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348

POMARE'S INCREASING ILLNESS.

their visit to his kingdom, but perceiving that he was very unwell, they soon departed, and never saw him again.

Three days afterwards the king removed to Papeete in Tahiti, where Mr. Crook, who understood medicine, lived. The king did not reside upon the shore, but in a very little round island opposite the harbour, where he and some of his chiefs had houses, beneath the shade of the tall cocoa-nut trees. By the desire of the brethren, a day was appointed for fasting and prayer for the king's recovery.

As soon as the sun arose on that day, Mr. Crook and several chiefs visited the king, and prayed with him around his bed. Afterwards, there were services held in the chapel. The king's dropsy, however, increased. On the 7th of December, Mr. Crook heard that Pomare had just had a fainting-fit. Не hastened to him, and found him sensible, and able to understand a few sentences about God and his soul. As the king soon revived a little, Mr. Crook returned home. In the evening Pomare fainted again, and Mr. Crook was again sent for. Mr. Crook then said to him, “I would gladly do for you what I can, but I fear my best will be of little avail. You have indeed been a great sinner, but Christ is a great Saviour, and none but Jesus can help you now." Pomare replied, “None but Jesus."

POMARE'S DEATH.

349

These were his last words. He then fell into a kind of stupor. The queen and her sister hung over him, weeping aloud. One of his cousins also wept bitterly, but his little daughter Aimata did not appear much moved. Mr. Crook sat at the foot of the bed with the young prince in his arms, mournfully watching the king's countenance. At eight o'clock that evening, Pomare ceased to breathe.

Mr. Crook then knelt down with the afflicted family, and offered up a short prayer. Immediately afterwards a general weeping began,

and cries of “ Alas! alas ! our king.” The queen and her sister repeated, in a singing tone, 'Twas he who brought us hither, and now! alas! alas ! for the children." Each person who stood near, uttered some mournful words, in a singing tone, describing his own loss in particular, while tears rolled down his cheeks.

A coffin was made for Pomare, and a small house was built for a tomb, near the Royal Mission Chapel. Four days after the king's death, his body was placed in this small white dwelling, beneath the shade of spreading trees. All the missionaries were present, and a multitude of people. Mr. Nott addressed the people at the grave, and Mr. Henry prayed over it, that God would bless the event to those who still lived.

350

POMARE'S CHARACTER.

Thus died Pomare II., at the age of fortyseven years.

Every one who has read this history must already be acquainted with his character: He possessed good abilities, great perseverance, and a fondness for study; he was of a stubborn and reserved temper, and was disposed to pride, covetousness, deceit, and intemperance; but the most odious part of his natural character was his treachery. He had, however, been a friend to the missionaries, and a blessing to his people; he appeared to believe the word of God himself-and persuaded many (whilst he forced none) to turn from idols. The last day will show whether

a child of God; for the numerous faults that disfigured him to the last, rendered it doubtful to whom he belonged.

A pious chief, named Hautia, said, after Pomare's death, “I could not sleep all night for thinking of Pomare. I was like a canoe rocking on the stormy waves, which cannot rest. I thought of his body—and I said in my heart, That is dead,” and will soon be in the grave, but his soul, where is it?”

How many kings and common people (as Pomare himself once observed) had sunk into the grave without having heard of Christ! But God showed great mercy to Pomare, and sent to him the news of a Saviour.

he was

HIS DOUBTFUL STATE.

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How sad it was that one, who had received such singular favours, should have continued in bondage to many sins! The force of old habits of iniquity must indeed have been stronger than we can imagine. Yet it was not too strong for God's Spirit to overcome, if Pomare had diligently sought for help.

There were, however, some parts of his character, pleasant to reflect upon. His attention to God's word, his respect for God's ministers, and his zeal for the spread of the gospel, lead us to hope that the root of the matter was in him, and that when multitudes shall flock from the ends of the earth, Pomare shall come from the islands of the south to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

CHAPTER XXXVII.

1822.

WHAT THE CONVERTED HEATHEN FELT FOR

THOSE STILL IN DARKNESS.

It was feared by many that much confusion would arise in the kingdom, in consequence of the death of Pomare. None, however, did arise. The people accepted Pomare's little son, who was a year and a half old, as their king. As so young a child could not govern, several chiefs had been appointed by Pomare, before he died, to govern in his stead. One of these had more authority than the rest. He

an old man, named Ma-nao-nao. He behaved in an oppressive manner, claiming many gifts from the people.

The young king was called Pomare III., as he was the third of that name who had reigned over Tahiti.

He was entirely committed to the care of his aunt, Pomare Vahine, who seemed fit for the charge. She had lately been admitted to take the Lord's Supper, and was both more cor

was

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