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An Autobiographic Sketch Of Mission Life And Labors

Titus Coan



A PILGRIM of four-score years, standing near the margin of the Border Land, essays to give a sketch of his life - and why?

Because many personal and Christian friends have long urged it as a duty to my beloved Master to leave my testimony behind me of His faithfulness and grace.

To publish my autobiography was far from my thoughts.

It is a difficult, delicate, and dangerous task. One does not choose to publish his own follies and sins, and surely it is not modest for one to proclaim his own goodness. I will, therefore, only say in the words of the great Apostle, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the un-searchable riches of Christ.”

Let me then ask, if in reading this narrative there shall seem to be the weakness of egotism or of vain boasting, that the fault may lie at the door of the writer, or be pardoned on account of the great difficulty of relating one's own experiences and observations without often repeating the pronoun I.

On the other hand, if it shall appear that during a ministry of almost half a century a blind man has been led into the light, a lame man has been helped to walk in the Way of Life, a leprous soul has been washed in the Fountain opened for sin and uncleanness; if a heathen has found the true God, and cast away his dead idols, if a fierce cannibal has been persuaded to cease to eat the flesh of his enemies, and taught to trust the Son of Man for pardon, or if some who were dead in trespasses and sins have been raised to life by the quickening power of the Gospel, then let God have all the glory.

T. C.



Notes On The Electronic Edition

This document was created by scanning and OCR of the 1882 printed edition given by Phillip Coan, the grandson of Titus Coan and my grandfather, to my father, Edward Morel Coan.

I have retained the general typographical characteristics of the original, except for correction of a few minor and obvious spelling errors, and deletion of the Index, which was felt to be unnecessary in an electronically searchable document. The overall mixed American/British spellings have been preserved to maintain the historical sense.

In lieu of the lack of an index, an overview of the contents might be helpful for reference purposes:

Chapters II and I cover primarily Titus' early life and the sail to Hawaii (Chapter XV contrasts this with his post-Civil-War visit to the mainland).

Chapters II through XII describe primarily missionary activities.

Chapter X describes the Hawaiian Royalty from Kamehameha I to David Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani, including his personal experiences with them.

Chapters XIII and XIV describe two visits to the Marquesas in the 1860s, with much sociological detail.

Chapter XVI describes the other Hawaiian Islands briefly in the mid 1800s. Chapter XVII describes his experiences with, and impressions of, native Hawaiians of the time. Chapters XVIII through XXIII describe volcanic activities on the island of Hawaii from 1840 to 1881.

Dates and other numerical data have been carefully checked against the original book for accuracy. However, several of his measurements are known to be inaccurate (e.g., the distance from Oahu to Kauai is given as 75 miles, which distance is nearer 99 miles; and the highest peak on Kauai is given as 8,000 feet, which height is nearer 5,200 feet). The accuracy of other reported measurements may therefore be suspect.

The document format is Microsoft Word97 for Windows®, and may best be viewed with Quickview, available by right-clicking the file in the MS Windows95® Explorer. It contains one photo image (of the author).

Although the file is protected against modification, comments are welcome via e-mail to me at



Chapter 1.

Parentage, Childhood, and Early Years - Militia Service - Asahel Nettleton - Years in Western New York - Sickness - Home Again - Auburn Seminary.*

MY father was Gaylord Coan, of Killingworth, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. He was a thoughtful, quiet, and modest farmer, industrious, frugal, and temperate, attending to his own business, living in peace with his neighbors, eschewing evil, honest in dealing, avoiding debts, abhorring extravagance and profligacy, refusing proffered offices, strictly observing the Sabbath, a regular attendant on the services of the sanctuary, a constant reader of the Bible, and always offering morning and evening prayers with the family. He was born Aug. 4, 1768, and died Sept. 24, 1857, in his 90th year.

My mother was Tamza Nettleton, sister of Josiah Nettleton and aunt of Asahel Nettleton, D.D., the distinguished Evangelical preacher. She was the tender, faithful, and laborious mother of seven children, six sons and one daughter. Of these I was the youngest.

While still in the vigor of womanhood, she was cut down Jan. 14, 1818, by typhus fever, aged 58. Her death left the house desolate, and the loss was deeply mourned by all the children.

After this our father married Miss Platt, of Saybrook, by whom he had one daughter, who died at the age of eighteen.

I was born on the first day of February, Sunday morning, 1801, in the town of Killingworth, Conn. My physical constitution was good, my health was perfect, and my childhood happy.

From the age of four to twelve I was sent to the district school, where the boys and girls were drilled in Webster's spelling book, The American Preceptor, writing, arithmetic (Daball's), Morse's geography, Murray's grammar, and the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Days and weeks and years went quietly along, with the usual experiences of joyous childhood.

Spring, summer, autumn, and winter each had their peculiar charms, their duties and diversions, and I moved along the stream with only now and then a ripple.

Once, when a boy of about seven years, I had a memorable experience.

My father was to be absent during the day. and in the morning he said to me, “Titus, go straight to school to-day.” When he left, some boys came along and persuaded me to play truant. Off we started, and spent the day in as much pleasure as we could enjoy, with some twinges of guilt and fear. At 4 P.M., the time for the school to close, I managed to fall in with the children who were returning home.

Evening came - my father returned. We had supper and prayers. My conscience throbbed a little, and I prepared for bed early. When ready in my night-robe to leap into bed, my father called me to him. I trembled, but obeyed. Sitting quietly in his chair, he laid me, face downward, across his knees, took up a small birch rod and said, “Well, Titus, you are all ready now for the reward of disobedience - you did not go to school.” He then gave me a few salutary touches with the birch, and I stole off to bed.

That was one of the best lessons of my childhood It made a distinct impression upon me which I could not forget. It worked through my skin and my flesh, and went into my heart. I never played truant again.

Yes, I did get one more lesson which cooled my blood and made me thoughtful. A deep mill-pond lay between my home and the school-house. In the winter this pond was often frozen over, and my father warned me not to venture upon the ice on my way to school. One morning when I was nine years old, a mate of my age went with me to school. As we came to the pond we agreed to have a little slide. We went on half-way across the pond, I leading, and Julius following. Coming to the deepest part of the pond, the ice broke suddenly under me and I went under the water, but found no bottom. I rose to the surface in the same place where I went down, and screamed for help. My companion stood aghast and feared to come near. I threw up my hands and caught hold of the ice, but it broke before me. Again and again I struggled to find firm hold, but still the treacherous ice gave way until I nearly despaired of life.

At length, however, I came to firmer ice, and clung to it as with a death grasp, calling on Julius for help. The timid boy approached slowly until his hand reached mine; and with his help and God's mercy I was delivered from a watery grave. But it was mid winter, and I was sadly chilled. To avoid freezing we ran all the way, a half mile, to the school-house, where we found a roaring fire and the master not there. I stood by the fire, turning round and round, and smoking like a spare-rib, until the master came, when I took my seat and shivered until noon. The intermission being one hour, I improved it to dry my clothes, and went home at evening, charging my schoolmate never to tell anyone of this event. He kept his promise until I came to the Hawaiian Islands, and then he told the story. This was another lesson which I report with thanks to the Lord for sparing my life, and as a warning to all children to “Obey their parents in the Lord that their days may be long.”

But it is not necessary to enlarge on “the scenes of my childhood,” though diversified, and very many of them “dear to my heart.”

Nor will I take time to tell all my childhood's faults; and as for its virtues, I have nothing of which to boast.

When about thirteen I worked with my father on the farm during the summer months, and attended school in the winter. The next year I was a pupil in a select school at the house of my honored and excellent pastor, the Rev. Asa King. In this school I spent two happy winters, while my summers were passed on the farm, or in fishing on Long Island Sound, or for shad in early spring in the Connecticut River.

Not satisfied with my knowledge of English grammar derived from Murray and unskilled teachers, I had private lessons from a teacher fresh from a grammar school in the city of New York, and under his instructions gained a more satisfactory insight into the construction of my mother tongue than from all my winter's study in what seemed to me dry Murray.

I also read eagerly such worthy books as I was able to buy or borrow; few indeed, compared with the overwhelming flood of literature of the present time. I read history, rhetoric, astronomy, philosophy, logic, and the standard poets. I joined an Academy in East Guilford, now Madison, where I studied with delight geometry trigonometry, surveying, etc., under the instruction of the Principal, an active graduate of Yale College.

At the age of eighteen I was called to teach a school in the town of Saybrook, and from this time onward my winters were occupied in teaching in Saybrook, Killingworth, and Guilford, until I left New England for Western New York.

When the time came for me to enter the militia ranks, according to the laws of the State, I enlisted in a company of light artillery whose regiment had been commanded by Col. Bray during the war of 1812-15 and in which one of my brothers had served in the garrison of my native town during that war.

In this company I was at once chosen sergeant, and in about two years was promoted, receiving first the commission of 2nd Lieut., then that of 1st Lieut.

I had been dazzled, while a boy, with the tales of military and naval exploits, with the flashing of sabers, the waving of plumes, and with the beauty of uniforms. It had been my delight to watch the evolutions of cavalry, artillery, and militia regiments on days of drill and of general review. I had seen the proud war-ships of Britain driving the fishing-boats the sloops, schooners, brigs, barks, ships, all the floating commerce of Long Island Sound, into our rivers, lagoons, bays, creeks, and harbors. I had seen the flashes and heard the thunder of their guns; had been wakened at midnight by the alarm-bells of the town, and the quick fire of the garrison. I had heard of Canada, of Buffalo, of the Northern and Southern Lakes, of the Potomac, of Washington, of New Orleans, and of the peace with its joyful celebrations, and its thunder-notes of gladness rolling over the land.

Afterward, when all this died out, and a more rational, a calmer and purer peace spread over land and sea, there came a change in my military feelings and aspirations.

While absent from my native town, a memorable season of religious interest was awakened among all classes in Killingworth.

The Rev. Asahel Nettleton, whose fame as an evangelical preacher has spread over the land, was invited to return to the place of his birth, to preach the Gospel to his kindred and townsmen. He came, and the “Power of the Highest” came with him. Our pastor, Mr. King, was heart and soul with him. Sinai thundered the law, and Calvary cried pardon to the penitent. “The axe was laid at the root of the trees” and the winnowing fan was seen in the hand of the Eternal. Conversions multiplied. Profanity was hushed. Revelry ceased. “Young men” became “sober-minded.” The fiddle and the midnight dance were superseded by the “Village Hymns,” the “Songs of Zion,” the quiet sanctuary, and the tender, the loving and the happy prayer-meeting. All things be came new. I heard the fame of them, but was absent. In childhood, tender and anxious religious thought had often filled my eyes with tears, and my heart with throbs. I had prayed under the shadows of rocks and lone trees, but no man knew my spiritual wants or met them. I regretted my absence from Killingworth while my kind pastor and own beloved cousin were thus leading thirsty souls to the Fountain of Life. I returned just in time to see 110 of my companions and neighbors stand up in the sanctuary and confess the Lord Jehovah to be their Lord and Saviour, and pledge themselves to love, follow, and obey Him.

I was thoughtful and sober, but passed on much as usual in the ordinary affairs of life.

In the spring of 1826, with a friend and my sister, I left my native home in a private carriage, and went via Middletown, Hartford, Stockbridge, Albany, and Schenectady to Rochester, taking the Erie Canal at Schenectady and leaving our friend to go on in the carriage.

I had then four brothers in Western New York; the oldest, the Rev.

George Coan, had received that summer a call from the Presbyterian church at Riga, in Monroe County, to become its pastor. This call he accepted, and at the same time I was engaged to teach the large school near the church. Here I often met excellent pastors of the surrounding churches, whose preaching, religious conversation, and personal friendship awakened afresh the pious longings of my soul. Most of these pastors are now in heaven, and I know of but one who is still living, and now more than fourscore years old. His letters of love still come to me fresh as the dews of Mount Zion.

During this summer of 1826 I often rode by a school-house in a western district of Riga, and through the windows I saw a face that beamed on me like that of an angel. The image was deeply impressed, and is still ineffaceable.

On inquiry, the young lady proved to be Miss Fidelia Church, of Churchville. I often saw her sunlit face in the choir on the Sabbath, for she was a sweet singer, but I did not make her acquaintance for many months.

During the summer of 1827, after the close of my winter-school, I opened a select-school in Riga, and Fidelia applied for admittance. In this I rejoiced greatly, for it gave me a good opportunity to mark the character of her mind, which proved bright and receptive, and to become acquainted with her moral and social characteristics.

I was called again to teach the central school during the winter of 1827-8, and though I had not yet united with the visible Church, I was elected and urged to become superintendent of the Sabbath-school, which I reluctantly accepted under the firm resolve to spend the remainder of my days, not in doubting and inactivity, but in doing what I could to bless my fellow mortals, and to honor God. And in this resolution, which formed an era in my life, I was greatly helped, comforted, and established, so that duty done for Christ was a sweet and joyous pleasure.

On the 2nd day of March, 1828, I was received to the fellowship of the Presbyterian church in Riga, then under the pastoral care of my brother.

Although I had now publicly devoted myself to the service of the Master, my profession was not yet chosen.

Soon after this union with the church, I visited Medina, a young and promising village west of Albion, in Orleans County, where one of my brothers was established in mercantile business. As this brother had long urged me to connect myself with him in his business, I went to look into it and to consider his offer. I spent the summer and winter with him.

Here work for the Master opened before me. The town was new, the inhabitants were from different parts, and of various professions and religious opinions. But notwithstanding this, there was much harmony in the village, so that, if a Methodist, a Baptist, a Presbyterian, an Episcopalian, or a Congregational minister came along and was invited to preach, a large portion of the people united harmoniously in listening to the Gospel; and when there was no clergyman, the layman professors kept up Sabbath services in reading sermons, and with exhortation and prayer. I was appointed Sunday-school superintendent, and this with visiting the sick, attending funerals, and assisting the brethren in religious services, opened just such a field of labor as I needed.

As winter approached I was again pressed into school-teaching, spending outside hours with my brother in the store.

Still I had not chosen my life-work. Four paths lay before me. My brother wished me to become his partner in the mercantile business. A good physician in Rochester, and several in other places, advised me to become a physician, offering to teach me free of charge. Some said I was made for a school teacher, and many clergymen and Christian laymen urged me to go into the Gospel ministry.

What should I do? What could I do? The subject pressed heavily upon my mind and heart. I said that teaching is pleasant in youth, but for life it would not satisfy me. As for the medical profession, I was not adapted to it, and I dared not make the trial. But how of the sacred ministry? I felt utterly unfit and unworthy - my natural talent, education, piety, were all unequal to the exalted calling. As Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah shrank from the offices of legislator and prophet, so I from being an ambassador of Christ, yet I was willing to work hard as a layman, and even longed to go as a servant among the heathen to help the honored missionaries.

Thus my spirit labored under a burden which none but God knew, and to find relief, I decided to be an active and devoted layman; to return to Connecticut, finish up my business there, and then settle down to a mercantile life in Medina.

In April, 1829, I left Medina for the East, and in Bergen met, by agreement, an old and faithful friend, the Rev. H. Halsey, who had been chosen by his Presbytery a representative to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, which was to meet in Philadelphia the coming May.

With him I agreed to visit Philadelphia, attend the sessions of the General Assembly, and then go on to Connecticut. We took the canal-boat at Rochester, and on the next day I had a shake of ague, followed by a fever.

We had no doctor and no medicines, and I kept quiet, thinking to brave it out.

On the next Saturday we reached Syracuse, my ague shakes becoming more positive. We left the boat and went to Onondaga Hollow, spending the Sabbath and Monday with the Principal of an Academy, who was brother-in-law to Mr. Halsey. Here the ague was heavy and I had little comfort.

On Tuesday we went on to Albany, and thence by steamer to New York; my chills and fever growing all the while more and more intense. Here I gave up going to Philadelphia, parting reluctantly with my companion.

Taking passage up the Sound, I went to Madison, where I had friends. I was then so prostrated I could go no farther, and was laid at once on a bed of weakness, from which I did not rise for four months. A good physician and kind friends ministered to me daily, but the disease held me fast until I was wasted to a skeleton, so that I could not sit in an easy-chair without fainting while my bed was being made. This was a time for reflection.

