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MISSIONARY TO THE SOUTII SEAS.
PART III.--THE MISSIONARY.
the successor of the Apostle Peter, in whom such attributes are supposed to have primarily
Biographical Sketch. resided.
Now, it is very remarkable, First, That Peter, so far from being infallible, was the
TIIE REV. JOHN WILLIAMS, most fallible of all the apostles, ercept Judas. He fell fearfully and repeatedly before our Lord's death; and lest any one should imagine that he had acquired personal infallibility after In 1823, Williams commenced those misChrist's resurrection, we are told that he sionary enterprises," the fame of which is in all sinned after that. The fact is very singu: the Churches, and which will immortalize his lar, and is recorded of no other apostle. Paul name as the modern “Paul" of missions. On the makes the following statement: “When Peter 4th of July, accompanied by six native teachers, was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the who had been solemnly ordained to the work on face; because he was to be blamed. For be the preceding evening, he sailed in the Enfore that certain came from James, he did eat deavour” for the Hervey Islands; the whole of with the Gentiles; but when they were come, which he was determined to visit, if possible, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing before his return. The first at which he called them which were of the circumcision. And the
was Aitutaki, where he found that a wondro's other Jews dissembled likewise with him; inso- change had taken place since his previous visit. much that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.”—Gal. ii. 11-13. Peter is,
When (says he) the chief's canoe came alongside.
we learned from Tebati, one of the first who embrace! therefore, a singularly unfortunate head of a
the Gospel, that the maraes were burned; that the Church professing infallibilitv.
idols which had escaped the general conflagration were Secondly, The Popish Church requires celi- in the possession of the teachers; that the profession bacy on the part of all her ministers--a diabo- of Christianity was general, so much so, indeed, that lical device, designed to promote her worldly not a single idolater remained; and that a large influence; but the parent of a world of wicked chapel was erected, nearly two hundred feet in length. Here also it is remarkable, that Peter, the teachers came on board, they not only confirmed
plastered, and awaiting my arrival to open it. Wher whom the unmarried ministers of Rome protess all that had been told us, but added, that the Sabbath to copy and to represent, is the only apostle whose was regarded as a sacred day, no wor of any kini wife is erpressly mentioned in Scripture. We are being done on it; that all the people, men, women, told that, “ when Jesus was come into Peter's and children, attended divine service; and that family house, he saw his wife's mother laid and sick of prayer was very general throughout the island. We a fever.”—Matt. viii. 14. The other apostles gesticulations and lascivious songs with which I was
hastened to the shore; and, instead of the unsightly may have had wives—Paul maintains his right greeted on my first visit, now found some spelling to have one if he chose; but the wives of noneof long words, and others repeating portions of the the rest are expressly mentioned in Scripture. Catechism, or a prayer; another asking a blessing on
Thirdly, There is not only no such thing his food; and others singing a verse of a hymn; inin the Word of God as a spiritual despotism, deed, every one appeared anxious to show what prolike that of Rome, set up by our blessed gress he had made. Saviour under any of his apostles; such a Williams remained there two days, and then system is not only expressly and repeatedly con set sail for Rarotonga, accompanied by several demned as a violation of the whole spirit of the natives of that island, whom he had met at Aitu- 1 Gospel, but it is remarkable that, in planning taki, and also by Papeiha, a native convert. Not 1 out the fields of their respective labours, Peter succeeding, however, after a week's search, in is said to have been especially an apostle to tinding Rarotonga, they made for Mangaia, the the Jers, whilst Paul was peculiarly the apostle inhabitants of which treated Papeiha and the ? of the Gentiles. Paul expressly tells us that teachers, who went on shore, so roughly that
Gospel of the uncircumcision was com- they could not with safety remain. They then mitted unto him, as the Gospel of the circum- proceeded to Atiu, another island of the group, cision was unto Peter.”—Gal. ii. 7. If Peter, where, some months before, two native teachers therefore, had been destined to be an universal | had been sent. These were found “in a most bishop at all, it must have been, not at Rome, pitiable condition, having been stripped by but at Jerusalem; not over Gentiles, but over the vatives of every article of property, suffer. Jews. It is singular that the Apostasy did ing exceedingly from hunger, and greatly disnot choose Paul as its head. Ile was the apostle heartened by their want of success. But it of the Gentiles; he was certainly at Rome, and was otherwise before Williams departed. The certainly preached the Gospel there. But there chief having come off to their vessel, one of were other reasons for their not choosing him, the natives of Aitutaki took him aside, and
nd God has arranged all these events in in- | told him of the wondrous change which had limito wisdom, that the light of truth may shine taken place there-how the maraes were declearly, even in the midst of darkness, and that stroyed and the idols burned; at the same The very wrath and folly of man might be made time remoustrating with hiin on the folly of tu praise him.
