The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 20
On the 5th of Juno the Dayspring, Captain Fraser, arrived at Aneityum from Sydney, having on board as passengers Mrs. Fraser, Rev. D. Morrison and Mrs. Morrison, Rev. W. M'Cullagh and Mrs. M'Cullagh, Rev. T. D. Gordon, of the Nova Scotia Mission, and Rev. S. Ella, Mrs. Ella, and three children, of the London Missionary Society; all on board well. The passage from Sydney was a very stormy one. (There was worse weather and heavier seas between Sydney and Aneityum than in the whole voyage from Nova Scotia to Australia.)
As the John Williams was daily expected from the eastward, on her way to Sydney, and as Captain Fraser was a stranger, and unacquainted with the navigation of These seas, he was very desirous to meet with Captain Williams, and obtain from him such information on various points as his long experience and intimate knowledge of these islands could so easily supply. After being ready for sea he waited nearly a fortnight, expecting every morning that the John Williams would be seen on the horizon. But, alas! on the 17th of May, two days before the Dayspring left Sydney, after twenty years of remarkably efficient and successful service, the John Williams, during a dead calm, was carried along by a strong current off Pukapuka, or Danger Island, till she struck on a reef, and, four hours after she struck, went down—hull, masts, sails, rigging, and everything—at one plunge into the depths of ocean, and not a vestige of her was ever seen afterwards. Very providentially all on board, forty-one souls, got safe to land.
On the 28th of June the Dayspring sailed from Aneityum, with five missionaries on board, for the Loyalty Islands, with the view of visiting all the mission stations on that group, and settling Mr. Ella and his family on Wea. On the following day we came to anchor at Mr. Jones's station on Marè. We found the mission families well. It was seven years since the writer of this had visited that island, and the improvements made during that time on the mission station, and in the appearance of the natives, were very great indeed. The mission house is commodious, convenient, taste- page 4 ful, and elegant; Mrs. Jones's schoolroom is a neat, comfortable, well-finished building. The walls of a large new church were nearly finished; it does great credit both to the missionary and the natives; it is built in the form of a cross, with a large square tower for a chime of bells, when they can be got. A gallery is to be erected round the building. Every available means is being employed to promote religion and civilization among the natives. Church and school, the blacksmith's forge and the carpenter's shop, are all in turn made to bear respectively on the spiritual and secular interests of the people, and the results are visible in both departments. Being a low coral island, Marè is poorly supplied with water; there is neither a stone nor a stream on the whole island; but a good pump had here superseded the primitive and oriental mode of drawing water, by going down into the well.
On the following day we went round to Mr. Creagh's station. As there is no anchorage there, the vessel lay off and on while a party of us went ashore in one of the boats, taking off some goods for Mr. Creagh. This station is in as good a condition as Mr. Jones's. Mr. Creagh has charge of the printing department. The New Testament is printed as far as the end of Hebrews. A large building was being erected, intended, part of it as a school-room for Mrs. Creagh, and the rest of it for other purposes connected with the mission. The spirit of industry and liberality has been largely displayed by the natives of Mare: they have little, if any, money; but this year they have prepared and contributed to the mission, or given as payment for books, about eight tons of cocoanut fibre, worth in Sydney from £300 to £400. For many years, owing to the obstinate opposition of one or two leading chiefs, the half of the island, or more, remained heathen. Latterly a large proportion of these have professed Christianity. Still there are a few tribes who cling with tenacity to the old system of darkness and cruelty, and our last accounts from Mare informed us that two of these tribes have been waging war with each other, and in the last battle fought about twenty men fell on the one side, and somewhat more on the other—a great slaughter for a native battle as wars are usually conducted in these islands. But this is likely to be the expiring struggle of heathenism, unless French interference, to which we shall by-and-by refer, shall secure it from the aggressive but benign influence of Christianity.
As a meeting of both the New Hebrides and Loyalty Island missionaries was to be held on Lifu, Mr. and Mrs. Creagh and Mr. Jones came with us in the Dayspring. On the passage to Lifu Mr. Currie, the first mate of the Dayspring, had a narrow escape for his life. The day was squally; they were bustling and taking in sail, when a native, turning round quickly, came violently against Mr. Currie without observing him, and, as the vessel gave a heavy lurch at the same time, he fell right overboard through the door of the gangway, which by some oversight was not closed up. Providen- page 5 tially he caught or kept hold of a rope, and held on till Mr. Reid, the second mate, a very powerful man, got hold of him and drew him up. As the vessel was running at the rate of nine or ten knots an hour, he would have been a mile from the vessel before she could have been brought up, and a boat lowered to go to his rescue. So strong was the current that the shoes were pulled off his feet. As it was, through the mercy of God, beyond being The roughly drenched, he sustained no further injury, and all on board were impressively taught the lesson, on what a slender thread human life is often suspended.
