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along. We very much regret the neces- death. O sin, what hast thou done ? sity of leaving even the unfruitful soil of When will He who came to destroy the Rewa, though it may be but for a short works of the devil reign in Feejee ? time; but this appeared to be the path of Thank God, it will be. We have conduty. The famine will be dreadful for tinued drops of prosperity in this Circuit. many months after the war; and as the O for the shower! We are at the town will most likely be reduced to fountain-head of war and cannibalism; ashes, and the people killed or scattered, but what form or degree of depravity can it will be some time before the Mission stand before the omnipotent Spirit of will be established again. It is a sad God? And is He not promised to all thing: we mourn over the few poor flesh? We want more agonizing prayer sheep who are left without a shepherd, as for Feejee. well as over the many who are half We are all well, thank God, and much starved by famine, and have no prospect united. before them but that of a miserable FEEJEE ISLANDS.—Extract of a Letter from the Rev. Thomas Williams,
dated Somosomo, March 7th, 1844. SINCE I last wrote to you, that en. The services of Sunday, September couraging promise made by the Lord to 3d, were rendered peculiarly interesting his servant Jacob, “ Behold, I am with to the few who worship God in this thee, and will keep thee in all places place, by the dedication to the Lord in whither thou goest, and will not leave baptism of Mr. Lyth's daughter and my thee,” has been verified as regards my third son.
Sunday, 17th._The young King atMy introduction to the King Tuitha tended the afternoon service to-day. He kau, and his son Tuiilaila, was gone sang lustily during the first hymn; and through without the occurrence of any at the conclusion of the prayer exa thing remarkable.
claimed, Malea, a Tonguese word, I was rejoiced to find in my new Su- meaning, “ That is good.” O what inperintendent, the Rev. Richard B. Lyth, describable pleasure it would afford us a man fully devoted to the work in which to see this Chief a sincere worshipper of he is engaged ; endeavouring to benefit the one true God ! the little flock confided to his care, by It was on the 1st of October that we administering to them the sincere milk held our first love-feast. Our company of the word ; and to do good to the was a mixed one. It comprised your benighted Heathen, by opening their Missionaries and their wives, four pereyes, and turning them from darkness to sons; three Feejeeans, three Friendly light and from the power of Satan unto Islanders, and one Uean. There were God, that they may receive forgiveness diversities of tongues, but a delightful of sins, and an inheritance among them oneness of heart. The Lord was in our which are sanctified by faith in the Lord midst, and his presence made our paraJesus.
dise. Bless the Lord, that there are a On Sunday, August 20th, 1843, I few in this place who know that they commenced my regular labour in the have “passed from death unto life," and Somosomo Circuit, by inviting weary whose conduct harmonizes with their and heavy-laden sinners to seek rest in profession! We trust the unblamable Jesus. Several Heathen heard with lives of these Christian strangers will attention. In the afternoon I had the produce a beneticial result on the minds pleasure of hearing Mr. Lyth ; but the of some of the poor Heathen in Somonoise made by a company of rude hea. somo. then women marred our service consider. Dec. 10th. I walked to Wailange, a ably. Their tongues were altogether considerable village, about four miles unruly.
distant from Somosomo. Having enThe following Sabbath I went to a tered the entrenchment, I found a comsmall hamlet named Veione; and, not pany of young men engaged in heating being able to collect a congregation, I a native oven. I secured their attention, visited and conversed with such of the and discoursed to them at length on the people as I found in their houses. This advantages resulting from a due observplace is inhabited by those who appear ance of the Sabbath, and of the blessedto be low in every respect. Some of ness of those who know and love God. them informed me that their principal Descending towards the middle of the man was not only their Chief, but their settlement, I took my stand upon an Priest and their god also.
elevation of stones ; sang, prayed, and called upon the people who assembled south-west of Somosomo. The one to hear me to renounce the service of which I purposed visiting first is situated their supposed gods, and engage in the at the extremity of the land in that diservice of Him who hath said, “Beside rection. We had an unpleasant voyage, me there is no god; I know not any." especially towards the close of it, when Some of my hearers (who withal behaved the rain and sudden gusts of wind made well) gave an audible assent to the truth sailing rather difficult. It was near of many of my remarks.
