By John Williams
According to John Williams' meticulous documentation of his travels, this 1837 quantity bargains an perception into the perilous lifetime of a missionary within the early 19th century. the writer, an ironmonger by means of exchange, set sail for the South Sea Islands in 1817 with the goal of spreading the gospel and introducing glossy expertise to the area. in addition to recounting the widespread threats to his defense from indignant natives, warfare, normal catastrophe and illness, Williams offers specific surveys of the peoples, languages and usual atmosphere he encountered and describes with nice exuberance and humour 'the influence made upon barbarous humans via their first sex with civilised man'. Made extra poignant via the author's dying by the hands of cannibals simply years after the book's book, this is often a rare account of the perseverance and ingenuity of a guy who grew to become a hero and martyr for the Protestant missionary flow.
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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
Flattering himself that his perils were passed, and his liberty secure, he ascended an eminence to survey the surrounding country, when, to his terror and suprise, he was perceived by some of Hyder Ally's peons, who gallopped towards him, seized him, stripped him naked, tied his hands behind his back, and fastening a rope to them, drove him before them to head-quarters. When interrogated by one of Hyder Ally's chieftains, he gave an ingenuous account of his escape from the prison at Cuddalore. The chieftain immediately charged him with falsehood, adding that no mortal man had ever swam over the Coleroon, and that if he had but dipped his fingers in its waters, he would have been seized by the alligators.
Cross, by passing electric fluid through water, detached the calcareous and silicious particles, and produced stones of various kinds. * 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.
A second time the ship Duff was sent, with a strong reinforcement of thirty additional labourers. By this we perceive the enlarged nature of the views entertained by the friends of this mission, together with the extent of their confidence in God and in his people. They were men whose minds seemed to revel in great things. God, however, for a time, appeared to disappoint all their expectations ; for this hitherto favoured ship was captured by the Buonaparte privateer. The property was entirely lost; the Missionaries and their families, after suffering many difficulties and privations, returned to England.
A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands: With Remarks Upon the Natural History of the Islands, Origin, Languages, Traditions, and Usages of the Inhabitants by John Williams