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We call this book "The Heart of the Pacific," for two reasons: first, because the Sandwich or Hawaiian Islands, which form its subject-matter, hold about the same relation to other parts of the Pacific as the heart does to the rest of the human body. Second, because these Islands bid fair to become the religious Protestant Heart of the great Ocean, whose pulsations at different times we have herein marked and interpreted.
Although independent and whole of itself, it has a connection which will be seen with "The Island-World of the Pacific." The writer believes it may fulfil a useful part, in directing the general interest now felt in the young Island-Kingdom of Hawaii. The perpetuity of the pure Hawaiian race there is daily becoming more and more doubtful. But, as it has been remarked of New Zealand, the natives, though melting away, are not lost. They are emerging into another and a better class. In this process there lacketh not sin on man's part; but Providence will overrule it for good, and bring forth an order of things which shall be far better for the world, for the Church of Christ, and for the new race.
Perhaps it is in the providential plan of the world's great Ruler, that the Sandwich Islands should yet be adopted into the great American Confederacy. Won as they have been from the lowest barbarism by American missionaries,—having had expended upon them in the process, nearly a million and a half of dollars from America, and the services of fifty families now possessing there valuable homesteads,—harboring a permanent American population, foremost in energy and influence, now little short of one thousand, besides a floating American population that touch and recruit annually to the number of fifteen thousand, in whaleships and merchantmen,—and consuming yearly a million of dollars' worth of American merchandise;—on all these grounds there would seem to be a propriety in their enjoying an American Protectorate, if not an admission under the flag of the American Republic.
"American enterprise," says a writer* who has been for many years familiar with the history and progress of the Hawaiian Islands, "both commercial and philanthropic, has invested the group with its present political importance—bestowing upon the inhabitants laws, religion, civilization—and will soon add to these gifts
language; for the English tongue is rapidly superseding the Hawaiian. The Islanders have thus a moral claim upon the American nation for protection. In no way can this be more efficiently bestowed than by receiving them into the family of this great Republic. The native population are as well prepared to be American citizens, as the multitude of European emigrants. Unlike the generality of them, they can read and write, and have already acquired democratic ideas under the operation of their own liberal constitution of govern• ment, which will readily enable them to incorporate themselves under our institutions. They are destined to be supplanted in numbers and power by a foreign race. They desire us to be their successors and protectors. The present revenues of the Islands are more than adequate to the expenses of its government— time, opportunity, the interests of the inhabitants and ourselves point to this result."
Events will soon determine whether they are to retain their independency, or to be merged in the nation that has civilized them. In either event they are to constitute no mean a portion of the kingdom of Christ; and if this book shall be found to have helped at all to the production of that better order of things, when He Whose Eight It Is Shall Eeign, the labor bestowed on it at a time when the decay of health, and circumstances not to be controlled, precluded the exercise of the Ministry, will be amply rewarded. It is one man's mission in this world to do; it is another's to record and perpetuate the memory of worthy deeds. And, in John Newton's judgment, it would make little difference to an angel who should visit our earth, upon which of the two he were sent by the angels' Lord.
Next, at least in our view, to the honor of being one's self a laborious and successful foreign missionary, is that of being permitted to describe and preserve the achievements of other missionaries, and to portray the benign results to society at large, which have been realized by good men and true, on the noble field of Protestant Missionary benevolence in the Pacific. Having steadily aimed to present to his readers none other than the real, which is the hopeful aspect of the missionary life and enterprise at the Sandwich Islands, the author believes that this volume will gain a grateful echo from the great Heart of Christian Philanthropy, as it is a true report from that portion of our common humanity whence it purports to issue.
But in this and three previous volumes, though pleased to minister both pleasure and profit to all our readers, we have written mainly for Seamen; and while aiming to entertain and instruct them, have desired also to cultivate and quicken their perceptions of the true,"the good, the sublime, and the beautiful in man, nature, art, and religion. We have, therefore,
felt justified in making free use of the rich treasures of English poetry,
To point a moral, and adorn a tale.
We have desired, in so doing, to enhance the value of this book to the class of readers for whom it has been made, without lessening its interest for any—
Lectorem delectando simul atque monendo.
With these remarks, while the work is honestly commended to the patronage of all classes, the author would be happy if it might find such favor with the liberal merchant and ship-owner, that they should secure it a place in The Cabin Boy's Locker. The design of furnishing a suitable Literature for the sea, in a convenient, accessible, and cheap form, is one which we have for some time entertained, since observing the lamentable destitution of it on the Ocean. By leave of a gracious Providence, and with aid from others, we mean to do something to supply this deficiency, and to put it out of the power of shipmasters to plead, that they do not know where to procure a suitable Libeaet Foe The Sea.
To them and to their Seamen this volume is accordingly dedicated, as being an humble attempt to furnish something better than the medley of Flash Literature usually found in the Cabin-Locker and the Sailor's Chest.