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Voyages and Travels Round the World: Deputed from the London Missionary Society to Visit Their Various Stations in the South Sea Islands, Australia, China, India, Madagascar, and South Africa; Between the Years 1821 and 1820 (Classic Reprint) by Daniel Tyerman (Paperback / softback, 2015)
Excerpt from Voyages and Travels Round the World: Deputed From the London Missionary Society to Visit Their Various Stations in the South Sea Islands, Australia, China, India, Madagascar, and South Africa; Between the Years 1821 and 1820 The Missionary Society, founded on the Catholic principle of union among Christians of various deminations, was established in the autumn of 1795. The first undertaking of its founders and patrons was to send the Gospel to the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Accordingly in the year following, the ship Duff, commanded by Captain Wilson, sailed with twenty-nine Missionaries (of whom several were married, and had their wives and children with them) on board, and arrived in March, 1797, at Tahiti, then, and still, by some reputable writers, miscalled Otaheite, where the greater part of the company took up their residence. Others were settled at St. Christiana and Tongatabu. For nearly seventeen years, under many adverse and discouraging circumstances, the work (thus begun) was continued with apparently little success. It afterwards pleased God, in his own good time and way, to display his power and glory among the people who there sat and in darkness and shadow of death; r hath his word, since that time, ceased to grow and prevail: island after island has abandoned idolatry, and, while multitudes of the inhabitants have professed obedience to the faith, many have given satisfactory evidence of genuine conversion. All the principal events contributing towards this great change, or accompanying and following it, are touched upon in this volume here submitted to the public, with sufficient clearness, it is hoped, to render any explanations unnecessary in this place. In the year 1821, the Rev. Daniel Tyerman, of the Isle of Wight, and George Bennet, Esq. of Sheffield, were deputed by the Parent Society to visit the various stations in those uttermost parts of the sea, both for the purpose of cheering the hearts and strengthening the hands of the Missionaries, and, as representatives of the Christian community at home, to witness and report what great things the Lord had done for the heathen here. The following quotations from a circular, issued by the Directors, in 1820, will more particularly show their intentions in making the appointment which, at first embraced the South Sea Islands only, though, in the sequel, it included the Stations in the other quarters of the world: - The great objects of the Deputation will be, to make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the state of the Missions, and of the islands; and to suggest, and, if possible, carry into effect, such plans as shall appear to be requisite for the furtherance of the gospel, and for introducing among the natives the occupations and habits of civilised life. In order to the attainment of these objects, it is proposed to form such arrangements as shall tend to the introduction of Christian Churches; the establishment and improvement of schools for the children of the Missionaries and of the natives, and, eventually, of trades; and a proper and constant attention to the cultivation of the ground. These first objects of their appointment being fulfilled, the Deputation were subsequently instructed by the directors to proceed to Java, the East indies, &c., on a like embassy of goodwill and friendly enquiry, to the numerous establishments, insular and continental, in that quarter of the world, where the society had agents, doing the work of evangelists. These additional duties having been likewise accomplished, the Deputation, under special circumstances, were authorised to survey ather field of Missionary labour in Madagascar, where important results might be expected from their presence at that particular time. There, however, Mr. Tyerman was suddenly removed by death; and Mr. Bennet, in consequence of a political revolution in the island, was compelled to leave it. After visiting some of the stations in South A.