Sheldon Dibble.

History and general views of the Sandwich Islands' Mission online

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iPUCLISflFM B^ TA\1.nceahTjent of the b ries of Kame-
hmmeha. The kin2;don^ descends to Liholi-
ho. A B'tMTiON OF Idolatry. Tiie motives
which h'd to it. Keukuaokalani tefuses to
renounce idolatry. The eventful b.mle.
Kesult, the Ji'iswcr nf prayer. Arrival, hf
TiiK FiR-T Missi N'ARiKS. 'I hcir leelini:s as
thry upproach tlie islands. First intel.i-
•;pnce they receive. First interview witli
the ship. Permission to reside on the islands.
A«issionaries' wives. Location of the mis-

Chap. IV. Progress of the Gospel - 75

Obstacles remiinint^. Misconception of
the truth comnmnicdted. Jealousy toward
the mi.ssionaries. Instances of jealousy.
The iiiflur-nces tending to t^ubdue jca'ousy.


Amazement ofthe isiaiid> rsat the ait of writ-
ing. Anecdotes toil. ustrate it. Cominence-
nicni of schools. Conv.-rts. Bartimkus.
Other interesting conveits. Conduct ot the
kin)rt to revive id~iti()Ns of God's i'ko-
viDENCE. llefusal of re.sid?.nce to ihe Ro-
man C itliulic missionaries. God's con-
stant care.

Chap. VI. Present state of improve-

m3iit 113

Contrast. Knowledge of Geography.
Arithmetic and other sciencs-s. VVriiing.
Printing. Astronomy. Schools. Civiliz-
ed habits. 'I'rial for capital offences. Pro-
perty safe. Chan'Ge in respect to murder,
intemperance, and lewdness. Chani^e in re-
gaid to Id )!^ \V 'Rsiip, Infanticide, and
iViuiiDER OF Pareni's, desertion of tlie sir.k,
and sLoniii;^ of inaiiiac-s. Contrast. Power
of the gospel. Revivals. Missionary spirit
among tlie islanders Support of their own
institutions, 'i'he gospel a perfect remedy.

Chap. VII. Peculiarities of mind - 131

Nature of the mis.sionary work. No pre-
scribed mode ot instruction. Obstacles. —
The heathen an uiithinking people. Des-
titution of terms to express reliu;ious subjects.
N.> just i lea of a self-existent and holy God.
Necessity of manufacturing leims. Pre-oc-
cupation of the mind with fa'se notions. An
illustration. Undue reliance on iho good
opinion of the missionary. Tue Custom op


Thought-Telling. Difficulty of distin-
guishing true inquirers. Thought-telling
accompanied with presents. An instance.
Experiences of new converts. Deceptive ap-

(vHAP. VIII. Methods of Instruction - 150

Distribution of the Scriptures, and of reli-
gious books and tracts. Itinerant preaching;.
Tour of Puna. Tour of Hilo. The world
not to be converted cheap. Stated Preach-
ing. Houses of worship. Description of a
congregation. Style of pr'^aching. Review
of sermons. Catechetical instruction. Ef-
forts with the young. Missionary work, a
work of toil. The work, notwithstanding
all obstacles, very encouraging.

Chap. IX. Reasons for Schools - 168

Introductory remarks. The object wliich
the niis.sion has in view. "Work among the
American Indians. Causes that extermi-
nate the heathen. Dubious prospect of
heathen nations. A thorough system of
education needed. Schools prepare the mind
to hear the gospel. Conversion of scholars.
To schools we look for future laborers. With-
out schools the nation always in infancy. A
Variety of laborers must be trained in
schools. The various means used in a chris-
tian village. A christian village reduced to
heathenism. The vantage ground of a pas-
tor at home above a missionary. The means
used at home, needed abroad. For the labo-
rers needed we must look to schools. Schools
must be thoroughly under christian influ-
ence. The prospect of Hawaiian child-
ren if left without schools. Education a
barrier against Romanism. Native labor-
'•rs trained in schools the hope of Polynesia.
Reasons enumerated.



Chap. X. Description of Schools - 197

System of The same need of
schools Ml oilier missionary fields. To edu-
cate all nniioiis an immeise work. Mission
seminary. Ft male sfminary. Bosrdino-
school. Comnjoij schools. 1 he feelings of deeply fulisted. Schools dis-
banded. An interesting incident. Now
the lime to do much in schools.

