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they might give pigs, arrow-root, oil, and cotton to buy money with. He then alluded to the people of Africa, who collected elephants' teeth, or gave a sheep, and concluded by reading the rules of the society."*
Similar institutions were formed in other parts. The chief of Huaheine, who had attended the meeting in Eimeo, assembled his people at Fare, for the establishment of an auxiliary society for that island, and another politically connected with it. In September 1819, a similar association was formed in Raiatea, of which the king was named the president, and over the interests of which he watched with much diligence till his death. For many years these missionary institutions, being extremely popular, were liberally supplied; the first-fruits of which, sent to the parent funds, amounted to one thousand eight hundred and sixty pounds. They are still supported by the more pious portion of the community; and though the amount of subscriptions is now but inconsiderable, they keep before the minds of the people the great duty of seeking the salvation of others. By them, too, have been sent a number of native teachers, who, by preparing their way, have proved useful assistants to the more regular ministers, and still confer an incalculable advantage on the several islands where they are stationed.
But, as in all human arrangements, evil mixes with good, the necessity of directing the commercial transactions by which “ money is bought,” has exposed the preachers to the imputation of selfish motives. Even the rearing of the animals conveyed by the brethren to the several islands, because the meat and milk were sold, has been made the foundation for a similar charge. These commodities were not only of great service to their own families, but by furnishing ships with beef, they were farther enabled to procure in exchange necessary articles of European manufacture. It is confessed, however, by one of themselves, that “this, together with the mis
Missionary Records, p. 246. Polynesian Researches, vol. ii. 268. Mr Ellis gives the speech at greater length and in better language ; but the main topics are the same.
sionary's only mode of receiving support from the people, has been attended with some inconveniences; it has obliged him in his intercourse with those by whom he has been visited, to act more like a trader than he himself desired, or than he would otherwise have thought compatible with his office.
The circumstance, however, may be considered as peculiar, and resulting from the present condition of the people, who are in the state of transition from barbarism to civilisation; these evils will of themselves cease as the improvement of society advances.
It is manifestly to such circumstances that we must ascribe the unfriendly strictures on the missionary cause made by Kotzebue and other voyagers in the Pacific. The use of money is but partially introduced, and its relative value little understood ; hence commerce, to a great extent, must be carried by barter. The brethren, instead of receiving for the bills they draw on the Society an equivalent amount in coin, obtain from London cutlery, cottons, and other goods, with which they pay the natives who act as their labourers or domestic servants, and also purchase such things as they may require from the people. This likewise leads them to exchange the products which they themselves can raise for those foreign commodities that the masters of trading vessels are accustomed to take to the islands. The captains of ships were formerly in the habit of soliciting their aid in transacting business with the inhabitants; but although they were willing to render assistance, the evils resulting from their being thus made the medium of traffic were so numerous, that they found it expedient to decline the office altogether. Both parties on some occasions were dissatisfied; each complained of the ignorance or injustice of the negotiator; whence arose most of the charges circulated against the teachers in the country, and carried to
* Vindication of the South Sea Missions, p. 66. The apology made by Mr Ellis will be received as satisfactory by many, who, nevertheless, regret that missionaries should ever become merchants.
Europe by persons who had neither time nor opportunity to investigate the truth.*
Nothing in the history of the human race can appear to the reflecting mind more gratifying or extraordinary than the establishment of a mission under the anspices of the chiefs in the islands of the South Sea for the propagation of the gospel. It may be granted that their notions of the christian system were far from being enlightened, while their motives unquestionably retained a strong mixture of earthly ingredients. That this was the case to a very considerable extent, is not concealed by their instructors, who, in reference more especially to the two clusters of the Society Archipelago, describe the religion of the greater part of the people as being at first merely nominal; and that at the time they assumed the profession of Christianity, they knew little more of it than that it enjoined the worship of one God instead of many, required no human sacrifices, no offering except prayer, and abstinence from labour every seventh day. The change applied almost solely to the outward observance, and had not yet reached either the decisions of the understanding or the feelings of the heart. Still it was a most important revolution, which must necessarily be followed by a movement in advance. Idolatry could not again resume its empire : the chain of the captive has been broken; and the appetite for new views both in human arts and divine knowledge would necessarily seek gratification at all hazards. The result corresponds in no small degree with this anticipation; the tree planted among them by the missionaries has brought forth fruit both good and evil ; tares have grown up with the wheat, but the land is no longer a desert; and the ample produce denotes at least the inherent powers of the soil.