When the cold winds of autumn came, the disease relaxed, and I was taken carefully in an easy carriage to my father's house, only seven miles distant. Here I was ill until the last of October. I then rose through the mercy of God, and was offered the school where my cousin Nettleton and where all my brothers and sisters had been taught their A B C.

During all that winter there was a cheering revival in the town and in my school, and many of my pupils were hopefully born again. This was the best year of my life up to that time. It was the turning point, the day of decision. It was the voice of God to me. I could no longer doubt. I had purposed and the Lord had disappointed. I had chosen, but He had other work for me. I said, Lead me, Saviour. Tell me where to go and what to do, and I will go and do. On my return to Western New York I had a free consultation with many ministerial friends, and all advised me to pursue a short course of preparatory study, and enter Auburn Theological Seminary.

I had formed a pleasant acquaintance with the Rev. Lewis Cheeseman, while he was pastor of a church in Albion. He then seemed like a young Apollos, fervid, eloquent, and impressive. He had now settled in Byron and was preaching with great power and success. He invited me to study and labor with him, as an interesting work of grace was in progress, not only in Byron, but in Rochester and many other towns of that region.

Accordingly I spent the summer of 1830 in his family, studying and laboring in the revival; sometimes meeting the Rev. Charles Finney.

In the autumn an earnest invitation came to me from the Rev. David Page and the church in Knoxville, to come and labor there. I accepted the invitation, and spent the winter and spring in that place, continuing my classical studies, and assisting the pastor, and conducting evening meetings in surrounding villages. The religious interest was widespread, the meetings were full and solemn, consciences were tender, and many were turned to the Lord.

On the first day of June, 1831, I entered the middle class of Auburn Theological Seminary.

The faculty then consisted of the Rev. Doctors Richards, Perrine, and Mills, all noble men and fine scholars.

Here the months and seasons flowed pleasantly along, and I was very happy in my studies, in the society of the students and in the instructions of the professors. Every Sabbath morning I went with other students to teach the convicts in the Auburn State Prison, numbering seven or eight hundred, and for a year or more I had the office of Superintendent of the prison Sunday-school. This work was very interesting, as I had personal access to every class and to every individual. Many confessed to deeds and purposes of great depravity, and some professed a radical change of heart. About 200 professed conversion. A few of these I afterward met in Rochester and Albany, of gentlemanly bearing, and in citizen's dress. I did not recognize the men whom I had known in the convict's garb, until they gave me their names. I was rejoiced to find them members of Sunday-schools and churches, in good business, and happily settled in life.

On the 17th of April, 1833, I was licensed to preach the Gospel by the Presbytery of Cayuga County, at a meeting in Auburn.

I was then invited to preach during the summer vacation in one of the churches in Rochester, while the pastor was absent as a delegate to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.

At the close of the vacation, as I was about to return to Auburn, the elders of the church in which I had labored put the following paper into my hands:
ROCHESTER, July 8, 1833.

Dear Sir: - In behalf of the First Free Presbyterian Church and Congregation of Rochester, we present you this testimonial of our entire satisfaction of your ministerial labors among us during the absence of our beloved pastor, Rev. Luke Lyons, who was called from us to attend the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.

You may rest assured that we shall remember you in our prayers, and may the Lord abundantly reward you for your labors of love among us, guide you by His counsel, and make you eminently useful in promoting the Redeemer's Kingdom in whatever situation you may be placed.

We are, dear sir, your friends and brethren in Christ our Lord.

(Signed), A. W. RILEY,

It was but a few days after my entrance upon my last term at the Seminary, when a letter from the Rev. Rufus Anderson, Secretary of the A. B. C. F. M., called me to Boston to be ordained, and to sail on a mission of exploration to Patagonia, on which expedition I embarked on the 16th of August, 1833. An account of this trip may be found in my “Adventures in Patagonia.”



Chapter II.

Marriage - Embarkation for Hawaii - Santiago, Callao, and Lima in 1835 - Arrival in Honolulu - Passage to Hilo - Our New Home - First Labors.

ON returning from Patagonia I landed in New London, Conn., May 7, 1834. During all the long months of my absence in the South, not a word had come to me from friends, nor had any tidings from me reached the land of my birth. There had been many fond recollections and tender heart-longings, and quires of paper had been filled, but no breath of heaven, no bird of the air had wafted these yearnings, these burning thoughts from North to South, and from South to North. Over the Atlantic or the vast continent no answer had come to anxious inquiries, no echo to calls of love.

But the perils of the sea and of the howling wilderness of savages were now past, and I was in the land of liberty, of light, and of Christian love.

I went to Boston and reported; to Killingworth, to surprise with joy my aged and mourning father; and to Middlebury in Vermont to find the one whom I had chosen, and who had waited patiently and with out change of object or of purpose, for seven long years to welcome this glad day.

She was then teaching with the dear mother Cooke, in the Middlebury Female Seminary.

She went with me to her father's house in Churchville, where on the 3rd of Nov. 1834, we were married in the church on Monthly Concert evening. On Nov. 4th we left for Boston, visiting friends in New York and Connecticut by the way. On the 23rd of November we received our instructions as missionaries to the Sandwich Islands, in Park Street church, together with Miss Lydia Brown, Miss Elizabeth Hitchcock, Mr. Henry Dimond and wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Edwin O. Hall.

On the same occasion a company of twelve missionaries, destined to South-eastern Africa, received their instructions. The house was packed and the occasion was one of great interest.

On the 5th of December 1834, we embarked on board the merchant ship Hellespont, Capt. John Henry, and bade farewell to Boston, to hundreds of dear and precious friends, to our dear country, not expecting ever to see them again. On the 6th we awoke and looked in vain for land. City, hills, mountains, had sunk in the ocean, and nothing outside of the dancing Hellespont was seen but the ethereal vault and the boundless blue sea.

We plunged into the Gulf Stream and were handled roughly by current and wind and foaming wave. The wild winds howled, the clouds thickened and darkened, and the tempest raged.

Our good ship labored, plunged, rose, trembled, plunged and rose again amidst the foaming billows, shaking off the feathery spray like a sea-lion, and rushing along her watery way with grandeur. In the night her shining pathway was all aglow with countless, sparkling brilliants. Our voyage soon became pleasant. The weather was favorable, the captain attentive and kind, the officers faithful, and the crew obedient and respectful. Our seasickness vanished, our skies brightened, and we were a happy family, daily becoming better acquainted with each other. Miss Brown was a maiden lady from New Hampshire, of true devotion to the work of the Lord. She was appointed to the Islands to teach the women of Hawaii domestic duties, such as carding, spinning, weaving, etc., in connection with a civilizing Christianity. Miss Hitchcock was also a maiden lady, well educated and pious. One of her brothers was already an active missionary on the Islands, and she was going out to assist in teaching. She afterward married Mr. Edmund H. Rogers, a missionary printer.

Mr. Dimond came as a book-binder. His good wife was Miss Ann Anner, of New York City. Both of them are now living. Mr. E. O. Hall was a printer from Rochester, N. Y. He also found his wife in New York City, a Miss Williams, a devoted lady. Mrs. Hall died a few years ago.

This united circle held morning and evening devotions, and our days were spent in reading, writing, and social intercourse. On Sabbaths when the weather was favorable we had preaching, at which service the captain, officers, and crew were present.

But I need not detain the reader with a third voyage in the Atlantic.

Enough to say that we passed pleasantly along to the South, sinking the Northern constellations one by one, and raising the Southern, seeing no Equatorial line, no Neptune, and no land until the hills of Terra del Fuego lifted their snowy heads upon us above the clouds. I had longed to see the wild coast of Patagonia and the Falkland Islands, where only a year before I had roamed with the savage tribes, or found more comforts among the whalers and sealers of those southern islets. But we passed between the Continent and the Islands, descrying neither.

My heart mourned for this land of Patagonia, a land on which the shadows of death had always rested, and where no day had yet dawned.

We passed through the Strait of Le Maire, and with all sails set, in a balmy and bright summer day sailed very near the dreaded Cape Horn.

Only a day after we had set our studdingsails and spread all our canvas, a stormy wind took us far toward the Southern Cross and the ice mountains of the Antarctic. But in a few days, more favoring gales hurried us Northward again, and on the 8th of March the joyful sound of “land ho!” thrilled all on board, and the lofty Cordillera chain stood out in grandeur before us. It was Chili, and the city of Valparaiso was in sight. We came into the roadstead, dropped anchor, furled sails, congratulated one another, and blessed the Lord for a safe passage thus far.

As the Hellespont was to remain in port about twenty days, Mr. Dimond and I engaged a carriage and driver, and made a trip to Santiago, the capital of Chili, about 100 miles inland and near the foot-hills of the Andes. Our ride was very exhilarating. This city is one of the most beautiful in South America, well watered from the mountain snows, and well shaded with trees. On our way we passed over high hills and broad plains. The roads over these hills were wide and cut in zigzag lines, with ample terraces or resting-places at the angles. On ascending one of these lofty hills at early dawn, we descried the heads of two men, recently severed, each nailed to a high post at different places, and grinning ghastly upon us. Our driver told us that these men were highway robbers and murderers; that they had, on going up this hill, perpetrated the vilest of crimes, killed a husband and his wife, with two children, stolen their baggage clothes, and horse, and thrown the dead bodies into a deep ravine below; and for these horrid crimes their heads had been made beacons of warning to all who passed along this road.

We left Valparaiso on the 27th of March, and anchored in the harbor of Callao, Peru, on the 6th of April 1835. Here we spent twenty-one days, giving us opportunity of going on shore as often as we desired, of visiting Lima, of attending the gorgeous ceremonies of Passion Week, of looking into the grand Cathedral and their splendid churches, and of noticing the monuments of art, and the scars of revolution in that renowned, but often suffering, desecrated, and vandalized city.

With the courteous Bishop of Lima, we went through the Cathedral, he bowing and crossing him self as he passed by the various pictures and statues, telling us of the guardian care of the different saints over the city.

We left Callao on the 27th of April, saw the mountains of Hawaii on the 5th of June, and on the 6th landed in Honolulu. The Hawaiian mission was then in session, and on the arrival of the Hellespont, the mission appointed a committee of three to meet us on board, while the meeting was adjourned, and a large part of the members with wives and children came down to the wharf to welcome us, and to escort us to the house of the Rev. Hiram Bingham. The welcome was warm and warmly reciprocated, and the meeting was joyful. It seemed to us apostolical. We regarded these veteran toilers with a feeling of veneration. Some looked vigorous and strong others seemed pallid and wayworn. Here were the fathers and mothers in Israel, and here the brothers and sisters, with flocks of precious children. We rejoiced that we were permitted to be numbered with this honored and happy family. We all united in a hymn of praise and thanksgiving to God, and then knelt in prayer.

The new reinforcement united in the daily meetings of the mission until the closing of its sessions, when we went forth to our appointed stations, my wife and I to Hilo, Hawaii, with Mr. and Mrs. Lyman.

We embarked at Honolulu, in the schooner Velocity, falsely so-called, on the 6th of July. The schooner was small, a slow sailor, dirty, crowded with more than one hundred passengers, mostly natives, and badly managed.

The captain was an Irishman given to hard drinking.

We sailed from Honolulu on Monday. The sea was rough and nearly all of the passengers were very seasick. Our first port was Lahaina, eighty miles from Honolulu, where we were to land Mr. and Mrs. Richards, Dr.

and Mrs. Chapin, Mr. and Mrs. Spaulding, and other families. On Wednesday morning the captain announced that the land just ahead was Maui, and that we should all land in about an hour at Lahaina, where we might rest a day, bathe, eat grapes and watermelons, and be refreshed for the rest of the voyage, about 150 miles further.

But the poor captain's eyes were dazed, and he had lost his reckoning.

We had gone about in the night and we were back at Honolulu! This fact came upon us with a shock of agony. After such seasickness as some of us had never before endured, the dreadful thought came over us, “Shall we ever reach our homes on this vessel and with this master?” Many of us had tasted neither food nor wafer from Monday to Wednesday, and all had lain crowded on a dirty deck, exposed to wind, rain, and wave, and how could we live to reach our destination? But there was no alternative.

We said go, and the dull Velocity went about and headed again for Lahaina, where we landed passengers, and on the 21st we saw the emerald beauty of Hilo, and disembarked with joy and thanksgiving.

Hundreds of laughing natives thronged the beach, seized our hands, gave us the hearty “Aloha” and followed us up to the house of our good friends, Mr. and Mrs. Lyman, who were with us to comfort and inform us all the way.

The bay of Hilo is a beautiful, spacious, and safe harbor. The outline of its beach is a crescent like the moon in her first quarter. The beach is composed of fine, volcanic sand, mixed with a little coral and earth. On its eastern and western sides, and in its center, it is divided by three streams of pure water; it has a deep channel about half a mile wide near the western shore, sufficiently deep to admit the largest ship that floats.

Seaward it is protected by lava reef one mile from the shore. This reef was formed by a lateral stream of lava, sent out at right angles from a broad river of molten rocks that formed our eastern coast. This reef is a grand barrier against the swell of the ocean. Lord Byron, who visited Hilo, when he brought home the corpses of King Liholiho and his queen, gave the name of “Byron Bay” to this harbor, but that name is nearly obsolete.

The beach was once beautifully adorned with the cocoa palm, whose lofty plumes waved and rustle and glittered in the fresh sea-breeze. Beyond our quiet bay the broad, blue ocean foams or sleeps, with a surface sometimes shining like molten silver, tumbling in white foam, or gently throbbing as with the pulsations of life.

Inland, from the shore to the bases of the mountains, the whole landscape is “arrayed in living green,” presenting a picture of inimitable beauty, so varied in tint, so grooved with water channels, and so sparkling with limpid streams and white foaming cascades, as to charm the eye, and cause the beholder to exclaim, “This is a scene of surpassing loveliness.”

Behind all this in the background, tower the lofty, Snow-mantled Mountains, Kea and Loa, out of one, which rush volcanic fires. At the first sight we were charmed with the beauty and the grandeur of the scene, and we exclaimed, “Surely the lines are fallen to us in pleasant places, and we have a goodly heritage.”

We were satisfied, yes more, we were delighted, with our location, and to this day we bless the Lord that He inclined the minds of the mission to assign us to this field of labor. In this, as in all the past, we see the guiding hand of Him who has promised to “direct the steps” of all who “commit their way to Him.”

Hilo had then but one framed house. It was a low, two-story building in the style of a New England farm-house, built and occupied by the Rev.

Joseph Goodrich, a good and faithful missionary of the A. B. C. F. M.

Mr. Lyman's home, into which we were received, was a small, stone house, with walls laid up with mud, and a thatched roof. Each family had but one room about fifteen feet square.

Mr. Goodrich, with his family, left Hilo in November for the United States, not to return, and we were advised to occupy his house, which with later additions and improvements has been our habitation ever since.

Mr. Lyman soon built a comfortable house near us, and the old stone-and-mud hut was devoted to a schoolroom.

By the advice of the Lymans, who had been two years in Hilo, and whose experience and wise counsel were of great use to us, we at once began teaching a school of about a hundred almost naked boys and girls, being ourselves pupils of a good man named Barnabas, who patiently drilled us daily in the language of his people. By reading, trying to talk, teach and write, we crept along, without grammar or dictionary, the mist lifting slowly before us, until at the end of three months from our arrival, I went into the pulpit with Mr. Lyman, and preached my first sermon in the native language. Soon after, I made a tour with him into Puna, one wing of our field, and then through the district of Hilo, in an opposite direction. These tours introduced me to the people for whom I was to labor, and with whom I had a burning desire to communicate freely, and helped me greatly in acquiring the language.

The General Meeting at Honolulu in June had advised Mr. Lyman and myself to establish a boarding-school for boys, leaving to us the question as to which of us should be the principal of the school, and which the traveling missionary.

He chose the school as his chief work, and I the pastoral and preaching department. Our labors, however, were not separated for a long time, he preaching always when I was absent on tours, and often when I was at home; we always worked in harmony. After a year or two, the school being enlarged and important, Mr. Lyman requested the mission to accept his resignation of the joint pastoral of the church and to appoint me as the sole pastor. This was done harmoniously, and we have labored side by side until the present day, mutually assisting, and rejoicing in the success of all departments of the service.

