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NAVIGATORS ISLANDS. In the Missionary Magazine for March, 1836, we briefly referred to the discovery, geographical position, and natural beauty of the Navigators Islands, in connexion with a cursory review of the first attempts which had been made, by means of native teachers and occasional visits of the brethren in the Society Islands, to introduce among the inhabitants the knowledge of the true God and only Saviour. The arrival at these islands of the Missionary brethren and sisters, sent forth by the Society at the close of 1835, to establish a Mission there, under the favour and guidance of the Most High, and the tidings of the actual commencement of their labours, were communicated to the friends of the Society in August last. The Mission of these brethren was commenced in June, 1836, attended by manifest tokens of Divine support and direction, and with every prospect of rapid and extensive success.
Of the six brethren to whom this important service has been confided, Messrs. Heath, Mills, Hardy, Macdonald, Murray, and Barnden, the two latter have commenced their labours in the island to which they were appointed, viz., the Island of Tutuila ; Messrs. Heath and Mills are pursuing their labours in the Island of Upolu ; and Savaii, the largest of the group, is occupied by Mr. Hardy, in conjunction with Mr. Macdonald, who arrived there with Mrs. Macdonald early in the past year.
By these important movements of the Society towards a further extension of its Missions in the South Seas, the Gospel, with all its heavenly influences, hopes, and objects, has been planted in the midst of a population of not less, it is computed, than fifty thousand souls ; and looking in faith to Him who alone can give vitality to the holy seed, and cause it to ripen into fruit, we cherish the happy assurance of its being made the power of God unto salvation to thousands of our fellow-men in these islands.
But if, contrasted with the improved state to which they may in a few years be elevated, the present condition of the people be greatly defective in moral excellence, how favourable is the latter compared with what it is known to have been from 1787, when La Perouse visited the Islands,* until the Missionaries of the Cross first landed upon their shores! When the celebrated navigator just named, in company with M. de Langle, came in view of the islands, he was so struck with the charming character of the scenery, as to conclude, with his accomplished associate, that the inhabitants of such regions could not but be innocent, peaceful, and happy. But afterwards, when speaking of one of the islands, he declares, “We were deceived; this delightful abode was not the abode of innocence. We perceived, indeed, no arms, but the bodies of the Indians (Samoans) covered over with scars, proved that they were often at war, or else quarrelling among themselves, while their features announced a ferocity that was not perceptible in the countenances of the women. Nature had, no doubt, stamped this on their faces, by way of showing that the half-savage, living in a state of anarchy, is a more dangerous being than the most ferocious of the brute creation." Without entirely adopting these views, it is but too true that most melancholy proofs soon appeared of their general accuracy, and the murder of M. de Langle, with another officer of the expedition, and ten of the crew, by the natives in the Island of Tutuila, first verified to La Perouse the correctness of his own impressions, as above described. The carnage of these enterprising men, which appears to have been instigated by a desire for plunder, occurred in the Bay, which, in commemoration of these barbarous acts, has since been called Massacre Cove. The preceding page exhibits a view of this sanguinary
* Missionary Magazine for March, 1836.
occurrence ; it is copied from the engraving published in the account of the voyage of the ill-fated La Perouse. The atrocious conduct of the natives, at this period, conveyed to mariners navigating the Pacific such an impression of their treachery and ferocity as to deter subsequent voyagers from venturing among them, and for a number of years the islands appear to have remained unvisited by vessels from any part of the civilised world.
But the messengers of the Gospel at length came, pursued their work, and on the shore of that very Bay, where M. de Langle fell wounded in the water, was seized and massacred with clubs and stones by more than two hundred of the natives, a Missionary Station is now established; the shout of the exulting murderer has been changed into the voice of prayer and praise; peace, and gentleness, and good-will prevail, where only discord, rudeness, and hatred could once be found ; and the shores so long dreaded and shunned by the mariner or the merchant, as promising nothing but perfidy and bloodshed, may now be visited in safety and confidence, under the benign influences of the Gospel of Peace.
The substance of the recent communications from the Navigators Islands will be communicated in an early number of the Missionary Magazine.
MISSION AT RAROTONGA.
