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CHAPTER XXV.

1813, 1814.

THE JOYFUL DISCOVERY.

The missionaries now found the people in Eimeo very ready to attend to their instructions, and they heard that the people in Tahiti also were inquiring after of the true God. It was agreed that two of the brethren should go over to Tahiti to see whether the joyful report

was true.

Mr. Scott and Mr. Hayward were sent upon this message. They landed in Tahiti, and slept that night in one of the native houses. Early in the morning they rose, and each went to look for some retired place among the bushes where he might pray. While Mr. Scott was alone, he heard a voice; it seemed the voice of prayer; he drew nearer to the place whence it came, and heard a Tahitian, blessing the true God. It was the first time, he had ever heard such words from a Tahitian's lips. Tears of joy rolled down his cheeks, and he longed to clasp the christian man to his heart, but he waited in silence till the man left the spot, and

234

THE PRAYING TAHITIANS.

then he knelt down, and thanked God fervently for having bestowed his Spirit upon the poor heathen. Mr. Scott returned to the house, and there met his friend Mr. Hayward, whom he informed of the joyful event. They inquired amongst the natives for the man, who had left off worshipping idols, and were told of one, named 0-i-to, who had done so. They sought for him, and heard his own account of himself. Oito had once been a servant to the missionaries, when they had lived in Tahiti, but he had not then believed ; lately he had been struck with some remarks the king had made; and longing for instruction, he had gone to a man called Tu-a-hi-ne, who had been servant to the missionaries for many years, and he had asked him to teach him.* Tuahine was in the same state of mind, as Oito. These two often met to pray together and to converse, amongst the lonely places in the mountain. The change in their behaviour was soon observed by their countrymen. Some ridiculed them; a few, however, joined their little prayer meetings, and agreed to give up worshipping idols, and all evil customs, and to keep the sabbath day. Such was the account that Oito gave of himself to the missionaries.

Mr. Scott immediately wrote a letter to in.

* A very interesting account of Tuahine, and of his death in 1827, is to be found in Williams' Missionary Enterprises,

p. 159.

THEIR DEPARTURE TO EIMEO.

235

ness.

form the brethren in Eimeo of these happy events. When the brethren read the letter, they shed tears of grateful joy. They felt now that they were rewarded for sixteen years of toil, and watching, and alarm; for God had granted the Gentiles repentance unto life.

Mr. Scott and Mr. Hayward went round the island of Tahiti, preaching the gospel, and then invited Oito, and Tuahine, and their praying companions, to return with them to Eimeo, to receive instruction at school, and at chapel. These Christian natives were glad to accept the invitation, especially as Tahiti was at this time in a state of great confusion and wicked

You may imagine how affectionately these people were received by the brethren in Eimeo.

The missionaries knew that there were many people in Eimeo, desirous of serving the true God, and they were anxious to discover who they were, that they might instruct, and watch over them. I will now relate the plan they adopted for this purpose.

The chapel that Pomare had desired to be built was opened for public worship on July 25th, 1813, just one year after Pomare's order had been given. The king himself was not there at the opening, as he was still at Tahiti. When the evening service was just over, Mr. Davies invited all persons, who sincerely de

236

NEW CONVERTS' NAMES WRITTEN DOWN.

sired to cast away their idols, to come to the chapel the next evening, that he might write down their names in a book. About forty attended at the time appointed. The brethren prayed and sang, and Mr. Nott gave a short ad. dress, and asked all to come forward, who really desired to serve the true God alone. Thirty-one consented to have their names written down ; amongst these were Oito, and Tuahine. The brethren invited this little company to meet them often in the chapel, to be instructed privately.

One of them, named Mu-i, was soon called to his rest. This poor youth had shown great love for the word of God and prayer, and had crept to the bushes to pray in secret, as long as he had strength. When confined to his hut, he would say, as the people passed by on their way to school, or chapel, “ My feet cannot go, but my heart goes with you." About the same time a person

of
a very

different character, died. This was Idia. She had always been a bitter enemy to Christ, and had even prevented others from confessing their belief in him. Several persons who had been afraid of declaring they were Christians in her lifetime, did so, as soon as she was dead. It is true, she had been kind to the missionaries, but not for their Master's sake.

I will now mention several circumstances that happened in the missionary family this

ILLNESSES OF THE BRETHREN.

237

year. Mr. Tessier, one of the former missionaries, came to Tahiti, as soon as he heard of the king's conversion. He was a very little man, and not clever, but he made himself useful by teaching young children, and copying out books for them to use in school. These little services, if done from love, are as acceptable to Christ, as preaching to thousands of people.

Mr. Henry went to Port Jackson, and returned with a new wife ; so that there were now eight missionaries and their five wives in Eimeo, besides several little children.

The missionaries suffered much from illness, especially from swellings in their limbs, and from bilious attacks. Sometimes almost all of them were ill at the same time, and unable to preach. The christian natives lamented their teachers' illness, with tears in their eyes, saying, “ Alas! what will become of us, if you die ?" The brethren themselves feared that some of their lives would soon be cut short, and they wrote letters to England, entreating that more missionaries might be sent to their help; yet in all their weakness they had much to rejoice in.

They observed with delight that the people they instructed, prayed daily both in their families and secretly amongst the bushes, and constantly asked a blessing upon their food. For these habits, the Christians were much ridiculed

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