Under the efficient care of Mr. and Mrs. Lyman the school has been a great success. Its department of manual labor is an important feature in the institution. It has given a very valuable physical training to the boys, imparting to them skill and health, and making the school nearly self-supporting. The young men are well dressed, neat and manly in their appearance, and give evidence of an elevation above the common masses around them. In all, the Seminary has graduated about one thousand pupils. Many of them are among the most useful members of society, and some of them have become legislators, judges, teachers, Christian ministers, foreign missionaries, etc.

Mr. Lyman, feeling obliged through declining health to resign his office as Principal, the Rev. W. B. Oleson was appointed in September 1878, as his successor.



Chapter III.

The Field - The People - Hilo District - Crossing the Torrents - Perils of a Canoe Voyage - Puna District.

THE field in which I was called to labor is a belt of land extending by the coast-line 100 miles on the north-east, east, and south-east shore of Hawaii, including the districts of Hilo and Puna, and a part of Kau.

The inhabited belt is one to three miles wide, and in a few places there were hamlets and scattering villages five to ten miles inland. Beyond this narrow shore belt there is a zone of forest trees with a tropical jungle from ten to twenty-five miles wide, almost impenetrable by man or beast.

Still higher is another zone of open country girdling the bases of the mountains, with a rough surface of hill, dale, ravine, scoriaceous lava fields, rocky ridges, and plains and hills of pastureland. Here wild goats, wild cattle, wild hogs and wild geese feed. Still higher up tower Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, nearly 14,000 feet above the sea, the former being a pile of extinct craters, often crowned with snow, and the latter a mountain of fire, where for unknown ages earthquakes that rock the group and convulse the ocean have been born, and where volcanoes burst out with awful roar, and rush in fiery rivers down the mountain sides, across the open plains, through the blazing forest jungle and into the sea.

All but the narrow shore belt is left to untamed bird and beast, and to the wild winds and raging fires of the mountains, except when bird-catchers, canoe makers, cattle-hunters, or volcano visitors are drawn thither by their several interests from the shore.

The population of this shore belt was probably at that time about 15,000 to 16,000, almost exclusively natives. Very few foreigners had then come here to live. Several missionaries had resided in Hilo for short periods, but none had settled here permanently except Mr. and Mrs. Lyman.

Occasional tours had been made through Hilo and Puna, and the Gospel had been preached in most of the villages. Schools had also been established through the districts and a goodly number could read and write. Some pupils were in the elements of arithmetic, and many committed lessons in the Scriptures to memory.

Forms of idolatry were kept out of sight, but superstition and ignorance, hypocrisy and most of the lower vices prevailed. The people were all slaves to their chiefs, and no man but a chief owned a foot of land, a tree, a pig, a fowl, his wife, children, or himself. All belonged to his chief and could be taken at will, if anger or covetousness or lust called for them. I have seen families by the score turned out of their dwellings, all their effects seized, and they sent off wailing, to seek shelter and food where they could. “On the side of the oppressor there was power, but the poor man had no comforter.”

Hilo, the northern wing of this field, is a district including about thirty miles of its shoreline. It is covered with a deep rich soil, clothed with perennial green of every shade, watered with the rain of heaven and grooved by about eighty water channels that run on an angle of some three degrees, leaping over hundreds of precipices of varied heights, from three or four feet to 500, and plunging into the sea over a cliff rising in height, from the sand beach of the town, to 700 or 800 feet along the northern coast-line.

For many years after our arrival there were no roads, no bridges, and no horses in Hilo, and all my tours were made on foot. These were three or four annually through Hilo, and as many in Puna; the time occupied in making them was usually ten to twenty days for each trip.

In passing through the district of Hilo, the weather was sometimes fine and the rivers low, so that there was little difficulty in traveling. The path was a simple trail, winding in a serpentine line, going down and up precipices, some of which could only be descended and ascended by grasping the shrubs and grasses; and with no little weariness and difficulty and some danger.

But the streams were the most formidable obstacles. In great rains, which often occurred on my tours, when the winds rolled in the heavy clouds from the sea, and massed them in dark banks on the side of the mountain, the waters would fall in torrents at the head of the streams and along their channels, and the rush and the roar as the floods came down were like the thunder of an army charging upon the foe.

I have sometimes sat on the high bank of a streamlet, not more than fifteen to twenty feet wide, conversing with natives in the bright sunshine, when suddenly a portentous roaring, “Like the sound of many waters, or like the noise of the sea when the waves thereof roar,” fell upon my ears, and looking up-stream, I have seen a column of turbid waters six feet deep coming down like the flood from a broken mill-dam.

The natives would say to me, “Awiwi! awiwi! o pea oe i ka wai” - “Quick! quick! or the waters will stop you.”

Rushing down the bank I would cross over, dry shod, where in two minutes more there was no longer any passage for man or beast. But I rarely waited for the rivers to run by. My appointments for preaching were all sent forward in a line for thirty or sixty miles, designating the day, and usually the hours, when I would be at a given station, and by breaking one of these links the whole chain would be disturbed. It therefore seemed important that every appointment should be kept, whatever the inconvenience might be to me. In traveling, my change of raiment was all packed in one calabash, or large gourd, covered by the half of another; a little food was in a second calabash. With these gourds one may travel indefinitely in the heaviest rains while all is dry within.

Faithful natives carried my little supplies.

I had several ways of crossing the streams.

1st. When the waters were low, large rocks and boulders, common in all the water-channels, were left bare, so that with a stick or pole eight or ten feet long, I leaped from rock to rock over the giddy streams and crossed dry-shod: these same poles helping me to climb up, and to let myself down steep precipices, and to leap ditches six to eight feet wide. 2nd.

When the streams were not too deep and too swift I waded them; and 3rd, when not too deep, but too swift, I mounted upon the shoulders of a sturdy aquatic native, holding on to his bushy hair, when he mowed carefully down the slippery bank of the river, leaning up-stream against a current of ten knots, and moving one foot at a time, sideways among the slimy boulders in the bottom, and then bringing the other foot carefully up. Thus slowly feeling his way across, he would land me safe with a shout and a laugh on the opposite bank. But this is a fearful way of crossing, for the cataracts are so numerous, the waters so rapid, and the uneven bottom so slippery, that the danger of falling is imminent, and the recovery from a fall often impossible, the current hurrying one swiftly over a precipice into certain destruction. Both natives and foreigners have thus lost their lives in these streams, and among them three of the members of the Hilo church who have traveled and labored and prayed with me.

I once crossed a full and powerful river in this way, not more than fifty feet above a cataract of 426 feet in height, with a basin forty feet deep below, where this little Niagara has thundered for ages. A missionary brother of another station seeing me landed safely, and knowing that this crossing would save about six miles of hard and muddy walking, followed me on the shoulders of the same bold native that took me over.

But before he had reached the middle of the rushing flood, he trembled and cried out with fear. The bearer said, “Hush! hush! be still, or we perish together.” The brother still trembling, the native with great difficulty managed to reach a rock in the center of the river, and on this he seated his burden, commanding him to be quiet and sit there until he was cool (he was already drenched with rain and river-spray), when he would take him off, which he did in about ten minutes and landed him safely by my side.

This mode of crossing the streams, however, was too dangerous, and I soon abandoned it.

A fourth mode was for a sufficient number of strong men to form a chain across the river. They made a line, locking hands on the bank; with heads bending up-stream entering the water carefully, and moving slowly until the head of the line reached good foothold near the opposite bank. With my hands upon the shoulders of the men I passed along this chain of bones, sinews, and muscles and arrived in safety on the other side.

The fifth and safest, and in fact the only possible way to cross some of these rivers when swollen and raging, was to throw a rope across the stream, and fasten it to trees or rocks on either side; grasping it firmly with both hands, my feet thrown down-stream, I drew myself along the line and gained the opposite bank. This I sometimes did without removing shoes or garments, then walked on to my next station, and preached in wet clothes, continuing my travels and labors until night; when in dry wrappings I slept well, and was all ready for work the next day.

I was once three hours in crossing one river. The day was cold and rainy, and I was soaked before I entered the stream. This was so wide at the only possible crossing point, that we were unable to throw a line across, even with a weight attached to the end of it. The raging roaring, and tossing of the waters were fearful, and the sight of it made me shudder.

Kind natives collected on both banks by scores, with ropes and courage to help. The fearful rapids, running probably twenty miles an hour, were before us. Fifty feet below us was a fall of some twenty feet, and about 100 yards further down was a thundering cataract, where the river was compressed within a narrow gorge with a clear plunge of about eighty feet.

Our natives tried all their skill and strength, but could not throw the line across. At length a daring man went up-stream close to a waterfall, took the end of the rope in his teeth, mounted a rock, calculated his chances of escape from the cataracts below, and leaped into the flood; down, down he went quivering and struggling till he reached the opposite shore only a few feet above the fall, over which it must have been a fatal plunge had he gone. But by his temerity, which I should have forbidden, had I known it in season, a passage was provided for me.

After years had passed, and a little had been done toward making roads, I purchased a horse, and tried to get him over these streams by swimming or hauling him over with ropes. Twice when I attempted to go over in the saddle, his foot caught between two rocks in the middle of the stream, and horse and rider were saved only by the energy and fidelity of the natives.

Once in going up a steep precipice in a narrow pass between a rocky height on one hand and a stream close on the other, my horse fell over backward and lay with his head down and his feet in the air, so wedged and so wounded that he could never have escaped from his position, had not a company of natives for whom I sent came to the rescue and extricated the poor, faithful animal from his rocky bed. I escaped instant death by sliding out of the saddle upon the narrow bank of the stream, before the back of my horse struck between the rocks. He was so hurt that I was obliged to leave him to recover.

In order to save time and escape the weariness of the road and the dangers of the rivers, I sometimes took a canoe at the end of my tours to return home by the water. This trip required six to eight hours, and was usually made in the night.

On three occasions my peril was great. One description will suffice for all; for although the difficulties and escapes were at different points along a precipitous and lofty sea-wall, yet the causes of danger were the same, viz.: stormy winds, raging billows, and want of landing-places.

About midway between our starting-place and Hilo harbor, we were met by a strong head-wind, with pouring rain and tumultuous waves in a dark midnight. We were half a mile from land, but could hear the roar and see the flashing of the white surf as it dashed against the rocky walls.

We could not land, we could not sail, and we could not row forward or backward. All we could do was to keep the prow of the canoe to the wind, and bail. Foaming seas dashed against our frail cockleshell, pouring in buckets of brine. Thus we lay about five hours, anxious as they “who watch for the morning.” At length it dawned; we looked through the misty twilight to the rock-bound shore where “the waves dashed high.” A few doors of native huts opened and men crawled out.

We called, but no echo came. We made signals of distress. We were seen and numbers came down to the cliffs and gazed at us. We waved our garments for them to come off to our help. They feared, they hesitated.

We were opposite the mouth of a roaring river, where the foam of breakers dashed in wild fury. At last four naked men came down from the cliff, plunged into the sea, dived under one towering wave after another, coming out to breathe between the great rolling billows, and thus reached our canoe. Ordering the crew to swim to the land, they took charge of the canoe themselves because they knew the shore. Meanwhile men stood on the high bluffs with kapa cloth in hand to signal to the boat-men when to strike for the mouth of the river. They waited long and watched the tossing waves as they rolled in and thundered upon the shore, and when at last a less furious wave came behind us, the shore men waved the signals and tried out, “Hoi! hoi!” and as the waves lifted the stern of our canoe, all the paddles struck the water, while the steerer kept the canoe straight on her course, and thus mounted on this crested wave as on an ocean chariot, with the feathery foam flying around us, we rode triumphantly into the mouth of the river, where we were received with shouts of gladness by the throng who had gathered to witness our escape. Then two rows of strong men waded into the surf up to their arm-pits to receive our canoe and bear it in triumph to the shore.

Praising the Lord for His goodness, and thanking the kind natives for their agency in delivering me, I walked the rest of the way home.

The district of Puna lies east and south of Hilo, and its physical features are remarkably different from those of the neighboring district.

Its shoreline, including its bends and flexures, is more than seventy miles in extent. For three miles inland from the sea it is almost a dead level, with a surface of pahoehoe or field lava, and a-a or scoriaceous lava, interspersed with more or less rich volcanic soil and tropical verdure, and sprinkled with sand-dunes and a few cone and pit-craters. Throughout its length it is marked with ancient lava streams, coming down from Kilauea and entering the sea at different points along the coast. These lava streams vary in width from half a mile to two or three miles. From one to three miles from the shore the land rises rapidly into the great volcanic dome of Mauna Loa (Long Mountain). The highlands are mostly covered with woods and jungle, and scarred with rents, pits, and volcanic cones.

Everywhere the marks of terrible volcanic action are visible. The whole district is so cavernous, so rent with fissures, and so broken by fiery agencies, that not a single stream of water keeps above-ground to reach the sea. All the rain-fall is swallowed by the 10,000 crevices, and disappears, except the little that is held in small pools and basins, waiting for evaporation. The rains are abundant, and subterranean fountains and streams are numerous, carrying the waters down to the sea level, and filling caverns, and bursting up along the shore in springs and rills, even far out under the sea. Some of these waters are very cold, some tepid, and some stand at blood heat, furnishing excellent warm baths. There are large caves near the sea where we enter by dark and crooked passages, and bathe by torchlight, far underground, in deep and limpid water.

Puna has many beautiful groves of the cocoa-palm, also breadfruit, pandanus, and ohia, and where there is soil it produces under cultivation, besides common vegetables, arrowroot, sugar-cane, coffee, cotton, oranges, citrons, limes, grapes, and other fruits. On the highlands, grow wild strawberries, cape gooseberries, and the ohelo, a delicious berry resembling our whortleberry.

On the shore line of the eastern part of Kau, adjoining Puna, were several villages, containing from 500 to 700 inhabitants, separated from the inhabited central and western portions of the district by a desert of unwatered lava about 15 miles wide, without a single house or human being. These villages were occasionally visited by the Rev. Mr. Forbes, then stationed in South Kona; but to reach them required a long, weary walk over the fields of burning lava, and at his request, I took them under my charge, thus extending the shoreline of my parish ten miles westward.



Chapter IV.

First Tours in Hilo and Puna - The Work of 1837-38 - Spontaneous Church-building - The Great Awakening - The Volcanic Wave - Pastoral Experiences and Methods - The Ingathering.

I MADE my first tours of Hilo and Puna during the latter part of my first half-year on Hawaii. In 1836 I had gained so much in the language as to be able to converse, preach, and pray with comfort and with apparent effect on my audiences.

On my arrival in Hilo, the number of church members was twenty-three, all living in the town. A considerable portion of our time was then devoted to the schools. Mr. and Mrs. Lyman were heartily engaged in the boys' boarding-school. Mrs. Coan was already teaching a day-school of 140 children, and I a training-school of 90 teachers to supply the schools of Hilo and Puna.

Giving a vacation to my pupils, I set off Nov. 29, 1836, on a tour around the island. This was made on foot, with the exception of a little sailing in a canoe down the coast of Kona. My companions were two or three natives, to act as guides and porters. On reaching the western coast of Kau, I visited all the villages along the shore, preaching and exhorting everywhere. The people came out, men, women, and children, in crowds, and listened with great attention. Here I preached three, four, and five times a day, and had much personal conversation with the natives on things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

On reaching the western boundaries of Puna, my labors became more abundant. I had visited this people before, and had noticed a hopeful interest in a number of them. Now they rallied in masse, and were eager to hear the Word. Many listened with tears, and after the preaching, when I supposed they would return to their homes and give me rest, they remained and crowded around me so earnestly, that I had no time to eat, and in places where I spent my nights they filled the house to its entire capacity, leaving scores outside who could not enter. All wanted to hear more of the “Word of Life.” At ten or eleven o'clock I would advise them to go home and to sleep. Some would retire, but more remain until midnight. At cock-crowing the house would be again crowded, with as many more outside.

At one place before I reached the point where I was to spend a Sabbath, there was a line of four villages not more than half a mile apart. Every village begged for a sermon and for personal conversation. Commencing at daylight I preached in three of them before breakfast, at 10 A.M. When the meeting closed at one village most of the people ran on to the next, and thus my congregation increased rapidly from hour to hour. Many were “pricked in their hearts” and were inquiring what they should do to be saved.

Sunday came and I was now in the most populous part of Puna.

Multitudes came out to hear the Gospel. The blind were led; the maimed, the aged and decrepit, and many invalids were brought on the backs of their friends. There was great joy and much weeping in the assembly.

