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TIIE DYAKS. « The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.”—Ps. Ixxiv. 20. Ip you will look on the Missionary Map | better in their habits than beasts. They at the other side, you will see a large rove about the woods and mountains like island to the south-east of China, marked wild animals, living on the roots of plants, BORNEO. It is the third largest island in and whatever they can get to support their the world, and contains about 3,500,000 lives ; sleeping under trees by night, and inhabitants. The original inhabitants are often annoying the more peaceful and civilcalled Dyaks. About 2,000,000 of these ized tribes in the valleys round. The other still possess the interior of the island, while Dyaks look on them just as they would on on the coast are several other tribes. Some wild beasts, and go out to hunt them for of these are Malays, others Bugis, both their amusement, as our country squires partially civilized, and engaged in trade hunt the fox. Any of the men that are with other countries, though the Malays taken in these excursions are directly killare fonder of being pirates than regular ed, but the women are generally kept alive. traders. The climate of the island is very The little children are said to be quite unfine and warm, and the soil, in the lower tameable, and, if taken, have generally one parts, unusually rich. The centre of the foot chopped off by their captors, to preisland is mountainous and barren ; but vent their running away to their native down in the valleys, and along the coasts, forests. The women, and such of the childmagnificent woods, and beautiful flow- ren as are thus taken, are kept in a sort ers, and excellent fruits, abound. It is of slavery, and employed to paddle the surrounded by clusters of islands, as you canoes, and carry heavy burdens, but are may see, which so shut in the little seas never treated better than we treat dogs and and bays around it, as to make their wa- horses. ters as calm and smooth as those of inland Other tribes of Dyaks are engaged in lakes. It is a lovely sight to stand on cultivating the land, and collecting the some of the shores about these seas, and produce of the country, such as camphor, watch the movements of the many native bees-wax, gold-dust, &c. which they either vessels and canoes engaged so busily upon sell to strangers who come to their shores, them, as they are either coming in, laden or send off in their native vessels to other with the produce of other islands, or going neighbouring lands. out, bearing forth the productions of their All the Dyaks, however, are more or less own. Beautiful, however, as the island cruel and savage, and some of their cusand its scenery may be, it is after all one toms will prove it. One of their most of " the dark places of the earth, and full common practices is that of “ head-huntof the habitations of cruelty.”

ing.Every man must have procured at The Dyaks, mentioned above as the least one human head before he can marry; original inhabitants, and still inhabiting and no lady amongst them would condethe interior, are a most cruel and barbar- scend to take the man, for her partner in ous set of savages. They are divided into life, who could not shew her one or more different tribes, and vary much, according such heads he had himself procured ; the to these tribes, as to their character and more, the better she would think of him. conduct. Some are quite wild, and others The poor victim that they kill for the sake more civilized. The wild Dyaks are little of getting his head is not necessarily their


39 enemy. He may be their friend. They sionaries are now labouring to do them do not kill him because they hate him, or good, but as yet have had only small suebecause he has offended them, but only to cess. get his head. Hence nobody is safe. All The Dyaks are of course heathen, and the men are ever seeking heads. They lie are idolaters, but seem to have very little in wait on the road side, and attack any religious belief. They can scarcely be said one that passes to chop off his head ; and to have any idea of God; but they worship the Dyak who can produce his twenty, their ancestors and great men, who have thirty, or fifty heads, is thought a great distinguished themselves by daring exand honourable man. Indeed, they mea- ploits, cutting off heads, &c. Whenever sure a man's consequence and honour_by such persons die they make a wooden image the number of heads he possesses. The of him, varying from twenty inches to three American Board of Missions sent Mission- feet in height. When finished, they call aries to these people some years ago, and the people together, and hold a feast of they have given us sad accounts of this consecration, and then set him amongst practice. The people in the village where the others. These images are looked on they lived boasted of the number of heads as patron gods, whose business it is to they had taken, and brought in several watch over and prosper the cultivation of fresh ones every year. In the verandah of rice, &c. They are generally kept in a the house where they lodged, there were shelter erected for them, but are brought fifteen or twenty suspended from the roof; out at the time of planting the rice, and some directly over the places where they are set with their faces towards the field slept. On one occasion they tried to pro- until the harvest is gathered in. The only cure one of these heads to send home, but act of worship apparently paid them, is the natives refused to give them up. They offering them food once a month. think they act like charms to ward off evil. How different, dear children, is your lot The Missionaries tried to shew them the to that of these poor Dyaks! No one is wickedness and cruelty of the practice; but seeking your head, but all are trying to they laughed at them, and defended it as make you happy. No cruel master is makan honourable thing.

ing you his slave; but Jesus is waiting to With all this cruelty there are also some make you his child-an heir of glory-a good things about their character. They little prince to God. Oh! how thankful are very industrious, and honest, and hos- you ought to be that God has been so kind pitable. Strangers are kindly treated by to you, and how anxious to send the gospel them, and, it is said, are quite safe in re- to those who know it not, to save them siding amongst them. Accordingly, Mis- from their wretched state !


I THANK the goodness and the grace,

Which on my birth have smild;
And made me in these Christian days,

A happy English child.
I was not born as thousands are,

Where God was never known;
And taught to pray a useless prayer

To blocks of wood and stone.

I was not born a little slave,

To labour in the sun;
And wish I were but in my grave,

And all my labour done.
My God, I thank thee, thou hast plann'd

Some better lot for me ;
And plac'd me in this happy land,
Where I may hear of Thee.




“ Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not.”—Mark x. 14.

