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WESLEYAN MISSIONARY NOTICES,
RELATING PRINCIPALLY TO
THE FOREIGN MISSIONS
FIRST ESTABLISHED BY
THE REV. JOHN WESLEY, A.M., THE REV. DR. COKE,
NOW CARRIED ON UNDER THE DIRECTION
THE METHODIST CONFERENCE
FOR THE YEAR 1849.
VOLUME XV. FROM THE COMMENCEMENT.
No. 121. New Series.
FEEJEE. The last four Numbers of the “ Missionary Notices” contained copious Extracts from the Journal of Mr. Lawry's visit to the Stations of the Society in Polynesia. The numerous expressions of satisfaction which we have received from our friends in reference to the publication of those Extracts, encourage the expectation that further portions of the Journal will be highly gratifying. We therefore commence our first Number in the New Year with a continuation of his remarks upon the very promising state of the work among the cannibal inhabitants of the Feejeean group. Extracts from the Journal of the Rev. Walter Lawry, during a Missionary Voyage from New Zealand to the Friendly-Islands and Feejee, begun May 29th, 1847.
(Continued from our Number for December, 1848.) VEWA, OCTOBER 12th, 1847.-In and contented in their labour, than is passing through a native village to- usual in the Friendly Isles, I inquired of day, I witnessed the opening of two Mr. Hunt, what he had agreed to pay caves, or deep holes, containing bana- for the work ; he said nothing was nas and bread-fruit in a state of fer- agreed upon, but when the work was mentation, and, as must be the case done he should hand over to his Chief with large masses of decayed vegetable Varani what he deemed sufficient, and matter, sending forth a very offensive Varani would pass the same over to their odour. My surprise was great to find Chief, and all would clap their hands that this store belonged to white men and walk away, quite pleased and fully who lived near the spot : but the life of satisfied. How different is this from the the white men in Feejee, unconnected state of things in Tonga! There they with our Mission, is not only very pre will do nothing for the Missionaries carious, as they are frequently cut off, without murmuring and exorbitant paybut is wretched beyond all that I have ment. It is very difficult to get those seen among the islands. Wicked men idle natives to work at all, and, when from civilized lands have done great they do perform a small amount of mischief to the barbarians, and the bar- labour, they can hardly be satisfied, barians, in turn, have done much damage however much you may pay them. to them; by far the greater part have There are some honourable exceptions fallen victims to the club, and most of in the Friendly Isles, but they are very these in consequence of their own demo. few; as I had full opportunity of witralizing conduct.
nessing as I passed from island to island, Cutaneous complaints, and wide-spread landing the stores, and sometimes changsores, are very common among this people; ing the Missionaries, who deeply feel and the general opinion seems to be that this sad state of the native mind, and do such eruptions proceed from eating the their best to correct it ; but up to this vile fermented vegetables, and the flesh period they have not succeeded. of man. They sometimes keep their As in Feejee the people work, and in fermenting bread. fruit and bananas under the Friendly Islands they are idle, so in ground for many years together. Both New Zealand the active and energetic leprosy and elephantiasis, or swollen legs, character of the natives is about to proare among their dire diseases.
duce a transition in their social condition, 13th.-I observed to-day a party of from extreme barbarism, to initial civiliHeathen natives engaged in building a zation. Just as I was leaving Auck. new printing-office for the Mission here. land, I passed a multitude of our own As they seemed more diligent, cheerful, natives working on the high road, and
Vol. VII. New Series. JANUARY, 1849.
another party was building a stone wall 14th.I observed some of the natives for the military barracks. I asked one trying to dress after the English fashion ; of the young men what his object was in but the failure was complete, and the hiring himself at one-and-sixpence per effect all but ridiculous. An English day: he answered, “I have set my bonnet, instead of the beautiful way in mind upon having a horse, and shall which the natives dress their hair, causes work till I can buy one.” I went fur- a sad falling off in their dark faces. A ther, and proposed the same question white shirt and a sable skin above and to another young Chief; and the reply below, contrast rather unfavourably. But was, “I am working to get money in Feejee, where the native fashion is to to buy a cow.” This employment go very nearly without clothing, and and money given to the natives brings where the sons and daughters of Chiefs crowds of them to Auckland, and some are not allowed to have anything to moral evil will incidentally spring cover them until they are grown up, out of it; but His Excellency the Christianity has done its proper work ; Governor-in-Chief is bringing a Bill and where there are Christians, the naked before the Legislative Council, to prevent are clothed : with these the native cloth any person from either selling or giving serves; but they highly value our cotton anything intoxicating to any person of and calico to wrap themselves round the native race. Under so wise a rule as with; it looks better, and wears longer, that of Governor Grey, the interests of than their own poor fabric made from the the natives will not be neglected, nor the bark of a tree. efforts of the devoted Missionary trifled I have seen their earthenware, in the with and frustrated, except in cases manufacture of which they have made to which the eye of Government does not considerable advancement. They conextend, and then never without regret. fine themselves to coarse brown ware,
Now, in the scale of elevated men, the some of which they make for culinary case will probably be seen at a future uses, and others are fancy articles. Douday in the following order ; namely, ble canoes and drinking-vessels are made
First, the New-Zealander, whose im- in small models. Some of their large proved moral condition is founded in cooking-vessels will hold a hogshead : Christianity as brought to him by the others restrict their capacity to a couple Missionaries, and whose social state will of quarts. The clay seems good ; but, have been further improved by a pater- as there are no ovens or kilns here, and nal Government, and by his association they are only burnt by loose faggots of with civilized men.