On the following day, July 1st, we came to anchor in Wide Bay, Lifu, at Mr. McFarlane's station. A French steamer was lying at anchor in the bay. As soon as we came to anchor a boat came off, informing us that the French and the natives were fighting, and that we could have no communication with the land. Captain Fraser went on board the steamer, and was referred to the Commandant on shore. When he went to the Commandant he was told that, as the island was under military law, all intercourse with the shore was forbidden. As he came there in ignorance of the state of affairs, he might land the goods he had brought for the missionaries, but none of the missionaries on board could go on shore, nor could either of the missionaries on shore go on board. As a special favour, Mrs. McFarlane was allowed to come on board to see the ladies, and the ladies on board were allowed to go on shore to return her visit.
The history of the war was this:—About a fortnight before this time the Governor paid first a visit to Marl, but as the natives, through the influence of the missionaries, complied with all his demands, there was no reasonable ground for a quarrel. He, however, imposed the following restrictions on the mission work:—All the Samoan and Rarotongan teachers were to cease labouring in the mission. The missionaries were to cease teaching till they can teach in the French language, and then they must apply for permission to teach. No purchase of land from the natives is valid, unless a title be obtained from the French Government, and paid for. The missionaries must first of all obtain a permit of residence. They are at present simply pastors to the Protestant natives, but they must not preach to the Catholics or the heathen.
After leaving Marè the Governor proceeded to Lifu, landed 125 troops at Wide Bay, went round to the other side of the island, and landed an equal number there. The French had three encounters with the natives. Their first attack was upon the church. While Mr. McFarlane was conducting a morning service the soldiers rushed in, but they found only five or six of the Samoan and Barotongan teachers, and a few natives. As the whole party were unarmed, conquest was easy. They made the teachers all prisoners. One woman took sanctuary under the pulpit; some part of her dress was discovered, and the soldiers assailed her with their bayonets, page 6 and inflicted some wounds; she got out and fled to the mission-house. After making all secure in the church, the soldiers attacked the village, the excitement connected with the Governor's visit having drawn a large concourse of natives together. In this attack, which was quite unexpected, four or five natives were shot, and a number wounded. The natives fled inland, and met a party of soldiers from the opposite side of the island. Their blood being up, they attacked the soldiers. The soldiers had brought a Rarotongan teacher with them from the other side of the island; when the fighting began they held a musket to his breast, and told him that unless he caused the natives to cease fighting they would shoot him there and then. He called out to the natives, and they, afraid lest he should be shot, ceased fighting and retired to the bush. The French took all the Rarotongan and Samoan teachers, seven in all, and put them on board the man-of-war, where they were kept in irons and shut up in the dark hold for five days. Their wives were also imprisoned beside them for a part of the time. One Mare teacher and some natives were also treated in the same manner. When the teachers were in irons, one of the French priests went down to them, and tauntingly said, "Well, how will you get on now? Who will help you now" They said, "We will trust in the Lord; He will help us." "What," said the priest, "do you think the Lord will come and take away the irons from your hands and legs?"
The mission and the mission family were suffering very seriously from this state of warfare. As soon as we came near the anchorage we saw the effects of it in houses burnt down, and in the number of trees that were scathed with the fire. One house belonging to the chief was burnt down, and about £100 worth of cocoanut fibre destroyed. The church was converted into a barrack; the Commandant's bed was in the pulpit; the missionaries' pew was a scullery, where dishes were washed; the forms in the church were being broken up for firewood. The leg of Mr. McFarlane's horse was broken; the leg of one of his cows speared; his cocoanuts were fast disappearing; his poultry were sharing the same fate; while the soldiers, without leave either being asked or given, took the use of his boat as often as their convenience required it. Add to this, that their little baby, ten days old, died the very day the Governor arrived. The restrictions here on the mission are even more rigid than at Mare: Mr. McFarlane is prohibited from preaching, and all kind of missionary work; he is simply a resident.
It may be asked, what have the missionaries and the teachers done that these restrictions have been laid upon them?—men who, by great labours and amid many perils and privations, have Christianized, and, to a great extent, civilized, The usands of ferocious cannibals, introduced among them a written language, and given to them a large portion of the Word of God, and were fast elevating them in the scale of humanity. They know, and we know, of no page 7 crime they have committed, except that committed by Christ and his Apostles, of teaching men the truth.
