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THE Missionary Society, founded on the Catholic principle of union among Christians of various denominations, was established in the autumn of 1795. The first undertaking of its founders and patrons was to send the Gospel to the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Accordingly in the year following, the ship Duff, commanded by Captain Wilson, sailed with twenty-nine Missionaries (of whom several were married, and had their wives and children with them) on board, and arrived in March, 1797, at Tahiti, then, and still, by some reputable writers, miscalled Otaheite, where the greater part of the company took up their residence. Others were settled at St. Christiana and Tongatabu. For nearly seventeen years, under many adverse and discouraging circumstances, the work (thus begun) was continued with apparently little success. It afterwards pleased God, in his own good time and way, to display his power and glory among the people who there sat in darkness and the shadow of death; nor hath his word, since that time, ceased to grow and prevail: island after island has abandoned idolatry, and, while multitudes of the inhabitants have professed obedience to the faith, many have given satisfactory evidence of genuine conversion. All the principal events contributing towards this great change, or accompanying and following it, are touched upon in the volume here submitted to the public, with sufficient clearness, it is hoped, to render any explanations unnecessary in this place.
In the year 1821, the Rev. Daniel Tyerman, of the Isle of Wight, and George Bennet, Esq. of Sheffield, were deputed by the Parent Society to visit the various stations in those uttermost parts of the sea, both for the purpose of cheering the hearts and strengthening the hands of the Missionaries, and, as representatives of the Christian community at home, to witness and report what great things the Lord had done for the heathen there. The following quotations from a circular, issued by the Directors, in 1820, will more particularly show their intentions in making the appointment which, at first embraced the South Sea Islands only, though, in the sequel, it included the Stations in the
* Now known by the name of the London Missionary Society, to distinguish it from similar institutions of later date, and which are confined principally to the particular bodies of Christians to which they are respectively attached.
other quarters of the world :-"The great objects of the Deputation will be, to make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the state of the Missions, and of the islands; and to suggest, and, if possible, carry into effect, such plans as shall appear to be requisite for the furtherance of the gospel, and for introducing among the natives the occupations and habits of civilised life. In order to the attainment of these objects, it is proposed to form such arrangements as shall tend to the introduction of Christian Churches; the establishment and improvements of schools for the children of the Missionaries and of the natives, and, eventually, of trades; and a proper and constant attention to the cultivation of the ground."
These first objects of their appointment being fulfilled, the Deputation were subsequently instructed by the directors to proceed to Java, the East Indies, &c., on a like embassy of goodwill and friendly enquiry, to the numerous establishments, insular and continental, in that quarter of the world, where the society had agents, doing the work of evangelists. These additional duties having been likewise accomplished, the Deputation, under special circumstances, were authorised to survey another field of Missionary labour in Madagascar, where important results might be expected from their presence at that particular time. There, however, Mr. Tyerman was suddenly removed by death; and Mr. Bennet, in consequence of a political revolution in the island, was compelled to leave it. After visiting some of the stations in South Africa, he reached England in the summer of 1829; and, as early as arrangements could be made, the work now presented to the public was undertaken.
The documents, official and private, from which this volume has been composed, were of great bulk, and exceedingly multifarious. They consisted chiefly of a journal kept by both members of the Deputation, jointly, during the first two years of their travels, and a separate one by Mr. Tyerman, continued to nearly the day of his death. Mr. Bennet subsequently furnished several interesting narratives and other valuable contributions. These materials, however, were so extensive and miscellaneous, as well as so minute, that it became the duty of the compiler, instead of abridging or condensing the mass, to recompose the whole, in such a
form as should enable him to bring forth, in succession, as they occurred to the travellers themselves, the most striking and curious facts relative to their personal adventures, or which came to their knowledge by the way. He has therefore trod step by step after them, confining himself, as faithfully as practicable, to the order of subjects, under the original dates, after exercising his best discretion in the use of his materials, chiefly consisting of memoranda, generally rough and unshapen-the first thoughts, in the first words of the writers, at the time, and upon the spot, recording the actual impressions and feelings awakened or confirmed by the things themselves. These he has endeavoured so to exhibit as to do full justice to the individuals whose journals he was thus retracing, and on whose authority the statements derived from them must rest.