idol worship. The chief, wondering and per
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH–THE REV. JOHN WILLIAMS.
plexed, not knowing well what to make of either Raiatea. We rejoiced in the proposition; and, his friend's intelligence or of his arguments
, leaving his property in the vessel, after taking an remained on board the vessel all night. Next affectionate farewell of us, this truly devoted man day, being Sabbath, he attended worship on
got into a canoe and went on shore, carrying no
thing with him but the clothes he wore, his native board, and having heard Williams preach, was
Testament, and a bundle of elementary books. Two still more perplexed-returned and spent the men and four women, natives of Rarotonga, whom whole night in conversation with the teachers we had brought from Aitutaki, had all embraced and chiefs from Aitutaki-till at last he “saw Christianity some time before, and promised stedclearly" and expressed his determination to cast
fastly to maintain their profession among their heathen off his idol gods, and worship the God of the countrymen. Thus Papeiha was not left desolate,
but surrounded by a little company who were ardently Christians. On his return he proved himself attached to him, and who were indebted to his insincere, by publicly renouncing the ancient su structions for all they knew of the religion of the perstitions; an example which was speedily fol. Gospel. We left him with a prayer that his little lowed by the whole of his subjects. He also flock might become the germ of a Christian Church accompanied Williams to Mitiaro and Mauke, in Rarotonga, and that by their instrumentality the tro islands in the neighbourhood of which he throughout its numerous population. Nor were we
incorruptible seed of the Word might be scattered was chief, and where, as in Atiu, the people disappointed; for, by the time Tiberio, Papeiha's "heard the Word with gladness" and abandoned colleague, arrived, which was about four months their idolatry.
after our departure, he and his little band had reDetermined on making another attempt to ceived many additions to their number. And when discover Rarotonga, he again set sail in search visited the island, which was but little more than a
our esteemed friends, Messrs Tyerman and Bennet, of it; but for five days was unsuccessful. He year after its discovery, the whole population had says,
renounced idolatry, and were engaged in erecting a We were bafiled and perplexed by contrary winds. place of worship, six hundred feet in length! Our provisions were nearly expended, and our patience Williams sailed from Rarotonga to Raiatea, all but exhausted, when, early in the morning of the day on which we discovered the island, the having been absent for about five weeks, and captain came to me, and said, “We must, Sir, give remained there for some months, diligently up the search, or we shall all be starved." I replied, cultivating the field which he had been the that we would continue our course tiil eight o'clock, first to break up. In a short time, however, and, if we did not succeed by that time, we would re he meditated a voyage to the Samoas, and turn home. This was an hour of great anxiety; hope other Islands, to which the Gospel had never and fear alternately agitated my mind. a native to the top of the mast four times, and he yet been conveyed. “But just as this purpose was now ascending for the fifth; and when we were
had been formed,” his biographier tells us, “it within half-an-hour of relinquishing the object of was frustrated, by the painful intelligence that our search, the clouds which enveloped its towering their commerce to the colony, and with it their heights having been chased away by the heat of the hope of retaining their vessel, was destroyed. ascending sun, he relieved us from our anxiety by Through the intervention of some interested shouting* Teie teie, taua fenua, nei !”—Here, here merchants at Sydney, the governor had been is the land we have been seeking!