Two days were spent in this place, and ten sermons preached, while almost all the intervals between the public services were spent in personal conversation with the crowds, which pressed around me.

Many of the people who then wept and prayed proved true converts to Christ; most of them have died in the faith, and a few still live as steadfast witnesses to the power of the Gospel.

Among these converts was the High Priest of the volcano. He was more than six feet high and of lofty bearing. He had been an idolater, a drunkard, an adulterer, a robber, and a murderer. For their kapas, for a pig or a fowl he had killed men on the road, whenever they hesitated to yield to his demands. But he became penitent, and appeared honest and earnest in seeking the Lord.

His sister was more haughty and stubborn. She was High Priestess of the volcano. She, too, was tall and majestic in her bearing. For a long time she refused to bow to the claims of the Gospel; but at length she yielded, confessed herself a sinner and under the authority of a higher Power, and with her brother became a docile member of the church.

During this tour of thirty days I examined twenty schools with an aggregate of 1,200 pupils.

After my return, congregations at the center increased in numbers and in interest. Meetings for parents, for women, for church members, for children, were frequent and full. Soon scores and hundreds who had heard the Gospel in Kau, Puna, and Hilo, came into the town to hear more. During all the years of 1837-8, Hilo was crowded with strangers; whole families and whole villages in the country were left, with the exception of a few of the old people, and in some instances even the aged and the feeble were brought in on litters from a distance of thirty or fifty miles. Little cabins studded the place like the camps of an army, and we estimated that our population was increased to 10,000 souls. Those who remained some time, fished, and planted potatoes and taro for food. Our great native house of worship, nearly 200 feet long by about eighty-five feet wide, with a lofty roof of thatch, was crowded almost to suffocation, while hundreds remained outside unable to enter. This sea of faces, all hushed except when sighs and sobs burst out here and there, was a scene to melt the heart. The word fell with power, and sometimes as the feeling deepened, the vast audience was moved and swayed like a forest in a mighty wind. The word became like the “fire and the hammer” of the Almighty, and it pierced like a two-edged sword. Hopeful converts were multiplied and “there was great joy in the city.”

Finding the place of our worship “too strait” for the increasing multitudes, our people, of their own accord and without the knowledge of their teachers, went up into the forest three to five miles, with axes, and with ropes made of vines and bark of the hibiscus, cut down trees of suitable size and length for posts, rafters, etc., and hauled them down through mud and jungle, and over streams and hillocks to the town.

Seeing a very large heap of this timber, I inquired what this meant. The reply was, “We will build a second house of worship so that the people may all be sheltered from sun and rain on the Sabbath. And this is our thought; all of the people of Hilo shall meet in the larger house, where you will preach to them in the morning, during which time the people of Puna and Kau will meet for prayer in the smaller house, and in the afternoon these congregations shall exchange places, and you will preach to the Puna and Kau people; thus all will hear the minister.”

Several thousands, both men and women, took hold of the work, and in about three weeks from the commencement of the hauling of the timber, the house was finished and a joyful crowd of about 2,000 filled it on the Sabbath.

Neither of the houses had floors or seats. The ground was beaten hard and covered from week to week with fresh grass.

When we wished to economize room, or seat the greatest possible number, skilled men were employed to arrange the people standing in compact rows as tight as it was possible to crowd them, the men and women being separated, and when the house was thus filled with these compacted ranks, the word was given them to sit down, which they did, a mass of living humanity, such perhaps as was never seen except on Hawaii.

During these years my tours through the extended parish were not given up. Nearly every person left in the villages came to the preaching stations. There were places along the routes where there were no houses near the trail, but where a few families were living half a mile or more inland. In such places, the few dwellers would come down to the path leading their blind, and carrying their sick and aged upon their backs, and lay them down under a tree if there was one near, or upon the naked rocks, that they might hear of a Savior. It was often affecting to see these withered and trembling hands reached out to grasp the hand of the teacher, and to hear the palsied, the blind, and the lame begging him to stop awhile and tell them the story of Jesus. These pleas could not be resisted, for the thought would instantly arise, “This may be the last time.” And so it often was, for on my next tour some of them had gone never to return. It was a comforting thought that they had been told of “the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world,” and to feel a sweet assurance from their tears of joy and eager reception of the truth that they had found “Him of whom Moses and the Prophets wrote.”

Time swept on; the work deepened and widened, Thousands on thousands thronged the courts of the Lord. All eastern and southern Hawaii was like a sea in motion. Waimea, Hamakua, Kohala, Kona, and the other islands of the group, were moved. Reporting and inquiring letters circulated from post to post, and from island to island. One asked another, “What do these things mean?” and the reply was, “What indeed?” Some said that the Hawaiians were a peculiar people, and very hypocritical, so debased in mind and heart that they could not receive any true conception of the true God, or of spiritual things; even their language was wanting in terms to convey ideas of sacred truth; we must not hope for evangelical conversions among them. But most of the laborers redoubled their efforts were earnest in prayer, and worked on in faith. Everywhere the trumpet of jubilee sounded long and loud, and “as clouds and as doves to their windows,” so ransomed sinners flocked to Christ.

I had seen great and powerful awakenings under the preaching of Nettleton and Finney, and like doctrines, prayers, and efforts seemed to produce like fruits among this people.

My precious wife, whose soul was melted with love and longings for the weeping natives, felt that to doubt it was the work of the Spirit, was to grieve the Holy Ghost and to provoke Him to depart from us.

On some occasions there were physical demonstrations, which commanded attention. Among the serious and anxious inquirers who came to our house by day and by night. there were individuals who, while listening to a very plain and kind conversation, would begin to tremble and soon fall helpless to the floor. At one time, when I was holding a series of outdoor meetings in a populous part of Puna, a remarkable manifestation of this kind occurred. A very large concourse were seated on the grass, and I was standing in the center preaching “Repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus.” Of a sudden, a man who had been gazing with intense interest at the preacher, burst out in a fervent prayer, with streaming tears, saying: “Lord, have mercy on me; I am dead in sin.” His weeping was so loud, and his trembling so great, that the whole congregation was moved as by a common sympathy. Many wept aloud, and many commenced praying together.

The scene was such as I had never before witnessed. I stood dumb in the midst of this weeping, wailing, praying multitude, not being able to make myself heard for about twenty minutes. When the noise was hushed, I continued my address with words of caution, lest they should feel that this kind of demonstration atoned for their sins, and rendered them acceptable before God. I assured them that all the Lord required was godly sorrow for the past, present faith in Christ, and henceforth faithful, filial, and cheerful obedience. A calm came over the multitude, and we felt that “the Lord was there.”

A young man came once into our meeting to make sport slyly. Trying to make the young men around him laugh during prayer, he fell as senseless as a log upon the ground and was carried out of the house. It was some time before his consciousness could be restored. He became sober, confessed his sins, and in due time united with the church.

Similar manifestations were seen in other places, but everywhere the people were warned against hypocrisy, and against trusting in such demonstrations. They were told that the Lord looks at the heart, and that “repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus” were the unchangeable conditions of pardon and salvation, and that their future lives of obedience or of disobedience would prove or disprove their spiritual life, as “The tree is known by its fruit.”

But God visited the people in judgment as well as in mercy. On the 7th of November, 1837, at the hour of evening prayers, we were startled by a heavy thud, and a sudden jar of the earth. The sound was like the fall of some vast body upon the beach, and in a few seconds a noise of mingled voices rising for a mile along the shore thrilled us like the wail of doom.

Instantly this was followed by a like wail from all the native houses around us. I immediately ran down to the sea, where a scene of wild ruin was spread out before me. The sea, moved by an unseen hand, had all on a sudden risen in a gigantic wave, and this wave, rushing in with the speed of a race-horse, had fallen upon the shore, sweeping everything not more than fifteen or twenty feet above high-water mark into indiscriminate ruin. Houses, furniture, calabashes, fuel, timber, canoes, food, clothing, everything floated wild upon the flood. About two hundred people, from the old man and woman of threescore years and ten, to the new-born infant, stripped of their earthly all, were struggling in the tumultuous waves. So sudden and unexpected was the catastrophe, that the people along the shore were literally “eating and drinking,” and they “knew not, until the flood came and swept them all away.” The harbor was full of strugglers calling for help, while frantic parents and children, wives and husbands ran to and fro along the beach, calling for their lost ones. As wave after wave came in and retired, the strugglers were brought near the shore, where the more vigorous landed with desperate efforts and the weaker and exhausted were carried back upon the retreating wave, some to sink and rise no more till the noise of judgment wakes them. Twelve individuals were picked up while drifting out of the bay by the boats of the Admiral Cockburn, an English whaler then in port. For a time the captain of the ship feared the loss of his vessel, but as the oscillating waves grew weaker and weaker, he lowered all his boats and went in search of those who were floating off upon the current.

Had this catastrophe occurred at midnight when all were asleep, hundreds of lives would undoubtedly have been lost. Through the great mercy of God, only thirteen were drowned.

This event, falling as it did like a bolt of thunder from a clear sky, greatly impressed the people. It was as the voice of God speaking to them out of heaven, “Be ye also ready.”

Day after day we buried the dead, as they were found washed up upon the beach, or thrown upon the rocky shores far from the harbor. We fed, comforted, and clothed the living, and God brought light out of darkness, joy out of grief, and life out of death. Our meetings were more and more crowded, and hopeful converts were multiplied.

Even the English captain, who spent his nights in our family, and his intelligent and courteous clerk, professed to give themselves to the Lord while with us, and both kneeling with us at the family altar, silently united in our morning and evening devotions, or cheerfully led in prayer.

The captain was a large and powerful man, bronzed by wind and wave and scorching sun. He had been long upon the deep, had suffered shipwreck, had been unable to reach his London home for more than three years, and had been given up as dead by all his friends. Under this belief his wife had married another, when he surprised her by his return, and she gave him joy by returning to him. He gave us an interesting account of his eventful life, and confessed that he had enjoyed very few religious privileges and had thought little of God or the salvation of his soul.

He now accepted the offer of life through Christ, with the spirit of a little child.

On returning to the ship he immediately told his officers and crew that he should drink no more intoxicants, swear no more, and chase whales no more on the Lord's day, but, on the contrary, observe the Sabbath and have religious services on that holy day.

Though thousands professed to have passed from death unto life during the years 1836-7, only a small proportion of these had been received into the church. The largest numbers were gathered in during 1838-9. I had kept a faithful note-book in my pocket, and in all my personal conversations with the people, by night and by day, at home and in my oft-repeated tours, I had noted down, unobserved, the names of individuals apparently sincere and true converts. Over these persons I kept watch, though unconsciously to themselves; and thus their life and conversation were made the subjects of vigilant observation. After the lapse of three, six, nine, or twelve months, as the case might be, selections were made from the list of names for examination. Some were found to have gone back to their old sins; others were stupid, or gave but doubtful evidence of conversion, while many had stood fast and run well. Most of those who seemed hopefully converted spent several months at the central station before their union with the church. Here they were watched over and instructed from week to week and from day to day, with anxious and unceasing care. They were sifted and re-sifted with scrutiny, and with every effort to take the precious from the vile. The church and the world, friends and enemies, were called upon and solemnly charged to testify, without concealment or palliation, if they knew aught against any of the candidates.

From my pocket list of about three thousand, 1,705 were selected to be baptized and received to the communion of the church on the first Sabbath of July, 1838. The selection was made, not because a thousand and more of others were to be rejected, or that a large proportion of them did not appear as well as those received, but because the numbers were too large for our faith, and might stagger the faith of others. The admission of many was deferred for the more full development of their character, while they were to be watched over, guided, and fed as sheep of the Great Shepherd.

The 1,705 persons selected had all been gathered at the station some time before the day appointed for their reception. They had been divided into classes, according to the villages whence they came, and put in charge of class leaders, who were instructed to watch over and teach them.

The memorable morning came arrayed in glory. A purer sky, a brighter sun, a serener atmosphere, a more silvery sea, and a more brilliant and charming landscape could not be desired. The very heavens over us and the earth around us seemed to smile. The hour came; during the time of preparation the house was kept clear of all but the actors. With the roll in hand, the leaders of the classes were called in with their companies of candidates in the order of all the villages; first of Hilo district, then of Puna, and last of Kau. From my roll the names in the first class were called one by one, and I saw each individual seated against the wall, and so of the second, and thus on until the first row was formed. Thus, row after row was extended the whole length of the house, leaving spaces for one to pass between these lines. After every name had been called, and every individual recognized and seated, all the former members of the church were called in and seated on the opposite side of the building, and the remaining space given to as many as could be seated.

All being thus prepared, we had singing and prayer, then a word of explanation on the rite of baptism, with exhortation. After this with a basin of water, I passed back and forth between the lines, sprinkling each individual until all were baptized. Standing in the center of the congregation of the baptized, I pronounced the words, “I baptize you all into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”

The scene was one of solemn and tender interest, surpassing anything of the kind I had ever witnessed. All heads were bowed, and tears fell. All was hushed except sobs and breathing.

The nature of the Lord's Supper and the reasons for its observance were then explained, and the bread and cup distributed among the communicants.

This was a day long to be remembered. Its impressions were deep, tender, and abiding; and up to the present time, the surviving veterans of that period look back to it as the day of days in the history of the Hilo church.

At this period the ecclesiastical year of the mission began on the 1st of May. The reports of the churches were made up to the 30th of April, 1838.

I find in the records of Hilo church the Numbers received during year (ending April 30):
1838: 639,
1839: 5,244,
1840: 1,499.

During the following decade ending in 1850, the number received was 2,348.

And for the decade ending in 1860, 1,445.

The whole number received on profession to 1880: 12,113; by letter, 812; dismissed, 3,546; deceased, 8,190; of marriages, 3,048; of children baptized, 4,370.

Those received from the district of Kau, when there was no settled pastor there, were afterward dismissed to the church, which was organized and placed under the care of the Rev. J. D. Paris.

In order to keep every member under my eye, and to find ready access to each, I prepared a book ruled thus:

[table] By simple signs males and females were distinguished. This is important here, because the same name is often used interchangeably for the sexes For many years I always took this book with me in my tours, and called the roll of the church members in every village along the line. When any one did not answer the roll-call, I made inquiry why. If dead, I marked the date; if sick, visited him or her, if time would allow; if absent on duty, accepted the fact; if supposed to be doubting or backsliding, sent for or visited him; if gone to another part of the island, or to another island, I inquired if the absence would be short or perpetual, and noted the facts of whatever kind.

Our young men often shipped for whaling voyages. Noting these cases, I would watch for their return, and then visit them, inquiring whether they chased whales on the Lord's day, used intoxicants, or violated other Christian rules of morality; and I dealt with them as each case demanded.

Some church members removed to other districts or islands without letters of dismissal. The names of these I used to send to the pastors whither they had gone, requesting them to look after these absent ones, and receive them to their communion, reporting to me.

As hundreds of our people went from place to place to visit friends or on business, to learn whither they had gone, to follow them with letters, and to see them properly cared for, became an important but arduous labor.

The Hawaiians are not nomads, but they are fond of moving, and curiosity or the call of friends leads very many of them to wander over many parts of the group. During my annual visits to Honolulu, on occasion of the General Meeting of the Mission held there in May or June, I often gave public notices in the churches that I would meet any of my people who were there, at a given hour on Sunday, and a company of fifty to a hundred would assemble at the hour appointed.

Our Confession of Faith is the Bible, and each individual in the Hilo church promises, with his hand on the Sacred Book, to abstain from all that is forbidden, and to obey all that is commanded therein. We advise them to abstain from the use of tobacco, ava (a narcotic root), and from all intoxicants. Like all savages, they were almost to a man addicted to the use of these articles, especially of tobacco, and we supposed that it would be next to impossible to persuade them to abandon these habits. But the Lord came to our help. All over Hilo and Puna, during that mighty work of the Spirit, multitudes pulled up all their tobacco plants and cast them into the sea or into pits, and thousands of pipes were broken upon the rocks or burned, and thousands of habitual smokers abandoned the habit at once and forever. I have been surprised at the resolution and self-denial of old men and women who had long indulged in smoking, in thus breaking short off. Some, however, went back to the old habit, and some used the article secretly. I have never excommunicated or suspended members for this indulgence, but have taught them, by precept and example, a better way. Mr. and Mrs. Lyman, and nearly every missionary brother and sister on the islands, were united with me in this matter.

