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of the Sabbath, the only sacred day now recognized amongst them. With others, there is reason to believe it arises from the influence of example, and the respectability it was at this time supposed to impart to individual character. But with many it originates in far higher motives, and is the result of christian principle in regard to what they consider a duty.
A number of instances, strikingly illustrative of this fact, might be adduced; I will, however, only refer to one. A man came to the Monday evening meeting on one occasion, and said his mind was troubled, as he feared he had done wrong. He was asked in what respect; when he answered, that, on the preceding day, which was the Sabbath, when returning from public worship, he observed that the tide, having risen higher than usual, had washed out to sea a large pair of double canoes, which he had left on the beach. At first he thought of taking a smaller canoe, fetching back the larger ones, and fixing them in a place of security; but while he was deliberating, it occurred to his recollection that it was the Sabbath, and that the scriptures prohibited any work. He therefore allowed the canoes to drift towards the reef, until they were broken on the rocks. But, he added, though he did not work on the Sabbath, his mind was troubled on account of the loss he had sustained, and that he thought was wrong. He was immediately told that he would have done right, had he fetched the canoes to the shore on the Sabbath. When, however, it was considered, that perhaps this pair of canoes had cost him nearly twelve months' labour, and that, before they were lost he was comparatively richer than many an English merchant is in the possession of a five or six hundred ton vessel, it appears
a remarkable instance of conscientious regard for the Sabbath-day.
Since the abolition of idolatry, no part of the conduct of the South Sea Islanders has impressed the minds of foreign visitants more forcibly than their attention to the observance of the Sabbath. I never saw any, even the most irreligious, or those unfriendly to Missions, who were not constrained to confess that it surpassed all they had heard or imagined could have been exhibited; while others, more favourably disposed, have publicly declared its effect on their own minds.
When Mr. Crook arrived in 1816, the ship reaching Tahiti on the Sabbath, no canoe put off, no native was seen on the beach, no smoke in any part of the districtand they began to apprehend either that the population had been swept off by some contagious disease, or that they had all gone to battle. At length their fears were removed by one of the party, who had been there before, observing, that it was the Sabbath, and that on that day the natives did not launch their canoes, or light their fires, &c. In 1821, Captain Grimes "was surprised at the regularity and good order observed; the children of the Sabbath-school were ushered in by their teachers in their different classes, with as much uniformity as we see in public schools in London." Several masters of South Sea whalers, captains and officers in his majesty's navy, have borne the most decided testimony to these facts. A naval officer, who was at Tahiti in 1822, stated, that he visited the islands under a considerable degree of prejudice against the Missionaries, and suspicion respecting the reported change among the people,-but that his visit had entirely removed both. It was Friday when the vessel arrived; the natives thronged the ship
with fowls, fruit, vegetables, &c. for sale, manifesting considerable earnestness and address in the disposal of their goods. The same was continued through the second day; but on the third, to the great astonishment of all on board, no individual came near the ship, assigning, afterwards, as a reason, that it was the Sabbath. On the day following, however, the trade was as brisk as it had been on that of their arrival. Captain Gambier, who visited them in the same year, in the extracts from his journal, which have been published, states, in reference to the manner of attending the duties of the Sabbath among the young, that, "The silence—the order preserved-the devotion and attention paid to the subject, surprised and pleased me beyond measure." "Children," he adds, 66 are seen bringing their aged parents to the church, that they may partake of the pleasure they derive from the explanation of the Bible." The general attention to the public worship of God, and the exemplary Christian deportment of many of the people, have proved not only delightful, but beneficial to their visitors; and we have the high and grateful satisfaction of knowing, that occasional and transient visits to the christian islands of the Pacific, have been the means of advantage to the visitors; and there are probably many instances of good, which the revelations of the last day alone will disclose.
It is a privilege to visit a country, and a happiness to live in a community, where the Sabbaths are thus spent, and prove to multitudes
"Foretastes of heaven on earth-pledges of joy
And the bright out-courts of immortal glory!"
This universal observance of the Sabbath-day appears to an Englishman in humiliating contrast with its profanation in many favoured sections of his own country. The contrast is still more striking when compared with the manner in which it is perverted into a season of activity, business, and unwonted gaiety in the pursuit of pleasure, in Catholic countries-but it never appears so surprising as when viewed in comparison with the actual state of the people themselves only a few years ago. No Sabbath had then ever dawned, no happy multitudes met for praise and prayer, no lovely throngs of children. gathered in the Sabbath-schools, no inspired page or christian preacher directed their attention to the Lord of the Sabbath; but when the devotees met for public worship, it was under the gloom of dark overshadowing trees, amid the recesses of some rude temple, before some rustic altar, or in the presence of some deity of frightful form and fearful attributes, the offspring of their own imagination.
Public assemblies during the week-Questional and conversational meeting Topics discussed-The seat of the thoughts and affections-Duty of prayer-Scripture biography and history-The first parents of mankind-Paradise-Origin of moral evil-Satanic influence-A future state -Condition of those who had died idolaters-The Sabbath-Inquiries respecting England-The doctrine of the resurrection-Visits to Maeva -Description of the aoa-Legend connected with its origin-Considered sacred-Cloth made with its bark-Manufacture of native cloth-Variety of kinds--Methods of dyeing-Native matting-Different articles of household furniture.
THE religious services of a general kind, among the natives, during the week, are not numerous. There is one lecture, which is on Wednesday evening.— Numbers assemble at this time, and the exercise we have reason to believe is useful, in keeping alive that interest in matters of religion, which might be diminished by the secular engagements of the week. The following account of one of these meetings is given by Captain Gambier, in the extracts of his journal.
"On Wednesday afternoon we attended a native divine service. It was begun with a hymn; then Mr. Nott, who did duty, prayed extempore for some length, and then read a passage from the Scripture, upon which he preached with great fluency in the Otaheitan language. The church was well attended, though not so full as on Sundays, when it is crowded. Almost all the women, young and old, were habited in the European manner. The most perfect order