Page images


twenty-nine have died, and two hundred and fifteen remain excommunicated. One thousand dollars were contributed for benevolent purposes in the two years prior to 1848.

For several years before the present experiment of independency by the Hawaiian churches was under way, the station at Ewa was virtually supported by the avails of the mission herd turned to butter-making, under the management of Mrs. Bishop.

At their General Meeting in 1843, the Mission resolved, "That although we consider the salary allowed us by the Board a bona fide salary, still, in our character as missionaries, we are a peculiar people, having wholly consecrated ourselves to the Lord for the spread of the Gospel in the earth; and however it may be proper for other men to engage in speculations, and accumulate property, we cannot consistently with our calling engage in business for the purpoie of private gain.

"We therefore deem it inexpedient that members of our body should possess private herds, and resolve that the mission herds be continued, and that those who are destitute be furnished with a reasonable number of cattle out of the herds or the funds of the mission; and that all the cattle, horses, and carts, held by us, be regarded as the property of the American Board, and that the herds be not allowed to increase beyond what is needed for the comfort of the mission."

In May, 1848, we find the sense of the Mission at General Meeting, expressed thus: "That we consider the salary allowed us by the Board, is to be used by us according to our own discretion; accountable only to God, our own conscience, and an enlightened public sentiment; and that all rules of the Mission which may be inconsistent with this principle, be rescinded."

Mr. Bishop, the pastor of Ewa, was one of the first reinforcement, along with Mr. Richards, in 1823. It affords one sincere pleasure to see the two oldest missionaries* now on the ground giving evidence, in their vigorous health and due proportions, of having lived happily and spent well in their good work. After having reared families, founded churches, endured opposition, and borne the burden and heat of the day, they are still the most hearty and hale-looking men of the mission. May God keep them in like prosperous estate for yet many years!

As the Senate and people of Rome used to decree concerning the men who had done their country service, ut meruissent lene de Republica, that they had deserved well of the Republic, so may it be declared with like' truth of these men and their co-workers, who have continued faithful, that they have deserved well of the American churches, in whose behalf they willingly went on foreign service, when it was a very different undertaking from what it is now.

Mr. Bishop has things to tell of early heathenism, and of the habits of foreigners in those days, to make both the ears of those who hear thereof to tingle. He was one of the deputation that went round Hawaii with Mr.

* Messrs. Bishop and Thurston.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Ellis, in 1824, and his means of becoming acquainted with the traits and abominations of heathenism, and self-made heathen from Christian lands, have been equal to any man's.

It is all the more painful, therefore, to hear him avow the opinion that the licentiousness of young people out of the church is as great now as it ever was,, and that early depravity, more than any thing else, is depopulating the nation, by prematurely wasting its productive powers. Out of the whole population of this island of Oahu, twenty-one thousand three hundred and sixtythree, there are only four thousand nine hundred and thirty-one persons under fifteen years of age. There are only four hundred and twenty-eight families that have three or more children, and there is not one child on an average to a family throughout the island.

In what light the Mission generally regard it, may be seen by the report of a committee on moral reform, as follows: That in their opinion the present time calls for very special and efficient measures for the suppression of licentiousness* among this people, and especially

* A very pertinent sermon was preached at the Bethel, in Honolulu, on the evening of the last day of 1848, by the missionary, Rev. Mr. Armstrong. It was on the duty of foreigners to the Hawaiian nation; the text, Jer. xix. 1: And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it; for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. It was published by request in "The Friend," and it were well to have it hung up in the shop and office of every man that goes to live at the Sandwich Islands. Among other excellent sentiments and duties aptly enforced, he urges it as obligatory on all residents and visitors to oppose vice, and do all they among the youth, and they would recommend: 1. That the pastors of the several churches take special pains to instruct the parents belonging to their respective churches and congregations upon this subject, and urge them to provide separate apartments for the different

can to deliver the nation from it, and especially intemperance, licentiousness, and gambling. On the middle one of this triad of vices, he speaks forcibly after this wise:

"Would you measure the evils which have come upon this people from this quarter? Look abroad over the length and breadth of the land, and inquire after the multitudes who once inhabited villages now deserted—where are they? Why do you meet so few children in the streets! and why are so many diseased, and sink into premature graves? After long observation and intimate acquaintance with the natives, I am of opinion that the diseases consequent upon the vice of which I now speak, have contributed more than all other causes put together to depopulate these fair Islands, and produce the miseries which the inhabitants now suffer. And what it concerns us particularly to consider is, that these diseases, with all their deadly effects, were introduced here by the licentiousness of men from Christian lands; and for the untold evils which have resulted from them to this unsuspecting people, such men are responsible."

In this opinion the author has the concurrence of all the missionaries, and of every careful inquirer into the causes of the nation's decay, and it is with propriety that he argues at the close—

"If our reasoning in this discourse be correct, what a solemn account will they have to render at the bar of God, who have taken a course directly contrary to that which God requires! I refer to men who have come to these shores from Christian lands, and done evil instead of good; men whose general course of life has been to sink the natives deeper in degradation and misery; to encourage them in their vices, and teach them vices they never knew before, and make heathenism ten-fold more heathenish. For all these things will not God call them into judgment? Are those dark deeds of past years all forgotten? The avenger of blood in Israel did not more resolutely and swiftly pursue the man-slayer, than evil pursues such men. If they are not overtaken in this life, they will be in the next."

[merged small][ocr errors]

sexes in their families, and watch over the children with more than common solicitude in reference to this crying sin of the land; that pastors also use all feasible means to render the institution of marriage honorable and popular among the people.

2. That the teachers of our seminaries and schools form societies among their scholars similar to the plan of "Juvenile Temperance Societies," and make vigorous effort to render the sin of licentiousness, in all its forms, odious and unpopular. 3. That a pledge be adopted which shall be alike in all the Islands, and that the signers of this pledge be furnished with some badge of their membership.

The Hawaiian government does not do so much to suppress the vice of licentiousness at the present time, nor is it so strong to keep good morals by law, as under the energetic administrations of Kaahumanu, at Honolulu, and of Hoapili at Lahaina. With more of liberty, the maxim is now in vogue by importation, that a man's house and premises are his castle, and that a constable has no right to enter them without a warrant. But then, on the least suspicion of evil in progress, officers would venture anywhere unresisted, and hale offenders to justice; and so vigilant were they, that vice had to skulk, and was driven out of many a hiding-place.

Once in the time of shipping, Hoapili sent all the women of Lahaina off to the other side of the mountain, and forbade their reappearing on the side where the ships were, under the penalty of imprisonment. Government now is not so despotic, and the Hawaiians of 1850

« PreviousContinue »