Page images

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.


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 só 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 Christian 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, exeepting Papeete, which, as the seat of government, is peculiarly under French influence, was the sacred day thus profaned; and we are distinetly 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 se faith fully denounced the unrighteous ordinance, that he has rendered himself obnoxious to a government prosecution. The result of the trial bas 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.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

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 involve the natives; and the shock apparently the difficulties in which we were involved, in given to their minds was not less than we consequence of the enactment of the new laws ourselves felt. The consequence was, that in regard to Missionaries. We have now the our thoughts were naturally directed to the disagreeable duty to discharge of informing you subject in our Sabbath-ministrations, when that fresh troubles have since arisen, from a justice to our own consciences, as well as to quarter we did not then anticipate. In the the souls of our hearers, compelled us to Government Gazette of the 24th of April, speak plainly on the subject. In the English published in the native language, an an. chapel here, Mr. Howe took for his text, nouncement was made that Sabbath, the 4th Isaiah lviii, 13th and 14th verses, from which day of May, being the anniversary of the he took occasion to show the blessings to be establishment of the French Republic, had expected by nations and individuals from a been commanded to be observed as a fête-day rigid observance of that blessed day, and the in France, and that it was also to be so ob disastrous consequences likely to result from served in all the French colonies. A pro its desecration. The hearers generally, both gramme of the engagements and amusements English and Americans, expressed themselves for the day was then given, and is as follows: highly gratified by what they heard ; and " * The things to be attended to on Sabbath, several of them have since expressed, in writMay 4th:

ing, as to the entirely unobjectionable cha“1. At 7 A.M.-A discharge of artillery. racter of the sermon on the points in ques6.2. At 11 A.M. - The French governor tion. It seems, however, that a son of Mr.

will receive district-governors and chief Orsmond's, who was present, reported to an judges, who are to be introduced by officer of government the following passage:Paraita Regent.

Woe to those who fill high places, and 6.3. At 12 M.D.-The band will commence ought, therefore, to be an example to those

playing, when the greasy pole will be around them of obedience to the laws of God,

climbed, and also the revolving inachine. when they take an opposite course! What "64. At 3 P.M.-A feast will be given to will be the end of that man, who, when God the native dancers.

declares his day shall be kept holy, replies, It 6.5. At 7 P.M.- The public buildings will shall not be so; but takes God's day and dibe illuminated.

vides it into portions, setting apart one por6. At 8 P.M.-Fireworks.

tion for one pleasure, and another for another, "67. At 9 P.M.- A ball will be given by and, when the sun has declined, crowns the

the governor, at which the district-go whole by an arrangement to spend the night in vernors, chief judges, and principal per amusements equal in folly to those that have sons, are invited to be present.'

occupied the hours of the day? The end of "As you may conceive, our minds were such an one is fearful to contemplate, if he perexceedingly distressed by this announcement, severe in such a course. “My soul, come not as there has not hitherto been anything ap thou into their secret, and unto their assenıbly proaching to such an open and undisguised mine honour, be not thou united!” Friends, violation of the Lord's-day, at least so as to let not one of us sanction such proceedings!'

“ On account of this, Mr. Howe was sum intention, nor can I admit the correctness of moned to appear before the police two days such a conclusion. after, and the question was put to him, whe

4. I have the honour to remain, ther he had uttered such sentiments; to which

4 * Your obedient, humble Servant, he at once replied, he had considered it his duty

(Signed) thus to express himself. He was then told

** WILLIAM Howe.' that he must either make an apology for what “In the evening we were again waited on he had expressed, or submit to a prosecution. by the heads of police, when they informed The law which Mr. Howe was said to have Mr. Howe that the governor was by no means violated is as follows:

satisfied with Mr. Howe's communication, " Ministers of religion (or worship) who and that he must either immediately leave the shall pronounce, in the exercise of their minis island, or submit to a prosecution. As we try, and in a public assembly, a discourse had previously consulted Mr. Miller, the containing a critique or censure upon the British Consul, on the subject, and he had government concerning a law, a royal ordi strongly advised Mr. Howe to withdraw, nance, or any other act of public authority, rather than expose himself to the conse. shall be punished by an imprisonment of quences of a prosecution; and as we were of from three months to two years.'

opinion that no good end would be answered “ His reply on hearing the law read was, by Mr. Howe going to prison, which miglit that he did not feel at liberty to make any not be equally obtained by Mr. Howe subapology, but requested forty-eight hours to be mitting to banishment, we recommended his enabled to consult his brethren on the sub acceding to that alternative. It must be ject. We met together on the evening of added, that if any of our hearers in the that day, and after looking carefully at the native congregations had felt disposed to presubject on all sides, came to the conclusion fer similar charges, we were all equally liable that brother Howe could not in conscience to prosecution, as we had felt it our duty to make an apology, further than express his express ourselves strongly on the subject to regret that offence had been taken where our several congregations; and indeed, our it was not intended; and he accordingly aged brother, Mr. Davies, had preached from addressed to the Head of Police the follow the very same text as that preached from by ing note:

Mr. Howe. After the matter had been so far

arranged, Mr. Howe made a request that he " Papeete, April 30th, 1851.