But what, it may be asked, have the natives done that war must be waged against them? We have two versions of this—one by the French Governor, the other by the missionaries on the islands. We shall state both. The Moniteur de la Nouvelle Caledonie of July 3rd, as reported in a Sydney paper, contains an official document signed by the Governor, M. Guillain, of which the following are the most important extracts:—"We, the Governor of New Caledonia and its dependencies,—Considering that, under cover of the Protestant religion, strangers have sought to denationalize the population of the Loyalty Islands, and have induced some of the chiefs to assume powers which belong to the Governor alone:—Considering also that the natives of the village of Chepenehe, and The se of many parts of Leussi, misunderstanding their duties towards the colonial authority, have fomented disorder and revolt amongst the other populations of the island of Lifu:—And considering that, since our arrival at Hiacho, and in spite of the notices and summonses which we have addressed to the refractory chiefs, These parties refrain from yielding obedience to our orders, and so persist in their rebellion, therefore we have decreed the island of Lifu to be in a stage of siege. The military authority is clothed with all the powers required for the maintenance of order and of police."
The missionaries say the cause of the war was this:—The French priests on Lifu were continually threatening the natives, and speaking to this effect—"Unless you become Catholics a man-of-war will come; soldiers will come; they will take away your chiefs and destroy your land." When the Governor came with 300 soldiers, and sent for the chiefs to come and speak to him, they, remembering the habitual threats of the priests, and what the French had done some years before both at the Isle of Pines and Yengen, were so afraid that they would not go to him. The two missionaries, Messrs. McFarlane and Sleigh, did everything in their power to persuade them to go; they even got them to consent to go; but when the time came their courage failed. The Governor wished to take some young men to Port de France to have them instructed in mechanical arts, but the youths selected fled to the bush through fear. Their conduct, which was produced simply by fear and want of confidence, was set down as rebellion, and punished accordingly. The Governor took with him as captives four principal natives and thirteen common men, and left the island under martial law.
In the circumstances of the island and the mission, we were very anxious to have a personal interview with the Commandant, to explain to him fully the nature and object of our visit. On the Monday we sent him a most respectful application to that effect, written in our best French. He took full time to consider the document, and sent us in the afternoon a distinct negative. Captain. Fraser also received instructions to sail as soon as practicable. Had page 8 it not been that with us Sunday was a holy day, the Commandant said he should have ordered us to sea on that day, and, as the weather was stormy-looking, he would not urge us out even on Monday, but, as our business was done, there must be no unnecessary delay. The captain was requested further to take home four Marè prisoners. He was not to settle Mr. Ella on Wea till he obtained a permit of residence from the Government. He was to land Mr. and Mrs. Creagh and Mr. Jones, and the Mare prisoners, on Marè, and he was to touch at no other point on the Loyalty Islands till he obtained permission from the authorities at Port de France. As the Dayspring was not insured to go to New Caledonia, this was in effect to shut her out from again visiting the Loyalty Islands.
Our appearance at Life, as we understood, was anything but agreeable to the French. When we first appeared in the bay they would fain have made themselves and the natives believe that it was a small ship of war from Port de France, bringing more troops for their assistance. The missionaries said, "O, that is our vessel!" The French said, "O no, that cannot be; that must be a French vessel." But when it was found that we were no other than the veritable mission vessel, the Dayspring, they were very much disappointed and annoyed. The priests had been continually inflaming the fears of the French with the report that the natives were collecting in the interior, and would be down upon them eight thousand strong, to drive them all into the sea. Our presence, it was thought, would be the occasion for making this assault; but our presence was perhaps more dreaded on another account: Here were seven missionaries and three missionaries' wives, all likely to give such publicity to their proceedings in the colonies, in Europe, and in America, as would not redound to the glory of either France or Rome. Rome especially would rather have such things done than published.
"For He commands, and forth in haste
The stormy tempest flies," &c.
"The storm is changed into a calm,
At His command and will."
At noon of the same day we weighed anchor and sailed for Marè In the evening we held a thanksgiving service on board for our merciful deliverance. On the following day we landed all our Mare passengers, and made for Fate or Sandwich Island, in the New Hebrides.
