« 이전계속 »
that time, ceased to grow and prevail: island after island has abandoned idolatry, and, while multitudes of the inhabitants have professed obedience to the faith; many have given satisfactory evidence of genuine conversion. All the principal events contributing towards this great change, or accompanying and following it, are touched upon in the volumes here submitted to the public, with sufficient clearness, it is hoped, to render any explanations unnecessary in this place.
In the year 1821, the Rev. Daniel Tyerman, of the Isle of Wight, and George Bennet, Esq. of Sheffield, were deputed by the Parent Society to visit the various stations in those uttermost parts of the sea, both for the purpose of cheering the hearts and strengthening the hands of the missionaries, and, as representatives of the Christian community at home, to witness and report what great things the Lord had done for the heathen there. The following quotations from a circular, issued by the directors, in 1820, will more particularly show their intentions in making the appointment which, at first, embraced the South Sea Islands only, though, in the sequel, it included the stations in the other quarters of the world :-"The great objects of the deputation will be, to make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the state of the missions, and of the islands; and to suggest, and, if possible, carry into effect, such plans as shall appear to be requisite for the furtherance of the gospel, and for introducing among the natives the occupations and habits of civilized life. In order to the attainment of these objects, it is proposed to form such arrangements as shall tend to the introduction of Christian churches; the establishment and improvements of schools for the children of the missionaries and of the natives, and, eventually, of
trades; and a proper and constant attention to the cultivation of the ground."
These first objects of their appointment being fulfilled, the deputation were subsequently instructed by the directors to proceed to Java, the East Indies, &c., on a like embassy of good-will and friendly inquiry, to the numerous establishments, insular and continental, in that quarter of the world, where the Society had agents, doing the work of evangelists. These additional duties having been likewise accomplished, the deputation, under special circumstances, were authorized to survey another field of missionary labor in Madagascar, where important results might be expected from their presence at that particular time. There, however, Mr. Tyerman was suddenly removed by death; and Mr. Bennet, in consequence of a political revolution in the island, was compelled to leave it. After visiting some of the stations in South Africa, he reached England in the summer of 1829; and, as early as arrangements could be made, the work now presented to the public was undertaken.
The documents, official and private, from which these volumes have been composed, were of great bulk, and exceedingly multifarious. They consisted chiefly of a journal kept by both members of the deputation, jointly, during the first two years of their travels, and a separate one by Mr. Tyerman, continued to nearly the day of his death. Mr. Bennet subsequently furnished several interesting narratives and other valuable contributions. These materials, however, were so extensive and miscellaneous, as well as so minute, that it became the duty of the compiler, instead of abridging or condensing the mass, to recompose the whole, in such a form as should enable him to bring forth, in succession, as they occurred to the travellers themselves,
the most striking and curious facts relative to their personal adventures, or which came to their knowledge by the way. He has, therefore, trod step by step after them, confining himself, as faithfully as practicable, to the order of subjects under the original dates, after exercising his best discretion in the use of his materials, chiefly consisting of memoranda, generally rough and unshapen-the first thoughts, in the first words of the writers, at the time, and upon the spot, recording the actual impressions and feelings awakened or confirmed by the things themselves. These he has endeavored so to exhibit as to do full justice to the individuals whose journals he was thus retracing, and on whose authority the statements derived from them must rest.
Throughout the whole of the first, and the early chapters of the second, volume, great care has been taken to preserve as many personal, national, and moral traits of character, traditions, fragments of history, and anecdotes, of the superstition, forms of government, manners, customs, and practices, of the inhabitants of the South and North Pacific Islanders, as could be published without offence to decorum. But it must be plainly stated that the half of their abominations may not be told-however harmless, amiable, and happy they have been represented, in their former state, by occasional visitors, too many of whom loved them for their licentiousness, and knew little, and cared less, about the reckless tyranny of their chiefs, the diabolical frauds of their priests, their wars of massacre, and their unnatural cruelties one towards another, especially their nearest connections. Nothing which has contributed to make a class of human beings either better or worse than otherwise they would have been, and at the same time different from all others of their fellow-creatures, can be insignificant or un
interesting; and however puerile, absurd, horrible, or revolting, many things here stated may be in themselves, it was from the accumulation and pressure of these that society, through unregistered ages, took its form in the most fertile and beautiful regions of the Pacific. Hence the slightest memorial of the least influential of such co-operating causes must be of some value, and worthy of preservation, if it add but an atom to our knowledge of human nature, essentially the same every where, though varying in its aspect according to external contingencies. A chapter would have been wanting in the history of our species, or at best the contents of it, collected from other sources, would be exceedingly deficient, if the authentic information furnished by resident missionaries, and collected by the late deputation, were not now rescued from oblivion, and put upon record, in such publications as Mr. Ellis's Polynesian Researches and the following Journal. From the plan of the latter, it will be found that the same topics are occasionally referred to again and again; but in each instance presented under new phases, and with additional particulars, as the travellers obtained fuller and clearer intelligence on points which were continually the object of inquiry and examination. In a few years all traces of the former things which are now done away would have been for ever obliterated: the old who still remember them would be dead; the rising generation, of course, are brought up in the knowledge of those better things which are regenerating society throughout all the Christianized islands. This, then, which would have been expedient under any circumstances, has become necessary at the present time, when the grossest fictions are invented, industriously circulated, and in
some instances eagerly received-to bring the missionaries and their labors into contempt.
In chapter xxxii. vol. ii. p. 217, of this work, will be found some mention of a visit paid by the Russian Captain Kotzebue to Tahiti, at a time when the deputation were there. There has lately been published in England what is called "A New Voyage Round the World," &c. by this gentleman. In a section of more than a hundred pages, entitled "O Tahaiti," the writer has thought proper to assert as historical facts things which never happened under the sun, and to express sentiments, concerning the missionaries and their converts, which no man could entertain who was not under strong prejudice, if not actual delusion. This is not the place to expose his errors in detail. That will, probably, be done from another quarter, and by an abler hand; but two or three of his misrepresentations must not be passed over, as they stand in direct contradiction to much that will be found in the following pages respecting the introduction of Christianity and its benign effects in the Society Islands. The captain says:—
"After many fruitless efforts, some English missionaries succeeded at length, in the year 1797, in introducing what they called Christianity into Tahaiti, and even in gaining over to their doctrine king Tajo, who then governed the whole island in peace and tranquillity. This conversion was a spark thrown into a powder magazine, and was followed by a fearful explosion. The marais were suddenly destroyed by order of the king-every memorial of the former worship defaced—the new religion forcibly established, and whoever would not adopt it put to death. With the zeal for making proselytes, the rage of tigers took possession