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WESLEYAN MISSIONARY NOTICES, &c.
MISSIONS IN THE SOUTH SEAS. The fact, communicated in the following Letter, of an attempt recently made by some Romish Ecclesiastics, (sent out, we believe, by a Roman Catholic Missionary Institution in France,) to establish themselves in the Friendly Islands, will be deeply interesting to those who have looked with just satisfaction and thankfulness on the rapid progress and success of our own important Missions in those populous groups.
We have no room for comment at present, except for the obvious remark, that the fact here recorded, as well as several similar occurrences which have taken place in the Sandwich and Taheitan Islands, and more lately even in New-Zealand itself, loudly admonishes the Protestant Missionary Societies of this country to make an ample and adequate provision for the due instruction, and pastoral oversight and care, of the infant Churches formed through their instrumentality, by a large and immediate increase of the number of their Missionaries.
FRIENDLY ISLANDS ; VAVOU :- Extract of a Leiter from the Rev. John Thomas,
dated Neiufu, Vavou, Haafuluhao, October 28th, 1837. On arriving at this place from Lifuka our Lord.” The King then advised the Haabai, on the 26th instant, where we had Bishop to wait until we, the Missionaries, been to hold our Annual District Meet. returned. ing, we were told that more Missionaries Yesterday morning his Lordship paid had arrived ; and as we had been expecting us a visit, with five others, three of whom Mr. Lyth, we at first greatly rejiced ; are said to be Priests. The object of his but upon making more particular in- visit was, to know the minds of us, the quiries, we learned that a Roman Ca- Missionaries, whether or not two or three tholic Bishop and three Missionaries, of their party should remain at Vayou. with several others, were really the We begged to observe that we did not persons who visited the Island, sent by wish to interfere, vit wing it as a matter the Pope of Rome.
between the King and his Lordship. A short time after we landed, we were His Lordship then informed us, that he informed that his Lordship had an considered it was as we pleased whether interview with King George, before we or not they should remain. But I begged returned ; and that he wished the King to observe to his Lordship, that King to allow two or three Missionaries to be George governed at Haafuluhao, and not left at this island. The King inquired the Missionaries; and as we did not for what purpose he wished to leave know the object they had in view, and them, saying, “ I and my people have all King George had not sought advice from turned to God." His Lordship then us on the subject, we considered that it informed the King, that their religion was a matter for the King to decide upon. was the old and the true religion ; but His Lordship wished us to tell him what we had taught them
openly, without any disguise, what our new religion, and lately sprung up. The minds were ou the subject; namely, King said he did not know what he Did we wish them to remain or not? meant by saying so, and observed: “We We then requested tɔ
know their know but of one God, to whom we have object in wishing to
remain here, all turned ; and to his Son Jesus Chr'st stating that if their object was to teach VOL. IX. SEPTEMBER, 1838.
their religion, it
decided opening to us. I, in the course of our opinion, that it would not be good for conversation, informed his Lordship of them to remain, as no possible good, our having possession, in a Misbut much evil would result by this sionary sense of Fejee, Navigators' people being divided ; great, very great Islands, Kebels', and Boscawen ls. confusion would be the consequence; but lands, and of Neeooafoou ; and that that if they wished merely to remain on we had recommended Rotumah to our the island, without interfering with relic Society, and had people in our Societies gion, we begged to observe that it was a from that group training up to go home matter for the King to decide. His in a short time to begin a Mission there. Lordship assured us that it was farthest I added that we had sent Teachers from his intention to interfere with us in to Wallis's Island, but they had been instructing the people of this group ; driven back again ; and that I thought that he by no means wished us to con- they ought at least to go to break up new sider them in that light, but that his ground, and not enter into the labours of only wish was to be allowed to leave two others. or three of his people to learn the lan. After getting on board their vessel guage, and that King George or again, his Lordship sent the intershould send them away whenever we preter to purchase a few copies of the thought proper, if an opportunity offered. books we had printed. I furnished him After much conversation on both sides, with about four copies of all we had (which was carried on through the printed in the Tonga language, and a medium of a' Frenchman, who has been few copies of what we have printed in living at the Friendly Islands since the Fejee and Navigators' Islands' lan1827, and who communed with me in guage, which books were kindly received. the Tonga language and spoke to them The Bishop stated that they had met in French,) we accompanied his Lord- with nothing but opposition ; and, the ship and his party to the King, in order natives had rejected them at every place to know his mind on the subject. The where they have called. O, bless the Bishop requested the interpreter to in- Lord for this ! Who can bid them God form the King that he wished to know speed, and be free from the blood of his mind whether or not he was willing souls ? No, never, for him to leave two or three of the mother of harlots” or her children gain Priests at this group for a short time, any footing in the Friendly Islands, or say two or three months. The King any of the islands of these seas ! And asked him why he wished to leave them ; yet so very, very anxious are some of the and why, if they were to go away in two natives for Missionaries, especially the