On Friday, July 8th, we came to anchor in Erakor Bay, at Fatè, a small Christian settlement. We met with a cordial reception. There had been two Rarotongan teachers and one Aneityum teacher, and their wives. We found that Moekore, one of the Rarotongan teachers, had died about a month before our arrival, and his widow was in indifferent health. Toma, the other Rarotongan teacher, was also in very poor health, but his wife and daughter were well. Thivthiv, his wife, and two children were well; they live at Pang, a place about three miles from Erakor, and a very healthy spot. We lay at Erakor till Monday afternoon. On Saturday we paid a visit both to Erakor and Pang, and received presents at both places, for which we made some suitable returns. The settlement of Erakor contains about 150 people, who are all professedly Christian. Three years ago Messrs. Murray and Geddie baptized a number of them, and formed a church, and dispensed the Lord's Supper among them. In the following year, Messrs. Gell and Jones also visited them, in the John Williams, and baptized a number more. The number of church members, we understood, was about 50 or 60. On Sabbath we dispensed the ordinance of the Lord's Supper among them. Mr. Ella preached in Samoan, and Pomal, the chief, who had been some time at the Institution in Samoa, interpreted. A part of the devotional services connected with the ordinance was conducted in Aneityumese, and a part by Mr. Gordon in English, for the benefit of These belonging to the vessel who understood neither the Fatean nor Samoan languages. The audience amounted to about 130. They were all decently dressed in European clothing, and behaved with great propriety. It was an interesting and impressive meeting. Here we stood on the very outskirts—on the utmost verge of the Christian church; nothing beyond but heathen darkness—islands and groups of islands with not a ray of Christian light falling on them till we reach the great empire of China.page 10
At Pang the chief and a few of the people are professedly Christian; they have an Aneityum teacher, hut they would prefer a Rarotongan, and the chief of Fil is also very desirous to have a teacher with him. "Waihit, one of the first converts on Aneityum, who was with us, and who pleaded their cause very earnestly, put the ease in its true light. "Misi," said he to Mr. Inglis, "they are just as we were when our hearts were dark, we did not care about the teachers because they were poor, we wanted the missionaries because they had a great dead of property." As it was in the beginning so it is now; our Saviour had the same experience. "Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled." It is the temporal advantages of Christianity which first commend it to the heathen. Its spiritual blessings cannot be appreciated till they are understood, and those who expect anything else at such a stage of progress as this, show how little they know of the nature of Christian missions.
We felt satisfied that one, and if possible, two missionaries, ought to be settled on this island without delay, and we arranged to some extent accordingly. A stone church was being built at Erakor, but nothing had been done to it since the death of Moekore. A house for the missionary was, however, the most pressing necessity, and we looked carefully out for a suitable site. The village of Erakor lies in a low confined situation, and is apparently very unfavourable for health, but in the centre of the bay there lies a beautiful island, slightly elevated, and covered with wood, on this we fixed as the site of the mission premises, the chief and people cheerfully gave up the island to the mission, and we gave instructions to the teacher and them to commence a house for a missionary. We gave similar instructions to the teacher and chief at Pang. We left them all, in good spirits. Fatè is a large, beautiful, fertile, and populous island.
Leaving Fatè we sailed for Erromanga, but as we encountered strong head winds, we did not get there till Friday afternoon, and as it then fell calm, we did not get to anchor in Dillon's Bay till Saturday morning. We had one Aneityum teacher, Nehieiman, and his wife on Erromanga, we found them both well, and in good spirits. Within the last year matters have taken a very favourable turn on this island as regards Christianity. Four stations have been opened, and about 200 profess themselves Christians. The teacher has been employed without intermission in going from place to place assisting to erect school-houses. We spent three days here. On Sabbath we conducted public worship in the principal station at Dillon's Bay. Like the previous Sabbath day's service at Erakor, they were polyglot. After prayer and praise, conducted by natives, Mr. Gordon, who had been studying the language for some time read portions of the Scripture out of his late brother's manuscripts, and a short address prepared by himself. Mr. Inglis spoke in Aneityumese, and Nehieiman interpreted. page 11 About 150 people were present, and behaved themselves with great propriety.
On Monday a party of us went ashore, and visited the grave of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon. They are buried by the side of the river, at or near the place where Mr. Harris was killed in 1834. We then visited the places where Mr. and Mrs. Gordon were massacred. Mr. Gordon's house stood on the edge of the table-land, above Dillon's Bay, on the left bank of the river, about 1000 feet above the level of the sea, a beautiful and healthy spot; but two far away from the natives. He was removing his dwelling half way down the hill to an equally healthy-looking, and greatly more convenient spot. He was working at this new house, about half-a-mile from the house in which he lived, when a native came to him, and urged him to go home with him for medicine; he was half-way home when he entered a gully covered with bush, where the natives lay concealed; as Mr. Gordon was passing over a fallen tree a native was standing on the tree, and as soon as he stepped over it, from this elevated position he struck Mr. Gordon a violent blow with his tomahawk on the neck or between the shoulders, Mr. Gordon ran as fast as he could up the hill, for about a hundred yards, and then fell down, evidently exhausted, when the natives rushed on him and killed him. One of them then ran on to the house, Mrs. Gordon came out at the front door, and asked what the noise in the bush was about. "O nothing," he said, "but the boys playing, Mrs. Gordon turned back into the house, passed through one of the rooms, and wont out again at the end door, the native followed her; she evidently had no suspicions of any danger; but as soon as she went out of the house, he came up behind her, struck her down with his tomahawk, and instantly killed her. The house has been taken away, but the Christian natives have planted a bush to mark the spot where she fell. Captain Eraser took his photographic instruments on shore, and took photographs of the places where both of them fell. We were shown some of the spots on the rocks still brown, where Mr. Gordon's blood had fallen; the rain and the torrents of three years had not washed it out. A stream of water runs through the gully during heavy rains; the rocks are chiefly coral.