(Continued from page 296.) Love to the volume of inspired truth, and extreme desire to possess it in even the smallest portions, forms another pleasing characteristic of the natives of this island. This is placed in a very interesting light by the further details from Mr. Pitman's letter inserted below. In these the important facts will also be noticed, that while the flourishing and extensive schools at Rarotonga are becoming nurseries to the church there formed, the church itself is nurturing and sending forth men of God to preach the Gospel among their own countrymen. The Missionary prayer meetings held by the native Christians, seem to have contributed not a little to the present delightful state of things at this Station ; and it is hoped, that, under Divine favour, the whole of the Bible, translated into the Rarotongan dialect, will at no distant period be placed in their hands, to elevate yet more their sense of obligation, and of the value of the privileges which they enjoy.
In continuing his communication of the 30th June, Mr. Pitman, whose feeble health and manifold labours still call for affectionate sympathy and prayer, ob
What shall I say, dear Sir, as it respects the treasure forwarded by the brig engaged by the Directors, I mean the Gospels, in this dialect, tracts, and slates ? I cannot express my joy better than by giving you an extract from my journal :-"My soul was filled with joy in receiving fifteen hundred Gospels printed in England, with five tracts, fifteen hundred each. How delighted are my poor people! O what would the friends of the Bible Society say, could they behold the grateful pleasure pictured in the countenances of the people on receiving this best of treasures, and the grief depicted in the faces of those who cannot obtain one. These precious portions of God's word are more valuable to me than had the boxes in which they came been filled with gold. I trust they will do good to many immortal souls.
The Lord be magnified for his continued kindness to this people. Brother Williams informs me by letter that the Bible Society has agreed to print five thousand New Testaments for us. What a treasure ! May Jehovah bless that Society! For them, many thousands in this and succeeding ages will doubtless glorify God.”
In all directions I am followed by men, women, and children, calling out, “ Teacher, are all the books gone? Give me one, do not say no." If I say, “ Can you read?” They reply, “ A little, but my children can.” I am urging all of them to more diligence in learning to read, as more books, I tell them, will soon be received.
It will be gratifying to the Directors to hear that several of my scholars have expressed a wish to join the church. Two, I expect, will be shortly admitted. This cir- Another young man, named Tupai, has also cumstance, of my being favoured to see the preached occasionally with acceptance. I first fruits of my labours amongst the am about to send out another to supply children, affords me greater pleasure than I next Lord's-day at the out-station, as Iro is can well express. Glory to God alone! to preach at Avarua. To these young men Both of these young men engaged in prayer I devote nearly the whole of Wednesdays, at our last Missionary prayer meeting. instructing them in theology, reading and While interceding for the heathen nations, explaining the Sacred Scriptures, and asI could not but lift up my soul to God in sisting them in their preparations for the thankful adoration and pray, Thrust these Sabbath. The Lord has wonderfully into thy vineyard, that they may labour for strengthened me for my extra labours since thee.
the departure of Brother Buzacott for the With great joy we welcomed to these Navigators, and I trust as my day is so my shores our dear brethren bound to the strength will be. Navigators. They spent a week with us, During my visit to Tahiti, I, with the and expressed their delight at the good work assistance of a lad belonging to my school, in progress here. May they all prove burn- transcribed the five books of Moses, &c., ing and shining lights in the dark regions from the manuscript of Brother Nott. Since where they have gone! Agreeably to the re- my return I have translated into the Raro. quest of the Directors, my respected and tongan dialect so far as the middle of Levi. worthy colleague, the Rev. A. Buzacott, ticus, and also several Psalms. It is our and his partner, have accompanied them to opinion that the whole of the sacred volume their destination, with the intention of re- should as speedily as possible be put into maining about six months. In consequence the hands of the people in their own idiom. of my extreme weakness, I could not see it I hope to devote myself to this work to the to be the path of duty for him to leave un- utmost of my strength and ability ; but till less one of the brethren were permitted the return of Brother Buzacott I despair of to remain till his return. It was pro- doing much. He has commenced the proposed that Mr. and Mrs. Macdonald should phecies of Isaiah. I purpose to proceed as be requested to remain with us for a far as the end of the second book of Samuel, time. To this be readily agreed. He is and the Psalms, and then carefully to revise now diligently applying himself to the lan. the whole for the press. Several of the guage, and being of the medical profession, Minor Prophets I have also translated, (not is able to render us valuable assistance in revised ;) these, however, I shall leave for the attending to the diseases of the people. present, as I wish to avail myself of Brother
The whole island now devolves upon my- Nott's corrections, whose Translation of the self for instruction. I am still very weak, Scriptures I expect will be in the press by and unable to do much. I preach once every the time this reaches you. Sabbath ; also the weekly evening lecture ; The useful articles sent from England for and occasionally address the congregation Iro and Taugna have been delivered to them, at Titikaveka, being assisted by Maretu, with the exception of one of the hand-saws who reads the Scriptures and engages in which I gave to Maretu. They received prayer, and who also continues to preach the articles with great thankfulness and every Sabbath evening with much accept- pleasure. I need not say that a trifling
Since Mr. Buzacott's departure we present of this kind would be very accepthave spent a fortnight at Avarua, where able to those who assist me in my labours. from morning till night our time has been Having thus given you, dear Sir, a sketch fully occupied. I do hope the cause of the of our recent proceedings, I now conclude, Redeemer is prospering there.
