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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1

Prayer and Preparation for War

Prayer and Preparation for War.

I proposed to King George that a meeting should be held for prayer, previous to going to war. At six in the morning on the 2d of April, an immense number attended. The large strangers' house was full, and many were outside. I desired the King to conduct the meeting. About sixteen persons engaged in prayer. It was a time long to be remembered. They earnestly and powerfully interceded with the Lord to guide them aright, to prevent them from doing evil, to aid them in that which would be for his glory and the benefit of Feejee; they pleaded for forgiveness of past offences, and for blessings and salvation on Tonga and Feejee. I afterwards waited on the King, and requested that he would prevent the destruction of life as far as possible. That, he said, he intended to do. He regretted the necessity for war, but considered it to be a duty to resent the conduct of the Feejeeans, and especially of Mara; and he believed that, were the case passed over, Tongans of small number would not hereafter be safe in Feejee. Previous to determining on war, he had ordered the Chiefs of the three groups of the Friendly Islands to assemble separately, and consider the case. They were all of one mind on the subject. He said that he intended to fence Kambah in, and, having subdued them by starvation, would, without killing any, bring them to the Vunivalu, who might act as he deemed right towards his own rebellious subjects. He considered that his arrival at this time was opportune, and that the Lord might use him to deliver the oppressed; and he hoped that the distractions of Feejee might speedily subside, and a better state of affairs be permanently established. Before I left him I spoke with the Queen, and found that she was preparing to accompany her husband. I begged she would remain behind, with women, children, and the aged, in which the King joined me; but all was of no avail. After begging that he would not expose his person in the forefront of the battle, I left Bau for Rewa.