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for the worship of the true God. And it appears, by letters which we have lately received from Raiatea and Borabora, that the Boraborans have made converts of their neighbours of Marua. That island is the furthest to the westward of us in this group; and as no one of us was ever there, it was, as might have been expected, the last in renouncing idolatry.
Some pleasing things have occurred in respect of the small islands to the eastward of us, called the Paumotu; these, viz. the inhabitants of Ana, Awara, the Paliseers, and numerous small islands in their neighbourhood, have been for many years past in the habit of visiting Tahite and the Society Islands, and many of them have been witnesses of the wonderful change which has taken place bere. Some have attended school, and learned to read well, and obtain some acquaintance with the principles of Christianity, as contained in our Catechism : but they have all a remarkable attachment to their own islands, miserable as they are ; and, in consequence of several of them having come hither and returned, for some years past, many of their countrymen have renounced Heathenism, and this will probably be the case shortly through all these small islands which have intercourse with us and each other.
The state of things being such, we can say, with more propriety than some perhaps in our native country will be ready to allow, the harvest is truly great, but the labourers are few'-very few, and inadequate to so great a field of labour.
Further intelligence from the South Sea Islands, extracted from the
London Missionary Chronicle for October, 1818. Among the Islands which have lately received the gospel are those usually called the Paumotu, concerning which Mr. Eyre, of Parramatta, has communicated the following particulars.
The Paumotu Islands are situated from about 20 to 40 or 50 leagues to the eastward of Otaheite. Until lately the inhabitants of these Islands were considered as the most barbarous and hostile people known in the South Seas. Their wars were frequent, and cruel in the extreme, and their treatment of captives approaching to cannibalism. They were frequently driven to Otaheite for refuge. Two parties arrived there about the year 1807—the conquering party following the conquered, if possible to exterminate them. Pomare separated them, and gave them land to reside on, but with difficulty restrained them from recommencing hostilities. In person, appearance, and manners, they are far inferior to the Otaheitans. Their language is radically the same as that of Otaheite, but approaches nearer the Marquesan than the Taheitean, having the 8 and k in it, which never occur in the latter.
An awful proof of the barbarous character of this people, says Mr. Eyre, happened whilst I was at Otaheite. The inhabitants of one of the Islands were wholly exterminated by war, after which the barbarians proceeded to destroy all the fruits. That such a
race of men (adds Mr. E.) should be brought to embrace the gospel and feel its power, is a striking accomplishment of the prophecy, that the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard lie down with the kid.'
A further and remarkable account of these people appears in the following extract from Mr. Ellis's Journal. He and his companions, on their voyage to Otaheite, touched, Feb. 2, 1817, at the Island of Tubooi, and bartered for provisions with the natives. Two Europeans who were on the Island informed them that a canoe, bound for Anaa, one of the Paumotu Islands, had recently touched at Tubooi, having been driven out of its course by the northerly winds which had for some time prevailed. The people on board this canoe were forty in number, and had been at Otaheite to receive instruction concerning the true God and the new religion, and were returning to their own country. Some of them had learned to read and write. They were peaceable in their conduct, and strict in their observance of the Sabbath-day. They had exerted their influence to persuade the poor natives of Tubooi to cast away their idols, telling them there is but one true God, viz. Jehovab, and that none can save them from their sins but Jesus Christ. The natives, so far from attending to these instructions, accounted the strangers as enemies because they told them the truth, destroyed their canoe, and forcibly took a musket from them. The natives of the Paumotu Islands, upon being asked why they did not resent these injuries, replied that, had they been heathens, they should have immediately fought with them ; but having become Christians, and embraced a religion which was distinguished for its opposition to war, they were afraid of incurring the displeasure of Jehovah by unnecessarily engaging in it. Happy would it be were the inhabitants of the more civilized parts of the world, who profess the christian religion, on similar occasions, to imitate the conduct of these South Sea Islanders. The two Europeans and three of the strangers who had arrived in the canoe were desirous to go to Otaheite to acquaint Pomare with their misfortunes, and to obtain a large canoe to fetch away their companions from Tubooi.