In all cases we found that those who would not relinquish smoking were the more troublesome members of the church, giving more doubtful evidence of love to Christ, and oftener running into other excesses, which called for church discipline.



Chapter V.

Mrs. Coan's School for Girls - Common Schools--Medical Work - The Sailors' Church - Sunday Work - Visits of Foreign Vessels - The U. S. Exploring Expedition.

IN the year 1838, Mrs. Coan opened a boarding school for native girls.

This was to be self-supporting in part, but to receive such aid in labor, food, kapas, mats, etc., as parents and friends chose to render.

As soon as the plan was made known to the church and people they rallied cheerfully, went into the woods, hauled down timber by hand, and with great promptness erected and thatched a comfortable building on our premises. A floor was laid over about one fourth of the building, on which was placed a table, and a few chairs for the teacher and visitors.

On each side of the remaining three-fourths of the house was a row of little open cells, partitioned from each other by mats, and furnished with beds of straw or dried grass, and with mats and kapas for coverings. In the space between these rows of compartments was a plain table, with seats, bowls, spoons, etc., for the pupils. The number of little girls in the school was twenty, their ages from seven to ten years. Arrangements were made with the people living in and near the town, that they should bring in weekly supplies of food and fish for the girls. Taro, potatoes, bananas, and fish were then abundant and cheap, and the people provided willingly. At length they set apart a parcel of ground and appointed each monthly concert day as a time when they would cultivate that ground and thus supply the food necessary for the school.

Little gifts of money were sometimes made by strangers who came to Hilo, by officers of whale ships and men-of-war; or a piece of print or brown cotton was given, and thus the real wants of the school were supplied. No application to the A. B. C. F. M., or to any Board, or to an individual was ever made for help. Mrs. Coan toiled faithfully from day to day, in spite of pressing family cares, teaching her charges the rudiments of necessary book knowledge, and of singing, sewing, washing and ironing, gardening, and other things. Most of the girls became members of the Hilo church, and we had hope that all were the children of God. The school was sustained about eight years, and sent out a company of girls, who, for the most part, did honor to their instructions, and who were distinguished among their companions for neatness, skill, industry, and piety. As domestic cares increased and her strength was weakened, the faithful teacher at length felt compelled to give up her charge.

For a time I had the supervision of the common schools, numbering not less than fifty, and containing about 2,000 pupils. My duties were to furnish them with books, slates, and pencils; to visit them on my tours, to attend their examinations, and make a tabular record of numbers, readers, writers, etc. For want of writing-paper or a full supply of slates, the children would prepare square pieces of the green banana-leaf, and with a wooden style or slate-pencil form letters and thus learn to write.

At the central station and on all my tours I was thronged with the sick and afflicted multitudes, or their friends, begging for remedies for almost all kinds of diseases. So numerous were the applications for medicines, and so varied and sad were the spectacles of disease, that it became a task for the skill and the whole time of a well-read and experienced physician.

I had a fair collection of medical books, and these were consulted as much as was possible in connection with my other labors, but my regret was that I could not visit the sick as I wished, or pay them the attention they needed.

When at last, in 1849, a good physician, Charles H. Wetmore, was sent to our relief, my heart rejoiced. I immediately resigned my medical functions, turned over my medicine-chest and drugs to him, and blessed the Lord that I was not doomed to wander “forty years in the wilderness of powders and pills.” This kind and faithful doctor with his excellent wife have been our nearest neighbors ever since their arrival.

I was also greatly relieved of the care of the common schools by Mr. and Mrs. Abner Wilcox, lay missionaries, who came to us as teachers and remained in Hilo several years.

Previous to our arrival, when whale-ships and other vessels were in the harbor of Hilo, the officers and crews received kind attentions from the missionaries at this station. The Reverends Joseph Goodrich, Jonathan Green, Sheldon Dibble, and D. B. Lyman, and their wives, had entertained many of these sons of the deep, given them reading-matter, and sought to promote their spiritual interests.

We were at once ready to help in this important work. Masters, officers, and sailors were made welcome to our house; books and tracts were provided for them to take to sea, and a religious service was held for them every Sunday afternoon.

For many years this service was held in one of the houses of the missionaries. Finally, we fitted up the old stone-building, our first home, for a bethel, and added a library of about 200 volumes, with periodicals.

My regular services on the Sabbath were: a Sunday-school at 9 A.M.; preaching at 10:30; at 12 M. a meeting for inquirers; at 1 P.M. preaching; and at 3 P.M. preaching in English to seamen, and English-speaking residents and visitors. When ships were in port we often had a full house, and not a few hearers professed a determination to forsake all sin and to live godly lives. Of some we afterward learned, either by their own letters or otherwise, that they had kept their vows and united with Christian churches, and that some had become ministers of the Gospel.

Several masters and officers gave up Sabbath whaling, and instead held religious meetings with their men on the Lord's Day.

Very precious friendships were formed with many of these seamen, which friendships continue to this day. We have found noble specimens, not only of generosity and fine natural talent among this class of men, but also many choice Christians.

Not a few national ships have visited Hilo, from the tender or schooner up to the sloop-of-war, the frigate and the great seventy-four-gun line-of-battle ship, as the Collingwood and Ohio. The largest of these ships represented the United States of America, the next Great Britain, then France, Russia, Germany, and Denmark. We have had more than seventy-five of these war-ships of different nationalities in our harbor, and of all classes of vessels about 4,000. The approximate number of seamen who have visited Hilo during our residence here we put at 40,000.

In this labor for seamen I have been led to correspond with the American Bible, Tract, Peace, Temperance, and Seamen's Friend Societies, and have obtained Bibles and tracts in the English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, and Chinese languages; which with many thousands of tracts have been distributed among these vessels. Some of this “bread cast upon the waters” has been found again according to the promise.

In 1840, Charles Wilkes, commander of the United States Exploring Expedition, arrived in Hilo bay in the flag-ship Vincennes. Here with an admirable corps of scientists he spent three months in explorations, measurements, observations, etc. Parties of officers and scientific gentlemen were detailed to visit different parts of the island, some to ascend the mountains, and some to survey the shore, making collections, drawings, and observations in all the branches of the natural history of the Islands. The commander called for 300 young and vigorous men to take him, with the materials of a wooden house and all the apparatus of a large observatory, with food, fuel, water, beds, etc., to the summit of Mauna Loa, where he and his attendants were to spend twenty or thirty days in taking observations.

Other parties required large numbers of men to carry baggage, instruments, etc., and to act as guides and assistants in making surveys and collecting a large amount of specimens.

Parties of natives thus employed needed to be recruited often on account of fatigue and exhaustion, and for the lack of shoes and warm clothing to endure the hard travel and the rains, cold, and snows of the mountains.

Some died of cold. It is supposed that about one thousand of our strongest men were brought into this service, and with small pay, during these three months. Some parties of men were required to travel and work on Sunday as on other days. All this had a demoralizing effect upon the poor natives. They had been accustomed to rest from all physical toil, and to worship on the Lord's Day. Our congregations were much reduced in numbers. There was no little murmuring among the people at this new state of things, and for years the moral tone of the church and community could not be fully restored to its cheerful and normal state.

This was a trial of faith, and a fan to winnow the church, but most of our Christians stood fast, and although it checked the progress of the revival, the loss to the church was less than might have been feared.

The visit of the expedition to Hilo afforded us an opportunity to form an acquaintance with many worthy gentlemen , several of whom we met again in the United States in 1870-1. Among these we met and received as a very welcome guest the then youthful James D. Dana, one of the scientific corps, now so distinguished in various departments of natural science, and honored as a Christian philosopher. The friendship then formed has been increased by years and can never wane.



Chapter VI.

Mauna Loa - Kilauea - The Eruption of 1840 - The River of Fire - It reaches the Sea at Nanawale - Lava Chimneys - Destruction of a Village.

IT is widely known that the Hawaiian Islands are all of volcanic origin.

They are the summits of mountains whose bases are far down in the sea.

Their structure is plutonic, and the marks of fire are everywhere visible.

They are scarred with hundreds and hundreds of pit and cone craters, most of which are extinct.

Mauna Loa is a vast volcanic dome, subject to igneous eruptions at any time, either from its extended summit or sides. Prof. Dana estimates that “there is enough rock material in Mauna Loa to make one hundred and twenty-five Vesuviuses.” (Am. Journal of Science, May, 1859, p. 415.) About midway from its summit to the sea on the eastern flank of the mountain and on a nearly level plain is Kilauea, the largest known active crater in the world. The brink of this crater is 4,440 feet above the sea level; its depth varies from 700 to 1,200 feet, and its longer diameter is about three miles. Grand eruptions have issued from it in past ages, covering hundreds of square miles in different parts of Puna and Kau.

The first eruption from Kilauea, which occurred after my arrival in Hilo, began on the 30th of May, 1840. To my regret, I was then absent at the annual General Meeting of this mission in Honolulu, a meeting which I have always attended. I therefore record a portion of the facts as given by the natives and foreigners who saw the eruption, adding my own observations on a visit to the scene after my return from Honolulu.

There had been no grand eruption from this crater for the previous seventeen years, so that the lavas in the crater had risen several hundred feet, and the action had, at times, been terrific.

The volcano is thirty miles by road from Hilo, and under favorable conditions of the atmosphere we could see the splendid light by night, and the white cloudy pillar of steam by day. It was reported that, for several days before the outburst, the whole vast floor of the crater was in a state of intense ebullition; the seething waves rolling, surging, and dashing against the adamantine walls, and shaking down large rocks into the fiery abyss below. It was even stated that the heat was so intense, and the surges so infernal, that travelers near the upper rim of the crater left the path on account of the heat, and for fear of the falling of the precipice over which the trail lay, and passed at a considerable distance from the crater. Kilauea is about half in Puna and half in Kau, and all travelers going from Kau to Hilo by the inland road pass the very brink of this crater.

The eruption was first noticed by the people of Puna, who were living only twenty miles from it. The light appeared at first like a highland jungle on fire; and so it was, for the fiery river found vent some 1,200 to 1,500 feet below the rim of Kilauea, and flowing subterraneously in a N.E.

direction, for about four miles, marking its course by rending the superincumbent strata and throwing up light puffs of sulphurous steam, it broke ground in the bottom of a wooded crater about 500 feet deep, consuming the shrubs, vines, and grasses, and leaving a smoldering mass instead.

The great stream forced its way underground in a wild and wooded region for two miles more, when it again threw up a jet of fire and sulphur, covering about an acre. At this point, a large amount of brilliant sulphur crystals continued to be formed for several years.

Only a little further on, and an old wooded cone was rent with fissures several feet wide, and about half an acre of burning lava spouted up, consuming the trees and jungle. This crevasse emitted scalding vapor for twenty-five years.

Onward went the burning river, deep underground, some six miles more, when the earth was rent again with an enormous fissure, and floods of devouring fire were poured out, consuming the forest and spreading over perhaps fifty acres. And still the passage seaward was underground for about another six miles, when it broke out in a terrific flood and rolled and surged along henceforth upon the surface, contracting to half a mile, or expanding to two miles in width, and moving from half a mile to five miles an hour, according to the angle of descent and the inequalities and obstructions of the surface, until it poured over the perpendicular sea-wall, about thirty feet high, in a sheet of burning fusion only a little less than one mile wide.

This was on June 3, 1840. It reached the sea on the fifth day after the light was first seen on the highlands, and at the distance of only seventeen and a half miles from Hilo. As this grand cataract of fire poured over the basaltic sea-wall, the sights and sounds were said to be indescribable.

Two mighty antagonistic forces were in conflict. The sea boiled and raged as with infernal fury, while the burning flood continued to pour into the troubled waves by night and by day for three weeks. Dense clouds of steam rolled up heavenward, veiling sun and stars, and so covering the lava flow that objects could not be seen from one margin to the other. All communication between the northern and southern portions of Puna was cut off for more than a month.

The waters of the sea were heated for twenty miles along the coast, and multitudes of fishes were killed by the heat and the sulphurous gases, and were seen floating upon the waves.

During this flow, the sea-line along the whole breadth of the fire-stream was pushed out many yards by the solidified lavas, and three tufaceous cones were raised in the water where ships could once sail! They were formed of lava-sand made by the shivering of the mineral flood coming in contact with the sea, and standing in a line 200, 300, and 400 feet above the water, with their bases deep down in the sea. These dunes have been greatly reduced by the waves thundering at their bases and the winds and storms beating upon their summits. One of them, indeed, is now entirely obliterated.

During this eruption most of the foreign residents in Hilo, and hundreds of Hawaiians of Puna and Hilo, visited the scene where the igneous river plunged into the sea, and they described it as fearfully grand and awe-inspiring.

Imagine the Mississippi converted into liquid fire of the consistency of fused iron, and moving onward sometimes rapidly, sometimes sluggishly; now widening into a lake, and now rushing through a narrow gorge, breaking its way through mighty forests and ancient solitudes, and you will get some idea of the spectacle here exhibited.

When the eruption was at its height night was turned into day in all this region. The light rose and spread like morning upon the mountains, and its glare was seen on the opposite side of the island. It was also visible for more than a hundred miles at sea; and at the distance of forty miles fine print could be read at midnight.

The brilliancy of the light was said to be like a blazing firmament, and the scene one of unrivaled sublimity.

No lives were lost during this eruption. The stream passed under and over an almost uninhabited desert. A few small hamlets were consumed, and a few patches of taro, potatoes, and bananas were destroyed, but the people walked off with their calabashes, kapas, and other chattels to seek shelter and food elsewhere. During the eruption some of the people of Puna spent much of their time in prayer and religious meetings, some fled in consternation, and others wandered along the margin of the lava stream, at a safe distance, marking with idle curiosity its progress, while others still pursued their daily avocations within a mile of the fiery river, as quietly as if nothing strange had occurred. They ate, drank, bought, sold, planted, built, slept, and waked apparently indifferent to the roar of consuming forests, the sight of devouring fire, the startling detonations, the hissing of escaping steam, the rending of gigantic rocks, the raging and crashing of lava waves, and the bellowings, the murmurings, the unearthly mutterings coming up from the burning abyss. They went quietly on in sight of the rain of ashes, sand, and fiery scintillations, gazing vacantly on the fearful and ever-varying appearance of the atmosphere illuminated by the eruption, the sudden rising of lofty pillars of flame, the upward curling of ten thousand columns of smoke, and their majestic gyrations in dingy, lurid, or parti-colored clouds.

While the stream was flowing it might be approached within a few yards on the windward side, while at the leeward no one could live within a great distance on account of the smoke, the impregnation of the atmosphere with pungent and deadly gases, and the fiery showers that fell on all around, destroying all vegetable life.

Sometimes the intense heat of the stream would cause large boulders and rocks to explode with great detonations, and sometimes lateral branches of the stream would push out into some fissure, or work into a subterranean gallery, until they met with some obstacle, when the accumulating fusion with its heat, its gases, and its pressure would lift up the superincumbent mass of rock into a dome, or, sundering it from its surroundings, bear it off on its burning bosom like a raft upon the water.

A foreigner told me that while he was standing on a rocky hillock, some distance from the stream, gazing with rapt interest upon its movements, he felt himself rising with the ground on which he stood. Startled by the motion, he leaped from the rock, when in a few minutes fire burst out from the place where he had been.

On returning from Honolulu I soon started for Puna, with arrangements to make as thorough explorations and observations on this remarkable eruption as my time would allow. I spent nearly two days on the stream.

It was solidified and mostly cooled, yet hot and steaming in many places.

I went up the flow to where it burst out in volume and breadth from its subterranean chambers and continued on the surface to the sea, a distance of about twelve miles, making the entire length of the stream about thirty miles. In a letter published in the Missionary Herald of July, 1841, I called it forty miles, but later measurements have led me to correct this and some other statements made on first sight.

I found the place of final outburst a scene where terrific energy had been exerted. Yawning crevasses were opened, the rocks were rent, and the forests consumed; the molten flood had raged and swirled and been thrown high into the air, and there had been a display of titanic fury which must have been appalling at the time of the outbreak.

In pursuing its course the stream sometimes plunged into caverns and deep depressions, and sometimes it struck hills which separated it into two channels, which uniting again after having passed the obstruction, left islands of varied sizes with trees scorched and blasted with the heat and gases.

