Page images

20. The articles the Brethren have again supplied us with, we

doubt not but we may preserve in safety, and without endangering our lives; though we inust continue making presents to the great

Chiefs, as solicited. 21. We do not consider ourselves more secure in our persons by the

reinforcement sent us; yet, without doubt, while we are kept walking humbly and-uprightly before God, the increase of our number may have a tendency of rendering our cause more favourable in the eyes of the natives, when they see we are all of one

heart, one mind, and one spirit. 32. We all niay, without any danger to our persons, and (as before

observed) always have worn our European apparel, one excepted; who, from choice, not necessity, wears a teaputa and parrau. 23. We know not that the inhabitants of Otaheite have any mar

riage engagements : at times they have some ceremony, as related in our Journal, concerning Matte-ah and Mahéiannoo (see Journal for March, 1799); but we believe they in general come together without ceremony, and separate in the same manner. When a man of some consequence is disposed to take a woman, he feasts her pa. rents, and makes them presents; and, after a while, the father or mother delivers up their child. What the husband expects from his wife we cannot tell, but we verily believe fidelity on either side is not at all to be found. So sensual and so void of connubial affection are they, that it is common for people of power to put away their women if advanced in years, or their beauty be injured by sickness, &c, and take a young woman — yea, a very child : also, the Chiefs (at least some of them) have certain persons in their connection, who, in the Chief's absence, &c. sleep with their wives. Both men and women are jealous; and we have heard that men have killed their women, on the bare suspicion of faithlessness : yet, notwithstanding, the husband, for a very trifle, will prostitute his wife, and parents their children. The children that are saved, their parents seem to express great

affection for them. 24. There is not, in our judgment, the smallest probability that a

chaste union can be formed with any one native woman on the island, in her unconverted state. They are a most loose, covetous, lascivious race; and so much are they under the dominion of the carnal mind, that it is a common thing for fathers to be the first that cohabit with their daughters.- From such characters, what

chastity can be expected ! 25. No lasting appearance of attention to the Gospel testimony has

yer been manifesteri in man or woman.

With our earnest prayers for the success of the Missionary Su. ciety, we remain,

Honoured Fathers and Brethren,

Yours, in the bonds of affection, British House, Matasai,

John JEFFERSON (for the Society) July 24th, 1801.

Honoured Fathers and Brethren, We cannot suffer Capt. Wilson to take his leave of us without once more making our public acknowledgments to God the Father of all mercies, and Jesus Christ the Son of his love, for our being and well-being; and to you, the servants of God for your kind. nesses to each and all of us You have shewn yourselves concerned

fur for our safety, anxious for our welfare, attentive to our wants, and have answered your solemn declaration of not forgetting us. That you may not be disappointed in your hopes,-that your labours may not be in vain,--that you may not waste your strength for nought, and expend your riches to no good purpose, we solemnly request that you will still be earnest, pressing, and persevering at the throne of grace, that we may stand fast in the faith, rooted, grounded, and settled in the doctrines of grace, patient and steady in the practice of godliness; and diligent, faithful, and successful labourers in the vineyard of the Lord. We are men of like passions with the heathen inhabitants of Otaheite ; and, if suffered to be guided by then, if permitted to be under their dominion, the consequence is obvious.

It may be long before we (if spared) shall hear from you again. In the interval, what strange and wonderful displays of mysterious Providences may occur, who can tell! Our lives we consider as a vapour, which soon disappears; and, though possessed of immortal spirits, yet we remember that they are in earthen tabernacles, which must soon be dissolved. The work before us is great and momentous, the difficulties innumerable and unconquerable by mortal power ; but, if God be for us, who can be against us?

Since the closing of our first letter, the subject of sending more Missionaries to Otaheite has been particularly discussed; and it was concluded upon, that an application should be made for the addition of at least twenty or thirty Missionaries, and recommended that the major part of the number be married persons. If this can be complied with "(and which we think nccessary for the establishment of the Mission among the Society Islands) we shall, if the Lord will, be able to give our brethren and sisters a thankful and comfortable reception at Otaheite.

We are at this time happily cemented, and trust shall be more so. We have brought ourselves under some degree of subordination which, if attended to, with the blessing of the Lord, may be much for our peace, happiness, and usefulness. Each enjoys a good share of health, sister Henry excepted, who remains very weak and sickly.

Capt. Wilson has shewn every kindness in his power. His re. moving from the island three wretched runaway seamen, who were a nuisance to all society, disturbers of public peace, and enemies to all good, is doing a great piece of service to the island and mission.

