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return to England from failure of health, the Rev. John Dalgliesh was appointed, in 1842, to the charge of the Station. He continued to be the resident Missionary until October, 1849, when, upon his accession to the pastorate of the church and congregation at New Amsterdam, the general duties of the Lonsdale Mission devolved upon Mr. John Foreman, Mr. Dalgliesh continuing to make periodical visits to the station, to administer the ordinances.
This portion of the vineyard, it will be seen, has thus long enjoyed the advantage of Christian instruction, and we are happy to add that, not only have the people been brought to participate in the civil rights and immunities of free men, but many of them have likewise been emancipated from the bondage of sin and error, and made the happy subjects of that glorious liberty wherewith Christ makes his people free.
With respect to the Mission Buildings represented in the Engraving (see page 217), it is to be observed, that the Chapel, originally built by Mr. Wray, was subsequently enlarged, and will now seat 600 adults and 200 children, the average congregation being about 700. The Schoolhouse, which was completed about the time Mr. Dalgliesh took charge of the station, accommodates 130 children, the usual number in attendance. The Dwelling-house was erected several years ago, a gallery having been erected at a later period.
Mr. Dalgliesh, who is at present on a visit to this country for the benefit of his health, in reporting the state of the Lonsdale Mission for the last year, remarks, that the members of the Church, about 200 in number, have maintained an exemplary deportment, and lived at peace among themselves.
In connexion with the station are two interesting Bible-classes, the one for males, taught by Mr. Foreman; the other for females, by Mrs. Foreman. The male class is attended by about twenty young men, most of whom were formerly in the day-school, and are now efficient Sabbathschool teachers.
The Sabbath-schools have afforded much pleasure, both as regards the teachers and the children. The former have been in the regular habit of meeting Mr. Foreman twice a week for religious instruction, with a view to the more efficient discharge of their school duties.
The Day-school also continues to form a very cheering field of labour, and so great is the attachment of the children to the school, that the parents experience great difficulty in keeping them at home, even on indispensable occasions.
The annual examination took place on the 27th of November last, when a large number of persons present, who take a deep interest in the education of the young, expressed themselves highly pleased with the progress and attainments of the children.
GROSS PROFANATION OF THE LORD'S-DAY, ENFORCED BY THE FRENCH GOVERNOR, SINCE the establishment of the French Protectorate in this island, the Missionaries have had repeatedly to complain of the restrictions imposed upon them in the discharge of their sacred functions, and of the disregard evinced by the authorities to the terms of the treaty guaranteeing the religious liberties of the island. But on no preceding occasion has so gross an abuse of power, and so grievous a violation of the rights of conscience been perpetrated as in the instance which we now, with the deepest regret, communicate to our readers.
By the orders of Governor Bonard, the 4th of last May, the Christian Sabbath, was appointed to be observed as a season of festivity, in honour of the anniversary of the French Republic. So unprecedented an outrage on the feelings of the religious portion of the community could not but be highly offensive to the Missionaries and others; and means were used to induce the governor to postpone the projected festivities till the morrow, but in vain.
From the mournful details given in the following correspondence, of the scenes that were enacted at Papeete on that Sabbath, it will be seen that many whose principles had been proof against the power of the French, and the sophistries of the priests, have, for the time at least, grievously fallen into the snare of the tempter. While deeply deploring a result so dishonouring to the gospel, and so disappointing to the Chris tian friends of Tahiti, we should wish it to be borne in mind, that these unhappy people have now, for several years, been the subjects of a foreign and despotic power; that they are no longer free agents, and that the moral weakness they have exhibited in the day of trial is a not infrequent, though painful, result of the loss of national independence.
It is pleasing, however, to add, that in no part of the island, excepting Papeete, which, as the seat of government, is peculiarly under French influence, was the sacred day thus profaned; and we are distinctly informed that, at some of the Missionary stations, it was observed with marked reverence and solemnity.
On the Lord's-day immediately preceding the 4th of May, the Missionaries, in addressing their respective flocks, took occasion to admonish them as to their Christian duty in the prospect of the approaching erisis; and as it devolved upon the Rev. William Howe to preach at Papeete to a congregation of English, American, and other foreigners, he so faith fully denounced the unrighteous ordinance, that he has rendered himself obnoxious to a government prosecution. The result of the trial has not yet transpired in this country; but as there is every reason to apprehend that a conviction would be obtained, and be followed by Mr. Howe's imprisonment, our beloved brother and his colleagues have, at the present juncture, a strong claim upon the sympathies and prayers of the Society.
The Directors have already memorialized her Majesty's Government on the subject of these flagrant violations of the treaty entered into between Admiral Du Petit Thouars and Queen Pomare, in the year 1842; and they are not without hopes that, through its friendly mediation with the Government of France, an end may be put to the oppressive proceedings of which, as will be seen from the following correspondence, there is such just cause to complain.
