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or some other relative, sat on the other, through the day; and when overcome with fatigue and watching, falling asleep in the same station at night; yet I never heard the least murmur or repining word against the dealings of God. It was but the excess of sorrow, on account of the bereavement. Two months afterwards she became a mother; and, during our continuance on the island, Mrs. Ellis was considered as the guardian of her infant daughter. Since our departure, the child has been trained, by its mother, according to the direction of Mrs. Barff, and will probably succeed to the government of the island at its grandfather's death.
Mahine, the pious and venerable chief, still lives to be an ornament to the Christian religion, a nursing father to the infant churches established in his country, and the greatest blessing to the people whom he governs. His daughter-in-law, who it was hoped would have supplied to him the place of his departed son, has been removed by death, and disappointed those hopes. The orphan princess, an interesting and amiable child, is under the christian guardianship of Maihara, the daughter of the king of Raiatea, and sister to the nominal queen of the island.
Many barbarous ceremonies attended pagan interment, but, since the abolition of idolatry, the rites and usages of Christian burial, as far as they seemed desirable, or the circumstances of the people would admit, have been introduced, and are generally observed. At each of the Missionary stations, a piece of ground near the sea-shore, and at some distance from the houses, has been devoted by the government to the purposes of interment, and all who die near are buried there.
Those who die in the remote districts are buried by their friends near the place; sometimes in the vicinity of their little rustic chapel, at others in the garden near their dwelling. They are not always deposited in a coffin, as the survivors are often destitute of boards and nails; they are, however, decently interred, usually wrapped in native cloth and matting, and placed in the keel or lower part of a canoe.
If there be a native Missionary or teacher near, he is called to officiate at the interment; if not, a male branch of the family usually offers up a prayer when the body is committed to the earth. Some inconvenience was sustained when the natives first embraced Christianity, with regard to the burial of those who died at a distance from the Missionary station. The heat of the climate was often such as rendered it necessary to inter them on the day of their decease, or on that which followed, and they had not time to send for a native teacher. To obviate this, a prayer suitable to be offered up at the time of interment was written, and distributed among the natives, for the use of those who resided at a distance. This appeared not only according to Christian propriety, but necessary, to guard against any latent influence of the former superstitions, which might lurk in the minds of those who, though they renounced idolatry, were but very partially instructed in many points of Christian doctrine.
At the Missionary stations, the corpse has seldom been brought to the place of worship. We in general repair to the house, and, offering up a prayer with the family, accompany the procession to the place of interment; our practice, however,
in this respect is not uniform, but is regulated by circumstances.
On reaching the burying-ground, we stand by the side of the grave, which is usually about six feet deep, and when the coffin is lowered down, address the friends of the deceased, and the spectators, and conclude the service with a short prayer.
At first they believed that the deceased must be in some degree benefited by this service; and that such should occasionally have been their ideas, is not surprising, when we consider the mass of delusion from which they had been so recently delivered. This, however, rendered it necessary for us to be more explicit in impressing upon their minds, that the state of the dead was unalterably fixed, and that our own benefit alone could be advanced by attending it.-But the views and ceremonies connected with death, and with the disposal of the body, either in the pagan or Christian manner, are unimportant in comparison with the change in the individuals who have died, and the views and anticipations which, under these systems, different individuals have entertained. "One thing, of all I have read or heard," said the aged and venerable Matahira, "now supports my mind-Christ has said, I am the way.'
"He the beloved Son,
The Son beloved, Jesus Christ,
That we through him might live,"
was sung by another in the native language, with the last breath she drew. "I am happy, I am happy," were among the last words of the late distinguished regent of the Sandwich Islands.
These are expressions no pagan ever used, in looking forward to his dissolution. They result alone from the effects which the mercy of God in Christ is adapted to kindle in our hearts, augmented by gratitude to Him who hath brought life and immortality to light.
Arrival of the deputation in Huahine-Death of PomareNotice of his ancestry-Description of his person-His mental character and habits-Perseverance and proficiency in writing-His letter to England, &c.-Facsimile of his hand-writing-Translation of his letter on the art of drawing-Estimation in which he was held by the people--Pomare the first convert to christianity— His commendable endeavours to promote its extension -Declension during the latter part of his life-His friendship to the Missionaries uniform-His aid important-Circumstances connected with his deathAccession of his son Pomare III.-Coronation of the infant king-Encouraging progress in learning—Early death-Extensive use of letters among the islandersWriting on plantain-leaves-Value of writing-paperSouth Sea Academy-Trials peculiar to Mission families among uncivilized nations-Advantages of sending Missionary children to civilized countries.
Soon after our return from Tahiti, the indisposition of Mr. and Mrs. Williams required a suspension of their exertions in Raiatea, and a visit to New South Wales.
On the 8th of December, 1821, the shout of E pahi, e! A ship, ho! re-echoed through our valley; we proceeded towards the beach, and, on reaching the sea-side, beheld a large American vessel already within the harbour. The captain soon landed, and informed us that our friends Messrs. Bennet and Tyerman were in the ship.