By John Williams
In keeping with 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 smooth expertise to the area. in addition to recounting the common threats to his defense from indignant natives, warfare, common catastrophe and disorder, Williams offers exact surveys of the peoples, languages and traditional setting he encountered and describes with nice exuberance and humour 'the impact made upon barbarous humans through their first sex with civilised man'. Made extra poignant through the author's dying by the hands of cannibals simply years after the book's book, this is often a unprecedented account of the perseverance and ingenuity of a guy who turned a hero and martyr for the Protestant missionary move.
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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
Journal of Royal Geographical Society of London, 1831 ; p. 218. t Lyell's Geology, vol, iii. p. 300. 28 SUBTERRANEOUS COMMUNICATIONS. In Atiu and Mauke, the latter of which I discovered in 1823, there are several extensive caverns, having a stratum of crystallized coral fifteen feet in thickness, as a roof. In one of these exquisitely beautiful caverns I walked about for two hours, and found no termination to its windings. This circumstance, together with the entire absence of scoria, lava, and other volcanic phenomena, in this class of islands, may lead to a supposition, that they may have been elevated by some expansive power, or volcanic agency, without eruption.
Thus was this wonderful man raised up, and thus prepared to take command of this novel and important undertaking. " A second time the ship Duff was sent, with a strong reinforcement of thirty additional labourers. By this we perceive the enlarged nature of the views entertained by the friends of this mission, together with the extent of their confidence in God and in his people. They were men whose minds seemed to revel in great things. God, however, for a time, appeared to disappoint all their expectations ; for this hitherto favoured ship was captured by the Buonaparte privateer.
He was at length loaded with irons of thirty-two pounds weight, and thrust into a horrible prison called the Black Hole; and while there so great at times was the raging of his hunger, that his jaws snapped involuntarily when his scanty meal was brought to him. Often the corpse was CAPTAIN WILSON'S SUFFERINGS. 11 unchained from his arm in the morning, that another living sufferer might take his place, and fall by the same merciless treatment. That he should survive such accumulated misery for twenty-two months, was next to a miracle.
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