By John Williams
In accordance with John Williams' meticulous documentation of his travels, this 1837 quantity bargains an perception into the perilous lifetime of a missionary within the early 19th century. the writer, an ironmonger by way of alternate, set sail for the South Sea Islands in 1817 with the purpose of spreading the gospel and introducing sleek know-how to the zone. in addition to recounting the common threats to his safeguard from indignant natives, warfare, average catastrophe and illness, Williams presents certain surveys of the peoples, languages and ordinary setting he encountered and describes with nice exuberance and humour 'the impact made upon barbarous humans by means of their first sex with civilised man'. Made extra poignant via the author's dying by the hands of cannibals simply years after the book's ebook, this can be a unprecedented account of the perseverance and ingenuity of a guy who grew to become a hero and martyr for the Protestant missionary stream.
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Extra info for A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands: With Remarks Upon the Natural History of the Islands, Origin, Languages, Traditions, and Usages of the Inhabitants
The islands of this class, with but few exceptions, are truly splendid. The immense mountains rise gradually from their base, till their lofty summits are lost amid the clouds of heaven ; some are broken into a thousand fantastic shapes; here a pyramid piercing the skies, and there a spire presenting its apex above the belt of clouds by which it is girt; and then you see a precipitous rock, lifting itself up in solemn grandeur, and frowning, like the mouldering battlements of some immense castle, over your head.
Of the Samoa Islands I shall hereafter give a more extended account. It will be expected that I should say something upon two most interesting subjects—both of which, however, are involved in much mystery—the formation of the islands, and the origin of the inhabitants. The latter point I shall defer, until I treat of the different dialects spoken by the inhabitants of the various groups; and shall pass, as speedily as possible, to the immediate object of the present narrative, which is, to show how the Gospel has been introduced among this people, and to give some account of the mighty triumphs it has achieved.
After all, however, that I have seen and thought, and read upon the subject, my impression is, that the islands remain much in the same state as when the deluge left them; and that every subsequent alteration has been partial in its character, and exceedingly limited in its extent. * In my late visit to Bristol, I found that Mr. Cross produced his crystals, not by violent shocks of electricity, but by a small constant stream of electric fluid ; which appears to be the manner in which it would be emitted in submarine volcanos, and may account for the circumstance of the coral reefs and islands being formed on their summits.