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was walking along, Buteve, getting off his seat, proceeded on his knees to the middle of the pathway, and shouted, “ Welcome, servant of God, who brought light into this dark island; to you are we indebted for the word of salvation.” In reply, Williams said, “ What do you know of the word of salvation ?” The Martyr's account of the dialogue is as follows:-" He answered, “I know about Jesus Christ, who came into the world to save sinners.' On inquiring what he knew about Jesus Christ, he replied, “I know that he is the Son of God, and that he died painfully upon the cross, to pay for the sins of men, in order that their souls might be saved, and go to happiness in the skies.' I inquired of him if all the people went to heaven after death. • Certainly not,' he replied; only those who believe in the Lord Jesus, who cast away sin, and who pray to God.' You pray, of course?' I continued. • Oh yes,' he said, “I very frequently pray as I weed my ground and plant my food, but always three times a-day, besides praying with my family every morning and evening. I asked him what he said when he prayed. He answered, I say, O Lord, I am a great sinner ; may Jesus take my sins away by his good blood; give me the righteousness of Jesus to adorn me, and give me the good Spirit of Jesus to instruct me, and make my heart good, to make me a man of Jesus, and take me to heaven when I die.' "Well,' I replied, “that, Buteve, is very excellent; but where did your knowledge ?'
• From you, to be sure: who brought us the news of salvation but yourself?' • True,' I replied; but I do not ever recollect to have seen you at either of the settlements, to hear me speak of these things; and how do you obtain your
knowledge of them?' 'Why,' he said, as the people return from the services, I take my seat by the wayside, and beg a bit of the word of them as they pass by; one gives me one piece, another another piece, and I collect them together in my heart, and, by thinking over what I thus obtain, and praying to God to make me know, I understand a little about his word.' This was altogether a most interesting incident, as I had
seen the poor cripple before, and I could not learn that he had ever been in a place of worship. His knowledge, however, was such as to afford me both astonishment and delight, and I seldom passed his house, after this interview, without holding an interesting conversation with him." * It is not easy to conceive of any thing more interesting than the spectacle presented by Williams and Buteve, while holding the conversation here recorded. How deplorable an object was the one ! What a benefactor to that object was the other!
A missionary meeting of the southern Islanders presents to the moral eye a sight at once sublime and beautiful. Such a meeting is in itself a trophy, and to the missionary a triumph, while the speeches of the natives are a species of deposition on the subjects of idolatry and Christianity, of the most interesting and gratifying character. I shall here set forth the substance of several addresses on one of those occasions, as they were minuted down at the moment by Mr. Williams.
First Speaker.-"My friends, let us this afternoon remember our former state-how many children were killed, and how few were kept alive; but now none are destroyed. Parents now behold, with pleasure, their
* Williams, p. 54.
three, five, and even their ten children, the majority of whom would have been murdered, had not God sent his word to us. Now hundreds of these are daily taught the word of God. We knew not that we possessed that invaluable property, a living soul. Neither our wise ancestors, nor any of our former gods, ever told us so.
But Jehovah caused compassion to grow in the breasts of the good Christians of England, who formed a society, purchased a ship, and sent missionaries to tell us that we had souls-souls that will never die; and now we are dwelling in comfort, and hope for salvation through Jesus Christ. But do all the lands of darkness possess the same knowledge? Do all know that they have never-dying souls ?-that there is one good, and one bad place for every soul after death? Do all know that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners ? No! some are worshipping idols; some are killing themselves, and others their children. Then let us send them missionaries to teach them the good word which we have been taught.”
How direct to the point is this speech! There is not one stray observation. The speaker seems to have felt as if the souls of the murdered innocents hovered about the meeting ! His heart recoils with horror, as he calls to mind the hosts of babes butchered in the days of darkness! His reference to the new doctrine of the soul is very affecting. How touching and pungent his exclamation relative to the employments of benighted men, at the moment in which the meeting was being held!
Second Speaker.- "Praise to God well becomes us; but let it be heart-praise. All the work we do for God must be heart-work. We were dwelling formerly in a dark house, among centipedes and lizards, spiders and
rats; nor did we know what evil and despicable things were around us. The lamp of light, the word of God, has been brought, and now we behold with dismay and disgust these abominable things. But stop! Some are killing each other this very day, while we are rejoicing; some are destroying their children, while we are saving ours; some are burning themselves in the fire, while we are bathing in the cool waters of the gospel ! What shall we do? We have been told this day by our missionary, that God works by sending his word and his servants. To effect this, property must be given. We have it; we can give it. Prayer to God is another means : let us pray fervently. But our prayer will condemn us, if we cry, Send forth thy word, and make it grow, and do not use the means.
I shall say no more, but let us cleave to Jesus.”
This is the language of a person accustomed, not to fear, but to command, his fellow men. These brilliant words were uttered by the chief of Tahaa. Seldom has figurative language been employed with greater force or greater beauty. How abrupt and striking is the pause, introducing the contrast which their condition presented to the state of such as were still sitting in the region of the shadow of death!
Third Speaker. -" There were two captivities amongst us formerly: the one was a captivity to our gods; the other was our captivity to the teuteu arii, or king's servants. Perhaps there is an individual present to whom the former will particularly apply, for I know the very cave in which he hid himself several times, when he was sought after to be offered up as a sacrifice to the gods. Has he obtained shelter in the true Refuge for sinners? The other captivity
was to the servants of our chiefs. These would enter our houses, and commit the greatest depredations. The raatira, or master of the house, would sit as a poor captive, without daring to speak, while they would seize his rolls of cloth, kill the fattest of his pigs, pluck the best of his bread-fruit, and take the very posts of his house for firewood with which to cook them. Is there not a person present who buried his new canoe in the sand to hide it from these desperate men ? But now all these customs are abolished; we live in peace,
without fear. But what has abolished them all? Is it our own goodness? Is it our own strength? No! it is the gospel of Jesus. We do not now hide our pigs underneath our beds, and use our rolls of cloth for pillows, to secure them; our pigs may now run where they please, and our property may hang in our house, no one touching it. Now we have cinet bedsteads; we have excellent sofas to sit on, neat plastered houses to dwell in, and our property we can call our own.”
This is the language of a teacher; and, accordingly, we find in it the indications of an enlarging intellect, and an improving habit of observation. The political and social benefits conferred by the gospel are more fully brought out by him than by the previous speakers. Mahamene shows that he is one of the people, and exults in deliverance from oppression. He and the chiefs see things from different points. His views, all things considered, are at once minute and comprehensive. The past and the present state of his countrymen were vividly before the eye of his mind; and he very strikingly shows them that godliness has the promise of the life that now is, as well as that which is to come.
The missionary life is not without its pains, priva