evening when we reached Vuna. FindI visited several of the people, and, ing the public house, or buri, occupied, amongst the rest, the Chief of the place, I waited upon the Chief of the place to a noble old man. During our discourse, ascertain where I and my party were to he said repeatedly, with reference to the take shelter for the night. He gave me gods of Feejee, alou daidai, “ They but a half-welcome, and that was done in are false gods.” Happy would it be for a manner that told me Tui Vuna him, if the expression of his lips was thought himself somebody. After a the conviction of his heart! At a little while, he ordered a man to show me distance from his abode, I fell in with a to my quarters : it was a sad hut, occaconsiderable number of men employed sionally occupied by a man famous in in thatching a temple. As I approached these parts as a skilful doctor and wizard. them, I noticed that the countenances of The poor fellow seemed willing to make some indicated shame, those of others me as comfortable as he could. vexation. However, I knew it to be The evening was too wet to allow of my duty publicly to testify against the my conducting service out of doors : I folly of their proceedings, and urge the therefore endeavoured to improve the claims of my blessed Lord and Master time by instructing the people in the to their hearts and services. This I did King's house ; and a number of adults, amidst considerable opposition, or rather some grey-headed, whom I found in noise. The key-note of an old disturbo their best temple. The latter party ance was given several times, and the heard me speak of our sinful state by cry of " True are the gods of Feejee !” nature, of the necessity of repentance, "Great are the gods of Feejee !” indi and faith in Jesus Christ, with considercated too plainly the determination of able seriousness; and, when I concluded, many to continue in the service of those requested me to continue my discourse gods, a knowledge of whom they had to them. I closed the evening with ser
received by tradition from ” their vice in the house where I expected to “ fathers.”
sleep. The night was a long one to me. 31st.—I had not long returned from My portion of the room pot allowing me an appointment to the country, before I to lie at full length, I was cramped, and was alarmed by the cry of “ Fire !” and, the roof only sheltered me in part from on running out of my house, found that the rain which continued to fall during one end of my kitchen had taken fire. the night. By the prompt application of a tolerable 5th. --At about seven o'clock, A, M., supply of water, the fire was extinguished I conducted service in an mpen space before it had done material injury. Its near the centre of the roro. I took my origin is not very apparent; but I am dis- stand beneath the shade of a large shad. posed to think it attributable to a small dock-tree, and called upon the people to portion of fire conveyed to the thatch by turn from their evil ways, and live. A one of the sudden gusts of wind of Tonguese Assistant seconded my invi. which we had many during the day. tation. About three-score people assem. At the time of its discovery, there were bled to listen to us; whilst others slid only a few embers on the hearth. If it their doors a little to one side, and was the work of an enemy, blessed be peeped at us, as I suppose they would at the name of the Lord who delivered us so many beasts of the forest. I again out of his hand ! Afterwards, I preached proceeded to the temple, where I passed to our usual congregation from Proverbs a part of yesterday evening, and found, ix. 6. It is but just to state, that, as I expected, a number of old and midthough many of the Heathen displayed dle-aged men awaiting their morning their true character, and rejoiced in the draught. I endeavoured to persuade prospect of such an opportunity of plun. them that in serving the devil they in. dering us, there were not wanting amongst jured both their bodies and souls, their them men of better feeling, who gave us families, and the land in which they prompt and efficient assistance.
lived ; but their reply was, “Let our January 4th, 1844.--I set sail, with a Chief embrace religion first, and we will design to visit a settlement or two to the follow."
As it appeared that my further stay gratuitously; but, when the house was amongst this people would be useless, I built, he demanded payment for it in a took my leave of them, and set sail for a very angry manner. much smaller place, named Waitua. The Chief, Ratu-lewe-ni-lovo, hearing At the public service, which I held of my arrival, came at once to welcome as the sun set, most, if not all, of the me, and was speedily followed by his villagers were present, and sat very attendants bearing refreshments. Havquietly. When we returned to the ing eaten together, we sought a retired buri, we held a long discussion on the situation, and I opened to him the purutility or inutility of offerings presented port of my visit. to Feejeean gods. The poor people are Notwithstanding he had acted so inthe King's turtle-fishers; and declared consistently, he acknowledged that the it to be their opinion that it would be arrangements made between Mr. Lyth altogether useless to set their nets with and him were clear, just, and binding. out having previously presented their As I felt satisfied that his covetousness god with an offering of cooked food. was at the root of his desiring a Teacher, They told me of cases in which they had I felt it my duty to let him know that fished when the god was displeased, and we were fully awake to his designs; and all their toil was vain; but they pre- that, should he even succeed in deceiving sented their soro, and then quantities of man, God was fully acquainted with his fish (turtle) came to their net. I endea- conduct and purposes, and would bring voured to convince them that there was him to account respecting them. He but one God to hear and answer prayer, again repeated his oft-asserted determinaand urged upon their attention Him by tion to lotu truly; but I could not for whom all things were created, that are one moment think him sincere. in heaven above, and in the earth be Most of the following morning was neath, and by whom all things consist. devoted to this Chief. He has some They paid some attention ; but, I fear, excellences; but he is so intent upon my " words seemed to them as idle tales, dissembling, that I found it necessary to and they believed them not.” I lay use great plainness of speech in discoursme down amidst an abundance of come ing with him. In dependence upon pany; the small floor on which I lay Almighty God, I endeavoured to undeaffording accommodation (such as it was ceive him on the subject of “gain,” he for ten men, four sitting ducks, and a evidently supposing "that gain is godlifriendly pig : but, being tired, I slept ness.” Another subject which engaged soundly.