Chap. XL The wide FieJcl - - 20C

The thought that Kugjiesied this chapter.
The view aimed at. Reasons for it. Nu-
merous Isluniisof ilie Pacific. Two races.
Three classes of islands. Former darkness.
Present li^ht. ^ew Zealynd. Isles of the
Souths as. Tahiti and S»m the
Society Is ands. A peculiar providence.
Success at R.rniu. Hervey Islands. Geo-
graphical sketch. Aitutaki. Overthrow of
id )iatry. Man^aia. Landing of teachers.
Success at Mangaia. Aiiu, Mitiavo, and
Mauke. Rejection of idols. Raroionga.
Landing of native teachers at Raiotonga.
Courage and devotion of Papeiha. Uver-
thiow of idolatry, f- ingular testimony of a
Tahiiian woman. Planting of ioreign mis-
sionari s ai Katot« nga. JSames ot the iSa-
moa Islands. Favoring jtrovidences. Se-
cond visit to the islands. Desire for teachers.
Arrival of foreign missionaries. Friendly
I.slar.ds. Hapai Islands Vavau Islands.
Dangrous \ ichijjelago. Maiquesas Islands.
Use of the fa(ts na-iated. ISoi a small cn-
tc. prise. Maiked by God's special favor.
Safety secured to .«?hips. Mere glorious
results. Im])ortance of mission semina-



Chap. XII. The late revival - - 264

Slate of feeling in 183G. Deep feeling for
the world's conversion in 1837. Afflictive
dispensations. Couimencemcnt of the great
revival. Protracted meeting at Waiiukiu
Progress and power of tlie work. Number
of liopeful conversions during the year 1838-
Difl'erence of practice in admitting members.
Chaiacter of converts. Means used. Large
congregations, immense labor and respon-
Bitiiliiy. Interesting scenes. The duty of




Object aimed at.

In entering upon a brief narrative of the
Sandwich Islands' Mission, we may appro-
priately call to mind the expression of the
Prophet, < For behold the darkness shall
cover the Earthy and gross darkness the
People : but the Lord shall arise upon
thee^ and his glory shall be seen upoji thee!'
— Darkness, thick darkness, once covered
the Sandwich Islanders. Now the liofht and
glory of the Lord our God is seen upon

Let me first lead you back to the early
history of the islands. The object aimed
at in doing so is to exhibit the people just
as they were without the influence of the
religion of Jesus. This is of the more im-
portance, because, if you can appreciate the


Obscurity of the early history.

condition of one heathen nation, you can
form some just view of the whole pagan
world. A plain statement of facts, it is be-
lieved, will be the most correct and graphic
description of their former degraded and
destitute condition. Look, then, at the Ha-
waiians as they were, and from them judge
of a large portion of the human race.

The early history of the Hawaiian nation
is involved in uncertainty. It could not be
otherwise with the history of a people en-
tirely ignorant of the art of writing. Tra-
ditions, indeed, are abundant; but traditions
are a mass of rubbish, from which it is al-
ways difficult to extricate truth. Very little
can be ascertained with certainty, beyond
the memory of the present generation, and
the records of Europeans who first visited
the islands.

The origin of the Hcnvaiian Islands is
matter of conjecture. Some think that
where the islands are now. was once nothing
but the rolling ocean — that the whole group,
with their iron-bound coasts and snow-crest-
ed mountains, were thrown up from the
depth below by volcanic agency. The is-


Origin of the Hawaiian islands— of the p ople.

lands are merely masses of lava. No rock
that has not been thoroughly burnt to a cin-
der or melted to lava, has ever been found
on the whole group. Even the soil is de-
composed lava. Craters of extinct volca-
noes are every where to be seen on all the
islands — some are partially extinct, contin-
uing to emit smoke ; and one presents a lake
of raging fire, with occasional irruptions of
awful grandeur. Such is the character not
only of the Hawaiian Island.*?, but of many
groups of islands in the Pacific Ocean.
From these appearances the opinion is form-
ed that the islands are of volcanic origin.
But, what most deeply concerns us, is, that
these islands, however formed, are the resi-
dence of immortal beings like ourselves, des-
tined to Heaven or to Hell.