Along the central line of the stream its depth could not be measured accurately, for there was no trace of tree or ancient rock or floor. All was a vast bed of fresh, smoldering lava. On the margins, however, where the strata were thinner, I was able to measure with great accuracy. In passing through forests, while the depth and heat of the middle of the stream consumed everything, on the margins thousands of green trees were cut down gradually by the fusion around their trunks; but this was done so slowly that the surface of the stream solidified before the trees fell, and on falling upon the hot and hardened crust, the tops and limbs were only partly consumed, but all were charred, and the rows and heaps were so thick and entangled as to form chevaux-de-frise quite impassable in some places. But the numerous holes left in the hot lava bed by the gradual reduction of the trunks to ashes afforded the means of measuring the depth of the flow. With a long pole I was enabled to measure from a depth of five to twenty-five feet. Some of these trunk-moulds were as smooth as the caliber of a cannon. Some of the holes were still so hot at the bottom as to set my pole on fire in one minute.

I had seen fearful ragings and heard what seemed the wails of infernal beings in the great crater of Kilauea, but I had never before seen the amazing effects of a great exterior eruption of lava, and I returned from this weary exploration, after a missionary tour through Puna, with a deepened sense of the terrible dynamics of the fiery abyss over which we tread.

Since then, in crossing and re-crossing the wild highlands of my parish I have found in the consumed openings of forests a new class of volcanic monuments, consisting in numerous stacks of lava chimneys standing apart on the floor of an ancient flow. These chimneys measure from five to twenty-five feet in height, and five to ten feet in diameter. I gazed at them at first sight as the work of human art, not knowing that they were cylindrical. On climbing them I found that they were hollow, and that they were as clearly tree moulds as the holes I had measured in the flow of 1840.

Then came the question, how were they formed. The solution soon came - that an ancient eruption had passed through this forest at the height of many feet above the present surface, the fiery river surrounding large trees, but while it consumed all smaller growths, the waves subsided to their present level before these trunks were fully consumed, thus leaving partially cooled envelopes of lava adhering to them. These moulds or chimneys now stand as monuments of the volcanic action of an unknown age.

Here I leave this subject for a while, purposing to return to it.

In early years Hawaiian hospitality was generous, and on my tours among the natives I found them ready to provide liberally, according to their ability, for me and the helpers who accompanied me. To this good feeling there was one notable exception. There was a small village about eighteen miles from Hilo, where I had taken special pains to tame and Christianize the people. They rarely provided even a cup of cold water until I arrived and begged them to go to a somewhat distant spring to fetch it; and for this I would have to wait two hours, perhaps, while parched with thirst, burning with the heat of a midday sun, and weary with walking over long miles of scorching lava fields. On one occasion, returning from a circuit tour of more than a hundred miles, I stopped at this place and preached and conversed with the villagers. I had been absent from home over two weeks and had consumed all the food I had taken with me, except a little stale biscuit. I had nothing for the two good men, members of the Hilo church, who had traveled all the distance with me. Evening closed in, and I asked the occupants of the house and some of the neighbors who had come in if they could not furnish my two companions with a little food before they slept. The answer was, “We have no food.” “Perhaps you can give them a potato, a kalo, a breadfruit, or a cocoanut.” They answered as before, “We have nothing to eat, not even for ourselves.” So, weary and hungry, we lay down upon the mats for the night, and when we were supposed to be asleep, we heard the family under the cocoanut trees eating heartily, and conversing in an undertone that we might not hear them.

After years of kind instructions with the hope of leading them to appreciate the love of God and the value of a true Christianity, they remained the same hardened beings. My patience and desire to lead them to “the Lamb of God” continued; but thinking of what the Savior said to His disciples about “shaking off the dust of their feet,” I resolved on a trial, hoping to win them into a better way.

In a meeting when “the hearers but not the doers of the word” were assembled, I said to them, “These three years have I come seeking fruit on this fig-tree, and find none. I will, therefore, leave you to reflect on what you have heard from the Lord; and, whenever you repent and desire to hear the Gospel again, send for me and I will hasten to you with joy.” But they never sent. Time passed on and down came the fiery torrent of which I have written, and covered the village, consuming the cocoa-palm grove, the potato and banana patches with the thatched meeting-house and school-house, leaving nothing but a blackened field of lava. The people took their little all and fled.

They settled near the borders of the lava stream, and in the year 1853 the small-pox fell among them (the only place in Puna where the disease went), and a large part of them died. There was no physician within eighteen miles, and the poor creatures knew not what to do. Some bathed in the sea to cool the burning heat, and perished, and some crawled out into the jungle and there died, and were torn and partly eaten by swine.

They had fled from the devouring fire only to meet, if possible, a more painful doom, and it reminds one of the words of Jeremiah uttered against the stubborn Moabites: “He that fleeth from the fear shall fall into the pit, and he that getteth up out of the pit shall be taken in the snare.”

That the small-pox should find them and no one else in Puna seems remarkable; but these are the facts. A number of these villagers were visiting in Honolulu when the fearful disease raged there. They thought to escape it by returning home, but unknown to them the destroyer had already seized them and they perished in their wild, secluded jungle. I visited this scene of sorrow and desolation, gathered the stricken remnant of the sufferers, spoke words of condolence, and encouraged them to come with their sins and sorrows to the Savior. They seemed subdued, welcomed their pastor, and were, I trust, “saved yet so as by fire.”



Chapter VII.

More Church-Building - Commodore Jones's Visit--Progress of Conversions - The Sacraments under New Conditions.

OF church buildings we had at one time not less than fifty, and of schoolhouses sixty or more. These were all built by the free will of the people, acting under no outward constraint. Some of these houses would accommodate 1,000 persons, others 500, 300, and 150, according to the population for which they were erected. They were, of course, built in native style, on posts set in the ground, with rafters fastened with cords, and the whole thatched with the leaf of the pandanus, the sugar-cane, or dried grass. They were frail, needing rethatching once in three to five years, and rebuilding after about ten years. They were usually well-kept, and with open doors and holes for windows, they were light and airy.

In this list I do not include the great buildings at Hilo.

A mighty wind having prostrated our large meeting-house, we commenced, during the winter of 1840-1, to collect materials for our first framed building. All the men who had axes went into the highland forest to fell trees and hew timber. When a large number of pieces were ready, hundreds of willing men and women, provided with ropes made of the bark of the hibiscus, with light upper garments, and with leggins of the Adam and Eve style, such as never feared mud and water, went to bring down these timbers. Arranged by a captain in two lines, with drag-ropes in hand, ready to obey the command of their chosen leader, they stood waiting his order. At length comes the command, "Grasp the ropes; bow the head; blister the hand; go; sweat!" And away they rush, through mud and jungle, over rocks and streams, shouting merrily, and singing to measure. Then comes the order, "Halt, drop drag-ropes, rest!" This is repeated at longer or shorter intervals according to the state of the ground.

I often went up to the woods, on foot of course, and grasped the rope, and hauled with the rest to encourage and keep them in heart. We had no oxen or horses in those days, for the days were primitive, and the work was pioneer work. The trees, the jungle, the mud, the streams, and the lava-fields were all primordial.

When the materials were brought together, we employed a Chinese carpenter at a reasonable price, to frame and raise the building, all his pay to be in trade, for "the golden age" had not yet dawned on Hawaii. The natives, men and women, soon covered the rough frame with thatching.

There was no floor but the earth, and the only windows were holes about three feet square left in the thatching on the sides and ends. This was the first framed church edifice built in Hilo, and in this building, capable of seating about 2,000 people, we first welcomed Commodore Ap Catesby Jones, of the frigate United States, with his officers and brass band. The courteous commodore and his chaplain consented to deliver each an address of congratulation and encouragement to the people for their ready acceptance of the Gospel, and for their progress in Christian civilization. He alluded to a former visit of his to Honolulu by order of the United States Government, to investigate certain complaints made by a class of foreign residents against the American missionaries, stating that on a patient and careful hearing of the parties, the missionaries came out triumphantly, and their abusers were put to shame.

Our people at this time had never heard the music of a brass band, and the commodore kindly gave them a treat. After playing several sacred songs which delighted the natives beyond all music they had before heard, the band, at a signal from the commodore, struck up "Hail Columbia." An electric thrill rushed through the great congregation, and all sprang to their feet in amazement and delight. Since then they have become familiar with the music of the United States', the English and French navies.

Perhaps the most perfect band we have heard in Hilo was that of the Duke of Edinburgh, who visited us in the steam frigate Galatea in 1869.

When our first framed church building became old and dilapidated, we decided on replacing it with an edifice of stone and mortar. But after a year's hard toil in bringing stones on men's shoulders, and after having dug a trench some six feet deep for the foundations without coming to the bed-rock, we, by amicable agreement, dismissed our mason and engaged two carpenters.

The corner-stone was laid November 14, 1857, and the building was dedicated on the 8th of April, 1859. The material was good, and the workmanship faithful and satisfactory. The whole cost was $13,000.

It was then the finest church edifice on the islands. On the day of the dedication, there was a debt on the house of some $600, and it was our hope and purpose to cancel the debt on that day. But the day was stormy, the paths muddy, and the rivers were without bridges. Things looked dark, but we were happily surprised to see the people flocking in from all points until the house was crowded to its utmost capacity.

Prayers and a song of praise were offered, but we had resolved, by the help of God, not to dedicate the house until the debt was paid to the last farthing. So the people were called on by divisions, according to their villages, to come forward with their offerings; and this was done with such promptness, such order, and such quietness that we soon counted and declared a contribution of over $800. When the result was announced, a shout of joy went up to heaven.

The debt was paid, the house was dedicated, $200 were left in the treasury, and the people went home rejoicing and praising the Lord. On the 27th a contribution of more than $400 was taken, making our dedication offerings $1,239. Our treasury for the meeting-house has never been empty, though we have expended several thousand dollars more in purchasing a large bell, in painting and repairing the house, and in keeping it and the grounds neat and in good condition.

It was an affecting scene to see the old and decrepit, the poor widow, and the droves of little children come forward with their gifts which they had been collecting and saving for months, and offering them with such cheerful gladness to the Lord.

In 1868 an awful earthquake tore in pieces stone walls and stone houses, and rent the earth in various parts of Hilo, Puna, and Kau. Had we built according to our original plan and agreement with the mason, "our holy and beautiful house" would have become a heap of rubbish, and our hearts would have sunk within us with sorrow. How true that "a man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps."

It was my habit to get all the help that could be obtained from converts, and this was much. As the company of disciples increased, "they went everywhere preaching the word." The Lord ordained them, not man. In every hamlet and village there were found some who were moved by the Holy Ghost, and to whom the Spirit gave utterance; and it was joyfully true that "where the Spirit of the Lord was, there was liberty," not to dispute and wrangle, not to speak vain and foolish things, not to lie and deceive, but to utter the truth in love, without the shackles of form and superstition, but with the freedom granted by Christ.

How true the promise, "My people shall be willing in the day of my power." Willing to give up their sins, their enmity, their vile practices, their pipes, their ava, and all their intoxicants; to forgive and be forgiven; to return every man to the wife he had abused, and every wife to the husband she had forsaken; to pay their old debts; to labor with their hands for the supply of their physical wants; to see that their children were in school, in religious meetings; to see that prisons were emptied and churches fiIIed, and that the poor, the sick, the blind, and the lame were not forgotten; to see that the call of love and the offers of life were heard by all. The objects called for laborers, and they were ready at call.

Sometimes ten, twenty, or forty men were sent out, two and two, through all Puna and Hilo, into all highways, hedges, jungles, and valleys, to "seek and to save the lost," the sick, the ignorant, the stupid, the timid, or the "remnant of the giants" in idolatry. And they were drawn out by hundreds into the light of the Gospel and the love of the Saviour. There was no retreat among the hills or in the forests where these helpers did not come, and no place where I did not precede, accompany, or follow them. The women also toiled earnestly for souls. They met, prayed, read the commission of the Great Prince, and went out two and two into all the villages, exhorting, persuading, weeping, and praying, and their influence was wonderful for good. They were taught by the Word and the Spirit, and understood their work. With these helpers every village became a guarded citadel of the Lord, and there were few lurking-places for the enemy, no dark passages by which he might make approaches to the camp of the saints.

So far as we could learn, there was not a house or a cabin in all these districts where the voice of morning and evening prayer was not heard; and in most places Scripture lessons and hymns were rehearsed, and efforts, often very rude and inartistic, were made to sing the praises of God.

Previous to the great revival I had been pained at the cold and formal prayers of the natives. All had seemed mechanical and heartless, and in grief I had said, "I do not feel satisfied with this praying, it seems but a thoughtless and unfeeling rehearsal of a lesson." But when the Spirit fell upon the people, all this was changed. Some of the most unlettered and weak became mighty and prevailing wrestlers like the patriarch Jacob.

"The feeble among them were like David, and the house of David as the angel of the Lord." They took God at His word, their faith was simple and childlike, unspoiled by tradition or vain philosophy. They went "boldly to the throne of grace," and yet with eyes melted with tears, and hearts yearning with love for souls.

Often have I seen a whole assembly moved to tears and tenderness by the prayers and wrestlings of one man. They plead the promises with no apparent shadow of a doubt, and the answer often came speedily. Is it not recorded for the assurance of faith that "Before they call I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will hear?" They were praying with melting fervor for the Spirit, and He came, sometimes like the dew of Hermon or the gentle rain, and sometimes "like a rushing mighty wind," filling the house with sobbing and with outcries for mercy.

Controversies among Christians always sadden me. Our warfare is against sin and Satan; and Heaven's "sacramental host" should never fall out by the way, or spend an hour in their conflict with Hell in fighting with one another.

Grasping and defending vital truths, and allowing kind and courteous discussions of outward forms, the whole Church of Christ should clasp hands and march shoulder to shoulder against the common foe. The many and different church organizations, with their external rites, rules, and preferences, never offend me where there is "the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace." All Christians are bound by the supreme law of heaven to love one another, not to bite and devour nor to indulge in "envy and strife."

I believe in the beautiful rite of baptism, not as essential to salvation, but as a sign and seal of faith in Christ.

I believe that the mode and the amount of water are indifferent, and that every thinking man is at liberty to choose for himself so as to satisfy his own conscience before God, whether by immersion, pouring, or sprinkling; nor do I believe that the Bible warrants dogmatism, division, or non-communion on this subject. For myself I prefer sprinkling, not so much from the many discussions I have heard, or the arguments I have read on the subject, as from the facts in my experience.

Granting that this rite is designed to be universal as is the Gospel, Matt.

xxviii. 19, I have often found it impossible to baptize by immersion. I have found in parts of Hawaii, one, two, and five miles from the sea, and as far from any pool of water sufficient to immerse even the head, men, women, and children so old or so sick that they could not be carried to any water fountain to be immersed; some ready to die, and begging me with tears to baptize them and administer to them the emblems of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus. They accepted Christ with good evidence of faith and love, and welcomed His messenger with tears of joy and gratitude.

And now let me ask with Peter, "Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized?" Similar considerations apply to the communion of the Lord's supper. I have been in situations where it seemed a duty and a privilege to administer this sacrament, but could get neither bread nor wine. Of course this led to reflection. Shall I omit the sacrament? Shall it be postponed for months, with the probability that some of these aged and wasting forms will be laid in the dust within a few days or weeks? Which is of the greater importance, the ordinance or the articles used to symbolize and call to remembrance the death of the Lord Jesus? Do not the food we eat and the water we drink sustain our mortal bodies, and does not faith in the Saviour's broken body and shed blood give life to our souls? The argument seemed to me logical and conclusive. And on further reflection that the bread we now use differs from that used when the ordinance was first instituted, and that much of the wine of this age is a poisoned mixture, the conclusion was further strengthened that neither our bread nor our wine was essential to our acceptable observance of the Lord's supper.

We use bread at the Hilo churches, and for the cup a preparation without alcohol or any poisonous drug; but in making my distant tours we used the food and drink which sustains the life of the people, whether breadfruit, taro, or potato, and water.



Chapter VIII.

Arrival of Catholic Missionaries - Admiral de Tromelin Proselytism Controversies with the Priests - Arrival of the Mormons - The Reformed Catholics Bishop Staley Lord George Paulet.

THE pioneer Catholic missionaries arrived in 1827 and were rejected by the rulers.

