תמונות בעמוד

When, at a future period, another offering is required, they sever the second joint of the same finger; and when a third or fourth is demanded, they amputate the same bones of the other little finger : and when they have no more joints which they can conveniently spare, they rub the stumps of their mutilated fingers with rough stones, until the blood streams from the wound.

The system of presenting human victims did not prevail at the Navigators; but at the Hervey group, and still more at the Tahitian and Society islands, it was carried on to an extent truly appalling.

At a ceremony called Raumatavehi-raa, the feast of restoration, no less than seven human victims were always required. This festival was celebrated after an invading army had driven the inhabitants to the mountains, and had desecrated the marae by cutting down the branches of the sacred trees, and cooking their food with them, and with the wooden altars and decorations of the sacred place. As soon as the retirement of the invaders allowed the refugees to leave their hiding place, their first object was to celebrate this “ Feast of Restoration,” which was supposed to restore the marae to its previous sanctity, and to reinstate the god in his former glory.

A few years ago a very sacred relic was sent to England, called Maroura, or the Red Sash. This was a piece of net-work about seven inches wide and six feet long, upon which the red feathers of the paroquet were neatly fastened. It was used at the inauguration of their greatest kings, and the most honourable appellation which a chief could receive was, Arii maro ura, “King of the Red Sash.” A new piece, about eighteen inches in length, was attached at the inauguration of every sovereign ; to accomplish which several human victims were required.

The first was for the mau raa titi, or the stretching it upon pegs, in order to attach to it the new piece. Another was necessary for the fatu raa, or attaching the new portion; and a third for the piu raa, or twitching the sacred relic off the pegs. This not only invested the sash itself with a high measure of solemn importance, but also rendered the chiefs who wore it most noble in public estimation.

Human victims were also invariably offered on the eve of war. The following is a brief relation of the circumstances under which the very last Tahitian victim was slain, and presented to the gods. Pomare was about to fight a battle which would confirm him in, or deprive him of, his dominions. To propitiate the gods, therefore, by the most valuable offerings he could command was with him an object of the highest concern. For this purpose, rolls of native cloth, pigs, fish, and immense quantities of other food were presented at the maraes ; but still a tabu, or sacrifice was demanded. Two messengers were sent by Pomare to the house of the victim, whom he had marked for the occasion. On reaching the place, they asked the wife where her husband was. She replied, that he was planting bananas.

'Well,” they continued, “we are thirsty, give us some cocoa-nut water.” She told them that she had no nuts in the house, but that they were at liberty to climb the trees, and take as many as they desired. They then requested her to lend them the o, which is a piece of iron-wood, about four feet long, and an inch and a half in diameter, with which the natives open the cocoa-nut. She cheerfully complied with their

wishes, little imagining that she was giving them an instrument with which they intended to destroy her husband. Upon receiving the o, the men left the house, and went in search of their victim. The woman having become rather suspicious, followed them shortly after, and reached them just in time to see her husband struck down. She rushed forward, but she was immediately seized and bound hand and foot, while the body of her husband was placed in a long basket made of cocoa-nut leaves, and borne from her sight. While the men were carrying their victim to the marae, he recovered from the stunning effect of the blow he had received. The men then laid him down on the ground, placed a stone under his head, and with another, beat it to pieces. In this state they carried him to their “savage gods."

As soon as the priest announced that a human sacrifice was required, the king despatched messengers to the chiefs of the various districts; and upon entering a dwelling, they would inquire whether the chief had a broken calabash at hand, or a rotten cocoa-nut. These and similar terms were invariably used, and well understood, when such applications were made. It generally happened that the chief had some individual on his premises, whom he intended to devote to this horrid


When, therefore, such a request was made, he would notify by a motion of the hand or head, the individual to be taken. The only weapon with which these

procurers of sacrifices were armed, was a small round stone concealed in the hollow of their hand. With this they would strike their victim a stunning blow upon the back of the head, when others, who were in readiness, would rush and destroy the victim.

