts into a
fit of laughter.

"You're talking Greek to me," says he.  "How could these black savages,
who have never seen a book in their lives, understand the Bible, even if
you gave it them?  It's hard enough for civilised white people to
comprehend, eh, Captain Fuller!  You find it a tough job?  I'm sure I
do."

"As to that, I don't pretend to much learning in that line--like my
second mate here, but I always leave such matters to the parson."

What the captain meant I cannot tell.  On looking up, I see Bent's eyes
full of tears, and he says nothing.  I do not press the subject now as
it will only provoke hostility, but I resolve to speak privately to Bent
whenever I can.  Yes, I am sure, by God's grace, and through the
instrumentality of human ministers and His book, these dark heathens may
become enlightened worshippers of Him.

We hear that there is a port at the great island of Vanua Levu, where
sandal-wood is to be procured, and we accordingly forthwith sail there.

Truly it is dangerous work navigating these seas among coral banks in
every direction, some just above water, others three, four, and fifteen
feet below it.  It is only when the sun is shining and the sea blue that
we can distinguish the coral, which gives a green tinge to it, under
water.  One of us is always stationed aloft to pilot the ship.  We have
hitherto escaped.  I pray we may, for if we were to wreck the good ship,
these savages would spare the lives of none of us.

Once more we drop our anchor, and canoes come off to us.  We make known
that we have come for sandal-wood, and have axes, and knives, and nails,
to give in exchange.  The natives seem so ready to trade that Golding is
quite enamoured of them, but the captain wisely will allow no one to go
on shore.  We keep a careful watch as before.  The natives, however,
seem very peaceable.  They tell Taro that they wish to trade with us,
and be our friends, and tempt us to come back again.  The first mate,
Tony Hinks, and others, declare that the captain's regulations are too
strict, and that they ought to be allowed to go on shore.

Two days pass by, and we are almost ready once more to sail.  I am below
talking with Bent and the doctor.  Most of the men are forward at their
dinner, the captain, and the first mate, and the watch only being on
deck.  There is a loud sound like a blow given on the deck, then a shout
and a piercing shriek.  Something is the matter.  We seize cutlasses and
pistols, and any weapons we can lay hands on, and spring on deck.
Upwards of a dozen savages are collected there with heavy clubs in their
hands uplifted, and our men are righting desperately with them, but
almost overpowered.  The first mate lies dead on the deck near the
companion, and further forward are Tony Hinks and a seaman with their
heads beaten in.  The supercargo is defending himself with a capstan-bar
against several savages, while the captain stands in one of the quarter
boats, which has been lowered partly down, pointing a telescope at the
savages, who look at it as if they think it some sort of firearm.  Most
of the cannibals turn upon us, and advance furiously with their heavy
clubs.  We have, I deem, but little chance of contending with numbers so
overpowering.  I hand a cutlass and a pistol to the captain, who springs
out of the boat on deck.  Bent stands wonderfully cool, and levelling
his pistols kills two of our assailants almost at the same moment.  The
rest hesitate; they have not thought of putting on the hatches, and to
our great relief we see the crew springing up from the forepeak armed
with axes, knives, and harpoons.  With loud shouts and threats of
vengeance they rush at the savages, some of whom they cut down, others
they hurl overboard; we from aft join in the onslaught, till the savages
take fright, and in another instant our decks are clear.  The guns are
always kept loaded--the captain orders them to be depressed and fired at
the canoes, towards which our late assailants are swimming.  Many are
struck, and several of the canoes are knocked to pieces.  The greater
number of the people swim to the shore with the greatest ease, diving
when they see the guns fired, or the levelling of the muskets.  We make
sail and stand out of the harbour to the west, intending to bury our
chief mate and boatswain in deep water, out of sight of these cannibal
regions.

Truly it makes me sad to think of these two men thus suddenly cut off,
utterly unprepared to go into the presence of a holy God.  They trusted
not to Him who alone could washed them clean.  They were good seamen,
but they were nothing else.  The captain comes on deck, as their bodies
lie near the gangway, lashed in their hammocks, with that of the other
man killed, and covered up with flags.  We read a portion of the burial
service, and commit them to the deep, till "the sea shall give up her
dead."

The next island we make, sailing north, is Tutuila, one of the
Navigators', or Samoan group.  The harbour we enter is Pango Pango.  It
is the most curious we have seen.  It runs deep into the land, and on
either side are high precipices, some a thousand feet high, with two or
three breaks, by which the waters of the harbour are approached from the
shore.  The people come off to us with great confidence in their large
dug-out canoes.  They are a brown race, like those of Tahiti.  They are
evidently a better disposed people than those we have just left.  We
have no fear about going on shore, and meet with civil treatment.  Yet
they are great thieves and beggars--the greatest chiefs asking for
anything to which they take a fancy.  They are also debased idolaters;
and Taro says they worship fish, and eels, and all sorts of creeping
things.  They are also savage and cruel, and constantly fighting among
each other.  As to their morals, they are undoubtedly superior to the
people of Tahiti, yet, from the style of their dances, we cannot argue
much in their favour.

There is much wild and beautiful scenery in the islands of this group,
and as far as we are able to judge, the climate is good.  We keep as
usual on our guard, and from what we hear, not without reason, for
numerous articles of dress, and carpenters tools, and iron work, and
chests, and parts of a vessel, have been seen among the people, which
leaves no doubt that some unfortunate ship's company have been wrecked
on their shores or put off by them.  Indeed, it is worthy of remark
that, with the exception of Tahiti, there is not a single group at which
we have touched where we have not had evidence that ships had been
attacked or wrecked, and a part, if not the whole, of the ship's company
cut off.  In some, only boats' crews have been destroyed, as was the
fate of Captain Cook and his companions, but at several of the islands
several ships' crews have been captured, and the greater number of the
people killed and eaten.  Indeed, such is the barbarous heathen and
debased condition of the countless inhabitants of this island-world of
the Pacific, that the navigation of these seas is indeed an undertaking
of great peril.  No man can tell when he is safe, or at what moment the
treacherous islanders may not turn round and destroy him, just as they
did Captain Cook, and just as they have treated many other unfortunate
Englishmen since his time.  Truly, it may be said, that these islands
lie in darkness and in the shadow of death.  There is but one means by
which they can be changed--the sending to them the gospel.  Yet my
brother seamen and the traders laugh at such a notion, and people at
home, who ought to know better, call it fanatical nonsense.  I do not
wish to set my opinion up against that of others, but there are certain
points where a man can feel that he is right and others wrong, and this
is one of them.  The gospel has power to change the evil heart.  Nothing
else can do it.  That never fails if accepted.  God has said it.  Why
should we doubt?

We hear that the people of this place are carrying on war with those of
another island.  Some of the chiefs come and invite Captain Fuller to
help them, but he replies, that if they wish to fight, they must fight
among themselves.  I would rather he had tried to dissuade them not to
fight at all.  We make sail out of the harbour, and are becalmed not far
off a fortress on the summit of a high cliff which is to be attacked.

It is crowded with the whole population of the island.  With our glasses
we can see clearly what is taking place.  Soon the canoes from Pango
Pango, and of other tribes, their allies, appear.  The people land, and
begin to scale the rock.  Numbers are hurled down and killed, but others
climb up.  Higher and higher they get.  They seem determined to conquer.
I tremble for the fate of the hapless defenders if they succeed.  We
can hear their shouts and cries.  Some of the assailants have gone round
on the land side.  We observe the multitude inside rushing here and
there.  Those scaling the rock on our side have reached the summit;
several fall, but now the rest break through the stockade, and rush with
their clubs and spears against the shrieking crowd.  The rest of the
invaders have succeeded in gaining an entrance on the opposite side.
The work of death goes on.  All are indiscriminately slaughtered--men,
women, and children.  The warriors hold together, and fight
despairingly.  One by one they fall before the victors' clubs.  A breeze
springs up, and we stand clear of the reefs and once more out to sea.
In the last glimpse we obtain of the fort the fighting is still going
on, and thus it continues till the scene fades in the distance.

"Such is the warfare carried on among these savages," observes Bent.
"Those who are victorious to-day will be attacked by other tribes before
long, and in like manner cut to pieces.  In a few years not one of these
numberless tribes will remain.  War kills many; but in war, crops are
destroyed, and famine ensues, and kills many more; and disease, with no
sparing hand, destroys numberless others also.  A few years hence, those
navigating these seas will find none alive to welcome them."

The carpenters declare the ship in such good condition that the captain
and supercargo resolve to explore the Loyalty and New Hebrides, and
other groups in that direction, before seeking our final port.  These
islands are especially rich in sandal-wood, with which it is resolved we
shall fill up.  The first land we make is Mare--one of the Loyalty
Islands--a low coral island, about seventy miles in circumference.  The
inhabitants are almost black, and a more brutalised savage race we have
not yet seen.  There are four tribes constantly at war with each other--
the victors always eating their captives.

Hence we steer north, and bring up in a fine harbour in the island of
Fate, or Sandwich Island.  It is a large, mountainous, and fertile
island, with great beauty of scenery.  The inhabitants are tall,
fine-looking people, but most debased savages and terrible cannibals.
Here sandal-wood is to be had in abundance, and very fine, so that
Golding is highly delighted, and declares that it is the finest country
he has yet been in.  More than once, however, our suspicions are aroused
with regard to the natives, who are, we think, meditating an attack on
us on board, or when we go on shore to bring off the wood.  While here I
will write down a brief account of some of these numberless islands in
the Western Pacific, among which we are cruising.

The largest is New Guinea, to the north of Australia, the inhabitants of
which resemble the negroes of Africa, but are more barbarous.  Next, to
the south-east of it, is New Caledonia, also a very large island, with
barbarous inhabitants.  To the south-east is the Isle of Pines, and to
the north-east is the Loyalty group, of which Mare is one, and Livu, and
Uea.  North-east again, we come to the considerable islands of Aneiteum,
Tana, Eromanga, and Fate.  North again, we fall in with the Shepherds'
Islands and the New Hebrides, of which Malicolo and Espiritu Santo are
the largest; and then there are the Northern New Hebrides and the Santa
Cruz group, and the Solomon Islands, and New Britain, and New Ireland,
between where we now are and New Guinea.  Then there are the Caroline
group--the isles as thick as the stars in the milky way; and the Ladrone
Islands, and Gilbert Islands, and many others, too many indeed to write
down.  I do not say, however, that the countless inhabitants of these
islands do not differ from each other in appearance, and manners, and
customs.  Some are almost jet black, and others only of a dark brown,
but in one thing they are similar--they are all equally fierce heathen
savages, and mostly cannibals.

We have now a full cargo, and Golding rejoicingly calculates that he
will make several hundreds per cent, on the original outlay.  He does
not, methinks, reckon the lives of those who have been lost in the
adventure.  Having laid in a supply of yams, taro, bread-fruit,
cocoa-nuts, and other roots, fruits, and vegetables, we raise our anchor
for the last time we hope till our voyage is over.  The captain and
Golding can talk of nothing but their plans for the future--how they
will return and load the ship with sandal-wood and other valuables.
Whether the captain is thinking more of his speculations than of our
reckoning I know not.  He has insisted that we are clear of all danger,
and we are running on at night under all sail before a fresh breeze,
when the cry of "breakers ahead" makes me spring from my berth.  Before
the ship can be rounded to she strikes heavily.  Again and again she
strikes, and I can hear the coral grinding through the bottom; the masts
go by the board, and the ship lies a helpless wreck on the reef.  The
wind has fallen, and, being sheltered by another part of the reef, we
have no fear of her yet going to pieces.  We wait anxiously for day, not
knowing whether we may not be near one of those cannibal islands from
whose inhabitants we may expect little mercy.

Another day has passed.  We find a sand-bank some eighty yards across,
close inside the reef.  On this, having saved one small boat, we are
landing our stores, and provisions, and arms.

We set to work to build a small vessel.  The men labour diligently,
though they grumble.  We, the officers, keep watch over the spirit
casks.  Our great want is water.  We dig deep, but the little we find is
brackish.

The schooner is finished, and Captain Fuller proposes steering for Port
Jackson, where there is a convict settlement.

The schooner is launched, but when we search for a passage to take her
over the reef, none is to be found.  In vain we make the attempt.
Everywhere we are baffled.  Some of our people almost go mad with
despair.  I propose building a large flat-bottomed punt from the deck of
the ship, which can pass over the reef.  All agree.

Our punt is almost completed.  We see three objects in the distance,
which prove to be canoes.  We are discovered, for they approach.  They
are filled with black savages, who keep at a little distance, shouting
and flourishing their spears.  We make signs of friendship, but they
still come on.  We stand to our arms, and as they begin to hurl their
spears at us, we are compelled to fire; several fall.  With loud howls
they paddle off to a distance, watching us.  We have little doubt that
they will return.

The punt is completed and provisioned.  We get her over the reef, and
try again to get the schooner across.  In vain.  We abandon her on the
reef.  It is time to be away, for we see a fleet of canoes approaching
from the north.  We hoist sail.  The sea is smooth, and we glide rapidly
over it, but on come the canoes still faster.  They may overwhelm us
with their numbers.  Much of our powder has got wet.  The men do not
know it though.  Happily the savages catch sight of the schooner and our
tent left on the sand-bank.  Their eagerness to secure the plunder from
the wreck overcomes every other consideration, and they dash over the
reef, and allow us to proceed unmolested.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

We have been many days at sea; frequent calms and little progress made.
The men are becoming discontented, and several are sick.  We have
avoided nearing any land.  Several islands have been seen, but were we
to touch the shore, our prospect of escape would be small indeed.  Far
better, we agree, to trust to the fickle ocean.  No, strange as it may
seem, there is not among all these rich and lovely islands one on which
we dare set foot.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Several of our men have died; the rest are in a state of
insubordination.  We are on a short allowance of water, and we fear that
our provisions will not hold out.  Our frail punt has been so damaged by
a gale that we can never cease baling.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Port Jackson.] When almost despairing that one of our company would
escape to tell the tale of our disasters, a ship hove in sight, took us
on board, and brought us hither.  Thus ends our voyage, and all the
bright anticipations of wealth enjoyed so long by Golding and our old
captain--not a log of sandal-wood, not a string of pearls preserved. ...
Bent has told me his history.  He feels his heart warmed with gratitude
to the Almighty, who by His grace has preserved him from death of body
and soul, and his whole mind is bent on going home with me forthwith,
and returning to carry the gospel of salvation to the perishing heathen
of the wide-spreading islands we have visited.  Surely he could not
devote his strength and life to a more glorious purpose.



CHAPTER NINE.

A NOBLE RESOLVE.

I must ask the reader to return to the scene described in the
introductory chapter, where we commenced hearing the extracts from the
sea journal of old John Harvey.  It will be remembered that at our
family gathering at my father's house my brother John was the reader.

"Father," said my brother John, pausing awhile after he had finished
reading our uncle's journal, "God willing, and with your permission, I
will go and preach the gospel to the heathen of those Pacific Islands."

"Go, my son," said our father, promptly.  "You shall have my prayers
that your preaching may not be in vain."

"What! go off at once, dear John, and leave us all?" exclaimed several
of the younger members of the family in chorus.

"I think not," answered John, calmly, with that sweet smile and gentle
voice which gained him so many hearts; "I have much to learn and much to
do before I shall be fitted for the office of a missionary.  It is not a
task to be undertaken lightly and without consideration.  When a man
charges among a host of foes, he must be armed at all points.  A
missionary, too, should be like a light shining amid the surrounding
darkness; he should be able to show the heathen how to improve their
moral and physical, as well as their spiritual condition.  He should be
fairly versed in the most useful mechanical arts, and possess especially
some knowledge of medicine and surgical skill."

"Well, it will take you a good many years before you can do all that,
and perhaps you will change your mind before the time comes," said one
of the younger ones, who did not, as indeed they could not be expected
to do, enter into John's thoughts and feelings on the subject.

I may say from that very moment John devoted all the energies of his
mind and body to preparing himself for the high and holy calling he had
undertaken.  Long, I know, that night he knelt in prayer for grace, and
wisdom, and strength to direct, fit, and support him for the work.
Besides giving much time to his studies at the theological college, he
gained a considerable knowledge of medicine and surgery, and was to be
seen now with saw and plane labouring with a carpenter,--at the
blacksmith's anvil, with hammer in hand, forming a bolt, or hinge, or
axe,--and now at the gardener's, with hoe or spade, planting or digging,
or pruning.  Many wondered how his mind could take in so many new
things, or his slight frame undergo so much labour.  Few could
comprehend the spirit which sustained him.  He grew indeed stronger and
more robust than any one would have supposed he would become.

I had since my childhood wished to go to sea, and my father allowed me
to follow the bent of my inclinations.  I now and then thought that I
ought to go forth as a missionary also; but when I compared myself with
John, and considered his great superiority to me, I gave up the idea,
which I had mentioned to no one, as preposterous.  My first two voyages
were to India and China, and when I came back from the second John was
still at college.  I remember thinking that he was losing a great deal
of time in preparation.  He, however, said that he was gaining time.  "A
blunt tool can never properly perform the work.  I am getting sharpened,
that I may be used to advantage," was his remark.

On my return home from my third voyage, he had gone to the Pacific.
Where he was to be stationed was not known.  He had not gone alone, for
he had taken a wife to support and solace him.  I had never seen her;
but I was told that her heart was bound up with his in the work in which
he was engaged.

Having now become a fair seaman, I determined to seek a berth as a mate.
An old shipmate and friend had just got command of a fine ship bound
round Cape Horn; and though I had had no previous intention of going to
the Pacific, I was glad to ship with him as third officer.  My sisters
had copied out our uncle's journal for John; they now kindly performed
the same task for me.  My ship was the _Golden Crown_ a South-sea
whaler, and Mr Richard Buxton was master, belonging to Liverpool.
Things had changed greatly since the days of my uncle John.  We had a
definite object: no supercargo was required, and every spot we were
likely to visit was well known, and mapped down in the charts.  We had
several passengers--two missionaries and their wives, newly married.  I
thought them inferior to John; but they were good men, humble too, with
their hearts in the work.  We had also another gentleman, a merchant or
speculator of some sort.  What he was going to do I could never make
out.  His heart was in his business, and he seemed to consider it of
greater importance than anything else.  This made him look down with
undisguised contempt on the missionaries and their work, nor could he
comprehend their objects.  "If people want to go to church, let them,"
he more than once remarked: "but I don't see why you two should be
gadding about the world to teach savages, who would know nothing about
chapels, nor wish to build them, if you would let them alone, and stay
quietly at home and mind a shop, or some other useful business."

The missionaries seldom answered his remarks.  They continued
perseveringly studying the language of the natives among whom they were
to labour, and prayed with and expounded the Scriptures to all on board
who would join them.  I am writing an account of certain events, and not
a journal, so I must suppose the Horn rounded, Chili visited, and
Raratonga, where we were to land the missionaries, reached.  This was
the island whose very position was unknown when my uncle visited those
seas, and for long afterwards lay sunk in heathen darkness.  It had now
become the very centre of Christianising influences, whence rays of
bright light were emanating and reaching the farthest islands of the
Pacific Ocean.

I have seldom seen a more attractive-looking spot than Raratonga
appeared as we came off it.  In the centre rise mountains four thousand
feet above the level of the sea, with lower hills and beautiful valleys
around them, clothed with every variety of tropical tree and shrub.  At
the foot of the hills is a taro swamp, and then a belt of rich country
covered with cocoa-nut, bread-fruit, and banana trees; and then a broad
white sandy beach, and a band of blue water; and next a black broad
coral reef, like a gigantic wall, against which the swell of the Pacific
comes thundering, and rising majestically to the height of twenty feet,
curls over and breaks into masses of sparkling foam.  The openings in
the reef are few and narrow, so that no ship can anchor near the
coral-girt isle.  Canoes, however came off to us with natives on board,
well clothed, and gentle in their manners, who welcomed the missionaries
with a warmth and affection which must have been very gratifying to
them.

I accompanied the captain on shore to obtain supplies.  We took with us
a chest of suitable goods for barter.  An officer met us on the beach,
the appointed salesman of the place, and putting out his hand, said,
"Blessing on you."  He then led us to the market-house, where we found
collected a large store of all the chief productions of the island,--
cocoa-nuts, bananas, potatoes, yams, pumpkins, hops, fowls, eggs, and
many other things.  We selected all we required, payment was made, and
the salesman engaged four canoes to carry them off at once to the ship.

I was but a short time on shore, but I saw enough to wonder at.
Everybody was well clothed,--the men in jackets, shirts, waistcoats, and
trousers, with straw hats, and many had shoes and socks; the women in
gowns, shawls or mantles, and bonnets.  There were many stone cottages,
neatly furnished, and others of a less enduring character.  There was a
handsome stone church, and an institution, a substantial stone building,
for training native youths for the ministry, surrounded by cottages, the
residences of those who were married; while gardens and cultivated
fields were seen on every side.  Such, I was assured, was the condition
of the whole island, there being ample church and school accommodation
for all the inhabitants, provided entirely by themselves.  I saw also an
excellent printing-press, at which several editions of the whole Bible
had been printed, as well as commentaries, and numerous other works, and
issued well bound, almost the whole work being performed by native
youths, whose fathers were wild savage cannibals, as indeed were all the
natives when first visited by the Reverend J Williams, in 1823, and such
they would have remained, had not Christian missionaries arrived among
them.

I have fallen in with many seafaring men who have abused the
missionaries in no measured terms, and I have read books written by
educated men who have done the same, and I was not quite decided whether
they were right or wrong till I went to the Pacific.  Then I discovered
why those men abused the missionaries.  Where the missionary has
laboured faithfully, the natives will not desecrate the sabbath, and
will not pander to the gross desires of their civilised visitors.  That
is the secret of their dislike to the missionaries.

Again, however, I have met many masters of whalers and numerous officers
of the Royal Navy who have spoken and written in the highest terms of
the missionaries, and acknowledged that the change which has been
wrought through their instrumentality has been most beneficial to the
cause of commerce as well as humanity; and that whereas where formerly,
if a ship was wrecked, the destruction of her crew was almost
inevitable, now through nearly the whole of Eastern, and a considerable
portion of Western Polynesia, they would receive succour, and sympathy,
and kindness.  Still there are many--very many--dark places both in
Eastern and Western Polynesia, and no Christian soldier need sigh, like
Alexander, that no more worlds remain to be conquered.

During our voyage to Raratonga I learned a great deal more about the
progress made by the missionaries of the gospel in these seas, which,
while the _Golden Crown_ lies off the island, I will briefly describe.

The London Missionary Society was established in 1795, and in the
following year it sent forth, on board the _Duff_, a band of twenty-nine
missionaries, who landed at Tahiti, one of the Society Islands, March,
1797.  Some went on to Tongatabu, the chief of the Friendly Islands, and
two to Christina, one of the Marquesas.  The savage character of the
inhabitants of the two last-named groups prevented success.  At
Tongatabu three missionaries were murdered, and the rest made their
escape, as did those at the Marquesas.  At Tahiti they were received at
first in a friendly way by the chiefs and people; but for several years
very little real progress was made in instructing the people in the
truths of Christianity.  Indeed, at one time all the missionaries, in
despair of success, in consequence of the unceasing wars of the natives,
sailed for New South Wales.  Favourable reports, however, reaching them,
some returned, and from that time forward slow but steady progress was
made, though it was not till the year 1815 that Christianity was firmly
established, and idolatry almost completely abolished.  The year 1817
was memorable on account of the arrival of two of the most distinguished
missionaries who have laboured among the isles of the Pacific--the
Reverend J Williams and the Reverend W Ellis.

Mr Williams, who combined a wonderful mechanical talent with the most
ardent zeal for the propagation of the gospel, soon after took up his
abode at the island of Raiatea where by his example he advanced the
natives in the arts of civilisation, at the same time that he instructed
them in the truths of Christianity.  The natives of the Society Islands
having sincerely accepted Christianity, became anxious to spread the
good tidings among their heathen neighbours.  A considerable number
prepared themselves for the office of teachers.  Some went forth to the
Paumotu Group, or Low Archipelago, to the east; others to the Austral
Isles, to the south; and others, among whom was Papehia, accompanied Mr
Williams on a voyage to the Hervey group.  His first visit was to
Aitutaki, where some native teachers were left, by whose means the
natives became Christians.

After paying a second visit to Aitutaki, Mr Williams sailed in search
of Raratonga, of the position of which even he was uncertain.  He was
accompanied by Papehia, and by some natives of Raratonga, who had been
carried away by a trading vessel from their own island, and cruelly
deserted on Aitutaki.  Among them was Tapaeru, the daughter of a chief,
who had become impressed with the truth of Christianity.  At length
Raratonga was discovered, and the native teachers were landed; but had
it not been for the courage and constancy of Tapaeru, they and their
wives would have been destroyed on the first night they were on shore.
Sadly disconcerted, they returned next morning on board, and the
enterprise was about to be abandoned, when the devoted Papehia stepped
forward and volunteered to return on shore.

"Whether the natives spare me or kill me, I will land among them," he
exclaimed.  "Jehovah is my Shepherd--I am in His hand."  Clothed in a
shirt, with a few yards of calico in which he had wrapped some portions
of the holy Scriptures, the intrepid pioneer landed alone among a host
of heathen warriors, who stood on the reef with their spears poised
ready to hurl at him.  He had not trusted in vain.  He persevered, and
soon a powerful chief, Tinomana, turned to the truth, and burned his
idols.

Again Mr Williams came to Raratonga--this time to remain for many
months, to see Christianity established, to erect a large place of
worship, and to perform one of the most wonderful tasks I have ever
heard of a man single-handed doing.  It was to build in three months a
schooner of eighty tons, without one single portion of her being in
readiness.  He taught the natives to cut down, and saw, and plane the
wood; then he erected a bellows and forge for the smith's work, which he
performed himself; a lathe to turn the blocks, a rope-making machine,
and a loom to manufacture the sail-cloth.  All the time he laboured, he
taught the wondering natives in the truths of Christianity.  In three
months from the day the keel was laid, this prodigy of a vessel was
safely launched, and named "_The Messenger of Peace_."  She proved a
seaworthy, trusty little vessel, and from island to island, across many
thousand miles of water, she was the means of conveying numerous
missionaries of the gospel of peace to their benighted inhabitants.

First, several islands of the Hervey group were visited by her, and then
she sailed for Raiatea; whence, after remaining some time, she once more
sailed with a party of English missionaries and native teachers on a
long voyage, calling at the Hervey Islands, then at Savage Island, where
an unsuccessful attempt was made to land teachers.  Next, she called at
Tongatabu, already occupied by missionaries of the Wesleyan Missionary
Society.  Then she steered north for Samoa, known as the Navigators
Islands.  Here Mr Williams and his companions met with a most cordial
reception from the chiefs and people, and teachers were soon established
on several of the islands.  The Wesleyans had before sent some
missionaries to Samoa, but in a truly Christian spirit, worthy of
imitation, they agreed to yield the group to the care of the London
Missionary Society, while they devoted their exclusive attention to the
Friendly and Fiji groups.  They had made great progress among the
Friendly Islanders, and the king himself had become a Christian, when it
was resolved to attempt the conversion of the Fijians.  Between Tonga
and Fiji a constant intercourse was kept up, and thus the way seemed
opened to carry the gospel to the latter group.  There was also no lack
of interpreters, an important advantage at the first.  The first
missionaries to Fiji were established on the island of Lakemba, where,
in spite of great opposition, they laboured on faithfully and steadily,
extending their efforts to other islands, till finally the Cross was
triumphant even at Mbau, the blood-stained capital of the group, where
the cannibal monarch himself, the dreaded Thakombau, became a Christian.

In the meantime, the inhabitants of the Sandwich Islands had heard of
the gospel from English and American ships visiting the group.  No
sooner did King Rihoriho ascend the throne than he decreed that idolatry
should be abandoned, because he had discovered that his idols could not
benefit him; but he knew little or nothing of the Christian religion.
At that very time, however, the American Board of Missions had sent out
a band of missionaries to them, who on arriving to their joy heard that
the idols of Hawaii were overthrown.  They were, I believe, chiefly
Episcopalians.

While these glorious events were taking place in Eastern Polynesia, the
Church Missionary Society had sent forth missionaries among the fierce
cannibals of New Zealand.  They were joined by several Wesleyans, who
together laboured with so much perseverance and success, that a very
large number of the inhabitants became acquainted with the truths of the
gospel.  Numerous well-trained native teachers have gone forth from
Tahiti and Raratonga to the surrounding isles, and many of them to the
Loyalty and New Hebrides groups, and other parts of Western Polynesia.
Following this example, the Bishop of New Zealand has brought natives
from a large number of the islands in Western Polynesia, which he has
visited, and having instructed them, at a college he has established
near Auckland, is sending them back, to spread among their countrymen
the truths they have learned.  Thus Christianity has begun to spread
among the dark-skinned races of those almost countless islands.  To
carry the gospel to them had been one of the energetic Williams's
darling schemes; and it was while carrying it out that, landing at
Eromanga, he, with a young missionary, Mr Harris, was barbarously
murdered by the savage natives.  Still the Society persevered, and
missionaries have been established at several of the islands, and many
of the natives have become Christians.  Among these islands several
Presbyterian missionaries have been established, who have laboured
steadily and successfully in the Lord's vineyard.  Thus several sections
of the Protestant Church have been engaged cordially together in
instructing the heathen nations of the Pacific in a knowledge of the
truth, and in many instances the Holy Spirit has richly blessed their
efforts.  Still there are many hundred islands the inhabitants of which
remain in gross darkness, while a large portion of those who have been
converted require instruction, support, and the correction of errors.
Much is done through native agency, but still the superintendence of
well-educated and well-trained English missionaries is required at even
the most advanced settlements to act as overseers or superintendents.

Having now given a very brief account of the progress of Christianity
since those midnight hours when my uncle sailed in these seas, I may
commence my personal narrative.  It must be understood that I have
somewhat anticipated events in the above account.  At the time my
narrative commences, Christianity, though advancing, had not made the
great progress it has since done, and many of the islands which are now
entirely Christian, were then only partially so, heathen practices
prevailed, and the heathen chiefs had still influence and power.  It is
daylight over these regions, but nearer the dawn than noon.  Many a year
must pass away before the full blaze of the light of truth will shine
from east to west across the vast Pacific.  I must not forget to mention
the impediments which the priests of Rome, chiefly Frenchmen, endeavour
to throw in the way of the progress of the pure faith in Christ.  To
gain an influence with the natives they wink at many of their vices,
they teach them an idolatrous faith, and try to prejudice them against
the Protestants.

Having performed our contract at Raratonga, landing the missionaries and
their goods, we sailed for our fishing ground in the south, where we
were tolerably successful.  Whale catching is very hard work, and at
length it became necessary to return north, to obtain fresh provisions
and to recruit our crew.  Our captain had resolved also to try his
fortune on the fishing grounds in the neighbourhood of the New Hebrides
and the other Western Archipelago.

