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Establishment of new stations at Mahapu and MaevaAppearance of the lake and surrounding sceneryIncreased desire for books-Applications from the blind -Account of Hiro an idolatrous priest-Methods of distributing books-Dangerous voyages-Motives influencing to desire the scriptures-Character of the translation-Cause of delay in baptizing native convertsGeneral view of the ordinance-Baptism of the kingPreparatory instructions-First baptism in HuahineMode of applying the water-Introduction of christian names-Baptism of infants-Views and feelings of the parents.
AN intelligent observer may, during a transient visit to a foreign land, become acquainted, to a certain extent, with the mental, moral, and spiritual necessities of its inhabitants, but it is only by a continued residence among them that these can be accurately known. Our daily intercourse with the people of Huahine strengthened the impression of their claims to our sympathy and exertions, which our earliest interviews had made. So long, however, as we remained unable to address them in their own tongue, we felt that exhibiting a good example was all
that we could do, but as soon as we had acquired a sufficient knowledge of the native language to engage in public teaching, while we alternately performed the regular services at the settlement in Fare, we established branch stations in different parts of the island.
Two were commenced on the west and southern coasts, viz. one in the fertile, and formerly populous valley of Mahapu, and the other in the extensive district of Parea. Schools were opened by approved native masters at each of these places. In the former, three hundred scholars were instructed by Narii, a well-qualified teacher. The inhabitants also erected neat places of worship. Mr. Barff performed divine service at each station alternately every other Sabbath; when between three and four hundred attended.
A similar branch-station was commenced at Tamabua, a populous and central village in the district of Maeva, on the borders of a beautiful and extensive roto, or lake, of the same name, in the northern part of the island. Here a school was opened by Tiori, an intelligent native, and three hundred and eighty adults and children were taught. A commodious native chapel was also built, and a cottage for the accommodation of the Missionary who visited them.
As it was a considerable distance from our place of abode, I went on the Saturday afternoon, and spent the Sabbath at Maeva, where upwards of four hundred usually attended public worship. We continued our labours at these stations until the summer of 1820, when the greater part of the residents were induced to remove to the settlement at Fare harbour. Some of the happiest seasons I have enjoyed in Missionary occupations
were in connexion with my occasional services at this place. The scenery of the adjacent country is remarkably fine, and, though different in character, in no respect inferior to that which adorns the borders of Windermere or Derwent Water. The lake of Maeva is five miles in length, and of unequal breadth, though often two miles wide. Unagitated by the long rolling billows of the Pacific, and seldom ruffled by the northern and eastern breezes, from which it is sheltered by mountains, its surface was often smooth as a polished mirror, reflecting the groves around, and the heavens above. It abounds with fish. not only supply the inhabitants of the shores of the lake with the means of subsistence, but, when viewed from the light canoe, as they sported in the depths beneath, or leaped above its surface, enlivened its solitude. On the eastern side, a number of streams rose among the mountains, and, winding their way through the valleys, at length united with its waters. On this side, though the ascent from its margin to the distant mountains was generally gradual, it was sometimes abrupt and bold the rocky precipices, adorned with pendulous and creeping plants, rich in verdant foliage or clustering flowers, rose almost perpendicularly from the water; the hills were ornamented with clumps of the graceful cypress-shaped casuarina; and in the narrow border of lowland, that in many parts extended from the shores to the foot of the mountains, the hibiscus tiliaceus, the betonica splendida, the inocarpus, and other trees of larger growth, reared their majestic forms, and spread their stately branches, clothed with dark and glossy foliage, whie round their gigantic stems, and spread from bough to bough, the beau