By John Williams
In response to John Williams' meticulous documentation of his travels, this 1837 quantity deals an perception into the perilous lifetime of a missionary within the early 19th century. the writer, an ironmonger through alternate, set sail for the South Sea Islands in 1817 with the goal of spreading the gospel and introducing glossy expertise to the area. in addition to recounting the common threats to his safeguard from offended natives, battle, average catastrophe and illness, Williams offers specific surveys of the peoples, languages and usual setting he encountered and describes with nice exuberance and humour 'the influence made upon barbarous humans through their first sex with civilised man'. Made extra poignant by means of the author's dying by the hands of cannibals simply years after the book's booklet, this is often a rare account of the perseverance and ingenuity of a guy who turned a hero and martyr for the Protestant missionary flow.
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Additional info for A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands: With Remarks Upon the Natural History of the Islands, Origin, Languages, Traditions, and Usages of the Inhabitants
DESCRIPTION OF THE ISLANDS. , 158° 54' W. long. It was discovered by Captain Cook, and by him named, in honour of Captain Hervey, R. , one of the Lords of the Admiralty, and afterwards Earl of Bristol. It is surrounded by a reef, into which there is no entrance. I visited it in 1823, intending to place a native teacher there, as I expected to find a considerable population; but on learning that, by their frequent and exterminating wars, they had reduced themselves to about sixty in number, I did not fulfil my intention.
Indeed, it cannot be otherwise; for the God of nature, whose operations it is the province of science to explore, is the God of the Bible; and as the God of truth, he cannot set forth in his word principles at variance with those which, as the God of nature, he has established in the material world Both systems of knowledge, thus emanating from the same source, must harmonize with each other: for the Bible is something like a new edition of the book of nature, with a splendid appendix, which makes known the wonderful scheme of human redemption.
In all the above-mentioned islands there are evident traces of volcanic eruption. In many of them the rocks are composed of a fine grained black basalt, of which the natives make their penus, or pounders, to beat their bread-fruit into a paste, and of which also they made their hatchets prior to the introduction of iron tools. In others pumice stone is found, and stones of varied appearance, which have evidently undergone the action of fire. Immense masses, also, of conglomerated rubble are frequently met with.