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migrations and vicissitudes of the human family, from the remote antiquity of its occurrence to the present time, is a most decisive evidence of the authenticity of revelation. The brief yet satisfactory testimony to this event, preserved in the oral traditions of a people secluded for ages from intercourse with other parts of the world, is adapted to furnish strong additional evidence that the scripture record is irrefragable. In several respects, the Polynesian account resembles not only the Mosaic, but those preserved by the earliest families of the postdiluvian world, and supports the presumption that their religious system has descended from the Arkite idolatry, the basis of the mythology of the gentile nations. The mundane egg is conspicuous in the cosmogony of some of the most ancient nations. One of the traditions of the Hawaiians states, that a bird deposited an egg (containing the world in embryo) upon the surface of the primeval waters. If the symbol of the egg be supposed to refer to the creation, and the bird is considered a corrupted memorial of the event recorded in the sacred writings, in which it is said, "The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters," the coincidence is striking. It is no less so, if it be referred to the ark, floating on the waters of the deluge. The sleep of Ruahatu accords with the slumber of Brama, which was the occasion of the crime that brought on the Hindoo deluge. The warning to flee, and the means of safety, resemble a tradition recorded by Kaempfer, as existing among the Chinese. The canoe of the Polynesian Noah has its counterpart in the traditions of their antipodes, the Druids, whose memorial states the bursting of the waters of the lake Lleon, and the overwhelming of the face of all lands, and drown
ing all mankind excepting two individuals, who escaped in a naked vessel, (a vessel without sails,) by whom the island of Britain was re-peopled. The safety which the progenitors of the Peruvian race are said to have found in caves, or the summits of the mountains, when the waters overflowed the land, bears a resemblance to the Hawaiian; and that of the Mexican, in which Coxcox, or Tezpi and his wife, were preserved in a bark, corresponds with the Tahitian tradition. Other points of resemblance between the Polynesian account, and the memorial of the deluge preserved among the ancient nations, might be cited; but these are sufficient to shew the agreement in the testimony to the same event, preserved by the most distant tribes of the human family.
General state of society-Former modes of living-Proposed improvement in the native dwellings-Method of procuring lime from the coral-rock-First plastered houses in the South Sea Islands-Progress of improvement-Appearance of the settlement-Described by Captain Gambier-Sensations produced by the scenery, &c.-Irregularity of the buildings-Public road-Effect on the surrounding country-Duration of native habitations-Building for public worship-Division of public labour-Manner of fitting up the interior-Satisfaction of the peopleChapel in Raiatea-Native chandeliers-Evening services.
THE change which had taken place in Tahiti and Eimeo, in consequence of the abolition of idol worship, had been exceedingly gratifying, as it regarded the general conduct of the people, their professed belief in the truth of revelation, and their desire to regulate their lives by its injunctions; but the visible change which resulted from the establishment of the Missions in Huahine and Raiatea, was more striking, and did not fail to attract the notice, and command the approbation, of the most superficial observer.
We did not deem what is usually termed civilization essential to their receiving the forgiveness of sin, enjoying the favour of God, exercising faith in Christ, and being after death admitted to the heavenly state; yet we considered an improvement of their circumstances, and a change in their occupations, necessary to their
consistent profession of Christianity, and the best means. of counteracting that inveterate love of indolence to which from infancy they had been accustomed. Habits of application were also essential to the cultivation and enlargement of intellect, the increase of knowledge, and enjoyment in every department and every period of the present life. This was peculiarly desirable in reference to the rising generation, who were to be the future population, and who would arrive at years of maturity, under circumstances and principles as opposite as light and darkress to those under which their parents had been reared. Under these impressions, those who were stationed in the Leeward Islands, next to the attention they paid to religious instruction, directed their attention to the advancement of civilization among the people, and the improvement of their temporal condition. We had already persuaded them to extend the culture of the soil beyond the growth of the articles necessary for their support during the season when the bread-fruit yielded no supply, and to raise cotton and productions, which they might exchange for clothing, tools, &c. We now directed them to the improvement of their dwellings, which, generally speaking, were temporary sheds, or wide unpartitioned buildings, by no means favourable to domestic comfort or Christian decency.
When we landed at Fare in Huahine, I do not think there were more than ten or twelve houses in the whole district. Four, besides those we occupied, were of considerable size, belonging to the chiefs; the others were mere huts. In the latter, the inmates took their food, and rested upon their mats spread upon the floor, which, had it been simply of earth, would have been
comparatively clean and comfortable. The temporary roof of thatch was often pervious to the rays of the sun, and the drops of the frequently descending shower. In these cabins, parents, children, dogs, and frequently pigs and fowls, passed the night, and the greater part of the day. The houses of the chiefs were better built, and more capacious. The roofs generally impervious, and the sides, frequently enclosed with straight white poles of the hibiscus tree. Their interior, however, was but little adapted to promote domestic comfort. The earthen floor was usually covered with long grass. This, by being repeatedly trodden under foot, became dry, broken, and filled with dust, furnishing also a resort for vermin, which generally swarmed the floors in such numbers, as to become intolerable. In these - houses the people took their meals, sitting in circles on the grass-spread floor. Here, the fresh water used in washing their hands, the cocoa-nut water which was their frequent beverage, and the sea-water in which they dipped their food, was often spilt. Moisture induced decay, and although over these parts of the floor they often spread a little fresh grass, yet many places in the native houses frequently resembled a stable, or a stableyard, more than any thing else..
In the drier parts of the house, along each side, the inmates slept at night. However large the building might be, there were no partitions or skreens. Some of their houses were two hundred feet long, and on the floor, hundreds have, at times, lain down promiscuously to sleep. They slept on mats manufactured with palmleaves, spread on the ground. These mats were generally rolled up like a sailor's hammock in the morning, and spread out at night. The chief and his wife usually