The origin of the people of Hawaii is
somewhat uncertain. This, however, we
know, that they are evidently of the same
race with the inhabitants of most of the va-
rious groups of islands in the East Pacific.
The people of New Zealand, the Society
and Tahiti Islands, the Harvey Islands, the
Friendly Islands, the Navigator's Islands,



Manner of spreading from island to island.

the Marquesas Islands, the Sandwich Isl-
ands, and some others of the same range, ex-
hibit the same features, the same manners
and customs, and speak substantially the
same lanoruage. This circumstance is an
amazing facility in propagating the gospel
over the wide Pacific, and is therefore a fact
of immense interest to all who pray for the
coming of Christ's kingdom.

From which continent, or what portion
of either continent, this extensive range of
Polynesia was peopled, is a question of some
interest. And we have but little hesitation
in saying that they originated from the Ma-
lay coast. Their features and color are the
same with the Malays, and many words in
their language very much the same. The
manner in which they spread abroad over
the ocean, from island to island, is easily
conjectured. Canoes filled with men and
women, in passing from place to place or
from one island to another of the same
group, are sometimes blown out to sea and
from sight of land. Then they are liable
to wander about on the bosom of the deep,
and perish, or fall in with some other group



of islands. Many instances of this kind
have occurred recently. Individuals were
found on the Navigator's Islands, at the visit
of Mr. Williams, who had wandered in this
way from a small island south of the Soci-
ety group. Others were found on the Na-
vigator's Islands, who had wandered from
Rarotonga, one of the Harvey grou p. Chris-
tianity was introduced at Rurutu in this
way, one of the islands of the South Paci-
fic. Two enterprising chiefs of Rurutu left
the island on account of an epidemic, and
went to Tabuai. On returning from Ta-
buai they were overtaken with a violent
storm, and driven from their course. For
three weeks they wandered they knew not
whither, till at length they fell upon the
coral reef of Maurua, the most westward of
the Society Islands, became acquainted with
the gospel, and were safely returned to their
native isle.

A Japanese junk lately came ashore in
this way on the Island of Oahu — some of
the crew were alive. In this manner, pro-
bably, the untold islands in the broad ocean
have been peopled with immortal beings.


Antiquity of the Hawaiian nation.

The antiquity of the Haioaiian nation
is very considerable. There have always
been some persons, appointed by govern-
ment from time immemorial, whose special
business it has been to preserve unimpaired
the genealogy of their kings. This genea-
logy embraces the names of seventy-seven
kinofs. Stories are connected with most of
this long list of kings, which doubtless are
a mixture of truth, forge tfulness, and fancy.

The Christian is curious to inquire at what
time the people relapsed into a state of
heathenism. We know that all the inhab-
itants of the earth descended from Noah.
The children of Noah and some generations
down must have known the great Jehovah,
and ihe leading principles of true religion.
There was a time, of course, when the an-
cestors of the Hawaiian nation were ac-
quainted with the true God and the service
which he requires. When did the ancestors
of the Hawaiian nation relapse into a state
of lieathenism ? The only answer is, from
time immemorial. The most ancient tra-
dition bears no mark of a better state. Ac-
cording to tradition, their idol worship or


Time of relapse into a state of heathenism.

tabu system was in force as early as the
reign of their first kings ; and its origin is
imputed to the vilest and fiercest passions.
It is represented as a price paid to the gods
for hceiise to commit crime — a characteris-
tic common to pagan nations the world over.
All their traditions, however remote, bear the
impress of degradation, pollution, and blood.
For many generations, then, or farther
back than tradition can trace, they had been
sinking deeper and deeper in all that hard-
ens the heart to deeds of cruelty, and in all
that degrades and brutalizes both the body
and the soul. Like a sinking weight, they
had sunk lower and lower ; and like a ma-
lignant disease, their case had become more
and more inveterate. The state of heathen
society cannot, from the nature of the case,
be stationary. It is even ivorse now than
when described by the Apostle Paul. Who
can measure the immense depths to which
for ages sinking the degraded islanders had
sunk, and to which Satan, in his undisturbed
efibrts for many centuries, had succeeded in
reducing them. And how immense the
multitude who sunk to a cheerless grave and


Tradition of ships seen from the Islands.

to a dark eternity before the light of the
gospel beamed upon them !