Throughout the whole of this ample narrative and the occasional episodes, great care has been taken to preserve as many personal, national, and moral traits of character, traditions, fragments of history, and anecdotes of the superstition, forms of government, manners, customs, and practices, of the inhabitants of the South and North Pacific Islanders, as could be published without offence to decorum. But it must be plainly stated that the half of their abominations may not be told-however harmless, amiable, and happy they have been represented in their former state by occasional visitors, too many of whom loved them for their licentiousness, and knew little, and cared less, about the reckless tyranny of their chiefs, the diabolical frauds of their priests, their wars of massacre, and their unnatural cruelties one towards another, especially their nearest connexions. Nothing which has contributed to make a class of human beings either better or worse than otherwise they would have been, and at the same time different from all others of their fellowcreatures, can be insignificant or uninteresting; and however puerile, absurd, horrible, or revolting, many things here stated may be in themselves, it was from the accumulation and pressure of these that society, through unregistered ages, took its form in the most fertile and beautiful regions of the Pacific. Hence the slightest memorial of the least influential of such co-operating causes must be of some value, and worthy of preservation, if it add but an atom to our knowledge of human nature, essentially the same everywhere, though varying in its aspect according to external contingencies. A chapter would have been wanting in the history of our species, or at best the contents of
it, collected from other sources, would be exceedingly deficient, if the authentic information furnished by resident Missionaries, and collected by the late Deputation, were not now rescued from oblivion, and put upon record, in such publications as Mr. Ellis's Polynesian Researches and the following Journal. From the plan of the latter it will be found that the same topics are occasionally referred to again and again; but in each instance presented under new phases, and with additional particulars, as the travellers obtained fuller and clearer intelligence on points which were continually the object of inquiry and examination. In a few years all traces of the former things which are now done away would have been for ever obliterated: the old who still remember them would be dead; the rising generation, of course, are brought up in the knowledge of those better things which are regenerating society throughout all the Christianised islands. This, then, which would have been expedient under any circumstances, has become necessary at the present time, when the grossest fictions are invented, industriously circulated, and in some instances eagerly received-to bring the Missionaries and their labours into contempt.
In chapter xxxii. page 170, of this work, will be found some mention of a visit paid by the Russian Captain Kotzebue to Tahiti, at a time when the Deputation were there. There has lately been published in England what is called "A New Voyage Round the World," &c. by this gentleman. In a section of more than a hundred pages, entitled "O Tahaiti," the writer has thought proper to assert as historical facts things which never happened under the sun, and to express sentiments concerning the Missionaries and their converts, which no man could entertain who was not under strong prejudice, if not actual delusion. This is not the place to expose his errors in detail. That will, probably, be done from another quarter, and by an abler hand; but two or three of his misrepresentations must not be passed over, as they stand in direct contradiction to much that will be found in the following pages respecting the introduction of Christianity and its benign effects in the Society Islands. The captain says:
"After many fruitless efforts, some English Missionaries succeeded at length, in the year 1797, in introducing what they called Christianity into Tahaiti, and even in gaining over to their doctrine King Tajo, who then governed the whole island in peace and tranquillity. This conversion was a spark thrown into a powder magazine, and was followed by a fearful explosion. The maraes were suddenly de
stroyed by order of the king-every memorial of the former worship defaced-the new religion forcibly established, and whoever would not adopt it put to death. With the zeal for making proselytes, the rage of tigers took possession of a people once so gentle. Streams of blood flowed; whole races were exterminated; many resolutely met the death they preferred to the renunciation of their ancient faith," &c. * **"King Tajo, not content with seeing, in the remains of his people, none but professors of the new faith, resolved on making conquests, that he might force, it on the other Society Islands. He had already succeeded with most of them, when a young warrior, Pomare, King of the little island of Tabua, took the field against him. What he wanted in numbers was supplied by his unexampled valour, and his superiority in the art of war. He subdued one island after another, and at last Tahaiti itself, and, having captured its king, offered the zealous murderer of his subjects as a sacrifice to their manes."Vol. i. pp. 159, 160.