When we came ashore on Saturday, the first native that met us was Kaneauri, the murderer of John Williams, wearing a red serge shirt, and giving us apparently a very friendly reception. When we returned to the beach on the Monday, we found a great number of natives assembled, both Christian and heathen, but all peaceable and friendly. The Christian natives had brought a small present of food for the ship. Among the heathen party, was Narabalit, the murderer of Mr. Gordon, an impudent, savage-looking fellow; Mr. Ella, however, got hold of him, and through Mana, the first Christian on Erromanga, who had been some years in Samoa, and who understands that language, gave him such a page 22 solemn talking on the sinfulness of his conduct, as he never heard before. The Christian natives were very much pleased with the Thought of having Mr. Gordon as their missionary; but they were very distinct in saying that he must not live inland, or up in the mountain where his brother lived.
The writer of this was present at the settlement of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon in 1857. He had read the memoir of Mr. Gordon during the former part of this voyage, and he was thus in favourable circumstances to judge of the actual state of the mission on Erromanga. He is fully of opinion that the readers of that memoir will receive an impression, that the prospects of the mission on Erromanga, are far more hopeless and discouraging than they actually are. No doubt Mr. Gordon's letters represent faithfully his own views, and some will say he must have been a better judge than a mere visitor. This, on some points is doubtful; the soldier amid the din and dust of the battle cannot judge so clearly of the progress of the contest, as the spectator who sees the whole from a proper distance. Mr. Gordon was still in the first years of his missionary life, when he wrote the letters and journals that appear in the memoir; and home notions of missionary work were still very strong in his mind. Not only was this the case; but from his peculiarly ardent temperament, and strong impulsive feelings, he had evidently formed for himself an ideal standard of progress and attainments, which except under peculiarly favourable circumstances could rarely be realized. Judging the progress of the work by this standard, his readers are apt to think that neither he nor the teachers who preceded or assisted him on Erromanga, had accomplished any thing. His labours, mental and manual, were manifold, and these were greatly increased by the removal of the mission premises to such a high elevation, a step resorted to chiefly for the sake of Mrs. Gordon's health, to whom he was strongly and tenderly attached, and for whose comfort he spared no personal effort. But the result has shown that his own labours, and The se of his sweet, saintly and accomplished wife, whose influence fell around her like the dew, have been owned of God far beyond what he seemed to think; his success has been as great as could reasonably have been expected in the circumstances. His brother has entered upon his labours; and although to him, newly entering the mission field, the prospects are still sufficiently dark, dismal, and discouraging, yet a great deal of preparatory work has been accomplished, and 200 people are waiting upon his instructions.
There is a large sandle-wood establishment at Dillon's Bay, belonging to Mr. Henry. We are happy to say that both he and Mrs. Henry have shown a great amount of kindness to the mission, to Mr. Gordon, the natives, and, at each of her visits to all connected with the Dayspring.
Leaving Erromanga, we came next to Aniwa. Here we found the state of affairs very discouraging. When we went ashore, the page 13 natives were shy, and would not shake hands with us. We found that Vaivai, the Rarotongan teacher, had died in May, 1863, about a month after the last visit of the John Knox. The John Williams had called at Aneityum last year, both in going to and returning from Sydney, but there was not time for her visiting the other islands of this group. We found Nalmai, the Aneityum teacher, and his wife and child well, and Vaivai's widow living with them. After the death of Yaivai, a little boy died, the son of the chief with whom he lived. His death as is usual in such eases, was said to be caused by sorcery practised by some one belonging to the tribe with whom Nalmai lived. War ensued, three were killed on the one side, and one or two on the other. After this Nalmai, in accordance with native usage, killed a large pig of his own, and made a feast to the chief whose son died, and restored peace between the contending parties. The missions, however, had suffered a good deal on account of these untoward events. We did what we could to encourage the heart and strengthen the hands of the teacher, and took Vaivai's widow on with us to Aneityum, where she awaits an opportunity of returning to Rarotonga.