Pomare II., though not remarkable either for taste or temperance, continued throughout his whole life to be
* Ellis's Vindication, as above quoted.
+ For the concession mentioned in the text, see Missionary Records, p. 249.
an active instrument for extending the profession of the new faith among his subjects. Having heard of the temple of Jerusalem, the church of St Peter's at Rome, and the magnificent cathedrals which do so much honour to the piety of England, he resolved to have a similar erection in Otaheite. In point of extent at least his plan might vie with any structure in modern times, being more than seven hundred feet in length, and nearly sixty in width. The centre was supported by thirty-six massy pillars formed of wood; the sides or walls were boarded from the top to the bottom; and the lower end of the rafters on which the roof was laid rested on two hundred and eighty smaller posts. There were a hundred and thirty-three windows and twenty-nine doors. In the interior were three pulpits, about two hundred and sixty feet from each other; it was filled with forms or benches, except a small area in front of the pulpits, and the floor was carpeted with dry grass. The rafters were covered with a fine species of fringed matting, which, bound with cords of various colours in a very neat manner, gave to the roof the appearance of a splendid ceiling.
On the 11th May 1819, the “ Royal Mission Chapel" was opened, when the people, to the number of about six thousand, assembled, arrayed in their best attire. Three ministers occupied the pulpits, and three sermons were preached at the same moment to three separate congregations; the house being so large that the several orators did not hear one another's voice.* Two days after this interesting ceremony, a meeting was held in the same place for the promulgation of certain laws, which it had been found expedient to enact, limiting the powers of the sovereign, and securing the rights of the subject. All the civil usages of the islands had been so closely connected with idolatry, that, when the latter was abol
Mr Ellis, who afterwards visited the royal chapel, says, “how it might be when the house was filled I do not know ; but when empty, the human voice could be distinctly heard from the one end to the other, without any great effort on the part of those who at this distance called or answered.”-Researches, vol. ii. p. 379.-Missionary Records, p. 253.
ished, the former ceased to have any sanction; and hence, both those who administered justice, and those who appealed to its protection, were equally at a loss how to proceed. The missionaries, whose advice was frequently asked, had wisely declined to interfere in political or judicial affairs; and it was not until Pomare himself requested their aid, that they consented to join with their spiritual functions the office of legislators. The code, which was prepared by the king and a few of the chiefs, assisted by Mr Nott, was remarkably simple, comprehending only eighteen heads. It was not indeed altogether satisfactory to the brethren, but it was perhaps better suited than a more perfect system to the partial light the inhabitants at that time possessed, and to the peculiar disposition of the ruler. He was exceedingly jealous of his prerogative, and unwilling to admit others to a participation in his power. Several of the articles had a reference to the crimes most prevalent in Otaheite and Eimeo, such as murder, theft, trespass, stolen property, sabbath-breaking, rebellion, and adultery. The remainder regulated the solemnity of marriage, the appointment of judges, and matters of finance. The first copy of these statutes, read by the king in the ears of the people, was written by himself. He afterwards transcribed them in a fair hand for the press; but the original manuscript, made and signed by his majesty, is in the possession of the Missionary Society in London. The laws themselves were printed in the native languages, and distributed largely throughout both islands. After a brief space, too, similar ordinances were publicly adopted in Raiatea, and recognised by the inhabitants of Tahaa, Bolabola, and Maupiti. In addition to the enactments of Otaheite, the Society Islanders resolved to introduce the “ trial by jury;" the greatest legal improvement hitherto attempted by the reformers of the Pacific. The proceedings were every where divested as much as possible of technical form; and, though some slight embarrassments were occasionally enco tered, as might be expected in a country totally unaccustomed to