We now conclude with our fervent prayers for your perseverance in missionary endeavours, for the universal spread of Christ's king, dom, and his speedy appearance to dry our tears, remove the curse, and destroy death, and for our happy assembling in the realıns of light, joy, and glory. We remain,

Dear and honoured Fathers and Brethren,
Your affectionate Brethren in Christ,


For the Society of Missionaries on Otaheite, British House, Matayai,

July 29th, 1801.

P.S. We have purchased, from a man belonging to the Royal Admiral, two coach-wheels for necessary services, and for which we have given a note for sl. upon Mr. Hardcastle, Brother Shelley is

guing going in the Porpoise to New South Wales; and, as it is probable that or, anorner vessel will soon be sent by Governor King for more hogs, his ab.ence will not be long; but, as his voyage will necessarily be attended with some expence, and as various articles we have now, and nidy hereafter have occusion for, can be purchased at Port Jackson, Cupt. Wilson (who has money due to him there) has written to his debtor, to put into Governor K g's hand, the sum of 2001. sterling, for the Society's use. Capi. Wilson has also written (as'we shall likewise do) to Gov. Kirs, to request his Excellency to serve us in this matter, by receiving the money, and permitting us to draw for it as need requires. We shall open a correspondence with the Rev. Mr. Mar.den, of New South Wales; from whom we hope to derive profit in counsel and advice. Capt. Wilson has slipped off a ton or two of turmerick, by way of experi. ment. In his judgment, he thinks it very good, and valuable in England. A there is abundance on the island, we will endeavour to collect a few tons against the arrival of the next vessel that the Society sends. The Castor-nut is wonderfully spread over the whole island; if that is of any value, we could soon collect a considerable quantity. We have neither convenience nor skill to extract the oil.

The following is a List of a fez Things necessary,
A compass,

Button moulds
A thermometer and barometer, Black cloth for coats,
A good quadrant,

Some iron pots and kettles,
An ephen:eris,

Salt and salt pans, Pitch for a boat,

Shoes, Paint for a house,

Some crockery Sail for a boat,

Acutler's wheel for grinding razors A few good razors for the Society, Light clothing. Watering pois, Medicines, brother Elder has mentioned in his letter to Dr. Ilaweis,



Sidney New South Wales, Nov. 4, 1801. KNOWING that it will at all, i imes be acceptable to you and the Society, to hear any thing concerning the Brethren at Otaheite, I have just taken the liberty to drop you a line. Your letter, addressed to the Missionaries sent out by Capt. Bishop, was given to Mr. Shelley yesterday. Being a public lerter, he conceived himself authorized to open it, as it might be of advantage to the Mission for hiin to know the contents before he sailed from hence to Otaheite. You will be informed by himself for what purpose he revisited this colony. I believe him to be a very suirable young man for a Mis. sionary, and much approve of the step he has lately taken, viz to take a wife with him. It has ever appeared to me, that no perma. nent Mision could ever be established at Otaleite without a number of married persons. I have been almost nine years in this civi. Jized school of iniquity in Miw south Wales, and have had many painful contests to sustain; but may situation would have been much more intolerable had I been a single man. . My wife and family, in the lour of teinptation and trial, have often proved an asylum of peace and tranquillity. As there can be but little doubt but the Missionaries will now maintain their ground at Otaheite, I thirik it


