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248

THE HAPPY ESCAPE.

persuade him to come down with them to the sea-shore, where a canoe was waiting, rushed upon him, and killed him; then, putting his body into a basket of cocoa-nut leaves, carried him in the canoe to the temple.

Sometime afterwards, the rebels in Tahiti fixed upon a young man, named Aberahama, as a sacrifice. He was chosen because he was a Christian. When he saw the priest's servants approaching, he fled; but was pursued by them, shot at, and wounded. As soon as he received the ball, he fell-and unable any longer to run, he crawled among some bushes, and hid himself. His enemies endeavoured to discover the place of his concealment; they came very near him several times; but could not succeed in finding him, and at last went away disappointed. When they were gone, and night was come, Aberahama crept out of his hiding place to the house of his friends, who dressed his wound, and carried him to a place of safety. He recovered from his wound; but never lost the honourable scar, which showed that he had endangered his life for the sake of Christ, even of that Saviour, who is now seen in heaven, like a lamb, as it had been slain.

CHAPER XXVII.

1815.

THE

BATTLE WHICH CHANGED THE STATE OF

TAHITI.

THE year 1815 was the most remarkable that had ever been known in Tahiti. I am now going to relate the great events that occurred in it.

You have already heard how much the heathen in Tahiti, hated the christian natives. At length some of them determined to destroy them entirely. Many of the heathen chiefs, who had before been at enmity with each other, joined together in this scheme.

They fixed upon the night of July 7th, when they heard the Christians would be assembled together (probably for prayer) near the sea-shore.

The Christians came together as pected; but they were serectly informed of the plan their enemies had made, and immediately jumped into their canoes, and sailed to Eimeo, where they arrived next morning. The heathen chiefs assembled at the place appointed,

was ex

250

INVITATION TO THE KING.

soon after the Christians had escaped, and were enraged at not finding them. As these chiefs had been enemies formerly, they soon began to quarrel among themselves. The greater part turned against those, who had first proposed the slaughter of the Christians, and destroyed many of them. Thus God showed his anger against wickedness, by causing the wicked to fall into the pit, which he had digged.

The missionaries in Eimeo had of course received with affection the poor Christians, who had fled to them for protection. When they heard what had happened, they felt much alarmed lest the heathen should at length rise up in both islands, and destroy all the worshippers of Jehovah. They set apart the 14th of July as a day of fasting and prayer, to beseech the Lord to turn the hearts of their enemies. They had often set apart days in former times, to pray for the conversion of the heathen, and then they had prayed alone, but now hundreds of native Christians joined in their prayers.

Their God soon showed them that his ear was not heavy, that it could not hear, nor his arm short, that it could not save.

Soon afterwards, two chiefs from Tahiti arrived in Eimeo. They came to invite the christian chiefs, who had fled, to return to their lands.

THE REMARKABLE DREAM.

251

It was necessary the king should return with the Christians, that he might make good their right to their lands, according to the ancient customs. The king therefore set out with them, and their servants, accompanied also by many Christians from other islands. They knew that they had numerous enemies in Tahiti ; and therefore they were prepared

for war.

When they arrived in their canoes at the shores of Tahiti, they saw on the beach a great number of people with spears and guns, who forbade them to land, and fired on them several times. The king did not fire on them in return, but sent a flag on shore with an offer of peace. At length the people allowed them to land, and appeared inclined to be peaceable; so that many of the chiefs returned quietly to their own lands. But though the heathen appeared friendly, they were forming plans for destroying the king and his friends. The king suspected their wicked intentions, and kept a constant watch over their proceedings.

One of the king's chief enemies was a man called U-pu-fa-ra. He had often heard of the true God, but would not believe in him. One night he had a dream, in which he saw an immense oven, with a very great fire, and in the midst of it a large fish, twisting itself in agony, and trying to get out—and though in the fire,

252

RESISTANCE OF CONVICTIONS.

not consumed, but still living. He awoke much alarmed, and could not sleep again that night; nor could he forget what he had seen, but thought, that perhaps the dream had been sent to show him what he should suffer for his sins in hell.

Seeing his friends resolved to fight against Pomare, he said to one of them, “Perhaps we are wrong ; let us send a message to the king, and propose to make peace; and ask for books, that we may know what this new word is.” The priests, however, persuaded him to fight, assuring him that Oro would deliver the praying people into his hands. O why did Upufara listen to their deceitful counsels, and resist the good desires that had sprung up in his heart! “Who ever hardened himself against God, and prospered ?”

Two days afterwards he led the people to battle against Pomare. The day of the battle was a sabbath, Nov. 12th, 1815.

Pomare and his friends did not know that they should be attacked by their enemies on that day, but they knew it was very probable that they should be assailed on some sabbath, when they were engaged in God's worshipand therefore they had appointed men to watch outside the chapel, while they were assembled in it, and had desired these men to fire, if they saw the enemy approaching.

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