by entreating an interest in the prayers of shall we render unto the Lord for all his the Directors, and friends of Missions, that benefits?"
our efforts to promote the glory of God in All the chapels and schools are exceed. this far distant island may be crowned with ingly well attended, and the people ap- great success and abundant blessing. parently hungering for the bread of life.
I remain, dear Sir, Both Iro and Maretu are valuable assistants;
Yours very truly, their labours have been largely blessed.
LATTAKOO MISSION, IN SOUTH AFRICA. The day of grace and salvation has fully dawned upon this distant field of Mis. sionary exertion. The people who sat in darkness, withering under the bondage of sin and Satan, and loaded with debasing superstitions, have hailed
the glad message of reconciliation. Many, who not long since lay sunk in spiritual death, are now walking in newness of life, and rejoicing in the possession of the unsearchable riches of Christ. Abundant pledges have been received of the coming harvest; the Bechuana nation has yielded its first-fruits to God; the native church, now rapidly augmenting, stands fast in the knowledge and love of the truth, and the kingdom of our Lord is spreading in every direction around the Mission Settlement. From regions still farther north, lying towards the almost unpenetrated heart of Africa, natives constantly visit the Station, and return again, bearing with them tidings of the Saviour and his finished work. this way the wilderness may be made glad, where no European Missionary ever trod, and the wanderer of the desert may become the half unconscious messenger of life and peace to his fellows.
The subjoined extract of a letter forwarded by the brethren Moffat, Hamilton, and Edwards, under date of June 15th, will more fully unfold these subjects, and bring to view many other points of interest and importance in connexion with their labours, They observe,
It is with gratitude to the God of all our truly believe in his name, and he has conmercies that we proceed to give you some tinued to add to their number. account of the Lord's dealings with us, and From Mr. Moffat's communications of with the people among whom we labour. November, last year, you would be glad When we look at the year gone by, we feel to see that our prospects were brightening, bound to say that goodness and mercy have not only here, but at other places among the followed us. Health has been granted, and Bechuanas. During the past year nipe men, the full enjoyment of those means through nine women and fifteen children have been which the savour of the name of Jesus is baptised. The eighteen adults, who have extended here as in other parts of the world. thereby been received into the church here, In this respect, when we contrast past years gave what we considered very satisfactory with the present, we cannot help exclaiming, evidence of a real change of heart; and after “What hath God wrought !" We have mature deliberation and supplication for the now no busy Rainmaker to lead the multi- aid of the Holy Spirit, we received them tude captive at his will, and make us the
Of these one was the wife and mourning spectators of gross ignorance and another the daughter of a chief * of one of superstition. We are no longer left to pray the villages of our out-station at Hamhana. alone, or complain that we have spent our They had long been candidates, but had for strength for nought, wbile a wicked multi- some time given full evidence of the sin. tude laugh us to scorn, and bid defiance to cerity of their profession. Some of the our apparently useless endeavours to im. others who were received were from the press their hearts. The time is gone by Kolong, or Hart River, four days' journey when our property was wont to be the com- southward of this place. The principal one, mon prey of covetous and lawless men, and Morisanyane, is a man of some talent, and, when no appeal could be heard nor redress if he perseveres under the tuition he has given. When those seasons are remembered, received, will, we hope, become eventually We thank God that, though sorrow continue useful to others. His wife, who seems an for a night, joy cometh in the morning. The excellent woman, and who has also been day has dawned and the day star has arisen baptised, is the daughter of Salakotoo, who on this people, for the fetters of superstition was a chief of some importance when the are comparatively broken, and those who Rev. J. Campbell visited this country. He, were wont to say,
Let us break their with others, is desirous of removing to this bands," are now emerging from the delu- station, and we expect them ere long. Some sion, and awaking to a new state of moral of those who have been received have been being
candidates for years, and among these we From our last year's report you would see may mention a Moharutse, the son of Sethat our joys were mingled with sorrow, and bogori, the predecessor of Lequileng in the that we had to deplore the condition of a regal power of the Baharutse nation. Like few who had turned back and would walk many others of the scattered nations of the no more with us. However painful these interior, he has made this station an asylum. things were, we knew that we must expect We rejoice in these tokens of the favour them among converts from heathenism. We of our heavenly Father, and are cheered by mourned, and we still mourn over the fallen, the hopes of still greater results redounding but the Lord our Saviour has shown us that his grace is sufficient to preserve those who
• July Magazine, 1837.