This company was led by Rev. John Alexius Augustine Bachelot, who was commissioned by Pope Leo XII. as "Apostolic Prefect of the Sandwich Islands." They landed without permission and refused to depart, under the delusion that the Pope as the Viceregent of Heaven had dominion over all earthly principalities and powers, as if the earth were his footstool. Then followed a long struggle, in which arrogance, intrigue, and duplicity were freely exercised, and which conflict has continued until this day. One step of aggression followed another until the power of the French Government was invoked by the priests, and in 1839 Captain Laplace, commander of the French frigate l'Artémise, appeared and made charges and demands which, it was then supposed, meant a seizure of the Islands. But the Lord spared us.

Failing in this attempt, the French sloop-of-war Embuscade, Captain Mallet, appeared in 1842 with fresh charges and demands, threatening the king and the life of the kingdom. Fortunately royal commissioners had been dispatched to England and France with plenary powers to settle all difficulties amicably with these Governments, especially with the French. Of course Captain Mallet had nothing to do, as the case had been appealed to the supreme power.

In August, 1849, the French frigate La Poursuivante, Admiral de Tromelin, came into Hilo with a French bishop and consul on board, who made a pleasant and polite call at our house. From here the Admiral sailed for Honolulu, where he brought new charges of grievances because the French priests and the Catholic religion had been dishonored.

He went so far as to land his marines, and with martial music and waving flag, enter the fort at Honolulu, throw down the guns from the walls, fill up an old well, break up a few calabashes, etc. The fort had no garrison, the gates were wide open, and there being no resistance, it is reported that the gallant Admiral said to his officers and marines: "Let us go on board; they won't fight, and there is no glory in this." I relate the story as it was told me.

Rumors were afloat that the United States Commissioner then in Honolulu had agreed, under the earnest request of the King and nobles, to run up the United States flag as a signal of a protectorate so soon as a hostile gun was fired from the frigate. It is supposed that the Admiral felt that he had gone too far, and could not grasp the prize, and therefore withdrew from the bloodless conflict, since which time we have had no more threatening from the French Government, but have had to meet what looks line Jesuitical tactics on all sides.

I have here given only a hasty sketch of the introduction of Catholicism into these Islands, and for more detailed information I will refer the reader to the histories of the Rev. Hiram Bingham and James J. Jarves, Esq. These histories were written mostly at the times and place of the troubles, and they present a fair and truthful statement of the facts. Mr. Bingham's history also affords a very full and interesting view of the mission of the A. B. C. F. M. from the year 1820 to 1845.

Of this persistent aggression of the Catholics, Hilo and Puna have had their full share. Priests were early stationed in these and the adjoining districts, and they at once took a bold and defiant stand. These emissaries confronted me everywhere. I often heard of them as having gone just before me on my tours. They appointed meetings near by my appointments, and at the same hour; they even came to my congregations in anger to command some of their claimed neophytes to leave the house.

Everywhere they perplexed and vexed the simple natives by telling our best and most tried Christians that they were outside the true Church and on their way to perdition. They taught the people that the Protestants were all heretics and deceivers, that their ordinations were invalid, their pretended marriages adultery, and their teachings delusive.

They also appealed to the selfish and baser feelings of the natives to carry their point, encouraging them in the cultivation and use of tobacco, and assuring them that if they would turn Catholics they would never be called on to give to the priests, to assist in building churches, to contribute at monthly concerts, or be taxed in any way to support religion. Thus they gained weak followers. But when the priests changed their policy and began to call on their proselytes for help in building churches and supporting their teachers, many of the natives saw the duplicity and left them at once.

When a church member was under discipline or had been suspended for notorious sins, he was often sought and received into the Catholic church.

Liars, thieves, drunkards, adulterers, were flattered with the belief that all would come out well with them if they were only in the true Church! This "daubing with untempered mortar," and crying "Peace, peace, when there was no peace," was a bold and impudent opposition to sound church discipline, encouraging delinquents to harden themselves in sin. It became "a refuge of lies," a hiding-place of transgressors, a snare to catch souls.

This determined and unrelenting attack of the papal powers upon the church of Hilo and Puna greatly increased the cares and labors of the pastor. I delivered more than thirty public lectures on the history, character, and predictions of the papacy, besides continuous and unwearied private efforts with those who were perplexed by the sophistry of the priests. And I had the comfort of knowing that many of my people became more than a match for the priests in faith and argument.

A priest one day assailed one of the native Christians by asserting that all the American missionaries came to the Islands to get money.

"Ah!" said the native, "you believe that, do you?," "Most certainly," said the priest. "Well, your belief is most marvelous. We Hawaiians think that those who are in search of gold and silver avoid such poor people as we are and go where money is plenty. It is most strange that you should believe that Mr. Bingham, Mr. Thurston, and others came here to get money when there was no money in this country. Do you think them such fools?"

Another good old native was accosted one day thus: "Are you one of Mr. Coan's disciples?" to which he replied, "I am one of the disciples of Christ." "What is the true Church" asked the priest. "Why do you priests cast the second commandment out of your catechism?" In a flurry "The second commandment, the second commandment! I was not talking about the second commandment. I asked you what is the true Church?" Good old Paul replied again: "And why do you cast the second commandment out of your catechism?" "What, what! what do you mean I tell you I am not talking about the second commandment, but about the true Church." Steady to his point, Paul coolly and emphatically repeated again, "Why do you cast the second commandment out of your catechism?" Turning on his heels the Jesuit went off exclaiming, "Paul, you are an old stubborn fool." But he never assailed him again.

Another priest meeting Barnabas saluted him with much politeness, and offering a little flattery, began to express great desire that they both might escape delusion and find the one and only way to heaven. Then he began with the usual opening question: "What is the true Church?" Barnabas calmly replied, "The true Church of God is composed of all true believers who love and obey the Lord Jesus, of every age and name and nation on earth and in heaven." This comprehensive truth began to ruffle the priest, and he tried to parry the point of the Spirit's sword by syllogistic logic, saying, "There can be only one true Church." Barnabas saw the premises, and anticipating the reasoning and conclusion, he cut the matter short. "I have answered your question, and now, as you and I both have enough to do, I bid you good-morning" and as he left the priest he heard him murmuring, "Poor deluded and stubborn heretic."

One of their most audacious acts remains to be recorded. I had once visited Mr. Paris, at Kau, on the occasion of transferring those members of my church from that district to the care of Mr. Paris.

On Monday I was returning toward Hilo. When near the center of Kau, as I was passing a Catholic church under the foot-hills of Mauna Loa, I was stopped by about two hundred Catholics, headed by a French priest, who challenged me then and there to a debate. This was in a narrow pass along the road which was so completely obstructed by the collected Catholics as to prevent my passing on. The challenge I respectfully declined, and as it was late in the afternoon, and I had some eight or ten miles of rough road to travel before I slept, I begged the mob to open the road, and suffer me to pass peacefully on my way. This the priest refused, commanding the people to keep the passage blocked, and with lifted hands and clenched fists, he declared that this Coan, this opposer of the Catholics, should never pass until he had accepted the challenge for debate. Again and again I calmly declined, and asked for a passage through the crowd. The priest became furious and his whole frame trembled with excitement, while the people around him seemed fierce as wolves.

Not being able to proceed, I dismounted and tried to elbow my way through, leading my horse. The priest kept right before me, with hands quivering, and voice roaring: "Who is the head of the Church? Who is the head of the Church?" For a time I made no reply, but quietly tried to work my way along, till at last I spoke out in full and clear tones, "The Lord Jesus Christ, He is the Head of the Church." Immediately the priest roared out at the top of his voice, "That is a lie, Peter is the head of the Church."

Several faithful natives were with me, watching with intense interest the scene. When this assertion of Peter's headship thundered from the priest, one of the men named Sampson, a bold and powerful man, could hold in no longer, and with the voice of a giant, and the arm of Samson of old, he cried out, "Clear the road, and let my teacher pass," and with the word came the act; with his strong arms he scattered the mob to the right and left, and I followed on through the passage thus opened. As I mounted my horse and rode quietly on, the howling crowd shouted: "He flees! he flees! He is a coward."

Some of the leaders of this mob afterward left the Catholics, and repented with tears.

This priest, recognizing me upon the road one day afterward, at once turned into the bushes, rather than to meet me. I never met him again, and it was not many months before the strong young man was dead. Not many years after the introduction of the papal priests came a drove of Mormon emissaries. These spread themselves in squads all over the group like the frogs of Egypt.

They made an early descent upon Hilo. At first they employed flattering words. They called at once on me, asserted their divine commission, affirmed the heavenly origin of their order, enlarged on the new and sure revelations made to Joe Smith and his successors, the prophets, and invited me to join them, assuring me that I would then see the full-orbed light of truth, whereas I had only seen its faint dawn. "You are a good man," said they, "and have done what you could; but we have come to teach you the way of God more perfectly, and if you will unite with us and come into this new light, your people will all soon be born again, i.e., be dipped in water, and then by the laying on of hands they will receive the Holy Ghost and all the signs will follow." I asked, "What signs?" They replied, "Speaking with tongues, healing the sick, and all miracles." I then said, "Let us take up the signs, in order, and see if you Mormons have them. Can you cast out devils?" "Yes." "But, if testimony is true, many of your people, like other sinners, act as if the devil were still in them. ‘They shall speak with tongues.' Can you do it?" "Oh, yes, we can at Utah." "And why not here, where you need the gift more? And why do you ask for a teacher of the native language? Do you believe you could handle poisonous serpents, and drink deadly things with impunity?" "We can heal the sick." "And so can I. But do not Mormons die?" "Oh, yes."

"Can you raise the dead?" "The Mormons at Salt Lake can do it." "Well, if you will go with me to a fresh grave near by, and raise a dead body to life, I will join you to-day." This silenced them on miracles and signs. And when I produced my copy of "The Book of Mormon," and showed them I knew more than they about the doctrines of the faith to which they were trying to make me a proselyte, they were confounded, and went away despairing of my becoming a convert.

But for years numbers of this deluded sect traveled over these districts, using all their powers of persuasion, not excepting lying and deceit, to draw the people after them. When once they succeeded in making a disciple they would quarter themselves in his house until he had cooked the last pig, goat, or fowl, and until his taro, potatoes, and bananas were gone, all the while boasting of their great love, and comparing themselves with the American missionaries, who they said came here to get salaries and to oppress the people.

I met the Mormons often on my tours, and had abundant evidence from repeated conversations, and from the testimony of the most reliable members of the church, of their ignorance, bigotry, impudence, and guile.

Finding that they could not prevail by flattery, they assumed a bold front, denounced the American missionaries as false pretenders, deceivers, and blind guides, without baptism, without ordination, and without credentials from heaven. One of their number came into our congregation on a Sabbath, and when I arose at the close of the service to dismiss the assembly, the Mormon arose, and with a loud voice gave notice that he would preach immediately. The great congregation moved quietly toward the church door, when he placed himself in the door-way to prevent their egress, demanding in loud, boisterous language that they all remain and hear "the true gospel." Steadily the crowd moved to the door, and pressing the arrogant intruder aside, returned to their homes.

Though numbers of low characters at first turned after the Mormons, the sect soon ran out here, and now they have neither church, or school, or meeting house in all Hilo and Puna.

The entrance of Bishop Staley into the Hawaiian Islands with his corps of priests and sisters has gone into history. Receiving the title of "Lord Bishop of Honolulu," he contemplated the supplanting of the American missionaries, the conversion of the foreign residents and natives to his faith, and the establishment of one grand Episcopal Diocese over all the isle ends of the group.

The whole scheme was planned, and he soon began to move with his clergy for its execution.

Having established several stations in Hawaii and other islands of the Archipelago, he came to Hilo with one of his clergy.

Ignoring practically the church which had long been established here under its present pastor, and all who had labored to gather and to guide the flock, he walked boldly in as if by divine right, appointed his meetings to preach in the English and Hawaiian languages, and announced that he would at once establish two congregations, one of Hawaiians, and one of English speaking residents.

In the further pursuance of his scheme, he appointed two boards of trustees or agents, one composed of members of my church, and one of foreign residents. These agents he instructed and empowered to open subscriptions, collect funds, proselyte the people, and make all necessary arrangements for buildings and for gathering congregations. He then presented the appointed curate of Hilo, and engaged board and lodging for him.

All this was done as if by royal authority, and without condescending to confer with or to know the incumbent pastor and his associate laborers.

The arrangements having been completed, his lordship returned to Honolulu, taking the curate-elect with him to get his baggage, with the promise that he should return immediately to exercise his priestly functions for the cure of souls, and as the only authenticated messenger of Heaven to the benighted and perishing heathen of Hilo. They came, they saw, they went, but they did not soon return.

It was found that there was one factor in the plot which the shrewd bishop had overlooked, and that was the will of the people of Hilo. They had somehow imbibed the doctrine of "Free Agency," which implies will and choice and personality.

The bishop's theory was smooth and perfect, but its practical execution was so clogged by friction that it failed of success. Letters followed Bishop Staley to Honolulu stating that neither of his boards had secured a proselyte or a dollar, that his agents did not act, and that all things were going on in the old way. This was a damper surely, and it might be an extinguisher.

But the bishop rallied and appeared again in Hilo, appointed meetings as before, and wished to know the reasons for the inactivity of his Hilo agents. His efforts were of no avail. The people could not see what allegiance they owed to a lord and bishop created in London, or why they should forsake their "own and their fathers' friends," to whom under God they owed all they knew of civilization and of Christian truth.

The Reformed Catholics have never established a church in Hilo, and it is not known that they have a single convert here.

We wish to be liberal and to labor in loving harmony with all who love our Lord and Saviour, and who pray heartily for His coming and kingdom, but we pity all who are exclusive, and who vainly set themselves up as the only true Church.

During the year of 1843, the English corvette Carysfort, Lord George Paulet commanding, made two visits to Hilo.

This young Briton had seized the reins of the Hawaiian Government, hauled down the national flag, dethroned the king, and established what he called a Provisional Government. The country was in confused agitation, and a dark cloud veiled our political sky.

When he arrived he went in person to our prison, commanding the keeper to open the doors, discharge the prisoners, and give him the keys.

The guilty offenders and criminals feeling that their hour of triumph had come, rushed out jubilant, and went whither they desired.

Lord George soon called on us, and introduced himself as the savior of the country. He was a young, jolly, and sanguine man, of pleasant manners and very sociable. He seemed at ease, yet self-conscious. "Well," said he, "you are now under the British flag; how do you like it?" "Well, sir, we choose to be under the Hawaiian."

"No, no! but the English Government is strong, and your protection is sure." "True, but we desire that this weak and small people should be free and independent. It is a right which should not be taken from them without just cause."

"Well, well, but you would rather be under the flag of England than of France?" "That may be, but we choose the flag of the country for which we have labored." "You could not live under the Hawaiian flag. The French were determined to take your islands as they took Tahiti. I knew it, and I hastened hither before them and saved the country, and you ought to thank me."

All this was spoken in great good humor and self-satisfaction, and his lordship shook hands and bowed a pleasant good-morning.

He returned to Honolulu, and our native police went immediately in search of the prisoners he had set free and returned them to the prisons.

Hearing of this, and that the same thing had occurred in Lahaina, he hastened back with all canvas spread, landed with body-guard and side arms, went to the prison and opened again its doors, setting the inmates free. He then inquired for the native judge who had countermanded his orders by returning the prisoners to jail, and hastened in person to his house, as the natives said, "piha i ka huhu," filled with wrath.

But the wide-awake judge having had a hint of his coming, and not caring to end his judgeship in prison, stole out at the back door and could not be found.

The commander, to hold the fort, organized a police mostly of foreigners of a certain class, some of whom had, I think, seen the inside of a prison, and others who might be fair candidates for such a place, and giving them strict orders to see that his commands were executed, he left Hilo for the second and last time. Our new police were greatly magnified by their office, and were somewhat haughty and imperious during their brief authority.

Lord George appointed his officers, civil and military, over all the Islands, enlisted and drilled soldiers among the natives and foreigners, and taught them rebellion against their lawful sovereign.

After five months of "torment," the time of the reign of the locusts in the Apocalypse, the flag-ship of the good Admiral Thomas arrived in Honolulu. The English flag was removed from all its staves, the Hawaiian was raised in all our ports, and the commander of the proud Carysfort was ordered to salute the royal signal he had dishonored. To this day it waves and flutters over an independent kingdom, and the Carysfort with her lordly commander has been seen no more in our waters.



