By John Williams
In line with 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 exchange, set sail for the South Sea Islands in 1817 with the goal of spreading the gospel and introducing sleek expertise to the sector. in addition to recounting the common threats to his security from offended natives, warfare, typical catastrophe and sickness, Williams presents certain surveys of the peoples, languages and average surroundings he encountered and describes with nice exuberance and humour 'the effect made upon barbarous humans by way of their first sex with civilised man'. Made extra poignant by means of the author's loss of life by the hands of cannibals simply years after the book's ebook, this can be a rare account of the perseverance and ingenuity of a guy who grew to become a hero and martyr for the Protestant missionary flow.
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Extra 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
The captain of the vessel having kindly consented to convey them, without expense either to ourselves or the Society, we mentioned the circumstance to the members of the church, who were delighted with the proposition, and selected Papeiha, and Vahapata, two of their number, for the work. Of Papeiha much will be said hereafter, for he has been exceedingly useful, and, to the present moment, has preserved an unsullied reputation. These two brethren were set apart to their office in an interesting service, held on the day of 38 EPIDEMIC AT RURUTU.
Ure, in his admirable work on Geology, appears to assign by far too great importance to this species of coral. * And now for a few words upon the substance of which coral is composed, or whence do the insects obtain the material with which they build ? Three distinct theories appear to be entertained upon this subject. f The second, that it is a secretion from the animal. Buckland says, " that the gelatinous bodies of these polypes are furnished with the power * See Ure's Geology, p. 469. t Forster's Voyages.
And here I may assert, that in all the range of my travels in the South Seas, I have perceived no animal agency at work adequate to the formation of a reef or island of any extent, within a period of many thousands of years. * Captain Beechy visited an island, supposed to be an elevated reef, eighty feet high; Mr. Stuchbury and myself have visited Rurutu, the rocks of which are of the same material, and are a hundred and fifty feet in height, and the calcareous rocks of Mangaia are about three hundred feet.
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 by John Williams