The Rev. A. Chisholm, writing on behalf of the Committee of Missionaries in Tahiti, under date, Papeete, May 1st, 1851, makes the following statement :
"In ours of last month, we advised you of the difficulties in which we were involved, in consequence of the enactment of the new laws in regard to Missionaries. We have now the disagreeable duty to discharge of informing you that fresh troubles have since arisen, from a quarter we did not then anticipate. In the Government Gazette of the 24th of April, published in the native language, an an. nouncement was made that Sabbath, the 4th day of May, being the anniversary of the establishment of the French Republic, had been commanded to be observed as a fête-day in France, and that it was also to be so observed in all the French colonies. A programme of the engagements and amusements for the day was then given, and is as follows: "The things to be attended to on Sabbath, May 4th:
"1. At 7 A.M.-A discharge of artillery.
2. At 11 A.M.-The French governor will receive district-governors and chief judges, who are to be introduced by Paraita Regent.
"3. At 12 M.D.-The band will commence playing, when the greasy pole will be climbed, and also the revolving machine. "4. At 3 P.M.-A feast will be given to the native dancers.
involve the natives; and the shock apparently given to their minds was not less than we ourselves felt. The consequence was, that our thoughts were naturally directed to the subject in our Sabbath-ministrations, when justice to our own consciences, as well as to the souls of our hearers, compelled us to speak plainly on the subject. In the English chapel here, Mr. Howe took for his text, Isaiah lviii. 13th and 14th verses, from which he took occasion to show the blessings to be expected by nations and individuals from a rigid observance of that blessed day, and the disastrous consequences likely to result from its desecration. The hearers generally, both English and Americans, expressed themselves highly gratified by what they heard; and several of them have since expressed, in writing, as to the entirely unobjectionable character of the sermon on the points in question. It seems, however, that a son of Mr. Orsmond's, who was present, reported to an officer of government the following passage:
"Woe to those who fill high places, and ought, therefore, to be an example to those around them of obedience to the laws of God, when they take an opposite course! What will be the end of that man, who, when God declares his day shall be kept holy, replies, It shall not be so; but takes God's day and divides it into portions, setting apart one portion for one pleasure, and another for another, and, when the sun has declined, crowns the whole by an arrangement to spend the night in amusements equal in folly to those that have occupied the hours of the day? The end of such an one is fearful to contemplate, if he persevere in such a course. "My soul, come not thou into their secret, and unto their assembly mine honour, be not thou united!" Friends, let not one of us sanction such proceedings!'
"On account of this, Mr. Howe was summoned to appear before the police two days after, and the question was put to him, whether he had uttered such sentiments; to which he at once replied, he had considered it his duty thus to express himself. He was then told that he must either make an apology for what he had expressed, or submit to a prosecution. The law which Mr. Howe was said to have violated is as follows:
"Ministers of religion (or worship) who shall pronounce, in the exercise of their ministry, and in a public assembly, a discourse containing a critique or censure upon the government concerning law, a royal ordinance, or any other act of public authority, shall be punished by an imprisonment of from three months to two years.'
"His reply on hearing the law read was, that he did not feel at liberty to make any apology, but requested forty-eight hours to be enabled to consult his brethren on the subject.
We met together on the evening of that day, and after looking carefully at the subject on all sides, came to the conclusion that brother Howe could not in conscience make an apology, further than express his regret that offence had been taken where it was not intended; and he accordingly addressed to the Head of Police the following note:
"Papeete, April 30th, 1851. "SIR,-I have fully thought over the affair for which I was called before you yesterday, and now beg permission to state, that as I was addressing a body of my own countrymen, and Americans, in my own tongue, and, as a Protestant minister, laboured to sustain the Protestant doctrine of the strict observance of the Sabbath-day, independently of national law, and drew my arguments from the sacred Scriptures only; and as I fully believe in my conscience that all I said was true; that, as the statements were made in a Protestant and not in a Catholic country, I should feel it to be my duty to repeat similar sentiments under similar circumstances. I can only express my deep regret that the remarks which I considered it my duty to make, should have been construed into an attempt to bring the Government into contempt, as I had no such
"In the evening we were again waited on by the heads of police, when they informed Mr. Howe that the governor was by no means satisfied with Mr. Howe's communication, and that he must either immediately leave the island, or submit to a prosecution. As we had previously consulted Mr. Miller, the British Consul, on the subject, and he had strongly advised Mr. Howe to withdraw, rather than expose himself to the consequences of a prosecution; and as we were of opinion that no good end would be answered by Mr. Howe going to prison, which might not be equally obtained by Mr. Howe submitting to banishment, we recommended his acceding to that alternative. It must be added, that if any of our hearers in the native congregations had felt disposed to prefer similar charges, we were all equally liable to prosecution, as we had felt it our duty to express ourselves strongly on the subject to our several congregations; and indeed, our aged brother, Mr. Davies, had preached from the very same text as that preached from by Mr. Howe. After the matter had been so far arranged, Mr. Howe made a request that he might be allowed to remain until the return of the John Williams, in order to avoid expense to the Society. That request, however, has not been acceded to; but on the contrary he has been informed, that if he be found on Tahiti after the expiration of this month, the case must be proceeded with. So far, therefore, at present, as we can see our way clear, we think it advisable that Mr. Howe should retire to the Leeward, and occupy the house vacated by Mr. Krause until we hear from the Directors on the subject, which we entreat may be by the very earliest opportunity; as, if the Directors think that Mr. Howe had better return and stand his trial, he will be quite prepared to do so. It ought also to have been mentioned, that previous to this difficulty arising, Mr. Howe had received official notice to quit his present house and remove to Papava, according to the requirements of the new law, so that there be but
one Missionary to one district, and that he reside in that district. The consequence will be, that no agent of the Society will henceforth be permitted to live in Papeete, so as to exercise his Missionary functions among the natives.