wood thrown round them, they are necesSecondly, the Feejeean, whose moral sarily deficient in strength. Still, with necessities will be met by our Christian care, they last a long time, and are a Mission to his country, and whose social great addition to the usual artificial improvement will have grown out of comforts in the islands of Tonga, and of his moral renovation and industrious some other groups. I have procured habits.
some specimens, which shall be forwarded Thirdly, the Friendly Islander, whose to Messrs. Venables and Co., and Barker idleness placed him far in the rear of and Till, of Burslem, who, I am sure, New Zealanders and Feejeeans, when in will readily send me out such suggesmany respects he stood before them in tions as may be useful for the improve. both; but without labour there is no ment of this art as now practised in profit under the sun. I shall not despair, Feejee. however, of that fine, elegant people, 15th. I have procured three Feejeean although at present they seemed almost wigs of different sizes, and coloured ruined for want of industry. The variously. They are certainly an exact Gospel has done much for them : Edu- imitation of the several ways in which cation will now become the handmaid of the Chiefs dress their natural hair, or Religion ; and wise laws will soon be rather get it dressed ; for many hours are introduced, which will act powerfully on spent over this work, and there are prothe whole nation. They now cease to fessed hair-dressers among them. In be subject to club-law; and it is not general the natives of all these islands to be wondered at, if a considerable dress and wear their hair very beauti. amount of something bordering on licen- fully ; and when they try to imitate us tiousness should here and there show by wearing hats or bonnets, they appear itself. These interesting people are in a quite degraded, and sometimes ridiculous. transition-state, and will soon take a new The wigs which I have procured would cast and mould, to abide during all the add dignity to almost any wearer, and future days of their existence.
are done up as tastefully and elegantly, as if they were designed for English Bishops, to obtain some calico to cover her perCounsellors, or Judges. When these son; as she began to lotu yesterday in people embrace Christianity, they cease the metropolis, next door to the King. to disfigure themselves by burning their Mr. Lyth was preaching there. The skin, and cutting off their hair: they lotu people are increasing, and of chief also cast aside such pompous trifles as women not a few.” Of course, we gave fine wigs, and showy ornaments worn on her the calico, and I shall take her lego, their legs and toes.
or garment, to the bazaar at Auckland, 16th.—Mr. Jaggar presented me with to assist us, by its sale, in building the some native-made salt, weighing about house of the Lord. It is cheering to witeight pounds. They make this from salt ness in all persons who lotu here, that water: by the application of heat, they two things are desired by them ; nainely, evaporate the water, and retain the salt a garment to appear decent in, when they in their earthenware ovens, or cookingasseinble with the worshippers of God, pots. The damp of this climate is such and a book from which they may gather that the salt, as well as sugar, very further instructions. Thus the body and quickly becomes moist; but they guard the mind are cared for at the same time, against this by hanging their salt, very and the principles of initial civilization much in the form of loaf-sugar, over and social comfort are fostered by their fire-places: this prevents it from Christianity. melting, but turns it black outside. As When the melting heat will permit the sugar-cane thrives well here, the me, I ramble among the luxuriant woods time will, no doubt, come, when these and hills of this very picturesque coun. people will be taught to turn this article try, more like New Zealand than any to good account; as also many others, other land that I have visited, in its which their fine, well-watered country uneven surface, and rich clay subsoil. produces without the aid of the cultiva. Next to the mighty moral enterprise now tor's hand; such as the tea-plant of in progress in the hands of my devoted China, carraway-seed, the lofty nutmeg- brethren, by which a nation shall be tree, turmeric, arrowroot, capsicum, and induced to change its false gods for vital the sarsaparilla shrub. All these, and and pure religion, are the developed some others, I have seen and handled. works of God in the kingdom of nature. The large and beautiful bread-fruit tree In these I find a zest of delight only to abounds here, with very many other be enjoyed in circumstances like mine, native fruit-trees, most abundant in ex, and by a person such as the Psalmist cellent fruit for the use of man: yet this describes : “ The works of God are great, is the land where sin has triumphed over sought out of them who have pleasure the fallen race to such an extent, that the therein.” Here everything is luxuriant “ vile affections” are not satisfied until and grand : the tree, the shrub, the the reeking murderer has eaten the man flower, the leaf, are all fresh, strong, and who was his neighbour, brought up with brought to perfection, New and beauhim. But the Liberator is come, the tiful varieties meet the eye at every turn. Redeemer is proclaimed in Feejee, and Fruits and flowers teem by the way-side : the ransomed of the Lord are begin- the fruit is good for food, and the odours ing to appear “clothed at the feet of of the flowers defy description. Birds Jesus, and in their right mind.”
are few, and their song not very attracSunday, 17th. The early prayer- tive; but, in general, their plumage is meeting was well attended, notwithstand. rich and gay. The insect tribes are seen ing the heavy rain. At half-past nine I here to great advantage, especially the preached to a very interesting black con- coleoptera. Many large and lazy butgregation. Mr. Hunt interpreted with terflies present the eye with gorgeous great facility and energy. Twelve adults hues. The libellula of this land are of and three children were publicly baptized, a ruhy colour, and I have seen here a and great was the emotion manifested beetle, the staphylinus, flying with eyes throughout the congregation. Surely “the as bright as the Chinese fire-fly, emitting power of God was present to heal.” The a clear light for a considerable distance. private houses were generally vocal with But if the botany and entomology of the songs of praise; and the voice of prayer, tropical isles present us with extraordinary “with strong crying and tears,” prevailed specimens of natural history, what can throughout the holy day.
be said of the Feejeean conchology ? It 18th. An elderly woman has just is here that we enter on a world of woncalled here to exchange her native dress, ders, the more valuable because they can about eight inches wide, made to wrap be secured and preserved; whereas, the round the middle. For this she wished heat and living insects render it very diffi