Extracts from Mr. Ellis's Journal. April 26.-- This afternoon Pomare and the Queen paid us a visit. He was much pleased with the portraits in the Evangelical Magazine, and some prints of Natural History.
May 1.-As we were leaving Timai before day-light, on our return, many of the inhabitants were returning from the bushes, where they had retired for private prayer, which in general they conclude before the sun has risen above the horizon. My bosom glowed with gratitude and love to witness their conscientious attendance on the means of grace, and their apparent fervour when engaged in devotional exercises.
June 5.—Employed, with the assistance of the natives, in digging down the remains of the altars in the neighbouring morais. A se. cret pleasure pervaded my mind wbilst thus engaged. It was delightful to think that they were no longer used in the service of him for whom they were first designed. How little those who polished and placed them there supposed they would ever form part of the floor of a printing-house, from whence would issue the joyful news of that salvation, through a crucified Redeemer, by means of which many should be “turned from dumb idols to serve the living and true God!"
10.-Pomare arrived in the afternoon, to witness the first conposing for the printing-press. He was asked whether he would like to do the first himself ? He answered, Yes. The composing-stick was then put into his hand, and he was directed from whence to take the letters, and how to place them, until he had composed the alphabet, at the beginning of the Taheitean spelling-book. He appeared much pleased on this occasion, as were many of the chiefs who were present.
19.-Pomare, the Queen, and her sister, dined with us to-day. We received from him some important hints respecting the language. He was much pleased with calculating the number of letters in the spelling-book, and surprised on finding that there were 5000 of the letter a only.
DEMERARA. Extract of a Letter from Mr. Smith, Demerara, dated June 4, 1818.
At Le Resouvenir every thing, as far as relates to the state of religion among the negroes, goes on well and promises fair. During my residence here,* I have baptized no less than 170 persons, of which number 120 were adults, and the other 50 were children of various ages, whose parents dedicated them to God when they themselves were baptized. If there be any thing on this side heaven which excites in the heart of a Missionary of Jesus Christ any thing like a fulness of joy, it is to behold whole families of heathens embracing the gospel, and living so as to glorify God. This joy, many of your Missionaries realize ; this joy is mine : and to hear of these things will be the joy of the Missionary Society, and the joy of all those that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. This is interest for the British Christian's money; noble interest it is, for the redemption of the soul is precious!
It affords us, as it will the Directors, great satisfaction to learn that the religious negroes conduct themselves with great propriety. In all my inquiries among the planters concerning the conduct of those of their slaves that come to chapel, I never heard any of them say that religion had spoiled any of them, but most of them say it will spoil them. This is the only reason assigned for their opposition to us. Our congregation continues large, but not so large as it was some time back. This is owing to the planters making the slaves work on Sundays.
* Ahout twn years,
MALTA.' By a letter from the Rev. J. Lowndes, dated July 13, 1918, we are informed, that beside a number of Bibles and Testaments which had been distributed in the course of a year, 6669 Tracts, in the English, Italian, French, Spanish, and Greek languages, had been dispersed. Of these more than 3000 are in the Italian tongue, and the greater part are in the hands of Catholics.
The Italian New Testament, printed at Naples, is more acceptable to the Catholics here than those which are printed in London; but prejudice and superstition are deeply rooted in the hearts of the inhabitants.
The situation of Malta is exceedingly favourable for the promotion of Missionary and Bible objects. Placed in the midst of the Mediterranean Sea, the communication is easy with Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Italy, Turkey, Palestine, Egypt, and the north coast of Africa; and as ships to or from all these and other shores, are frequently touching at Malta, the opportunity here afforded for the distribution of Bibles and Tracts is perhaps superior to almost any other place in the world.
The London Missionary Society is about to send another Missionary, Mr. Wilson, to this island. After his arrival, Mr. Lowndes will be at liberty to proceed, according to the original design of the Directors, to one of the Ionian Islands.