How much truth is there in this straightforward statement? Let the reader judge.There never existed such a personage as King Tajo. Pomare the First was King of Tahiti during the early residence of the Missionaries in that island. He died in 1803, having never so much as pretended to embrace Christianity. He was succeeded in the sovereignty by his son, Otu; who eventually assumed the name of Pomare II.-Christianity was not received, "after many fruitless efforts," in 1797; nor till 1814 were a "praying people" found among the inhabitants. After that time they rapidly multiplied. In the latter end of the following year, 1815, the only battle that ever took place between Christians and idolaters, in Tahiti, was fought, in which the latter were the aggressors, and, after being defeated in the field, were wholly subdued by the clemency of Pomare in sparing his vanquished enemies, a thing unheard of before in the exterminating wars of these islanders. Since then neither war nor battle has been known throughout the whole windward group. [See Ellis's Polynesian Researches, vol. I. chap. x. pp. 245 to 280; and this Journal, chap. vi. p. 40.] In the Leeward Islands, at Huahine, an idolatrous army of rebels yielded, without a blow, to Hautia, when that Christian chief offered them pardon and peace. [See this Journal, chap. xiii. p. 75.] In Tahaa the idolaters, under King Fenuapeho, were routed by Tamatoa King of Raiatea, and after the conflict the lives of the prisoners, including Fenuapeho himself,
being spared, this chief and all his people submitted to the conqueror, who restored to the former his sovereignty, and to the latter their insular independence. [See this Journal, chap. xxvi. p. 145.] The universal rejection of heathenism, and acceptance of the gospel, in each of these cases, followed the merciful use of victory by the champions of the truth. There are on record shocking instances of the murder of natives for embracing the "new religion,” by the bigoted adherents of the old; but Captain Kotzebue may be safely challenged to produce one example of an individual being put to the alternative of preferring "death to the renunciation of his ancient faith." It rests with him also to show when, how, where, and by whom, "whole races were exterminated ;"certainly not in any island, whose inhabitants have been converted to Christianity, in the South Seas. What he means at p. 169, vol. i., by "the bloody persecution instigated by the Missionaries, which performed the work of a desolating infection," he would find hard to explain before the bar of God or man. At each he is answerable for it.
He roundly affirms, that "the religion taught by the Missionaries is not true Christianity." [Vol. i. p. 168.] If that which Captain Kotzebue practices be "true Christianity," assuredly that which the Missionaries teach is not. Try him by his own test. In an interview with the queen, he says, "She asked me whether I was a Christian, and how often I prayed daily? I merely replied, that we should be judged according to our actions, rather than the number of our prayers." [Vol. i. p. 183.] Every page of his fables and lucubrations, respecting the Missionaries and their people, proves that he is not of that religion which says, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." One example may suffice. Vol. i. p. 193, he observes, "Though the vice of theft has certainly greatly diminished among the Tahaitans, they cannot always refrain from endeavouring to appropriate the articles they prize so highly. For instance, I THINK, if any one the Tahaitan ladies had found an opportunity of stealing a bit of the mock gold-lace, the temptation would be too great to withstand." Thus, as an instance of irresistible thieving propensity in "the Tahaitan ladies," he thinks if something which did not happen had happened, then a certain consequence would have followed! What can any honest man think of "Otto von Kotzebue, Post Captain in the Russian Imperial Navy, and Commander of the ship Predpriatie ?"
