Page images


As the letter was long, I will only mention

part of it.

“ FRIENDS, I wish you every blessing, friends, in your residence in your country, with success in teaching this bad land, this foolish land, this land which knoweth not the true God, this regardless land.

“Your request I fully consent to, and shall consequently banish Oro, and send him to Raiatea.

“Friends, I hope also you will consent to my request, which is this; I wish you to send a great number of men, women, and children here. Friends, send also property and cloth for us, and we also will adopt English customs.

“Friends, send also plenty of muskets, and powder, for wars are frequent in our country. Should I be killed, you will have nothing in Tahiti. Do not come here when I am dead; Tahiti is a regardless country.

“This also I wish, that you would send me all the curious things, that you have in England. Also, send me everything necessary for writing,-paper, ink, and pens in abundance; let no writing utensil be wanting.

“As for your desire to instruct Tahiti, it is what I fully acquiesce in. It is a common thing for people not to understand at first; but



your object is good, and I fully consent to it, and shall cast off all evil customs.

“ What I say is truth, and no lie; it is the real truth.”

Was this letter sincere ? Can we think it was, when Pomare very soon afterwards desired that a man might be killed at Atehuru as a sacrifice, and taken in a canoe to another place? In order to conceal the deed from the missionaries, he desired that the canoe, in passing Matavai, might keep far out to sea. Pomare made such fair promises to the Directors in England, only that he might coax them to send him property. He did not now wish to be instructed about God, though he once had appeared inclined to attend. As he was almost all day in one of the rooms of the brethren, he was often spoken to about his soul, and his sins, but he always turned the conversation to some other subject; and still seemed to be a “ child of the devil," "an enemy of all righteousness.”


1807, 1808, 1809, 1810, February.



an use.

The event the brethren dreaded at length occurred. In May 1807, there was another war in Tahiti.

A very trifling circumstance was the principal occasion of it. A man in Atehuru made the bones of a chief, who had once been slain in battle, into fish-hooks. Now this chief was a relation of the king's, and it was considered an insult to the king to turn the bones to such

The king was much inclined for war, ånd he was encouraged to begin it by one of those wicked men, who pretended to be inspired by Oro. This prophet, who was called Metia, said that Oro was angry, and that he wished the king to fight against the men of Atehuru. The missionaries saw, with dismay, the king and his people, busily employed in cleaning their muskets, and in preparing for battle. Soon afterwards, Pomare and his army set out for Atehuru. The missionaries waited



with great anxiety to know which party conquered; for if the Atehurans had prevailed, the consequences would have been very dreadful to the friends of the king.

In a few days they received a note from Pomare. It informed them, that the Atehurans had been obliged to flee to their strongholds in the mountains, and that many had been slain. The brethren trembled to think how cruelly Pomare would treat the conquered people, when he could seize them, and especially their wives and children. Two of them determined to go to Pomare, to entreat him to spare them. Accordingly Mr. Elder and Mr. Wilson set out. When they reached Atehuru, what a scene they beheld! All the houses burnt, the trees destroyed, the people fled! Pomare himself was standing near the sea-shore, employed in the horrible work of seeing the dead bodies of the slain, placed in canoes to be taken to the marae in Taiarabu, to be offered in sacrifice to Oro. About seventy had already been sent, while thirty dead bodies remained. The two brethren were shocked with the sight of these carcases, which had been cut and trampled upon by the conquerors. They went up to Pomare, and besought him, not to kill any more of the women or children, and not to



men, who had fled to the mountains. Pomare promised to grant their request, but he was un



willing to talk to them, appearing to know that he was acting wickedly.

No doubt God was very angry with Pomare for continuing in sin, after he had been so inuch instructed. The time was almost come when he was to eat the fruit of his doings.

Before we begin the history of the great events, that soon occurred in Tahiti, we must speak of some things that befel the missionaries.

This year one of them was called to rest from his labours, and was gathered into the garner. This was Mr. Jefferson. About three years before, he had eaten the head of a fish, of a poisonous kind, and had been very ill the next day. He had never been quite well since that time. He was very ill for some weeks before his death, and earnestly desired to depart, and be with Christ. He did not feel as joyful, as some saints have done, but he had peace, and felt persuaded, that Christ would receive him. Some of his last words were, “Comfortable, comfortable! Sweet, sweet! Glory, glory be to him !” Thus he died, on the night of September 25th, 1807.

He was buried near Mr. Lewis, and a stone was placed at the head of his grave. How different had been the lives, and the deaths of these two missionaries ! One had been unfaithful, and had been judged by the Lord in an awful manner; the other had been faithful

« PreviousContinue »