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Clothed in the resplendent dress
H. M. W.
NOT OF US.
“We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power
may be of God, and not of us."-2 Cor. iv. 7.
WHEN Paul stood forth with dauntless zeal
The Gospel's holy truths to preach,
With winning excellence of speech ;
Swerved neither to the left nor right,
Bore witness to the promised light,
No names of dazzling majesty
On “David's Lord” the seer conferr'd,
Foretold the kingdom of the WORD.-
If these ambassadors of Heaven
To whom this only grace was given,-
SAFE AND SEASONABLE.
WHEN some who lead us, cause the soul to err,
FIRST MISSIONARY STATION AT
TAHITI. The island of Tahiti, formerly called Otaheite, has been lately the subject of intense interest in consequence of some unjustifiable proceedings carried on there by the French authorities, by which it has been extorted from the hands of the native queen and her advisers. It is situate, as most of our readers are aware, in the Pacific Ocean, between the 149th and 150th degree of west longitude, and the 17th and 18th of south latitude. The island is divided by an isthmus called Terrawow, into two principal parts; the larger and more northerly of which is nearly circular ; the other, which projects from the south-eastern part, is pyriform or pear-shaped.
It is presumed that Tahiti was unknown to Europe until Capt. Wallis, of H. M. ship Dolphin discovered it on the 19th June, 1767. After slight hostilities, provoked by the thievish propensities and reckless insubordination of the natives, the ship was moored abreast of the river of Mattavai, a district near the
vol. VI. 4th SERIES.
northernmost point of the island, and Lieutenant Furneaux having landed, erected a British pennant on the shore, and formally took possession of the island in the name of his own sovereign.
In the spring of 1768, Tahiti was visited by the French, who were received with kindness; and, after about a week's stay, departed without making any formal claim to the island.
Exactly twelve months after this last event, Lieutenant Cook, in the Endeavour, anchored at Mattavai Bay, and continued off the place for about three months, having carried out a scientific expedition for the purpose of observing the transit of Venus, and investigating the physical character of the country and its natural productions.
Shortly after his departure, Capt. Cook arrived in the Resolution, anchoring off the southern peninsula. He again visited the island on the 22nd April, 1774, and 13th August, 1777, and was the means of introducing some English cattle there, various domestic fowls, and a few garden seeds. In the interval between these latter dates, two Spanish ships called off the island and the commander having died there, was buried on shore near a cross inscribed Christus vincit; and Carolus III. Imperat, 1774.
Lieutenant Watts, in the Lady Penrhyn, was the next Englishman who touched at Tahiti, anchoring at Mattavai on the 10th July, 1788. He was followed in the same year by Lieutenant Bligh of the Bounty; the singular history of whose mutinous crew is too well known to need repetition. The report of this affair brought over, in the spring of 1791, the Pandora frigate for the purpose of looking after the mutineers, several of whom were captured and brought away for England. The Dædalus store-ship was the last British vessel which called there, before the arrival of the Duff, which was despatched in 1796 with a body of missionaries, their wives and children, under the command of Captain James Wilson.
This individual, who in his younger days was one of the most daring and avowed infidels, but afterwards, by God's grace, became a burning and shining light in the Christian church, was born in the year 1760. He discovered, in early life, a strong predilection for sea-service; and, while a young man, entered the navy, and served in the American war. On returning