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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1

A Sabbath Disturbed by Suspected Treason and Open War

A Sabbath Disturbed by Suspected Treason and Open War.

And there is cause for alarm. A hostile army is hastening to the rendezvous at Kambah. On the Sabbath the troops are disembarking at Thautata, two miles distant. This is noticed by all; but other thoughts engross the attention. The King's cousin, whose father was killed by the present ruler, is expected to massacre the King, in revenge, either at chapel or on his way to it. The Missionary himself trembles for the issue of that eventful Sabbath. The family is removed to Vewa, and the dawning of the Lord's-day is awaited in a state of the most anxious suspense. With the death of the King there will probably be a relapse into Heathenism, and there will certainly be a fearful slaughter in the town. The bell is rung. But the demon of fear stalks in every street and lane, and no one appears. After a time a few men approach slowly; but they are armed, and they sit down outside of the chapel. Presently the King arrives, accompanied by an armed guard, and then his cousin, at the head of a similar force, enters the building. The service is commenced; but every man eyes his neighbour, none the Preacher. We pray. A man belonging to the King remains standing as sentry with a loaded musket. The service is short, the congregation is dismissed, and so far, thank God, the crisis is over. But the disembarkation of the hostile army is continued. Is it lawful to disperse their fleet on the Sabbath? By all means; never allow your enemy to land on your own coast when you can prevent them. A fleet of twenty picked canoes is despatched, and succeeds in scattering the hostile naval armament, page 20 and thus separating the enemy's forces and preventing the union of the two divisions.

A few weeks afterwards the enemy attacked a town five miles distant, but were repulsed with severe loss. The Bauans engaged in public prayer before they made the charge, and completely routed the enemy. This engagement was regarded by the populace as a trial between the gods of Feejee and Jehovah, and afforded them more proof of the truth of our religion than all the works ever written on the evidences of Christianity would do.

Simultaneously with this, the Bau party, headed by the King's cousin, who now took a decided part with the reigning Chief, and who assured the Missionary that he would no longer endeavour to take revenge for the death of his father, gained (as they say, by prayer) a great victory at Koro, where the rebels had obtained possession of one half of the island. A town, well fortified with a stone wall and cannon, was taken after an assault of three days, and all its inmates were spared, although some of the besiegers were clamorous for their extermination. Several hundreds on both sides lotued as the sequel of this expedition, and peace was established at Koro, all the other towns being spared on the condition that they would become Christians.