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they were told that they had souls within them. Auura then asked them to promise to be kind to the two teachers; and the king and chiefs promised that they would.

There were, however, two men in the assembly, who did not like the idea of burning the gods. One of them spoke in a deceitful manner, saying, “We will hold the good word,” not meaning to do so.

The other boasted, that he could fly up into the sky; but Auura answered him, “ Do fly up, let us see you flying up immediately;" then he added, “ The people of Rurutu have been completely destroyed through thee, and through thee alone, and now thou shalt not deceive us again.' We know the true God. Begone! If the Son of God stood in our presence, thou wouldst be ashamed.”

The two teachers then spoke very affectionately to the people. Puna concluded his speech with this awful warning—“Should you not listen to this word you will die, and you will bear the wrath of God, and you will be led by the evil spirit you have now cast away, into the fire of hell; but if you regard the word and name of the Son of God, you will, by that means, be saved.”

The next day the people met together to eat, according to agreement; but though they ate in a sacred place, and though women ate with

EXHIBITION OF THE IDOLS.

339

men, and partook of hog and turtle, (I need not say,) no harm followed. The people would, no doubt, have been afraid of making the experiment, if God had not prepared them for it, by letting them see others escape unhurt.

That very evening the people burnt their idols and their temples. They spared, however, a few of the idols, that they might send them in triumph to the christian islands. Auura and the teachers soon began to instruct them about the true God, and his Son the Lord Jesus, and to teach them to read. Auura was so diligent, that he even went from house to house, morning and evening, to pray in many of the families, because they knew not how to pray themselves.

Such was the wonderful account that the letters from Rurutu contained. The missionaries in Raiatea were anxious both to return public thanks to God, and to let all the natives hear the joyful news. They assembled one evening in the chapel, when three of the na tives (who were called deacons, because they helped the minister) held up the idols in the pulpit, before the congregation. One of these idols was hollow, and filled with a quantity of little gods, and with the points of spears. There was great rejoicing in Raiatea that evening, but surely not so great as among the angels of heaven.

CHAPTER XXXVI.

1821.

THE COURT AND PALACES OF POMARE II.

The Directors of the Missionary Society in England, heard with delight the account of the wonderful change in the natives of the South Seas. They determined to send some persons to visit these islands, as well as other missionary stations, and to bring back an account of the things they saw.

The persons, who undertook this interesting voyage, were a minister named Daniel Tyerman,

and a gentleman named George Bennet. They were accompanied by several persons who wished to settle in Tahiti; namely, Mr. Jones, a missionary, Mr. Blossom, a carpenter, and Mr. Armitage, who kindly wished to teach the natives to spin, and weave cotton. The wives of these three persons, and the two little children of Mr. Armitage, were also of the party.

The ship that conveyed them arrived at Tahiti in September, 1821.

Mr. Tyerman and Mr. Bennet landed at Matavai, near the place where the first mission

MR. BENNET'S AND MR. TYERMAN'S ARRIVAL. 341

aries had landed. But how different were the natives, who welcomed them to the shore, from the ignorant, wicked savages that had received Captain Wilson and his companions! The voyagers looked with interest at the grove which those missionaries had planted, and which was still flourishing; though their houses (as you know) had long been destroyed.

Mr. Nott, who had a little dwelling at Matavai, received Mr. Bennet and Mr. Tyerman under his roof. The visiters were surprised to find that the natives came into the house, whenever they pleased, and sat upon the floor, and talked to them without seeming to fear, lest they should be in the way.

On Sunday the two travellers went to the native prayer-meeting in the school-room, and found the people kneeling on the floor, while a native was praying. They were pleased to observe that no one lifted

up

his head to look at them as they entered, but that all continued to bend in prayer. Afterwards, the native read a chapter of St. John's Gospel, (which had just been printed,) and while he was reading, many of the people looked in their copies of that gospel. Afterwards, a hymn was sung, and the meeting concluded with prayer.

As you know the manner in which the sabbath was spent in Tahiti, I will only add that Mr. Tyerman

342

WELCOME AT EIMEO.

dna Mr. Bennet were delighted with all they saw.

The king was not in Tahiti at that time, but in Eimeo. In a short time Mr. Tyerman and Mr. Bennet visited Eimeo, accompanied by Mr. Nott.

They found Mr. Henry and Mr. Platt residing at Papetoai in Eimeo. Their welcome to that place was very delightful. They had no sooner entered Mr. Platt's house, than five deacons came in. One of them, who spoke for the rest, after expressing the joy they felt at the arrival of their friends from England, said, “We are brands plucked out of the burning; Satan was destroying us, and casting us one after another into the flames of hell, but Christ came and snatched us out of his hands, and threw water upon the fire that was consuming us; so we were saved.”

The two visiters were anxious to see the king, who was at this time residing near Papetoai, and was too ill to leave the house. In a few days they were sent for, and they set out, accompanied by Mr. Nott, Mr. Henry, and Mr. Platt, and by several natives, who were useful in carrying them on their shoulders over the streams that frequently crossed the path.

The king's palace was merely a long shed,

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