"Several of the principal persons specially invited to be present on Sunday the 4th, have sent polite notices that they cannot comply with the invitation; and the church at Papeuriri, through one of the deacons, Fare Ahu, who is also a chief judge, presented a petition to the governor, that the festivities might be postponed until the Monday; their request, however, has not been granted; the day will no doubt be spent in folly and sin, and many, it is to be feared, will have their consciences defiled."
Writing again, under date May 8th, Mr. Chisholm states:
"On Sabbath last (4th inst.), notwithstanding all remonstrance, the amusements for the day, previously announced, were proceeded with.
"The queen stood firm until the evening of the day, when the governor went to her personally, and abused Mr. Howe as the cause of her obstinacy; and then, sad to relate, Mr. Orsmond was sent to complete the evil work. I subjoin an account of the day, as given by an eye-witness; none of us saw anything of it. Mr. Howe was at Papaoa, and Mr. J. Barff and I spent a most delightful Sabbath with the newly ordained pastor and his people at Fauu, none of whom came near Papeete that day, though within three miles.
"Sunday (May 4th). Fine weather: a grand salute in honour of the French revolution, at seven, A.M. Prayers were then said, and about noon, prizes were placed in the roundabouts, and so placed as to be reached on either side by a man sitting astride the machine, and balancing himself on it; these prizes consisted of shirts, calicos, fowls, and tobacco. The next amusement was climbing a greasy pole with prizes at the top. Madame Bonard, with the Sisters of Charity, and all the children under their care, were spectators. About four, P.M., the native dancers from the different districts marched in rows to pay their respects to the governor, by making a formal salute in their dance, according to the heathen practice. The dancing was kept up
by them, excited by drink, until eight o'clock. The queen's two elder boys were in the crowd as spectators, and she herself was led in by Mr. Orsmond, sen., to the governor, who after some little compliment handed her up stairs, and, having put a candle in her hand, instructed her how to let off the fireworks. After the display of fireworks, which lasted an hour, the governor's ball commenced, and a large muster of the native chiefs were in attendance, and French naval and military officers with their families, and some foreign residents. The natives were dressed in their different native costumes for dancing, with leaves and flowers, to correspond with the heathen dance. Very few English and American ladies and gentlemen were present at the ball, but many native chiefs.'
"Another very respectable English gentleman who witnessed the scene says, that it was most heart-rending to reflect that, after all that has been done for this people, and the measure of success that had attended the efforts, with what fearful rapidity they were thus hurried back towards heathenism. amusements provided for the people, even had it not been the Sabbath-day, were, in his opinion, of a most demoralizing tendency: no fewer than five different parties of dancers, men and girls promiscuously, with great drums beating, plentifully furnished with intoxicating drinks, and excited to use the most obscene gestures and language. An American lady, who was present at the ball, informs us, that poor Pomare seemed very disconsolate all the evening, and could not be induced to enter into conversation with any one, but was observed for the most part to be weeping. The evil effects of this desecration of the Lord's-day are already abundantly manifest. The queen's husband has again made shipwreck of faith. The queen's remonstrance, when pressed by the governor to attend the ball, &c., deserves to be recorded. She replied, I cannot go; the Word of God forbids it.' He remarked, 'The French have set apart this day as a day of rejoicing, and it must be kept;' and then charged Mr. Howe as being the cause of her obstinacy; to which she replied, 'You are quite mistaken; it is the command of God that keeps me back; but I have no power to resist your perseverance.""