By John Williams

In response to John Williams' meticulous documentation of his travels, this 1837 quantity bargains 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 know-how to the zone. in addition to recounting the widespread threats to his safeguard from indignant natives, warfare, normal catastrophe and sickness, Williams offers certain surveys of the peoples, languages and usual setting he encountered and describes with nice exuberance and humour 'the effect made upon barbarous humans via their first sex with civilised man'. Made extra poignant via the author's dying by the hands of cannibals simply years after the book's ebook, this is often a unprecedented 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 resources 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

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Of the crew of one of the canoes the greater part perished at sea. The chief Auura, to whom the other belonged and his party, were driven about they knew not whither, and for three weeks did they traverse the trackless deep, during which time they suffered exceedingly from the want of food and water. At length, He, who holds the winds in his fists, and the waters in the hollow of his hands, to whose merciful designs the elements are subservient, guided them to the Society Islands. They were driven on the coral reef which surrounds the island of Maurua, the farthest west of the group.

157° 20' W. long. It is about fifteen miles in circumference. By an invasion of a large fleet of canoes, laden with warriors, from a neighbouring island, about three years prior to our arrival, the population, previously considerable, was, by the dreadful massacre that ensued, reduced to about 300. Mitiaro is a still smaller island, of the same description. It lies about twenty miles north-west of Mauke. By famine and invasion this island IS DESCRIPTION OF THE ISLANDS. has likewise been almost depopulated; there not being 100 persons remaining.

Has he not the arm of Omnipotence for his protection, and the promises of a faithful God for his encouragement ? The places to which the Gospel has already been conveyed, from the Tahitian and Society Islands, are the Sandwich Island group, 3000 miles to the north of Tahiti, inhabited by a population of 150,000 souls;—the Austral Islands, a group 400 miles to the south;— the Paumotu, the Gambier, and the Marquesan, to the eastward;—together with the Harvey, the Navigators, and the Friendly Islands, to the westward.

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