three months, he could not Navigators' Islands, that were this party well take them away in the ship in which to go there, I do fear, very much fear, he had brought them? The King said that some of the Chiefs who have neither it was not his mind they should remain Missionaries nor native Teachers to inat his islands. The Bishop proposed to the struct them would receive them. O may King that he should consult with the Mis. God prevent it! May Christ the Good sionaries and then give his opinion ; but Shepherd prevent it! And, (), may the the subject did not need any study or Methodists, and all the friends of our consultation on the part of King George : common Christianity, come forward and he told the Frenchman who interpreted, send us more Missionaries! Satan has to tell the Bishop, “No," it was his mind not been asleep. May we all learn they should not remain. After one more wisdom, and may God help us to do our equally unsuccessful attempt, the conver- work ; namely, to “go into all the sation, ended. The Bishop then bowed to world,” &c.
We beseech you. you the King who was sitting on the mat, shook that have it in your power either to help hands with him and Queen Charlotte, or hinder the work of the Lord, we beg who was sitting by, and, after shaking you do, o do send us more Missiorihands with us, took his leave, to our aries; and enable us to
feed the no small joy and delight. Where sheep of Christ's pasture! We cannot they will next go we know not; but I endure their being left to perish, or hope a kind Providence will keep them given up to fall a prey to the emissarics far enough from all the islands that are of Papal Rome.
TONGA.-There have been few instances in the history of modern Missions more encouraging than that of the Mission to the Friendly Islands. The entire population of the Haabai Group of
Islands, and of the Vavou Group also, has embraced Christianity. There is reason to believe that the greater portion of the adult inhabitants are truly converted, and are living in the enjoyment of great spiritual peace, and, by the labours of the Missionaries and the multiplication of books, are increasing in the knowledge of God, and of the “ word of his grace, which is able to build them up, and to give them a place among them which are sanctified.” It must now be the care of the Society to supply them with suitable pastors, and to nourish and strengthen these infant churches until, by the blessing of God, they may have reached that maturity which will render the supervision of Europ:an Missionaries less necessary for them. Our readers will be glad to hear that it is resolved to send two additional Missionaries to these islands immediately.
The only portion of these groups of islands which remains under heathen influence is the Hihifo District of the island of Tonga. It will excite less surprise that this should be the case, when it is remembered that Tonga was the centre of the superstitions of the Friendly Islands. It was Tonga-taboo, or Tonga the holy. Here then the remaining heathens have concentrated their force. But it will be seen by the following communication from Mr. Rabone, who has recently taken up bis residence on that side of the island, that considerable progress is made by Christianity among the remaining heathens. May the day be hastened when their souldestroying superstitions shall be supplanted by the Gospel of our salvation; when “ the idols shall be utterly abolished ;” and when it may be said of the entire population, “ All know the Lord, from the least unto the greatest !” TONGA.—Extract from the Journal of the Rev. Stephen Rabone, dated Hihifo,
Friendly Islands, October 3d, 1837. JUNE 27th, 1837.-Yesterday morning ing to receive us, and as there is a house I left Nukualofa in Ulakai's canoe, with here, besides the hope of being useful to part of our goods. We arrived here the Heathen, it has been thought best for about noon: our people were ready to us to live here for the present. This is carry up our goods. About two o'clock the house brought by Messrs. Thomas this morning I set off back to Nukualofa, ard Hutchinson, from Sydney, near with the canoe, in order to bring up Mrs. eleven years past, and was occupied by Rabone and more of our things. We got them about three years. Since that time, here about four o'clock, P. M., wearied it has been exposed to the sun, rain, and and faint in body, and somewhat per. wind ; yet it is still good, and can be plexed in mind. We are occupying a made very tenantable with a little labour Station that has been abandoned more and expense. We are encouraged when than eight years, in the midst of a heathen we recollect that here commenced that population, who will steal, lie, swear, work which has caused the hearts of and do or say anything and everything to thousands of God's saints to dance for gain their purposes. We feel that we joy; and although this place was aban. shall need all grace; but, blessed be doned, yet it was to commence and exGod, we know all fulness dwells in him. tend that unexanıpled work in the Haabai And deeply sunken and depraved as are and Vavou groups. O Lord, do thou this people, yet the fact that “ for these arise, and maintain thy cause! Our my Lord was crucified,” inspires my people here have endured persecutions for mind with hope concerning them. It is the last eight years; they have been to these lost sheep we are sent; and I do driven to different parts of the island ; pray God we may be made a great bless, but now they are many, and, in the name ing to thein. The converted natives, of their God, have set up their banners, two hundred or so in number, live in a and bid defiance to the hosts of hell and separate fortress, about a mile from us earth. and the Heathen ; but as Ata was will. 28th. Still very busy, and all confu.