might be allowed to remain until the return ""SIR,-I have fully thought over the of the John Williams, in order to avoid exaffair for which I was called before you yes pense to the Society. That request, however, terday, and now beg permission to state, that has not been acceded to; but on the contrary as I was addressing a body of my own he has been informed, that if he be found on countrymen, and Americans, in my own Tahiti after the expiration of this month, tongue, and, as a Protestant minister, laboured the case must be proceeded with. So far, to sustain the Protestant doctrine of the therefore, at present, as we can see our way strict observance of the Sabbath-day, in clear, we think it advisable that Mr. Howe dependently of national law, and drew my should retire to the Leeward, and occupy the arguments from the sacred Scriptures only; house vacated by Mr. Krause until we bear and as I fully believe in my conscience that from the Directors on the subject, which we all I said was true; that, as the statements entreat may be by the very earliest opportunity; were made in a Protestant and not in a as, if the Directors think that Mr. Howe bad Catholic country, I should feel it to be my better return and stand his trial, he will be duty to repeat similar sentiments under quite prepared to do so. It ought also to similar circumstances. I can only express have been mentioned, that previous to this my deep regret that the remarks which I con difficulty arising, Mr. Howe had received sidered it my duty to make, should have been official notice to quit his present house and reconstrued into an attempt to bring the move to Papava, according to the requireGovernment into contempt, as I had no such ments of the new law, so that there be but

one Missionary to one district, and that he by them, excited by drink, until eight reside in that district. The consequence will o'clock. The queen's two elder boys were be, that no agent of the Society will hence in the crowd as spectators, and she herself forth be permitted to live in Papeete, so as to was led in by Mr. Orsmond, sen., to the exercise bis Missionary functions among the governor, who after some little compliment natives.

handed her up stairs, and, having put a “ Several of the principal persons specially candle in her hand, instructed her how to let invited to be present on Sunday the 4th, have off the fireworks. After the display of firesent polite notices that they cannot comply works, which lasted an hour, the governor's with the invitation; and the church at ball commenced, and a large muster of the Papeuriri, through one of the deacons, Fare native chiefs were in attendance, and French Ahu, who is also a chief judge, presented a naval and military officers with their families, petition to the governor, that the festivities and some foreign residents. The natives might be postponed until the Monday; their were dressed in their different native costumes request, however, has not been granted; the for dancing, with leaves and flowers, to corresday will no doubt be spent in folly and sin, pond with the heathen dance. Very few Engand many, it is to be feared, will have their lish and American ladies and gentlemen were consciences defiled."

present at the ball, but many native chiefs.' Writing again, under date May 8th, Mr. " Another very respectable English gentleChisholm states:

man who witnessed the scene says, that it On Sabbath last (4th inst.), notwith was most heart-rending to reflect that, after all standing all remonstrance, the amusements that has been done for this people, and the for the day, previously announced, were pro measure of success that had attended the ceeded with.

efforts, with what fearful rapidity they were “The queen stood firm until the evening

thus hurried back towards heathenism. The of the day, when the governor went to her amusements provided for the people, even personally, and abused Mr. Howe as the

had it not been the Sabbath-day, were, in his cause of her obstinacy; and then, sad to re opinion, of a most demoralizing tendency : late, Mr. Orsmond was sent to complete the no fewer than five different parties of dancers, evil work. I subjoin an account of the day, men and girls promiscuously, with great as given by an eye-witness; none of us saw drums beating, plentifully furnished with anything of it. Mr. Howe was at Papaoa, intoxicating drinks, and excited to use the and Mr. J. Barff and I spent a most delightful most obscene gestures and language. An Sabbath with the newly ordained pastor and American lady, who was present at the ball, his people at Fauu, none of whom came near informs us, that poor Pomare seemed very Papeete that day, though within three miles. disconsolate all the evening, and could not be

“ "Sunday (May 4th). Fine weather: a induced to enter into conversation with any grand salute in honour of the French revolu one, but was observed for the most part to be tion, at seven, A.M. Prayers were then said, weeping. The evil effects of this desecraand about noon, prizes were placed in the tion of the Lord's-day are already abundantly roundabouts, and so placed as to be reached manifest. The queen's husband has again on either side by a man sitting astride the made shipwreck of faith. The queen's remachine, and balancing himself on it; these monstrance, when pressed by the governor to prizes consisted of shirts, calicos, fowls, and attend the ball, &c., deserves to be recorded. tobacco. The next amusement was climbing She replied, 'I cannot go; the Word of God a greasy pole with prizes at the top. Madame forbids it.' He remarked, 'The French have Bonard, with the Sisters of Charity, and all set apart this day as a day of rejoicing, and it the children under their care, were spectators. must be kept;' and then charged Mr. Howe About four, P.M., the native dancers from the as being the cause of her obstinacy; to which different districts marched in rows to pay she replied, "You are quite mistaken; it is their respects to the governor, by making a the command of God that keeps me back; formal salute in their dance, according to the but I have no power to resist your perseheathen practice. The dancing was kept up verance."

« PreviousContinue »