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108

THE END OF THE WAR.

they thought it prudent to wet the roof of the house with their water engine, and to keep the engine filled with water.

After one week of anxious watchfulness, the brethren heard with grateful joy that peace was made. Ten men and two women had been slain in the war, and all of them were the enemies of Otu. About forty or fifty houses had been burnt. Such were the dreadful consequences of Otu's wickedness in ordering the missionaries to be attacked. But God kept his people from the arrow that flew by day, and from the secret malice of bloody and deceitful men.

Notwithstanding Otu's ungrateful behaviour, the missionaries showed him as much kindness as ever. He was now their frequent visiter, as well as Tetua, the young queen. They used often to call to see the brethren, and were always mounted upon men's shoulders, The missionaries were surprised at the ease and grace, with which they sat upon their bearers, and also at the strength of the men, who generally carried the royal pair at a trotting pace. Otu's habits of begging were the same as ever, and these annoyed the missionaries very much, as they had now little remaining that they could well spare.

The natives continued to be very troublesome, particularly at the time when the brethren dined together. Multitudes flocked to see them

TROUBLESOME GUESTS AT DINNER.

109

eat, and would almost snatch the meat out of their mouths. All the missionaries' servants also chose to dine with them, and consumed more food than their masters. If you inquire why the brethren kept so many servants, you must know that the servants chose to come without leave. They insisted on helping the brethren to cook the dinner, and then remained to dine without being invited, and generally found many private opportunities of stealing. At length the missionaries came to a determination no longer to have one dinner, but to dine two or three together in their own rooms, and to cook their food privately with the assistance of one boy to each mess, if they possibly could keep away the rest of the people.

But how trifling were these annoyances, or even the alarms of war, compared to a trial that now came upon them from one of their own selves!

One day Mr. Lewis told Mr. Harris privately that he thought of marrying a native woman, and asked him whether he would perform the ceremony. At first he hesitated, but afterwards told Mr. Lewis, it would be very sinful to marry a heathen. Mr. Lewis then asked Mr. Eyre whether he would perform the ceremony, and Mr. Eyre gave the same answer. When the other brethren heard of Mr. Lewis's intention, they spoke very seriously to Mr. Lewis on the

110

MR. LEWIS'S DEPARTURE.

subject, after evening prayer.

It was then agreed by all, (and even by Mr. Lewis himself,) that if any of the brethren were to marry a heathen woman, that he should no longer be considered a missionary, or allowed to take the Lord's supper with his brethren, but should be excommunicated. The same evening Mr. Lewis informed the brethren that he was going to leave them in two days to live with the native man, called his friend, at Ahunu, a place a short distance from the missionaries' dwelling. Thus he was going to follow the example that Mr. Jefferson once set, but without the same motives; for Mr. Lewis appeared to go, not to do good, (as Mr. Jefferson had done,) but to please himself. In vain the brethren warned him to keep out of temptation; two days afterwards he set off with his bed and some of his property.

About three weeks after this event, the brethren received a letter from Mr. Lewis, in which he said he had determined to marry one of the heathen women. The brethren immediately sent for him to their house. He came the next day. They all met together for prayer, and Mr. Eyre read the chapter in Joshua about Achan, who by his wickedness troubled Israel.

The brethren then said to Mr. Lewis, “Do you mean to persist in your intention of marrying one of the heathen women ?"

THE EXCOMMUNICATION.

111

He answered, “You know my determination.”

They then asked Mr. Lewis to leave the room, while they consulted together on the subject. They soon called him in, and told him that he was no longer one of their number. He tried to persuade them to alter the sentence, but as he could not prevail, he returned that afternoon to Ahunu. The next day the brethren sent him a letter, declaring that they no longer considered him as a missionary, or as a christian man.

They had come to this resolution with great sorrow, but felt that they ought to obey God's command in 1 Cor. V., where it is written, that if any man who is called a brother commits open sins, Christians ought not even to eat with him. They hoped that Mr. Lewis might be brought to repentance by this punishment, inflicted by many, that they might forgive him, and receive him back to their company.

Mr. Lewis was much displeased with his brethren for refusing to own him any longer. He took up his abode with the heathen, and soon found, as you will hear, that the way of the froward is full of briers and thorns. The missionaries no longer called him brother Lewis, as they used to do, nor would they shake hands with him when they met him. At first he called frequently at their house, to ask for things, and to try to talk with them; but he

112

THE NATIVES' ALARM.

was soon desired not to come there, except to the public worship of God. It grieved the missionaries not to be able to invite him to their table, and to appear to the heathen to behave unkindly to their brother; but they felt that they must show their displeasure against sin.

CHAPTER XIII.

1798.

THE CASK OF GUNPOWDER.

On the morning of the 24th of August two ships approached the island, but instead of the natives, showing the joy they usually did at such a sight, they were filled with fear, and began carrying their property to the mountains. Among the rest the man in the blacksmith's shop, carried away all the things he could, to a secure place.

What was the reason of these fears? The natives imagined that the ships were come from England to avenge the ill treatment the four brethren had received some months before. When the missionaries discovered the cause of the fright, they assured the natives that there

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