"A sail on the starboard bow," cried the look-out man, from aloft.  I
was officer of the watch.  We were far away from land, and meeting with
a strange sail is always a matter of interest in those seas.  I went to
the mast-head with my glass, and made out that the sail was that of a
large double canoe.  We kept away for her, not doubting that she had
been driven far out of her course.  Of this the sad spectacle which met
our eyes as we drew near convinced us.  On her deck were numerous
savages--some grouped together in the after part, others lying about in
different places, or leaning against the mast, and some apart in every
variety of attitude.  Many appeared to be dead or in the last stage of
existence.  Some few lifted up their hands imploringly towards us.
Others shook their spears and clubs, which they held in their
fast-failing grasp, possibly unconscious of what they were doing--the
ruling passion being, with them as with others, strong in death.  The
ropes of their mat sail had given way, and it no longer urged them on.
It was necessary to approach them cautiously, for, though the savages
had but little strength left, they might, in their madness, attack us.
We lowered two boats, and, with our men well armed, pulled up to them.
As we got nearly alongside, some of the people in the after group rose
from their seats, and one endeavoured to drag himself towards us.  He
was a young man--a light-coloured Indian--tall and handsome, and, unlike
most of the rest, clothed in jacket and trousers.  The others moving,
showed us a young girl of the same light hue, reclining on a pile of
mats.  She was clothed; her head was adorned with a wreath of coral, and
her arms and ankles with strings of beads.  She struck me at once as
being very beautiful, though, as I saw her nearer, I perceived that her
eye had lost its lustre, and that her face was wan and emaciated.  The
canoe was a very large one, capable of carrying a hundred and fifty
people, though not more than sixty were on board, and of that number
nearly half lay dead or dying on the deck.  It was easy to divine what
had become of the rest.  The young man made a sign that he would speak,
and pointing to the girl, he said, in a husky voice, "Save her, save
her! she Christian!" and then sunk exhausted on the deck.



CHAPTER TEN.

THE DESTRUCTION OF THE IDOLS.

The canoe, it was evident, had met with some severe weather, and she
could scarcely, we considered, have held together had she encountered
another gale.  We lost no time in getting the survivors into the boats.
The suspicions of the warriors were soon calmed by the explanations of
the young man, and they allowed us without resistance to lift them on
board.  The chief's daughter, or young princess, she might have been
called, was less exhausted than many of the strong men.  I lifted her up
with care, and placed her on her mats in the stern sheets, and pulled
back as fast as we could to the ship, that the sufferers might have the
advantage of our surgeon's assistance.  Having removed the sinnets,
mats, and other articles with which she was loaded, we abandoned the
ill-fated canoe, and stood on our course.  I asked the doctor what he
thought of the state of the Indians.  "The princess and her attendants
require careful nursing, and so does that young man, but for the rest
who are still alive I have no fear," he answered.  "The greater number
died for want of water.  They had no lack of food, I suspect."  I looked
in his face, and shuddered at the answer he gave.  Several days passed
by before the young man who had addressed us in English was again able
to speak.  He spoke but a few words of English, but enough to let me
understand that his name was John Vihala, that he was related to the
young girl, daughter of the chief or king of one of the islands; that
her name was Alea; that she had become a Christian; but that her father
and most of the family remained heathens.  She had been betrothed (as is
the custom, at an early age) to a powerful chief of a distant island,
still a heathen and a cannibal; and, notwithstanding all her prayers and
entreaties, her father insisted on her fulfilling the contract.  She, in
due state, accompanied by several of her relations and female
attendants, was placed on board the canoe, which sailed for its
destination.  At first the wind was propitious, but a fierce gale arose,
which drove the canoe out of her course for many days before it, till
those on board were unable to tell in what direction to steer to regain
their own island.  Another gale sprang up, which drove them still
farther away, and then famine began, and sickness, and then water
failed, and death followed, and despair took possession of even the
bravest.  Alea's chief relations died, but she and Vihala were
wonderfully supported.  While their heathen companions lost all hope,
they encouraged them, spoke to them of their own religion, and
endeavoured to teach the truths of the gospel.

Much to my satisfaction, Captain Buxton agreed, on hearing their story,
to take them back to their own island.  I do not mention the name of the
island for reasons which will appear.  It took us some days to beat up
to it.  It was a lovely spot, of volcanic formation, with lofty
mountains in the centre, and in most parts clothed with the richest
vegetation.  Alea and her female attendants were by this time able to
come on deck.  Her astonishment at seeing her native island was very
great, but her satisfaction was less than I expected.  I asked Vihala
the reason of this.  "She expects to be sent again to her intended
husband," he answered, in a melancholy tone.  I suspected that Vihala
loved his young cousin, nor was it surprising that he should do so.
They were of the same faith, and pity for the sad condition to which she
would be reduced if the wife of a heathen chief, would have made him
wish to free her.  We anchored the ship in a secure harbour, and at once
sent Vihala and several natives on shore as a deputation to the chief,
to inform him of the arrival of his daughter.

After some time, they returned with the announcement that the chief
would receive us, and that his daughter would be welcome.  We found him
seated under a wide-spreading tree, on a bundle of mats, in great state,
with numerous lesser chiefs and attendants standing on either side of
him.  His only clothing was a piece of native cloth wound round his
body, and he looked every inch the savage.  We expected Vihala to act as
interpreter, but when we approached the chief, a person whom we supposed
to be a native, though he had a rougher and more savage appearance than
the rest, and had on as little clothing as they, advanced a few steps,
and informed us in undoubted English, or rather Irish, that he had the
honour of being the king's prime minister, and that it was his duty to
perform that office.  His name was Dan Hoolan (a runaway seaman, we
found), and he had been fifteen years on the island, and was married and
settled with a family.

After we had made our statement, poor Alea was allowed to approach her
father, which she did in a humble posture, with fear and trembling.  He
manifested very little concern at seeing her, and directed her to be
conducted to her mother's cottage.  I was anxious to know how Alea and
Vihala had become Christians, and asked Dan if he had taught them.  "No,
indeed, I have not," he answered drawing himself up.  "I hope that I am
too good a Catholic to teach them the sort of religion they know.  There
is a sort of old missionary fellow comes over here who has taught them,
and he has left a native teacher here, who does nothing but abuse me
because I do not make the king here _lotu_, and do not _lotu_ myself, as
they call it, and give up my wives, and make myself miserable."  From
this speech of Dan Hoolan's, I had no difficulty in understanding the
state of the case.  The wretched man would not give up his own sins,
and, therefore, tried to keep the chief in heathen darkness.  It would,
however, be impolitic to quarrel with him, or, rather, wrong, because
the so doing would have increased the difficulty of bringing him round.
I should explain that the term _lotu_ means becoming a nominal
Christian.

"But I thought, friend Hoolan, you said that you were a Christian," I
remarked quietly, looking fixedly at him.

"So I am inwardly, of course, mate," he answered, with a wink he could
not suppress.  "That is to say, a right raal Catholic, as my fathers
were before me, with nothing of your missionary religion about me; but
just on the outside, maybe, I'm a heathen, just for convenience sake,
you'll understand."

I did not press the subject then, but being interested about poor Alea,
I inquired if he could tell me how her father would treat her.

"Why, send her on to her husband, of course, mate," he answered, with
the greatest unconcern; "it's the right thing to do."

"But the chief to whom she is to be given is a heathen and a cannibal,
and old enough to be her grandfather," I remarked.

"Maybe, but it's the rule; we don't set much value or women in this part
of the world," observed the prime minister; "I might have married her
myself for that matter, but it would have brought on a war with the old
chief for whom she is intended, so I did the right thing, do ye see,
mate, and let it alone."

I now turned the subject, and asked what assistance he could give in
refitting the ship and supplying fresh provisions.  He was immediately
in his element, and showed himself in worldly matters a shrewd, clever
fellow.  Everything now seemed to go on smoothly, and the repairs of the
ship progressed rapidly, while we had no lack of fresh provisions.  We
soon discovered that another double canoe was fitting out to carry Alea
to her intended husband.  My heart bled for the poor girl, and I would
have done anything to save her, I thought over all sorts of plans.  They
were, however, needless, for the next morning I heard that she had
disappeared.  No one knew where she had gone.  At first I feared that
her father had sent her off secretly; but Hoolan's rage and undisguised
fears of the consequences which might occur when the old chief
discovered that he had lost his bride, convinced me that such was not
the case.  I suspected that Vihala might have had something to do with
it when I found that he had disappeared about the same time.  We were at
first suspected, but I convinced Hoolan that we had had nothing to do
with the matter.

Several days passed, and not a clue was gained as to what had become of
the young princess.  One evening, when the men had knocked off work, as
I was sitting under an awning on deck, I saw a large canoe entering the
harbour.  It struck me that it might contain the old chief come to claim
his bride; so, as it was not my watch, I jumped into a boat and went on
shore to see what would happen.  As the canoe drew near, however, I saw
that instead of her deck being crowded with tattooed, naked, and painted
warriors, dancing, and shouting, and sounding conch-shells, all the
people on board were well clothed, while in the after part stood a
venerable-looking man with long white hair escaping from under his
broad-brimmed hat, and by his side a young lady, both evidently
Europeans.  I at once naturally walked towards the part of the beach
where they would land, and waited for them.  No sooner did the canoe
touch the shore than several natives from the crowd rushed forward, and
lifting the strangers on their shoulders, bore them, with every
demonstration of respect, to dry ground.  I at once went forward and
addressed them in English, and was warmly greeted in return.  The old
man said he came from a station about fifty miles off.  The young lady
was his daughter.  They had come over on a periodical visit to the
Christian converts of this island, and were much concerned to hear that
Vihala and the young princess had disappeared.

"They should have abided the storm," the old man remarked.  "I will go
see this heathen chief, and try again if by God's grace his heart may be
softened."

I undertook to get Pat Hoolan out of the way, as it was evident that all
his influence was exerted to prevent his master from becoming a
Christian.  I had fortunately arranged to transact some business with
him about this time; so, leaving the missionary addressing the people
under a cocoa-nut tree, I hurried up to the king's village, and without
much difficulty persuaded Hoolan to accompany me on board.  I kept him
there as long as I possibly could.  Meanwhile the missionary sought out
the chief, and found him willing to listen while he unfolded the story
of the gospel.  A long time the two conversed; and for the first time
the benighted savage heard the message of salvation.  Gradually the
truth interested him, and he began to turn a more favourable ear to the
missionary's exhortations than he had ever before done.

"Ah, would that I had Vihala with me," he would frequently exclaim to
the missionary.  "When you are gone he would instruct me further in the
wonderful things I hear."  But neither Vihala nor Alea were to be found.
He had driven them forth, there could be no doubt, by resolving to
unite his daughter to a heathen chief; and yet was Vihala free from
blame in carrying off the young princess?  The heathens said that they
had committed suicide, and were drowned, but judging from Vihala's
generally consistent character, I felt sure that that was not the case.

From the first I had felt myself drawn very much towards the venerable
missionary.  His gentleness, yet firmness of manner, his utter negation
of self and devotedness to his Master's cause were very remarkable.  His
tender love for his daughter, too, was very beautiful.  She returned it
with the deepest affection and devotion.  Accustomed as I had been to
the endearments of a happy, well-ordered home, I was sensibly touched by
it, and took every opportunity of being in their company.  It may appear
curious that three days had passed before I learned the name of the good
old man.  Everybody called him the missionary, spoke of him as the
missionary,--thrice-honoured name!  In the same way he knew me only as
the mate.  He had a house assigned to him by the chief, which, by being
partitioned off into three chambers, was made tolerably habitable.  I
was one evening drinking tea there with him and his daughter, when I
happened to mention my name.

"What! are you any relative to that devoted missionary, John Harvey?" he
asked.  When I told him that I was his brother, "Ah, that accounts for
your having so friendly a feeling for missionaries," he observed.

"I learned to respect missionaries, and to see the importance of their
work, long before my brother became one," I answered; and I then told
him of my uncle's journal, which I promised to bring on shore to show
him.  He was evidently much interested, and made many inquiries about
it.

"Does he mention the name of Joseph Bent?" he asked suddenly.

I remembered well several circumstances connected with that person.

"I am the very man," he exclaimed, grasping my hand.  "Oh, how much do I
owe to that excellent man!  He saved my life; but he did far more,--he
brought the truth before me,--he showed me my own vileness by nature;
and thus, by his instrumentality brought by grace to trust in Jesus, has
my soul been saved.  Can one man owe a greater debt to another than I
owe to him?  I had begun to like you for your own sake, and for that of
John Harvey I shall ever regard you as a son.  Your uncle was an example
of the good a true Christian layman can effect in his ordinary course in
life.  Those on board every ship in which he sailed benefited by his
presence, not so much from what he said as from what he did, from his
pure and bright example; for he was a man of few words under ordinary
circumstances, though he could speak on occasion, and well.  Many by his
means were brought to know Jesus, and to serve and love him as their
Lord and Master.  When John Harvey left the sea and went to live on
shore, he devoted his whole time to doing God's service, and great has
long since been his reward."

This was indeed an interesting discovery.  It was gratifying to me to
hear the fine old man speak thus of my uncle, as I was sure the praise
was not undeserved.  As I looked at him, too, I felt how great is the
power of grace.  I saw before me the drowning youth snatched from the
very jaws of death, and of eternal death, too, and allowed to spend a
long life in making known to the heathen the inexhaustible riches of
Christ.  From that day I naturally looked on Mr Bent as an old friend,
and was more than ever with him.  Indeed, I confess that I was thus
drawn into a more intimate acquaintance with his daughter Mary than
would have been otherwise the case, and to discover and admire her many
excellences.

The missionary was never idle during his visit to the island, and in a
week after his arrival the king declared openly that he could no longer
withstand the arguments he brought forward in support of his religion,
and that he was resolved to lotu.  Hoolan, who had been tipsy for some
days, or as he called it, enjoying himself, was very indignant when he
recovered and heard this, and hastily going to the king, advised him to
wait till the arrival of some Roman Catholic priests, who were the
proper persons to whom to lotu; but the king replied, that the advice of
a man who had been making himself no better than a hog was not worth
having; that he had heard what he was sure was true from the missionary,
and that therefore he should become of the missionary's religion.  To
show his sincerity, he resolved to destroy his gods and burn their
moraes, or temples.  His great regret was that his daughter and Vihala
were not present to see the work done.  The missionary urged him to lose
no time.  It was impossible to say what a day might bring forth.  It was
not a thing to be done lightly.  The missionary visited the king the
evening before the ceremony, and many hours were passed in prayer and in
reading the Scriptures.

The next morning the king, attended by some of his principal chiefs, and
all those who had already professed Christianity, assembled at an early
hour, armed with axes and clubs, and firebrands, and ropes, and
proceeded to the principal morae, or temple.  The heathens also
assembled, and stood at a distance trembling, in the expectation that
something dreadful would happen.  As the king approached the morae, some
of his own followers even drew back, and formed a knot at a distance.
They had been taught that their gods were full of revenge and hatred,
delighting in doing harm to mortals.  As Mr Bent considered it to be
most important that the natives should destroy their idols themselves,
we also stood some way off watching proceedings.  The king advanced,
exclaiming, "Jehovah is the true God--these are but senseless blocks of
wood.  See!"  As he uttered the last word he struck the principal idol a
blow which brought it to the ground.  He then rushed at another, several
of his chiefs following his example, and in a few minutes every idol was
overthrown.  [See Note 1.] All the time it was interesting to watch the
attitudes and gestures of the heathen, who were evidently under the
expectation that fire would come down from heaven, or that the earth
would open and destroy their impious chiefs.  Their astonishment was
proportionably great when nothing of the sort happened, and when the
iconoclasts, fastening ropes round the senseless logs, dragged them
ignominiously forth, while others of the king's followers applied their
torches in all directions to the morae, and set it on fire.  While the
conflagration was at its height several of the idols were thrown into
it, and speedily consumed; others were dragged down to the sea, where
blocks of coral were fastened to them, and they were put on board
canoes, ready to be carried into deep water and sunk; while the
remainder we secured, to be sent home as trophies won by the soldiers of
Christ.  The king and the chiefs dragged them up to us, shouting as they
did so, "The reign of Satan is at an end--the reign of Satan is at an
end."  So far I could agree with them that his kingdom was shaken to the
foundation, as it always is where the free gospel is introduced.

Just at this juncture Hoolan, who had remained on board all night, came
on shore.  His astonishment gave way to rage, and walking up to the
king, he shook his fist in his face, and asked him how he dared lotu to
the missionaries, and not wait for the arrival of the Catholic priests
whom he expected?  The chief, accustomed to the eccentricities of his
late prime minister, answered calmly:

"Because the reign of Satan is over.  The missionaries told us news
which we know to be good, and we have believed them.  When the priests
you speak of come, will they tell us better?"

Hoolan had nothing to say; he soon got calm again, and observed, as he
turned on his heel, "Well, I only hope that you'll be after getting on
as well under your new system as you did under mine, that's all."

The king made no reply.  He steadily progressed in his knowledge of the
Scriptures, and gave very hopeful signs that he was really converted.
No men could be more scrupulous as to receiving converts in name as
really converted than were all the missionaries I met; and I boldly
declare that very many of the newly converted could give a better reason
for the faith that was in them than can, alas! a very large number both
of young and old with whom I have conversed on the subject in England.
There still remained, however, a strong heathen party in the island,
under the leadership of a warlike and fierce chief, who was very likely,
we feared, to give the king a good deal of trouble.  It was necessary,
however, for Mr Bent to return to his station.  He says that, although
called by the natives a missionary, he was not employed by any society,
but felt it a privilege to help on the good work, supporting himself by
trading, and supplying necessaries to the ships that touched at the
island where he had fixed his residence.  On asking him about some of
the places mentioned in old John Harvey's journal, he said he could tell
me of wonderful works of God which he had either witnessed himself, or
of which he had heard from those in whose reports he could place the
fullest confidence.  I need scarcely say how much I felt the idea of
being parted from him and his daughter, and I bethought me that I would
ask permission from the captain to carry them back in our largest boat.
It was at once kindly granted, as a much safer mode of conveyance than a
native canoe.  I was very happy at being able to pay this last mark of
attention to those I so much esteemed; and having made every arrangement
I could think of for their comfort during our short voyage, I received
them on board at the earliest dawn, in the hopes that we might reach the
station before night fell.  How true is the saying, "Man proposes, God
disposes."  Oh that men would therefore throw all their cares on the
Lord, remembering alway that "He careth for us."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 1.  In the early Missionary Reports wonderful narratives are given
of the speedy destruction of idolatry in many of the islands.  With too
sanguine hopes, some of the missionaries spoke of these revolutions as
the result of religious zeal, and even quoted the prophecy of "a nation
being born in a day."  A few years' experience taught them that in many
instances the first profession of Christianity was due to various
influences, and that the people with impetuous impulse followed the
example of their chiefs.  Not without prayerful labour and long patience
did the missionaries at length obtain precious fruits of spiritual
conversion from the good seed sown in these regions.  The statement in
our narrative only expresses what was often true as a historical fact.
In "Brown's History of Missions," volume two, will be found some of the
more remarkable instances of the sudden overthrow of idolatry.



CHAPTER ELEVEN.

VIHALA'S NARRATIVE.

The missionary and his daughter were on the beach attended by a number
of natives, among whom was the chief, so lately a fierce heathen, now
deeply affected at the thought of parting from his friend.  As the boat
drew near, they all knelt down and offered up prayers, reminding me
forcibly of the departure of Paul the apostle from Miletus.  It was a
deeply interesting sight.  In the centre was the venerable missionary
with his silvery hair, his daughter kneeling by his side, while around
were the king and other chiefs and people, with many women and children.
My men without my orders lay on their oars till the prayers had ceased.
We then pulled in, and my friends embarked, when the natives burst
forth into a hymn, and as we rowed away from the land, we continued to
hear it still growing fainter and fainter, till the sound was lost in
the increasing distance.  We then set our sails and glided swiftly and
pleasantly over the sparkling waters.  I felt very happy.  I would not
think of the separation to take place, and determined to enjoy the
society of my friends to the utmost.  This, perhaps, prevented me from
observing as carefully as I might have done the signs of a change in the
weather.  I believe, however, that Mr Bent, who had more experience as
a seaman in this ocean than I possessed, had perceived but he said
nothing.  The wind suddenly dropped, then it sprung up again, then once
more dropped, and the boat scarcely moved through the water.  At last it
fell altogether, and the sun's rays struck down with intense violence.
My men, however, willingly took to the oars, and we proceeded slowly on
our course.  Still the island was far away, and I lost all hopes of
reaching it before dark, though I could not persuade myself that there
was any danger to be apprehended.  Mr Bent, however, more than once
cast a look round the horizon, anxious more on his daughter's account
than his own.  We had lowered the sail, for it was useless keeping it
set.  Suddenly Mr Bent exclaimed, "Here it comes, round with her head,
David."  I looked up, and saw a foam-covered sea rolling towards us.  I
placed the boat's head so as to receive it, while the men pulled on
steadily as before.  The question was whether they would be able to
continue so doing.  The gale was coming from the west, and should it
blow with the same fury for any length of time, we might be driven far
away to the east without falling in with any land where shelter could be
found.  I was thankful that my friends were not on board a native canoe.
It would have fared much worse with them.  We had the means of finding
our way, and might beat back when the weather moderated.  Mary behaved
with beautiful composure when the sea came seething and hissing up
alongside us.  "This is only one of the trials and dangers to which
missionaries are exposed," she observed.  "We should bear it patiently
and trustfully."

"Trustfully!"  How seldom employed, how still less frequently made a
practical use of.  That one word described much of her character.

The gale soon reached its height; the sea, lashed into fury, seemed one
mass of foam, and broke over us so frequently that every instant I
expected the boat to be swamped.  Two men baling could scarcely keep her
free.  Our only chance was to run before it, for the strength of the
crew no longer availed to keep our small craft's head to wind.  The
danger of getting her round was very great; should a sea strike her on
the beam, it would have rolled her over helplessly.  I gave exact orders
what was to be done--one man to hoist the foresail, two to pull round
with the starboard oars, the rest to spring aft so as to throw the
greatest weight into the stern of the boat, thus allowing her head to
come round more rapidly.  I waited till a heavy sea had rolled past, and
then before we had sunk to the hollow I gave the word.  For the first
time Mr Bent and his daughter turned pale.  The boat flew round, and
seemed to be climbing up the ascent towards the crest which had just
hissed by, and then on we darted with the small patch of sail we could
show to the gale.

On, on we went, the huge seas rolling up astern of us, and appearing as
if they would come down and overwhelm us.  During all my nautical career
I had never been in an open boat exposed to such a gale, though
frequently in a big ship, and even then I have felt the helplessness,
the nothingness of man.  Still more sensibly now was it brought before
me--"He commandeth and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the
waves thereof.  They mount up to the heaven, they go down to the depths;
their soul is melted because of trouble.  Then they cry unto the Lord in
their trouble, and He bringeth them out of their distresses."  The
missionary was repeating those lines, which come so home to the
Christian sailor's heart; and at his exhortation, we offered up our
united supplications for protection in our sore distress.  To the few
solemn words which he spoke, the seamen listened earnestly.  They knew
that at any moment they might be summoned away.  I felt an unusual
calmness.  I may say that I had no fear: I knew the danger, and yet I
believed that we should be preserved.

On, on we drove, farther and farther to the east, our view now confined
to the sides of the two seas, in the dark trough between which we
floated, seemingly about to be swallowed up, and now lifted on the
summit of a foam-crested billow to the tumultuous mountain masses of
water which madly leaped and danced one beyond the other till lost in
the line where the murky sky sunk over the seething caldron.  We had an
abundance of provisions on board, but for many hours anxiety prevented
any one of us from wishing to partake of them, even the rough seamen
seemed indifferent about the matter.  At length, however, Mr Bent and I
agreed that Mary ought to take some food, which, after a blessing had
been asked for, she did, the rest of the party following her example.

We all felt wonderfully refreshed, and hope revived in the hearts of the
most desponding.  Still we could scarcely dare to conjecture by what
means we should be saved.  We could not conceal from ourselves that the
gale might continue to blow for many days, and that we might be driven
far away to the east, whence a long time would be occupied in returning,
or that we might be thrown on one of the numberless coral reefs of those
seas, or hurled against some rocky shore and be dashed to pieces, while
we knew that any moment some cross sea might strike us and send us to
the bottom.  I have heard of people's hair turning grey in a single
night.  The anxiety I began to feel the moment I allowed myself to dwell
on our too possible fate would quickly have turned my hair grey, and yet
directly I turned my gaze upward, and put my trust in Him who said to
the waves, "Peace, be still," all my anxious fears vanished, and hope
came back strong as ever.  The missionary all the time maintained the
most perfect and beautiful equanimity, not speaking much, but
occasionally offering a few words of encouragement to his daughter.  She
looked up in his face and smiled.

"I have no fear," she said, calmly.  "We cannot be separated, dear
father.  Should the ocean overwhelm us, we shall together begin a joyful
eternity.  You have taught me that our Redeemer liveth.  `I know in whom
I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I
have committed unto Him against that day.'"  This hope gave her courage
when others would have shrieked with fear.

The gale continued, the boat driven before it.  The night approached.
Darkness came down on the face of the waters.  Oh, the horrors of that
night.  The sea roared and hissed, and we knew that those mountain waves
were following us as before, though the sight could scarcely distinguish
the vast watery masses which, in the obscurity, seemed doubled in
height.  That a delicate girl should exist through the time appeared
indeed surprising; yet, anxious as I was, I could discover no failing of
strength or energy in her.

When the sun went down, the missionary had called on us all to join in
prayer.  At midnight he did so again, thereby comfort and consolation
being brought to the souls, I believe, of all of us.  He then offered to
take the helm, to allow me a short sleep, which nature much required.
The instant my hand was off the helm, I dropped down and was fast
asleep, too soundly even to dream.  I was awoke by a cry from the men,
and starting up, I beheld a sight sufficient to alarm the stoutest
heart.  Before us in the direction the men were gazing, as we rose to
the summit of a sea, appeared in the grey light of morning a long row of
breakers unbroken apparently for miles, the sign of a coral reef.  The
sea, hurled against it, rose to a height so great in a wall of foaming
water that it was impossible to see beyond whether there was land or
not; indeed that was a matter of indifference I felt, as the boat must
be dashed to pieces and overwhelmed the instant it reached those fearful
breakers.  These were the thoughts which flew rapidly through my mind as
with the first impulse of waking I looked ahead.  My next was to turn
round, when I saw the venerable missionary standing up on the after seat
gazing earnestly ahead, while his daughter clung to his legs in her
anxiety lest he should be thrown overboard with the violent movement of
the boat.

I could not help being struck, even at that moment, with the appearance
of the old man, so calm and collected, and so earnest as he kept his eye
fixed on some object ahead.  "Courage, courage, friends!  God will find
us a way to escape," he cried out, at length.  "An opening appears in
the reef; yes, yes, the boat is heading in for it."  As he spoke, I
observed a dark spot in the wall of foam which an unpractised eye would
not have discovered.  As we rushed on towards the breakers, it increased
in width till I felt assured that it was indeed an opening, and now
beyond it appeared the tops of palm, pandanus, and other trees of those
regions, giving us the assurance that we should find land and a haven
where we might rest secure from the storm.  Still, humanly speaking, our
peril was fearful.  The greatest skill and judgment were required to
guide a boat in a direct course across the tumultuous sea on which we
floated.  But looking up at the calm countenance of the missionary, as
he called me to his side, I had no doubt about the result.  On we flew.
On either side appeared those walls of foam; one narrow space alone was
to be seen where the waves rushed in unbroken by the resistance of the
reef.  We mounted to the summit of a vast billow--it seemed as if it
were about to hurl us on the reef.  In another instant we must be
struggling helplessly amid that foaming mass of water I heard a cry of
despair from more than one of my men.  But no, the boat's head again
turned towards the opening, and gliding down the billow we dashed
through it, and saw on either side a comparatively smooth lagoon
extending between the reef and the shore.  The sheet was immediately
hauled aft, and we ran along parallel with the beach in search of a
favourable place for landing.  We could scarcely judge of the size of
the island, but we supposed it to be about three miles in length, and a
mile or two in width, but Mr Bent did not know its name nor the
character of its inhabitants.

The question now arose as to whether they were the treacherous savages
and cannibals most of the islanders of those seas were till the
introduction among them of Christianity, and would attempt our
destruction as soon as we landed, or whether they would receive us with
kindness and hospitality.  As yet we had seen neither houses nor people;
but a smooth beach appearing, with a natural quay of rocks, we resolved
to land.  We stood in towards the shore, and soon found a calm dock,
into which we ran the boat and secured her.  With thankful hearts we
stepped on the dry land, when the missionary exclaimed, "Let us, dear
friends, return thanks to God for the merciful deliverance He has
vouchsafed us."  Following his example, we all knelt in prayer, bursting
forth at the end in a hymn of thanksgiving.  While we were thus engaged
a sound made me look up, and I saw emerging from among the cocoa-nut
trees a band of unclad Indians with long hair and beards, and armed with
spears, and bows, and clubs.  That they were still savage heathens there
could be no doubt.  However, as emerging from the wood they saw us
kneeling, they stopped, apparently watching us with the greatest
astonishment.  Not till we rose from our knees did they again advance.
Flourishing their weapons, however, with frightful gestures, they rushed
towards us.  Happily they did not shoot their arrows.  Mr Bent called
out to them, but so loud were their shrieks and cries that his voice was
not heard.  We had a couple of muskets and a fowling piece in the boat;
but so completely wetted had they been, that I doubted if they would go
off, even had there been time to get them.  We waved our handkerchiefs
and lifted up our hands, to show that we were unarmed, and desired their
friendship; but they disregarded all our signs, and came rushing on.
Our destruction appeared inevitable.

"It's hard lines to lose our lives by these savages, after escaping all
the dangers of the seas," exclaimed one of my men near me.

"Friend, God knows what is best for us," said the missionary, calmly.
"His will is never really hard, though we may think it so.  Trust in
Him."

Mary was clinging to her father's arm, ready to share his fate.  I stood
by her side, resolved to defend her to the last.  The savages were close
upon us, when another person appeared from the wood, flying at full
speed towards us, shouting at the same time in a loud voice to the
savages.  He was fully clothed in native fashion, and at first I thought
that he was a chief, till, as he came nearer, I recognised in him our
missing friend Vihala, the Christian teacher.  The natives stopped when
they became aware of his approach, and, finding that we made no
resistance, contented themselves with standing around us, till he,
rushing through them, cast himself down at the feet of the missionary,
sobbing with joy at again seeing him.  He then turned round to the
natives, telling them that we were their greatest friends, and had left
our homes and come from a far-off land to do them good.  He spoke in a
manly, authoritative tone, and greatly to our relief the savages at once
retired, watching us at a distance.  Mary's first inquiry was for Alea,
in whom she took a great interest.  "She is here, and safe," answered
Vihala; and he then briefly recounted the way in which they had been
brought to the island.

When first escaping, their intention had been to visit Mr Bent, and to
get him to intercede with Alea's father, and to try and conciliate the
heathen chief to whom she was betrothed: but the small canoe in which
they had embarked being driven out of its course, they were unable to
find their way back, and finally reached this island.  The weather had
greatly moderated before they got near it, or their frail canoe would in
all probability have been dashed to pieces on the reef.  They found a
passage similar to that by which we entered, and with fear and
hesitation approached the beach.  Still they had no choice; their water
and food was expended, they were suffering from hunger and thirst, and
their limbs were cramped and chilled, and they must land or perish.
Their chief hope was that the island was not inhabited; for they knew
too well the savage character of the people of most of the islands
surrounding their own to have much hope of escaping without being either
killed or made slaves.  They had little doubt that there were
inhabitants, from the fertile appearance of the country, and as their
canoe touched the beach a number of savages darted out of the wood and
surrounded them.  They cried out that they had come with no evil intent,
and that they had some news of great importance to announce to them.
Notwithstanding this, the savages showed an inclination to maltreat
them, and were proceeding to rifle their canoe, when another party
appeared on the stage.  Vihala at once saw that they were chiefs or
people of consideration, and immediately thereupon cried out, and
entreated that their lives might be spared.  The chiefs, for such they
were, came forward, and with some interest asked numerous questions in
their native tongue, and soon there commenced a most affectionate
rubbing of noses all round, and Vihala discovered with great
satisfaction that the chiefs were his own relatives, who had left their
native island some years previously, and were supposed to have been
lost.  Alea, as the daughter of the king, they treated with even more
consideration than Vihala.