We sailed thence to Fotuna, where we found Ru and Kakita, the two Rarotongan teachers and their wives well, also Sakaraka, the Aneityum teacher, and his wife. The natives received us kindly. The work is not advancing under the teachers; still from the feeling displayed by the people, and the statements made by the teachers, we felt satisfied that Fotuna is quite prepared for the reception of a missionary. We made and received some presents, held a service with the teachers and the people, and then returned to the ship. We intended next to visit Tanna; but as a westerly wind had set in, which would have rendered it necessary to beat up to Tanna, but which was fair for Aneityum:—that and some other circumstances led us to decide on returning at once to Aneityum. We did so, and came to anchor at Mr. Inglis's station on the following morning, the 21st of July.
On the 25th we held a meeting of the mission to decide on the location of the new brethren. It was unanimously agreed that Mr. and Mrs. Manson should be located at Erakor on Fatè; Mr. Gordon, at Dillon's Bay, Erromanga; and Mr. and Mrs. McCullagh, at Anelgauhat, Aneityum, to take charge of Mr. and Mrs. Geddie's station till their return. It was also arranged that Mr. and Mrs. Copeland should accompany the Dayspring on her return to the Colonies, before taking up a new station of their own. Mr. Ella had applied to the French authorities for a permit of residence on Wea, but as the application had to be forwarded to Port de France before an answer could be obtained, he and his family had to return again to Aneityum. It was therefore arranged that Mr. Ella should proceed with the printing of Luke's Gospel, in the language of Erromanga, the translation of which had been prepared by the late Mr. Gordon; the MS. was in the handwriting of Mrs. page 14 Gordon. He had written it out in half-text, that the natives might read it sheet by sheet, as it was hung up in the school-room, much in the same way as the Bible was exhibited in St. Paul's in London, and other churches of the Reformation. Mr. Copeland and Mr. Gordon were appointed to examine the MS. and prepare it for the press. The Dayspring was appointed to proceed without any delay to the settlement of Messrs. Morrison and Gordon.
On the 3rd of August, the Dayspring sailed on her second voyage, and settled Mr. Gordon, on Erromanga; and Mr. and Mrs. Morrison, on Fatè. The reception given to both was most cordial and encouraging. Great disappointment was felt by the chief and people of Pang, that there was no missionary brought for them, but they were partly reconciled when Simeona, a teacher from Aitutaki, and his wife, were located among them. Simeona went to England in the John "Williams in 1860, and returned in 1861. He is a valuable man, and is likely to do much good among them.
On the return of the vessel to Aneityum, Captain Frazer had an additional strip of copper put round the vessel, and several other necessary repairs effected, before her third voyage was undertaken. The new restrictions imposed by the French on the Loyalty Islands interfered very seriously with the usefulness of the vessel to the brethren in that group: but it was hoped that the visits of the John Williams this year, on her way to and from Sydney, would, to a great extent, supply her lack of service caused in this way. When the intelligence came of the loss of the John Williams, the Dayspring was about to proceed on her third voyage. Before this a quantity of goods had arrived at Aneityum from Sydney, for the Loyalty Islands. Some natives of Mare, shipwrecked in the whaling vessel, the "Bonnie Doon," off Banks's group, were left on our hands ill with fever and ague; it was arranged, therefore, that the Dayspring should take the goods and the natives on board, and proceed to Lifu, and state the circumstances of the case, and as a favour ask permission to land the goods and natives on Mare. A trading vessel, however, came in from the Loyalty Islands, and brought such a report of the stringent regulations of the French, as led to the belief that such an attempt might endanger the insurance of the vessel, and would otherwise effect no good. It was then agreed to refit the John Knox; two men were left for this purposo from the Dayspring, while she proceeded on her third voyage and visited all the islands in this group as far north as Fate. On the return of the Dayspring, the John Knox being newly caulked, coppered, and painted, and otherwise fitted for sea, was dispatched under the command of Mr. Currie, the first mate of the Dayspring, with the natives and as many of the goods as could be taken on board, to proceed to Port de France, and there clear out for Marè, as she was not insured there was no insurance to risk, and she could go anywhere. On proceeding to sea, she was found, from her being sixteen months or so out of the water, to be so leaky, and page 15 the health of the natives so precarious—moreover the weather was somewhat unfavourable—that Mr. Currie The ught it to be his duty to proceed direct to Mare and land the goods and the natives. This he did and returned, bringing with him four natives of Ambrim, and two natives of Santo, who had been brought away two years ago by the John Williams to receive instructions on Marè, hand who would have been taken home a year ago, had the John Williams been able to visit the northern islands of this group.
