« PreviousContinue »
THE SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL.
by the heathen, and called “Bu-re A-tu-a," or praying people. This was an honourable title, but it was meant as a reproach. In all countries, the people of God are mocked by the ungodly. In England, they are often called " saints, methodists, evangelical," and many other names; but such reproaches are an honour indeed; for Christ himself was even called " Beelzebub, or the devil.” Matt. x. 5.
There were many persons from other islands assembled in Eimeo at this time, and some of them were anxious to be instructed by the missionaries, and came and dwelt near them. They had come to Eimeo to assist Pomare in his wars; but God, in his wisdom, had brought them there, that they might carry back the peaceful tidings of salvation to their own countries. During this year, some of them returned to Raiatea, and Huahine, whence they
Mr. Nott and Mr. Hayward went to visit these islands in a ship that touched at Eimeo, and found the people ready to assemble to hear them of their own accord, and full of contempt for their idols, calling them bad and foolish gods. At the end of two months, the two brethren returned with the joyful account to Eimeo. Some of the missionares would gladly have gone to live in the neighbouring islands, but they were obliged to keep together to finish
THE DELAY OF BAPTISM,
their ship. They were also so frequently ill, that they were afraid of separating from each other.
The missionaries were anxious to baptize those people in Eimeo who appeared truly converted. But as Pomare was the first who had asked to be baptized, they thought it proper to write to him on the subject. They had been grieved by hearing bad accounts of his conduct, especially of his drinking too much, a sinto which he had always been much inclined. In their letter to him, they begged him to consider his own case, and whether he was in a fit state for baptism.
Pomare wrote to them in answer, that he should soon return to Eimeo, and that he did not wish any persons to be baptized before he came, and recommended the brethren to wait to see whether the people were sincere in their religion.
The brethren, however, were not so fearful of any of the people having deceived themselves, as they were of Pomare himself.
It was selfish of Pomare to wish to make the people wait to be baptized, till he should return; but he seemed to have a proud desire to be the first to be baptized, and perhaps it was not right in the brethren to grant his desire.
After an absence of two years, the king returned to Eimeo; but when he came, though
DEATH OF MR. SCOTT.
he expressed a strong desire to be baptized, the brethren felt too much dissatisfied with him, to comply with his request; yet they did not baptize any of his people. He still continued firmly resolved to be a Christian in name, but, alas ! he did not appear to possess a renewed heart.
HOW THE IDOLS WERE PUBLICLY INSULTED.
The brethren had long feared that death would soon take away one of their number. At the beginning of this year, the thing they feared came upon them. Mr. Scott, who had often been ill for a few days, fell ill again, and died. No one was alarmed on his account, till the day before his death.
He spoke very little to his friends during his last hours, but seemed peaceful, and was heard to repeat the following verse
“ Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wand'ring from the fold of God,
THE PRIEST'S DECLARATION.
He also repeated the hymn beginning
“Guide me, O thou great Jehovah !”
In one respect he was more happy than Mr. Jefferson had been, for he had lived to see many of the heathen turn unto the true God. He had been a very diligent labourer, and was much lamented by his brethren. He left behind him a wife, and two little children.
The people in Eimeo grew more, and more anxious for instruction.
There were above three hundred names written down, and three hundred scholars (chiefly grown-up people) who attended the schools every day.
At this time a very striking conversion took place, which shook exceedingly the power of Satan, among the heathen.
One evening Mr. Nott, after preaching at the tents of one of the great chiefs, who had visited Eimeo, was returning home by the sea-shore, when a priest, called Pa-ti-i, followed him. He had listened to Mr. Nott's sermon, seemed anxious to converse with him. Mr. Nott was astonished to hear him say, morrow evening, I shall burn the idols under
Mr. Nott replied, " I fear you are jesting with me; you know we wish you to burn them, but do you really intend to do so? I can scarcely believe what you say."
IDOLS DESTROYED BY A PRIEST.
“Don't be unbelieving,” replied Patii,“ wait till to-morrow, and you shall see.” The rest of the way Mr. Nott and Patii conversed only about Jesus Christ and his salvation.
When Mr. Nott told his brethren what Patii had said, they wondered whether he would keep his word, and feared, that if he did, the people would be much enraged by his burning their honoured idols.
The next morning Patii and his friends were collecting wood near the sea-shore ; in the afternoon they were splitting it, and making a great pile near the idols' temple.
A great number of the heathen, as well as the missionaries and their friends, assembled at the place in the evening. Just before the setting of the sun, Patii appeared and ordered his servants to set fire to the pile of wood. He then went to the idols' house, and brought the gods out, one at a time, as he had often done before. But he did not now praise them, as in former times, but after spreading them in a row upon the ground, be tore off the cloths which covered them, stripped them of their ornaments, and then threw them one by one into the flames; and as he threw each, he pronounced its name, and repeated its foolish history, calling upon the people to observe what a helpless log it was. Never had the sun set upon a more joyous sight, than upon those