« AnteriorContinua »
Account of the Mutineers in the Bounty, 1789. they had a good deal of decent furni- attributes of God, and to place their ture, consisting of beds laid upon bed- reliance on divine goodness." The steads, with neat coverings; they day on which the two captains landed had also tables, and large chests to was Saturday, the 17th September ; coutain their valuables and clothing, but by John Adams's account it was which is made from the bark of a certain Sunday, the 18th, and they were tree, prepared chiefly by the elder keeping the sabbath by making it a Otabeitan females. Adams's house day of rest and of prayer. This was consisted of two rooms, and the win- occasioned by the Bounty having prodows bad shutters to pull to at night. ceeded thither by the Eastern route, The younger part of the sex are, as and our frigates having gone to the before mentioned, employed with Westward; and the Topaz found them their brothers, under the direction of right according to his own reckoning, their common father Adams, in the she having also approached the island culture of the ground, which pro- from the Eastward. Every ship from duced cocoa-nuts, bapanas, the bread Europe proceeding to Pitcairn's Isfruit-tree, yams, sweet potatoes and land round the Cape of Good Hope turnips. They have also plenty of will find them a day later-as those hogs and goats ; the woods abound who approach them round Cape with a species of wild hog, and the Horn, a day in advance, as was the coasts of the island with several kinds case with Captain Folger and the of good fish. Their agricultural im- Captains Sir T. Staines and Pipon. plements are made by themselves T'he visit of the Topaz is of course, from the iron supplied by the Bounty, as a notable circumstance, marked which with great labour they beat down in John Adams's Journal. The out into spades, hatchets, crows, &c. first ship that appeared off the island This was not all : the good old man was on the 27th December, 1795 ; kept a regular journal, in which was but as she did not approach the land, entered the nature and quantity of they could not make out to what nawork performed by each family, what tion she belonged. A second apeach had received, and what was due peared some time after, but did not on account. There was, it seems, attempt to communicate with them. besides private property, a sort of A third came sufficiently near to see general stock out of which articles the natives and their habitations, but were issued on account to the several did not attempt to send a boat on members of the community; and for shore ; which is the less surprising, mutual accommodation exchanges of considering the uniform raggedness of one kind of provision for another were the coast, the total want of shelter, very frequent; as salt, for fresh pro- and the almost constant and violent visions, vegetables and fruit, for poul- breaking of the sea against the cliffs. try, fish, &c. Also when the stores The good old man was anxious to of one family were low, or wholly know what was going on in the old expended, a fresh supply was raised world, and they had the means of from another, or out of the general gratifying his curiosity by supplying stock, to be repaid when circumstan- him with some magazines and modern ces were more favourable ;-all of publications. His library consisted of which was carefully noted down in the books that belonged to Admiral John Adams's Journal,
Bligh, but the visitors had not time But what was most gratifying of all to inspect them. to the visitors was, the simple and unaf- They inquired particularly after fected manner in which they returned Fletcher Christian : this ill-fated young thanks to the Almighty for the many man, it scems, was never happy af blessings they enjoyed. They never ter the rash and inconsiderate step failed to say grace before and after which he had taken ; he became sulmeals ; to pray every morning at sun- len and morose, and practised the rise; and they frequently repeated very same kind of conduct towards the Lord's Prayer and the Creed. “ It his companions in guilt which he was truly pleasing," says Captain Pi- and they so loudly complained against pon, “ to see these poor people so well in their late commander. Disap. disposed, to listen so attentively to pointed in his expectations at Otamoral instruction, to believe in the heite, and the Friendly Islands, and
most probably dreading a discovery, deemed his former crimes. this deluded youth committed himself This island is about six miles long and his remaining confederates to the by three broad, covered with wood, mere chance of being cast upon some and the soil of course very rich : sidesert island, and chance threw them tuated under the parallel of 25°S. laon that of Pitcairn. Finding no an- titude, and in the midst of such a chorage near it he ran the ship upon wide expanse of ocean, the climate the rocks, cleared her of the live must be fine, and admirably adapted stock and other articles which they for the reception of all the vegetable had been supplied with at Otaheite, productions of every part of the hawhen he set her on fire, that no trace bitable globe. Small; therefore, as of inhabitants might be visible, and Pitcairn's Island may appear, there all hopes of escape cut off from him- can be little doubt that it is capable self and his wreiched followers. He of supporting many inhabitants; and soon however disgusted both his own the present stock being of so good a countrymen and the Otaheitaus, by description, we trust they will not be his oppressive and tyrannical conduct; neglected. In the course of time the they divided into parties, and dis- patriarch must go hence; and putes and affrays and murders were think it would be exceedingly desirathe consequence. His Otaheitan wife ble that the British nation should died within a twelvemonth from their provide for such an event by sending landing; after which he carried off out, not an ignorant and idle evanone that belonged to an Otaheitan gelical missionary, but some zealous man, who watched for an opportu- and intelligent instructor, together nity of taking his revenge, and shot with a few persons capable of teachhim dead while digging in his own ing the useful trades or professions. field. Thus terminated the miserable On Pitcairn's Island there are better existence of this deluded young man, materials to work upon than missionwho was neither deficient in talent aries have yet been so fortunate as to nor energy, nor in connexions ; and meet with, and the best results may who might have risen in the service reasonably be expected. Something and become an ornament to his pro- we are bound to do for these blame. fession.
