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calculating to return by this route in 10 or 12 days. He has, however, been detained from day to day, and we have waited for him until the present time.
We are now to start to-morrow. The delay we have regretted, though our situation has been rendered as pleasant as it could be by the kindness of those around us, especially of Mr. and Mrs. Chater, to whom we are deeply indebted, and of the Wesleyan brethren at this station. The other friends of our mission who reside at this place, have treated us with attention and kindness.
We have had the pleasure of meeting most of the missionaries on the island : the Wesleyan, holding their annual conference here, and the Church missionaries being met on the business of their mission. There were yesterday at our table 15 missionaries such a thing as probably never was at Columbo before. The Church missionaries are regularly with us in the same family. They are most valuable men.
[Messrs. W. and S. waited on Sir Robert Brownrigg, the governor, soon after their arrival at Columbo, and were kindly received by him. He was just leaving the government, and had left the island before the date of this letter, amidst the deep regrets of the friends of religion, to whom he had become greatly endeared by his wise and paternal administration. His successor is Maj. Gen. Sir Edward Barnes.
Messrs. W. and S. bear witness to the excellent character which our missionaries at Jaffna sustain in the island, particularly for their laborious services, and their conscientious economy; the support allowed to the Wesleyan missionaries and their schools being much larger than that allowed to our establishments.]
Since coming here we have received several communications from the brethren at Jaffna. They are still afflicted with sickness. Brother Richards is better than it was expected he ever would be, but far from having any prospect of final recovery. Brothers Poor and Meigs are both nearly laid aside by sickness, though they were both better at the date of our last accounts. Brother and sister Scudder arrived in safety to their assistance, after a long and dangerous journey. He seems to have entered . with spirit into the work. You will have learned before this, that the brethren have already seen some fruit of their labour-in the apparent conversion of several from among the natives.
We have to-day heard of the safe arrival of brother and sister Woodward at Trincomale. The Lord has afflicted them since we parted by removing from them their little son. They will proceed by land to Jaffna. From brother and sister Scudder we heard three days ago, that she had become the mother of a fine little girl; and to-day we have the sad intelligence of its death. We long to see and sympathize with the afflicted parents. For the many mercies we daily receive, we desire to feel ourselves
under new obligation's to devote ourselves to Christ among the poor heathen, whose wretchedness we now behold, and of which the half had not been told us.
With the highest sentiments of affection and respect, we are, Rev. and Dear Sir, your servants in the gospel.
POLYNESIA.-GEORGIAN ISLANDS, The London Missionary Chronicle for August furnishes us with several
most interesting communications from the missionaries in Otaheite, Huaheine, and Raitca,- including an account of the opening of the great chapel in Otaheite, the anniversary of the Auxiliary Missionary Society, and the Baptism of the King ; with the proceedings of the auxiliary societies at the other islands. Windward Division of the Tahitian Mission. (Annual Circular.)
Tahiti,* May, 18, 1819. Dear
In reviewing the affairs of this mission for the past year, we have, on the whole, great cause of gratitude and praise to God our Saviour. The brethren at Eimeo, and at the three stations at Tahiti, have proceeded perseveringly in their labours, and the work of God, we trust, has been carried on gradually and successfully in the hearts of many. We had looked forward to the yearly meeting in May, when we should all assemble together ; and had resolved, after that meeting, at all events, to baptize such as were proper subjects among the natives, and to form them into churches. That meeting having taken place, and we being about to return to our respective stations, we now lay before you the particulars of our yearly meeting. We have had a missionary week indeed, and a pleasing and animating time it has been to us all.
The king, Pomare, has lately erected a large and very long building at Papaoa, in the district of Pare, and devoted it to the meetings of the Missionary Society, which was formed among the Tahitians last year. This building we denominated The Royal Mission Chapel, the dimensions of which are as follows :—it is 712 feet long by 54 wide.f The ridge-pole, or middle, is supported by 36 massy pillars, of the bread-fruit tree. The outside posts, all around the house, are 280. It has 133 windows with sliding shutters, and 29 doors; the ends are of a semicircle form. There are 3 square pulpits, about 260 feet apart from each other,
The natives pronounce this name Taheete. + The prodigious length of this place certainly renders it inconvenient ; but it is presumed Pomare, having acknowledged the only living and true God, was determined that the building erected for his honour, should far exceed any edifice formerly devoted to the idols of the country.
and the extreme ones about 100 feet from the ends of the house. It is filled with forms, except an area before each pulpit, and laid with dry grass. The rafters are covered with a fine kind of fringe matting, which is bound on with cords of various colours, in a very neat manner; and the ends of the matting are left hanging down, like the naval and military flags in St. Paul's Cathedral. The whole building is surrounded with a very strong fence of wood, and the space between it and the house is filled with gravel.
Pomare has lately expressed an earnest desire for baptism, engaging to devote himself to the Lord, and to put away every sin, and every appearance of evil. He has had conferences with some of the brethren on the subject; and has also written to us, expressing a deep sense of his sinfulness and unworthiness, a firm dependence upon the blood of Christ for pardon, and an earnest desire to give himself to the Lord in baptism. As it appeared to be the voice of the nation, and particularly of the most pious chiefs, and as his conduct has been so constant in teaching and promoting religion, we resolved to baptize him. The baptista was fixed for Lord's day, the 16th instant.