to the glory of our Redeemer. However de- manner, and though their gifts mark the graded the nations may be who surround “day of small things,” they have exceeded us, and, alas ! degraded they are, we know our expectations. Were you as intimately that even of these stones God can raise up acquainted with the real state of this people children to Abraham. Already we have re- as we are, you would unite with us in grateceived abundant pledges to excite us to the ful adoration to Him who has thus far warmest zeal, and we do hope that what we softened the adamantine hearts of those who, have witnessed is but the prelude to the but ten years ago, were the devotees of their universal conquest when the kingdoms of own passions, without natural affection, this land of darkness shall become the king- moral worth, or hope in the world. doms of our Lord.
Our itinerating visits continue every week We have every reason to believe that those to the towns of our out-station, Hamhana, who are united to us in the fellowship of the We have been delighted during the past Gospel are walking worthy of the vocation year to see numerous congregations, and wherewith they are called, and progressing the riveted attention of the hearers to the in the knowledge of the doctrines and duties things which were spoken. There is eviof Christianity.
dently a saving change among that people. We have been much gratified during the past Some of those who have been baptised are year by the formation of an Auxiliary Mis- from among them, and we have no doubt sionary Society, owing to the praiseworthy but their conduct and example in publicly zeal of the people of this station to have professing their faith in the Gospel has been the saving knowledge of the Gospel extended influential on the conduct of others. A to the nations still in darkness. The radical change has taken place, especially amount of subscriptions is highly encourag- among the youths who, a short time ago, ing. We have in the course of receiving publicly declared that it was their determi. them been sometimes astonished to see the nation not to follow the fables and supersti. cheerful way in which they gave what, in tions of their forefathers. Some of the old some instances, was more than a tenth of chicis nave vainly endeavoured to sustain their whole property, for the Palalo ea Bo- the fast vanishing customs of former generagosi yoa Keresete, (the extension or spreau tions. We cannot feel angry with them, of the kingdom of Christ.) Some of the when we reflect on the gross ignorance in subscriptions were in cash, and others in which they have lived. We have the asproduce. One characteristic of the native surance that these things, which yet oppose mind formerly was want of compassion to the purifying influences of the Gospel, will, his fellow, his brother, and his friend. Of in due time, vanish before the potent enerthis we have seen innumerable instances. gies of faith and prayer. We rehearse the Let us then rejoice in the triumphs of Divine sure word of prophecy, and look by faith grace, which has thus softened their obdurate to the time when the natives will cast their hearts, and led them to imitate the good Sa. superstitions to the moles and and the bats. maritan. They have acted after the same
APPEAL ON BEHALF OF THE HOTTENTOTS. Many circumstances combine at the present period to encourage the cheering belief that He, whose ear never closes to the cry of human suffering, is coming forth to manifest his effectual compassion on behalf of the long oppressed Hottentots ; the now almost portionless inhabitants of a fertile country once their own.
Friends, both at home and abroad, are actively espousing their cause, pointing to the manifold wrongs which they have suffered, vindicating and recommending their equitable claims on the righteous and benevolent feeling of the British nation. Among the efforts now made to rescue this injured race of men from their deplorable condition, those of the Lieut. Governor, on the Eastern Frontier of the Colony, appear peculiarly prominent, and eminently tend to inspire encouragement and hope. The means which are requisite to promote this truly valuable work, contemplating as it does the moral and religious advancement of the Hottentots, as well as their social elevation, are specially marked out in the two following communications ; the first from the Rev. J. Monro, of Graham's Town, describing chiefly the auspicious opening for Missionary exertion, which has been created by the liberal measures of the Lieut. Governor ; the second, from the Rev. Dr. Philip, the Rev. James Read, and the Chief Tzatzoe, unitedly