less and interesting people. The arJohn Adams declared, as it was na- ticles recommended by Captain Pitural enough he should do, his abhor- pon appear to be highly proper ;rence of the crime in which he was im- cooking utensils, implements of agriplicated, and said that he was sick at culture, maize or the Indian corn, the time in his hammock; this, we the orange tree from Valparaiso, a understand, is not true, though he most grateful fruit in a warm climate, was not particularly active in the and not known in the Pacific Islands
; mutiny : he expressed the utmost wil- and that root of plenty, (not of poverlingness to surrender himself and be ty, as a wretched scribbler has called taken to England; indeed he rather it) the potatoe; Bibles, Prayer Books, seemed to have an inclination to re-visit and a proper selection of other books, his native country, but the young men with paper, and other implements of and women flocked round him, and writing. The visitors supplied them with tears and intreaties begged that with some tools, kettles, and other artitheir father and protector might not cles, such as the high surf would permit be taken from them, for without him them to land, but to no great extent; they must all perish. It would have many things are still wanting for their been an act of the greatest inhumanity ease and comfort. The descendants to have removed him from the island; of these people, by keeping up the and it is hardly necessary to add, that Otaheitan language, which the preSir Thomas Staines lent a willing ear sent race speak fluently, might be the to their intreaties; thinking, no doubt, means of civilizing the multitudes of as we feel strongly disposed to think, fine people scattered over the innuthat if he were even among the most merable islands of the Great Pacific. guilty, his care and success in instilling We have only to add, that Pitcairn's religious and moral principles into the Island seems to be so fortified by naminds of this young and interesting ture as to oppose an invincible barrier society, have, in a great degree, re- to an invading enemy; there is no
Dr. Morell on Church Authority. spot apparently where a boat can land O happy people! happy in your with safety, and perhaps not more sequestered state! May no civilized than one where it can land at all ; an barbarian lay waste your peaceful everlasting swell of the ocean rolls in abodes; no hoary proficient in swion every side, and breaks into foam nish sensuality rob you of that innoagainst its rocky and irou bound cence and simplicity which it is pecushores,
liarly your present lot to enjoy !
