Images de page



TILL missionaries' feet made glad

The solitudes by sin made sad;

Till songs to Christ took place of cries,
Shrieked o'er the monarch's sacrifice,-

No good was there,-no Godhead's beam,
No light did o'er the future gleam.


The trail from Kailua--Observed wealth of nature-Insight of the spiritual through the veil of the natural-Analogy drawn and lessons derived-We view the ocean from on high-Coffee plantation of a man from Maine-A relic from the times of Kamehameha the Great-The premises of a missionary heave in sight-Primitive hospitality-City of refuge at Honaunau--The Iona of Hawaii--Ellis's account of it quarter of a century ago--The hideous corpse of paganism--The deeds of despots-Legendary exploit of an Hawaiian Gracchus--Sole feature of humanity in the systein of paganism--Human sacrifices-Numbers once immolated--Last at Kealakekua-Comparison of Christianity with paganism-Incredible change-The theme of song-The transforming agent-Investment of a Massachusetts wheelwright-How to make eighteen hundred per cent. by a donation to missions-Death and life springing from the same Bay of Kealakekua-Sketches of Obookiah-Providential voyage to America, and adoption at Cornwall-Other links in the chain of Providence-Adventures of Thomas Hopu-Hopes from the Cornwall school-Natural disappointment-The Heart of the Pacific in 1820 and 1850-Blessedness of the


In order that we may survey in this Chapter more minutely an interesting portion of the Hawaiian Heart of the Pacific, I will take the reader upon my trail from Kailua, Hawaii, to Kealakekua, on the same great Island. The path runs, for six miles along the sea, through villages of cocoanut-palm groves, from which the bronzed inhabitants, with little else than the habil



iments of nature, peeped and stared upon a stranger, as I came that way, with curious eyes. I passed two snug little bays that used to be favorite resorts of Kamehameha the Great, in one of which was his bathing-place, tabu to every one else, and the heiau and house of his favorite war-god Kaili.

At Kiauhou, the path turned inland two miles, up a rugged hill of lava, in ascending which, the beast I rode made as much ado as if he had been brought up on a Brussels carpet or an English lawn, instead of the hoof-hardening pastures of Kailua. The path was slightly worn by the bare feet of the natives, much as the stone toe of St. Peter at Rome is kissed smooth by the worshippers of baptized Jupiter Capitolinus. On both sides were heaps and depressions of rough scoria and slag, great boulders of lava, black broken masses, crumbling cylinders, and spheroidal volcanic stones, the surface of which had been fused, and in some places had peeled off like a crust or shell, while the centre of some of them was of a dark-blue color and compact texture, and did not appear to have been at all affected by the fire which had reduced the surface.

Jammed into clefts of lava, where there seems not a particle of sand or earth, you may see there the splendid pink-white caper, (capparis,) with its hundred stamens, and delicious odor, and light-green leaves, lavishing alone its fragrance and beauty upon rough, unsightly rocks. Even so, perhaps Jeremy Taylor would say, have I seen beauty adorning the face of deformity, virtue flourishing amid vice, and the wealth


of warm affections and generous natures spent unpaid upon selfish, sterile hearts. So, I would rather say, is the way of benignant nature to show the affluence of her resources, to reveal the might and glory of a crea tive, wonder-working God.

"She has a world of ready wealth,

Our minds and hearts to bless;

Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,

Truth breathed by cheerfulness."

No one who has been through the barren parts of Hawaii, or East Maui, can fail to have noticed this. beautiful shrub; how, as by elective affinity, it chooses those unwatered, desolate tracts of lava, where there is not a green thing else to sympathize with it, or be its rival. There have I often observed it cheerfully exhaling its odors and hues, not unheeded by God and his angels, though unnoticed of men. Even like a retiring, virtuous woman

Wisely she shuns the broad way and the green,

And with those few is eminently seen,

That labor up the hill of heavenly truth.

Her care is fixed, and zealously attends

To fill her odorous lamp with deeds of light,
And hope that reaps not shame."

A half hour of such travel, as slow as it could be and yet be called motion, brought me in sight of silvery kukuis and the oak-green bread-fruit tree, with its eight-lobed leaves and golden fruit. At half past ten I reached a beautiful table-land, where, by the lapse of



time and the action of frequent rains, the lava has become disintegrated, and covered over with a prolific soil. The sight of the plain of ocean, noiseless in the distance, whitened here and there by the sail of a fishing-canoe, and extending off in its azure glory, till it seemed to rise up into an eminence high as that I was riding upon, was very beautiful.

I stopped a while to rest at the place of a man from Maine, who was discharged here from a ship in 1811, and entered into the service of Kamehameha, who gave him his lands. In the evening of his days he has become a member of the church. When under discipline, a few years ago, for intoxication, he was addressed by a Romish priest at Kailua: "The missionaries have turned you out of the church for drinking, have they?" "Yes," he replied. "I deserved it; for I could not go to the table of the Lord defiled with sin."

The Jesuit rejoined, "You have committed no crime. God is willing we should enjoy ourselves, and what is the harm of drinking a little brandy? God will forgive you. These missionaries are keeping you in fetters and superstition. I wish to see you at liberty and enjoy yourself. If you will only join my church, I will pledge my honor that you shall never be turned out." Disgusted with such a gross attempt to flatter and seduce him, the man retorted, somewhat warmly, “Yes; and I suppose the devil would not turn me out of hell, if he got me there!" He is now restored, and is living in good standing with the native church.

Coffee is being extensively cultivated by this man and his son-in-law. The tree, laden with fruit and ruffled leaves, its branches proceeding from the trunk horizontally, and filled out to the end with red coffee-berries, looking very much, when ripe, like the cranberry, is a very beautiful specimen of tropical vegetation, deserving to be cultivated for its looks alone. The tree here is said to be from twenty months to three years in attaining its maturity. It will then bear, I am told, two crops a year for twenty years. It is usually cut off at the top when about five and a half or six feet high, and will then produce about a peck of berries at a time, or ten pounds of dried coffee annually, which sells here for two reals or more a pound.

After a delay at this plantation of a couple of hours, I proceeded hither by a path shaded with ohias, breadfruit, and kukuis. Long before reaching it, the missionary establishment hove in sight, with its thatched roofs and whitened walls, and an air of taste and cultivation giving just promise of hospitality, intelligence, and piety. My guide and baggage-carrier had reached here before, so that I found a room and entertainment ready, with a missionary's cordial welcome to it. Would that every Christian wayfarer could find wheree'er he wanders, for health or to do God's will, hospitality as grateful and cheering!

There is a passage in "Colman's Christian Antiquities," in regard to the hospitality of primitive Christians, which I have often read with pleasure, and will quote here, because it is so happily paralleled in what

« PrécédentContinuer »