persuaded to make certain fiscal regulations, Although Williams “rejoiced as one that which materially reduced the value of all Polyfindeth great spoil,” yet, hearing the inhabi- nesian produce; while, to complete the calamity
tants of the island described by the Aituta- and consummate his own disappointment, Wil1 kians, as “most treacherous and ferocious can liams at the sametime received a letter from
mibals,” his joy was not unmingled with solici- the London Directors, in which the buying of tude; "he wondered and held his peace, to wit, the vessel was condemned and his conduct cenwhether the Lord would make his journey sured. Thus beset with difficulties, he sumprosperous or not.” He first sent on shore moned a meeting of the chiefs, and after ingePapeiha and Vahineino (a native of Aitutaki), nuously explaining to them the exact position of who were kindly received by a large concourse affairs, it was resolved to send her immediately of the islanders. They expressed not only to Sydney, laden with the most marketable protheir willingness, but their desire, that teachers duce they could collect, with an order to sell should remain among them; and Makea the both ship and cargo.” Williams was greatly king went off himself to the ship, and conducted depressed by this blow. them on shore. But, during the night, the
“Satan knows well." he exclaimed in a letter to treatment given thom having been the reverse the Directors, that this ship was the most fatal of kind, and a leading chief having threatened weapon ever formed against his interests in the great serious mischief, they came off next morning South Sea; and, therefore, as soon as he felt the to the ship. Williams was so much discouraged effects of its first blow, he has wrested it out of our
But he did not despair. IIe was determined We were about, for a time, to abandon this inviting field of labour, when our excellent friend
on soon procuring another vessel, and did not Pareiha, instead of uniting with us in useless regrets, doubt but that the Lord, whose glory was in offered to remain alone at Rarotonga, provided we this matter the great object of his anxiety, would would send a coadjutor, whom he named, from in due time “show him the way.”
that he says,
Early in 1826 he again sailed for the Hervey anxiety did the eye of the missionary, as each mornIslands, in a chartered vessel, and in company ing dawned, and often through the day, sweep the with Mr Pitman, who had been sent out by brought disappointment. The secluded spot which
horizon in quest of a sail. But every search ony the Society to occupy the station at Rarotonga. detained him a prisoner was then scarcely known, He was received by the people with great en and seldom visited; and these considerations, together thusiasm :
with hope long deferred, at length destroyed all exThe report of his arrival off the island had been pectation of obtaining a passage to Raiatea. widely spread on the day previous to his landing, and It soon appeared that there was a merciful prohad attracted to the beach an immense assemblage, vidence in his detention. As may have been anxious to see and welcome the man who first brought inferred from his history already told, Williams to them the Gospel. As soon, therefore, as they leaped on shore, they were surrounded by the multi
was a man of singular strength of purpose, and tude, who would not permit them to pass, without it was no ordinary obstacle that could detain having severally exchanged the English mode of him from anything on which, in his Master's salutation; and as with this new custom they had, cause, his heart was bent. But in no circumunfortunately for their visitors, received the opinion, stance of his life, perhaps, was this characteristhat the strength of the squeeze and the violence tic more strikingly exhibited than in the deterof the shake were the orthodox standards of sin- mination which he now formed, and speedily cerity, Mr Williams' hand at least was in no danger, for some time afterwards, of losing the im- executed. No ship appearing to take him to pression.