Dr. Morell on Church Authority. that the cause lies deeper, and that
Kent Koad, Nov. 30th, 1815. the ambition of the pastor of the
church at Rome would have done as (T is impossible that a thinking little harm to the great body of Chrisread the history of the Christian obscure enthusiast, had he attempted Church without melancholy and dis- spiritual conquest, armed only with gust; for in almost every page he is spiritual authority. Whether his succompelled to remark how ill it has cession to the Apostle Peter were real, hitherto performed the promise of its or pretended, he could never have commencement. The religion of persuaded the Christian world to Christ rose upon the world with an bend beneath his supremacy, had he illumination, that proclaimed its au- not found more efficient support in thor to be the fountain of light. Be- temporal authorities,' than in his fore it pagan superstition melted away; boasted apostolic succession. It was and the grosser vices that had grown the coalition of civil, and ecclesiasrank in that foul atmosphere began to tical powers that first broke down the shrink and wither in the light of hea- freedom of the Christian Church, and
Those“ gay religions full of made it pass under the yoke,--that pomp and gold,” though in full al. most degrading yoke, which bows liance with the temporal authorities, down the soul itself in voluntary slawere unable to maintain their ground very. It is lawful, and may not be against the force of truth. The arm useless to imagine what might have of power was raised in vain on the been the history of Christianity, had side of the priests of idolatry: they its ministers never been admitted into and their gods were deserted by the civil alliance. Intolerant spirits would people, who acknowledged in the have existed, for positive and severe simplicity of Christian faith and wor- men will be bigots; but wanting the ship, a deep and moral interest, which instrumentality of the secular arm, the pageantry of pagan temples could their intolerance would only have not inspire. This was the proper wasted the heart that cherished it. triumph of Christianity; from such a Errors would have sprung up; but rising, what divine splendors were as they could not have twined their not to be expected in the perfect day? parisitical fibres round the pillars of But it was decreed by God, and fore, the state, they would not long have told in his revelation, that this day, sustained themselves where the growth so glorious in promise, should soon of truth was unchecked by power. be overcast. The prediction was, Sophistry would have been combated however, accomplished by natural by argument, assertion by fact, ignomeans, and by human agency; and rance by knowledge, and error by it concerns every Christian to trace truth ; and he must think meanly of the process and detect the principles the power of truth, who can doubt of the degeneracy of the Church. what would be the issue of an open Most Protestants agree in ascribing conflict in a duration of many centu. it to the inordinate ambition of the ries. If uniformity of opinion had. Bishop of Rome, and this is as far as not been produced, it is probable it is generally safe, for them to push that discussion unbiassed and unawed the inquiry ; but it is easy to sce, would have gained a much nearer
approach to it, than authority has of this world. The hand of blood been able to compel. At all events, was laid upon the sacred ark: its puthat sickening uniformity of darkness, rity was fled, and a dark and debas. which was extended like a pall over ing superstition succeeded to the pure, the middle ages, could never have and undefiled religion of Christ. The covered the people, to whom the Gothic tribes that broke into the scriptures gave their light. The cur- south of Europe, brought with them few of prelatical tyranny could never better morals than they found. Rude have rung out he signal that was they were, and fierce, rapacious often to shut them in a long night of igno- and cruel ; but the vices in the train rance and terror. The sword of the of luxury had not wasted the powers magistrate, placed out of the grasp of of the soul, and destroyed the elethe ecclesiastic, might have protected ments of future good. the rights of Christians, and of men, Intrepid, and clear-sighted, and refrom the violation of misguided zeal mote from the country of Odin, they and church-policy; and law, regard- were not fitted to move long in the ing as it ought with indifference all fetters of the northern superstition. opinions, that neither weaken the ob- Had this race of men fallen among ligation nor impede the practice of Christians, such as Christians were justice, would have interfered between in the first ages of the church, and contending sects for no other purpose such as might have succeeded to but to chain down violence and keep them but for the pollution of secular the peace. Hence if the cry of here- connexion and worldly ambition, to sy were raised,--the magistrate not accomplish their conversion to genubeing coupled with the priest,-for ine Christianity had required no rethe sake of good order the chase must finements of policy, no exertion of have been made a bloodless one. Had force. The sword of Charlemagne the Church never been incorporated could only compel a feigned assent, with the State, her sentences of ex- where a band of zealous, faithful and communication would not have be- truly evangelical missionaries would come as destructive to the estates and have planted Christianity in the mind, bodies of men, as they were terrible and in the heart. In those countries to their imagination and fears : but of Germany which were first roused that association being once established from their long stupor by the voice the civil power was soon brought to of the Reformer, what noble matethink, that he who was rejected by rials existed for carrying up the Christhe Church had forfeited the protec- tian edifice! At the time when the tion, and even incurred the heaviest rude but manly inhabitants were vanpenalties of the State,