On the return of the John Knox, the Dayspring proceeded on her fourth voyage, taking the Ambrim and Santo natives with her. The vessel proceeded as far north as Ambrim, left three of the natives, and brought away other three; the fourth one preferred returning in the ship, and going on as a seaman to Sydney. The other three are to remain for five or six months on Aneityum. The two Santo natives were left with Mr. Morrison on Fate, in the expectation that an opportunity of getting them home would occur before long. It was too far on in the season for the Dayspring to go on to Santo and land them, and accomplish the other work that still lay before her. On her return from this voyage on the 16th of November, she encountered a fearful gale off the north end of Tanna. They tried to get to anchor at Black Beach, but they could not make the anchorage. The sea was rough, but she rode out the storm without any damage, the aneroid fell six-tenths of an inch, it was the heaviest gale that we have ever seen on Aneityum out of the hurricane months. The natives were in deep anxiety lest the Dayspring should be lost; and the next morning but one, when at daybreak she was seen on the horizon, the news of her safety was reported round the island almost with the speed of the telegraph.
More favourable reports were now being received as to the disposition of the French; and as it was all but imperative that the vessel should visit the Loyalty Islands, arrangements were made for making the attempt, as well as to visit Fotuna, Aniwa, and Tanna, as the vessel returned to Sydney. These arrangements were just completed, when a letter was received from Mr. McFarlane, giving us distinct information that liberty could now be obtained at Lifu from the commandant to visit all the Loyalty Islands.
On the 29th of November, the Day Spring set out on her last trip before going to Sydney. She called at Fotuna, Aniwa, and Tanna, leaving an Aneityum teacher at the two last islands. On the 3rd December she reached Lifu, and obtained permission to settle Mr. Ella on Wea, where he was landed on the 8th. She next called at Marè, to land goods and take on board Mr. and Mrs. Creagh, but the commandant forbade their leaving, under the penalty of not being allowed to return.
In reviewing the work done by the Day Spring during the six months she has been among the islands, and the progress of the mission as affected by that work, we have abundant grounds for page 16 thankfulness. She has made five voyages among the islands of the New Hebrides, and two among the Loyalty Group, while the John Knox was repaired for the purpose of making the voyage to Mare. She has brought to these islands, and settled, four missionaries, on as many different islands. She has also settled three teachers and their families. The frequent visits made to the islands have had a most beneficial influence on the minds of the natives. Take the following as an instance. While on her third voyage, the aspect of affairs was so doubtful at Black Beach, Tanna, that we contemplated removing the two teachers at next visit of the vessel, if no improvement should take place. The chief, however, and his son were induced to accompany the vessel to Aneityum. At Aniwa they found a party from Erromanga, and a party coming from Tanna; these had so excited the minds of the natives against Christianity, that, when the boat went ashore, both Mr. Copeland and the natives who were with him were in considerable danger of their lives; but Mr. Copeland, being able to speak to the Erromangans in their own tongue, kept them so in check that the boat was allowed to leave the shore peaceably. So apprehensive were we of danger to the teacher, that we agreed to bring him away at the next visit of the Day Spring. However, by the time the vessel returned, the Erromangans had sailed for their own island, and the Aniwans seemed quite ashamed of their conduct; they were more favourable to the mission than they have been for a long time, and two of their number came to Aneityum to seek another teacher. The visit of the chief from Black Beach to Aneityum, and the treatment he received on board the vessel, produced a complete change in his sentiments. As soon as he got ashore, he sought out a large pig as a present to the vessel. The consequence of these visits has been that two new teachers have been appointed, one for Aniwa, and the other for Black Beach.
The sailing qualities of the vessel are of the first order. Captain Frazer has been very successful in gaining the confidence of the natives, wherever he has come in contact with them; and the natives of Aneityum are loud in their admiration of the good conduct of the officers and the crew.
Satan appears to have overshot his mark when he shut Mr. Ella out of Wea for six months; his residence on Aneityum has been of signal advantage to this mission, especially to Erromanga. With the assistance chiefly of two natives, he has printed 1000 copies of Luke's Gospel in the Erromangan language. It is printed beautifully in English type, one of the finest specimens of typography and one of the most readable books ever printed in the South Seas. He printed also a primer and a Catechism in the Erromangan language, a primer and a hymnbook in the language of Fate, the first books ever printed in that language, and which were received with an excess of joy. He also printed a portion of a Scripture history and an almanack for 1865 in the language of Aneityum. He has ob- page 17 tained a permit of residence on Wea. He goes thither now. Had the John Williams gone home to England, he meant to send his two daughters home for their education, but the loss of the John Williams, as well as the doings of the French, have deranged their plans. Mrs. Ella is obliged to return to Sydney with their children to make arrangements for their education. To leave their children in the hands of strangers is often one of the most painful trials of missionary life.