Most providential was the influence the young people were thereby
enabled to gain over their savage countrymen; nor did they fail to
endeavour immediately to exercise it for good.  This was clearly one of
God's ways of working, and one which has been more than once employed in
Polynesia.  They had glorious tidings to give,--to describe the new and
beautiful religion brought to them by people from a far-off country, who
had left their native land, their homes, and their families for love of
their souls, in obedience to the loving, merciful God whom they served.
Some listened, rejoicing in the news; others would not understand, and
many turned aside altogether.  A small band had, however, been taught by
the Spirit to acknowledge Jesus as their Saviour, and they now welcomed
heartily the missionary who had at first brought the glad news into that
region.  Vihala was able to repeat many of the words of truth, which
were dropped as seeds in the hearts of the people.  The conduct of Alea,
even in her living in a different part of the island from Vihala,
excited their curiosity and gained their attention.  So admirable an
example had they set, and assiduously had they laboured, that many of
those who had become Christians were already well instructed in the
faith, and could give a reason for the hope that was in them.  Even the
heathen party appeared to have no enmity towards them; when they heard
that we were people of peace, and anxious only to do them good, they
showed their friendly disposition by bringing us provisions, and in
preparing a house for our reception under the direction of Vihala.

Alea was on the other side of the island when we arrived, so that we had
been on shore some time before she appeared.  The meeting between Mary
and her was very affecting.  She threw herself into Mary's arms, and
sobbed aloud with joy, exclaiming, "Oh, my sister, my sister,--my more
than sister,--my teacher, my mother, my soul's friend!--and have I found
you again?  Do I once more hear that dear voice,--do I once more kiss
those sweet lips which have told me such holy truths?  Ah me!  I have
gone through much pain and terror, and sorrow and suffering of the
spirit, and I have done very wrong, I fear; but I think that I am
forgiven, because that I am allowed once more to see you in this
wonderful way."

Often have I since thought of the words uttered by that young
unsophisticated child of nature, so lately a child of Satan, and the
remarks made by the venerable missionary to me:--"`My soul's friend!'
Do we, with all our learning, and knowledge, and religious privileges,
thus measure the value of our friends?  How many of our friends are our
soul's friends?  Oh, as we value our souls, let us try and find out and
cling to those which are so.  Do we value most the lips which tell us
holy truths or those which speak to us pleasant words,--flattering
words?  Let us seek, my friend, those only whose lips ever speak to us
holy truths,--who will tell us of our faults,--who will not flatter with
their tongues."

I will not repeat more of his remarks, but I may mention that, like all
faithful pastors of the Lord's flock, he never lost an opportunity of
inculcating the truth, of exhorting of advising.  He knew the value of a
soul in his Master's sight.  The chiefs assured us that our boat would
be safe; so having unloaded her, we hauled her up on the beach, and left
her in charge of some natives, with whom it was arranged my men should
lodge till we were again able to put to sea.  I took one of them with me
well armed, as I was myself; for I own that I did not like altogether to
trust the missionary and his daughter alone among the savages, the
greater number of whom were still heathen in all their notions and
customs.



CHAPTER TWELVE.

A LOVING WELCOME.

We now set off with Alea and her friends through the woods to the other
side of the island.  The natives kept at a respectful distance, the
children peeping at us out of the entrances to their huts or from behind
the trees, we being the first white people they had ever seen.  We
reached at length the shore of a beautiful sandy bay, where in a grove
of cocoa-nuts we found Vihala busily employed in forming divisions in a
large native hut to suit our requirements.  So assiduously had he and
his Christian converts worked, that it was almost ready for our
reception.  The people began immediately to assemble round us, expecting
that the missionary would address them, as Vihala had been accustomed to
do, but he told them that we were weary from our long voyage and needed
rest, as indeed we did.  "No, no, my friend," said Mr Bent, "do not
send the people away till we have bestowed on them some portion of the
bread of life."  On this, greatly fatigued though he was, the missionary
spoke to them in plain and simple, yet in tender and glowing words, of
the great love of God for a perishing world, which caused Him to send
His only Son down on earth, that all who believe in Him should not
perish, but have life everlasting.  Many wept and cried out that they
were sinners, and entreated that he would talk to them again of this
matter as soon as he was able.

After an ample repast, provided by the natives, we retired to rest
without fear, for we felt that we were watched over by One who never
slumbers nor sleeps.  I do not believe that I ever slept more soundly in
my life.

The next morning the people again assembled to hear the missionary
deliver his message, his glad tidings of great joy, and glad tidings
indeed they were to many of those long-benighted beings.  They had never
dreamed of a God of love; their only notion of a superior power was one
which inspired them with awe and terror.  I have frequently observed
that the unsophisticated minds of savages grasp the simple and glorious
truths of the gospel with an avidity and a power of comprehension which
would be surprising to those who have been accustomed week after week
and year after year to set the same truths before those to whom they are
familiar.  As I heard Mr Bent and Vihala addressing the people, whose
upturned eager earnest countenances I watched, my heart glowed within
me, and I longed to be able also to spread the same glad tidings among a
race so eager to receive them.  Mary Bent was not idle either, for she
had collected round her a number of young women and girls, to whom she
was telling the same truths in a way calculated to fix them on their
memories.

I deeply regretted that we could not remain on the island till some at
least had been thoroughly instructed in the doctrines of Christianity,
but it was clearly my duty to return as soon as I possibly could to my
ship.  "Find out what is right and do it, independent of all other
considerations," was a maxim in which I had been instructed.  Mr Bent,
although more anxious to remain for some time longer even than I was,
saw things in the same light I set to work, therefore, with my crew to
prepare our boat for sea, so as to commence our return voyage directly
the storm should cease and the sea become calm.

A week, however, elapsed before I considered that we might safely
venture to put to sea.  When the natives heard that we were about to
take our departure, they entreated with tears that we would remain some
time longer.  Finding that they could not prevail, they then of their
own accord begged that Vihala might be left with them.  This was a sore
trial to him, for Alea had been convinced that it was her duty at once
to return to her father, and the separation was grievous to both.  Still
the path of duty seemed clearly marked out for them.  There was no
hesitation.  Vihala felt that he could not abandon those who had been so
lately taught to know the truth, and who so much needed further
instruction.  The young people consoled themselves that they might soon
again meet to be united for ever.  "Fear not, dearest," said Vihala.
"Let us put our trust in God.  We are doing our duty.  He always
protects those who do that."  Still, though they thus bravely spoke,
they were both deeply affected at parting.

A large multitude of the natives accompanied us to the beach, and
earnest prayers were offered up for our safety.  Mary and her friend
were already in the boat, when there was a cry among the crowd, which
opening in the centre, several men appeared dragging by ropes what
looked like logs of wood.  "Here, take these things," they shouted.
"These were once our gods--we are ashamed of them; but they will serve
to show the people of other lands that we are no longer what we were,
trusting to blocks of wood and stone, but disciples of the true God, who
made the heavens, and the earth, and all things therein.  Take them--
take them with you, or cart them into the sea, so that we may never
behold them again."  The boat was already fully loaded; but we could not
refuse this request, so fixing one at the stern, and another at the
bows, and some smaller idols under the seats, we, thus freighted, pulled
out through the reef and made sail for the mission station.

The wind was light, and we could scarcely expect to accomplish the
voyage within three days.  As however the boat was large, we were able
to fit up a small shelter, in which Mary and Alea could sleep with
tolerable comfort while the weather was fine.  The conversation of Mr
Bent I found of unspeakable advantage.  He and I kept watch and watch,
though I insisted on keeping five to his three, not to run the risk of
fatiguing him overmuch.  I remember, during a midnight watch, feeling
some uneasy sensations come over me with occasional shivering, but at
the time thought little of it.

The second morning dawn had just broken, when I saw in the distance an
object, which, as we neared it, proved to be a large double canoe.
Where she could have come from, and what was the character of the people
on board I could not tell, and this caused me no little anxiety.  Still,
without going much out of our course, it would be difficult to avoid
them.  I awoke Mr Bent, and we agreed to sail directly on, taking no
notice of them, unless the people showed a friendly disposition.  In a
short time we got near enough to ascertain without doubt that she was
crowded with heathen warriors, who were indulging themselves in every
conceivable variety of violent gesticulation.  We had too much reason to
believe that they would attack us.  Our men loaded the firearms, but I
hoped that we might avoid having to fight for our lives.  Providentially
the wind was light.  Under sail the canoe could beat us hollow, but we
could pull faster than she could.  I accordingly ordered the oars to be
got out, so as to avoid her if necessary.  Suddenly, however, as she got
close to us down came her sail, and all the warriors prostrated
themselves on the deck, where they remained as we glided by.  Had we
been alone we should have boarded them, but with Mary and Alea on board,
we felt it more prudent to avoid them.

The wind soon again springing up, on we sailed, and as long as we could
distinguish the people on the deck, they were seen still lying down as
they were when we passed.  The cause of this strange behaviour did not
till then strike me, when my eye fell on the hideous idol in our bow,
and I found many months afterwards that I was right in my conjectures,
when I met with one of the men who had formed the crew of the canoe.  He
and his companions were among the most ferocious of the cannibals of the
Pacific.  On seeing us they had borne down upon us intending our
destruction.  When, however, they saw the two hideous idols stuck up at
either end of the boat, they were impressed with the idea that some
powerful gods were on a cruise, or about to visit some new country, and
completely awestruck, they dared not examine us further.  Thus were we
delivered from another great danger.  It was not till we were out of
sight of the war-canoe, that Mary and Alea awaking, we told them of what
had occurred.  The Indian girl trembled, as well she might, for there
was much reason to suppose that it belonged to the heathen chief to whom
she was betrothed, and that had she been discovered she would have been
carried away as a prisoner.  Again a feeling of illness came over me,
for which I could not account, but I exerted myself and succeeded in
overcoming the sensation.

Our voyage continued prosperous though our progress was slow, and it was
not till the morning of the fourth day that we sighted the high land
above the missionary station.  As we sailed in through an intricate
passage, under the guidance of Mr Bent, we saw people collecting on the
beach.  He stood up and waved to them with his daughter resting on his
arm.  A minute passed, when it was evident that he was recognised, for
there was an immediate hurrying to and fro--numbers rushing down to the
beach from all quarters, clapping and stretching out their hands, and
leaping, and dancing, with other demonstrative gesticulations; and as we
got closer we could hear them shouting forth their welcomes, and then a
song of gratitude and praise arose from the mouths of the many hundreds
collected together.  The reception was truly touching and gratifying.
"Oh, how they love my father!" said Mary.  Those words spoke volumes.  I
did not propose allowing myself more than an hour on shore, intending to
start immediately for my ship.

Scarcely, however, had I walked ten paces than I tottered, and should
have fallen had not Mr Bent and some of the natives caught me; and I
found myself carried away to his house.  My impression was that I was
dying, and Mr Bent insisting that he would not allow me to undertake
the voyage, I begged that my men would return to the ship.  As the
coxswain was a steady fellow, and the wind was fair, I had no anxiety as
to their finding their way.  The boat, therefore, immediately sailed,
and I was left alone at the missionary station.  I have ever felt that
it was providential my illness seized me when it did, for had I
embarked, I do not believe, humanly speaking, that I should have
survived.  I use the term providential, at the same time that I believe
nothing happens to us which is not subject to God's providing care.  For
many days Mr Bent believed that my life hung by a thread, as the
expression is, and it was owing, as far as human means were concerned,
to his and his daughters watchful care that I recovered, and to his
knowledge of medicine.

I do not wish to trouble the reader of this narrative with more than is
seemly of my personal affairs, but I must briefly refer to what proved
the happiest event of my life.  After having seen so much of Mary Bent,
I felt that no pain could be greater than that of having to part from
her, and I found also to my joy that she had given me her affection.  We
at once told all to Mr Bent.

"My only regret, if I have one, David, is, that you are not a
missionary," was his reply.  "I had wished Mary to have become the
helpmate of one entirely devoted to the glorious service of our Lord and
Master."

"But, sir, surely without being set aside exclusively for the work of a
missionary, I may labour not without effect in the Lord's vineyard," I
answered, promptly, for I had often read and often felt how much might
really be done by a Christian layman in the cause of Christ.

"True, true, David, and I pray God that you and many more like you may
thus labour in whatever course of life you are called," answered the
missionary.  "I believe you, indeed I may say that I know you, to be (as
far as one man can judge another) a true and sincere Christian, or no
consideration would induce me to entrust my child to you.  I do,
however, give her to you with confidence that you will watch over her
spiritual, as I am assured you will over her temporal welfare."

I will not repeat more that Mr Bent said to me on the occasion.  The
exhortation he then uttered I have repeated often to others.  Husbands
and wives, do you watch over each other's spiritual welfare?  Are you
each jealously watchful over every word and action which may lead the
other into sin?  With whom do you associate?  In what sort of amusements
do you indulge?  What sort of places do you prefer to visit?  In these
matters your consciences do not accuse you.  Very well.  But do you pray
together, and pray aright?  Do you read the Scriptures together?  Are
you constantly pointing out to each other the heavenward way?  Do you
more earnestly desire each other's salvation than all the wealth the
world can give, than all earthly blessings?  Have you assured yourselves
that you will meet together before the great white throne clothed in the
bright robes of the Lamb?  Surely those alone are truly happy and fitly
matched who can answer yes, yes, in a joyful chorus, to such questions.

It would be profitable if I could repeat many of the remarks made to me
from time to time by Mr Bent.  "How sad it is that seamen are generally
so ignorant of their awful responsibilities, and of the immeasurable
amount of good they have it in their power to effect in the Christian
cause during their visits to foreign lands," he one day observed to me.
"Ay, alas! and to think of the immeasurable amount of harm they by their
too general conduct produce.  Thousands and thousands of professed
Christian seamen are found every day in the year at seaports inhabited
by heathens.  Into what disrepute do they too generally bring
Christianity, instead of exhibiting its beauty and excellence by the
propriety and correctness of their lives--I will not say, as I could
wish, by their purity and holiness.

"It is impossible to calculate the amount of harm nominally Christian
seamen have produced among these islands of the Pacific.  There have
been bright exceptions, especially among the British ships of war
happily commanded by Christian officers; Sir Everard Home, Captain
Waldegrave, and others--names that will ever be honoured among the isles
of the Pacific.  Several masters of whalers and merchantmen also have
come here and done credit to the Christian character; but the larger
number, with their crews, have done incalculable mischief to the hapless
natives, and when they have found their evil practices opposed by the
missionaries of the gospel, they have wreaked their revenge by spreading
on their return home reports intended to injure them, and to prevent the
spread of Christianity among the isles of the Pacific.  God ever
protects those labouring earnestly in His cause; and although these
reports have done little harm at home, they will have to render up a
tremendous account for their own doings among the inhabitants of
Polynesia.  The missionaries and their supporters only desire that those
at home should read their statements as well as the reports of their
traducers, feeling assured that every impartial judge will pronounce a
verdict in their favour.  The missionaries to the Pacific desire that
their fellow-men should approve their proceedings, not for their own
sakes (for to their Master they joyfully and confidently commit their
cause), but that their so glorious cause may not suffer, and may obtain
the required support."

But to return to my narrative.



CHAPTER THIRTEEN.

THE ROMANCE OF MISSIONS.

I have not described the mission station where I had spent the last few
weeks.  It was beautifully situated on gently rising ground backed by
lofty hills wooded to their very summits.  Here and there dark and
rugged masses of rock might be seen peeping out from amid the trees and
streams of sparkling water falling down their sides far away below into
basins of foam, and then taking their course in rapid, bubbling rivulets
towards the blue sea.  The windows of the house, which were very large
to admit a free current of air, and were shaded by a deep-roofed
verandah, looked on one side up towards the hills, and on the other over
the boundless ocean.  The interior was a pattern of neatness.  The
furniture, though simple, was pretty and well made, with snowy white
curtains to the windows and beds, and green blinds to keep out the glare
of that hot clime.  The verandah ran completely round the house, and a
thick thatch of leaves formed a roof which effectually prevented the
sun's rays from penetrating below.  In front was a pretty flower-garden,
and in the rear a well-stocked kitchen garden, producing in perfection
all the native vegetables, fruits, and roots, as well as many from
Europe.  The islanders there saw even their own fruits and roots
increased in size, and improved in flavour by careful culture.  Near it
was a cool grove of cocoa-nut palm and bread-fruit trees, through which
a fresh current of trade wind was continually blowing.

The church, although built by the natives of wood--under the direction
of course of Mr Bent--was a commodious and imposing edifice.  The
school-house was also a large and neat building.  In its neighbourhood
was a long street of cottages inhabited by natives, constructed after
the plan of the teachers' dwellings--some of stone or rather rock coral,
and others of wood--all having both flower and kitchen gardens, while
round the settlement were extensive fields where the chief food for the
support of the community was produced.  Of the many missionary stations
which I have visited, all are more or less like the one I have
described.  The missionaries have thus not only taught the natives of
these wide-scattered islands the truths of the gospel, but by
practically showing them the very great advantages which civilised men
possess over savages, they have induced them to become industrious, and
to learn those elementary arts by which alone their civilisation can be
advanced and secured.  However, it must be remembered that very few
communities are so favourably placed that they can advance far in
civilisation unless they have the means of exchanging the produce of
their labour with that of other people, and on this account Mr Bent was
very anxious to obtain another vessel in lieu of one which had been
lost, so that he might enable the natives under his special charge to
trade with other islanders, and might at the same time convey
missionaries and teachers wherever they might desire to move.

I offered to assist in building such a craft--a schooner which could be
easily handled--and afterwards to take command of her should the _Golden
Crown_ not return for me.  In the event of her appearing, I hoped that
still Captain Buxton would give me my discharge; but should he be
unwilling to comply with my wish I purposed returning out to the island
as soon as possible, that I might marry Mary Bent, and then commence the
very important undertaking I had proposed.

That no time might be lost, we forthwith drew out the plan of our
vessel.  I was still unable to move about to assist Mr Bent; he,
however, at once set the natives to work to cut down the necessary
trees, and to prepare the timber.  When we remembered how much that
great and good missionary, Williams, had accomplished single-handed, we
agreed that we ought not to be daunted by any difficulties which might
occur.  We had already an ample supply of tools, a carpenter's and a
blacksmith's workshop, and several of the younger natives had become, if
not perfectly skilled, at all events very fair artisans; indeed, fully
capable of performing all the rougher work, both of wood and iron, which
would be required.  Indeed, I may say, that in a great degree they made
up for their want of skill by their teachableness and anxiety to do
their work in a satisfactory manner.  They understood as clearly as we
did the importance of the undertaking, both on account of the worldly
advantage it might prove to them, and the benefit of a religious
character the vessel might convey to others.  The more I saw the work
progressing as I lay helpless on my couch, and the more I thought of the
benefit, not one alone, but a fleet of such vessels, might prove to the
Pacific isles, the more eagerly I prayed for my recovery, that I might
take my share in it.  It was indeed a joyful day when at length I was
able to go out and join the rest, even although only for a short time,
in the work.

I had brought my uncle's journal with me that I might lend it to Mr
Bent, as I felt sure that he would be interested in reading it.  "The
perusal of that manuscript has caused me tears of joy and thankfulness,"
he observed, as he returned it to me.  "Wonderful, under God's
providence, are the changes which have been wrought among the
inhabitants of a large portion of Polynesia since the time of which he
wrote.  They have indeed truly been called from out of darkness into
light; and even those who have not been converted, benefit by the light
which shines among them.  The description he gives of their spiritual
condition and of the scenes which were constantly enacted among them is
indeed most true.  You see what they have become; you see order and
civilisation prevailing among those who were considered the most savage
and debased; places of worship, educated and enlightened ministers,
well-regulated schools, a large proportion able to read the word of God
in their own tongue; but you are not acquainted with the means by which
this glorious change has been wrought--with what may be called `the
transition state' of Polynesia.  One of the chief reasons why people at
home are incredulous as to the present condition of these islands is,
that they are ignorant of the events which have occurred, and of the
nature of the instrumentality which has been employed.  They say that
man could not have done it, and, therefore, that it cannot have been
done.  They are right in saying that man could not have done it, but it
has been done by the Holy Spirit of God working by means of human
agency; weak things have indeed been employed to confound the strong."

I was seated with Mr Bent and his daughter at our evening meal--the
labours of the day being over--enjoying the cool sea breeze, which
blowing through the room afforded us that strength and refreshment which
our frames, exhausted by the heat, greatly required.  I assured him how
thankful I should be to have the account he offered, confessing that
except with respect to the islands at which we had touched, and where I
could judge of the changed state of the people, I was still very
ignorant of the condition of the principal part of the inhabitants of
Polynesia.  Indeed, I owned, that had I believed the accounts given in
two works we had on board, I should have supposed that the inhabitants
had rather suffered than benefited by the advent of missionaries among
them, and that from being light-hearted, happy beings, they had become
morose, discontented, and inhospitable.  I mentioned Kotzebue's "Voyage
round the World," in which work the author abuses the missionaries in
unmeasured terms, and another by a Mr Beale, the surgeon of a South-Sea
whaler, who, in a book full of valuable descriptions of whales, and the
mode of catching them, loses no opportunity of showing his dislike to
missionaries, and the principles they have inculcated on their native
converts.

"Yes, indeed," said Mr Bent; "I might mention several other works of a
similar character, which, I believe, have prevented many persons from
supporting missions to these seas, or served as an excuse to them for
not doing so; but I also have many works written by men of high
standing, and thoroughly unprejudiced as witnesses, who do full justice
to the labours of my missionary brethren, or rather, I would say, to the
results which by their instrumentality have been produced.  The Hon.
Captain Keppel (now Admiral Yelverton), of HMS _Meander_, who visited
these islands in 1850, will, I know, speak in favourable terms.  Captain
Erskine, of HMS _Havannah_, has done so in a very interesting work on
the `Islands of the Pacific' Captain Wilkes, of the United States navy,
in his `Voyages round the World,' speaks most favourably of the result
of missionary enterprise; and so indeed do many other naval officers of
both nations.  I myself must be considered as an impartial witness to
the magnitude of the work which has resulted from the labours of the
agents of the various societies which have sent the gospel of peace to
the islands of these seas.  On being rescued from more than death by
your uncle I was received back as a returned prodigal by my family, and
was enabled to pursue a course of studies which would fit me for the
work to which I had resolved to devote myself.  My father, when he
consented to my wishes, made the proviso, however, that I should not
connect myself with any religious body for the purpose, or act as the
agent of any missionary society, but that I should go forth by myself,
relying on the funds which he would place at my disposal.  While he
lived he supported me liberally, enabling me to marry and to bring out a
wife to be the sharer of my toils, and on his death he left me an income
which has been sufficient, with that derived by my own labours, for all
my wants.  I have thus been able, by means of the little vessel I spoke
of, to move about among the islands as I judged best, and often to
render assistance to brother ministers of various denominations, whose
work had become too great for their strength.  I do not speak of the
mode of proceeding I adopted, to induce others to follow in the same
course, but simply to explain how it is that you find me unattached to
any missionary society, and yet acquainted with the transactions of all
those labouring in this part of the world.  I propose, my young friend,
that you may the more clearly understand the present spiritual condition
of these Pacific isles, to give you a brief sketch of what I consider
the four great prominent events which have taken place connected with
them, and almost immediately, I may say, under my own eye--events of
importance unspeakable, as marking the signal overthrow of Satan's
power.  First, the declaration by the king of Tahiti, one of the
Georgian Islands, of his conviction of the truth of Christianity, and of
his desire to become a servant of the true God, on the 12th June, 1812,
just fifteen years after the arrival of the missionaries in that group,
followed immediately by the open profession of several natives of
Tahiti.  The second event occurred in November, 1819, when King
Rihoriho, of Hawaii, one of the Sandwich Islands, in one day breaking
through the most revered of heathen customs, set fire to the temples,
and destroyed the idols, a few months before the arrival of the
missionaries, who were then on their way to attempt the conversion of
his people.  The third event occurred in 1829.  It was the conversion of
a powerful chief of the Friendly Islands, who afterwards became King
George of Tonga.  Some time before this, two Tahitian teachers connected
with the London Missionary Society, on their way to Fiji had resided
with Tubou, chief of Nukualofa.  Under their influence and instruction
Tubou gave up the Tonga gods, destroyed the spirit house, and erected a
place for Christian worship, in which he and his people, to the number
of two hundred and forty, assembled to listen to Divine truth in the
Tahitian language, on the 4th of February, 1827.  He was not, however,
baptised till 1830.  A fourth event, which appears still more wonderful
to those who know the man than any I have before mentioned, was the
conversion of the fierce and proud cannibal, King Thakombau, of Bau, the
most powerful among the chiefs of Fiji, on the 30th April, 1854.  He
may, indeed, be considered the king of all Fiji, for all the other
chiefs are either his vassals, or vassals to those who acknowledge him
as their chief.  Although a large number of the inhabitants of the
group, of all ranks, had embraced Christianity before the king, yet his
conversion more especially marked the triumph of the truth in Fiji, and
proves the power of the gospel to change the heart of a man, however
benighted, savage, and bloodthirsty he may have been.

"To these more prominently important events may be added the
establishment of a church at Raratonga, in May, 1833, ten years after
the landing of the first native teacher, which went on increasing till
the entire population had been brought under Christian instruction.

"Still more important than the former events was the arrival of Messrs.
Williams and Barff at Samoa, with a band of native teachers, in 1830, at
the moment when Tamafaigna, a despot, who united the supreme spiritual
with great political power, and whose boundless sway presented a most
formidable barrier to the introduction of the gospel, had just been
slain, and their cordial reception by Malietoa, a chief of an acute and
inquiring mind and amiable disposition, who himself, with his sons, and
their wives and children, soon afterwards renounced their superstitions,
and destroyed the only idol found in Samoa.  The population, when the
missionaries landed, amounted to forty thousand, who, though not so
cruel and bloodthirsty as that of other groups, were still sunk in the
lowest depths of pagan ignorance and misery.

"I have watched too the partial establishment of Christianity among the
native inhabitants of New Zealand, and its extension thence northward,
as also from the east among the islands of Western Polynesia--the New
Hebrides, New Caledonia, and the Loyalty and Britannia Islands.  Still
the great work is progressing.  New labourers are appearing in the
field.  From all directions the heathen are crying out for instruction
in the wonderful gospel, and more and more labourers are required to
supply their urgent wants.  A very remarkable feature in this great work
is the mode in which it has been accomplished.  The number of educated
white men engaged in it has been comparatively very small.  The most
unexpected results, the greatest triumphs have been brought about
through native agency.  The natives of the Society Islands and Hervey
group especially, instructed by English missionaries, and inspired by
the Holy Spirit, have, with love in their hearts for their perishing
brethren and a burning desire for their conversion, gone forth, braving
all perils, some to the surrounding, others to far distant islands, and
their language being similar, they have at once been able to address
their heathen inhabitants.  Many have died from sickness, others have
been murdered by those they came to help, but the remainder have
persevered till they have seen the cause of the gospel triumphant.

"Oh, Mr Harvey, I wish that others were impressed as I am with the
awful thought that day after day thousands upon thousands of heathen are
perishing in darkness and sin who might, did their Christian fellow-men
use more exertion, have had the glorious gospel preached to them, and
have been brought to see the light.  I will illustrate the remarks I
have made," said Mr Bent, "by examples as they occur to me, keeping, as
much as my memory will allow, to the sequence of events."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

To the testimonies referred to in the foregoing chapter may be added
that given by Dr Seemann, in "Viti: An Account of a Government Mission
to the Vitian or Fijian Islands in the years 1860-61."  He was sent out
by the English Government to ascertain the fitness of the group for the
production of cotton.  He was absent only thirteen months from England,
and had time not only to sow the seed, but to pluck the cotton which it
produced.  Speaking of the missionaries to the group, he says: "It was
all up-hill work; yet results have been attained to which no
right-minded man can refuse admiration.  According to the latest
returns, the attendance on Christian worship in 1861 was 67,489, and
there were 31,566 in the day-schools.  For the supervision of this great
work the Society had only eleven European missionaries and two
schoolmasters, assisted by a large class of native agents who are
themselves the fruits of mission toil, and some of whom, once degraded
and cannibal heathens, are becoming valuable and accredited ministers of
the gospel."  Dr Seemann is a naturalist, and certainly is not
prejudiced in favour of the Wesleyans, or of any other religious body.
His evidence is therefore of more value.  A description of the condition
of Fiji as it was is sickening; and yet it is necessary to show the
depth of depravity to which human nature can sink, and the glorious
change which the gospel can work even in savages such as these.  They
were constantly at war with each other, and often fought for no other
purpose than to procure people for their ovens.  They have been known
even to bake men alive.  Often a town was attacked, and all the
inhabitants, sometimes four or five hundred in number, were slaughtered.
When the son of a great chief arrived at manhood, it was the custom to
endue him with his _toga virilis_ on the summit of a large heap of
slaughtered enemies; and the whole population of a town was ruthlessly
murdered for no other purpose than to form such a heap.

When a chief received a visit from a brother chieftain, if he had no
captives ready to kill, he would kill some of his own slaves, or send
out to catch some men, women, or children from a neighbouring island, or
from among his own people.  Indeed, no man, whatever his rank, was safe;
and hundreds thus lost their lives every year, that the cannibal
propensities of the chiefs might be gratified.

Infanticide was common among the chiefs as well as among the lower
orders; and mothers, abandoning all natural affection, considered it no
crime to kill their children.  It was an ordinary matter for children to
bury their aged parents alive; and fathers and mothers have been known
to bury alive their grown-up sons who might complain of illness, or have
become weary of life, stamping down on their graves with the greatest
unconcern.

On the death of a chief his favourite wives were invariably strangled
with him.  Numerous slaves also were killed, to form his band of
attendants to another world; and a great cannibal feast was also held.
Human victims were offered to their obscene deities by their priests in
their temples, groves, and high places.  When a house was to be built
for a chief, four live slaves were placed in deep holes to support the
corner posts, when the earth was filled in on them, that their spirits
might watch over the edifice.  When a large canoe was to be launched
victims were clubbed, or the canoe was drawn over their living bodies
like the car of Juggernaut, crushing them to death.  For the slightest
offence a chief would club to death one of his wives, or any of his
people, and feast afterwards on their bodies.

But enough has been said to show the character of the people of Fiji.
They are, especially the chiefs, tall, handsome men; and though their
skin is black, they have not the features of negroes.  They are also
very intelligent, active and energetic.

Dr Seemann says, page 77 of his work, "Until 1854, Bau, which is the
name of the metropolis as well as of the ruling state, was opposed to
the missionaries, and the ovens in which the bodies of human victims
were baked scarcely ever got cold.  Since then, however, a great change
has taken place.  The king and all his court have embraced Christianity;
of the heathen temples, which by their pyramidical form gave such a
peculiar local colouring to old pictures of the place, only the
foundations remain; the sacred groves in the neighbourhood are cut down;
and in the great square, where formerly cannibal feasts took place, a
large church has been erected.  Not without emotion did I land on this
blood-stained soil, where probably greater iniquities were perpetrated
than ever disgraced any other spot on earth.  It was about eight o'clock
in the evening; and, instead of the wild noise which greeted former
visitors, family prayer was heard from nearly every house.