On Monday, the 10th inst. the brethren assembled at Papaoa. The people were encamped on each side of it, along the seabeach, to the extent of four miles. They soon assembled together, to pay their respects to the king, and made a grand appearance, being decently arrayed in white native clothing. The brethren met the king and the chiefs in the usual place of worship, according to the appointment of Pomare, who had judiciously arranged all the services and business of the work. Brother Darling began with singing, reading the scriptures, and prayer. The king then proceeded to business. He first wrote his own name, and his gift to the Missionary Society ; (viz. eight bogs,) and having written the name of his principal governor, treasurer, and secretary, he desired each of us to write our names, with our donations. In the same manner he procreded with all the governors, writing their names and contributions. Pomare called on brother Crook to conclude the meeting with a short exhortation, singing, and prayer.
Opening the Chapel. Tuesday was the day appointed for opening the Royal Mission Chapel.- About 11 o'clock we met the king at the east end of the house. He was dressed in a white shirt, with a neat variegated mat round his loins, and a tiputa over all, coloured and ornamented with red and yellow. The queen and principal women were dressed in native clothing, with an English frill around the neck. The assembled thousands were clean, and dressed in their best. We took our stations according to appointment; brother Platt in the west pulpit, brother Darling in the middle, and brother Crook in the east.
The king sat in the east end of the house. Brother Bourne from the middle pulpit, commenced the service by giving
out a hymn, from our Tahitian collection, with a very shrill penetrating voice, which was heard from one end of the house to the other. The whole congregation stood up and sung.
Each preacher then read Luke xiv. and prayed. The sermons, (one from each pulpit) were commenced about the same time, and be ing ended, all the congregation sung again, and the whole was concluded with prayer. “The scene was striking beyond conception; no confusion ensued from three speakers preaching all at once in the same house, they being at such a great distance from each other. We suppose the number of hearers to have been between five and six thousand. Every thing exceeded our most sanguine expectations.” Notwithstanding “many apprehensions were entertained from bringing so many parties together, who formerly had ever been at variance," "every thing was very peaceable and orderly, and not the least disturbance occurred.—. Surely,' said some, there will be no war; for all the people have left their arms at home, and have brought the old and decrepid, the children, the lame and the blind !' a thing that was never done in any of their great meetings before.”
Anniversary Meeling of the Missionary Society in Tahiti. About half past 10 o'clock, on Wednesday, “the king arrived; and the meeting was as numerous and respectable as that of yesterday.” Brothers Henry, Wilson, and Bicknell, preached in the morning, and brothers Darling, Bourne, and Crook, in the afternoon.
Promulgation of the Laws. “ About noon we all assembled in the Royal Mission Chapel. The king requested brother Crook to open the business of the day. He ascended the pulpit, and Pomare followed. After singing, reading the scriptures, and prayer, the king stood up, and looked upon the thousands of his subjects, on his right hand and on his left.” The king having inquired of Tati, Utami, and others of his principal chiefs, what was their desire, they each replied, that they desired to have the laws.' “Pomare then proceeded to read and comment upon the laws respecting murder, theft, trespass, stolen property, lost property, sabbath-breaking, rebellion, marriage, adultery, the judges, court houses, &c. in eighteen articles.” He then asked the chiefs if they approved of them.
They replied aloud, “We agree to them, we heartily agree to them.' The king then addressed the people, and desired them, if they approved of the laws, to signify the same by lifting up their right hands. This was unanimously done, with a remarkable rushing noise, owing to the thousands of arms being lifted at once.'
“ This interesting scene,” say the missionaries, "may be better conceived than described : to see a king giving laws to his people with a regard to the authority of the word of God, and a peoVol. VII.
any of them
ple receiving the same with such universal satisfaction, was a subject very affecting to us all.”
Meeting for Missionary business. On Friday the missionaries met the king, as president, and all the governors, officers, and members, in the Royal Mission Chapel."
We regret that our present limits oblige us to omit the animating account given of this singularly interesting meeting; but we shall endeavour to give it a place hereafter. Pomare desired the missionaries" to publish his wish, that it may be known by all Europe, America, &c. that he means to consider Palmerstone Island as a place for Tahitian convicts, and that no vessel shall take
away on any account.'
Baptism of the King. « On sabbath day, the 16th inst. the congregations were again assembled in the Chapel Royal.” Three of the brethren “preached from the same subject. The commission of our Lord to his disciples, to preach to, and baptize all nations, Matt. xxviii. 18 20. Serinons being ended, we all closed around the king, he being seated on the occasion, in the centre, near the middle pulpit.” After singing and prayer were concluded, “the king stood up, and brother Bicknell taking the water from the bason, held by brother Henry, poured it on his head, baptizing him in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Pomare was observed to lift his eyes to heaven, and move his lips with an indistinct sound. The sight was very moving, especially to our elder brethren, who had been watching over him so many years. Brother Bicknell addressed the king with firmness, yet not without a degree of tremour, entreating him to walk worthy his high profession, in the conspicuous situation he holds before the eyes of men, angels, and God himself.” After the concluding exercises “Pomare shook hands affectionately with all the missionaries, they being stationed, by his own desire, at his right and left hand.”'
“ The king has undertaken to write out a fair copy of all the laws, for the press, and to send a circular letter to all the governors, on the subject of education, pressing upon parents the importance of having their children instructed."
" On Monday, the 17th inst. all the brethren, and three of the sisters, celebrated our Saviour's dying love, with much affection and Christian union."
The circular letter from which we have drawn the above summary, is signed by the following brethren, viz.
HENRY BICKNELL, GEORGE Platt,