Page images
[merged small][ocr errors]

institutions of Christianity are of older date than here.

A great stimulus to this action of the Wailuku church undoubtedly is the example of a neighboring church at Makawao, where Mr. Green retired after leaving the American Board, organized a church, and was settled as its pastor, on a promise of being supported.

He told them before he went that they must raise wheat for his breadstuff, and immediately they began in a district called Kula, and have succeeded in furnishing the best bread eaten at these Islands. He tells his lunas, persons appointed for this purpose, when he wants any thing, and forthwith they do all the paipaiing (stirring -up) among the people, and it comes.

They also supply his domestics with food, haul all his wood and timber, have put up the adobe dwelling he now lives in, and are making ready to build a good stone or wattled house.

The pastor of Makawao received from his people on January 4th, 1851, five hundred and thirty dollars in money, as their free-will offerings to aid him in the support of himself and his family. In addition, they paid about forty dollars to a licensed native preacher of the Gospel, who has been laboring among them. They have also paid, during the year 1850, eight hundred dollars in money towards the erection of a house for public worship, and more than one hundred and fifty dollars for other than domestic objects. And they have promptly furnished their pastor with such comforts for his table as their fields afford.

The so far successful experiment he is making in a place by no means the most favorable for it, will go far to convince the native'churches and the mission that missionaries can be supported on the spot, not only without impoverishing, but to the actual enriching of the people, by the efforts it demands, and the productive energy it constrains them to put forth. It is as true here as anywhere, that the liberal soul is made fat, and he that watereth is watered also himself. There is that giveth and yet inoreaseth. Tliere is that withholdeth more than is meet, and it tendeth to poverty. Giving here, no more than in America, does not impoverish; withholding doth not enrich.

The churches at Wailuku and Makawao are beginning to find it out. The more they give, the more (say they) they have. It was not a little amusing, as well as affecting, to hear them sagely debate and express their minds, at the meeting in which this church unanimously resolved to support their teacher.

Yarious and interesting were the reasons given for so doing. One old man, bronzed with the tropical suns of sixty summers, said, with a native eloquence and emphasis not to be forgotten, that once his dollars and hapahas used to go for tobacco and his sins, and it was allpoho, that is, sunk; and now it was a small thing to give them for the support of the Gospel, by which he had been led to leave off his sins.

Another said they were once thieves and murderers, AFFECTING INSTANCES OF LIBERALITY. 99

and their property and lives were insecure; and now it was but fair to give for the Gospel, by which it was that they had made their property, and were able also to keep it, and were so much better off than they used to be.

Another said, if they supported their own teacher, he would be theirs. Now they had had Mr. Green, and he had gone; Mr. Armstrong, and he had gone; and their tears had fallen, but they had murmured and wept in vain. But if they themselves should pay their teacher, he would be theirs; they should ho&paa him, that is, make him fast.

Another said that in this thing they must not promise and then not perform, but whatever they said they would give they must give. That he himself was hewa (that is, wrong) in this matter; he had sometimes promised what he had not yet performed. Then, after meeting was over, he came to Mr. Clark with three dollars, saying it was a part of five which he had promised a good while ago to the American Bible Company, for printing the Hawaiian Bible, of which he was so glad to have a copy.

Any benevolent patron of Missions, to have been there and heard them debate, and to have witnessed the evidence of their sincerity, would have thanked God from his inmost soul for having ever been able, or induced, to give to carry the Gospel where it had produced such benign results. And he would have said, Let me deny myself in order to give this blessed Gospel to all the world; for this same Gospel, if applied to all the world as at the Sandwich Islands, would, there is every reason to believe, produce the same results—results that have all been secured within less than thirty years since missionaries were first planted there among a race of indescribably depraved and debased heathen.

After this action on the part of the church at Wailuku, a committee of missionaries, on the subject of the support of pastors by their people, reported to the General Meeting convened at Oahu as follows:

1. That we regard the subject one of great importance to the prosperity of Christian institutions in these Islands; and that it is peculiarly gratifying to learn that some churches and congregations have resolved to make the attempt to support their pastors, and are actually taking measures to effect the object.

2. That, considering the increase of means, and the advancement of correct principles among the people, we believe the time has come when several of the more able congregations might be induced to support their pastors wholly, and many others might do it in part; and we believe the present is a peculiarly favorable time to present this subject to our several congregations, inasmuch as there is already, in many intelligent natives, an interest awakened to this subject.

3. That every pastor take great pains to instruct his people, and especially the church members, in the right use of money; to teach them to curtail all useless superfluities, sucli expenses as are incurred merely for show and ornament; and to induce them to appropriate their means to useful objects only, such as will secure to them all the advantages and comforts of complete civilization, and especially to sustain among themselves all the institutions of the Gospel, as the foundation upon which their temporal and eternal welfare must depend.


4. In order to bring this subject in the most advantageous manner before the congregations which are able to support their pastors, in whole or in part, we recommend that the pastor, together with such two members of the mission, and perhaps such influential native Christians as he may call to his aid, be a committee to present this subject before the people, and, in concert with them, to devise such practical and efficient measures as will secure the object; and we recommend further, that these efforts be made as Boon as practicable after the close of the present General Meeting.

These initiatory steps, beginning, it will be noticed, with the people under the training of missionaries, have resulted, in the year 1849, in an offer and acceptance, on the part of the Sandwich Islands Mission, of a proposition of independency from the American Board.

The fiftieth year of the nineteenth century closes auspiciously with the grand experiment of a self-supporting Mission in the Heart of the Pacific successfully under way. Who of our readers does not earnestly implore for it the blessing of the Almighty Lord God, whose providences have been so marked and many towards that infant Christendom, the foundations of which have been thus gloriously laid?

« PreviousContinue »