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Where daisies thick as star-light stand
Thrice welcome, little English flower!
For joys that were, or might have been,
Sabbath Scene in Hawaii.-C. S. STEWART.
Ar an early hour of the morning, a single person, nere and there, or a group of three or four, wrapped in their large mantles of various hues, might be seen winding their way among the groves fringing the bay on the east, or descending from the hills and ravine on the north, toward the chapel by degrees, their numbers increased; till, in a short time, every path along the beach and over the uplands presented an almost uninterrupted procession of both sexes and of every age, all pressing to the house of God.
Even to myself, it was a sight of surprise-surprise, not at the magnitude of the population, but that the object for which they were evidently assembling should bring together so great a multitude. When at this very place, only four years ago, the known wishes and example of chiefs of high authority, and the daily persuasion of teachers, added to motives of curiosity and novelty, could scarcely induce a hundred of the inhabitants to give an
irregular, careless and impatient attendance on the services of the sanctuary. But now—
"Like mountain torrents pouring to the main,
The scene, as looked on in the stillness of a brightlygleaming sabbath morning from our ship, was well calculated, with its associations, to prepare the mind for strong impressions on a nearer view, when the conclusion of our own public worship should allow us to go on shore. Mr. Goodrich had apprized us, that he had found it expedient to hold the services of the sabbath-usually attended at all the other stations at nine o'clock in the morning and at four in the afternoon-both in the early part of the day, that all might have the benefit of two sermons, and still reach their abodes before nightfall. For
Numbers dwelt remote,
And first must traverse many a weary mile,
To reach the altar of the God they love."
It was arranged, that, on this occasion, the second service should be postponed till about the time when the officers should be at liberty to leave the ship. Though the services had commenced when we landed, large numbers were seen circling the doors without, from the impracticability of obtaining places. The house is an immense structure, capable of containing many thousands: every part was filled, except a small area in front of the pulpit, where seats were reserved for us, and to which we made our way in slow procession, from the difficulty of finding a spot to place our feet without treading on the people, seated as closely almost as they could be stowed.
As we entered, Mr. Goodrich paused in his sermon till we should be seated. I ascended the pulpit beside him. The suspense of attention in the people was only momen
tary, notwithstanding the novelty to them of the laced coats, cocked hats, and other appendages of naval uniform. I can scarcely describe the emotions experienced, in glancing an eye over the immense number-seated so thickly on the matted floor as to seem literally one mass of heads covering an area of more than nine thousand square feet. The sight was most striking, and soon became, not only to myself, but to some of my fellow officers, deeply affecting.
With the exception of the inferior chiefs having charge of the district, and their dependants, and of two or three native members of the church and of the mission family, scarcely one of the whole multitude was in other than the native dress. In this respect, and in the attitude of sitting, the assembly was purely pagan-totally unlike those of the Society Islands-as unlike as to one at home. But the breathless silence, the eager attention, the half-suppressed sigh, the tear, the varied feeling-sad, peaceful, joyous— discoverable in the faces of many-all spoke the presence of an invisible but omnipotent Power-the Power which alone can melt and renew the heart of man, even as it, alone, first brought it into existence.
From the thousands present, I might select many individuals, whose appearance was such as to stamp these impressions indelibly on my heart. The aspect of one, at least, I can never forget, and will attempt to describe. It was that of a diminutive old woman; shrivelled by age, till little more of her figure, with an appearance of health, was left, than skin and bone. The style of her features, however, was of the regular and more pleasing character found among the islanders, with an amiable and benignant expression; which, in connection with an entirely whitened head, exacted from the observer a look of kindness in return. Folded in a large mantle of black tapa, she was leaning, when my eyes first fell upon her, against a pillar near the pulpit, beside which she was sitting, with her head inclined upwards, and her eyes fixed on the preacher.
There was not only a seriousness, but a deep pensiveness, in her whole aspect, which riveted my attention; and, as Mr. Goodrich proceeded in his discourse, a tear was seen occasionally to start in her eye, and more than one made its way down her deeply-wrinkled cheeks upon her mantle. I had not, in my long absence, so entirely forgotten the native language, as not to understand much that was said.
After some time, this sentence was uttered: "We are all sinners; but we have a God and Saviour who will forgive us our sins, if we ask it of him. It is our duty to pray for this to God; and he hears the prayers of all who approach him in sincerity." I happened at the moment to look again upon this object: her attitude and aspect was the same, except that her lips moved in the evident and almost audible repetition of the sentence. She again repeated it, as if to be certain that she heard and understood it correctly; and, as she did so, a bright and peaceful smile spread over every feature; tears gushed rapidly from her eyes, and she hid her face in the folds of her garment. Could I be deceived in the interpretation of this case? Could I mistake in the causes and the nature of those varied emotions, in the circumstances under which they were beheld; and in one of whom I had never heard, and whom I had never before seen? I could not. and if so, what is the language they speak? They plainly say, that this poor woman, grown gray in the ignorance and varied degradation of heathenism, by the lamp let down from heaven, sees herself to be a sinner, and is oppressed to sadness and to sighing, under a sense of her guilt. she hears of pardon and salvation, freely given to all who will freely receive; hears of the glorious liberty of the gospel, and of all the rich privileges which it confers, even to nigh access and intimate communion with the Father of spirits; hears and believes, and sinks before her God, in tears of gratitude and of joy!
Crater of Kirauea in Hawaii.—ELLIS.
WE travelled on, clearing every ohelo bush that grew near our path, till about two, P. M. when the crater of Kirauea suddenly burst upon our view. We expected to have seen a mountain, with a broad base, and rough, indented sides, composed of loose slags or hardened streams of lava, and whose summit would have presented a rugged wall of scoria, forming the rim of a mighty caldron. But, instead of this, we found ourselves on the edge of a steep precipice, with a vast plain before us, fifteen or sixteen miles in circumference, and sunk from two hundred to four hundred feet below its original level. The surface of this plain was uneven, and strowed over with large stones and volcanic rocks, and in the centre of it was the great crater, at the distance of a mile and a half from the precipice on which we were standing. Our guides led us round towards the north end of the ridge, in order to find a place by which we might descend to the plain below. As we passed along, we observed the natives, who had hitherto refused to touch any of the ohelo berries, now gather several bunches, and, after offering a part to Pélé, eat them very freely. They did not use much ceremony in their acknowledgment; but when they had plucked a branch containing several clusters of berries, they turned their faces towards the place whence the greatest quantity of smoke and vapor issued, and, breaking the branch they held in their hand in two, they threw one part down the precipice.
We walked on to the north end of the ridge, where, the precipice being less steep, a descent to the plain below seemed practicable. It required, however, the greatest caution, as the stones and fragments of rock frequently gave way under our feet, and rolled down from above;