I SHALL close my little sermon on these But again, I may encourage you, words by saying a few things on the third 3. By telling you of many that have point I laid down at its beginning, viz. come, and have been most cordially re

ceived. III. The ENCOURAGEMENT you have to There was Mary Magdalene, a very wickcome.

ed woman, and you know how she came And here I might encourage you to and got entire pardon. There was Zacome,

cheus the publican, a very unjust person, 1. By telling you of the kindness, and and you have read how Jesus received him, gentleness, and power of Him that invites and brought salvation to his house. There you to come, Read over what I said of was the dying thief, who cried to Jesus on this before, and then say, does not the the cross, and you know how welcome he thought of Jesus being so good and kind was made. There was Saul of Tarsus, the make you feel encouraged to come and blasphemer and persecutor, and yet Saul of give up your heart to him? Oh, yes! I Tarsus was forgiven when he came to think it must ?

Christ. And shall he not receive a little But, as I have already said enough or boy or a little girl that comes to him in this matter, I must now encourage you by simple faith? Oh, yes ! I am sure he will, other means.

for he has received many, very many of 2. By telling you of his promises. them already. I have seen little boys and

You know he cannot tell an untruth. girls that came to Christ. I have heard When he speaks he means what he says, them say, they knew he had pardoned all and when he promises he is sure to fulfil their sins, and I have been told how happy Well, he has promised to help you. Here they were made ; and He, my dear little are some of his promises : “ Him that friend, that saved them, is willing to save eometh unto me I will in nowise cast out,” you, and says, in sweetest language, “ SufJohn vi. 37. “Come unto me all ye that fer the little children to come unto me, and labour, and are heavy laden, and I will forbid them not." give you rest,” Matt. xi. 28. “ Let the Oh! shall he call to you in vain ? No! wicked forsake his way, and the unrigh- never! say now, teous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy up

Lord take my heart, and whatsoe'er is mine;. on him ; and to our God, for he will abun

Beloved Saviour, I'll be only thine ;

Seal thou my breast, and let me bear dantly pardon,” Isa. lv. 7.

These are The pledge of love for ever there !" his promises, and hence we should be encouraged to come.

I pray that it may be so !-Amen.

Price 3d. or 4d. per dozen. Published by J. GALL & SON, 38 North Bridge, Edinburgh. G. GALLIE, Glasgow. W. M'COMB, Belfast. J. ROBERTSON, Dublin.


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CUSTOMS IN REFERENCE TO THE DEAD. In my different stories about God's work | month mention some of their customs about in this paper, some references have been, the dead. These are described by the and will still be made to peculiar customs, Missionaries who first visited them. which I cannot stay properly to describe ; The South Sea islanders, like all saand, to meet this, it is my intention to give vage and heathen nations that we read some notices, in distinct chapters, of such about, were much afraid of death. They customs, with here and there a picture to fancied that as soon as the spirit left the illustrate their meaning.

body, it was seized by demons, and carried I begin with the South Seas, and this into a place, where it was eaten by the June 1845.


43 gods, not at once, but by degrees. They there. The hole was then filled up, and imagined also that it was scraped with a the people fancied the sins were buried. shell at different times, and that, after be- After this, all the persons who had assisted ing eaten three different times, it became in the ceremonies washed themselves and an immortal spirit, and was allowed to their clothes in the sea, and then returned come back to the world and visit others. to their homes. Their horror of death, and their dark no- If the dead were a man of great rank tions of a future state, made them perform and wealth, a priest was generally hired to many singular rites when any person died. attend at the bier or stage for some months, As soon as a person died, rites were per- and perform additional ceremonies from formed to find out the cause of it; and if time to time ; but I have named the prin this was declared by the priests to be from cipal connected with the burial. the anger of the gods, other ceremonies The poor Tahitians used to connect with were gone through to prevent the destruc- the death of their relatives some most cruel tion of his friends. The bodies of great praetices. They wailed and howled in the men, such as chiefs, were preserved, as most affecting tones, tore their hair, rent long as possible, from destruction, by being their garments, and cut themselves with embalmed; but those of the common peo- shark's teeth, or knives, in the most shockple were burned. The manner of embalm- ing manner. Their appearance at such ing the dead was very simple. They took times was most distressing and frightful, out certain parts, and dried them in the as with torn hair, and smeared all over with sun. They dried the body well, filled it blood, they howled and jumped about like with cloths soaked in sweet scented oils, madmen. Sometimes this grief was shewn, and rubbed it all over with the same. not only by the family, but an entire vil'Thus embalmed, the body was then placed lage ; and if a chief, an entire district, or upon a sort of stage, with a shed over it, an entire island. Sometimes also their and left to dry or decay in the sun. A lit- grief rose so high that they could only tle altar was sometimes erected near it, find a way to express it by beating one and the friends and relatives brought offer- another with clubs and stones, which someings of fruits and flowers every day for times led to quarrels, and at last to mur. several months. The picture at the head ders. of this Paper will give you a right idea of How different is such conduct to that we the shed. The woman is intended for a might now see amongst many of these very near relative presenting her offering. The people! All now is quietness and resignalaying of the corpse upon the stage was tion; and you can see the Christian burial, connected with many singular rites, one of and the religious ceremony, just the same which consisted in digging a hole near one as in our own favoured land. Let us pray of the posts, and burying in it the dead that very soon every island may be enman's sins. This was done by a priest lightened by the gospel, and that all these offering up a prayer, as soon as the hole foolish and cruel customs may for ever pass was dug, that all his sins might be east in laway.

HEATHEN CRUELTY. I am going, my dear young friends, to in order to stimulate you to seek more and tell you a little story, which is quite true, more earnestly the extension of the Re. about the poor degraded heathens in India, | deemer's kingdom.

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