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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1

Burning of the Mission-Premises

Burning of the Mission-Premises.

Things settled down again for a few days, and all was going on pleasantly, with the prospect of peace between Bau and Rewa. Messengers had come and gone; and while we mourned the loss of the Chief, (for he had been exceedingly kind to us,) we were yet rejoicing in the hope of tranquillity, and the spread of Christianity. We retired to rest on the 9th of February, all well and happy, and slept until about one o'clock in the morning, when I was awoke by the roaring of fire. I rose, and found an old house, some three yards from our wooden house, all in flames. I gave the alarm: our house soon caught, and we had only just time to make our escape in our night-clothes. We went to some distance, and sat in the dew, "watching for the morning." The house was soon burnt down to the ground, the natives getting some few things away; but the store, and all it contained, was burnt. We shall never forget that night. Such a sight we never beheld. The house was in flames, the natives in multitudes were rushing in with spears, clubs, and guns, shouting, some dragging us we knew not where; and we have been since informed that one Chief from another town raised his club to strike Mrs. Moore, and that a Rewa Chief pushed him away, threatening to club him. It was a very anxious night: we quite expected the enemy was in the town, and that the fire would be the signal for the whole army to plunge into the place. Thank God, the morning came without any blood being spilt. Soon after it was light, we made preparations for leaving here for Bau. Mr. Pickering, a white resident at Ovalau, being within a mile or two of this place, kindly sent to see about us, and offered to take us to Bau, which offer we gladly accepted. We reached Bau the same day, and received the sympathy and kindness of Christian brethren and sisters from our friends there. After spending two days there, I returned to see how things were going on at Rewa, and found the people anxious that we should not leave them; and as I do not believe that any party in the town burnt the house, but that it may have been done by some one who dislikes the peace, I concluded it was best to stay, and to see how things will go. The brethren at Bau and Vewa very kindly said, that if it was our wish to go to the colony, they could not object. Mrs. Moore and the children may go; but I cannot make up my mind to leave the brethren in such trying times; and to leave Rewa just now would be like throwing away so much labour, suffering, and expense, and perhaps the loss of a multitude of souls. I want no excuse to leave Feejee; and as I do not see my way clear, I cast myself on the Divine guidance and protection, and wish to be the Lord's, in life, in death.

The loss to the Mission will be great,—about £400 or £500; and our own loss is about a similar sum. My books alone were worth £200. Our loss, however, does not trouble us. "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: blessed be the name of the Lord." But this getting unsettled in our work, and this constant excitement, reminds us that we are human. O pray for us, that our faith fail not. Do not get the notion that the work in Feejee is done, or that we can do without the prayers of the church. Never did Feejee need them more, never did we need them more. "Brethren, pray for us."?