At length it pleased God, for high and
benevolent purposes, as later history shows,
that the Hawaiian Islands should come to
the knowledge of civiUzed nations. Tradi-
tion speaks of several ships seen from the
islands before their discovery by Captain
Cook ; and it speaks of some wrecked there
before that time. The following is a tradi-
tion of this kind :

In the reign of Kealiiokaloa, king of Ha-
waii, a vessel was wrecked at Pale in the
district of Keei. The captain and his sister
gained the shore. They sat down upon the
beach, and seemed to be overwhelmed with
sorrow. They remained sitting upon the
beach for a long time, with their heads bow-
ed down with grief. Therefore the name
of that place is called Kuloii (bowing down)
till the present day. At night-fall, the peo-
ple of the place received them into their
houses, and offered them their usual food ;
but the strangers made signs of refusal.
They then olfered the bread fruit and the
banana, wiiich they received with joy. They


Earliest hint to Europeans of the Islands.

soon became habituated to the islands, and
mingled with the native population.

The earhest hnit to Europeans of such a
group as the Sandwich Islands, seems to
have been somewhat as follows: It is said,
in a work of authority, that, thirty-seven
years before the arrival of Captain Cook, a
Manila vessel was captured by Lord Anson,
and that on board that vessel Lord Anson
found a chart on which some islands were
newly marked of the latitude and longitude
of the Hawaiian Islands, and called by a
Spanish name.

But the islands were never considered as
discovered, till the arrival of Captain Cock
at Kauai, one of the leeward islands of the
group, in the year 1778.

I shall give some account hereof the vis-
it of Captain Cook, with the design of de-
veloping the utter ignorance, the entire des-
titution, and deep degradation of the island-
ers ; and of exhibiting, to some extent, the
influence of foreigners. Facts incidentally
brought to light by a historical narrative,
have more force with us than direct asser-
tions ; and facts in regard to one heathen


Discovery by Captain Cook.

people throw light on the stale of the whole
pagan world.

The first island of the group discovered
by Captain Cook was Kauai, and the place
of his anchorage was at Waimea. The ship
anchored in the night, and in the morning,
when the natives on shore saw the strange
sight, they were filled with amazement and
wild conjecture. At the first sight they call-
ed it mokii, (island,) and that is their name
for a ship to the present day. And then, as
they gazed at a distance at its towering
masts and branching spars, one exclaimed ;
It is a forest that has moved out into the

The chiefs commanded some of their
men to go in canoes, and ascertain what this
wonderful thing might be. They approach-
ed so near as to survey the different parts of
the ship and the men on board, and returned
with the most eloquent and wild description.
They spoke of the foreigners with the ut-
most wonder and amazement — of the white-
ness of their skin, the appearance of their
eyes, the fitting of thoir apparel, the shape
of their hats, and the unintelligible charac


First imprt'ssion on the Islanders.

ter of their language. But this was but the
beginning of their wonder. The succeed-
ing night there was a discharge of cannon
on board, and a display of fireworks. The
people were filled with confusion and ter-
ror, concluded that the foreigners were su-
perior beings, called the captain a god, and,
on account of the fireworks, gave him the
name of Lono, the god of the volcano. Ever
since, even to the present day, Lono is the
common appellation of Captain Cook
throughout the islands. So utterly rude at
that time were all the notions of the igno-
rant Hawaiian s.

An impression of wonder and of dread
having been made. Captain Cook and his
men found little difficulty in having such
intercourse with the people as they chose.
In regard to that intercourse, it was marked,
as the world would say, with kindness and
humanity. But it cannot be concealed that
here and at this time was dug the grave of
the Hawaiian nation. Sin and death were
the first commodities imported to the Sand-
wich Islands. As though their former ruin
were not sufiicient, Christian nations super-


Evils introduced.

added a deadlier evil. That evil is sweep-
ing the population to the g^rave with amaz-
ing rapidity. And it is yet to be seen whe-
ther the influence of Christianity on the
rising race shall stay that desolation.

Kauai was the only island discovered
by Captain Cook on his first visit. He sail-
ed thence to the north-west coast of Amer-
ica. In November following he returned,
and fell in with other islands of the group.
Early in the morning his ship was seen off
the eastern shore of Maui. As it approach-
ed, tlie people gazed with immense curiosity.
They noticed with great particularity its
masts, its sails, and every part of the ship.
But what struck them with peculiar awe
and dread were its many yawning port-holes,
for they had heard from Kauai, that from
these openings issued smoke, fire, and a
noise like thunder.

A messenger had previously arrived in a
canoe from Kauai, the island first visited by
Captain Cook, and had given a description
of the foreigners and of their ship. The
account he gave, as handed down by tradi-
tion, shows the wildness of their first impress-


Wild notions.

ions, the rudeness of all their notions, and

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Online LibrarySheldon DibbleHistory and general views of the Sandwich Islands' Mission → online text (page 1 of 12)