"To bring about such a change has indeed required no slight efforts, and
many valuable lives had to be sacrificed; for although no missionary in
Fiji has ever met with a violent death, yet the list of those who died
in the midst of their labours is proportionately great.  The Wesleyans,
to whose disinterestedness the conversion of these degraded beings is
due, have, as a society, expended 75,000 pounds on this object; and if
the private donations of friends to individual missionaries and their
families be added, the sum reaches to the respectable amount of 80,000
pounds."

Dr Seemann describes a visit to the island of Lakemba, hallowed as the
spot on which the first Christian mission was established.  Mr
Fletcher, the resident missionary, conducted him and his companions
through a grove of cocoa-nut palms and bread-fruit trees to his house, a
commodious building, thatched with leaves, surrounded by a fence and
broad-boarded verandah, the front of the house looking into a nice
little flower-garden, the back into the courtyard.

The ladies gave them a hearty welcome, glad to look once more upon white
faces, and to hear accounts from home.  Though the thermometer ranged
more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the thick thatch kept off the scorching
rays, and there was a fresh current of trade wind blowing through the
rooms.  It was pleasing to see everything so scrupulously neat and
clean; the beds and curtains as white as snow, and everywhere the
greatest order prevailed.

"There are the elements of future civilisation,--models ready for
imitation,--hallowed homes which no Romish priest can afford," observes
the Doctor, "the yard well-stocked with ducks and fowls, pigs and
goats,--the gardens replete with flowers, cotton shrubs twelve feet
high, and bearing leaves, flowers, and fruit in all stages of
development.  These missionary stations are fulfilling all the objects
of convents in their best days, and a great deal more; for their inmates
are teaching a pure and simple faith in Jesus, which those of the
convents did not."

Mr Fletcher showed them over the town, the first spot in Fiji where
Christianity was triumphant and a printing-press was established, from
which was issued an edition of the whole Bible in the language of the
people, and several other works.  There exist, indeed, two versions of
the Bible in the language of Fiji.  The church in the town is a
substantial building, capable of holding three hundred people.  There
are some thirty other churches in the Lakemba district alone.

From Lakemba, occupying a week on the voyage, they proceeded to the
island of Somosomo, till lately one of the strongholds of idolatry and
cannibalism.  Golea, the king, was a heathen, but his chief wife,
Eleanor, was a Christian, and they believed a sincere one, judging from
the almost frantic manner in which she endeavoured to obtain a Fijian
Bible seen in their possession.  She exhausted every argument to get it,
and her joy was indescribable when her wishes were acceded to.

Dr Seemann writes: "If the Wesleyan Society had more funds at its
disposal, so as to be able to send out a greater number of efficient
teachers, a very few years would see the whole of Fiji Christianised, as
all the real difficulties now in the way of the mission have been
removed.  On my representing the case in this light, his Majesty the
King of Hanover was graciously pleased to subscribe his first gift of
100 pounds towards so desirable an object, at the same time expressing
his admiration for the labours of the individual missionaries I named."



CHAPTER FOURTEEN.

FROM DARKNESS TO DAYLIGHT.

"My dear young friend," said Mr Bent, addressing me, in continuation of
the subject on which he had before been speaking, "we should never
despair while God is with us of the success of our labours among the
heathen.  In my experience I have known numerous instances in which,
when it appeared that profound darkness rested on the land, light has
burst forth and spread far and wide around.

"I believe that thirteen years had passed after the _Duff_ had made her
most successful voyage to these seas in 1796, and landed a large body of
missionaries at Tahiti, before one single acknowledged convert to
Christianity was made.  Still the diminished band of missionaries
laboured on.  They obeyed God's express command to preach the word to
all creatures, and they knew that His word would not return to Him void.
God works through human agency, and it must be confessed that many of
these missionaries were not fitted by education for the work they had
undertaken.  It may be said with justice that therefore they did not
succeed.  Still they laboured on, teaching many the principles of
Christianity although none turned to the truth.

"Pomare, the king of Tahiti, although he was friendly to the
missionaries, for long remained as determined a heathen as any of his
people.  At length, however, attacked by his own subjects, he could not
protect the missionaries, and the larger number were compelled to retire
to the island of Huahine, where they hoped to be in safety.  So little
progress did they appear to be making even here in their undertaking,
that, with one exception, the following year they left Huahine and
retired to New South Wales, thus bringing the once promising mission to
the Society Islands to a termination.  I refer to this time to show you
how necessary it is that missionaries should not under any circumstances
despair of success.  Nothing could be more hopeless than this mission
now seemed.  Pomare, although he befriended the missionaries, remained
still seemingly as dark and determined a heathen as at first, and he had
now indeed no longer the power of helping them.  He had, however,
received a considerable amount of instruction from them.  He had
acquired the arts of reading and writing his own language, and had
learned the first principles of Christianity.

"The seed had not, as was supposed, been sown on stony ground, though it
took long in growing up.  Adversity caused Pomare to think.  He had been
told that Jehovah is a God of purity and holiness, and he began to
reflect that the life he and his people led must be very distasteful to
such a God, and might be the cause of the sufferings he was enduring.
The Holy Spirit seemed to apply the truth, so that he at length
comprehended the nature of sin, and especially felt his own great
sinfulness.  He, therefore, wrote letter after letter, entreating the
missionaries to return.  With joy they accepted his invitation.  On
their arrival, the king and several of his people professed their belief
in the new religion; but a coalition of heathen chiefs being formed
against them, some severe fighting took place.  The heathens were
defeated.  Pomare treated them with great leniency, allowing no one to
be injured, and even sending the body of a chief killed in battle back
to his own people to be buried.  So great was the effect of this conduct
that the heathen party became anxious to know more of the new faith, and
in a few months the idols of Tahiti were thrown to the ground.  Although
Pomare and some of his chiefs, as well as the lower orders, had embraced
Christianity in spirit as well as in name, the mass of the people
remained, as might have been expected, ignorant of its principles, and
indulged in habits the very reverse of those it inculcates.  Still the
true faith went on taking root downwards and bearing fruit upwards.  In
1817 a large number of missionaries arrived from England at Eimeo.
Among them came two whose names are known far beyond their spheres of
action--William Ellis and John Williams.  The following year some of
them removed to Huahine, the principal of the Leeward or Society group,
and soon after John Williams and Mr L Threlkeld, invited by Tapa and
other chiefs of Raiatea, settled in that island.  Similar invitations
were received from the chiefs of other large islands, while native
teachers were sent to the smaller islands which were also occasionally
visited by the missionaries.  Thus in a few years the entire population
of the Georgian and Society Islands had renounced idolatry, and were in
general outwardly very strict in their religious observances.  I say
outwardly, because many of those who attended religious worship and
refrained from all work and amusement on the sabbath, still continued in
the practice of heathen vices.  Yet I believe that at that very time the
great mass of the people were not more ignorant of Christian truth, nor
more vicious, than are too many communities of like size in so-called
Christian Europe.  We should judge of people who have lately been
brought out of a savage state, not by a standard which we should wish
them to attain, but by other people who have long been considered
civilised Christians; and thus judging of the inhabitants of Tahiti and
the neighbouring islands, I am certain that they will not lose by
comparison with many of those who have claimed for centuries to be
civilised, and whose religion has long been nominally Christian.  I say
this with confidence, but after all it is not saying much in their
praise.  One thing, however, is very clear.  A few years ago they were
ignorant barbarians, savage and debased, not knowing right from wrong.
Now they abstain from their former cruel and sanguinary practices, they
go about clothed and live in neat cottages, and industriously cultivate
the ground; they can generally read and write their own language, and
have learned many mechanical arts; they understand the principles of
Christianity, attend Divine worship, and respect the sabbath, while
undoubtedly some, and perhaps many, have been `created anew in Christ
Jesus unto good works,' and not a few have risked their lives, and laid
them down for the gospel's sake.  A large number of the native teachers
who have gone forth among the savage tribes of the wide-scattered
islands of the ocean to carry to them the glad tidings of salvation,
have come from Tahiti and other parts of the Georgian and Society
Archipelago.

"Great as was the change, after all allowances are made, in the islands
of which I have been speaking, that produced by the promulgation of the
truth in Raratonga was still greater.  You know how John Williams, after
founding the church in Huahine, moved to Raiatea, in the Hervey group,
and thence sailing forth, discovered the then savage Raratonga, where
the devoted Papehia landed to commence the work which he was afterwards
enabled to perfect.  Papehia began his ministrations by telling the
people about the power and purity of God, and His love to mankind, and
contrasting His attributes with those of their idols.  By teaching both
old and young portions of Scripture, and the latter to read, they began
to perceive the follies of heathenism.

"Thus the old religion was undermined, and a way prepared for the
introduction of the new faith.  The priests were the most inveterate
opponents of Christianity, yet the first person who destroyed his idols
was a priest.  Several others followed his example.  Soon another native
teacher from Tahiti joined Papehia to aid in the work which so rapidly
progressed.  The first chief converted was Tinomana.  After a lengthened
conversation with Papehia, in spite of the expostulations of priests and
people, saying, `My heart has taken hold of the word of Jehovah,' he
ordered a servant to set fire to his idol and his temple.  The
Christians now united, with Tinomana at their head, to live together in
one community, numbering four or five thousand.  Not fifteen months
after Papehia landed, they erected a chapel three hundred feet long,
with a pulpit at either end, from which each teacher addressed nearly
fifteen hundred wild, naked savages at once, without inconvenience.
This wonderful change had been effected, you must remember, by two
native teachers alone, in less than two years and a half from the day of
their landing in Raratonga, and who were themselves born heathens and
trained in idolatry in an island nearly seven hundred miles away.

"Four years after the discovery of the island, John Williams took up his
abode there with the Reverend C Pitman, they being afterwards joined by
the Reverend A Buzacott.  Laws were now formed, and the first Christian
community divided into two separate villages.  A chapel of a substantial
character was next planned.  A site was cleared, large trees were cut
down, coral lime was burned, the timber was sawn, and in two months from
the commencement an edifice an hundred and fifty feet long and fifty-six
feet wide, the thatched roof supported on either side by seven iron-wood
pillars twenty-five feet high, was erected.  There were ten doors, three
at each side and two at each end, and twenty windows, with large
Venetian blinds.  This chapel was a substantial proof of the zeal of the
Christian converts; but the heathens were still numerous and powerful,
and at length, hoping to overthrow the new faith, they attacked the
settlement, and burned the chapel and many of the Christians' houses.  A
fearful storm and flood and a severe epidemic followed, carrying off
hundreds of the natives.  Though severely tried, the missionaries were
not cast down.  The heathen retired, the epidemic ceased, the damage
caused by the storm was repaired, and the work of civilisation
proceeded.

"It became expedient to form a new village for the immediate followers
of Tinomana.  A site was fixed on, the land was cleared, and in a few
months the village was completed.  It was nearly a mile and a half in
length; a wide and straight road, gravelled with sea-side sand, was made
from one extremity to the other, on either side of which were rows of
the tall and beautiful tufted-top `ti' trees.  The houses were built of
lime and wattle, each about forty feet long, twelve high, twenty wide,
and divided into three or four rooms.  They stood back some fifty yards
from the road, and were that distance from one another.  About the
centre, on one side of the street, was the chapel, and on the other the
school-house.  A belt of trees protected the settlement on the sea-side,
while inland rose ranges of picturesque mountains, the intervening space
being occupied by pastures and fields cultivated or in the course of
cultivation.  I remember the scene well.  It gave me an indescribable
feeling of satisfaction when I first saw it, for it proved that a very
great change must have been wrought in the habits of the people, and I
trusted that their spiritual condition had likewise been much improved.
This was the first on the same plan of many villages which were erected
as Christianity spread among the people.  At each village, or even where
there was a chapel alone, a school-house was erected, where the elements
of reading, writing, arithmetic, and geography, were taught to adults as
well as to children, and only eight years after the landing of Papehia,
two thousand children and one thousand six hundred adults were under
instruction.  Although many of the adults could never be taught to read,
they learned portions of Scripture, and as they willingly listened to
the teachers, the truth gradually spread among the whole population.

"A printing press was during this year of 1831 introduced into the
island, and the first native Raratongan teacher went forth to carry the
glad tidings of salvation to the people of the Samoan group, then lying
in darkness.  `Teava' was one of the first converts made by Papehia, and
a devoted imitator of the noble example he set.  He wrote earnestly,
praying to be allowed to go Samoa, thus expressing himself: `My desire
is very great to fulfil Christ's command when He said, "Go ye into all
the world."  My heart is compassionating the heathen, who know not the
salvation which God has provided.  Let me go.  Why this delay?'  He was
conveyed to Samoa, and gained a position among its then savage people at
Monono, where he has proved one of the most consistent pioneers to the
European missionaries, and one of the best native assistants both in the
schools and in translating the Bible and other works.  A letter he wrote
to his friends in Raratonga a few years afterwards is worthy of note.
In it he says: `When I left you, the good work had not taken much root,
but now I hear it has spread over the land.  All the people have
received it.  My friends, be diligent in the use of the means, in
learning, in reading, in hearing, in prayer; search the word of God.
But I will ask you, Do you expect to be saved by your works?  No; no man
can thus be saved.  Salvation is obtained through Jesus.  There are two
kinds of scaffolding, one of banana stalks and the other of iron-wood:
those who trust in their own works are resting on the banana stalks, and
will fall; but let our minds be fixed on Jesus alone, and we shall be
safe.'  Such are nearly the exact words he used.  They prove the
soundness of his knowledge and faith.  The glorious work progressed
wonderfully in Raratonga.  Churches and schools were built at all the
settlements, and several works printed by natives, under the
superintendence of the missionaries, issued from the press.  I was
present on the arrival of the _Camden_ from England with an edition of
five thousand copies of the New Testament in the language of the people,
and several missionaries.  Crowds came from morning till night to
purchase the book, and for many days the missionaries house was more
like a bazaar than a private dwelling.

"One day a messenger at full speed arrived from the old chief Tinomana.
Seating himself cross-legged on the floor, he asked if a missionary had
arrived for his part of the island.  On one being pointed out to him as
destined to labour in his settlement, he sprang up with an expression of
joy, and hastened back at full speed with the intelligence to his chief.
This was at Avarua, where a chapel had been erected worthy of
description.  It was built in a frame, a hundred and forty feet long and
forty-five feet wide, filled up with wattle and lime plaster, white as
snow.  It was well floored, surrounded by a gallery, and had a pulpit
and desk at one end.  On the day I was there it was filled with sixteen
hundred natives, mostly clothed in home-made cloth, the greater number
really thirsting for religious knowledge.  Next to the chapel stood the
school-house filled in the morning with seven hundred children, each
class of ten or twelve having its teacher.  Near it was the
missionaries' cottage, neat, clean, and commodious; and not far off that
of the chief, which was large, well-built, and convenient.  It was
thoroughly furnished with chairs, sofas, tables, and beds, and the
floors covered with mats; while on the tables were several books, which
he could read with fluency.  Ten years before this he and his people
were naked savage cannibals.  Missionary meetings were held in the
island to assist in sending the gospel to other lands.  Thus spoke an
aged native at one of them to the young people: `Exalt your voices high
in praise of God.  He has saved you from the pit of heathenism.  We your
fathers know the character of that pit; some of us were born there.  The
place on which we are now met was once a place of murder; spears and the
sling and stone were our companions; we ate human flesh, we drank human
blood.  Let us do what we can to send the word of God to those who _are_
as once we _were_.'  That year three thousand pounds of arrowroot were
subscribed for missionary purposes.

"More effectually to carry out this object, it was resolved to establish
a missionary college.  A piece of ground was purchased, a number of neat
stone cottages for the students and a house for resident missionaries,
and lecture-halls, one of which was for female classes, were erected.
The latter were under the charge of the missionary's wife.  Here one
hundred men and women have been instructed, a considerable proportion of
whom were married couples.  Some have been employed on the home
stations, and others have gone forth to the Western Islands to prepare
the way for European teachers.  A boarding-school was also established,
where some forty boys have received instruction.  At the college the
students go through a course of theology, church history, Biblical
exposition, biography, geography, grammar, and composition of essays and
sermons.  For three hours in the morning they are employed in the
workshop, and in the afternoon in study, in class, or examination.

"In the Hervey group ten or more stations are well worked by these
native teachers; in Samoa four of them have stations; they have
introduced the gospel to the Maniiki group; and in Western Polynesia
they have successfully preached the truth in the language of the
inhabitants, and braved, and several have suffered, martyrdom for the
gospel's sake.  What should you suppose is the total expense of
instructing, clothing, feeding, and lodging these most valuable
missionaries?  Only five pounds a year; while the entire outlay of their
providing for twenty students does not amount to the sum of three pounds
a week, or less than a hundred and fifty pounds per annum.
Comparatively very few of those educated at the college have fallen away
or proved unworthy of the confidence placed in them.  Of course there,
as elsewhere, the faith of the missionaries has been tried.  Storms, and
floods, and disease have visited the island; evil-disposed persons have
come from other lands and endeavoured to introduce drunkenness, and to
turn the unstable to their own bad courses.  Still I may safely say,
that there are not twenty persons in the island, and very few in the
whole group, who do not attend Christian worship.

"A large edition of the whole Bible has been purchased by them; and I
may also venture to assert that, in consistency of conduct, in civil and
social propriety, in commercial industry and honesty, and in zeal and
liberality, they are not behind any other community in the world.  The
gospel has been introduced and completely established in the Penrhyn
Islands, or Maniiki group, as they are more properly called, entirely by
native teachers from Raratonga.  But I wish to describe to you the
progress made by the gospel in Samoa.  Before I do so, however, I will
give you a sketch of the way in which some of the missionaries I have
met, whose duties require them to be stationary, spend their time.

"The missionary in some instances attends the early morning adult
service, those present having then to go forth to their daily duties in
the field or on the water.  In other instances he devotes the hour from
six to seven o'clock in dispensing medicine to the sick; from eight to
nine he is either at the children's general school in the village, or
attending to private advanced classes at home, or discussing public
matters with neighbouring chiefs.  From nine to eleven he lectures in
the class-room; thence till noon he is in the workshop, where the
students or the boys at the boarding-school are learning the use of
carpenters' tools.  Until dinner time, at one, he is in the
printing-office, where the natives have been composing, printing, and
binding for several hours.  During the next hour the students dine and
read.  From two to three the missionary holds private conversation with
members of the church, candidates for church fellowship, or inquirers.
Four days in the week Bible-classes are held, and at most stations
public services take place three days in the week, from five to six.
The missionary and his wife generally walk out from six to seven,
visiting any who are sick or unable to come to them.  For an hour
afterwards he is in his study reading, translating, writing sermons, or
looking over proof-sheets.  The next half hour is occupied in family
prayer, and the last in pleasant and instructive conversation with his
family and the natives in his household; and thus closes his day of
labour.  The missionary's wife is as busy with the women and girls as is
her husband with the men and boys, and her influence and example are
calculated to produce a lasting effect on the rising generation.  With
this succession of occupations the missionaries have found time to write
and to superintend the printing of numerous works in the language of
Raratonga,--works which are eagerly sought for and read by all classes
of the community,--the elder of whom were once naked cannibal savages.
When you write home, mention this with your own experience, and ask
whether they do not consider missionaries worthy of support, and the
results they have produced an encouragement to perseverance.

"One remark more.  You have often heard of the fearful decrease in the
population of these islands.  Raratonga has been no exception to the
general rule, and yet its circumstances are very different from most
others.  Its climate is perfectly healthy; no foreigners reside on it;
and, as it possesses no harbour, the crews of ships can never land on
its shores, as they merely call off for supplies and proceed immediately
on their voyage.  Before the introduction of Christianity, when the
islanders had not the slightest intercourse with Europeans,--were,
indeed, entirely unknown,--the deaths must have been as six or eight to
one in excess of the births.  As Christianity spread, the deaths were as
four to one, then as two to one, then but slightly in excess; and now I
rejoice to say that the births slightly exceed the deaths.  It is easy
to account for their decrease while they were heathens,--their wars, and
famine consequent on it,--disease, produced by immorality, and
infanticide destroyed many, and prevented increase.  Christianity at
once mitigated these evils, but the effects of many of them still
existed, and it has taken years before the population could gain that
health and strength which is the reward in this world of virtuous and
industrious lives.

"I find it stated that a hundred ships touch at the islands of the group
annually, and receive produce of native labour for manufactured wares,
amounting to not less than three thousand pounds.  We have here a
notable example of the way in which civilisation, industry, and commerce
result from the establishment of Christianity.  The commanders of many
of those ships must remember the time when they dared not set foot on
these shores, from which they now are sure to obtain the supplies on
which the health of their crews and the success of their voyage so
greatly depends, and will, I trust, be ready to bear witness that
thousands on thousands of the once savages of Polynesia have become
Christian in name and character, and truly and completely civilised."



CHAPTER FIFTEEN.

PASSING ON THE BLESSING.

"When describing missionary enterprise, we cannot dwell too much on the
value of native agency, and should therefore endeavour to show the
importance of establishing training colleges for native youths,"
continued Mr Bent, who, once having entered on the subject to which he
had devoted his life, showed no desire to drop it.  "Humanly speaking,
not one-third part of the work which has been done could without native
help have been accomplished.  Mangaia is a notable example.  That island
is about twenty miles in circumference, and contains about three
thousand inhabitants.  When Williams visited them in 1822 with a few
native married missionaries, who went on shore for the purpose of
remaining, the latter were so barbarously treated by the savage people
that they were compelled to return on board the mission ship, thankful
to escape without loss of life.  Two years afterwards, however, he
returned with two zealous Tahitians, Davida and Tiere, who swimming on
shore through the surf, as did Papehia at Raratonga, with their books
and clothes in a cloth on their heads, landed among the fierce natives.
God had so ordered it that their reception was very different from what
they had expected.  An epidemic had attacked the island, carrying off
chiefs and people, the old and young alike: and believing that it was a
punishment sent by the white man's God in consequence of the way they
had treated the former missionaries, the inhabitants hoped to avert the
evil by behaving in a more friendly manner to the new comers.  The way
was thus providentially prepared for Davida, who laboured on alone for
fifteen years,--for Tiere was soon afterwards removed by death,--till
assistance was sent him from Raratonga, itself lying in darkness when he
commenced his ministrations.  He received, however, occasional visits
from the missionaries at Tahiti.  Twenty years passed by before the
Reverend William Gill arrived to spend some weeks among them.  He found,
with but few exceptions, that the whole population had renounced
idolatry.  Several large churches and schoolrooms had been built.  In
one school-room from eight hundred to nine hundred children and young
persons were present, who, after singing and prayer, were led in classes
to attend public worship.  The church was very large, and really
handsome.  The numberless rafters of its roof, coloured with native
paint, were supported by twelve or fourteen pillars of the finest wood,
carved in cathedral style.  It was crowded,--those unable to get in
looking through the windows,--not less than two thousand being present.
Still many at that time were very ignorant with regard to scriptural
knowledge, though many even of the heathens could read.

"A few years have passed by, the heathens have one by one turned to the
truth, and sound scriptural knowledge is possessed by the population
generally.  A European missionary lives among them.  They have built a
handsome stone church with a gallery, capable of seating two thousand
persons.  There exist two other large stone chapels and three stone
school-houses, each about seventy feet long and thirty-five feet wide.
But what is far more important, there are one thousand six hundred
children and adults under daily instruction, besides five hundred
members in consistent church communion, leaving but one-third of the
population who, though educated and nominal Christians, must be looked
on as yet not earnest in spiritual matters.  Of the former, some seven
or more are at the Raratonga training college, and several have gone
forth as evangelists to the heathen many thousand miles away; while
there are more than one hundred native teachers in the schools,
gratuitously employing themselves in instructing the rising generation.
The excess of births over the deaths is very considerable, so that the
population, which at one time was diminishing, is rapidly on the
increase.  Davida is dead.  He departed just twenty-five years after he
commenced his missionary labours.  `Is it right,' he asked, in a humble
tone, `for me to say, in the language of Saint Paul, "I have fought the
good fight, I have finished my course"?  These people were wild beasts
when I came among them; but the sword of the Spirit subdued them.  It
was not I, it was God who did it.'  Davida and Papehia, and many other
dark-skinned sons of these fair isles of the Pacific, themselves born in
darkest heathenism, have gained their crowns of glory in the heavens,
never to fade away, which the highly educated inhabitants of civilised
Europe may have cause to envy.

"People in England are, I hear, astonished at the rapid progress made by
Christianity in these islands, and assert that either the accounts are
exaggerated, and that the great mass of the people remain heathens as
before, or that if they have become nominal Christians, it is because
they have been compelled by their chiefs to embrace the new faith.  To
this last objection I reply, first: You well know how slight is the
influence exercised by the chiefs over the people, and in no island with
which I am acquainted would a chief be able to compel his followers to
abandon idolatry and embrace Christianity.  In the greater number of
instances by far, a considerable proportion of the people have become
Christians before the chief has given up his idols.  Pomare was still an
idolater when many of his subjects had been converted.  There were
numerous Christians in Samoa before Malietoa became one; and services
had been, held in Tongatabu before any of the chief men turned to the
faith; and already numerous churches had been established in Fiji before
Thakombau, the most despotic and fierce of the rulers of the isles of
the Pacific, bowed his knee in worship to the true God.  People who know
how utterly savage and barbarous the natives had become will easily
understand that numbers among them were pining for a purer faith, for
some system which would relieve them from the intolerable burdens, from
the utter misery under which they groaned.  When Rihoriho overthrew his
idols and burned his temples he knew nothing of Christianity; but he had
discovered that his idols were no gods, and that the religion of his
fathers was utterly abominable and foolish.  In many islands, when a
chief lotued before his subjects, he did so at the risk of being deposed
by them; and in every direction there are instances of rebellions being
raised by the heathens against the chiefs who had professed
Christianity.  For many years the fact, that whole communities of once
cannibal savages had become civilised Christians was denied; and now
that the fact can no longer be denied, certain so-called philosophers in
Europe are at pains to invent explanations to suit their own theories.
The natives might answer them as the blind man restored to sight by
Jesus did the Pharisees of old: `Why, herein is a marvellous thing, that
ye know not from whence He is, and yet He hath opened mine eyes.'  The
explanation which should best satisfy Christians is, that God has worked
with us.  In His infinite compassion and love He has presented
instruments exactly fitted for the work to be accomplished; and though
He has thought fit in many instances to exercise the faith and patience
of His servants, He has at length made the way clear before them.

"If I desired a particular proof that man has fallen from a high estate,
and that he came forth pure and bright, and with a mind capable of
rapidly acquiring knowledge, from the hands of his Maker, I should point
to these savages, among whom, debased as they are, so many have a
yearning after a better existence, a consciousness of sin, a desire to
propitiate an offended deity, a weariness of their degraded condition,
of the state of anarchy, of the bloodshed and immorality amid which they
live.  If these and other facts were known in England, though people
might still wonder at the great change which has taken place in these
islands, they would cease to disbelieve the statements which have been
made by missionaries and others on the subject.

"But I must go on with my account.  I was going to tell you how
Christianity was introduced into Samoa,--and here the guiding hand of
God can especially be traced.

"When John Williams sailed from Tahiti on his first long voyage in the
_Messenger of Peace_, after visiting the Hervey group, and many other
islands, he touched at the Tonga, or Friendly Islands, many of the
inhabitants of which had already become Christian.  The history of the
group I will give you presently.  At Tonga, a chief of the Navigator
Islands, called Fanea, was met with, who had been eleven years away from
home.  His wife had become a Christian, and he himself was favourable to
the new religion.  He offered to accompany Mr Williams, and to
introduce him to his brother chiefs.  His account of himself being found
correct, his offer was accepted, and he and his wife embarked.  The
voyage was prosperous, and Sapapalii, or Savaii, an island two hundred
and fifty miles in circumference, was reached.  Fanea now showed how
especially fitted he was to assist the missionaries in their task.
Calling them aside to a private part of the vessel, he requested them to
desire the teachers not to commence their labours among their countrymen
by condemning their canoe races, their dances, and other amusements, to
which they were much attached, lest in the very onset they should
conceive a dislike to the religion which imposed such restraints.  `Tell
them,' said he, `to be diligent in teaching the people, to make them
wise, and they themselves will put away that which is evil.  Let the
"word" prevail, and get a firm hold upon them, and then we may with
safety adopt measures which at first would prove injurious.'  Fanea was
related to Malietoa, one of the principal chiefs of the island, and was
therefore, by his influence with his relatives, able to render great
assistance to the work.  He expressed, however, his fears that a
powerful and perhaps an insuperable opposition would be offered by a
still greater chief, who was besides a sort of pope or high priest, the
head of such religious institution as they possessed.  His name was
Tamafaigna.  Fanea asked after him in a trembling voice.  `He is dead,--
killed ten days,--clubbed to death, as he deserved,' shouted the people,
in evident delight, showing that they dreaded more than respected him.
`The devil is dead,--the devil is dead,' cried Fanea.  `There will now
be no opposition to the lotu.'  This was found to be the case.  Had the
event occurred a few days before, there would have been time to elect a
successor.  This man was supposed to have within him the spirit of one
of the principal war-gods.  The tithes of the two large islands had been
given him, and in pride and profligacy he had become a pest and a
proverb.  He had, however, his supporters, who took up arms to avenge
him, and among them were his relatives Malietoa and his brother
Tamalelangi, who, although they rejoiced at his death, were compelled,
according to the custom of the country, to endeavour to punish those who
had killed him.  Tamalelangi from the first showed himself a warm friend
of the missionaries, and, while his brother was engaged in fighting,
assisted them to land with their effects and stores, and to establish
themselves on shore.  Malietoa afterwards proved their warm friend, and
four teachers were left with him, and four with Tamalelangi.  Their
people showed the teachers the greatest kindness, and, as a mark of it,
each man who could get hold of a child carried it off to his own
cottage, killed a pig for its food, and stuffed it to repletion before
he carried it back to its anxious parents.  Fanea, too, was unwearied in
explaining the advantages of Christianity and the wonderful knowledge
possessed by the missionaries, which enabled them to communicate their
thoughts merely by making marks on a bit of paper.  It is possible that
he was somewhat influenced by ambitious motives, and the credit the
introduction of Christianity would bring to him.  His wife, however,
appears to have been a sincere believer, and by her example and
exhortations greatly to have forwarded the cause of truth.  Malietoa,
who inherited all Tamafaigna's political influence, exerted it to the
end of his life in favour of the Christians.  The truth was not, as it
might be expected, to be established without opposition; and on one
occasion a large heathen party approached the dwellings of the teachers,
resolved on their destruction.  Their friends turned out completely
armed in native fashion, with clubs, and bows, and slings, and spears,
for their defence, not unfrequently expressing in their tone and gesture
the untamed ferocity of their nature by their appearance and loud
shouts, even when kneeling in the attitude of devotion.  Thus the night
was spent in expectation every moment of an attack; but when the morning
came it was discovered that their foes had disappeared.  The native
teachers, who could preach as well as instruct in school, made rapid
progress.  The people began to eat the fish and other creatures which
they had formerly worshipped as gods, and dreaded to injure or even to
touch.  Some daringly devoured them, others cautiously put the dreaded
morsels in their mouths, while the awestruck spectators waited as did
the people of Melita when Saint Paul was bitten by a snake, expecting to
see them swell or fall down dead.  From this the natives concluded that
Jehovah was indeed the true God, and were about to cast their war-god
Popo, a block covered with a piece of matting, into the sea, and had
tied a stone round it to sink it, when the teachers rescued the image,
that they might present him as a trophy of the triumphs of the gospel.

