By Ebenezer Prout
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2010
Online Publication Date:September 2011
Original Publication Year:1843
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511710384.005
Subjects: Church history , Social and cultural anthropology
No previous period in Mr. Williams's history was so important in its results as that upon which he now entered; for it was during the year 1823 that he commenced those “missionary enterprises,” which conferred upon so many other islands of the South Pacific the same inestimable blessings which were possessed by Raiatea. Ever since his intercourse with Auuru, he had cherished an ardent desire to visit the island of which he then heard so much from that chief; and subsequent successes served to quicken this desire. He was especially encouraged by what he had seen at Rurutu, and more recently heard from Aitutaki. At this island, the Endeavour had touched on her way from Sydney, and had brought to Raiatea a most cheering report from the teachers; one of whom, Papeiha, sent to Mr. Williams an interesting narrative of their proceedings, accompanied by the following message from the chiefs—“Tell Viriamu, that, if he will visit us, we will burn our idols, destroy our maraes, and receive the word of the true God.” This was sufficient to fire his zeal; but that zeal was increased by the intelligence that there were at Aitutaki several natives of Rarotonga, the island of which he had heard so much from Auuru; that these had embraced the Gospel, and that now they were most anxious to convey it to their own land.