sion in getting up our goods from the piece strike the hour of the day, very beach. This afternoon we paid Ata a seriously said to some others sitting by, visit. He and his chief wife were very Koe osua abe, “ It is a god, perhaps.” much pleased to see us : our child greatly The awful ignorance and stupidity of a interested them. This is not the Ata Heathen is frightful to see and hear. O who ruled when Mr. Thomas was here; for the day when these dark souls shall he has been dead some five or six years. be made light in the Lord! God be It may be proper to say, that Ata is a praised, light is among them, and many name of office. Whoever governs the of them know that the things they worship west end of Tonga, is called Ata. The are no gods. present Ata is mild in his disposition ; Sunday, 9th.-1 conducted the native not an open persecutor of religion, but, worship this morning, and felt my soul in every sense of the word, and in prac- somewhat refreshed, and hope soon to be tice, a down-right heathen ; and such be able to take all the services. I am makintends to live and die, if we may believe ing some improvement in the language, as what he says. He does not object to say indeed it cannot be otherwise, as I have that religion is a good thing ; indeed, he only Mrs. Rabone to speak to in English. knows it, for he reaps the benefit of it in I held our English service this evening, the kindness and ready obedience of those and found it good thus to wait upon God. of his subjects who enjoy it. In this 15th.-Another week has fied into eter. -espect, the praise of these Christians has nity, with all its cares and sorrows. Ow. cong been heard ; for though treated as ing to our fences and gates being in an brute beasts, they have overcome evil unfinished state, the Heathen bave been with good,” and have manifested, in the exceedingly troublesome, coming in herds most trying circumstances, the graces of and sitting in the house. To tell them patience, resignation, and fortitude. to go would, in all probability, offend
29th.-Ata came to see us to-day, but them; so we learn to endure their igno. did not stay long. He does not much af. rance, thanking God we were born in a fect the Chief, being modest and quiet. Christian land. When we contrast the But O how opposed is he to God and to conduct of the Christians with that of the his religion ! He professes that he will Heathen, we see cause for admiring the live and die á Heathen.
wonders of divine grace. 66 Thy Spirit 30th.-Oui Quarterly Fast-day. I be- hath the difference made. lieve it has been generally observed by Sunday, 16th.--I conducted the native our people. Some of them came to in- service this morning, and found the Lord quire if they must work. The Heathen nigh to help. Our people, generally, are around us have many fast-days, but they in a good state. No doubt the continual are involuntary, having nothing to eat. persecutions they have endured have con. This is one of the consequences of hea- tributed to keep them near to God. Our thenism ; and yet they will not ackrow. English service was profitable to our souls. ledge it.
The Englishmen living here, unless they Sunday, July 2d.—This morning I went are watchful, soon become far worse than to the Foui, and conducted the native the Heathen by whom they are surrounded. service. Setaliki (Shadrach) my teacher, One has been among these Islands sixteen preached in the afternoon. This evening or seventeen years, another about half I held a short English service in our that time. They may have friends who house, as there are two Englishmen living care for them, but it is not likely they at this place; and thus ends another will ever see them again. Sabbath, the first we have spent in Hihifo. Sunday, 23rd.At the native service Generally, on the Sabbath, we are re- this morning many of the people shouted mindt d 5 of joys departed,” perhaps, aloud for joy. We were thankful for
never to return; the joys we have felt such a gracious shower. O may it be when they said to us, “Come, and let us followed by much greater things. “With go up to the house of the Lord.” But we God all things are possible.” are in the Lord's work, and that is enough; 24th. This morning I went to the Foui, we esteem it our greatest honour to be where I married five couples, and baptized employed for God, and pray we may be three children ; most of these embraced useful.