Mr. Drummond lately returned to England from his benevolent visit to the continent. He bas been indefatigable in promoting the diffusion of the scriptures in various places. The Rev. C. Burckhardt is gone, at his expense, to the Levant; and intends to visit Egypt, Jerusalem, Asia Minor, and Greece. We have heard that more than 150 Arabic New Testaments have been distributed in the city of Alexandria.
A gentleman resident among the Greeks informs the Rev. Mr. Jowett, in Malta, that some of his friends, by a serious study of the New Testament, in modern Greek,) have much altered their former opinions. 'Since I knew you,' said an elderly gentleman, 'my worship of saints has grown very cold, but my worship of God much warmer.'
This correspondent says "I have made several openings in our neighbourhood for the introduction of the Bible; say, Gastagui, Prevesa, Ithaca, &c. After many researches, I have at last found one who enters deeply into the views of the British and Foreign Bible Society, assembling the country clergy, and strongly exhorting them to search the Scriptures as the only sure guide. I have great expectations from him.'
IRELAND. THADDEUS CONOLLAN, an Irishman, formerly of the Roman Catholic persuasion, but who, by reading the Scriptures in search of arguments to confirm himself in his creed, became a convert to the protestant religion, has been eminently useful in furthering the cause of the Bible among his countrymen. On receiving the truth himself, he gave to his mother and sisters all his property. He has been twenty-five years wandering from cabin 10 cabin, among the poor native inhabitants, for the benevolent purpose of teaching them to read, and explaining to them the Scriptures. In order to dispose them to learn to read, he exhibits to them their native language in its native character, to which they manifest a strong predilection. He reads to them, in an Irish Bible, some striking passage, calculated to awaken their admiration, and enkindle a desire to peruse the precious volume themselves. He then offers to teach them to read, without reward, on condition that every pupil shall engage to teach twenty-four more. He is careful not to interfere with the religious opinions of any; but let the Bible, with the blessing of the Holy Spirit, do its own work, as it did on his understanding and heart
. He has thus taught, or been the means of teaching, upwards of forty thousand of his poor countrymen, to read that word which is able to make them wise unto salvation.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN
EXTRACTS FROM THE CORRESPONDENCE OF THE
From a Minister in one of the Bahama Islands.
New Providence, January 10, 1818. The books of which you advised me arrived safe and in excellent condition. They have proved a most acceptable supply. I am persuaded the attention of the Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society could not have been directed to a part of his Majesty's dominions which stood more in need of Bibles and Testaments than the Bahama islands. I am happy to say that numbers of families who had no Bible or Testament, (some indeed had a few leaves carefully preserved,) now possess the Book they prize above erery other, and rejoice in their possession. One poor woman told me she never read a chapter in the Testament in her life till she read one in the Testament I let her father have, and that she never received such light as she did from reading it. The Committee would be pleased to see the poor old widows reading their large Testaments ; they consider themselves rich indeed, and they requested me to return their thanks to the Committee for so great a gift; some of them would insist on giving the widow's mite, and some gave sixpence. I beg leave to offer my thanks, and those of the poor people, both whites and blacks, to the Committee, for the Bibles and Testaments I received from them, and pray that God may bless every member of the Committee here and hereafter.
I am happy to inform you, that all the Spanish Testaments are disposed of; forty-eight were sold in one day. My friend, Dr. Dumaresq, who took upon himself the disposal of the whole, having been acquainted with many of the Spaniards, told me, that as soon as they found it to be the New Tes. tament, the avidity with which the books were purchased was beyond description. Dr. Dumaresq has received applications for upwards of a hundred Testaments.
From the Rev. Robert Pinkerton.
Pleskoff, May 30, 1318. On the 25th instant I left St. Petersburg, and commenced my journey into White Russia, by directing my course towards Gatschina, the beautiful summer residence of the late Emperor. Before separating from my dear family and friends, I had the satisfaction of seeing our beloved President, just re