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RELIGIOUS RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.,

MISSIONARY SOCIETY. By the arrival of the Royal Admiral, the Directors have received the

Dispatches from the Missionaries at Otaheite. Their Journal, which has been regularly kept to the Time the Royal Admiral left them, contains many interesting particulars of their own Con

duct and Labours, and of the Manners and Customs of the Natives. For the immediate Gratification of their Brethren in the Country,

and the Friends of the Society in general, they have the Pleasure of laying before them the following Letters : - Two from the whole Body of Missionaries, settled on the Island of Otaheite ; another from a very respectable and judicious Person at Port Jackson, who has manifested peculiar Friendship and strong Attachment to the Objects of the Institution; and some Extracts from a Letter of

Mr. Shelley, One of the Missionaries. TO THE DIRECTORS OF THE MISSIONARY SOCIETY.

Honoured Fathers and Brethren, The arrival of the Royal Admiral, Capt. W. Wilson, in Matavai Bay, on Friday, July ýth, 1801, brought your welcome letters, dated March 24th, 1800; 16th, 1800 ; and June 11th, 1800 ; as also nine welcome Brethren, Missionaries, with an abundant supply of our present necessities. About a fortnight before the arrival of the Royal Admiral, his Majesty's armed ship the Porpoise, arrived here with dispatches from Governor King, of New South Wales; by which it appears, a design is laid for opening a communication in the traffic for hogs, between this island and the Governor. As our journals (which we with pleasure transmit) contain all transactions that have already passed upon this important subject, we refer you to them for particulars, and shall only observe, that we hope our Heavenly Father will, by his power, wisdoin, and goodness, make the dispensation instruinental in establishing the Mission on Otaheite.

We heard of the ship Duff's capture, near six months ago, by the Albion, Capt. Bunker; and apprehended somewhat of your afflictions on that account, and other things which have cccurred. We rejoice at the steadiness of your attachment to us, the fervency of your affection, and the zeal of your endeavours for us, and give glory to God on your behalf for it; praying, that every disappointment you have met with, and may yet meet with, may be graciously sanctified to a public and private good.

That que should be called at all to fight under the banner of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, is a great act of free and sove. reign grace; and that we should be placed in so conspicuous ä rank of his army (as you say we are) is marvellous (at times) in our eyes, That the throne of grace should be daily and monthly sought unto, and ten thousand times ten thousand prayers be offered up on our account, and that the Christian world should be interested for us and our success, bring comfort and consolation to our minds.

Our preservation, in the midst of many dangers, we ascribe, with dutiful acknowledgement, to the good-will of God towards us and his elect among the Heathen in these parts; nothing doubting but that in due time it shall be clearly manifested why we were brought here, and for what end preserved. Our views of the best manner in which the Gospel should be

planted

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planted on this island, may, in some things, differ ; but we desire to look up to the Lord, to be guided by his Spirit in a peculiar manner in this respect. The present addition to our numbers will, we trust, in a very short time, give us to see our path of duty in a clearer manner; and God, we believe, will enable us to walk steadily ia that path of duty. At this time our endeavours are to organize our. selves into one regular body, so that each may fulfil his station in the community to the glory of God in the public good.

The Brethren you have sent (all but Mr. Read) we receive in tender affection. Why we solicited Capt. Wilson to retake the above-named person on board, our journal will shew. We pray that our faith may be encreased, that each may prove a mutual help to the other, and all of us be profitable to the Heathen. On our Brethren's arrival, we cordially welcomed them, and introduced them to the principal Chiefs, who behaved to them in a friendly manner; and expressed themselves well pleased at their settling with us.

How we have disposed of the property left in our hands upon this island, our journals will best explain. Though our peculiar situation required that we should give largely to those around us, yet we have not given all; neither have any of us (as you have been informed) either from choice or necessity, conformed to the dress of the natives. The articles you have again kindly furnished us with, as it is a fresh testimony of your love, we the more thankfully accept.

We think no exhortation given by our honoured Fathers and Brethren on the important duties of love, humility, &c. super flu. ous, but necessary; and shall, we hope, at all seasons, dutifully attend to the exhortation ; and earnestly pray, that we may be so endued with the Spirit of all grace, as that we may walk humbly before God, and in love with all men.

Having now lived upwards of four years on Otaheite, and in that time seen and heard much of the manners and education of the natives, we cannot dignify the union of a Christian man with one of their women with the honourable name of Marriage ; but, in our judgment, we conceive a connection with any one of them, in her present state, is a breach of the laws of God; and if a member of our community should not be possessed of the gift of continence, we believe the path of duty to be rather a return to our native country than an union with an Heathen prostitute, whose chastity before and after such an union is upon an equal footing.