"The Samoans, though not such gross idolaters, and certainly not so
inhuman in their practices, as most of the other islanders in the
Pacific, were much degraded both in mind and morals.  They are perhaps
the finest people in a physical point of view of any, yet they had more
pharisaical pride and less consciousness of sin; and this, it is
possible, prevented them from adopting some of those cruel practices
prevalent among their neighbours.

"The teachers left by Williams laboured perseveringly.  Still they could
not persuade Malietoa to abandon the war.  He went on one occasion to
Upolu with all his fighting men, and three of the teachers resolved to
follow him, hoping thus to influence him the more.  He had allowed his
son to join them.  On their way they preached the word at several
villages through which they passed, and the people heard them gladly.
Malietoa was unmoved, and they had to return; but their journey had not
been so bootless as they supposed.  Scarcely had they reached home, than
a messenger arrived from the chief of a village they had visited at
Apolulu, begging them to return in haste, as he and his people were
waiting to hear from their lips the truths of the gospel.  Three of them
set out for the settlement, where they were warmly welcomed by the chief
and a thousand followers.  After the usual salutations, the chief turned
to the teachers and said, `Have you brought a fish spear?'  Surprised at
this strange inquiry, they replied, `No! why do you ask for that?'  `I
want it,' he answered, `to spear an eel.  This is my _etu_--I will kill,
cook, and eat it.  I have resolved to become _lotu_.'  He then added
that he would afterwards spear and eat a fowl, as the spirit of his god
was supposed to reside in that also.  And these bold designs were no
sooner formed than executed, though none of his followers supported him,
nor was it till they saw that no evil results were the consequence, that
they ventured to imitate his example.  Numbers then declared that they
wished to become Christians, and to be instructed in that faith.
Returning from this expedition, they saw the stronghold of the heathen
party in flames.  Malietoa treated the conquered party with great
leniency, and on one of their battle-fields erected a church to the
service of the true God, while Popo, the god of war, was banished for
ever.  Many other chapels were built in different directions, and the
new faith made great progress, though at that time, probably, many of
the converts were very far from enlightened Christians.  While these
events were taking place in the larger islands, a large canoe with some
Christians on board was driven on Tau, the most eastern island of the
group, having embarked at Ravavai, one of the Austral group, two
thousand miles distant, intending to proceed to some neighbouring
island.  Their lives and their health had been providentially preserved,
and they received a friendly greeting from the natives, to whom they
imparted a knowledge of the faith they professed.  Several joined them,
and the little congregation thus formed without a teacher, was looking
forward to the arrival of a missionary ship, which they had heard would
bring one, when Williams himself touched at their settlement.  Soon
after this three English missionaries visited the group, and one
remained till the arrival of a considerable number, who came out direct
from England for especial service in Samoa.  The first care of this most
efficient body of men was to master the language, and when this was done
they lost no time in commencing a translation of the Bible.  A
printing-press was set up in 1839, and in July of that year printing was
commenced in Samoa.  The natives took a deep interest in it, and called
it the fountain whence the word of God flowed to all Samoa.  The native
youths quickly learned to work it, and surrounded by numbers of their
countrymen, standing as if riveted to the spot, and gazing with intense
interest, now speechless with wonder, now shouting with delight, they
endeavoured to show with what dexterity they could throw off the sheets.
Numerous works were printed by them--sermons, catechisms, hymn-books,
works on geography, astronomy, arithmetic, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress,
and a native magazine.  Upwards of 2,000 pounds was paid by the
purchasers of the Scriptures and these books.

"In 1844, the `Samoan Mission Seminary' was commenced.  It was on a far
larger scale than that I have described at Raratonga, though conducted
on a very similar plan.  It was for a group, it must be remembered, of
considerable extent, containing not less than 34,000 inhabitants.
Special attention is paid in the institution to the instruction of the
wives of the students, and so highly are the labours of these female
teachers prized in the islands, that inferior men are sometimes chosen
on account of the high qualifications of their wives.  I believe that
nearly a hundred and fifty teachers have gone forth from the
institution, some to labour in Samoa, and others in the Loyalty Islands,
New Hebrides and Savage Island--many with their devoted wives having
died from the effects of climate or fallen by the murderous hands of the
savages to whom they carried the gospel.  A high school is attached to
the institution, as well as one for the children of the students.  There
are, I find, fifty boarding-schools in the group, having 800 scholars;
210 children's day-schools with 6,000 scholars, and 210 adult sabbath
and day-schools with 7,000 scholars.  When first Williams landed at
Samoa, the natives wore no clothing except the most scanty of leaves or
native cloth.  Now I find it stated, that apart from all other articles
of foreign manufacture, the demand for cotton goods alone amounts to
15,000 pounds per annum, and is every year increasing.  [See Note 1.] I
mention these facts because they are beyond dispute, and I beg that you
will repeat them when you write home, as they may convince some who deny
that the Polynesian savage can comprehend the spirit of the gospel, that
at all events he has made considerable advances in civilisation, and
that his connection is worth cultivating.  You and I, and all who take
the trouble of observing, know that he is as capable as the most highly
educated European of understanding the whole scope of the gospel in all
its beauty and holiness, and accepting it in all its fulness.  We must
never forget the saying of our blessed Lord, who knew what was in man,
`that many are called but few chosen,' and that this is true in Samoa as
elsewhere.  Of the many thousands who have become nominal Christians, we
have every reason to hope that some--I might dare to say many--have
accepted Christ to their eternal salvation.  And Samoa forms but one
group out of the many thousand isles of this ocean.

"Let us take a glance at Tonga, at which Williams called, as I told you,
on that first voyage, so peculiarly blessed to Samoa.  You have heard
how a body of missionaries so far back as 1797 were landed at Tongatabu,
from the ship _Duffy_ by Captain Wilson.  They were all ultimately
compelled to leave the island, very much in consequence of the conduct
of some white runaway seamen or convicts, who set the natives against
them.  Several were ultimately murdered, the rest escaped to New South
Wales with the exception of one, who, sad to say, apostatised, and lived
as a savage among the savages for some years.  More than twenty years
passed by, and the savage character of the wrongly named Friendly
Islanders prevented any further attempt being made to offer them the
gospel of peace; when God put it into the heart of the Reverend W Laury,
a Wesleyan minister residing in New South Wales, who had been interested
in the people by a widow of one of the early missionaries, to attempt
their conversion.  He sailed from Sydney in June, 1822, on board the
_Saint Michael_, a merchant vessel, with his family, accompanied by a
carpenter and blacksmith, both pious young men.  He reached Tonga in
safety, and remained for upwards of a year, gaining the language of the
people, and protected by the chiefs, but without making any converts.
On his return to Sydney he left the two young mechanics, and they were
afterwards joined by the Reverend John Thomas, a young ardent missionary
from England.  They had indeed need of faith and patience.  The chiefs
who at first protected them proved themselves fickle and treacherous,
robbing them of all they possessed, and it was evident that they valued
their presence among them on account of the property they brought, not
for the sake of the religious instruction they would afford.  Just
before Mr Thomas's arrival at Hihifo, on the west side of Tonga, two
native teachers from Tahiti, on their way to Fiji, had landed at
Nukualofa on the north coast.  The preaching of these devoted men had
awakened such a spirit of inquiry, that when Mr Thomas preached at
Hihifo, numbers came over a distance of twelve miles to hear him.
Tubou, the chief of Nukualofa, appeared convinced of the truths of
Christianity, had a chapel built, and attended service; but tempted by
his brother chiefs, who promised to make him king of the whole group if
he would adhere to the old faith, he declined for the present to make a
profession of Christianity.  The work thus commenced at Nukualofa by the
London Society's Tahitian teachers, was carried on in a spirit of
brotherly love by the Reverend N Turner and William Cross and their
devoted wives, sent out by the Wesleyan Missionary Society in 1828.
They began schools there, which were well attended, while Mr Thomas
opened one at Hihifo, at which, in spite of the opposition of the chief
Ata, some twenty boys attended.  In two years Mr Thomas could preach
fluently in the language of the people, and congregations for public
worship were formed and well attended.  Mr Thomas had gone over to
Nukualofa to preach, when the king Tubou, who had been absent for six
months, attended, with two hundred of his subjects, the chapel which he
himself had built, and where he now heard in his own tongue from the
lips of an English minister the gospel clearly explained.  Other chiefs
from the two groups of islands to the north, Vavau and Haabai, in the
course of the year sent to petition for teachers, or rather, one sent,
being indifferent about the matter; the latter, Tui-Haabai, as he was
called, came to Tonga in person.  Though he earnestly pressed the point,
there was no one to send; and so on his return home, finding an English
sailor who could read and write, though sadly ignorant of the truths of
religion, he made him his teacher.  His perseverance and earnestness
were to be rewarded.  A sick lad, a step-son of Ata's, was the first
convert at Hihifo, but on his death, the chief still more hardening his
heart, it was agreed by the missionaries that Mr Thomas should remove
from that station to Haabai.  They however first sent one Peter, a
native convert, to prepare the way, a plan which has been almost
universally successful.  The missionaries now spent some time together
at Nukualofa, where the field appeared so promising.  So indeed it
proved; often so crowded was the chapel, that the missionaries went out
amid the encampments of their visitors on the sea-side, that they might
preach to them the words of eternal life under the free vault of heaven.
It was at this time that King Tubou was baptised with his family and
nearly thirty men and sixty women of his tribe.  It was indeed a day to
make the hearts of the long persevering and faithful missionaries
rejoice."

To many readers of missionary reports these statements may not be new,
but it was pleasant to have such testimony amidst the scenes themselves.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 1.  See Turner's "Nineteen Years in Polynesia."

"Of an evening," says Lieutenant Walpole, RN, writing of Samoa, "when,
taking advantage of intervals of fine weather, we went for a ramble in
the delightful woods, the quiet of the grove was often disturbed by a
ruthless savage, who would rush out upon you, not armed with club or
spear, but with slate and pencil, and thrusting them into your hands,
make signs for you to finish his difficult exercise or sum."

Dr Coulter, surgeon of HMS _Stratford_, has given this testimony: "The
power of religion has completely altered the naturally uncontrolled
character of the natives, and effectually subdued barbarism.  The former
history of these islanders is well known to all readers.  They were
guilty of every bad and profane act.  Infanticide and human sacrifices,
in all their horrid shapes, were common occurrences.  Utter abandonment
and licentiousness prevailed over these islands (the Friendly Islands).
What are they now?  The query may be answered in a few words: They are
far more decided Christians than the chief part of their civilised
visitors."



CHAPTER SIXTEEN.

HOW THE LIGHT CAME TO FIJI.

"Tui-Haabai Tuafaahan, or George, the name he assumed when he became a
Christian, the chief or king of the Haabai Islands, was no ordinary man.
He possessed great influence over his people; and in this instance
there can be no doubt that, in consequence of his embracing
Christianity, great numbers of his subjects immediately professed it.
So much was this the case, that out of eighteen inhabited islands of
which the group consists, the people of all but two called themselves
Christians when Mr Thomas arrived in 1830.  Of course they were very
ignorant of religious truths; but at the same time they were aware of
their ignorance, and desired to be taught,--and what more could a
missionary pray for?  They consequently made great progress, though the
work nearly wore out the missionary.  A second, however, the Reverend
Peter Turner, joined Mr Thomas the next year.  Their wish at once was
to extend the sphere of their labours.

"In April, 1831, King George, now himself well able to expound the
gospel, with twenty-four sail of canoes, visited Finau, chief of Vavau,
who had once sent for instruction to the missionaries at Tonga.  With
the king went the faithful missionary Peter, bearing a letter from
Messrs. Thomas and Turner.  King George, too, endeavoured to convince
Finau of the truth, and at length he promised to join in worshipping the
Lord on the next sabbath.  This he did accompanied by several chiefs and
others; and when Monday came he directed that seven of his principal
idols should be placed in a row.  He then addressed them: `Listen to my
words, that you may be without excuse.  I have brought you here to prove
you.'  Commencing with the first, he said, `If you are a god, run away,
or you shall be burned in the fire which is ready for you.'  The idol
made no attempt to escape.  In the same manner he addressed the next,
and the next, till he came to the last.  As none of them ran, he
directed that their temples should be set on fire.  The order was at
once obeyed, and some eighteen or more with their idols were consumed.
George and all his people capable of explaining the truths of
Christianity, were employed in preaching and speaking night and day
during their stay, so eager were the people to be instructed.  All
ordinary occupation was suspended.  The reply to any expostulation was,
`We can labour when you are gone: let us while you stay learn how to
worship God.'  Afterwards two native teachers were sent to Vavau, till a
missionary could be spared for them.

"Finau, who had himself once strongly opposed the Christians, now met
with opposition from one of his own chiefs, who had been absent at Fiji.
This chief threw himself into a strong fort; but it was surprised by
the Christians, and the insurgents being brought out, it was burnt to
the ground, without one person being killed.  Mr Cross was soon
afterwards appointed to Vavau, and on his voyage there from Tonga his
canoe was wrecked, and his wife was drowned besides twenty other
persons.

"It was about this time that the Reverend William Yate, of the Church
Missionary Society, visited Tonga from New Zealand.  He had heard much
of the great change among the people, and was disposed to regard part at
least as too strange and too good to be true.  He therefore went much
among the people, observing their domestic habits, and their attention
to their religious duties, and he assured the missionaries that what he
saw exceeded all that he had heard.

"Christianity was making progress in all the three groups, though in
Tonga a powerful body of heathens, under Ata of Hihifo, still remained,
when Finau, king of Vavau, died, leaving his government to King George
of Haabai, who thus became sovereign of both groups.  He and his wife
gave full evidence soon after this that they were Christians not only in
name, but in spirit and in truth.  They were made class-leaders," and
the king was appointed a local preacher.  He did not presume on his high
civil dignity, but always conducted himself in the house of God with
becoming humility.  One who heard him preach his first sermon told me
that the great court-house, more than seventy feet long, could not
contain the people who thronged to hear their king.  Every chief on the
island and all the local preachers were present.  The king led the
singing.  He preached with great plainness and simplicity, and in strict
accordance with the teaching of God's word; dwelling on the humility and
love of the Saviour, the cleansing efficacy of His atoning blood, and
the obligations under which we are laid to serve and glorify Him.  But a
few years before part of this very congregation might have been seen in
this same house preparing guns, spears, and clubs, in order to slay
their fellow-men, and waiting to be led forth to battle by the great
warrior who was now the royal preacher.  He proved his Christianity in
another way.  Hearing that the English had abolished slavery and that it
is abhorrent to the character of the gospel, he that very day called all
his slaves together and forthwith gave them their liberty.  He next
employed himself in building a church upwards of a hundred feet long and
fifty wide, the largest building that had ever been erected in Tonga.
He also exhibited his wisdom by framing a code of laws, by which all
chiefs as well as people were to be equally bound.  They were most
judicious, and admirably fitted for the wants of the people.  Not one
professed heathen now remained in the two groups governed by King
George, and the blessings he had received he was anxious to send to
others.  A missionary and several native teachers therefore went forth
and established churches in Samoa, as well as in some small islands
lying between the two groups.  The missionaries were afterwards removed,
it having been agreed between the Wesleyan and London Missionary
Societies that Samoa should be left entirely under the charge of the
London Missionary Society,--a wise resolve, the object of which does not
appear to have been very clearly comprehended by the Samoan Christians,
accustomed to the Wesleyan form, or by King George, who made a voyage to
Samoa to consult about the matter.  The reason of the arrangement was,
that the Wesleyan Society might be able to devote all their means and
energies to the promulgation of the gospel in the Fiji Islands, a work
which they forthwith commenced and have carried on with unsurpassed
vigour and success.  I will describe it to you presently.

"Josiah Tubou, the king of Tonga proper, or Tongatabu though a
consistent Christian, was a man every way inferior to King George in
energy and talent, and the heathen chiefs and other ill-disposed persons
set his power at defiance.  They even went so far as to take up arms, in
the hope of deposing him.  In this, however, they were disappointed; for
King George, with a large body of warriors, came to his assistance, and
they were compelled to take refuge in certain strongly-built forts in
their native districts, where they continued to hold out against his
power.  The war thus commenced and carried on for some years, proved a
sad hindrance to religion and the advancement of civilisation.  Two
Roman Catholic priests were also landed from a French ship of war, and
took up their residence with the heathens, whom they undoubtedly
supported against their chief.

"It was while endeavouring to negotiate with the rebels in one of these
forts that Captain Croker of HMS _Favourite_, who had with him a party
of his ship's company, was shot at and killed.  Another officer and
several men fell on the occasion, while many were badly wounded.
Several forts were taken or yielded, and the defenders pardoned; but the
rebels were still holding out in the strongest, that of Bea, where the
Romish priests resided, when Sir Everard Home, in the _Calliope_,
arrived at Tonga.  Several times the fort had been summoned to
surrender, and Sir Everard Home had now the satisfaction of witnessing
the way in which it was captured, and the leniency with which the rebels
were treated, while he and King George himself were instrumental in
saving the property of the Romish priests from destruction.  From that
time King George has been employed in consolidating his power, and in
advancing the material as well as spiritual interests of his subjects.

"The success which attended the exertions of the missionaries at Tonga
encouraged them to commence the work at Fiji, with which extensive group
Tonga has for years been intimately connected, although the inhabitants
are of a totally different race and character.  I must go back again
from the time of which I have just been speaking to the year 1835.
Utterly debased and savage as were the people of Fiji at that period,
the mission was commenced under peculiarly favourable circumstances.  It
was especially supported by King George of Tonga, who was much respected
by the inhabitants of Lakemba, the spot which had been fixed on as the
residence of the missionaries.  Many Tongans also resided there, who
could at once be addressed in their own language, which was also
understood by the chief and many of the people of Lakemba.  As many
Fijians were living at Tonga, the missionaries were able likewise to
prepare and print some books in Fijian.  King George's introduction
insured them a favourable reception from the chief of Lakemba, who at
once gave them ground for the missionary premises.  House-building is
short work in Fiji, and a large body of natives, having prepared posts,
spars, reeds, etcetera, assembled at the chosen site, and commenced
operations.  On the third day all the furniture, articles for barter,
books, clothes, doors, windows, and various stores were landed, and
carried to the two houses, of which the families took possession that
evening.  Lakemba is thirty miles in circumference, and contains,
besides the king's town, eight other towns and three Tongan settlements.
Many of the people inhabiting them, on their visits to head-quarters
saw the mission premises, and went home to tell of what had excited
their own admiration.  Thus the number of visitors increased, and many
becoming dissatisfied with their own gods, and tired with the exactions
of the priests, came regularly on the sabbath to worship at the chapel.
As they had to pass the king's town they were observed, and abused for
presuming, though common people, to think for themselves in the matter
of religion, and even daring to forsake their own gods for the new God
of whom the strangers spoke.  Threats were used, and the Christians
would immediately have been persecuted, had not a chief from Tonga, who
had come over to protect the Christians from the people of Mbau, himself
adopted the new faith, letting it be known that he would protect his
co-religionists.  They did not escape altogether: their houses were
pillaged, and many had to fly for their lives.  They however went to
other islands, carrying, as did the Christians of old, their religion
with them, and were the means of spreading it to other parts of the
group.  Many of the Tongans heard the word gladly, though hitherto known
for their evil doings, and returned home changed in heart and manners.
The king of Lakemba even pretended that he wished to become a Christian,
though his profession was not sincere, as he continued to persecute the
converts.  He at last said that he would lotu if some other powerful
chiefs would do so; and suggested that the missionaries should go to
Mbau and see what change they could effect in the rulers of that
notorious cannibal island.  Mr Cross took the king at his word, and
with his wife and family embarked for Mbau.  On his arrival there, he
found that war had been raging, that two bodies were in the ovens, and
that very little attention to his preaching could be expected.  Though
Thakombau, the king's son, promised him his protection and a spot of
ground for a house, he considered it wiser to proceed to Rewa, a town
about twelve miles away on the main island, where the chief promised to
protect him, and to allow as many of his people to lotu as desired it.
At first Mr Cross preached in the open air; but a chief of some rank
and his wife becoming Christians, they opened their house for worship,
and a hundred hearers would sometimes assemble there to listen.

"Off the island of Great Fiji is another small island, that of Viwa.
The chief, Namosi, and his nephew, Verani, had captured a French brig
and destroyed the crew.  The captain, it was proved, had allowed his
vessel to be used in the native wars, and had even suffered the body of
an enemy to be cooked and eaten on board.  To punish Namosi, two French
men-of-war appeared off the coast, and the crews landing, burned down
his town and destroyed his crops.  This misfortune seems so to have
affected him, that he begged a teacher might be sent to instruct him in
the new religion; and to show his sincerity, he built a large chapel,
where many of his people joined him in worshipping God.  Thus were two
centres formed in Fiji, where two men single-handed battled with almost
incredible difficulties, cheered, however, by no inconsiderable
success,--that is to say, Mr Cargill at Lakemba, and Mr Cross at Rewa.

"In 1838 three missionaries arrived from England.  One of them was the
devoted John Hunt, who at once volunteered to go to the assistance of
Mr Cross, who was already breaking down with his labours at Rewa.  With
them also came a printer, a printing-press, and book-binding materials.
Early in 1839 Saint Mark's Gospel and a catechism in Fijian were
printed,--an important event in the history of a people who three years
before had no written language, and who seemed sunk in the utter depths
of darkness and moral degradation.  Fiji was indebted for Mr Hunt to
the Christian liberality of a lady--Mrs Brackenbury, of Raithbury Hall,
Lincolnshire, who offered to pay all the expenses of his outfit and
passage, and 50 pounds a year for three years, provided the committee
would send another missionary, and thus raise the number to seven.

"The mission establishment at Rewa drew many visitors, especially the
people from Mbau, who came to make inquiries about the lotu.  To this
place the printing-press was moved, and it was made the head-quarters of
the Fijian mission.  On an island off Vanua Levu, or the Great Land, was
situated the town of Somosomo, the chief of which, who had considerable
power, begged that missionaries might be sent to him.

"Accordingly Mr Hunt and Mr Lyth, with their families, went there, and
took up their quarters in a large house provided by the chief.  He
showed clearly, however, that he only required their goods; and not only
were the families neglected, but the most horrible cannibal practices
took place close to them, encouraged by the chief.  His son was wrecked
on an enemy's shore, when he and his followers were killed and eaten.
In consequence a number of women were murdered, in spite of the
entreaties of the missionaries that their lives might be spared, while
captives were constantly dragged before their windows to be killed and
baked.  Ultimately the station was abandoned, and the chief was murdered
by one of his own sons, who was himself murdered by a brother; and such
anarchy and confusion reigned, that Somosomo was laid almost desolate.

"After a time the remaining chiefs and people, brought low by distress,
turned to the God of the strangers, and great numbers became
Christians,--showing that the seed had been sown and taken root, though
when the missionaries left the island they were disposed to fear that no
good had been effected.

"The truth spread by a great variety of means.  A chief named Wai, of
the far-off island of Ono, tributary to Lakemba, came to that island to
pay his dues.  He there met with Takai, another Fijian chief, who had
visited Sydney and Tahiti, and had become a Christian.  With such
knowledge as he could thus pick up he returned home.  He there taught
his people; and so great a thirst for further instruction sprang up
among them, that a whaler calling at Ono for provisions, they engaged a
passage in her for two messengers who were to beg the missionaries at
Tonga to send them a teacher.  A long time must have elapsed before one
could have reached them; but the Lord knew the desire of their hearts,
and took His own means for giving them the spiritual food after which
they hungered.

"Early in 1836 a canoe, on board which was Josiah, a converted Tongan,
with other Christians, sailed from Lakemba for Tonga, but was driven out
of her course to Turtle Island, about fifty miles from Ono.  Hearing
when there that the people of Ono were seeking after religious
instruction, Josiah hastened there to tell them all he could of the
gospel.  In a short time forty persons became worshippers of God, and a
chapel was built to hold a hundred.  In the meantime their two
messengers reached Tonga, where they were told that as missionaries were
now stationed at Lakemba they must apply there for the help they sought.
A teacher was found, once a wild youth, who had been converted at
Lakemba.  Here he remained two years preparing for his work, till he had
an opportunity of going to Ono.  On his arrival he found that one
hundred and twenty adults had become Christians.  A strong heathen party
was, however, formed against them, and they had more than once to fight
for their lives.  Even the king of Lakemba threatened to destroy them
because they would not give up a young Christian girl who had in her
infancy been betrothed to him.  A gale drove back the king's canoe, and
some of those of his followers were lost; so that he was persuaded that
the God of the Christians frowned on his design.  The island was visited
several times by English missionaries, and at last one was appointed to
reside there.

"All the people have now become Christians, and probably fifty agents
have been raised up there to carry the gospel to other parts of Fiji.
Christianity spread among the islands in the neighbourhood of Lakemba
subject to Somosomo.  This was in spite of the belief in a threat of the
king, that he would kill and eat any of his subjects who should lotu.
The king arrived, and hearing of the tale indignantly denied it.  He
ordered, however, that tribute should be paid to him on Sunday.  This
the Christians refused to do, but the following day they appeared with
their offerings.  This produced a favourable impression on the king,
showing as it did, what was the genuine effect of Christianity when
carried out.  No one was punished, though unhappily the king seemed to
remain as complete a heathen as before till his death.

"In Lakemba the Christians multiplied, and the whole population of one
town, that of Yaudrana, lotued in one day.  They had been ill-treated,
and two of their number had been killed by the king or his people.
Suddenly they came to the conclusion that their own gods could no longer
protect them, and they resolved to pray to Jehovah the God of the
Christians.  They accordingly sent to Mr Calvert, the missionary.  The
chiefs of the town met him to speak on the matter, in the principal
temple in the place, and after singing and prayer they bowed down to
worship God.  The following Sabbath the whole population, by agreement,
openly abandoned idolatry.  The king sent to forbid them, but his
message arrived after the ceremony had been performed, and they replied
that they would pay him lawful tribute, but would not abandon their new
faith.  After this movement of the larger number of his subjects, the
king himself became a Christian.

"I can with difficulty recollect the numerous events connected with
missionary work as they occurred in the wide extending group of Fiji.
Of the most important I have not yet spoken.  It is necessary to
remember the names of three important places: Mbau, though a small
island, contains the capital of the powerful chief Thakombau, now called
the king of all Fiji.  Twelve miles off, on the mainland, is Rewa; and
on another small island two miles from Mbau, is Viwa, the residence of
Namosimalua, who had become nominally Christian, or was at all events
favourable to the Christians.  Here Mr Cross took up his abode, when
Thakombau refused him admission to Mbau.  Thakombau was the son of
Tanoa, the chief of Mbau.  Mbau had obtained the influence it possessed
over other parts of Fiji in consequence of its having become the abode
of Charles Savage, a runaway seaman, a horrible ruffian, a Swede by
birth, who managed to obtain a large supply of firearms and ammunition,
and led her armies for many years against her neighbours of the larger
islands, compelling them to become tributary to her.  At length, being
defeated in Viti Levu, by a party of natives against whom, in
conjunction with the master of an English trading vessel, the _Hunter_,
of Calcutta, he was carrying on a war for the sake of procuring a cargo
of sandal-wood for the ship, he was, together with fourteen of the crew,
put to death and eaten, his body being treated with every mark of
detestation, and his bones converted into sail-needles, and distributed
among the people as a remembrance of the victory.  Namosimalua was
looked upon as the Ulysses of those regions.  He in conjunction with
other chiefs, weary of the exactions of Tanoa, rebelled against him, and
compelled him to fly, also advising that his young son Thakombau, whose
talents he had discovered, should be put to death.  This not having been
done, he resolved to gain the friendship of Tanoa without committing
himself.  He therefore offered to go in pursuit of the king, but
secretly sent a messenger to warn him of his danger.  When Thakombau
restored his father to his possessions, Tanoa saved Namosi's life,
though the former never forgave him his intentions towards him.

"Among the greatest warriors and fiercest cannibals of Fiji was a nephew
of Namosi's, called Verani, who was a firm friend of Thakombau's.  At
Rewa a mission had been established, but its chief Ratu Nggara remained
a heathen, and was a powerful rival of Thakombau.  Some time after the
establishment of the missions at Viwa, Namosi its chief became a
Christian; and as visitors from Mbau and other places visited the
mission-house, the knowledge of the new faith spread in every direction
around.  The fierce warrior Verani even listened to what the missionary
had to say, and hopes were entertained that he too might lotu; but his
friend Thakombau urged him to remain firm to the old faith, and to join
him as before in his wars.  At first, Verani yielded to evil counsels;
but, happily, again and again he visited the missionary, till he
declared his conviction that Christianity was true; and from that day he
became as resolute and bold in promulgating the truth, as he had before
been in supporting the customs of heathenism.  For several years he held
a consistent Christian course of life, and his example had probably an
influence on his friend Thakombau.  His good influence was, however,
opposed by some of the abandoned white men, resident on neighbouring
islands, who dreaded, should the king turn Christian, that a stop would
be put to their own evil doings.  They even went so far, when they
thought this possible, as to join the natives in carrying on war against
him; and so successful were they that on every side he found his power
decreasing.  What force or persuasion could not effect, affliction
accomplished.  During the time of his greatest distress he received a
letter from King George of Tonga, urging him to delay no longer, but to
turn to the God of the Christians.  This letter seems to have decided
him.

"On the 30th April, 1854, at nine o'clock the death-drum was beaten--the
signal for assembling in the great `Strangers' House' for the
worshipping of the true God.  Ten days before, its sound had called
people together to a cannibal feast.  Three hundred persons were present
in the ample lotu dress, before whom stood Thakombau, the chief, with
his children and wives.  The missionary, who had so long watched for
this event, was deeply moved, and could scarcely proceed with the
service.  It was indeed a day to be remembered in the annals of Fiji.
After worship, the people crowded round the missionaries, to ask for
alphabets, and gathered in groups to learn forthwith to read.  The king,
after this, caused the Sabbath to be observed.  His deportment was
serious, and his own attendance at preaching and prayer-meetings was
regular.  His little boy, about seven years old, had already learnt to
read, and he now became the instructor of his parents, who were both so
eager to acquire knowledge, that their young teacher would often fall
asleep in the midst of his lesson.

"Among the most implacable enemies of Thakombau was the king of Rewa.
Elijah Verani undertook a mission to that chief, in the hopes of
bringing about peace, when he and most of his companions were
traitorously murdered and eaten.  Not long after this the king of Rewa
himself died, and his people sued for peace.

"Thakombau, the once cannibal and homicide, was not allowed to remain
quiet.  He had enemies on every side; some of them he conquered in war,
but often his life was in danger from his own former associates and
relations.  The effect, however, was good, as it made him turn more and
more to God for pardon through Jesus Christ and to the consolations of
religion.  At length he triumphed, and his enemies were subdued under
him.  He had from the first prohibited cannibalism; murder was now
declared to be against the law.  The first two murderers guilty of the
crime before the law was promulgated were pardoned, but the next, though
a chief, was tried, and being found guilty of the murder of his wife,
was publicly executed by his countrymen at Mbau, the missionary wisely
absenting himself at the time.  In the same year three chiefs of rank
were publicly married, each to one wife, a step afterwards taken by the
king himself.  Churches were now built in every direction, and thousands
of the people of Fiji abandoned their horrible customs, put away their
idols, and turned to the true God."



CHAPTER SEVENTEEN.

THE COURAGE OF KAPIOLANI.

