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The delay which has taken place from unavoidable causes, is the less to be regretted, as it has enabled him to furnish, in the American documents annexed to the letter, a most triumphant defence of the American Missionaries. To those documents especially, he begs to direct the attention of the reader, as admirably adapted to establish his confidence in the christian wisdom, integrity, and zeal of these excellent men.
In the March Number of your Journal, you have favoured your readers with an article on “The Sandwich Islanders,” in which occur some very gross misrepresentations of the state of the Missions, and the conduct of the Missionaries established there, and in the South Seas, on which I feel it my duty to animadvert.
That article professes to be drawn up from the “Voyage of His Majesty's Ship Blonde,” from the “ Narrative of a Tour through Hawaii, or Owhyhee, by Mr. Ellis, the Missionary,” and from unpublished letters of Captain Beechey.
The voyage of the Blonde appears before the public without a name. The reason of this is not satisfactorily accounted for. Whether the authors were many, and could not agree about the division of their claims, or whether the principal author, if such a one exists, was ashamed to acknowledge his offspring, I shall not determine. It is of little consequence, however, who wrote it, provided its statements be correct. You acknowledge “ that it is but a meagre narrative," and express a doubt
whether we really have the narrative in its original state;” thus unintentionally throwing discredit on the whole book.
That we have it not in its original state, is very evident, and were it worth the trouble it would be easy to show that the voyage of the ship Blonde is a meagre compilation, a piece of patch work, numerous portions of which have been taken, some times with slight verbal alterations, and at other times without any alteration, and always without acknowledgment, from the work of Mr. Ellis, one of those very Missionaries, whom you affect to despise, as fit only to handle “the awl or the needle ;' but without whose assistance Mrs. Maria Graham would have made but a poor figure in editing the voyage of the Blonde, and you yourself must have failed in furnishing an article on the Sandwich Islanders, of sufficient interest to your readers.
But had you confined your observations to the statements of the Blonde, and of Mr. Ellis, although your reasonings on christian missions would probably have been very objectionable, it is not likely that you would have been troubled with any observations on them. Knowing well the strength of the principles on which they proceed, the purity of their aim, and the benevolent tendency and design of their operations, the friends of missions have nothing to fear from the Quarterly Review. But when the conduct of Missionaries is unjustly assailed, and the results of their enterprize misrepresented, they feel themselves called upon to repel the charges, and to vindicate the characters
and labours of those self-denying men, who have devoted themselves to this glorious enterprise.
On what authority you have used the letters of Captain Beechey to criminate the Missionaries you have not told us. This I shall leave you to settle with him, when he shall justify himself to his country, for going out of his way to meddle with matters which it is obvious he does not understand. Others beside shoe-makers and tailors, who become evangelical preachers, require to be reminded,
“ Ne sutor ultra crepidam.” Captain Beechey may be a very gallant officer, and well acquainted with naval tactics ; but he is no divine; and it would have been well for his reputation had his name not made a figure in an unfriendly attack on the propagation of christianity.
The appearance of the article in question in your work, necessarily gave pain to all who are engaged in the work of sending Missions to the Heathen. The charges preferred in it against the wisdom of their measures, the suitableness of their agents, and especially against the effects produced by their exertions, could not be read with indifference by those who wish to stand well with their countrymen. And, although the parties chiefly assailed are Americans, knowing as we do, that they are men of the same spirit, and influenced by the same views and principles with ourselves, we are ready to share in the reproach which they have incurred, and to make common
cause with them in the defence which may be necessary. In christianity all men are brethren; and in the business of diffusing it, there can be but one object and one aim.
The charges in thearticle itself, you farther confirm and corroborate by inserting at the end of the same number, a letter from Boki, one of the chiefs of the Sandwich Islands. This letter I shall here produce, as I entertain little doubt that it is a shameful imposition. That imposition I do not impute to you. I know the document is to be found in the records of the admiralty. Who framed it, will, perhaps, one day be disclosed. The author of it had unquestionably the “Complete Letter Writer” before him, and the reader who is in possession of that useful and learned work, has only to turn to its pages, where he will find a perfect counterpart to this veracious document.
" Since the preceding pages have been struck off, we have been favoured with the following literal copy of a letter of Boki, (which we pledge ourselves to be genuine,) confirming what we have stated with regard to the conduct of the American Missionaries at the Sandwich Islands.
“ Island of Woakoo, Jan. 24, 1826.
“ I take this opportunity to send you these fa lines, hopping the will find you in good health, as ples god the leve me at present. I am sorrey to inform You that Mr. Pitt (Karaimakoo) has gon thro four opperashons sine you sailed from here, but thank god he is now much better, and we ar in hops of his recovery, and I am verey sorey to tell you that Mr. Bingham