Respecting your enquiry concerning what this island can produce, in order to enable the Society to sustain the great expence incurred in keeping up a frequent communication with us, it is necessary to inform you, Otaheite is a heap of mountains, surrounded with a narrow ledge of low land, which, upon an average, is not half a mile broad; this narrow ledge produces bread-fruit, cocoa-nuts, apples, &c. &c. The higher mountains are in general steep, difficult of climbing, and many altogether inaccessible : these mountains pro. duce timber, mountain-plantains, &c. The lower hills are capable (at least many of them) of cultivation, and would produce things congenial to the climate and their situation ; at present, the generality of them produce long grass, &c. The valleys are very many, some of them well watered, but narrow; and sometimes sutier much from inundations. The produce of the valleys, for some way up; is the same as the low grounds. That coffee, cotton, and sugar could be produced as well here as in any island in the West Indies, there is no cause to doubt. As to medicinal wood, and Lurks, as we are U 112

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all of us unacquainted with such things, we cannot write upon the subject.

how the island may be rendered serviceable to the cause of God in these seas, by its productions being raised for the

fort of the Gospel, is certainly a very great and momentous consideration. We are afraid of colonizing, lest it should prove in time destruc. tive to the liberty, or lives and property of ihe natives. Some of the islanders themselves have expressed a suspicion, that if a large body of foreigners should come and settle among them, they would be turned out of their possessions, and driven to the mountains. Put you, our honoured Fathers and Brethren, have among you many men of experience and wisdom, and, we doubt not, will aim only at the glory of our Head in your undertakings. Whatever may be your future plans, and whoever you may send forth among us, sutter us to recommend strict examination into the r Christian experience, moral character, and natural dispo ition. Women, with their off'spring, will be as safe here as their husbands. By our journals you will see the nature of that communication which is begun to be opened between Otaheite and New South Wales, with its probable

success; and if any thing can be made of it to the good of the Mis. sionary Cause, is, perhaps, worthy of consideration.

To the questions proposed, we return, in order, the following answers : --1. Before the arrival of the Brethren, Brother Eyre and wife, Jeffer

son, and Nott, were under one roof; Brother Henry, and family, under another, close adjoining; Brother Bicknell by himself, on the east side of the river. Our Brethren that came in the Royal Admiral are to reside with Brother Bicknell, whose house is fitting

tip for that purpose. 2. We meet three times on the Lord's Day; and morning and even

ing every other day, when at home, or not law fully hindered. We have not yet preached or prayed publicly in the language of the

courtry. 3. Every member has employed himself as he judged it to be 'his

path of duty. 4. Our habitations are principally the work of our own hands. 5. A spot of ground has been enclosed, and some attention was paid

to the cultivation of it; but hitherto without much success, owing to various domestic occurrences :-our unwillingness to cut down some bread-fruit trees that hindered the growth of plants sown, and the natives' goats and hogs, who have frequently broken in and

stolen and devoured our articles planted 6. A public journal is kept; and has been, and is under the care of

Brother Jefferson. 7. Brothers Eyre, Henry, and Jefferson have hitherto led the spre

vices of the Sabbath Day; at all other times divine worship is

conducted in rotation. 8. There was more harmony among the Brethren a little before the

separation of the Society, than had been for some time before 9. We have been more harmonious since the separation than before. 16. Two have been separated, from our coinmunion : vho, when, and

for what, see our journals for August 1798 and July 1870. 11. Our conduct towards the eparated, úě bope has nut been incon

sistent; for their restoratiofi, we have used those endeavours ne

deurd exi curent, but without success 12. We are noi nasters of the language ; 'and cannet at all times, upon all occasions, speak fluently, or make ourselves well under

upon 20. The

stood. 13. A female child of Huaheine, whose father is an Irishman, named Connor, and which child Sister Henry has taken under her care, is learning to read with her own daughter, and promises fair On our first arrival and settling on the island, a schoul was attempted; but various or currences renuered its success aburi've, and continuance short. -- Since the separation, no school has been attempt. ed. - Mr. Broomhall endeavoured to instruct a lad; but could not

succeed. 14. The patives in general appear familiar, and free from jealousy.

As we have always studiously avoided intermeddling with their poñitical state, and never have attenpted to exercise dominion over them, they have (that we know of) no more apprehensions than we have designs of endeavouring to bring them into any kind of subjection. They do seem sensible of advantages derived

from an intercourse with us, 15. The residence of the women was of short duration; - their improvement in the language inconsiderable ; - their situation so novel, and their dificultes : various, that it was not in their power to exert themselves as teachers among the female natives, or much among the children; though, as to the last, endeavours were

made. 16. It does appear that some few national prejudices are weakened ; ·and, we hope, the dawn of civilization is approaching. I hey know (some of them) a little how to use several of our tools; and probably would soun know, more, were there encouragement given by their chiefs. The native that wrought with Mr. Hodges, blacksmith, continues to keep charge of the forge, and is able to do several things; as also others of his countrymen, who learn

from him. --A 1cw can handle the whip-saw. 17. Eimeo has been visited two or three times, but no other island. A Chief of great authority, from Huaheine, who is now on this island, has given 30.€ of us various invitations to his country, and promised to be our protector; but at this time Huzheine, and other islands alljoining it, are involved in war. The same spirit which, for some years past, has been prevailing over Europe, has made its entrance into these seas, and caused much commotion (and threatens more) among the Society Islands; the destruction of all government and subordination. The Mannahrne, or common people, are rising up against their ch efs, and overturning all authority. The communalty of Otaheite are equally disai. fected with their present forin of government as Huaheine, Ulieteea (or more properly Oryatád) &c.; and are watching a favourable opportunity of shaking off their allegiance, and levelling all distinctions of Chiefs among them. The Porpoise arrived at a very critical period; for (as we have since been informed) had her arrival been one week later, it would have been decided, whether there should have been one king, or every man a king.-

What state the islands to the eastward are in, we cannot tell. 18. We must refer to our journals for the answer to this question,

and to those Brethren who left us, and are now in England. 19. Our arms were never hostilely used; though it is 110t improbable but ivhile we had any, the dread of them rendered the natives distant and suspicious.

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