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any prescribed method, the administration of justice, upon the whole, was so conducted by the magistrates as to give general satisfaction.*
Three days after the promulgation of the code of laws, the great chapel was made the scene of another interesting ceremony. Pomare, at an early period of his career as a Christian, had requested to be admitted to the ordinance of baptism. For reasons, which are stated by them in the most unreserved manner, the missionaries deemed it expedient to postpone this sacred rite; but being now satisfied that his desire to be initiated was founded on proper motives, and that his conduct was not likely to throw discredit on his profession, it was resolved that the sacrament should be administered to him in the presence of the assembled multitude. Accordingly, the three pulpits were again occupied by three preachers, who all discoursed on the same subject. “ The sermons being ended, we all closed round the king, he being seated on this occasion near the middle pulpit. Brother Bourne commenced by giving out a hymn, which was sung by the congregation. Brother Bicknell engaged in
* Captain Gambier gives an interesting account of their proceedings on one of those occasions. “ At the appointed time, a great many people assembled under some very fine trees near the queen's house. A small bench was brought for the two judges, the rest either stood or sat upon the ground, forming something less than a semicircle. We were provided with low seats near the judges. The two prisoners were seated cross-legged upon the ground, under the shade of a small tree, about twenty paces in front of the judges. They were both illlooking men dressed in the graceful tipata. When all was ready to begin, one of the judges rose and addressed the prisoners at considerable length. He explained to them the accusation which brought them there, and read to them the law under which, if found guilty, they would be punished. When he had finished, and called upon them to say whether it was true or not, one of them got up and answered with great fluency and good action. He maintained their innocence, and called a witness to confirm it. The witness very artfully turned his evidence to the account of the prisoners. Others, also, in some way or other favoured the accused, and the defendants were therefore discharged for want of evidence.” Quoted by Ellis, vol. iii. p. 142. Captain G. C. Gambier commanded his majesty's ship Dauntless.
prayer; which being ended, the king stood
Brother Bicknell stood on the steps of the pulpit, and taking the water from the basin held by Brother Henry, poured it on his head, baptizing him in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost : Pomare was observed to lift up his eyes to heaven and move his lips with an indistinct sound. The sight was very moving, especially to our elder brethren, who had watched over him so many years.
Similar success attended their labours in the Society Islands. At Raiatea, the congregation consisted of more than a thousand individuals. Great attention was given to the education of the children, and to the furtherance of industrious employments among the people ; some of whom were taught to practise mechanical arts as carpenters, boatbuilders, blacksmiths, and plasterers. So qualified, they built for themselves a commodious chapel, fitted to accommodate sixteen hundred persons. In the year 1820, the holy communion was administered for the first time in the district of Fare, island of Huaheine. In front of the pulpit, a neat table, covered with white native cloth, was fixed, upon which the sacramental vessels were placed. As a wheaten loaf could not be conveniently had, the ministers employed an article of food as nearly resembling it as possible, the roasted bread-fruit, pieces of which were laid on the patten. Possessing wine, they were not compelled, on this occasion, to have recourse to any substitute, such as the juice of the cocoanut, which some of the brethren elsewhere had found it necessary to use.t
About the close of 1821, Pomare II., the sovereign of Otaheite and Eimeo, departed this life. It is not disguised, that his illness was aggravated by intemperance, a frailty which neither religion nor the sense of official dignity could induce him to overcome. Many parts of his conduct, during the latter part of his life, had occasioned to the brethren much pain ; but they could not remember without gratitude the important favours he had conferred upon the nation, and the benefit they had derived from his countenance in prosecuting the great work to which their lives were devoted. One of them, referring to this event, observes, that he was a prince who never had an equal in these islands; the friend of all foreigners, and the protector of the missionaries. In knowledge of every kind he was quite unrivalled among his countrymen. Had he enjoyed the advantages of education, he would have attained to as high a degree of eminence as some of the greatest men have reached.* He
* Missionary Records, p. 257. “ Pomare shook hands affectionately with all the missionaries, they being stationed by his own desire at his right hand and his left."
+ Ibid. p. 273.
