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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1

Events in Feejee, &c

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Events in Feejee, &c.

The Feejee Islanders have distinguished themselves by a bad preeminence over all other Heathen people, in their reckless disregard of human life, and their ferocious delight in bloodshed. The strangers cast upon their shores, whether shipwrecked mariners from Europe or America, or Feejee natives from neighbouring islands, were considered a lawful prize, sent to them by their gods to be killed, and cooked, and eaten. Enemies slain in battle were devoured with savage relish; prisoners of war had portions of their own bodies severed from them, and eaten before their eyes, while they lingered in pain till their conquerors desired to close the feast by devouring the miserable victims. Widows of Chiefs were slain to accompany their deceased husbands to the other world. Every form of murder, under every pretext, appears to have been considered lawful, and to have been cultivated as an art, and continually practiced. These inhuman habits have been combated by the Missionaries from the time of their first arrival in Feejee. What sufferings have been endured by those brave and devoted men, and by their equally devoted wives, in their endeavours to instruct and reclaim these monsters in human shape! What perils have awaited them, what insults have they had to bear! How agonizing have been their feelings when they have witnessed murders they could not prevent; how intense their disgust and sorrow when human flesh has been thrown into their habitations, or placed at their doors, by way of insult! How often have they and their heroic wives exposed themselves to violence and death, that they might deliver those who were appointed to die! And how signal have been the interpositions of Divine Providence for their protection and deliverance! They have had the sympathy of the friends of humanity, and the prayers of the devout, in their arduous undertaking. It has been no small assistance which they have received from vessels touching at their Stations, and especially from the Commanders of Her Majesty's vessels in those seas. * Throughout their labours and sufferings they have had evidence that it was not in vain they had devoted themselves to the task of converting the Feejeeans to the faith of Christ. One

* Grateful reference is made in the following communications to Captain Dunham, of H.M.S. "Herald," and to Captain Dunn, of the "Dragon."

page 4 and another, from time to time, embraced the Gospel; men such as Elijah Varani, who had been among the foremost to shed the blood of others, became strong in the Lord, and were ready to lay down their lives for the truth: the noble army of martyrs has received an increase to its number from the converts of the Missions in Feejee.

Intelligence has now been received which leads us to hope that even of Feejee it may be said, "Violence shall no more be heard in her land, wasting nor destruction within her borders." King George of Tonga, on the occasion of a visit to Feejee in the present year, appears to have been a main instrument in bringing about this desirable result. The narrative given by Mr. Calvert possesses a thrilling interest: the end was not attained without a severe struggle, after war had been forced upon George and his attendants by the revolted Feejeean Chiefs. We shall not anticipate the narrative by detailing the particulars, but merely call attention to the remarkable fact that Ovalau, which was the first to make an attack on the attendants of the King of Tonga, and which afforded shelter to the Chiefs who fled from his victorious army, has now, according to the last advice in Mr. Calvert's communication, consented to settle its differences with Bau.

The letters from Mr. Moore and Messrs. Joseph and Samuel Water-house, Mr. Polglase, and Mrs. Wilson, all sustain or illustrate the more detailed and connected narrative of Mr. Calvert. We commend them all to the attentive perusal of our friends.*

* For the previous history of the Feejee Mission, reference is made to the Journals of the Rev. Walter Lawry, in two volumes, and to "The Southern World," by the Rev, Robert Young, and to the annual Reports and other publications of the Wesleyan Missionary Society.