"Although the change in Fiji is very great, much remains to be done.  It
is not more than we may justly say, that cannibalism and the more
abominable crimes once common have ceased to exist wherever English
missionaries reside, and in most places where native teachers have
gained a footing.  The kingdom of peace is making daily progress.  The
gospel has firmly established itself in the heart of Fiji.  Thakombau
remains firm and consistent in his profession of Christianity, and
though certain chiefs rebelled against him, he has dealt as leniently
with them as the maintenance of authority and order will allow, and has
striven as far as possible to avoid bloodshed.

"It is satisfactory to see the way Captain Erskine, of HMS _Havannah_,
speaks of those who have contributed to bring about this state of
things.  I cannot refrain from touching on a circumstance which he
mentions, redounding as it does so greatly to the honour of the wives of
two of the missionaries, Mrs Lyth and Mrs Calvert.  It occurred while
old Tanoa was still alive, and of course long before Thakombau became a
Christian.

"A powerful tribe had sent a deputation to Mbau with tribute, and it was
necessary to provide them with a banquet, a portion of which must,
according to custom, be human flesh.  The chief whose business it was to
provide for the occasion, not having any enemies, set forth by night and
captured a number of women belonging to a village along the coast, who
had come down to pick shell-fish for food.  Immediately Namosimalua, the
Christian chief, heard of it, he hastened to the missionary station; but
the missionaries' wives alone were at home.  These heroic women,
however, resolved to go themselves, and to endeavour at all risks to
save the lives of the captives.  Accompanied by the faithful Christian
chief they embarked in a canoe for Mbau.  Each carried a whale's tooth
decorated with ribbons, a necessary offering on preferring a petition to
a chief.  As they landed near old Tanoa's house, the shrieks of two
women then being slaughtered for the day's entertainment chilled their
blood, but did not daunt their resolution.  Ten had been killed; one had
died of her wounds; the life of one girl had been begged by Thakombau's
principal wife, to whom she was delivered as a slave, and three only
remained.  Regardless of the sanctity of the place, it being tabooed to
women, they forced themselves into old Tanoa's chamber, who demanded,
with astonishment at their temerity, what those women did there?  The
Christian chief, presenting the two whales' teeth, answered that they
came to solicit the lives of the remaining prisoners.

"Tanoa, still full of wonder, took up one of these teeth, and turning to
an attendant, desired him to carry it immediately to Navindi--the chief
who had captured the prisoners--and ask, `If it were good?'

"A few minutes were passed in anxious suspense.  The messenger returned.
Navindi's answer was, `It is good.'  The women's cause was gained, and
old Tanoa thus pronounced his judgment: `Those who are dead, are dead;
those who are alive shall live.'  The heroic ladies retired with their
three rescued fellow-creatures, and had the satisfaction besides of
discovering that their daring efforts had produced a more than hoped-for
effect.  A year or two ago, no voice but that of derision would have
been raised towards them, but now returning to their canoe, they were
followed by numbers of their own sex blessing them for their exertions,
and urging them to persevere.

"Captain Erskine, who heard this account from the ladies themselves, and
gives it much as I have done, adds, `If anything could have increased
our admiration of their heroism, it was the unaffected manner in which
when pressed by us to relate the circumstances of their awful visit,
they spoke of it as the simple performance of an ordinary duty.'  He
continues: `I could not fail to admire the tolerant tone of the
missionaries when speaking of these enormities.  Accustomed for years to
witness scenes such as few believe are to be seen on the face of the
earth, and to combat the wildest errors step by step, with slow but
almost certain success, these good men know well that a constant
expression of indignation, such as must naturally arise in the mind of a
stranger, would not produce the desired effect on the unhappy beings to
whose loftiest interests they have with much self-sacrifice devoted
themselves.  Navindi, the cannibal chief of the fishermen, whose natural
disposition they describe as kindly and confiding, was received quite on
the footing of a friend, and Thakombau was also spoken of as a man of
great energy and good intentions, by whose instrumentality much good
might yet be effected among his numerous subjects or dependants.  The
wisdom of their conduct has been proved.  These men have been won over
to the truth.  When our blessed Lord walked on earth He reproved in
strongest language the scribes and Pharisees who knew the law, but not
the publicans and sinners who knew it not.  Captain Erskine describes
the missionaries as engaged in the translation of the Scriptures and
other religious works to be completed before a given time--a labour to
be carried on in the midst of constant interruptions, to which the
members of this mission and their families are liable at all hours of
the day.  Besides being referred to in cases of quarrels and disputes,
the care of the sick and the distribution of medicines are duties which
they have undertaken, and carry out with unremitting attention.'

"I wish that people in England knew of the efforts made by the priests
of Rome to impede the progress of the pure gospel.  Their mode of
proceeding is very clearly described in a few words by Captain Erskine.
He says, `There are two French Roman Catholic missionaries stationed at
Lakemba, but, as at Tongatabu, it is to be feared that their presence
will tend rather to retard than advance the improvement of the natives.
The practice of this (Roman Catholic) mission, in availing themselves of
the pioneer-ship of men of a different sect, for the purpose of
undermining their exertions, cannot be too severely reprobated.  Being
very irregularly furnished with supplies from their own country, these
two are sometimes dependent for the common necessaries of life on the
Wesleyans, for whom they entertain the strongest dislike, and who cannot
be expected to treat them otherwise than as mischievous intruders; nor
are their privations in any way compensated by success in their
objects.'  He describes a visit to the fortress of Bea, in Tonga, where
two Roman Catholic priests reside, and which is inhabited partly by
Roman Catholics and partly by heathens.  `The appearance of the people
in this fortress was not such as to impress one favourably, compared
with the others of their countrymen we had seen.  They were more
scantily clothed, and apparently less cleanly in their persons and
houses, a natural consequence of living in a more confined space; and
the absence of that cordiality which we everywhere met with from persons
connected with the Protestant missions was very apparent.  I heard also
among the younger officers of pockets picked and handkerchiefs stolen,
showing a more lawless state of life, and a retention of their old
habits, which were so obnoxious to their early European visitors.'  The
priests complained to Captain Erskine of the way the missionaries spoke
of them, on which he says, `It is perhaps sufficient to remark that,
even if the Wesleyans were guilty (which I do not believe) of all the
improper conduct attributed to them by M Calinon, it has been occasioned
entirely by the obtrusion of the Society to which he belongs into ground
previously occupied by others, who would undoubtedly, had their efforts
remained unopposed or unassisted, soon have numbered the whole of the
population among their fellow-worshippers.'

"The priest also wrote to Captain Erskine, repeating his accusations of
intolerance against the Wesleyans, and expressing his fears that their
efforts to disparage him would be renewed on their departure, and the
flight of the pope from Rome, of which they had heard, represented as
the downfall of the Catholic Church.

"The captain says, `I thought it right to answer his letter, as I could
exonerate the missionaries from any charge of having attempted to
prejudice us against the Roman Catholic priests, nor did I believe that
they would make use of any unfair argument against their faith, founded
on the political position of the pope.'  I must also express my
conviction that the charge against the Wesleyans made by the priests of
adopting as proselytes all who offer without examination is quite
unfounded.  The putting away of all but one wife--no small sacrifice on
the part of a people who have practised polygamy for ages--is always
insisted on as a first step, and regular attendance on religious worship
is also expected.  Among the older Christians I saw every evidence of
their having adopted the new faith from conscientious conviction, and
the chiefs of the highest distinction are probably better read in the
New Testament than any of the English met with among the islands.

"Captain Erskine also bears testimony to the character of other
missionaries.  Describing the work at Samoa, he says: `The first
circumstance which must strike a stranger on his arrival, and one which
will come hourly under his notice during his stay, is the influence
which all white men, but in particular the missionaries, exercise over
the minds of the natives.

"`No unprejudiced person will fail to see that had this people acquired
their knowledge of a more powerful and civilised race than their own,
either from the abandoned and reckless characters who still continue to
infest most of the islands of the Pacific, or even from a higher class
engaged in purely mercantile pursuits, they must have fallen into a
state of vice and degradation to which their old condition would have
been infinitely superior.  That they have been at least rescued from
this state, is entirely owing to the missionaries; and should the few
points of asceticism which these worthy men, conscientiously believing
them necessary to the eradication of the old superstitions, have
introduced among their converts, become softened by time and the absence
of opposition, it is not easy to imagine a greater moral improvement
than will then have taken place among a (once) savage people.

"`With respect to those gentlemen of the London Mission, whose
acquaintance I had the satisfaction of making in Samoa, I will venture,
at the risk of being considered presumptuous, to express my opinion,
that in acquirements, general ability, and active energy, they would
hold no undistinguished place among their Christian brethren at home.
The impossibility of accumulating private property, both from the
regulations of the Society and the circumstances surrounding them, ought
to convince the most sceptical of their worldly disinterestedness, nor
can the greatest scoffers at their exertions deny to them the possession
of a virtue which every class of Englishman esteems above all others,
the highest order of personal courage.'  [See Note.]

"But I need not quote further from Captain Erskine, nor from other
unprejudiced writers, to convince you, and through you your friends, of
what has been accomplished through the instrumentality of missionaries.
You will have many opportunities of judging for yourself.  There is,
however, another subject to which I would urge you to draw attention,
that is, the attempts made by French priests of the Church of Rome to
counteract the efforts of the missionaries.  You know what has been done
at Tahiti.  You hear from Captain Erskine what is doing at Tonga and
Fiji.  The same attempts are being made at Samoa and elsewhere, wherever
English missionaries have pioneered the way, and there are good
harbours, but not otherwise.  This almost looks as if their designs are
political as well as religious, and that the object of those who send
them is to establish French posts across the Pacific, so that in time of
war they may have coaling stations and harbours of refuge in every
direction.  As they have by means of these priests a party in each
group, they will never want an excuse for interfering in the affairs of
the islands whenever they may have occasion to do so.

"But I must tell you more of many other islands brought under Christian
instruction.  Savage Island offers a notable example of what can be done
in a short time.  Captain Cook gave it that name, on account of the
savage appearance of the inhabitants.  When Williams first visited them
in 1830, they appeared to be in no way improved.  Several at length were
induced to visit Samoa, where at the training college they gained so
sound a knowledge of Christianity, that in 1846 two of them were well
fitted to impart it to their long-benighted countrymen.  They narrowly,
however, escaped with their lives, and some time elapsed before they
could gain the confidence of those they came to instruct.  When visited
by the Reverend A Murray in 1852, about two hundred converts had been
made, and many others had learned to look at the teachers with
affection.  Unhappily that very year several of the natives were killed
by the crew of a man-of-war which had called off the island, because one
of them had stolen a carpenter's tool, and among them was the chief who
had protected the missionaries on first landing.  Still they were
already too well instructed to wish to return evil for evil, and with
simplicity complained that the punishment was rather severe, especially
as the innocent suffered, though not altogether undeserved.  From this
time forward, under their native teachers, the people made great
progress in their knowledge of religious truth, and so rapidly were
numbers added to the Church, that in a few years not a heathen remained
on the island.  It was not indeed till quite lately that an English
missionary was placed on the island, and he found five large churches
built, one of which was capable of holding more than a thousand people;
and many young men were anxious to be trained, that they might carry the
gospel to other lands.  I might give you a similar account of the way
Christianity has been introduced into many other islands, and small
groups of islands in this part of the Pacific; but I have a very
different one to give of the western part, or of those islands which
form what is called Melanesia.  They consist of five groups, and not
only do the inhabitants of each group speak different languages, but
frequently those of neighbouring islands.

"We will begin with the large island of New Caledonia, on which the
French have lately formed a convict establishment.  To the south of it
is the Isle of Pines, and to the east the three islands of Mare, Livu,
and Uea, forming the Loyalty group.  At Mare and Livu chiefly,
Christianity has made progress, and Protestant missionaries have for
some years been residing on them, while the people of Uea have gladly
received the word; but the Isle of Pines has been stained with the blood
of several native missionaries; and not only did the savage people
reject the offer themselves, but they impeded its progress on New
Caledonia, by threatening all who became Christians, till the French
arrived and put a stop to the promulgation of Protestant truth among the
people.  Altogether, the influence of Romanism has been most pernicious
in these islands.

"To the north-east of them are the New Hebrides, the most southern of
which is Aneiteum; next Tanna, Eromanga, Fate, Malicolo, Espiritu Santo,
and many others.  The next group is that of Banks' Island, with Santa
Maria, and many small isles.  The Santa Cruz group is the fourth in the
list; and to the north-west of them the Solomon Isles, consisting of
many large islands, make the fifth group.  The London Missionary Society
have made every effort to carry the gospel to the inhabitants of the two
first named groups, and in some instances successfully.

"It was at Eromanga that the devoted missionary John Williams fell, with
his young companion Mr Harris, struck down by the club of a chief.
This sad murder did not prevent the Society from making further efforts
to send the gospel to the benighted inhabitants.  Those efforts have
been blessed, and among the converts was the chief who committed the
deed, and who gave up to a missionary the very weapon with which the
fatal blow was struck.  On Aneiteum, English missionaries are located,
Christian Churches have been established, and, with few exceptions, the
whole of the population have in name become Christian.

"These five groups are now called Melanesia.  They have for some years
past been regularly visited by the energetic Bishop of New Zealand, who
has induced young men from most of them to accompany him in his mission
vessel to New Zealand, where at the Auckland training college they are
prepared to carry back the gospel to their savage countrymen.  A
missionary bishop has lately been appointed to superintend the work,
which, if carried on in the spirit with which it has been commenced,
must with God's blessing prosper.

"These islands were long noted for the deeds of blood committed on their
shores, for the number of vessels cut off, and both white and native
missionaries murdered, and the natives have been looked on in
consequence as of the most fierce and sanguinary character.  That they
deserved it in a degree there is no doubt; but at the same time it is
very certain that their conduct towards foreigners was caused by the
unjust, cruel way in which they were treated by the crews of vessels
which came to procure sandal-wood on their shores.  These men shot them
down, cheated them, and ill-treated them in every possible way,
sometimes carrying off chiefs and people from one place to exchange them
as slaves for sandal-wood in another.  Over and over again natives have
been shot both on board vessels and on shore by the traders.  Such was
the cause of the death of the lamented John Williams and young Harris.
A trading vessel had touched at Eromanga a short time before their
arrival, her crew having shot several natives, among whom was the son of
a chief, who afterwards confessed that it was in retaliation he had
instigated his countrymen to the attack, and had himself struck the
fatal blow.

"But time will not allow me to give a further description of this
portion of the Pacific.  I have as yet told you nothing of the Sandwich
Islands, or, as they are now called, the Hawaiian Islands, with their
capital Honolulu, in the isle of Oahu, and their late sovereign, King
Kamehameha the Fourth.  They consist of several large and beautiful
islands: that of Hawaii (Owhyee), containing two mountains, Mouna Kea
and Mouna Roa, said to be eighteen thousand feet in height, and by far
the most lofty in the whole Pacific.  The inhabitants are a fine and
handsome race.  Their religion was one of gross superstition, and so
overloaded with restrictions, constantly increasing, and curtailing the
liberty of all classes except the priests, that the chiefs and people at
length became utterly weary of it.  Even when visited by Captain
Vancouver in 1793, some of the chiefs requested him to send them
instructors in the Christian faith,--a prayer to which little attention
appears to have been paid.

"It was not till the year 1820 that the young King Rihoriho, who had
ascended the throne established by his victorious father, no longer
believing in the power of his idols, and weary of the restraints of the
old religion, at one stroke broke through the hitherto sacred taboo and
the entire system of priestcraft.

"Just before this eventful time it had been put into the hearts of
Christian men in the United States, who formed the American Board of
Missions, to send missionaries to the long-known savage murderers of
Captain Cook.  A band of devoted men, admirably selected, arrived on the
30th March, 1820, in sight of Mouna Roa.  They were received in a
friendly way by the king and many of the chiefs, and three stations were
soon occupied by them and their families.

"Two years afterwards, Mr Ellis, of the London Missionary Society, was
invited to come from Tahiti to aid in the work, which he was happily
enabled to do.  He came accompanied by some native Tahitian teachers,
who were of the greatest assistance to the missionaries.  He remained
until the ill-health of Mrs Ellis compelled him to return to England.
The king of the Sandwich Islands and his excellent queen, after they had
become Christians, paid a visit to England, where they soon died from
the measles, which they caught on landing.  King Rihoriho, who had
assumed the title of Kamehameha the Second, was succeeded by his younger
brother, the islands being well governed in the mean time by his mother
and one of his chiefs.

"The missionary stations were increased in number, many schools were
established, and the natives began to understand the truths of the
gospel, and to accept its offers, when there came a rude interruption
from an outbreak of heathen chiefs, set on by their priests.  After some
severe fighting the rebels were defeated, and the insurrection
completely put down.  Christianity and civilisation once more again made
progress; but the missionaries had to contend with opposition not only
from the heathen natives, but from so-called Christian strangers, who
were furious at finding that they could no longer indulge in the gross
licence in which in former days they had been accustomed to revel.  Not
only were they insulted by masters of whalers, but the American
missionaries complain that they were ill-treated by the commander of one
of their own men-of-war, and by all his subordinates.  From such sources
have arisen the numerous calumnies current against the missionaries in
the South-Sea."

[See Note 2.]

"In about ten years from the landing of the first missionaries one-third
of the population were under instruction, and there were no less than
nine hundred native teachers; but even at that time, and much later,
there were many heathens, and vice and immorality were very prevalent
among professing Christians.  Still among all classes there were notable
examples of true piety, and ardent zeal for the propagation of the
truth.  The excellent queen-mother, Kaahumanu, by her precept and
example did much to advance the cause of religion.  I must tell you of
another native lady, Kapiolani, the wife of Naike, the public orator of
the kingdom, by whose courage and faith one of the most terrible of the
old superstitions of Hawaii was overthrown.  The old religion was
coloured by the awful volcanic phenomena of which these islands are the
theatre.  The most fearful of all their deities was Pele, a goddess
supposed to reside in the famous volcano of Kilauea.  Here, with her
attendant spirits, she revelled amid the fiery billows as they dashed
against the sides of the crater.  To the base of this volcano the old
heathenism, driven from the rest of Hawaii, slowly retreated, though the
priestesses of Pele several times ventured even into the presence of the
king, to endeavour by threats of the vengeance of the goddess to induce
him to support the faith of his fathers.  These impostors still
exercised considerable influence over the uneducated masses.

"Kapiolani, bold in the Christian faith, resolved practically to show
how utterly powerless were these supposed fiery gods.  After a journey
of a hundred miles, as she neared the side of the mountain, a prophetess
of the supposed goddess met her with warnings and denunciations of
vengeance.  But undauntedly she persevered, and as she stood on the
black edge of the seething caldron she addressed, in words of perfect
faith, the anxious bystanders watching for the effects of Pele's wrath:
`Jehovah is my God: He kindled these fires.  I fear not Pele.  If I
perish, then you may believe that she exists, and dread her power.  But
if Jehovah saves me, then you must fear and serve Him.'  As she spoke,
she cast with untrembling hand the sacred berries into the burning
crater, quietly waiting till the spectators should be convinced that no
result was to follow.  Thus she succeeded in breaking through the last
lingering remnant of the long-dreaded taboo; and while the priests and
priestesses were compelled to support themselves by honest labour, their
votaries abandoned their heathen practices, and in many instances sought
instruction in the new faith.

"The examples I have given will show you the mode in which Christianity
has spread over the isles of the Pacific.  But there are still
numberless dark spots to which the gospel has not been carried, and in
all, the Churches still require the support, strengthening, and
instruction which in general white men can alone afford."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 1.  "Journal of a Cruise among the Islands of the Pacific," by
Captain J Elphinstone Erskine, RN, page 100.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 2.  The _Quarterly Review_, 1853, in noticing accounts of voyages
in the Pacific, after quoting the favourable testimonies of some
writers, thus refers to others: "There is one circumstance which
produces a very painful impression: it is the extreme unfairness which
has been brought to bear against the missionaries and their proceedings,
even by reporters whose substantial good intentions we have no right to
controvert.  Surely their work was one which, whatever exception we may
take against particular views or interests, ought to have excited the
sympathies, not only of those who belong to the religious party, as it
is commonly called, but of all who do not take a perverse pleasure in
contemplating human degradation as a kind of moral necessity.  The
object of these devoted men was to redeem the natives from no mere
speculative unbelief, but from superstitions the most sanguinary and
licentious.  Even those who were careless as to the great truths which
the Polynesians had to learn, must feel, upon reflection, that merely to
unteach the brutal and defiling lesson of ages of darkness was to confer
a priceless blessing.  Every prejudice should surely be in favour of the
men who have by general confession accomplished the first and apparently
most laborious part of this task; instead of which a large class of
writers find a species of satisfaction in thinking nothing but evil."



CHAPTER EIGHTEEN.

A HAZARDOUS EXPLOIT.

Mr Bent had been waiting for my recovery to restore Alea to her father,
and to revisit the newly-established Christian community in her native
island.  It was important to lose no time in doing this.  Mary Bent
would have accompanied us; but as her father proposed being absent only
a short time, and as the inconveniences of voyaging in a native canoe
were very great, he wished her to remain at home.  She was, however, not
alone; for the widow of a missionary resided with her, and shared her
onerous duties in instructing the native girls, an occupation in which
both ladies took the greatest delight.  All the inhabitants of the
island now, it must be understood, professed Christianity, and might
justly be called thoroughly civilised.  Many also were true and sincere
believers; so that these two English ladies, left alone on a small
island of the Pacific, felt as secure as they would have done in the
centre of civilised England.

As we drew near her father's island, Alea showed considerable
trepidation and anxiety as to the way in which she would be received.
She could not persuade herself that one from whom she had fled so short
a time before, and left a fierce, ignorant heathen, would be willing to
forgive her, and treat her with kindness.  Might he not also, after all,
compel her to become the wife of the cannibal chief to whom she had been
betrothed?  That was the most dreadful thought.  Mr Bent used every
possible argument to calm her apprehensions.  Although the poor girl had
felt the influence of grace in her own soul, she scarcely as yet
comprehended its power to change the heart of men.  I had entertained a
sincere interest in the fate of the young princess from the day we had
found her and her perishing companions on board the canoe.  I was now
able to exchange a few words with her, and there was one subject on
which she was never tired of dwelling,--the praise of Mary Bent,--in
which I could always join.

Believing that my future lot would be cast among the people of these
islands, I had begun seriously to study their language, and I took every
opportunity of practising myself in speaking it.  We had two native
teachers on board, who were to be left among the new converts, and all
day long I was talking to them, so that I found myself making rapid
progress in their somewhat difficult language.

With a fair wind, the missionary flag flying from the mast-head, we
entered the harbour.  The shore was crowded, and more and more people
came rushing down from all quarters.  It was evident that they would not
receive us with indifference.  Mr Bent had wished to prepare the king
for his daughter's return; but she was recognised before we reached the
beach, and several people hurried off to inform her father of her
arrival.  As the vessel's keel touched the strand we saw the people
separating on either side, and between them appeared the old chief
hurrying down towards us.  We instantly landed with Alea, and no sooner
did her father reach her than, contrary to all native customs, he folded
her in his arms, and kissing her brow, burst into tears?--but they were
tears of joy.

"Forgive you, daughter!" he answered to her petition.  "It is I have to
be thankful that I could not succeed in ruining your soul and body as I
proposed.  What agony should I now be feeling had I cast you into the
power of the child of Satan, to the destruction of your soul and body
alike!"

These words made Alea truly happy, and still more so when her father
gave her free permission to become the wife of Vihala.  During their
first interview we stood aside; but now the king came forward, and
invited us to come up to his abode.  He had evidently some reason for
wishing us to come at once.  What was our surprise to see on the summit
of a hill a building beyond all comparison larger than had ever been
erected in the island.  The king pointed it out to us with no slight
pride.  It was a church built entirely by the natives, according to the
descriptions given them by Vihala, and the assistance of two or three of
them who had seen Christian places of worship during their visits to
other islands, though they were at the time themselves heathen.  Often
have I since seen heathens sitting at the porch of a place of worship,
or standing outside the circle of eager listeners; and I have hoped, not
without reason, that those men were imbibing some portion of the seed
thus scattered, to bring forth fruit in due time.  This fact alone is
encouraging; indeed there is every encouragement to persevere in
missionary labour throughout the Pacific.  Where, indeed, is it not to
be found, if waited for with patience?  The missionary, too, feels that
he goes not forth in his own strength,--that a far higher influence is
at work, and on that he places his confidence of success.

Nothing could be more satisfactory than the reception afforded us by the
chief; but I need not describe the number of hogs and fowls, of
bread-fruit, of taro, of the sweet potato, and of numerous other
articles of food which were collected to make a feast in honour of our
arrival.  Mr Bent lost no time in carrying out the object of our visit,
in addressing the people, and in installing the teachers in their
office.  One of our first works was to plan a school-room and houses for
the teachers, and to suggest certain alterations in the church to make
it more suitable for public worship.  It had been arranged that we
should return before the next Sabbath; but as it was possible to
complete the building by that day, Mr Bent resolved to remain and open
it in due form, the natives redoubling their efforts, and working almost
day and night to effect that object.  I lent a hand, and in sailor
fashion erected a pulpit, which, as there was no time to carve, I
covered with matting and native cloth, which had a novel, though not
unpleasing, appearance.

I did not before speak of my ship: I scarcely expected to find her here
on my arrival.  Indeed the captain, I understood, thought that all on
board the boat had been lost.  He had waited, however, day after day,
till losing all patience, he had sailed at length the very day we had
reached the missionary station.  I was most concerned to hear that my
boat had not reached the island, though I had a hope that she had fallen
in with the _Golden Crown_, and been picked up.  If, on the contrary,
she had been lost or captured by savages, I felt how grateful I should
be for having escaped destruction.  Captain Buxton, fully believing that
I was lost, had left no message for me, so that I could not tell where
the ship had gone, nor what were his intentions.

I must now return to the subject of the church.  The opening was one of
the most interesting sights I ever beheld.  It was crowded at an early
hour with people, old and young, all clothed in native cloth, and with
their hair cut short,--signs that they had lotued, or become Christians;
while numbers were seen approaching from all directions, many of whom,
being unable to obtain seats inside, crowded round the doors and
windows.  Mr Bent's address was most fervent, and, though I could
understand but little of it, yet, judging from the way in which the
attention of every one present was absorbed, it must have been deeply
interesting.  Of course but comparatively a small number of those
present were really Christians, or understood even the great principles
of Christianity.  They now required the instruction which man can give,
and the work of the Holy Spirit to change their hearts.  I may here
remark, that I have often heard missionaries accused of over eagerness
to increase the number of their flocks; but I should say that Protestant
missionaries are never willing to consider those converted who are not
really so, and that no ministers of the gospel are more strict in the
tests they apply to ascertain the fitness of converts for baptism.  Mr
Bent well knew the character of his congregation, and addressed them
accordingly; but surely it was glorious progress to have some hundreds
of persons, not long ago untamed savages, listening attentively to the
truths of the gospel.  No work of man could thus have progressed,--no
mere civilising influence would have produced such an effect.  When the
morning service was over, the people assembled on the hill-side and in
open spaces in the neighbourhood of the church, and there, while eating
the provisions they had brought with them, they eagerly discussed the
subject of the discourse they had just heard.  The teachers I observed
went about among them, now sitting down with one group, now with
another, and were thus able to answer questions, to give information,
and to correct the erroneous notions which were likely to be
entertained.  Alea scarcely ever left her father's side, and was
continually engaged in imparting to him the instruction which she had
received from Mr Bent and Mary; and it was interesting to observe the
avidity with which the old man received the truth from the lips of the
young girl.

I heard reports, however, that the heathen party, still numerous, were
mustering strongly in another part of the island.  It had been
ascertained also that a canoe manned by heathens had left the island
some time back, but where they had gone was not known.  These
circumstances I thought suspicious, and I feared foreboded evil.  The
meeting at the service in the afternoon, of the natives professing
Christianity, was fully equal to that in the morning, but there were
fewer heathens.  The service continued with prayer and songs of praise,
and an address full of instruction and exhortation from Mr Bent.  It
was almost concluded, when a heathen chief, an old friend of the king, I
found, rushed breathless into the building, announcing that a large
fleet of double canoes was approaching the island,--that it was that of
the cannibal chief to whom Alea was betrothed, coming undoubtedly with
hostile intent.

"How far off are the canoes?" asked the king.

"Some distance as yet," was the answer.

"Then we will pray for protection from One mighty to save," exclaimed
the king.  "We shall now judge which is the most powerful,--Jehovah,
whom we have lately learned to worship, or the false gods whom we have
cast away."

None of the people moved from their places.  The missionary concluded
his discourse, and then offered up an earnest prayer for protection from
all dangers, to which every one present repeated a loud Amen.  They then
moved in an orderly manner out of the church, when the greater number
hurried up the hill, whence they could see the approaching canoes.  Of
these there were some fifteen or twenty of different sizes, but most of
them large enough to contain a hundred men at least.  They were making
for a sandy point some way from the town or settlement, where we
concluded the enemy would land.  I could see with my glass the warriors
dancing, and shaking their spears, and gesticulating violently, in a way
intended to insult those they had come to attack, and to strike terror
into their hearts.  A council of war was now held.  It was believed that
the enemy would not attempt to make an attack that night, but would wait
till the morning; still it was necessary to be prepared.  The warriors
accordingly armed themselves, and assembled in strong bodies under their
different leaders.  It was a difficult position for Mr Bent and me.
He, however, at once stated that he could not assist our friends except
by his advice and prayers, but he told me that I might act as I thought
fit.  Should I fight, or should I not?  There was a sore conflict within
me.  My inclinations prompted me to fight, but my new-born principles
taught me to pray rather than to fight, where not called on positively
by duty to do so.  In either case, my example might be of service.  I
prayed (as all men in a difficulty should pray) to be guided aright.  I
decided to remain with the missionary, and use every means to stay the
fight, or to mitigate its horrors should it take place.

"I am glad, my son, that you have so resolved," remarked Mr Bent, when
I told him of my determination.  "Surely the prayers of a believing man
are of more avail than the strong arm of the bravest of warriors.  It is
a trial of your faith, certainly; but oh, pray that your faith may not
waver."

While I had been consulting with Mr Bent, I found that a herald from
the enemy had arrived with a demand that the Princess Alea should be
forthwith delivered up to his master, and threatening the king and all
his adherents with utter destruction if he refused compliance.

"Tell your chief that once I was in the dark as he is.  Then I thought
it no sin to give him my daughter; now I have light, and see my
wickedness and folly.  When he has light, he likewise will see as I do.
My daughter cannot be his wife."  This bold speech seemed to astonish
the herald, who, having repeated his threats, took his departure.

Active preparations were now commenced for the defence of the
settlement, and such fortifications as the natives use were thrown up on
all sides.  Slight as they may appear, they are capable of offering a
considerable resistance, and on one occasion, in the island of
Tongatabu, a brave English naval officer and several of his men lost
their lives in an attack on one of them held by a rebel and heathen
chief who had set at defiance the authority of King George.

As evening drew on we could see the enemy on the sand-bank, dancing
round large fires which they had kindled, the sound of their war-shrieks
and shouts, and the blowing of their conch-shells reaching us through
the calm night air.  Meantime the missionary repaired to the church,
which during the night was visited at intervals by the whole Christian
population.  The king also sat frequently in council with his chiefs.
One of the youngest, who had, however, greatly distinguished himself,
arose and proposed leading a band of chosen warriors to attack the enemy
before they commenced their march in the morning.

"While they are singing and dancing, they will not keep a good watch,
and thus we may approach them without being discovered.  Jehovah will
aid us.  It is Satan fights for them.  We will prove which is the
strongest."