our attention was his hypocrisy ; of the 6th.-After a short service, I again inutility of which I endeavoured to contook to my canoe, and the Waitua peo vince him. Against the charge of using ple returned to their gardens. A short his influence privately to prevent the run brought us to Waireke, where I found spread of Christianity, he pleaded “ Not some ten or twelve people, to whom I guilty.” But it is too true, that it is spoke of the evils of idolatry. A man his custom so to exert his authority. who had often heard the word preached As a messenger from Tui Bouma was at Vewa declared his conviction of the going to Lewena, a village a few miles truth of what the Priests of Religion from Bouma, I thought it advisable to teach, but said he dared not lotu, as it send a Teacher with him, to deliver a would bring upon him the displeasure message of mercy to the people there. of his Chief.
The rest of my time was given to visitOn the 31st of this month I set out ing the people in Bouma. In one house with an intention of visiting some of the I was happy enough to meet with three places at the north-east end of the island. Priests : one an aged man : the other two I exchanged a few words with some peo were of manly aspect, and about thirty ple at Wailange, and at about two hours years old. I suppose we conversed togeafter sun-set I reached Wainekele ; but ther for near two hours. They asked it was too late to visit the town, it being me many questions about the antiquity inland. The tide obliged us to be on of the religion taught by us, and apour way at an early hour on February 1st. peared half convinced that at one time We reached Bouma about four o'clock all mankind worshipped the same God, P. M., and I was taken by the Teacher and that he was the only and true God. to his new house, to settle respecting A sick man promised to put himselt which was one of the objects of my pre- under the instruction of the Teacher who sent visit, The Chief who requested a has lately been placed here. Teacher, engaged to build him a house To the oldest Priest I remarked,
“ Perhaps the time is not far distant when observed that in all probability the seryour children will be ashamed at the vice would be over before the drink recollection of their father having been a could be prepared : he hesitated for a Priest to the devil :” he instantly hung moment, and then entered Tui Bouma's down his head, and for a long time re- house, leaving us to take our course. I mained silent.
took my stand so near the house, that he 3d.—The early part of this day was and all within could hear me. As we passed in the company of Ratu-lewe-ni. numbered eight individuals, our singing lovo, and his son, an interesting child was heard by those at a distance, and of about seven years old. His father many came to hear. Several of these says that he is to be a Christian ; and were women and children, who did not when first our Teacher was placed at venture to draw close to the spot occuBouma, the child was placed under his pied by us, because of its nearness to care, and allowed to receive instruction, the great men of the place. To remedy But this was the case for a short time this evil, I spoke in a louder tone than only, his father soon after removing him usual, and, I think, all heard me, from to a distance, that he might be alike free Luke v. 28. I felt it my duty to say a from the benefit of religious instruction, few words to the Chief, on whose ac. and the influence of Christian example. count Ratu-lewe-ni-lovo had excused
During the day I visited two villages. himself; and, this done, I proceeded to At Nasea I found but few people. On a large house set apart for the young inquiring for the Priest of the place, I men of the place. Here I found a good was informed that he had been dead a congregation; and, taking my stand at considerable time, and, as their god had one end of the building, I preached not “entered” any one else, they were Jesus unto them. The young men priestless. To my proposal that our heard with greater attention than I had Teacher should become their Priest, and anticipated, and were either pleased or instruct them to serve the true God amused with our singing ; but I know acceptably, they opposed only their dread not which. of their Chief's anger.
At noon I preached in the Teacher's From hence we proceeded to the vil- house, to him, his family, a second lage of Navutu ; and during a heavy Teacher, and to those Christians who shower of rain I continued in the Chiefs' accompanied me in my canoe, from house, conversing with several persons 2 Cor. iv. 1, 2: “ Therefore seeing we who from motives of curiosity had come have this ministry, as we have received in to see me. When it was fair, I pro. mercy, we faint not,” &c. As the Chief ceeded to an open space, nearly in the Ratu-lewe-ni-lovo was absent, some poor middle of the village, where most of the heathen women came into the house, and inhabitants assembled to hear my mes. stayed throughout the service, to whom sage. A more orderly and attentive I directed a few plain remarks. heathen congregation I never saw. In the afternoon I visited that part of
They heard as though they desired to Bouma named Gota; inhabited by be taught. When the public service strangers, chiefly fugitives from Vuna. was at an end, I conversed with a num I took my stand upon what appeared to ber of adults, chiefly males, and endea have been the mound of a temple in byvoured to ascertain their opinion as to gone days. Our singing drew a great the truth of what I had said to them. number of people about us, who behaved They expressed themselves thus : well during the whole service. They “ Yours are true words.” “We know listened attentively to me, while I you have told us the truth.” “We wish endeavoured to show them that there is our Chief would lotu : then the way only one God, and that he is a God of would be open for us." They promised love. This was the largest congregato listen to the instruction of the Teacher, tion I have yet seen on this island. whenever he should visit them.