quished into a spurious religion, and The Christian has often triumph- driven at the point of the spear to the antly contrasted the early propaga- baptismal fonts of the Roman Church! tion of his religion with the ferocious And had England been brought into conquests of Mahomet and his suc- culture by such men as first preached cessors ; and he has reason in his the gospel in Britain, and happily estriumph. The gospel made its way caped the pestilential blight from the unaided by arts or arms : it had es- Tyber, what a vineyard bad she stood, tablished itself in the conviction and thus planted and trained by labourhearts of men long before the strata. ers, who resembled the lord of the gems and weapons of this world were vineyard ! employed in the service of the cross ; It may be said, that although, had and none more than the enlightened the Church never been incorporated Christian condemns, and deplores the with civil governments its history officious and fatal interference of civil would no doubt be different from policy and power, after the time of what it is; yet it does not follow that Constantine, in the conversion of pa- it would be better. On the contrary gan nations to Christianity. The sol- the abandonment of the religion of dier usurped the office of the mis- Christ to the guardianship of the peosionary ; the diplomatist became evan- ple would have issued in greater evils, gelist; and the kingdom of Christ than any that have resulted from was forced into an alliance and abused placing it under the patronage and into a resemblance to the kingdoms advancing it into a participation of Dr. Morell on Church-Authority. secular authority :-Heresies innu- state. Man is prone to strperstition, merable would have choaked the or- but he is rarely, and with difficulty thodox faith ; absurd opinions, which perverted into sceptisism. If the 30 easily establish themselves in the state could render any service to reliordinary and uneducated mind, would gion by taking her ministers, as such have ejected Christian doctrine : some into a communion of power, the most base plebeian superstition would have likely service appears to be, that of triumphed over Christian worship ; restraining both priest and people in or that most overwhelming curse that that descent to superstition, or those can fall upon the earth, universal starts into fanaticism, which seem to scepticism would have quenched the be so easy to them. But the fact is, light of truth, and involved the world that princes and men in power have in worse than Stygian darkness. But been for the most part either as unwho that has looked at all into Church enlightened as the mass of society in history does not know, that the hc. matters of religion ; or anxious only resy of one century or climate has to perpetuate the dominion of truth been the orthodox faith of another, or error, superstition or religion, inand that the Christian world has con- differently, from the dread of indotinually divided and subdivided on vation. It is not difficult to find in every article of popular belief? And their codes of law penal statutes, conas to absurd tenets, could the dullness demning to fines, confiscation, imof vulgar and unlettered men bave fa- prisonment and death, men, who bricated any of grosser quality than could not believe without evidence, have been spun by subtile schoolmen, and would not subscribe what they woven into creeds by learned digni- did not believe, who refused to wortaries, and stamped with the great ship they knew not what, in ways seal of Church-authority in ecclesias- more Pagan than Christian : And it tical councils, though held by princes were easy to shew that articles of and composed of prelates ? They cou: faith too absurd to be believed, and sulted their Urim and Thummim, and rites of superstition, too childish to be gave out oracles that confound the performed honestly by any but the reason of the believer, or baffle the most uninformed members of the state, ingenuity of the interpreter to the have continued to be the law of the present day. To suppose that the land for a considerable time after they faith of Christians would have been have been abandoned by the body of wrecked and lost, had not political the people. When the multitude of men kindled the beacons that warn Christians have suffered themselves them from infidelity, carries in it an to be surprised or seduced into spi. implication, not the most respectful ritual chains, the civil power has not to the evidences of the Cbristian re. refused to rivet them on ; but the velation. Besides, scepticism is not force which has burst the bonds asunnatural to man. Few and cold are der bas proceeded from themselves. the hearts to which it can be dear. A The reformation of opiuton has, as being who is conscious of powers was to be expected, dictated the rewhich assure him of an invisible pow. formation of law; and governments er, who feels that he has but a depen. bave rarely become tolerant, till the dent existence, and whose regrets, spirit of the times has ceased to be while they surround the tomb of af- intolerant. At this moment the lily, fection, throw their shadows across which has been so often steeped in the way that leads to their own, such the blood of the reformed, though it a creature is not naturally irreligious. has been long preserved on a ProtesThe sentiment of piety is latent in all tant soil, and lately re-planted by the social feelings of his heart, and Protestant hands, is become the inthe affinity is too strong to be gene- auspicious signal for a religious perrally destroyed even in the dissolu. secution in the south of France. tion of civil society. This law of God It may be said that the association written in the heart does not require of civil and ecclesiastical powers sets to be registered by human jurispru. a limit to spiritual authority; and that dence in her courts of record. To in fact the first step to the reformapreserve this sacred fire from extinc- tion from popery in this country was, tion there needs no college of priests, the union of these powers in the soveno order of vigilants, no decree of the reigo when Henry VIIIth. caused