All approved the words of the young chief, and he had no lack of
volunteers.  About two hundred men were chosen and well armed; they at
once set out on their hazardous exploit.  They had resolved to conquer
and save their brethren or die, and yet, perhaps, there was not one who
did not expect to be victorious.  I had not seen Alea for some time.
While I was with the king, who was surrounded by several of his chiefs,
she unexpectedly made her appearance among us.  She was weeping
bitterly.

"Father," she said, "I am the cause of all the bloodshed which is about
to occur.  Let my life be sacrificed rather than that of so many of your
friends.  Give me up to the chief.  He can then have no cause to
complain.  I will never be his wife.  I may make my escape or I may die,
but the lives of you and your friends will be preserved."

On hearing this noble resolve, the chiefs to a man exclaimed that
nothing should induce them to abandon the princess.  Prayers from all
sides were in the mean time offered up for the success of the band of
warriors who had gone forth to attack the enemy.  No one, however,
slackened in their efforts to fortify the town, and all, from the king,
when not engaged in council, down to the slave taken in battle, carried
baskets of earth or posts for stockades, during the greater part of the
night, to those parts of the fortifications which required
strengthening.  As the hours drew on we waited anxiously for the result
of the expedition.  I could not help feeling how critical was our
position.  I was not anxious, however, on my own account, but I could
not help reflecting on the sad condition to which Mary would be reduced
should her father and I be cut off, as we might too probably be if the
heathens gained the victory.  Then came the blessed and consoling
thought that God cares for the orphans, especially of those who serve
Him; what strength and courage does it give those who rest on His sure
promises--a comfort which people of the world can never enjoy.

I went the rounds of the fortifications a short time before dawn, and
found all the warriors at their posts.  I then rejoined Mr Bent, and
was conversing with him, when a loud shout from a distance reached our
ears, followed by a confused sound of shrieks and cries mingled with the
shouts, which continued without cessation for many minutes.  Scouts were
sent out to ascertain the cause, but no one returned before day broke.
The light then revealed to us the fleet of the enemy shoving off from
the land.  Some of the canoes had already got away, others were hoisting
their sails, while a body of the enemy were defending themselves on the
beach, hard pressed by our friends.  On seeing this the warriors in the
town rushed from their trenches, but before they could reach the scene
of action not an enemy remained on their strand, with the exception of
three or four slain and some thirty or more taken prisoners.  The rest
sailed away in hot haste, seized with an unusual, if not an
unaccountable panic.  As their sails had become mere dots on the
horizon, the victors entered the town singing, not as before songs of
triumph in honour of their idols, but praises to Jehovah, to whom they
ascribed their victory.  Mr Bent and I, with the women and children and
aged men who had not gone forth to the fight, met them, when the king,
in set form, recounted what had occurred.  The first band had remained
concealed till near daylight, when the enemy appeared to be getting
drowsy after all their feasting and dancing.  At a signal from their
leader they dashed forth on the foe, who, totally unprepared for them,
were seized with a sudden panic, and the greater number, leaving even
their arms, fled towards their canoes.  The few who were killed had
refused to receive quarter, and as many as could be seized were taken
prisoners.  These latter fully expected to be slaughtered immediately,
and to be offered up to idols, if not to be eaten.  They had been
somewhat surprised in the first instance to see that their friends who
had been killed in the fight were decently interred where they fell,
instead of being dragged ignominiously by the heels to the town.  They
only concluded that this was one of the new customs of the lotu people,
and had no expectation in consequence of escaping the common doom of
captives.  Several of them were chiefs who had attempted to defend the
rear while their countrymen were embarking.  They stood with downcast,
sullen looks, prepared for torture and death.  The king now approached
them.  "Why, O chiefs, did you come to attack my island and my people?"
he asked calmly.  "We are now among those who wish to live at peace with
all men, to have enmity towards no one.  Why did you desire to do us
harm?"

"We came against you because our king and master ordered us," answered
one of the prisoners, looking up with a fierce scowl of defiance on his
countenance.  "Our object was to carry off your daughter to become our
king's wife; the rest of you we should have killed and eaten."

"And I, O chiefs, let you go free because my King and Master orders me
to be merciful, that I may obtain mercy," answered the king.  "You, O
chiefs and people, are free to return to your own island, but before you
go you must learn something of the new religion which we have been
taught, that you may go back and speak of it to your people, or wherever
you may go."

The astonished captives could scarcely believe their senses, the
treatment was so unlike anything those they had known taken in war had
experienced.  They consulted together and expressed their willingness to
accept the offer.  They were completely overcome when the king promised
them a large canoe and ample provisions for their return.  The people
having taken some refreshment, assembled at the church, where hearty
thanksgivings were offered up for the deliverance they had experienced.
The captives attended.  I watched their countenances.  They seemed lost
in amazement.  All the sentiments were so new and strange.  The reign of
the Prince of Peace was spoken of.  They soon after came to the
missionary desiring that they might be allowed to serve so good a
Master.  They never seemed tired of receiving instruction in the new
doctrine, and I was struck with its wonderful adaptability to
unsophisticated man, and its power of satisfying his heart yearnings,
from the avidity with which they seized each point as presented to them.

It was now time to return to the mission station.  We bade an
affectionate farewell to Alea, promising to send her intended husband
back to the island as soon as possible.  The now liberated captives
agreed to embark on the same day.  Their chief entreaty was that a
missionary or a teacher might be sent them to instruct them in the way
of eternal life, that way which, by a wonderful combination of
circumstances, they were now anxious to follow.  Thus the Almighty works
often, and thus He has thought fit in an especial manner to work
throughout the Pacific.

The difficulty was to obtain a teacher.  Mr Bent had several under
training at the station, and he told the captives that if they would
accompany us he would endeavour to find one who would return with them
to their island.  They were delighted with the proposal, and exhibited
an extraordinary eagerness to set forth.  Their hurry was at the time
unaccountable, as they were evidently sincere in their expressions.
Anxious to please them, we accordingly had our canoe launched, taking
several of them on board, the remainder going in the canoe given by the
king.  The wind being fair, we had a quick run till more than half way
across.  Just then, through our glasses, we caught sight of a canoe,
which, on discovering us, as it seemed, paddled off at right angles to
avoid us--her people evidently mistrusting our character.  We instantly
altered our course to cut her off, and approached her with our
missionary flag flying.  No sooner was this discovered than the canoe
turned again towards us.  She soon drew near, when we recognised the
people in her as belonging to the station.  By their gestures and
countenances we had too much reason to believe that they brought us evil
tidings.  "Haste! haste! haste!" they exclaimed, leaping on board.  "A
heathen fleet has arrived at the island, and the chief threatens to
attack the station.  Even now he may have begun the onslaught, for his
fury was great.  Haste! haste! haste!"



CHAPTER NINETEEN.

THE LAUNCH OF THE OLIVE BRANCH.

We now understood more of the dangers to which the families of
missionaries have often been exposed in all parts of the world.  I must
own that in my fears for Mary Bent's safety, my own faith and fortitude
were well nigh giving way.  Mr Bent retained his calmness in a
wonderful manner.  "All things are in God's hands," he observed.  "He
will guide them as He knows to be best.  We have to go on labouring to
the utmost of our power, leaving the rest to Him."  I felt that I must
be in action, and hauling the canoe on board with the aid of her crew,
we got out the paddles and urged our craft ahead somewhat faster than
the wind was doing.  Every moment might be of consequence.  As the
cannibal chief, exasperated at having been deprived of Alea, might
attempt to carry off Mary, the very thought drove me almost distracted.
I had had few or no trials in life, and was not prepared for this one.

Mr Bent wished to ascertain whether, if required, we could depend on
the assistance of our new friends.  They had heard what had occurred,
and at once volunteered to use every means in their power to prevent
their chief from doing harm, even to turning against him.

"He will live perhaps to thank us," one of them, a young and intelligent
chief, observed.  "At all events you have bound us to serve you."

All now seemed to depend on our arriving before the attack had begun.
We trusted that if not begun we should be able to prevent it.  Meantime
all we could do was to offer up constant, earnest prayer for the
protection of one so dear to us, and for all those at the settlement.
The wind, hitherto blowing a strong breeze, now fell light, and our
progress was slower than before.

"All is for the best, depend on that, my son," repeated the missionary
several times, when he observed my look of anxiety.  "God's loving mercy
endureth for ever.  Pray against doubt--pray against doubt.  Put on the
armour of faith.  In that you will find strength to quench all the fiery
darts of the evil one."

My venerable friend spoke the truth, and already my fears began to
subside, although I could in no way see the mode of deliverance.  I
expressed the same to Mr Bent.

"Nor did we the other day, but God clearly fought for us as He did in
days of old for the children of Israel, by putting fear into the hearts
of their enemies, and so can He now find some means for the protection
of those who serve Him."

On we glided over the calm blue water.  Now the breeze freshened, and as
the surface became rippled over, it sparkled brightly in the sunbeams.
As the island came in sight my heart beat quicker and quicker, and with
difficulty I could restrain my impatience.  I stood at the bows with my
glass at my eye directed constantly at the spot where the station was to
be found.  As the sun then was, objects close in under the land were not
distinctly discernible, but as my glass every now and then swept the
horizon on either side, the sails of a fleet of canoes came into view.
The instrument almost dropped from my hand.  We were too late.  The
attack had been made and the victors were sailing away with their
captives.  My first impulse was to give chase, and to attempt their
recovery.  I did not consider how powerless we were even should our new
allies remain faithful.  For some time I could not bring myself to tell
my fears to Mr Bent; but it was necessary to alter our course if we
were to pursue the enemy.  At length, therefore, it became necessary for
me to tell him what I had seen.  He took the telescope, and after a
severe scrutiny of the horizon in every direction, and especially of the
island, he asked, in a more cheerful voice than might have been
expected:

"Can you not assign some other cause for the flight of the foe?  Look
again."

I did so; and now, the sun having come round a little, I saw close in
with the missionary station a large ship at anchor.  She might be the
_Golden Crown_, come to take me away.  I hoped not.  My heart again
sunk.  As we drew nearer I saw that she was much larger--a man-of-war.
The station was safe.  Otherwise she would have been sailing in pursuit
of the canoes.  With one voice we burst forth in the native tongue with
songs of praise and thanksgiving; and now the canoe seemed to glide more
swiftly over the glad blue sea.  We entered the harbour, where lay a
fine English frigate.  As we passed her I hailed and inquired if the
station was safe.

"Yes, yes, all right," was the answer.  "We came in just in time to
prevent mischief."

Our eagerness to reach home prevented us from stopping to make further
inquiries.  No sooner did our boat's keel touch the strand than we
leaped on shore.  Even then before leaving the beach the missionary
knelt down and offered up a few words of thanksgiving for the mercies
vouchsafed us.  We reached the house.  Mary and her companion did not
come out to welcome us.  Voices reached our ears from within.  One I
thought I recognised.  We looked in.  Mary was doing the honours of the
tea-table with some other ladies.  There were three naval officers and
two gentlemen in black coats.  One of the latter turned his face.  It
was that of my brother John.  I had time to greet him while Mary was
receiving her father and introducing her guests.  Then came my turn to
be received by her.  I need not describe that.  I was very happy.  The
whole scene was so different from what I had but a short time before
expected, that I was perfectly bewildered.  I felt deeply grateful that
Mary had escaped all the dangers I apprehended, and which had really
threatened her.

The frigate had appeared off the station just at the very moment that
the cannibal chief and his followers were about to land.  She brought up
with her guns commanding the approach to the town.  The captain,
suspecting mischief, instantly despatched an armed boat to warn the
chief that he would allow no warlike demonstration to be made in his
presence, and that if he attempted to land he would blow his canoes to
pieces.  The warning had had at first very little effect, and the chief,
in defiance, leaping on shore with his followers from the largest canoe,
left her deserted.  The officer in charge of the boat immediately fired
the gun in the bows right into her, and almost knocked her to pieces.
The interpreter then shouted out, "If the small gun of this little boat
will do all this mischief, what would all the great guns of the big ship
do?"

The argument was irresistible.  The chief, leaping on board another
canoe, begged that no more damage might be done, and offered to sail
away immediately, promising never again to come near the settlement.
This he was allowed to do on condition of his returning directly home
without committing further damage on the way, and he was compelled to
leave two hostages as a guarantee that he would perform his promise.
All this was told in a few words, and John now introduced me to his
devoted wife; and as I heard of some of the many trials and dangers they
had gone through, and how calmly she had endured them, I felt how
admirably she was fitted to be the helpmate of a missionary.  The
captain of the frigate was, I discovered, an old family friend--one who,
convinced of the importance of missionary labour, was zealous in aiding
and supporting missionaries of the gospel wherever he met them engaged
in their Master's work.  He had found John suffering from hard work and
anxiety, and had persuaded him and his wife to take a trip among several
of the Polynesian groups, to visit as many of the missionary stations as
could be reached, in the hopes that he might return home with renewed
strength for his work.  One of the ladies was his wife's sister, who had
come out to assist her in her labours--not the only example of
self-devotion to a glorious and thrice blessed cause.  The other
gentleman in plain clothes was the chaplain of the ship.  While
conversing with him an idea occurred to me which I took an early
opportunity of communicating to John, who highly approved of it, and
undertook to broach the subject to Mr Bent while I mentioned it to
Mary.  It was one which concerned us both very nearly, for it was a
proposal to take the opportunity of marrying while a legally authorised
person was present to perform the ceremony, with my own brother and our
naval friend as witnesses.  Mary had no objections to offer, and we soon
overcame those Mr Bent suggested.

The benefit of the visit of the ship-of-war to the different missionary
stations was very great, besides having preserved ours from almost
certain destruction.  The admirable discipline of the crew had a great
influence on the minds of the heathen natives, so different from what
they had been accustomed to witness on board many whalers; the perfect
order of everything on board the ship, and the mighty power of her guns,
awed them still more, and showed them the folly of offending people who
had in their possession such instruments of punishment.  I will not say
that the appearance of any ship of war would do good.  Unless discipline
is strict and no licence is allowed, they might do, as some have done, a
great deal of harm.

One of the worst of this kind, was that of Captain Kotzebue, commanding
a Russian exploring expedition.  Wherever he went he outraged decency by
the licence he allowed his crew, and on his return home malignantly
abused the English missionaries whom he found nobly struggling, against
innumerable difficulties, to reclaim the hapless natives from the sin
and corruption which he had done his utmost to encourage.  Others, from
ignorance or from vicious dispositions, followed his line of abuse,
though happily the greater number of their publications have sunk into
deserved oblivion, while the glorious result of missionary labour,
evident to all who will inquire, proclaims the falsehood of their
accusations.  To the honour of the British navy be it said that by far
the greater number of captains who have visited the isles of the Pacific
have rendered essential service to the missionary cause while on the
spot, and have spoken and written heartily in its praise on their return
home.

We had very little time to prepare for the wedding as the frigate could
not remain long.  I employed the interval in getting assistance from the
ship's carpenters in building a vessel, and instruction, with the
necessary plans for continuing the work after the frigate had gone.  I
had some knowledge of the art to begin with, so that I knew exactly what
information I required.  My ambition was to have a fine, serviceable
little vessel, and I had every hope of succeeding.  I was thoroughly up
to rigging and fitting her.

The time passed very rapidly, and my wedding-day arrived, and Mary
became my most loving and devoted wife,--a bright example to those among
whom our lot was cast.  I have not dwelt on the visit of my brother
John, or the enjoyment and benefit I derived from his society.  Our
station was healthy, but the surgeon of the ship recommended his
continuing the voyage, and with reluctance I parted from him, hoping,
however, to visit him when my schooner should be completed.  Once more
the missionary station was left in its usual quiet state; but, though
quiet, no one was idle.  There were schools both for adults as well as
children,--the males, under the superintendence of Mr Bent, with native
teachers; the women and girls under Mary and her friend.  Classes also
assembled during most days in the week for religious instruction.  Mr
Bent was also frequently engaged in teaching the young men and boys
various mechanical arts: house-building in its various departments,
agriculture and gardening, and last, though not least, printing and
book-binding.  It is wonderful with what rapidity many acquired the art
of printing, and many learned to bind books with great neatness and
strongly.  I meantime, aided by my wife, was making fail progress in the
language, so that I was able to talk without difficulty to the men who
assisted me in building the vessel.  She was at length ready for
launching.  I proposed calling her the _Mary_, but to this my wife would
not consent.  We had a discussion on the subject round our tea-table
during that pleasantest of all meals in most missionary, indeed in most
quiet families.  The _Ark_ was proposed, and then the _Olive Branch_.
The latter was the name decided on.

It was made a day of rejoicing and prayer and praise on the occasion of
launching the little _Olive Branch_.  Formerly one, or perhaps several,
human victims would have been offered up to their idols by the then
benighted inhabitants.  The vessel herself was decked with flags and
garlands, and surrounded by high poles, from which gay-coloured banners
were flying.

A feast was prepared also, at which the chief, who came in state,
presided.  We had limited the quantity of provisions, or else, according
to custom, far more than could have been consumed would have been
collected.  A large bower or tent of boughs and flowers had been erected
for the chief and his principal attendants,--a very elegant, though a
rapidly created structure.  Mary named the vessel as she glided down the
ways, and a hymn of thankfulness, combined with a prayer for the safety
of all who might ever sail in her, was sung by the children of the
school at the same time, the effect being admirable.  I was somewhat
anxious till I saw the little craft floating safely in the water.

We had purposely avoided anything savouring of heathenism, such as
breaking a bottle of wine on her bows, taken evidently from the Greek
custom of pouring out a libation to Neptune; nor would we make a mockery
of the rite of baptism, by pretending to christen her.  Living among
heathens, it was our duty to be especially circumspect in all our
proceedings.  The natives are very acute, and are accustomed to make
enquiries as to the meaning and origin of everything they see.  How
unsatisfactory would have been the answer we should have had to give,
had we, without consideration or thought, adopted the practice generally
followed in England.

The missionaries have endeavoured as much as possible to abolish all
heathen customs, so that the evil-disposed may have no temptation to
return to them.  In this they show wisdom.  Even the sports and pastimes
of heathenism, though they may by some be considered harmless in
themselves, are generally adverse to the spiritual life of a Christian,
and therefore they have been discouraged.  The missionaries have in
consequence been accused of being morose and narrow-minded.  Far, far
different is their real character.  As a class, they are zealous,
earnest, devoted men, full of life, activity, and energy,--courageous
and persevering,--gifted with high and varied attainments, which would
enable them to shine among civilised communities, but they have joyfully
abandoned home and country, and, in obedience to their Lord and Master,
have gone forth to teach the heathen the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Let those who may fancy that I overpraise these men, read their memoirs,
and they will be convinced of the truth of my statements.

The native carpenters worked admirably.  I had spars, rigging, and a
suit of sails ready, supplied me by the frigate, with a compass and such
nautical instruments as I required, so the _Olive Branch_ was soon ready
for sea.  I proposed in my first experimental trip to pay a visit to
Vihala, to leave two more native teachers on the island, and then, on my
return, to see Alea, and to ascertain the progress made by her father
and fellow-islanders in religion.  Mary begged that she might accompany
me, and, as her father made no objections, I was too glad of her company
to refuse.  For several days, however, I first made frequent trips out
of the harbour, to exercise my native crew, who, although they had never
before been on board a vessel, became efficient hands in a wonderfully
short space of time.  The reason of this was that they gave their minds
thoroughly to their work, and were anxious to learn everything I could
teach them.

The _Olive Branch_ was completed to my satisfaction and to that of all
who saw her.  I was indeed very proud of her, as chiefly the work of my
own hands; and yet when I compared the slight difficulties I had had to
overcome with the great ones conquered by Mr Williams at Raratonga,
when building the _Messenger of Peace_, I felt sensibly how little cause
I had to boast.

As Mr Bent had promised to relieve Vihala of his charge as soon as
possible, two teachers had been trained for the purpose, and these we
now took on board.  We had with us a number of axes and knives, and
other articles most prized by the natives, both to pay for provisions or
whatever we might require, as also to bestow on Vihala, hoping that, if
he were thus richly endowed, the old king would not refuse longer to
give him his daughter.

Two of the men who had come as heathen enemies now remained as friends,
and earnest searchers after truth.  The remainder, deeply imbued with
the spirit of Christianity, had returned to their own island, we hoped
to pave the way for a missionary among its still heathen and cannibal
inhabitants.

Thus during the few months since I had left my ship I had seen a way
made for the entrance of the gospel into these thickly-inhabited
islands.  Thus it has pleased God to work through human agency among a
large proportion of the isles of the Pacific; nor has He ever failed to
afford, after a time, superabundant encouragement to His faithful
labourers.  Oh that some of the many thousands and thousands of young
men and women who read this would consider the noble, the glorious
nature of missionary work, and esteem it as a high privilege to be
allowed to employ their energies in the cause!

How different was our voyage from that which Mary, Mr Bent, and I
before took in the same direction!  But where were our companions?  Were
we the only ones alive out of the whole party?  At all events, we had
ample reason to be grateful.  The wind was fair, and our passage
promised to be as calm and pleasant as we could desire.

On getting near enough to the island to distinguish objects on shore, we
saw a number of people hurrying down to the beach, from among the trees,
while some launched their canoes and paddled off through the opening in
the reef towards us.  Their object was to welcome us, and to pilot the
schooner into their harbour.  They knew that the schooner was a
missionary vessel from her flag, but they had not guessed who was on
board.  Their delight, when they recognised Mr Bent and Mary, was
excessive; and so completely did they forget all about the vessel, that
had I not kept a good look-out she would have run right on to the reef.
On our enquiring for Vihala, the answer was, "He is well, and we all
Christian."

The glorious news we found on landing to be true.  Vihala received us
with joy unfeigned, and it was some little time before we could proceed,
from the number of people who crowded round us to express their
satisfaction at our arrival.  Great also was ours when, at length moving
on, we saw before us a handsome structure, a church erected entirely by
the natives, under Vihala's superintendence, capable of holding seven or
eight hundred persons, and near it a school-house and two neat
residences for teachers.

"Your church is indeed large," observed Mr Bent, after expressing his
admiration of it to Vihala.

"Yes," was the quiet answer; "but all desire to hear the word, and why
should any be excluded?  The kingdom of heaven is wide enough for all."

Alas! that any should so mistake the gospel message as to think
differently, and to act as if all should be thrust out who do not
conform to certain rules and regulations of man's invention, although
they with deep repentance trust in the blood of Christ alone for
salvation.  Many a once heathen savage will rise up in the day of
judgment to condemn those men.  Would that, for their own sakes, they
could even now voyage amid the isles of the Pacific, and behold the
glorious work wrought by the instrumentality of true Christian men of
various branches of the one Church, and I believe that they would be
compelled to acknowledge that an unction from on high is of more avail
in saving souls alive than any mere official and external qualification,
such as the Romish priesthood with its pretended apostolic succession
claims.  The means are best judged of by the result, and that can be
known of all men.  "By their works ye shall know them."  It was
remarkable that, except for the few days Mr Bent had preached on the
islands, none of the inhabitants had heard the truth from a white
missionary, and yet the majority of them had cast away their idols, and
become nominal Christians,--while many of them were really converted.

We had a most delightful time on the island.  The two new teachers we
brought somewhat reconciled the people to the loss of Vihala, though
their grief was most unmistakable when they were told that he must leave
them for a time at all events.

Again we were on the ocean, and approaching the island where Vihala
expected to meet his promised bride.  He had long been separated from
her.  He acknowledged that it had been for his good, and he hoped that,
with the spiritual benefits he had received while engaged as a teacher,
they should the better be able to walk together on their heavenward way,
and lead others on to the same happy goal.



CHAPTER TWENTY.

A FEARFUL HURRICANE.

But a few years ago, before the power of God's word was felt among the
inhabitants of the fair islands of the Pacific, to the numerous dangers
usually encountered by mariners, that of being attacked and cut off by
cannibal savages was to be added throughout its whole extent.  Now,
throughout the eastern portion, the greater number of the islands may be
visited, not only without fear, but with the certainty of a friendly
reception.  There are still some,--like the Marquesas and parts of the
Pomautau group, or Low Archipelago,--which still remain in the darkness
of heathenism; but on the western portion of that mighty ocean, the
bright spots on which the gospel shines are the exception to the general
rule, and over the widest parts the spirit of evil reigns supreme.  It
was here that true soldier of Christ, the energetic Williams, fell; and
here, too, Mr Gordon and his wife and family were lately murdered by
the savage inhabitants.

It was towards a group of islands in the eastern Pacific that the _Olive
Branch_ was now holding its course.  We had seen Vihala happily united
to Alea, with the full consent of the old king, and they had devoted
themselves for missionary labour wherever they might be required.  This
was surprising to many, and to the heathen perfectly incomprehensible.
It was as astonishing to them as it would be to people in England, if a
young noble of high rank were to declare his resolution of going forth
as a missionary of the gospel to these heathen lands.  Yet what
undertaking more glorious, what work more pleasing to the Lord and
Master, whom Christians of all ranks, rich and poor, profess to serve.
We had likewise visited the island of the once cannibal chief, who had
heard of the new religion from his countrymen, had confessed its vast
superiority to his own, cast away his idols, and gladly received the two
teachers we had brought with us.  All this had been most cheering and
encouraging.

We had landed Mr Bent at the station, and now we hoped shortly again to
meet my brother John and his wife, and to convey them, and some other
missionaries and their wives, to a general meeting to be held shortly at
the central station.  We had received on board a variety of stores, and
books, and numerous articles to distribute among the various stations at
which we were to touch.  Indeed, it was highly satisfactory to me to
find how useful my little _Olive Branch_ could be made.

Hitherto the little vessel had not encountered a single storm.  It was
like the rest we might suppose the ocean enjoyed after the subsidence of
the waters when the ark rested on Ararat,--not a calm, though; for
gentle breezes filled our sails, and rippled over the blue surface of
the sea with glittering wavelets, laughing joyously in the sunbeams.  A
lovely island hove in sight, with blue mountains, and rocks, and
sparkling waterfalls, and green shrubs, and pastures, and graceful
palm-trees, and yellow sands; and we sailed in through an opening in the
never absent reef, and dropped our anchor in a sheltered and beautiful
harbour, and numbers of canoes surrounded us.  But we had no boarding
nettings up, no guns loaded, no pistols in our belts, no cutlasses and
pikes ready at hand; for the gospel ruled here.  The canoes were filled
with well-clothed, intelligent natives.  Not an oath was heard, not a
man showed an angry temper, and not one who could not read the word of
God, and understood it too, and could give a clear reason for the hope
that was in him, and who was not probably, even in secular matters, far
better educated than the larger portion of the watermen of any port in
England, or other long-civilised country in the world.

Provisions of various sorts had been brought in the canoes; but when I
enquired for John Harvey, and announced that I was his brother, and that
my wife was the daughter of Mr Bent, not an approach to payment would
any one receive.  When we landed they lifted us up in their arms, and
carried us thus to the mission house, where our appearance was a
pleasant surprise to our sister-in-law, who had not been made aware of
our arrival.  My brother was away, but every hour expected back.

I had looked upon Mr Bent's station as a model of neatness; this was
larger, and superior in many respects; nor was it inferior in respect to
spiritual things.  The church, built entirely of stone, was a large and
handsome building, and the most conspicuous object from the sea.
Running parallel with the shore were two rows, facing each other, of
neat cottages, many of stone, with verandahs round them, and gardens
both in front and in the rear.  Between them was a broad hard road, with
two rows of trees, and a stream of sparkling water led through the
centre, fed by a waterfall which came foaming down the side of a rocky
hill at a little distance inland.  Several streets of equal width had
been commenced at right angles with the main street, and on the same
plan, and new houses were in course of erection in several directions.
Here it was evident, indeed, was the commencement of a large town.  The
cottages were all very fair copies of the mission-house, though on a
smaller scale.  Those of some of the chiefs, however, were of good size,
and were arranged so that they could enjoy all the privacy of domestic
life.

And why, it may be asked, was this congregation of natives in one place?
What could be the attraction?  My love and admiration of John suggested
the answer, and I was right: the power of God's word put forth through
His faithful servant.  The inhabitants of this town had been collected
by concern for their soul's welfare, and the belief that the nearer they
were to the preacher the more that welfare would be cared for.  They
displayed a wisdom which is foolishness to the world, and is, alas! too
often neglected by those at home, by those who profess to be seeking
after the food which perisheth not.  I write this, as well as other
comparisons I have made, not to find fault with my countrymen at home,
but that (should my journal ever be read by any of them) I may excite in
them a holy emulation with these so late savage heathens, that they may
examine themselves, and ascertain whether they are using all the means
in their power to attain to holiness of life and conversation, and
without which their spiritual life will too probably languish.

I found my sister-in-law actively engaged from morning till night in her
household duties, and in affording instruction of every description to
native women of all ages.  She declared with perfect sincerity her
belief that she was one of the happiest of her sex.  She retained the
most perfect health, though her figure was slight and delicate, and she
had been most gently and tenderly nurtured.  Not only that, but she had
been what is called highly educated, and was not a stranger to the gay
and brilliant assemblies of "civilised" life.  It was not that she knew
no other lot, and therefore esteemed her present one the best; but she
had weighed it with many others she did know, and found it immeasurably
superior.  She knew from experience that worldly rank hides many a heavy
or vacant heart where God is not acknowledged, that wealth cannot give
peace of mind, and that gaiety and dissipation most assuredly quench
spiritual life.  She had found, too, that even a decent church-attending
style of existence may be unprofitable to the soul, and as certain to
lead to spiritual death.  My sister-in-law was not entirely alone.
There were two other stations on the island, which was large, and the
missionaries and their wives enjoyed frequent intercourse, thus
encouraging and supporting each other.

Indeed, I have as a rule found the stations the most prosperous both
spiritually and physically where two missionary families have been
living together, or where they are near enough to meet frequently.  A
missionary's wife has to attend to her household duties, often not
slightly onerous when she has children requiring instruction.  Then she
has the female schools to look after, adult classes to receive at her
own house, to afford advice to all who ask it, to call on the sick and
to administer medicine, and to visit often from house to house.  She
must correspond with friends at home; she has her private devotions, and
must take time for reading and self-examination, or she will find that
she can ill perform her other duties.  I do not believe that I have
overstated the amount of work I have known my sister-in-law and other
missionaries' wives perform.  Indeed, my own wife was in the habit of
getting through not less daily, for weeks together.

Although the greater number of the inhabitants of the island had become
Christians in name, there was still a large district the powerful chief
of which remained a stubborn heathen.  He seemed to hate the gospel with
a deadly hatred, and threatened to club any of his subjects who should
venture to lotu.  Notwithstanding this, several who had heard the truth,
either directly or through their friends, had secretly escaped to
Christian villages.  Many of these persons had become really converted,
and were of course longing to induce their relatives and friends to
become Christians likewise.

Such was the state of things when the _Olive Branch_ arrived at the
island.  A more beautiful picture could scarcely be found than that
presented by the calm bay on which our little vessel floated, with her
mission-flag flying,--the glittering sand, the tall cocoa-nut and
bread-fruit trees, the wild rocks and fantastic-shaped hills, the green
fields, the foaming waterfalls and shining streams, and the rows of neat
habitations, the church and school-houses,--all showing that the gospel
had indeed here found an entrance, and made it doubly beautiful in our
sight.

We had been some hours on shore when we saw the natives hurrying out of
their cottages and assembling in the chief street, and the cry arose
that the missionary was coming.  I was scarcely prepared for the warm
and affectionate greeting with which they welcomed him.  There was no
adulation and nothing cringing in their manner; but it was evident that
they knew him from experience as a sincere and loving friend.