The rest of his slanders, sarcasms, and insinuations, (especially at pp. 196-7, which are fitter for a court of justice than of criticism,) may be left, for the present, to the exposure which awaits them. It must be acknowledged that in these the renowned circumnavigator has afforded the public opportunity enough for judging of his Christianity by his "actions;" -one cannot help wishing, however, that he had left one solitary specimen of his "prayers." If he had, it is not uncharitable to suppose that it might have begun thus: "God, I thank thee that I am not like," &c. The reader may fill up the form; and, to assist him in doing this, the following paragraph may be useful. It seems that, on a former voyage, Captain Kotzebue had introduced yams into Otdia, one of the Navigators' Islands, where, during his absence, they had been so successfully cultivated, that on his visit there after leaving Tahiti, he was "shown a pretty large field very well stocked with them." He says, "The delightful feelings with which I surveyed the new plantation may be imagined, when it is recollected that these poor islanders, from want of means of subsistence, are compelled, assuredly with heavy hearts, to murder their own offspring, and that this yam alone is sufficient to remove so horrible a necessity. I might joyfully affirm, that, through my instrumentality, the distressed mother need no longer look forward to the birth of her third or fourth child with the dreadful consciousness that she has endured all her pains only to deliver a sacrifice to the hand of the murderer. When she should clasp her child to her breast, and see her husband look on it with a father's tenderness, they might both remember Totabu,* and the beneficent plants which he had given them."-The man who had done this good deed, and could enjoy, by anticipation, such a reward of it in his own bosom, might have been taught, by his better feelings, to "think" and speak otherwise than he has done of men, who have not only introduced fruits and roots, but herds, and flocks, mechanic arts, reading and writing, civilised manners and domestic comforts, (to say nothing of "true Christianity,") into not one but many islands-men who, according to his own confessions, have almost banished drunkenness, thieving, and profligacy, so far as their influence has reached;-men, through whose "instrumentality," not in imagination, but in fact, thousands of mothers have been taught to spare all their children, instead of "delivering”—not the "third or the fourth' *Kotzebue, in t e island-dialect.
only, but three-fourths of them, as soon as they were born, as "sacrifices to the hand of the murderer."
To return to the main burthen of the present Journal of the first Missionary Voyage ever made round the world :-an authority of a far higher standard in literature and morals than Captain Kotebue thus speaks of the humanising effects of the gospel :-"Even over the wild people, inhabiting a country as savage as themselves, the Sun of Righteousness arose with healing under his wings. Good men, on whom the name of saint (while not used in a superstitious sense) was justly bestowed, to whom life and the pleasures of the world were as nothing, so they could call souls to Christianity, undertook, and succeeded in the perilous task of enlightening these savages. Religion, although it did not at first change the manners of nations waxed old in barbarism, failed not to introduce those institutions on which rest the dignity and happiness of social life. The law of marriage was established among them, and all the brutalising evils of polygamy gave place to the consequences of a union which tends, most directly, to separate the human from the brute species. The abolition of idolatrous ceremonies took away many brutalising practices; and the gospel, like the grain of mustard-seed, grew and flourished, in noiseless increase, insinuating into men's hearts the blessings inseparable from its influence."-Sir Walter Scott's History of Scotland.
All this has been literally realised in the islands of the South Seas, so far as they have received Christianity. Innumerable proofs of it will appear in the following pages. The former and present circumstances of these minute portions of the inhabited globe are not less truly than poetically contrasted by a living writer :"Where, in the furthest deserts of the deep, The coral-worm its architecture vast Uprears, and new-made islands have their birth, The Paphian Venus, driven from the west, In Polynesian groves, long undisturb'd, Her shameful rites and orgies foul maintain'd; The wandering voyager, at Tahiti, found Another Daphne.
On his startled ear,
From the Star in the East, by JOSIAH CONDER.
ON THE TIDES IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN.
TO JAMES MONTGOMERY, ESQ.
MY DEAR FRiend,
Immediately, after perusing Kotzebue's gross and unfounded attacks on the Missions and Missionaries in the South Seas, particularly at Tahiti; and, perceiving the inexcusable professional blunders which he has committed in regard to the tides on the shores of that island, as well as respecting the position of Pape ete harbour, and the small island Motu utu,-I wrote to several of our oldest and most intelligent Missionaries, desiring that they would transmit to me, by letter, a description of the actual phenomena of the tides in Tahiti and the islands adjacent. At the same time I stated to each of them what Mr. Tyerman and myself had recorded from our three years' daily observation on the subject, namely, that there are always two full and two ebb tides in every twenty-four hours; that the full tide occurred regularly at twelve o'clock in the day, and again at twelve in the night; while the ebb tide, in strict correspondence, was always at six o'clock in the morning, and again at six o'clock in the evening; moreover, that the tide seldom rose higher than fifteen inches. But, as the accuracy of our testimony had in this country been questioned since my return, I desired them individually to say what they knew to be the actual condition of the tides in Tahiti, &c.