At other times, the king's gang of desperadoes would arm themselves with spears, surround the house of their victim, and enjoy the sport of spearing him through the apertures between the poles which encircled the house. There were various other occasions on which victims were presented. At Rarotonga, two victims were invariably offered at the birth of the son of a principal chief.

When one person had been selected from a family as a victim all the other male members of it were looked upon as devoted to the same horrid purpose. It availed them nothing, if they removed to another island, for the reason of their removal was soon known there; and whenever a sacrifice was required, it was sought amongst them.

The Polynesians believed in the existence of a future state, but they were ignorant of the value and immortality of the soul, and knew not that eternity would be the measure of its sorrows or its joys.

The Tahitians believed that there were two places for departed spirits : one called Roohutu noanoa, or the sweet-scented Roohutu, which in many points resembled the paradise of the Rarotongans; and the other was Roohutu namunamua, or foul-scented Roohutu, their description of which is too disgusting to be inserted.

The Rarotongans represented their paradise as a very long house, encircled with beautiful shrubs and flowers, which never lost their bloom or fragrance, and whose inmates enjoyed unwithering beauty and perpetual youth. These passed their days without weariness or alloy, in dancing, festivity, and merriment. The hell of the Rarotongans consisted in their being compelled to crawl round this house, observing the pleasures of its A pig


inmates, while racked with intense but vain desires of admittance and enjoyment. The heaven of the Samoa islanders seems to have nearly resembled that of the Rarotongans.

In order to secure the admission of a departed spirit to future joys, the corpse was dressed in the best attire the relatives could provide ; the head was wreathed with flowers, and other decorations were added. was then baked whole, and placed upon the body of the deceased, surrounded by a pile of vegetable food. After this, the father would thus address the corpse -“My son, when you were alive, I treated


with kindness, and when you were taken ill, I did my best to restore you to health ; and now you are dead, there's your momoe o, or property of admission. Go, my son, and with that gain an entrance into the palace of Tiki, and do not come to this world again to disturb and alarm us.” The whole would then be buried; and if they received no intimation to the contrary within a few days of the interment, the relatives believed that the pig and the other food had obtained for him the desired admittance. If, however, a cricket was heard on the premises, it was considered an ill

They would utter dismal howlings, and exclaim, “Oh, our brother ! his spirit has not entered the paradise ; he is suffering from hunger; he is shivering with cold !” Forth with the grave would be opened, and the offering repeated. This was generally successful.

The Tiji islanders present most costly sacrifices. Their chiefs have from twenty to a hundred wives, according to their rank. At the interment of a principal chief, the body is laid in state upon a spacious lawn, in the presence of an immense concourse of spectators. The principal wife, after the utmost ingenuity of the natives has been exercised in adorning her person, then walks out, and takes her seat near the body of her husband. A rope is passed round her neck, which eight or ten powerful men pull with all their strength, until she is strangled, and dies. Her body is then laid by that of the chief. In this manner four wives are sacrificed, and all of them are then interred in a common grave, one above, one below, and one on either side of the husband. This is done, that the spirit of the chief may not be lonely in its passage to the invisible world ; and that, by such an offering, its happiness may be at once secured.

Infanticide is closely connected with the religion of Polynesia ; the extent to which it once existed may be gathered from the following particulars :

The practice of infanticide did not prevail either at the Navigators or Hervey Groups; but the extent to which it was carried at the Tahitian and Society Islands almost exceeds credibility. Prior to the introduction of Christianity, in the last-mentioned group, there were few females that had borne children who had not destroyed some of them, and frequently as many as from five to ten.

On one occasion, three women, who had been converted to Christianity, were asked how many children they had destroyed. The first woman replied, with a faltering voice, “I have destroyed nine;" the second, with eyes suffused with tears, said, “I have destroyed seven ;” and the third said that she had destroyed five.

On another occasion, the wife of a chief was visited in dying circumstances. She had professed Christianity for many years. She expressed

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great remorse on account of the crimes she had committed when in an unenlightened state, she exclaimed, “Oh, my children, my murdered children! I am about to die, and I shall meet them all at the judgmentseat of Christ." Being asked how many children she had destroyed, she replied, “I have destroyed sixteen!”