would be advisable, that such Missionaries as may come out in fu. ture, be in general married. I am extremely sorry that the Directors have been kept so much in the dark, and for so long a period, as is evident from your public letter, and that of the Rev. Mr. Eyre. I was very anxious, on the first arrival of the Missionaries from Ota. heite at Port Jackson, for them to write, and to give the Directors a candid and circumstantial statement of every circumstance which had taken place amongst them, that they might not leave the Directors involved in uncertain doubts how to arrange their future plans. I am apprehensive the Directors received no official information, such as could direct them how to proceed in future. As there is www likely to be a constant communicationi kept up between this colony. and Otaheite, it will, perhaps, be necessary for the Directors to take this important matter into their consideration. Perhaps the advan. tages and disadvantages may be many, which will accrue from this communication to the Mission. It should be remembered, that this” colony abounds with men of the most licentious principles and via cious lives. Some of these infamous characters will now find their way to the above island, and being void of all honesty and religion they will be prepared to commit the most nefarious crimes upon every occasion. Where crimes are committed against society, punishments must be inflicted to prevent, as far as possible, their repetia tion. Should this colony be supplied with animal food from Otaheite hereafter, as it is likely to be, such abandoned wretches as will find their way to that island from hence, will, I am aware, greatly endanger the Missionary cause. I know Governor King will be cautious who he permits to go there, while he has the come mand of the colony; and also be particular in his instructions to the commanding officers of such vessels as he may send there : but Governor King may not remain long in this settlement, and his successor may not be so friendly to your cause. Under these circumstances, it may not be unworthy the consideration of the Directors what mea sures should be adopted to secure the Missionaries in the free exercise of their civil and religious privileges, to guard them from the improper interference of those who may be in authority in this seto tlement, and to secure them from such thieves and murderers of their own countrymen, as may from time to time get amongst them from Port Jackson. They will never maintain their ground now in a civil point of view, without civil protection in the island; the natural riches of the island will tempt the idle and the avaricious to visit ito I know there are many anxious in this Colony now to go there to settle; men desperate either in their principles or circumstances, and perhaps in both. They are not likely to gain permission from God vernor King. Some of them have made their wishes known to me; but I have not communicated them to the Governor, and shall use my influence as much as possible to prevent any idle characters from going to Otaheite. I am aware of the mischief they would do. I£ the Directors can prevail with Government at home to render, by any means, the Missionaries independent of the Governors of this cohony, should one unfriendly to their cause come out, it perhaps would be desirable. I have taken the liberty just to mention the above, as a wellwisher to your cause ; you will be the best judge, Sir, whether any thing I have here suggested merit attention; if not, it is well. I have written these few lines in great haste : at a future time I may drop you a few hints more corrected than these.

I have, Sir, the honour to remain yours, &c. VOL. X,


Honoured Sir, With the vessel which conveys this, you will receive a packet from the Brethren at Otahcite ; which will give you an account of the pleasing state of the Mission there; and also inform you of my detention at Otaheite, together with the reason for my returning to this colony.

Aug. ig. We sailed from Mattavai Bay, Otaheite'; and October the 2d, anchored safely in Sydney Cove. In our passage we called at Tongataboo. Mr. Wilson, the surgeon, and I, went on shore, and walked to our old residence at Efo. The Chiefs were all absent, performing the ceremony of Enudse, at Muoa. The whole of the country we say, wore the most dismal aspect, caused by the cruel ravages of war...

On my arrival at this colony fagreeable to the instructions of the Society). I waited upon his Excellency Governor King, to acknowledge the favour of my passage, and request the supply of articles' sent for 'by the Society." His Excellency was graciously pleased to attend to the request; and accordingly ordered a chief part of the articles sent for, to be got ready out of his Majesty's store's : also kindly offered me a passage in the Norfolk brig, which was to sail for Otáheite in three weeks or a month. The articles purchased, both out of his Majesty's stores and elsewhere, are to be paid for out of the two hundred pounds ordered by Capt. Wilson to be drawn out of the hands of his agent; which, I believe, will be inore than sufficient to answer the present demands.

October 7th, I accomplished the principal part of my design in visiting this colonỳ, in being united in marriage to a young woman of the name of Elizabeth Bean; who, I doubt not, is a God-fearing person, and possessed, in a measure, of qualifications suitable to the character she now sustains. . .

The success of the Porpoise in curing pork, has much encouraged the idea of forming a colony, and sending a inilitary force to OtaheiteI hope it will never take place. The Society might agree to supply the colonies of the Crown with pork, or other articles prodụcest in tbe islands, atas small an expence as the establishment of a colony would be; but as the Missionaries have unitedly written for af large reinforcement of married fajpilies, it would be easy for them to answer all:the purposes of a colony established by Government on a different plan. Should a proper Mission be established, either on Qgaheite or an adjacent islànd, a correspondence with this Colony would be gf the greatest advantage to the Mission, and also to the colonyi From hence the Missionaries might receive those refreshment they might stand in need of, and make such returns as would answer the purposes of the colony, and, in a great measure, defry the expences of the Mission : His Excellency has generously offered to gwe the Missionaries 'cne penny per pound for all pork shipped our board of King's ships, as an acknowledgment for their assistance in procuring it, . His Excellency is also going to send two barrels of porter as a present to the Missionaries. The state of this culony is much the samne as inentioned in former letters. Since the Royal: admirad sailed, the Orphan School for girls has been opened, and about forty have been received into it, Mr. Hassel, formerly Missionary at Otaheite, continues to preach at two different parts of the colony; at one of which places is a small school, and well at. tended. On my arrival, he kindly proposed my residing with him while I rimained; which I thankfully accopted.

I hope

« PreviousContinue »