In June 1834 I received a letter from my much valued friend, our excellent Missionary, Mr. Nott,-dated Tahiti, Jan. 18, of that year, from which the following is a faithful extract:
"With respect to your inquiries about the tides, from what I have observed during a long residence here, the rise of the tide is seldom more than a foot or fifteen inches, and there is no difference between what is called the neap and the spring tides; or, in other words, there is no difference in the tides at Tahiti, whether it be the full or change of the moon, half moon, or quarter. There is, however, sometimes a higher sea about the change of the moon, because a change of the wind then frequently (but not always) happens. Nevertheless, this higher sea is not a higher tide, but it is owing to the change of the wind, or some great commotion at a distance, and never lasts more than four or five days, during which time the tides continue as usual, namely, high or full tide about noon (or from twelve to one in the day) and about twelve at night, and ebb tide about six o'clock in the morning and about the same hour in the evening. This is uniformly the time of full and ebb tides at Tihiti. Respecting the tides at the islands to the westward-as the Figiis, and Samao (Navigators) islands-I believe they rise several feet, but whether the times of high and low water are the same as here I am not prepared to say. At the island of Tubuai and Raivavai the tide is much greater than at Tahiti, rising about two feet and a half."
The following is also a faithful extract from a
letter of our excellent Missionary, the Rev. John Davis, many years resident in Tahiti, dated Papara (west side of Tahiti), Jan. 23, 1834; received also on June 23rd, 1834:
"You inquire about the tides, &c. I have not much to say on the subject; yet, having observed that the common theory about the influence of the moon did not apply to these islands, I have at different times at the full and change of the moon, the quarter, and the whole of the lunar month, observed and marked the rise and fall of the sea on our shores (of Tahiti), and the result of my observations is, that the tide is not perceptibly and regularly governed by the age of the moon. There are no observable differences of spring and neap tides; but there is a change every six hours; at sun-rise or about six o'clock the sea is lowest, and the same about sun-down or six o'clock in the evening. At noon, or ten minutes past twelve, the sea is highest, and the same again at midnight. When the sea is not affected by wind, the rise or difference between high and low water is from nine to fourteen inches; or, upon an average, about a foot. When it differs from this, it seems to me to be caused by the wind, or the position of the shores, as to capes, inlets, &c. There is often an irregularity in consequence of the wind retarding or impelling the water on the shores. I am not aware of any material difference besides what I have mentioned in any of these islands, viz.: Tahiti, Eimeo, Maioiti, the Society Islands, Paumotu, Tubuai, Raivavai; but in the islands far to the west there is. I was in the Figiis in 1810. I there observed that the tide varied with the age of the moon, and also that it rose very high. Occasionally also we have seen at Tahiti an uncommon swell and rise of the sea without any wind in our neighbourhood, the waves rolling on the shores and rising many feet."
The following is a copy from a letter of my late esteemed and beloved friend, the lamented John Williams, from the South Seas, dated March 1834, in reply to my questions made to him:
In answer to your inquiries concerning the tides in the Tahitian and other islands in the great South Pacific, I forward you the following observations: - they contain the substance of information obtained by a long residence, as you know, in those parts. In the Georgian and Society groups, comprising the following named islands:-Tahiti, Eimeo, Sir Charles Sanderson's Islands, Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa, Borabora, and Maioiti, the tides are regular as to the ebb and flow; also as to the height to which the tide rises, that is, it is invariably low water at six o'clock in the morning, high water at twelve o'clock in the day, and low water again at six in the evening, and again high water at twelve at night. From this surprising regularity, there is little or no deviation from