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THE CHEST OF PRESENTS.
it to the shore to the missionaries, and that one, who was a blacksmith, would mend it. This answer perplexed Pomare still more; but presently he smiled, (as if a lie was no disgrace,) and said, “It is for the presents that you will give to me and my wife Idia. Will you take it to your cabin, that my people may not see what I receive ?" So Pomare went with his chest into the cabin, and seated himself. The captain then asked him what he would like to have. He seemed at a loss what to choose, but Mane-mane soon helped him, and then he mentioned the following things : Ten axes, five shirts, eight looking-glasses, six pairs of scissors, six knives, fifty nails, and five combs, and the same number of each of those things for his wife; besides an iron pot, a razor, and a blanket for himself. The captain gave him all he asked, and locked the things up in the chest, for the lock was perfectly good. Pomare said he was quite satisfied, but as he walked about the ship, and saw many things lying about belonging to the missionaries, ready to be taken to their house, he wanted some part of all. The missionaries, however, knowing his coretous disposition, gave him very little.
On Thursday Pomare agreed to give up publicly the land promised to the missionaries. A great number of people assembled near the new house, and a rope was placed at a little
LAND PUBLICLY GRANTED.
distance to show how far they might come. No one came beyond the rope but the old priest Mane-mane; he bent himself half double upon the ground, and told Peter to interpret to the captain all he should say; then holding the rope in one hand, and rubbing his head and eyes sometimes with the other, he made a long speech about all the gods of Tahiti and the other islands, and all the ships that had
come there, and finished by declaring that the whole land round about for many miles should belong to the missionaries, with as many hogs and as much fruit as they pleased. The missionaries knew that all this land and these things were not really given to them, though the priest said that they were. Manemane then said he wanted the captain to help him to conquer another island* which had once belonged to him ; but the captain refused to go to war.
The missionaries, in order to please him as much as they could, promised to help him to finish a boat he was building.
Pomare and Otu then shook hands with the captain and missionaries, and so the affair was ended.
The next Sunday, at ten o'clock, the missionaries called the natives together under some shady trees near their house. They had placed a long form there, on which they asked
* The island of Raiatea.
POMARE'S OPINION OF THE SERMON.
Pomare to sit with them, while the people stood or sat in circle around.
Pomare had never been present at the Sunday service before. He had been anxious to come, and had said that he had dreamt of the book which should be sent from the God of England.
Mr. Cover preached from John iii. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Peter, the Swede, as usual, interpreted each sentence. The natives were grave and attentive, though they did not understand the real meaning of the message.
Pomare, after service, took Mr. Cover by the hand and said, “Mai-tai, mai-tai," (very good, very good.)
He was then asked, “Did you understand what was said ?"
He replied,“ There were once no such things in Tahiti; they are not to be learned at once. I will wait the coming of the god.” This answer showed that he did not really understand. He then said, “May I come again ?" He was told that he might. He and his wife Idia then dined with the missionaries, and departed.
In the afternoon the missionaries, expecting that before next Sunday some of their number
THE LORD'S SUPPER.
would be gone away for ever to other islands, took the Lord's Supper together. Having no bread, they used the bread-fruit, which is much like it. Mane-mane was present the whole time, and seemed to hope to be allowed to partake of the bread and wine; for, when the missionaries passed him by, he went to a place lower down, expecting to have some next time. Yet this wicked priest had but a few days before offered up a man as a sacrifice to the gods, and had committed many such deeds.
It was an affecting time for the missionaries, as they never expected to eat again of that supper all together till they should meet around their Father's table above. But, alas ! there were some amongst them who at length went back from following the Lord.
The time was now come when the ship must leave Tahiti to take some of the missionaries
distant islands.* Those in Tahiti were at first afraid of being left, for the Swedes had told them that the natives intended, when the ship was gone, to attack them ; so the captain at first went but a short distance, to an island near, called E-i-me-o, and returned in a few days to see how the missionaries were, and finding them as well treated as ever, he left them, promising, if it was the Lord's will, to come back in a few months.
The missionaries formed a plan for spending each day. They agreed that the bell should ring at six o'clock, and that at half-past six they should assemble for prayers: that they should spend till ten in labouring with their hands at building and planting, and such employments; from ten till three, (when the heat was generally great,) in reading and writing; from three till evening, in active labour as in the morning: that the bell should ring at seven for prayers, and that the journal should be read afterwards.
They had the greatest anxiety to convert the poor heathen, and felt they should be wretched, notwithstanding all the kindness they received, if the natives continued in their sins. They knew that the people liked them only on account of the useful things they could do, and could give to them, and that they did not
* The Friendly Islands, and the Marquesas.