Chapter IX.

Isolation of the Mission Families Sufferings on the Inter-lsland Voyages Their Dangers Parting with our Children School Discussions and Festivals Native Preachers Cheerful Givers Changes and Improvements.

IN the early years of the mission, the trials of separation were often severe. Hawaii was not only far from all the outer world, but our islands were separated one from another by wide and windy channels, with no regular and safe packets, and no postal arrangements, or regular means of communication.

Add to this, many parts of the islands were so broken by ravines, by precipices, and dangerous streams, and so widely sundered by broad tracts of lava, without house, or pool of water to refresh the weary and thirsty traveler, and without roads withal, that social intercourse was impossible without great toil and suffering.

As to beloved friends and kindred in the far-off fatherland, it seemed like an age before we could speak to them and receive answers.

I think it was eighteen months before we received answers to our first letters sent from Hilo to the United States, a period long enough for revolutions among the nations as well as in families.

All our flour, rice, sugar, molasses, and many other articles of food, with clothing, furniture, medicines, etc., came in sailing vessels around Cape Horn, a voyage of four to six months, so that our news became old and our provisions stale before they reached us, while our stationery might be exhausted, our medicines expended, our flour mouldy and full of worms, before the new supplies arrived. Many a time have we been obliged to break up our barrel of hardened flour with an axe, or chisel and mallet.

But after all our inter-island communication was often our more severe trial. A few old schooners, leaky and slow, mostly owned by native chiefs, floated about, sometimes lying becalmed under the lee of an island for a whole week, in a burning sun, with sails lazily flapping, boom swinging from side to side, and gaff mournfully squeaking aloft.

These vessels were usually officered and manned by indolent and unskillful natives, who made dispatch, cleanliness, safety, and comfort no factors in a voyage. They would often be four and even six weeks in making a trip from Honolulu to Hilo and back, a total distance of some 600 miles. They knew nothing of the motto, "Time is money." So long as they were supplied with fish and poi, all was well. They would sometimes lash the helm while they went to eat, then lie down and sleep.

We have often found our vessel in this condition at midnight, captain and all hands fast asleep, and the schooner left to the control of wind and wave, and without a lamp burning on board. In addition some vessels were without a single boat for help in the hour of peril.

The cabins being small and filthy, the missionaries slept on deck, each family providing its own food and blankets, and all exposed to wind, heat, storm, and drenching waves which often broke upon the deck.

Upon a schooner of forty to sixty tons, there might be one hundred natives with their dogs and pigs, stoutly contesting deck-space with them; and often fifty members of missionary families, parents and children together. These were the families on Molokai and Maui, with, in many cases, those of the several stations on Hawaii. The crowd was distressing, and the sickness and suffering can never be told. Mothers with four or five children, including a tender nursling, would lie miserably during the hot days under a burning sun, and by night in the rain, or wet with the dashing waves, pallid and wan, with children crying for food, or retching with seasickness. I have seen some of these frail women with their pale children brought to land, exhausted, upon the backs of natives, carried to their homes on litters, and laid upon couches to be nourished till their strength returned.

Does any one ask why these delicate mothers left their homes to suffer thus nigh unto death?

The answer is this. For the isolated mission families to visit one another at will, was out of the question. Once a year, provision such as described was made to bring all together in Honolulu, in what was styled "General Meeting." So strong was the social and Christian instinct, that nearly every parent and child would brave the dangers and submit to the sufferings of these terrible passages, rather than deny the intense heartlongings for personal intercourse with their fellow-laborers "in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ."

We all went with our households and were received cordially by our dear brethren and sisters in Honolulu, where in consultation on the things pertaining to the mission work, in prayer and praise and in social intercourse, we usually spent three or four weeks. Daily meetings were often held with the children, when with united endeavors we sought to lead them to Him who has said: "Suffer little children to come unto me."

And many of those little ones dated their deepest religious impressions from those meetings.

Through the providential care of Him who was with us, no lives were lost in all these dangerous voyages of the early members of the mission. Two of these leaky, ill-managed vessels were, as we suppose, sunk in the night while attempting to cross the channel from Maui to Hawaii, with about two hundred natives on board, eighty of whom were my church members. Not a spar, not a box nor a bucket from these vessels has been seen from that day to this.

It is probable that the helm was lashed, and that captain and all hands were asleep when a squall struck the sails, capsized the vessel, and all were plunged without warning into the dark abyss of waters.

On one of these lost vessels my second daughter had engaged passage to return from Honolulu to Hilo, in company with our neighbor, Judge Austin, and his wife and children. By a sudden impulse and just before the embarkation, the party changed their minds and took passage on another schooner bound to the western coast of Hawaii, where they were safely landed, making their way thence to Hilo by land, a distance of about seventy-five miles. Had they taken the ill-fated schooner, we should never have seen our daughter and our neighbors again on earth.

Another trial of painful character has been borne by the missionaries in the sending of their tender offspring away from their island home to the fatherland. Surrounded by the low and vulgar throng of early mission days, with no good schools, and loaded with cares and labors for the native race, most of the missionaries have felt it a duty to their children to seek for them an asylum in a land of schools and churches and Christian civilization. The struggle of parting has sometimes been agonizing on both sides. Often the child would plead piteously to be suffered to remain, while at the same time the mother's heart yearned over her darling one; but a stern sense of duty nerved her to the sacrifice, and with a last kiss of farewell she would commit her son or daughter to the care of the ship-master, and turn away with a crushed heart to spend sleepless hours in prayers and tears.

Ah! how many of these mothers remember these heart-struggles with a melting agony, and how many of those scalding tears the Father of Mercies has known, with the prayers that wrung them out!

Our two elder children remained at their island home until they reached an age when the thought of separation was less cruel. They then made the voyage around Cape Horn under the kind care of Capt. James Willis and his excellent wife.

Later, our second daughter and son were sent to the United States under favorable circumstances. Our youngest son has returned, and lives near the old homestead.

Once or twice a year the school teachers and leading members of the church were called together in Hilo for the discussion of important questions, and for prayer.

This assembly numbered one hundred, and often more. They came as delegates or representatives from all the villages, either as volunteers or as chosen by the people. When assembled for deliberation a scribe was elected, and a book of records kept, in which minutes of all important acts were entered. The duration of such meetings varied from three days to a week, according to the importance and interest of the discussions.

These representatives we call Lunas, overseers. None of them were ordained as deacons or elders, but their office work was much like that of class-leaders in the Methodist church. They reported the state of the schools and of the church members. A list of overtures was prepared, embracing topics for consideration on a great variety of subjects pertaining to "The life that now is and to that which is to come." The meetings were often pervaded with a delightful spirit of tenderness and Christian harmony. Prayers were fervent, and there were exhibitions of native eloquence which were marvelous.

These were excellent occasions for the pastor to instruct the leading minds of his flock, not only in the rules of order pertaining to deliberative bodies, but in the duties of parental, filial, fraternal, matrimonial, social, economical, civil, and spiritual life. The range of subjects was wide, but simple and practical, and the fruits were apparent. Many beside the delegates came in, day after day, to these meetings, both of men and women.

These were sometimes local and sometimes general. When the schools of the two districts assembled at the central station, I think we have had two thousand in the exhibition. Usually the schools would be dressed in uniforms, each choosing for itself the color which their tastes dictated. All floated flags and banners of a tasteful style, and all marched to music, vocal or instrumental, and often prepared by themselves or their teachers.

Some made flutes of the bamboo and some composed sweet songs with simple but pleasing music.

Their marchings and simple evolutions, with song; and fluttering flags, attracted the attention of all, and many came out to witness the gala picture.

The marching over, the children were arranged under a broad canopy of green branches, where hymns were sung, addresses made, prayers offered, and then all partook of an ample feast. Young and old alike were jubilant.

As numbers of our young and active men desired more full and specific instruction in the doctrines of the Bible and the duties of life than they gained in our common exercises, I received about twenty into a class for daily instruction in systematic theology, Scripture exegesis, sermonizing, etc.

This school was kept up in convenient terms for several years. It was not designed to make pastors but to train a class of more intelligent workers than the common people. Some of these have since become preachers and pastors at home, and some have gone to labor in heathen lands.

The whole number of preachers and missionaries who have gone out from the Hilo church and boarding-school is: on foreign missions twelve, with their wives; in the home field, nineteen, or thirty-one ministers in all.

From the beginning, the Hawaiian churches were taught the duty and the pleasure of giving to the needy. All the missionaries inculcated this doctrine, so that it became one of the essential fruits of their faith. They were not only taught to provide for themselves and their households, but also to "labor with their hand that they might have to give to him that lacketh."

They received these instructions cheerfully, and the stranger, the friendless, the sick, the unfortunate, and all in distress are cared for, and there is less physical suffering from hunger and want in this than in most countries in Christendom.

All this is, of course, favored by the mildness of the climate, but the disposition and the habit of helping those who need are almost universal in these islands.

For long years after the arrival of the pioneer missionaries, the people had no silver and gold, but they had food and kapas and hands and hearts to help. They gave as they could of their substance; a little arrowroot, dried fish or vegetables, a stick of firewood, or a kapa. In 1840, the Wilkes Expedition came, and brought silver dollars; for want of small change, Capt. Wilkes ordered a large amount of Mexican dollars to be cut into halves and quarters. The natives have since fully learned the use of coined money.

It has been my habit to preach on some branch of Christian kindness on the first Sabbath in every month, and the monthly concert prayer-meeting has always been kept up in Hilo. The people have been taught that "it is better to give than to receive," and that "the Lord loveth a cheerful giver."

They have given freely for the missions in Micronesia, and hundreds of dollars have already come back to our mission treasury from those recently savage islands, so that our natives think they see a literal fulfillment of the blessed promise, "Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days."

They see also that although the Hilo church has given more than one hundred thousand dollars for the kingdom of God, that they have a "hundred-fold" more now than when they began.

Indolent and vicious foreigners have often expressed great pity for our poor natives because they had been trained by "the cruel and covetous missionaries" to give for the objects of benevolence; but it has now and then appeared that some of these tender-hearted strangers would not scruple to eat the natives' fish and fowl and poi without pay, or to drive a hard bargain with them in trade, or to refuse to pay an honest debt. Even Catholic priests professed to pity the Hawaiians because of the heavy burdens laid upon them by their teachers! And the Mormon apostles told our people that the Lord "hated and abhorred our New Moons."

As our monthly concerts occurred on the first Sunday of every month, the natives called them "Mahina hou," which literally means new moon, or new month; the word "mahina," moon, being their name for month, or the division of time marked by the moon. This wicked and deceitful catch of the Mormons upon the term for monthly concert so troubled and staggered my people that I went through my whole field, expounding in every village the first chapter of Isaiah, and the troubled minds were relieved and re-established.

The contributions for benevolence have been given with great apparent cheerfulness, as if in thorough understanding that "the Lord loveth a cheerful giver."

Our custom has been to have the donors come forward and deposit their offerings upon the table in front of the pulpit, and there has been an animation and enthusiasm on such occasions most grateful to the pastor's heart to witness. I have seen mothers bringing their babes in their arms, or leading their toddling children, that these little ones might deposit a coin upon the table. If at first the child clung to the shining silver as to a plaything, the mother would shake the baby's hand to make it let go its hold, and early persevere in her efforts to teach the tender ones the act of giving before they knew the purpose. There have been instances where the dying have left with wife or husband their contribution to be brought forward at the monthly concert after their death. Such facts make a touching impression.

From our small beginnings of four or five dollars a month, we increased gradually, till the amount has sometimes been two hundred a month.

Before our church was divided our collections amounted yearly to several thousands, and in one case were as high as six thousand; and even after we had set off six churches from the mother church, we have collected over five thousand dollars from the remaining church.

Our people are now greatly diminished by death, and by being drawn away to the numerous plantations of the islands, upon ranches, into various industries with foreigners, and by hundreds into Honolulu, and on board vessels, and yet our monthly collections average more than one hundred dollars.

These contributions have been widely distributed in the United States and in other parts; while many thousands of dollars have gone to sustain our missions in the Marquesas Islands and in Micronesia.

We have also given liberally to sustain our homework church building, Christian education, relief of the poor, and other objects.

When we arrived in Hilo there was but one framed house. There were no streets, no bridges, no gardens and only a few foreign trees.

Now our town is laid out in streets all named, and with every dwellinghouse numbered. The town is adorned with beautiful shade and fruit trees, with gardens and shrubbery, vines, and a great variety of flowers.

The scene is like a tropical Paradise. We have read of "Sweet fields arrayed in living green," and here they are spread out before us even on this side of Jordan.

We have foliage of every shade of green, all intermingled; the plumes of the lofty cocoa and royal palms waving, and the leaves of the mango, the breadfruit, the alligator-pear, the rose apple, the tamarind, the loquot, the plum, the pride of India, the eucalyptus, and trailing and climbing vines, with many-tinted flowers, all glistening and fluttering in the bright sun and the soft breezes of our tropical abode.

Formerly all our streams were crossed as best they might be, or suffered to run and roar, to sparkle and foam, to leap their precipices, and to plunge undisturbed into the sea. Over these brooks and rivers, in town, and through the district of Hilo, more than fifty bridges have been built, some of them costing four thousand dollars.

Once our fertile soil produced very little except kalo and the sweet potato, with a few indigenous fruits; now fruits and vegetables have increased ten-fold in variety and value. But the great staple product of the district is sugar.

During our residence here there have been erected seventeen sugar mills with their feeding plantations, whose total value would probably be more than one million of dollars, and whose products might be more than two millions.

If our Government would take hold earnestly of road-making, with the aid of private enterprise, the value of Hilo soil and of our industries might be increased more than four-fold in as many years.

Sailing along the emerald coast of Hilo, one sees the smoke-stacks of the sugar mills, the fields of waving canes almost touching one another, and the little white villages attached to each plantation, lending the charm of beauty and variety to the scenery.

The mercantile and mechanical business of our town is greatly increased by these plantations. Mechanical shops are abundant; and so are shops of various character, many of which are owned by Chinamen.

But the plantations do not replenish our town with Hawaiians; on the contrary, while foreigners of many nationalities, especially the Chinese, are increasing, our native population is perishing, or mixing its blood with that of foreign races.

Another great change is, that the people are, or may be if they will, all freeholders. The Bill of Rights given by Kamehameha III., followed by a liberal constitution, and by a code of laws, gave to every man the right to himself, to his family, to hold land in fee simple, and to the avails of his own skill and industry. This was what no common Hawaiian had ever enjoyed before; and so great was the change that a large class of the natives could not believe it to be true. Many thought it to be a ruse to tempt them to build better houses, fence the lands, plant trees, and make such improvements in cultivation as should enrich the chiefs, who were the hereditary owners of the soil, while to the old tenants no profit would accrue. The parcels of land on which the people were living were granted to them by a royal commission on certain easy conditions.

Lands were also put into market at nominal prices, so that every man might obtain a piece if he would. I have known thousands of acres sold for twenty-five cents, other thousands for twelve and a half cents, and still others for six and a quarter cents an acre. These lands were, of course, at considerable distances from towns and harbors. But even rich lands near Hilo and other ports sold at one, two, or three dollars per acre.

Thus the people were encouraged to become land owners, to build permanent dwellings, and to improve their homesteads with fences, trees, and a better cultivation. Gradually many came to believe in the new order of things and to improve the golden opportunity, but others doubted and suffered it to pass unimproved. Those who accepted or bought land now find its value increased ten, and, in some cases, a hundred fold.

The organizing of a constitutional government under a limited monarchy with its several departments, legislative, executive, and judicial, and the admission of the common people to take part in the enactment and execution of laws, and the right of trial by jury, produced a vast and sudden change throughout the kingdom; and to this day it is an open question whether there was not too much liberty granted to the people before they had been sufficiently trained to appreciate and to use it. It may be doubted whether universal suffrage and trial by jury has been a benefit to the country.

The old rule of the chiefs was liable to great oppression and abuse, but where the irresponsible chief was thoughtful and righteous, justice was administered promptly and often wisely, without the interference of quibbling pettifoggers and unscrupulous lawyers.

On one occasion when Dr. Judd and his family were our guests, he hired men to take them by land to the western side of the island, where they were to embark for Honolulu. There were about twelve men thus positively engaged, with wages specified and accepted. The hour for departure came; the men were all present; the party, with baggage, all ready an