Great as was our mutual satisfaction at again meeting, so multifarious
were his duties that we had but little time for private conversation.  I
was able, however, to ascertain that John's heart was in his work, and
that he infinitely preferred being a missionary in the South-Seas to
holding the highest secular office at home.  The Sabbath came.  It was a
day of toil to the preachers and teachers, and yet a day of refreshing
to them as it was to hundreds of others, who collected from all quarters
to worship the true God, and to hear His word expounded.  Many came with
their wives and little ones, bringing their provisions, to spend the day
of rest in obtaining spiritual food for their souls' welfare.  The
service over, numbers collected round my brother and the native
teachers, and almost the whole interval between the services was devoted
to affording advice and consolation to these seekers after life eternal.

But the faith of the young Christian community in the especial
providence of God was sorely to be tried.  All things were prepared for
our departure, and we were about going on board the _Olive Branch_, when
the somewhat threatening appearance of the weather made me resolve not
to sail before the following morning.  I was convinced shortly that a
gale of more or less strength was coming on, and leaving Mary at the
mission house, I went on board to secure the vessel and make all things
snug.  Scarcely had I got out a second anchor and two fresh warps than
dark clouds were seen rushing across the sky, the wind howled among the
hills and trees, lightning flashed brightly, and the thunder roared and
rattled fearfully.  I was in hopes, however, that the vessel would,
notwithstanding, ride in safety, when it struck me that the sea outside
was roaring louder than usual, and in an instant a huge roller appeared
rushing with fearful violence into the harbour, while before I could
look round I found the vessel lifted up, cables and anchors dragging,
and warps giving way, and on we drove helplessly towards the shore.  My
crew held on to the bulwarks with affrighted looks, for we could expect
nothing else than that our little vessel would be dashed to pieces, and
if so, that we ourselves should be swept out of the harbour by the
receding wave.  Another dread seized me, that the roller might sweep up
to the mission house and overwhelm those so dear to me.  This feeling
made me forget all fear for my own life, or for those with me.  As I
gazed landward, I saw the devastation the hurricane was already
committing.  Several cottages were in view.  Now the wind lifted the
roof of one and bore it in shattered fragments to a distance.  Now the
walls of another trembled and fell; tall trees were bending and
breaking, or being torn up by the roots and laid prostrate; house after
house was thus destroyed; whole groves of trees, as it seemed to me,
fell to the ground; darkness appeared to be coming down like a thick
mantle to add to the horrors of the scene.

On drove our little vessel; the rocks against which I expected to be
dashed appeared; these were covered, and over them we were carried by
the raging tide, above even the sands, and lifted high up on to a soft
bank amid brushwood stern first, where she hung while the waters rushed
back leaving her uninjured on the shore.  We were mercifully preserved
from the sudden death we expected, and were grateful; but yet, though
not cast down, knowing all would be for the best, I felt most anxious to
assure myself of the safety of my dear wife and her companions.

We had come on shore, as far as I could judge, half a mile or more from
the mission house, a distance which it would be not only difficult but
extremely dangerous to traverse while the storm was raging and tall
trees were being hurled about like straws.  One of my crew--a true
Christian man--volunteered to accompany me.  The _Olive Branch_ had
already been made snug aloft, so when I had seen her securely shored up,
trusting and believing that no second roller would come to move her, I
set off, leaving the rest of the people on board to attend to her.  My
companion and I provided ourselves each with a stout pole.  I led the
way, he to help me should I fall, and I promising to turn back should he
cry out.

The noise of the tempest prevented our having anything like conversation
with each other, indeed it was only when we shouted at the very top of
our voices that they could be heard.  The darkness had increased, and as
I began to move on I felt that the attempt was almost beyond my power;
still the incentive was so great that I resolved to persevere.  I prayed
for strength and protection.  In my own arm I knew that I could not
trust.  There were no stars to guide me, and the flashes of lightning
sadly confused and dazzled my eyes, so that it was only by keeping as
near as possible to the shore that I could hope to keep in the proper
direction.  This way was longer, however, and very rough where rocks
covered the ground, and I dreaded a return of the roller, when we might
have been swept helplessly away.  The dangers to be encountered by
keeping inland were equally great.  We might be struck by lightning,
crushed by falling trees, or losing our way, fall into some gully or
chasm.

Feeling the ground before us with our poles, my companion and I began
our hazardous march, I desired him to keep as close behind me as he
could, and to shout frequently to assure me that he was following.  The
tempest increased in fury, the rain came down in torrents, causing such
floods as in some places almost to sweep us off our feet.

We had made good some five or six hundred yards, when I thought that we
might make faster progress on the higher ground, where the water would
not be so great an impediment to our progress.  I knew also that we
should be able to steer our course more or less directly by feeling the
direction the water was flowing, so that we might always regain the sea
by following down the streams.  Accordingly we attempted gradually to
gain the higher ground, but as we ascended, we felt the wind blowing
with greater force, and were again nearly carried off our legs by it.  I
had to exert all the energies of my mind not to become totally
bewildered.  Over rough rocks we climbed, and fallen trunks of trees,
and through the beds of streams, down which the fierce waters now rushed
foaming and roaring with fearful force, and across swamps and marshes,
till at last we reached a grove of tall trees.  We could discover no way
round it, so I resolved to push through it by a path in which we found
ourselves.  The trees were bending and writhing, and the loud crashes we
heard told us that every instant some were hurled to the ground.  Now
one fell directly before me, and impeded my progress.  I climbed over
it, my companion followed, and we continued our course, guided as before
by the way the rain beat on our heads and the waters flowed past our
feet.  Again the thunder rolled loudly and the lightning flashed with
startling vividness, casting a horrid glare over the whole scene, now
darting amid the lofty boughs, and then snake-like running with loud
hisses along the ground.  How utterly helpless and insignificant I felt
amid the war of the elements.

Still onward we must advance.  How much farther I could not tell.  My
companion's frequent shout cheered me.  Perhaps trusting to the aid of
another made me more careless, for neglecting for an instant to keep my
stick feeling the ground before me, I stumbled forward, and found myself
floundering in a foaming stream.  My cry prevented my companion from
falling likewise.  Descending more cautiously he rushed into the flood
after me, and seizing me by the jacket just as I was being borne down,
assisted me to regain my feet, and helped me across, the water being
scarcely up to our middles.  In another instant I should have been
carried helplessly down the stream beyond my depth.  We struggled out, I
scarcely know how, and pushed on.

Again, I took the lead.  We were passing through a second grove of
bread-fruit trees.  Another tall tree fell directly before me.  I
climbed over it.  Crash succeeded crash.  I prayed for preservation from
the fate which might any moment overtake me.  I began to hope that we
were approaching the station.  Still we were not out of the wood.  I was
working my way on when it occurred to me that my companion had not sung
out to me for a longer time than usual.  I called to him.  There was no
answer.  Eager as I was to push on, I could not desert him.  I turned
back.  Again and again I called.  There was no answer.  I reached a
fallen tree.  Was it the one I had climbed over, or was it one which had
fallen after I had passed?  I felt along it.  My foot struck against a
soft substance.  I stooped down.  There lay a human form--quite still
though--the hand I lifted fell powerless.  My companion was dead.  "One
shall be taken and the other left."  God in His good providence had
thought fit to spare me.  My companion was trusting wholly in Christ's
blood.  I could not mourn him as one without hope.

It was no time to delay.  Once again I was straining all my energies to
find and follow the right way.  It appeared to me that far more than
double the time had passed which I had believed would suffice to reach
the station.  I almost ran against the gable end of a house the greater
part of which was in ruins.  I heard a loud moan.  It was repeated.  I
hunted about till I came on a native crouching down and endeavouring to
find shelter under part of the building yet standing.  I asked him if he
would guide me to the mission house.  My voice roused him, and he said
he would gladly do so.  He sprang to his feet, and led me on by the
hand.  "Here it is!" he exclaimed; but, alas, it was roofless and
deserted.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 1.  In the course of this volume the author, it will be observed,
has transcribed much from the actual reports of missionaries, and from
the journals of naval officers who have visited the South-Seas.  Even in
the connecting thread of narrative, and in descriptive scenes such as
this of the storm, the writer has stated nothing for which he has not
ample authority in published works.  In a most interesting book, "Gems
from the Coral Islands," by the Reverend William Gill, volume two,
chapter 9, an account is given of the fearful hurricane of 1846, which
devastated the island of Raratonga.  Dr Bourne, son of the Reverend R
Bourne, one of the founders of the Tahitian mission, the friend and
associate of Williams, thus writes concerning the illustrations which
accompany our letterpress, proofs of which he had seen: "The engravings
represent the tropical aspect of the vegetation with great correctness.
Many are not aware of the grandeur of the mountain scenery in some of
the islands.  Dr Darwin, who was with Captain Fitzroy's expedition,
says of Tahiti: `Until I actually visited this island, and tried to
penetrate its mountain fastnesses, I could never understand the
statement made by Ellis, in his "Polynesian Researches," that after the
great battles of former times the defeated party took refuge in the
mountains, where it was impossible to follow them.'  Mr Darwin then
describes the rugged ravines and forest-clad precipices, wilder than
anything he had witnessed in the South American Andes or Cordilleras."
Raiatea, Eimeo, and others in the Society group, are composed of vast
and abrupt mountain ranges, rising almost abruptly from the sea, and
having very little habitable ground, but all covered with the densest
vegetation.  The most stupendous volcanoes in the world are those of the
Sandwich Islands, compared with which Etna and Vesuvius are mere
hillocks.



CHAPTER TWENTY ONE.

THE RUINED VILLAGE.

For an instant the horror of finding the house in ruins, and being
unable to discover my wife and the dear ones with her, almost overcame
me.  I should have sunk to the ground exhausted, had not the native
supported me.

"Trust in Jehovah, friend," he remarked, quietly.  "He knows what is
best for us all: your wife and our good missionary are in His hands."

"How long have you been a Christian?"  I could not help asking.

"Two years," was the answer.  "Before that I was a gross idolater and
cannibal; there was no wickedness I did not do.  But, praised be the
Lord Jesus Christ, I was, through the teaching of the Holy Spirit,
brought out of darkness into the light of His glorious truth."

I felt rebuked, and grasping my staff once more, braced myself up to
continue my search.  The native accompanied me.

"They may have escaped to the mountains," he observed.  "We will go
there.  I can find the path even in the dark, and there is a cavern not
far up, where they may have taken shelter.  Once, when we were devil's
people, we dreaded to enter it, thinking it the abode of evil spirits;
now that we are God's people, we know that God is everywhere, and have
no fear."

Again I felt how the remark of this babe in Christ, this late savage
heathen, would rebuke many of those in our own dear England who, even in
this professedly enlightened nineteenth century, yet tremble at the
thoughts of ghosts, witches, and other similar phantoms of their foolish
imaginations.

It appeared to me that the hurricane was subsiding; but still our
progress was slow and painful.  It was, however, an advantage having a
beaten path, though that in many places was cut up by the water, and in
others, trees and roofs of cottages had been blown across it.  I found
that we were ascending,--higher and higher up the mountain we got.
Lofty rocks appeared on every side,--the lightning seemed to be more
vivid,--the crash of the thunder, as it reverberated in rattling peals
amid the cliffs, was even louder than before.  I remembered my
companion's remark, and felt no fear.

"There is the cavern," he said, at length.

I hurried in through a narrow opening, following closely at his heels.
A light was shining at the farther end: it was from a fire, round which
a number of persons were collected.  On the opposite side, with the
light shining full on his countenance, stood my brother John.  A book
was in his hand,--the book of books undoubtedly.  His eyes were turned
toward heaven: he was praying for the safety of all those exposed to the
fury of the tempest.  My own name was mentioned.  I advanced, and knelt
down by the side of my own Mary.  "God hears prayer," I whispered.  "He
has preserved me."

She soon lay in my arms, weeping tears of joy.  I now learned that no
sooner had the signs of the coming tempest appeared than several of the
principal natives came to the mission-house, and advised John to remove
his family, with his books, and such articles as the water might spoil,
to a place of safety, offering to assist him.  Of this kindness he
gladly availed himself; but the journey was not performed without great
danger and difficulty, as the tempest broke before they had proceeded
far, and the wind and floods impeded their progress.  Mary suffered
most, from her anxiety for me.  Now we praised God together joyfully for
the preservation he had awarded us.

It was daylight before we were able again to set forward to return to my
brother's now desolate home.  Still we could rejoice, and be thankful
that none of those most dear to us had been lost.  We hoped that the
poor natives might have escaped as well; but we had not descended far
through the lower ground before we found one crushed by a fallen tree,
and another drowned in a water-hole, into which he had apparently
stumbled.  The lightning had struck a third whose blackened corpse we
found beneath a tall tree stripped of its branches.  These were beyond
human help.

"Grant that they died in the Lord," observed the missionary, as we noted
the spots where they lay, that we might send and bury them.

The numbers wandering houseless and without food most claimed our
sympathy.  Our worst apprehensions were realised.  In the late neat and
pretty village not a cottage retained its roof, and by far the greater
number lay levelled with the ground, some mere heaps of ruin, while of
others not a remnant was to be seen, the whole building having been
carried off by the floods or wind.  Of the church only part of the walls
remained standing; and even the heavier timbers of the roof lay
scattered about in every direction.  This destruction naturally deeply
affected the missionary.  "Still I pray that the faith and trust of the
people will not be found wanting under this trial," he murmured as we
passed on.

The school-houses were much in the same condition; but happily the
printing-office, a strong stone building, had escaped any serious
damage, as had its valuable contents.  Here not only was printing
carried on, but the Bibles and other books were stored, as were the
machines for binding, a work performed very neatly by the natives.  This
circumstance again raised my brother's spirits: "While the Book of God
remains, we have nought to fear."

It was sad to see the natives collecting from all points to which they
had fled to escape the flood and storm, as they first caught sight of
their ruined habitations.

"The village must be rebuilt on Christian principles," said my brother
with a smile; and going among the people, he called them around him, and
advised them to lose no time in collecting food and rebuilding their
houses, urging those without young children or unmarried to assist those
with families, or the sick and aged, before attending to their own
wants.  The reply was most satisfactory, and all agreed to follow his
advice.

We now repaired to the mission-house, and, clearing out the rubbish from
within the angle formed by two walls, were soon able to obtain some
shelter and privacy for the ladies and children.  It was melancholy work
hunting about for the furniture, crockery, and other articles, among the
ruins.  However, we obtained a sufficient number of things to furnish
our make-shift abode, though it was long before we could get the bedding
sufficiently dry to be of any use.  The flour and many other articles of
food, were spoilt, or had disappeared; but we raked up sufficient for
the present wants of the household; and as we assembled round a table
once more together, we returned our grateful thanks to Heaven that we
were still preserved to each other.

Among the ruins a chest of axes, and some saws, and other carpenters'
tools was found, and these my brother distributed among the chiefs and
other principal people, that they might the better be able to rebuild
their abodes.  When assembled to receive these valuable gifts, their
answer was: "We accept them with thanks, on one condition,--that we may
first be allowed to rebuild our missionary's abode."  They would take no
denial; and forthwith forming themselves into gangs, some set to work to
clear away the ruins, while others went off to cut fresh uprights and
rafters to replace those that were broken.  It was gratifying, as being
so purely spontaneous, and showing the high estimation in which they
held their missionary for his work's sake.  Thus, aided by zealous
friends, the work proceeded rapidly.

I meantime hastened back to my vessel, taking with me some natives to
aid in launching her.  On our way we came unexpectedly on the spot where
lay the body of my poor companion who had been crushed to death.  We
buried the remains not far off on the hill-side, while I offered some
prayers and a short exhortation for the benefit of those present.  As I
went over the ground again I was more than ever surprised that I had
been able to accomplish the journey on such a night, and deeply thankful
that I had been preserved from the numberless dangers I had encountered.

On reaching the _Olive Branch_, I found that my mate had been making
most judicious preparations for getting her off.  He had formed a strong
cradle, with rollers under her keel and posts ahead, to which to secure
some strong tackles.  By hauling on these tackles he hoped to get her
off several feet every day.  "Slow and steady wins the race, you know,
sir," he observed.  His hopes of success were not without foundation.

Day after day we toiled on, aided by the indefatigable natives, who gave
every evidence that they were working from pure Christian love.

"You have brought us the blessings of the gospel,--ought not we, who
highly estimate its blessings, labour to enable you in your ship to
carry it to others?" said the chief of the party, when I was one day
thanking him for the energetic way in which he and his people were
working.  Their satisfaction when the _Olive Branch_ at length floated
securely in the harbour was nearly equal to mine.

Little time as there was to spare before the meeting would take place,
at which my brother wished to be present, he was anxious to see the
people housed before he would leave them.  They meantime were working
most heroically, and I was surprised to see the rapid way in which they
put up their houses, and set to work to replant the fields of taro and
other roots, which had been destroyed by the flood.

At length we were ready to continue our voyage.  It had been intended
that our wives should accompany us; but as, in consequence of the delay,
John's absence would be shorter than had been expected, it was thought
better that they should remain and restore order to the establishment.
As we were about to go the chief men of the island sent to beg that we
would receive certain gifts which they had stored up to increase the
funds devoted to sending missionaries to the other islands of the
Pacific yet lying in heathen darkness.

"Had it not been for the storm, they would have been far greater," they
observed; "but, though we are feeling a want just now of this world's
goods, we are rich in gospel blessings; nor can we make our present
condition an excuse for denying those blessed privileges to brethren in
other lands, for whom our Lord died as well as for us."

Surely, I thought, these remarks, were they known at home, would put to
shame too many who are ready to make any slight decrease of income an
excuse for not assisting the cause of the gospel either among the
ignorant around them or in other countries.  Since I went among these so
late heathen savages, I have often had to think with grief and shame of
the very low standard of Christian excellence considered requisite by
many at home who profess, and probably have a wish, to be religious.
Often and often I have wished that I could paint to them in their true
and vivid colours the self-denying, laborious lives of the devoted
missionaries, and the humble, zealous, faithful, truth-searching
behaviour of the converts.

With a fair wind we sailed, praying that God would protect our dear
ones, and bring us back to them in safety.  We took up several
missionaries who were going to the conference, and who had been waiting
for the _Olive Branch_, and also some native teachers, who were destined
to act as pioneers in islands where the light of the gospel had not yet
penetrated.

Without any adventure especially worthy of notice we reached the head
station, where a considerable number of missionaries were collected
awaiting our arrival.  All had more or less felt the storm at their
respective stations, but few with the violence that we had.  The
discussions which took place at the meeting were most important and
interesting, and encouraging to all to persevere in the work; but I must
not now report them.  Although only in a certain sense a looker-on, I
felt greatly refreshed, and my spiritual life renewed by the
exhortations delivered and the prayers engaged in.  I had the privilege
of attending all the meetings.  Several had taken place, when the
subject of the new stations to be occupied was brought forward.  John
was named to fill one of them.  The inhabitants were looked upon as
among the fiercest of the savages of the Pacific; the climate was far
from salubrious.  But John did not hesitate a moment; on the contrary,
his countenance was radiant with satisfaction.  It was an important
post, and it was believed that a large accession might be made to the
kingdom of Christ by the establishment of a mission there.  "Wherever my
overseer and brethren consider our holy cause can most be advantaged by
my presence, there I am ready to go," answered my brother, after the
offer had been made him.

The ground had already been broken by native teachers, who had earnestly
petitioned for an English missionary.  Our passage to my brother's
station was somewhat circuitous, as we had to leave several missionaries
at their posts, to carry stores and books to old stations, and to leave
native teachers at new ones.  We had brought with us the missionary who
was to succeed John, whom I was directed to carry on to his new station.

We were received on our return to my brother's home with unmistakable
signs of pleasure by the natives, who collected to welcome him.  I
expected, however, that when he came to announce to his wife the
proposed change, that it would be a sad damper to her happiness; but she
simply observed: "Wherever you are called to go, dear husband, it will
be my joy to go also.  How much better am I off than the wife of a
soldier serving in the army of some earthly monarch.  She may not
accompany him to the war; if he falls wounded, she may not be near to
tend him; if he is slain, no reward is of value to him.  Where, too, is
her assurance that they will be reunited?  Where my husband goes I may
go,--if he is ill, I may watch over him,--if spirits and strength fail,
I may support him.  When death separates us, I know that we shall be
reunited; and I know, too, that a glorious crown, the prize of his high
calling, will assuredly be his, and that that crown I shall share with
him, and full draughts of joy unspeakable for ever and ever."

These words were spoken in so low and gentle a voice by my dear
sister-in-law, that a stranger would scarcely have understood the firm
faith and high resolve they indicated.  The packing up occupied but
little time.  John's household goods were few, nor did his library fill
many boxes.

"But you will sell your cattle and poultry?"  I observed.

"I do not consider them mine," he answered.  "I look upon them as
belonging to the Society, and as necessary to my successor.  A
missionary should have as few worldly incumbrances as possible to draw
him away from his work.  He should labour solely for the Lord, and to
the Lord leave the care of his wife and little ones.  A missionary sent
out by a Society should feel secure that they would provide for his
worldly wants while he can work, would support him in his old age, and
care at his death for his widow and children."

Thus with perfect faith my noble brother went forth in the gospel's
glorious cause to conquer souls for Christ's kingdom.

The grief of the people among whom he had ministered since his arrival
in the Pacific, when they heard that he was to leave them, was
excessive.  At first they threatened to put a restraint upon him, and
not to let him go.

"Would you then selfishly deprive others of the blessings you enjoy?" he
asked.  "Would you, who know the gospel, keep back the instrument which
brought it to you from presenting it to others?  No, no; surely you,
dear friends, have not thus learned Christ."

"Go, go; our prayers will ever be lifted up for your safety and
success."



CHAPTER TWENTY TWO.

MARTYRED FOR THE TRUTH.

Scarcely a native in the settlement who was not present to bid farewell
to their beloved missionary, and amid tears and prayers, he embarked on
board the _Olive Branch_.  My wife accompanied me, and though the little
vessel was much crowded, we had a very happy party.

The weather was fine, and as we had numerous places to touch at, we were
not more than twelve days without obtaining fresh provisions.  Formerly,
when the islands of the Pacific were little known, crews starving or
suffering from scurvy must often have passed just out of sight of land,
where they might have obtained an ample supply of fresh provisions; but
now, very much through the instrumentality of the missionaries of the
gospel, scarcely an island remains unknown, and entirely through their
instrumentality the greater number may now be visited, not only without
fear, but the voyager is certain to receive a Christian welcome on their
shores.

An instance came under my notice where the natives did not only return
good for good, but good for evil.  The master and crew of a large
English ship had grossly misbehaved themselves and ill-treated the
people of an island.  Scarcely had they sailed when a gale sprung up,
and their ship was driven on shore and lost.  The cargo and other
property in the ship was taken possession of by the natives, who
considered that they had a right to it.  On the captain, however,
claiming it through the missionary, the chiefs met and decided that it
should be given up, which it was forthwith without a word of complaint.
Here the brown Christian set an example to the white man, virtually a
heathen.

The new post to which my brother was appointed was on a lovely island,
fertile in the extreme, and thickly populated.  Indeed it might have
been said of it, "that only man was vile."  No natives appeared on the
shore to welcome him, but after a time the teachers came off in their
canoe, and gave us accounts which were far from cheering.  Chiefs who
had appeared friendly had turned against them, and some had prohibited
their people from listening to the Word of God, or attending school or
chapel.  I suggested to my brother that under the circumstances it might
be wiser not to land.

"What, because the enemy begins the fight shall the soldier desert his
standard?" he asked, with a look of surprise.  "No, David, you would not
counsel such conduct."

I could say nothing.  The teachers were of opinion that he would be
treated with indifference rather than actual hostility, at first, by the
great mass of the people, and that his life at all events would be
perfectly safe.  They mentioned one chief who appeared to be more
friendly disposed towards Christianity than the rest, and to him
accordingly, we at once went to pay our court.  The chief looked like a
perfect savage, with his hair long and frizzed out, his eyes rolling
wildly, and with scarcely any clothing on his dusky body.  Still he
received us politely, and not without a certain dignity, and promised if
the missionary now remained he would be answerable to me for him, should
I again visit the island.

The man was still a heathen, and I felt very unwilling to put any
confidence in his promises.  It was too evident to me that he wished for
a missionary for the sake of axes and saws, and other articles he
expected to obtain, rather than for any spiritual benefit he hoped to
derive from his presence.  I had, however, no alternative, than to land
my dear brother with his wife and little ones, and household goods.  My
only consolation was that I was able with my crew to assist in putting
up a house for him, many of the parts of which we had brought with us.

The teachers were good carpenters, and had already, with the aid of some
natives whom they had instructed, prepared some stout uprights and beams
and planks.  Notwithstanding this, the rapidity with which we got up the
house, dug up a garden and fenced it round, caused great astonishment
among the people.  Before we left, my brother had already begun a
school-room, to serve also as a chapel till a larger edifice could be
erected, while he received inquirers at his own house.  My sister-in-law
had also two female classes of adults and children, to whom she imparted
such religious instruction as they would receive, and some of the arts
of civilised life, while round the station resembled a busy hive, all
the natives who had professed Christianity being actively employed as
sawyers or in some other mechanical work.  His aim at this early stage
of the mission was to show the natives the advantages the Christians
possessed over the heathens, and thus to make them look with favour on
Christianity.  He never failed while they were thus engaged to impart so
much religious instruction as they could receive.  Everything appeared
now to be going on favourably.  When I remarked that I now had
reasonable hopes that he would succeed--

"Who can doubt it?" was his answer.  "If I do not my successor will.
The gospel will most assuredly cover the earth as the waters cover the
sea.  God has said it."

One of the saddest moments of my life was that when I parted from my
devoted brother as he stood on the beach while I returned for the last
time to my vessel.  Yet I asked myself more than once, Why should I
grieve? why should I be anxious?  He is engaged in the noblest cause in
which the energies of a human being can be employed--gaining subjects
for the Redeemer's kingdom.

Still I was his brother, and as such I could not contemplate without
fear the dangers to which he was exposed.  I was now to return direct to
Mr Bent's station, where I proposed refitting the _Olive Branch_ to be
ready for any work she might be called on to perform.  We found that
great progress had been made at the station, both spiritual and
material.  There were many new converts, and several excellent little
houses built, surrounded by neat gardens and fields.  It had not been
done without cost, and it was too evident to Mary and me that her
father's health and strength were failing.  She spoke to him, and
suggested a change of scene.

"Here I have been planted by the Lord of the vineyard, and here let me,
if He so wills it, wither and fall, dear one," he answered.

It was too evident to us that his body was withering, but not so his
spirit--that was expanding more and more, ripening for heaven.  It
seemed to burn with a deep and unextinguishable love for the conversion
of all the islanders among whom he had so long laboured--not those of
his own group only, but for the inhabitants of all the isles of the
Pacific, "ay," he would finish, as if there had been a shortcoming of
his love for the souls of his fellow-men, "of the whole heathen world.
May they all come to know Thee, O Lord, and accept Thy great salvation."
Still his more constant prayers were for his own people.  Gradually he
sunk--evidently entering into the rest prepared for those who love
Christ--his joy increased, his end was peace.  Thus has many a
missionary died, and who would not change all the world can give to be
assured of such a death.  Mary felt her father's death severely, but yet
as one who mourned with assured hope of a joyous resurrection.

My brother had earnestly petitioned to have another missionary or a
native teacher of superior attainments sent him, and while I was
debating what course to pursue, I received directions to carry the
teacher Vihala and his wife to him, and to visit many other stations on
my way.  Vihala and Alea were delighted to see us again, but when they
heard of Mr Bent's death they shed tears of unfeigned sorrow at the
thought that they should see his face no more.  They both had advanced
greatly in Christian knowledge, and Vihala appeared to me equal to the
taking entire charge of a station, however large.  He was delighted to
hear that he was to join my brother, and made all his preparations with
alacrity.

As I was preparing to sail, a ship hove in sight.  She was from England
direct, and brought letters for me and John.

I opened mine with trembling hands.  All were well at home; but they
contained news and of importance too.  A distant relative had died and
left a considerable fortune to my father's second son, but in the case
of his death it was to belong to the next, and so on.  It could only
descend to the children of the brother who had possessed it for five
years.  Thus John was to be the first possessor.  It at once occurred to
me, would it prove a snare to him?  Would it induce him to abandon his
high and holy calling?  Would the man of property be unwilling to remain
the humble missionary?  Still I thought I knew what John would do.  I
felt that I was wronging him by having any doubts on the subject.

The delay was providential, for a gale sprung up as we were weighing
anchor, and again dropping it, we remained safely in port till the storm
had subsided.  We had several places to call at, and baffling winds
still more prolonged our voyage.  At last we anchored in the beautiful
bay opposite my brother's station.

I looked out anxiously expecting him to come off to us.  I was then
about to land with Mary, thinking to take him and his family by
surprise, when a canoe appeared with one of the native teachers on
board.  His first words were, "I am the only one left alive."  My heart
sunk within me.

I put Mary again on board and went on shore.  On the way the teacher
told me the sad tale.  At first the natives in the district had been
friendly, but instigated by the heathen chiefs, they had, after a time,
refused provisions or assistance.  Even some who had professed
Christianity were afraid to come openly to receive instruction.  A
little band was faithful, and many came at night to hear the word of
God, and brought food, or the mission family might have been starved.
Still my brother persevered, and not without effect.  Fresh converts
were made.  Children were allowed to come to the girls' school, and when
it was discovered what useful arts they learned there in addition to
reading and writing, even some chiefs became desirous of sending their
daughters for instruction.  This unexpected progress, made, in spite of
opposition, by the missionaries, exasperated the heathen chiefs still
further, and a plot was formed to cut off all the Christian teachers.
Their safety was, however, watched over by their converts, and all
attempts defeated.  Treachery was next attempted, and one of the most
savage of the heathen chiefs pretended to be desirous of hearing the
truth.  He sent to my brother, begging him to come to him.  He was urged
not to go.

"What, and run the risk of allowing a soul to be left in Satan's power
which may be rescued!" was his answer.  He went, accompanied by a
teacher and two Christian natives.  They were unarmed.  Day after day
passed, and no tidings came of them.  At last the bodies of all four
were found.  They had been barbarously murdered; but whether or not they
had reached the old chiefs residence could not be ascertained.  He sent
a message expressing his regret that the missionary had not come to him.
My sister-in-law was supported in a way the Holy Spirit can alone
support a person in distress.  Her longing desire was to meet him in
heaven, and to prepare their two boys to follow in his footsteps.

Notwithstanding all that had occurred, Vihala undauntedly resolved to
remain.

"If I fall, it is in God's cause, and to advance His glory," was his
only remark.

Having done all I could, with a heavy heart I quitted the station with
my sister-in-law and her children, and returned to head-quarters, where
I had the satisfaction of presenting the _Olive Branch_ for the service
of the mission.  I persuaded my sister-in-law to accompany Mary and me
to England, where I have devoted a certain portion of the fortune of
which I so painfully became possessed to her support and the education
of her children, and at Mary's urgent request, another, what the world
would consider a no inconsiderable portion, to the support of missions.
We live in a humble way, but are far more happy than we should be did we
spend our wealth on ourselves.  Our nephews, too, are amply rewarding
us, and will, I trust, prove efficient soldiers in that glorious army
which goes forth under the banner of the cross to fight against
idolatry, ignorance, vice, and all the foes Satan can array against the
truth as it is in Christ Jesus.

THE END.





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