Christianity during the late war. May 8th.Employed the whole week in ar- they be steadfast unto the end ! ranging and getting matters straight, be- August 1st.- This afternoon we held sides attending to the many sick, answer- our Local Freachers' Meeting, and gave ing questions, &c. Many of their ques- them their work for the coming week. tions are very puzzling and amusing. Many of their hearts bounded with grati. One of the Heathen, hearing our time. tude to God for having brought us among
them, For many years past they have ing it. Our people are quite wearied with gone alternately to Nukualofa (twelve the persecutions and insults of the Hea. miles) every week to know their work, then. But the King and Ulakai think and frequently went again in the same they had better endure a little longer. week to do their work ; repeatedly in the The present Ata is not expected to live way they have endured the insults of the long; and the next Ata, if he should live, Heathen ; but those most wont to perse- is Shadrach, the principal Chief among cute them were swept away in the late our people in this part of the island.
joined with the King and Ulakai in reSunday, 6th.—This morning, in the commending them still to endure, espenative service, I am told that one or two. cially as the Heathen have confessed that Heathen, for the first time in their lives, they are doing wrong, and promise to do bowed their knees before the God of better. heaven and earth.
16th.-William Ulakai came here last 8th.—This evening I met the Local night. I rose, and found he had just rePreachers belonging to this part of the turned from the Foui: he had been to Island, and gave them their work for the offer terms of peace. This morning there coming week. They are hearty in the was a large assembly of Heathen to meet good cause, and desire nothing more than the King and Ulakai. After some conthe prosperity of Zion. Most of them versation, it was agreed that three or four have relations yet Heathen, whom they of the persecutors should accompany deeply commiserate.
Ulakai to the Christians, and make peace; 12ch.-I employed this week in reading they went, and found the Christians quite and writing, With the help of my willing, upon condition of being left Teacher I have been able to perform more alone, and others not prevented from em. this week than any one week since I have bracing religion. The fleathen acknowbeen in the Friendly Islands. I long to ledged they had done wrong, but told the be able to speak freely without the help Christians, they knew that they (the Hea, of writing. Lord, prepare us for thy day. then) were all foolish, and must therefore
14th. I went to the Foui this morning, forgive them. and married three couples ; two of these 17th.—This morning at the Cava ring have been living together while Heathens, the King again exhorted all parties to live and have recently embraced Christianity, in peace. He said, “ Previous to the late The third being a respectable Chief, and war I told Lavaka and his people, that if marrying a person whose friends yet re- they did continue to persecute the Chrismain Heathens, many were inet together tians they certainly would be punished; to witness the ceremony. Expecting this, soon after this the war broke out, and I took with me a sermon, and, before now,” said he, “ their bones are dry on marrying, preached to them. I will an- the earth. I tell you the same, so look swer for it that, in reference to most pre- to it.” This the Heathen consider as a sent, strange things were brought to their prediction, ard are afraid,
O may the time soon come when 18th.--I heard, this morning, that orders such shall find a place in every heart ! were given for all the people to meet again. We heard yesterday at the Foui, that an We feared, but hoped for the best. We old Chief, üt a small island called Atata, know the Heathen are afraid of the Chrishad embraced Christianity, for which we tians, and could scarcely believe they had were thankful to God. This evening we any murderous designs. We were soon have heard, to our sorrow, that the Chief relieved from all our fears by being told here has given orders to have the old man that all was a mere repetition of what brought away from the island, and that Ulakai and the King had requested ; certain individuals are gone to remove namely, that they would forget the late him. Our people are not pleased, espe. affair, and live in peace in future. cially as the old man does not belong to 19th.— The past week has been, in the heathen party, and appear determined many respects the most trying and afflicto interfere in the business. The terms tive we ever experienced. Frequently upon which peace was made are here has death appeared close at hand, but broken, namely, that no one should be here we are, the living, to praise God ! persecuted for his religion. What they May our lives show forth his praise. intend doing I know not, but pray they 22nd – This evening I met the Local may be preserved from evil.
Preachers, and gave them their work for 15th.-This afternoon arrived the King the next week. We have heard that and Ulakai from Nukualofa. They have something of an unpleasant character is heard, by some means, of this 'affair, going on at the Bea. A few weeks pase and are come with the design of prevent- Noiaki, the Chief there, embraced Chris.