Mr Ellis, in his third volume, p. 249, gives an interesting view of the moraland intellectual qualities of Pomare II., whose doings could not have been indicated by his appearance, which rather tended to produce an unfavourable impression on a stranger's mind. During the latter part of his life, his conduct was in many respects exceptionable, and his character appeared less amiable than it had been before. He had shown his weakness in allowing the unfounded representations of a transient visiter to induce him to request that the manufacture of sugar might not be extensively carried on.-A few years before his death, he was induced by the representations of designing and misinformed individuals to engage in injudicious commercial speculations with persons in New South Wales. This proved a great source of disquietude to his mind, and probably hastened his death. One or two vessels were purchased for him at a most extravagant price; and the produce of the island was required to pay for them, and to defray expenses connected with their navigation. One of them was seized, a lawsuit instituted in consequence at Port Jackson, the rahui or taboo laid upon the island, the rights of property were invaded, and no native was allowed to dispose of any article of produce, excepting to the agents of the king. He became the chief factor in the island, or rather the instrument of those who were associated with him in these commercial speculations, and who used his authority to deprive the people of the right to sell the fruits of their own labour. The inhabitants were required to bring their pigs, oil, &c., and to receive in return what he chose to give them; the individuals who urged upon him this policy, considered all they could obtain by any means as fair emolument. The welfare of the nation, the natural rights of the people, the establishment of commerce upon just and honourable principles, were beneath their regard. "It is needless to add, that these speculations ended in embarrassment and loss. The babits. was succeeded by his infant son, who, inheriting his name, was recognised as sovereign, under the title of Pomare the Third. Under the regency which ensued, no material change immediately took place; but it was remarked, that those ties which had hitherto held the nation together began gradually to lose their power. *
During several years, Christianity and civilisation advanced in company, at a steady rate, throughout most of the Society and Georgian Islands. No reaction had as yet taken place, and neither the political agitation nor the immorality to which the demise of the king ultimately led was any where perceptible. Ardent spirits were not introduced to any alarming extent; the schools were still well attended; the Sacred Scriptures were eagerly sought; the chapels were generally filled ; and social intercourse in all ranks was amazingly improved. An academy was established for the education of the missionaries' families, where it was meant they should receive such instruction as would prepare them to occupy useful situations in future life. The children of natives,
which Pomare was led to indulge, in consequence of these associations, threw a stain upon his character, and cast a gloom over his mind, from which he never recovered, and under the cloud thus induced, he ended his days.
* For an account of the coronation of Pomare III., we refer to the same author (vol. iii. p. 260), who relates, that when the procession reached the platform,“ the king was seated in his chair ; in the centre before him, on small tables, the crown, the Bible, and the code of laws were placed. Being only four years of age, he was necessarily passive in the important business. Mr Davis, one of the senior missionaries, spoke for him ; and as all were requested to take a part in the ceremonies, when the king had been asked if he promised to govern the people with justice and mercy, agreeably to the laws and the word of God, Mr Nott placed the crown on his head, and pronounced a benediction upon the young ruler. Mr Darling then presented him with a Bible, accompanying the presentation with a suitable address. They also anointed his person with oil ; a part of the ceremony, says Mr Ellis, which, I think, might have been as well dispensed with.”
We need not add, that this was the first coronation ever witnessed in the islands of the South. Investment with the maro ura, or sacred girdle, was the native practice, and used on all former occasions.
if distinguished for piety and talent, had free access to it, with the view of being afterwards sent to a more advanced seminary, calculated for training pastors to serve in different stations throughout the South Sea. In the year 1826, the patrons of the mission could announce that the gospel was professed throughout the two clusters of islands to which our remarks now apply; that nine thousand adults had been baptized; that upwards of a thousand individuals were admitted to church fellowship; that the number under school instruction amounted to four thousand five hundred; and that nearly the whole population had opened up to them, through various channels, sources of knowledge on moral and religious subjects, as well as on the several arts which contribute to the comfort or embellishment of life. *
The death of the young king, in January 1827, led to events somewhat unfavourable to the cause of civilisation and divine truth. His sister Aimata succeeded him on the throne, though, being still under age, the former regency continued to act. At first the change in public feeling was not perceptible; but in course of time it was perceived, that this second breach in Pomare's family weakened the force of those regulations under which his authority had held many who were disaffected towards the new order of things introduced by the gospel. Even when the acknowledgment of Christianity was almost general, and attention to its external requirements very regular, there were multitudes that professed it, who yet were strangers to any moral or spiritual impulse, and who, impatient of the restraints under which they were placed, longed for such a revolution in public sentiment as might again restore to them their wonted
• See Journal of Voyages and Travels, by the Rev. Daniel Tyerman, and George Bennet, Esq. deputed from the London Missionary Society to visit their various Stations in the South Sea Islands, China, India, &c. Compiled from Original Documents, by James Montgomery (2 vols 8vo, Lond. 1831), vol. ii.
p. 90, &c.