The prospects of the mission on this group are, upon the whole, highly encouraging. The six mission families who have been residing on the group since the arrival of the Day Spring have enjoyed good health. On Aneityum, Christianity and civilisation are steadily advancing among the people. The natives are in a good measure recovering from the fearful shock which they sustained by the measles and the hurricanes of 1861, when the third of the population was swept away in a few months, and the rest left prostrated by the same causes. Out of a population of little more than 2000, upwards of 500 are in the full standing of church members. Out of 2000 copies of the New Testament received last year, 1400 are now in the hands of the natives, all of which have been paid for by the natives themselves in arrowroot. The books of Genesis and Exodus, and some other portions of the Old Testament, are also printed and in circulation among them. The Glasgow Cotton Company has engaged the services of a young man of excellent Christian character and good business habits to act as their agent. He has shipped in the Day Spring, 1800 lbs. of cotton, more than a third of it Sea Island, nearly 7000 lbs. of French beans, and nearly 3000 lbs. of arrowroot. The natives are beginning to prepare cocoanut fibre and to plant orange-trees; both of these articles and others will ere long swell the list of exports. On Erromanga, the large supply of books with which Mr. Gordon has been furnished enables him to commence his labours there with very great advantages. On Fate, Mr. and Mrs. Morrison are labouring with great encouragement; every visit that has been made by the Dayspring and every letter received from them bears testimony to the highly encouraging circumstances, and the very hopeful spirit in which they are labouring. The Christian natives are kind, and the heathen are peaceable. We have already adverted to the important advantages secured on Aniwa and Tanna by the repeated visits of the Dayspring. Mr. and Mrs. Paton are expected to meet the Dayspring in Australia; Mr. Copeland and Mr. Paton have been appointed a deputation to visit the Australian colonies, as far as time will permit them, and again urge the claims of this mission on the attention of the churches. Mr. and Mrs. Geddie may be expected to meet her next year. The Dayspring brought from Nova Scotia three valuable missionaries to this group. Mr. Paton's visit to Scotland has secured four more there, two of whom may be expected next year, and the other two perhaps a year after. Before long, we page 18 hope that some of the Presbyterian Churches in Australia or New Zealand will be sending men as well as money to our aid. In the meantime, we trust that as the children of Australia so nobly re-sponded to Mr. Paton's call, and raised £3000 to build the vessel, they will with equal readiness and cheerfulness raise the funds necessary to keep her afloat. The churches in Nova Scotia and Scotland which are sending forth and supporting so many missionaries, will be encouraged to do still more if the friends of Christ in these colonies continue the help which they have already so liberally bestowed. The Dayspring is well adapted for the work in which she is engaged. Without her assistance, the work could neither be vigorously nor successfully carried on, and her value will be more and more felt as the number of missionaries increases.
There is one source of anxiety to us at present, and that is the vicinity of the French. It is reported that the French authorities in New Caledonia have written home to France for liberty to take possession of the southern part of the New Hebrides. For the last hundred years everything that has been done for the New Hebrides has been done by Britain. These islands were surveyed and named by Cook; Aneityum and Fotuna were fully surveyed and accurately laid down by Captain Tenham; Sir Edward Belcher surveyed and laid down Port Resolution on Tanna; Captains Erskine and Oliver did something towards surveying Fate. A considerable amount of British capital is embarked in the different branches of the island trade. The missions on this group are all British: Bishops Selwyn and Patteson have made many a perilous voyage among these islands; Williams, Harris, and the Gordons fell by the hands of savage men in Erromanga; Mrs. Paton, Mr. Johnston, and the Mathesons and two children fell by disease on Tanna. When the heavenly tree of Christianity, planted with so much toil, and watered with so much blood, is just beginning to bear its life-giving fruit, will the Christians of Australia stand by and look on with indifference, and see the boar out of the forest threatening to tear it up and trample it on the ground? We hope not. But & they should, there is One in heaven who laughs at princes and rulers when they take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed; and seeking to put our trust in Him, our duty as yet is very clear—to employ all the resources at our command for the evangelization of these islands. Christ's kingdom must and will advance. It is an advancing tide, and The ugh from temporary causes it may be interrupted, and even appear to recede, yet it will return and more and more advance, till "the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."