The congregation in the remaining Sunday, 4th.Ratu-lewe-ni-lovo had division of the town, Vune-pepe, was of left his own house; but I found him another description, indifferent as to near to that of the principal Bouma number, and worse than indifferent as Chiefs, and invited him to unite with us respects behaviour. Yet, after a time, in the public worship of God. I was these outcasts became more orderly, and neither surprised nor discouraged at his listened attentively while I called upon excusing himself from uniting with us them to “turn from their evil ways, and on account of his having to drink yang- live.” Othat some of the words this gona with the Chief of the place. I day spoken may fall upon good and honest
ground, and bring forth much fruit unto Him, who “ accepteth according to that perfection!
a man hath, and not according to that he As I returned home, I crossed a piece hath not.” 'We buried him to-day. of ground on which a number of young 29th. This day a poor man died who men were dancing. One or two of them for some months past was a member of stepped aside, and with great good-na- the Mission family. His last effort at ture accosted me thus : “ Priest, you speaking was to pronounce the “name to preached to us this morning, and now sinners dear,” Jesus. we will dance to you, if you will stay March 13th.-We were visited with a awhile.” The Teachers visited three hurricane, which, in addition to other villages at the cool of day, and gave in mischief, rent open the roof of my house a good report : the people received them from end to end, and obliged us to seek well, and heard them attentively. Some shelter in the less-exposed habitation of said, “ Come often to instruct us.” Mr. Lyth. He kindly accommodated
5th.-I prepared to take my leave of me and my family until I was able to Ratu-lewe-ni-lovo. From the above ex. get my house into repair, which was not tracts you will learn his character. He until the expiration of a fortnight, or behaved with great kindness to me, and more. We have done the best we could supplied the best of native food in abun- to it; but it is such a slight structure, dance. But it is my confirmed opinion, that a new one must soon be built, that he neither designs nor desires to Such was the effect of the storm upon serve the Lord. Yet the circumstance the vegetable world, that the whole of our having access to this district, island appeared as though it had been and permission to preach the Gospel in exposed to the action of fire. Bouma and the surrounding villages, is 29th.-I returned to my own house. encouraging: it excites our gratitude, At an early hour this morning I accomand encourages our hopes. Many who panied Mr. Lyth to witness the last are “poor” will have the Gospel preached moments of a young man, who, for some unto them; and O' that they may be time past, has been the object of our come rich in faith, and heirs of the king prayerful solicitude. The Lord in mercy dom which He hath promised to them heard prayer, and blessed our labours in that love Him !
his behalf. He repented of the sins of 22d.—During the past three months his youth ; and sought and found salwe have been endeavouring to do good vation through faith in the blood of to the body and soul of a poor afflicted Jesus Christ. During the past ten days, Feejeean, named Dredre. He came to his light, his confidence, and his joy, had this place to be under the care of Mr. gradually increased. We found him Lyth, hoping to benefit by his medical very weak, but able to make a few reskill, and trusting to his friends for such marks, and express his continued asother assistance as he might need. They, surance of an interest in the Redeemer's however, soon deserted him, and but for blood. Feeling his end approach, he your Missionaries he would have been embraced his weeping relatives, his Passtarved or strangled. He was left de- tors, and those friends who were near pendent on his friends for nothing more him. He then distinctly, though feebly, than a resting-place, beneath the shelter said, “You will sit, but I shall go ; I of a deserted hut; but even this they am going ;” and his peaceful spirit took grudged him; so he was removed to the its departure to a better world. SurMission-premises to prevent his being rounded as we are by the darkness of murdered. Whilst there was hope of Heathenism, it was peculiarly refreshing his recovery, Dredre did not pay such to our spirits to witness the happy death attention to spiritual things as we could of this young Christian. We feel enhave wished. As he drew near the couraged to renewed exertion by this grave, he was more attentive to things cheering instance of the power of Christ pertaining to his peace. He would some. to save. We endeavour to sow our times inquire anxiously, whether we seed in the morning, and in the eventhought God would save him ; and to. ing not to withhold our hands, seeing wards the close of his life expressed a plainly that we know “not which hope in his mercy. Having renounced shall prosper, this or that." Abel Heathenism, and professed himself a Vakathere had long attended the minisworshipper of Jehovah, he was, at his try of the word, both in this place and own request, baptized. We were at his at Lakemba, but had manifested a want mat-side when he expired, and are not of decision ; so that it was not very eviwithout hope of his being accepted of dent that he profited by what he heard.