Raiatea, he determined to build one for himOn the following Sabbath he preached in the self; and “ although he knew little of shipopen air to about four thousand people - the building, and had scarcely any tools to work chapel not being capable of accommodating more
with, and the natives were wholly unacquainted than two thousand; and next day it having with mechanical arts, he succeeded, in about been determined, at a meeting of the chiefs and three months, in completing a vessel between people, to erect a new and more commodious one, seventy and eighty tons burden!” Williams they immediately set to the work, and so great marvellous triumph over difficulties, he, with the
was not a boaster; and even of this work, this was their diligence, that in the space of seven weeks it was completed. Williams' next ob- modesty of true greatness, said but little; but of ject was thoroughly to organize the congre
the prospects which it opened up his mind was gation; and, with this view, we are told full. For although the return to Raiatea was that hé " distributed the baptized and those the primary object he had in the undertaking, it who were candidates for baptism into twenty
was not the chief one. That was rather the prothree classes--each containing from twenty-five curing of a vessel in which he might sail from to twenty-eight households -and two of the island to island, teaching and preaching “ the most serious and intelligent natives being ap- Gospel of the grace of God"-a desire which pointed over each class, to secure their regular previous disappointment had but rendered the attendance upon the catechetical instructions
more intense. And, accordingly, now that the of the missionaries." He then turned his atten
desire was gratified, he longed to commence tion to the establishment of a code of laws; for the work. Writing to a brother missionary, in Rarotonga, as in the other islands of the
he said: Pacific, the only law previously known was the The Lord has already blessed our labours in every will of the chiefs. And so great was his direction; and I trust that what has been done is moral influence over the chiefs, that when he only an earnest of what will be done, and as the first explained to them the provisions of the code directors, and to Messrs James and East for their
drops of abundance of rain. I shall write to the which he had introduced at Raiatea, and urged assistance. My hands, my head, and my heart are them to adopt it, they at once acquiesced; a more full of missionary work than ever. My grasp circumstance which, as his judicious biographer is great and extensive, and the prospect of success remarks, may well excite surprise, “when the encouraging. I'll get help from my brethren, if I previous circumstances of the people are con
can ; if not, nothing shall deter me; I will work sidered, and when it is recollected that the
single-handed. supremacy of law would divest the chiefs of In March 1828, he left Rarotonga and sailed their most valued prerogatives, abolish poly- for Raiatea, where he arrived on the 26th of gamy, protect property, destroy despotism, and April—exactly twelve months from the time of punish with heavy penalties crimes which had his departure--and remained there till May grown into customs."
1830, when his stated connection with that While thus usefully occupied, however, in island was brought to a close. The remainder Rarotonga, he was not free from anxiety about of his life was spent in missionary voyages; and Raiatea.
although he occasionally returned to Raiatea, When he left that island, he intended, within a he did so“ rather as a visitor than as a resident." short time, to resume his labours there. But this He had long before contemplated a voyage to design was frustrated; for no opportunity to return had as yet been presented. He who has a fixed the of the “ Endeavour” had prevented it; and,
the Samoas, but, as we have seen, the selling bounds of our habitations" detained him at Rarotonga. Month succeeded to month, but not a ship besides, as they were from eighteen hundred approached its shores. With constantly increasing | to two thousand miles distant,
and the voyage
BIOGRAPIIICAL SKETCII–TIIE REV: JOIN WILLIAMS.
would require an absence of at least six months, against it was raised by the chiefs. On the contrary, Mrs Willians had warmly opposed the pro- Niulietoa, won by the representations of Fauea, a ject. At Rarotonga, however, Mrs Williams, native whom Williams had brought with him from on recovering from a violent illness, which had Tongatabu, and by the arguments and persuasions of
the missionaries, acceded to their wishes, and gave a threatened to prove fatal, told her husband that public pledge to protect the men, and learn the mes
she feared the attiction had been sent because bage now brought to his shores. Williams, therefore, !! of her opposition in this matter, and that if she deemed Savaži as won for the Saviour. A wide and | any longer withheld her consent, the Lord might effectual door was opened tor the Gospel; and a disremove her altogether.
position evinced by all classes, which justitied the
hope that they would soon and universally receive it. 1 From this time (she continued) your desire has
“We remained on shore," he writes to the Directors, 11 my full concurrence; and when you go, I shall follow
“three days and two nights, during which time you every day with my prayers, that God may pre- although probably no European had been on shore serre you froin danger, crown your attempt with suc
before, we yere treated with the utmost respect and cess, and bring you back in safety.