Affecting scenes were sometimes witnessed at the examination of the school children. One of these occurred at Raiatea. Upwards of six hundred children were present, and they walked through the settlement in procession. The children had prepared flags, with such mottoes as the following: “What a blessing the Gospel is !”—“Had it not been for the Gospel, we should have been destroyed as soon as we were born." On this occasion a venerable chieftain, grey with


addressed those present. This chief was an arioi of the highest rank, and the laws of his class required the destruction of all his children. He exclaimed, “Oh that I had known that the Gospel was coming, then I should have saved my children, and they would have been among this happy group; but, alas ! I destroyed them all ; I have not one left.” This chieftain had been the father of nineteen children.

One of the numerous modes of infanticide was, to put the babe in a hole covered with a plank to keep the earth from pressing it, and to leave it, there to perish.

Various reasons were assigned for the inhuman practice of infanticide. The first cause alleged was their wars. These were so frequent, sudden, and desolating, that to avoid the horrors and distress thus entailed on those who had families, they destroyed many of their children.

A second cause was inequality of station. If a woman of rank was united to a man of inferior grade, the destruction of two, four, or six infants was required to raise him to an equality with her; and when this had been effected, the succeeding children were spared.

A third adduced for the practice was, that nursing impaired the personal attractions of the mother, and curtailed the period during which her beauty would continue to bloom.

The modes by which they destroyed their children were truly affecting. Sometimes they put a wet cloth upon the infant's mouth ; at others they pinched their throats until they expired. A third method was, to bury them alive. And a fourth was, if possible, still more brutal. The moment the child was born they broke the first joints of its fingers and toes, and then the second. If the infants survived this agonising process, they dislocated its ancles and wrists; and if the powers of endurance still continued, the knee and elbow joints were then broken. This would generally terminate the tortures of the little sufferer; but if not, they would resort to the second method of strangulation.



ARIANS derive their name from Arius, a presbyter of Alexandria, who flourished about the year 315. He maintained that the Son was totally and essentially distinct from the Father ; that he was the first and noblest of all those beings, whom God the Father had created out of nothing, the instrument by whose subordinate operation the Almighty Father formed the universe, and therefore inferior to the Father both in nature and dignity. The Holy Spirit, he maintained, was created by the Son. In modern times, the term Arian is indiscriminately applied to those who consider Jesus simply subordinate to the Father.

DUNKERS, or TUNKERS, so called from a German term, implying their baptizing by immersion, a practice prevalent among them. Their founder was Conrad Peysæl, a German Baptist, who, weary of the world, retired to an agreeable solitude, about fifty miles from Philadelphia, where gathering around him a colony, he carried out his peculiar notions on religion. The chief tenet of this sect is, that future happiness is only to be obtained by penance and outward mortification, so as that, Jesus Christ, by his meritorious sufferings, became the Redeemer of mankind in general, so each individual of the human race, by a life of abstinence and restraint, may “work out his own salvation.” Nay, it is said, they admit of works of supererogation. They use the same form of government, and the same discipline, as the English Baptists do, except that every person is allowed to speak in the congregation, and their best speaker is usually ordained to be minister. They have also deacons, and deaconesses from among their ancient widows, who may use all their gifts, and exhort at stated times.

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HUMANITARIANS, a term applied to those modern Socinians, who maintain the simple humanity of Jesus Christ; or, that Jesus was mere man, and naturally fallible and peccable, as Moses, or any other prophet.” Many of the Socinians of the present day are of this faith,

JERKERS, or BARKERS, a set of schismatics, who arose in Kentucky, and adjoining parts, about the year 1803, during and following a remarkable effusion of the Spirit, and who manifested their zeal in an extraordinary manner, by falling down, rolling, shouting, jerking, dancing, barking, &c. They were originally composed of Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists. In process of time, they separated from their respective

* The manuscript having extended considerably beyond the author's expectations, he finds himself obliged to reject a large portion of the matter prepared for this part of the volume. But as the value and interest of the work may be found to be enhanced by the change, he trusts his readers will admit the apology.

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