« PreviousContinue »
REASON FOR REMAINING AT EIMEO.
prayer alone;" and then, with his spear in his hand, sprang upon the shore.
The missionaries at first could scarcely believe the news for joy, but soon they assembled to render thanks to God, both for delivering them from the heathen, and for overthrowing the idol gods.
THE WILDERNESS TURNED INTO A GARDEN.
It might naturally be expected that some of the brethren would now remove to Tahiti, to dwell there; and it was their wish to remove, but they were still engaged in building a ship. When they had begun to build this ship, they could scarcely induce people to hear them; therefore they had not then so much work to do for souls, as they now had. They had intended to use the ship in going from island to island, both to preach, and to get pearls or pigs, to exchange with English ships, that they might not require so much money from the Christians in England. They were now sorry that they had ever begun it.
But though the brethren were not able yet to settle in Tahiti, they were anxious to risit
it, and to behold the wonderful change that God had wrought there. Accordingly Mr. Nott and Mr. Hayward went very soon to Tahiti, and travelled round the island, preaching to large congregations on their way. They found the people busy in destroying maraes, and in building little chapels. In these chapels, the natives were accustomed to meet together three times on the Sabbath, and once in the week. As the natives, in general, were not able to preach, they usually only prayed at their meetings, and read parts of the little books, which had lately been printed and which contained passages from scripture. At these meetings, they sometimes read prayers, which they had first written down. Pomare had written a prayer, which he often read himself in the chapels.
You will no doubt like to see a translation of this prayer.
“Jehovah, thou God of our salvation, hear our prayers, pardon thou our sins, and save our souls.
"Our sins are great, and more in number than the fishes in the sea, and our obstinacy has been very great, and not to be equalled. Turn thou us to thyself, and enable us to cast off every evil way. Lead us to Jesus Christ, and let our sins be cleansed in his blood. Grant as thy good Spirit to be our sanctifier. “Save us from hypocrisy. Suffer us not to
come to thy house with carelessness, and return to our own houses and commit sin. Unless thou have mercy upon us, we perish. Unless thou save us, unless we are prepared, and made meet for thy habitation in heaven, we are banished to the fire, we die: but let us not be banished to that unknown world of fire. Save us through Jesus Christ thy Son, the Prince of Life; yea, let us obtain salvation through him.
“Bless all the inhabitants of these islands, all the families thereof: let every one stretch out his hands unto God, and say,-'Lord, save me,-Lord, save me.'
“Let all these islands,-Tahiti, with all the people of Eimeo, and of Huahine, and of Raiatea, and of the little islands around, partake of thy salvation. Bless Britain, and every country in the world. Let thy word grow quickly in the world, so as to grow faster than evil.
“Be merciful to us, and bless us, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen."
This prayer showed that Pomare had been taught aright what to pray for.
Mr. Nott and Mr. Hayward found the people very anxious to learn to read. As there were no schools in Tahiti, the people were willing to be taught by any one whom the missionaries had instructed, when they lived in the island. Many grown-up persons might
GENERAL ANXIETY TO LEARN.
be seen sitting under trees learning to read. Some of the missionaries' old scholars went to the other islands, and taught the inhabitants. The chiefs of these islands sent messages to the brethren, entreating them to come over, and preach to them.
When the missionaries saw and heard these things, they exclaimed, “This is the finger of God. What hath God wrought !”
The king had some time before destroyed his public idols: but he now wished to part with his family idols, that he had always kept in his houses. He sent about twelve of these frightful little images to the missionaries in Eimeo, with a letter, of which I will copy a part.
“FRIENDS, “May you be saved by Jehovah, and Jesus Christ our Saviour. This is my speech to you, my friends.
“I wish you to send those idols to England for the Missionary Society, that they may know the likeness of the gods that Tahiti worshipped. These were my own idols belonging to my fathers, and my father left them to me when he died. And now, having been made acquainted with the true God,—with Jehovah, HE IS MY GOD. When this body of mine shall be dissolved in death, may the ThreeOne save me. This is my shelter, my close
POMARE'S GRATITUDE TO GOD.
hiding-place, even from the anger of Jehovah. When he looks upon me, I will hide me at the feet of Jesus Christ my Saviour, that I may escape.
“I rejoice and praise Jehovah that he hath made known his word unto me. I should have gone to destruction, if Jehovah had not interposed. Many have died, and are gone to destruction, kings, and common people; they died without knowing anything of the true God: and now, when it came to the small remainder of the people, Jehovah hath been pleased to make known his word, and we are made acquainted with his good word, made acquainted with the deception of the false gods, with all that is evil and false. you that taught us, but the knowledge came from Jehovah. It is because of this I rejoice, and I pray to Jehovah that he may increase my abhorrence of every evil way.
“I am going a journey round Tahiti to acquaint the people with the word of God. The principal idol that has the red feathers is Temeharo; that is his name. may know it by the red feathers. That was my father's own god, and those feathers were given by Lieutenant Watts. It was my father that set them himself about the idol. If
you think proper, you may burn these idols all in the fire; or, if you like, send them to your own country, that the people there, may know Tahi. ti's foolish gods."
Look you, you