kindness. A commodious building was given up by Accordingly, on the 24th of May 1830, Wil the chiefs for our people to teach and worship in, liams, accompanied by another devoted mis with four good dwellings for themselves." And when sionary (Mr Barff), sailed in his vessel, which they returned to the ship, nothing could exceed the he named “The Messenger of Peace,” for the people, all of whom escorted them to the shore, and
expressions of regard which they received from the i Samoas. Ilaving resolved to visit the Hervey rent the air with the cry, “ Great is our affection for
Islands in their course, they steered first for you, English chiefs!"
Manfaia, and then for Atin, Mauke,and Mitiaro; i in ali of which they found the work of the Lord of liis visit, and lett" Savaii“
Williams was greatly delighted by the result
rejoicing and prospering.
praising God.” “There are two little words," But a scene of deep affliction presented itself on their arrival at Rarotong2, where a fearful disease, You know not what you can or cannot effect
said he, “ which I always admire--try and trust. then at its height, wa3 spreling death and desolacon through that once smiling land. Many of the
till you try; and if you make your trials in the hvuses were left without an inhabitant--all their exercise of trust in God, mountains of imaginary former inmates having gone to the grave; and, difficulties will vanish as you approach them, wherever Mr Williams directed his steps, he was and facilities will be afforded which you never saluted either with the sounds of lamentation or by anticipated!” * walking skeletons," who, having heard of his approach, strained their little strength, and crawled to
On his way back he called at Rarotonga, The pathway, that they might once more see his face where he found that the plague had entirely and seize his hand. Yet, amidst this dark and dreary disappeared-that the island had recovered its spectacle, he was checred by the appearance of many wonted prosperity, and that the “Gospel had incipient'evidences of that spiritual prosperity which free course, and was daily glorified.” And Rarotonga was so soon to enjoy.
having further visited Mengaia, Rurutu, Taliti, Having done what they could to comfort the and Eimeo, Williams again reached Raiatea at hearts of their brethren, and praying that the the beginning of September, and remained there Lord would repent him of the evil,” and say for a year, to the great joy of the people. to the angel that destroyed the people, “It is Two things then forced upon his attention enough," they took their departure for Aitutaki; the necessity of returning, for a season, to Engand finding that, under the superintendence of land-viz., the health of Mrs Williams, which the native ieachers, the congregation there was had been very seriously impaired, and the suin a flourishing condition, they sailed for the perintendence of the printing of a translation of Samoas, and after a visit to the Wesleyan mis- the Scriptures, which he, along with two brother sionaries at Tongatabu, reached Savaii, the missionaries, had nearly finished. But being
argest and most imposing of the group, near determined, before setting out for England, the end of August.
to revisit the Samoas, he set sail for them on They arrived at an advantageous time; for, the lith of October 1832, clearing the haras the vessel approached the island, she was
bour of Raiatea, “amid the shouts and supplicasurrounded by natives in canoes, who brought tions of the swarthy multitude who thronged the important intelligence, “that Tamafaigna, a
the shore. despot who united the supreme spiritual with
The continuance of the voyage was in harmony great political power, and whose boundless sway
with its commencement. All things favoured them. vould have presented a most formidable barrier
After a delightful sail of eight hundred miles, or to the introduction of the Gospel, had just been October 17th, they sighted Manua, the most easterly slain.” On receiving this news, they proceeded island of the Samoan group. As he did not visit to Sapapalii, the residence of Malietoa, the this island on liis former voyage, and it was two principal chief, who visited them on board, and hundred and fifty miles from the residence of the zave them a cordial welcome; and next day teachers, Mr Williams little expected to hear and
see so much to gladden his heart. But his first visithy landed amid the acclamations of the people. tors were nominal Christians, and “ We are sons of
The following two duys were fraught with interest the Word,” were the earliest salutations which broke and importance. During that time, the purpose of upon his ear in the Samoan language. This delightLa visit was secured. While the people, generally, ful surprise was heightened by the information, that Tere prepared to receive the teachers, no barrier large numbers of the inhabitants of Suvaii and Úpolu
The fiend unblest, who still to harm
Directs his felon pow'r,
Whose day of grace is o'er.
