Page images



when they came into the valley, they were disappointed to find that all the men were gone to get food. They went back again, and preached to some other persons in a chapel near the sea-shore. Afterwards the men who had behaved so ill came in, and said they were sorry they had been absent from their houses in the day. The missionaries replied, that they were sorry they had so little love for the word of God, as to lose opportunities of hearing it, especially as it was

so seldom preached among them.

When the brethren had gone almost round the island, they came to Matavai, and found the king there, living in a small house built on the very spot where their old house once stood. They looked at the trees which they themselves had planted, and found some of them laden with oranges and lemons, though most of the bread-fruit trees were destroyed. The king behaved very kindly to them, and the people of the place begged them earnestly to come back, and dwell amongst them again. The brethren were not able yet to grant the request, but they intended to grant it as soon as possible.

How righteous were God's judgments towards the people of Matavai! They had slighted the word of God, when it was daily preached among them, and had driven away their teachers



by their rebellious wars. God had, in judgment, sent a famine of hearing the words of the Lord, (Amos viii. 11,) and removed their teachers into a corner. (Isa. Xxx. 20.) It is very dangerous to neglect religious advantages. Many children who have been brought up beneath the sound of a faithful minister's voice, have longed in vain to hear such a voice in riper years. Many persons, who have lived in godly families, have discovered what a blessing they once enjoyed, and have never enjoyed the same again.




THE missionaries had long earnestly desired that some more teachers should come to help them. Mr. Crook had already come, and this year several more were expected.

The first that arrived was Mr. William Ellis, a young man of twenty-two, accompanied by his wife, his little baby, and her nurse. The ship he came in, first touched at Tahiti, where the king was residing. Many of the natives



soon surrounded the ship in their canoes. Among those who came on board was one named Ma-i-ne, who was invited by the captain to breakfast in the cabin. Mr. Ellis was delighted to see a christian native, and carefully observed his behaviour.

Before tasting any food, Maine bent down his head, and placing his hand over his eyes, asked the blessing of God. An ungodly Englishman at the table was inclined to smile at this conduct, but Maine, observing the expression of his countenance, looked at him with the greatest pity.

As soon as the ship had cast anchor, Pomare came on board; and soon afterwards the

queen, and little Aimata (who was five years old) arrived also.

Mr. Ellis had been very anxious to see Pomare, of whom he had heard so much. He was struck by his great height, and thought he appeared a sensible man. Pomare had brought with him a small English Bible, and he requested Mr. Ellis to read to him in it. Mr. Ellis read one or two chapters. and found that Pomare could understand English tolerably well, though he could not speak it. Pomare was much pleased to hear that Mr. Ellis had brought a printing-press with him, and asked him to put it up in Tahiti, and remain there himself. Mr. Ellis, however, told him that he must join his brethren in Eimeo.




The ship contained a present for Pomare, that delighted him exceedingly: it was horse. Pomare went down to see it, in the narrow place where it had been kept, unable to lie down. It was a difficult thing to remove the animal to shore. Pomare had desired two canoes to come close to the ship to receive it. The horse was then tied with bandages to a part of the ship, which jutted out over the sea. While the horse was hanging in the air, the bandages gave way, and the poor animal dropped into the sea.

Pomare and the natives were much terrified, when they saw him disappear beneath the waves. Soon, however, he arose

norting from the water, and began to swim to the shore. The natives plunged into the sea, and seizing the horse, some by the mane, and others by the tail, endeavoured to hold him, till he appeared in danger of being drowned. In vain the king raised his voice to desire the people to leave the animal alone; his voice was lost in the cries of the swimmers. At length the horse reached the beach in safety. The natives who were assembled there immediately fled in alarm, and climbed the trees, or hid themselves behind the rocks and bushes. One of the English sailors who was on shore, went up to the horse, and took hold of his halter. The natives then returned from their hidingplaces, and gazed at him with wonder. No



horse had ever been seen in Tahiti, except one, that had been left there by Captain Cook forty years before; but few of the people could remember a circumstance that occurred so long ago. The horse was placed in a shed that night. The next morning the captain brought a bridle and saddle, as a present for Pomare. Pomare requested him to put them on the horse, and to ride upon his back. The natives were delighted when they saw the horse trotting, and cantering on the beach, and they called it, “ Land-running pig,” and “Man carrying pig.” Not one, I believe, would have dared to mount it himself.

That day, which was February the 13th, the ship sailed for Eimeo, and cast anchor opposite Pa-pe-to-ai, where the brethren resided.

The brethren were delighted to see Mr. Ellis, and to hear that more missionaries intended soon to come. The natives also crowded round their new teacher, saying, “May every blessing from God attend you," or “ May you have life, peace, and salvation from the Lord;" or some other pious sentence.

Mr. Ellis visited the school, which was full of grown-up people and children, under the care of Mr. Davies and Mr. Tessier. On the sabbath, he was told that there were two prayermeetings held, as soon as the sun rose; one by

« PreviousContinue »