In any age or clime,
The stone that measures time.
What motive placed thee here,
And drops the frequent tear.
Grief's weary mourners be;
Dark shade marks time on thee.
To catch the eye of him To whom earth's brightest gauds appear
Worthless, and dull, and dim. We think of time, when time has fled
The friend our tears deplore; The God our light, proud hearts deny,
Our grief-worn hearts adore.
Passes untold, away,
When fails the solar ray.
Cease all the works of men,
Bootless their works and vain.
had embraced the Gospel. Here also he found several natives of Raivavae, who, many years before, had been drifted from their island; but, having brought with them a knowledge of the religion of Jesus, they had erected a chapel, had chosen a teacher, and were maintaining the worship of God, and singing the songs of Zion in this strange land. As they pursued their course, numerous visitors confirmed their first impressions, and convinced Mr Williams that a mighty work had already been effected throughout Samoa; and from almost every settlement he passed chiefs arrived who evinced an earnest desire for instruction and teachers.
On reaching Savaii, he found that the Lord had wrought great wonders there. “He says :
I learned from the teachers that Malietoa, his brother, the principal chiefs, and nenrly all the inhabitants of their settlement, had embraced Christianity; that their chapel could accommodate six or seven hundred people, and that it was always full; and that in the two large islands of Savaii and Upolu the Gospel had been introduced into more than thirty villages. In addition to this, they stated that the great body of the people were only waiting my arrival to renounce their heathen system.
This was most delightful information, and drew forth tears of gratitude to God, for having, in so short a time, granted us such a rich reward.
He spent some time in the island, confirming the good work; and after visiting a number of the neighbouring islands—in all of which “ the people heard the Word gladly,” and “many believed "--returned to Rarotonga. There he finished the translation of the Scriptures, and shortly afterwards set out for England. During the voyage, he occupied the time in revising the translation anew, and in the preparation of other works for the use of the islanders; and on the 12th of June 1834, after nearly eighteen years absence, “the white cliffs of his beloved native land once more greeted and gladdened his eyes."
Grey dial-stone, while yet thy shade
Points out those hours are mine,
And rest at day's decline;
His bright rays beam'd on me
ON SEEING A SUN-DIAL IN A CHURCH
What motive placed thee here,
And rests the frequent bier.
Slow o'er thy figured plain;
Time counts his hours in vain.
When shrieks the wint'ry wind,
Come sweeping o'er my mind.
Of those beneath thee laid,
In mock’ry o'er the dead.
May mock his fellow-men;
Rare food for mock'ry then.
When Heaven's dread doom is said,
Light mock'rics o'er the dead?
MAN'S RELATION TO THE DIVINE LAW.
BY JOHN BROWN, D.D., EDINBURGH. In a former article, it was attempted to show, with as much brevity and clearness as possible, that, whether we consider its PRINCIPLES Its PRECEPTS, or its sanctions, the divine law is “ holy”- both “just and good.”.
It is a matter of very deep interest to every one of us to understand well the relation which we bear to this holy, just, and good law; for to it we do bear, to it every intelligent being in the universe bears, a relation; and our most important interests are dependant on that relation. There are multitudes who would fain have nothing to do with this law; they would fain have it abolished-annihilated. Many practically deny, some theoretically question, or even deny, its obligation on them. But the law is as stable and immutable as its authorGod. Indeed, the law is God commanding, prohibiting, threatening. Men may forget it, but it never forgets them; they may put it away from them, but it keeps its hold; they may reuounce its authority, but they cannot