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THE NEW BRITAIN MISSION

Io our Saturday's Issue we gave a very full report of the addiess given by Daniel, the Native convert, but the exigencies of the demand upon our epace oompelled us to content ourselves for the nonce with a very bilef resume of tome points m Mr Kooney's address. We now supply the omission by availing ourselves of part of the report of a contemporary of . the same address as delivered by Mr Rooney In a southern town.

There were three mission stations In connection with the New Britain mission the head itatlon being at Duke of York liland where Mr Rooney stated he had been for the past eight years, tf hen hit friend Daniel referred to being now able to go from village to .village without fear of losing one's life, It did not apply to the adjacent Islands of the groop where heathenism still existed. Only a year ago, two of an expedition had been killed, and eaten the same d»y. Mr Rooney then referred to the many different language! spoken m New Britain. On an island only half a mile away a different language was spoken* Every 20 or 30 miles this was the same, each dUtrlot having its own language. The people of New Britain were black, whila m Eastern Polynesia they were lighter coloured. They were an agricultural people like the liaorla, and agricultural peoples were always better and more Intelligent than » hunting people, such as the Australian natives were. A Jaw existed among the Natives of New Britain that oompellcd them to msrry Into mother clan, on pair* of death, and a peouliar thing was that all the oh|ldren belonged to the mother's clap. While young, the fathers took oare of the children and were very fond of thejj, but when old they went to the mother's olan. Property des* oended to a man's sister's children, and so remained m the same olan. The rale *ii a wise one. the speaker «aM Js X Jand where club law reigned, as mooh bloodshed through jealousy of title was thus prevented. Polygamy was prevalent, and a man could n>ve as w^ny wives is he liked, but he had to pay for them. A man oould get a decent wife for 3Q fathoms of shell money (a.speolmen of wbloh was exhibited): bnt a widow cost 100 fathoms, esph fathom being worth £1 m English money. The people were ready wittsd, and always bad an exonse ; they were fond of joking, and humorous, generous »od liberal. The islands of New Britain were vary unhealthy, and the Natives themselvos suffer from fever and ague. Many of the Native teaohers sent from the Fl.jls bad- died from the unhealthy climate. When a phlef professed Christianity all his people followed him. He did not say they were all Christians, any more than that those who attended the English Church were all Christians, bub he believed that very many of them were saved from their sins, and had given ample testimony of their change of heart by their consistent lives. But It was when a olan s» profesifed that the real work began, when the^mlsstonarlea were permitted to teach their religion amopg them. Though they went by the name they were really no ohlefs, There was no one to protect the. missionary, and eaoh man did as he liked, and that was generally wrong. Bat a great ohange had come over the past, although the mission had only been established 13 years. It had been found -best to get hold of the young. The learning of so many different languages mtde it very trying, as the strain on the mind m snoh a warm country,- only 240 miles from tbe equator, was very great. There were now 600 baptised members. When Mi Brown left there were only 50. Two hundred were on trial, and 400 belonged to various olaiiei, There Wl< m, ftUtQdftnot it thi Bun4i*

Bobjpol of 1400 scholars, and 5000 natives attended religious servloes. Sixty young men were engage! ' n teaching the same as Daniel. The y.-uog were very apt to learn, and their qt. -knesi at arithmetic was astonishing Mr llooney then gave an aooount of how h», a missionary meeting m Melbourne, wheu only a boy he was aroused to devote hla life, if be got the ohance, to the welfare of the Paoifio Islanders, and how three yeara later, while a youth, he went to Fiji, where he labou ed for 15 years and where now 100,000 people had embraced Christianity, and where not cneman would ai the present time own he was heathen. When be first tat his foot on Duke of York Island, they could see from the verandah of the house the smoke of burning villages on the malnlaad, where natives were engaged m warfare, »nd hear the beating of the cannibal drum, showing that human bodies were about to ba sacrificed, as the drum never beats unlesa such were the case. Now all that was changed, and for «ix yeara no oase of cannibalism had been known. Now the / native converts lived consistent lives, , wblob would put to shame many ChrUtiane, and they would give a reason for the hope that was lv them

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THE NEW BRITAIN MISSION Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2111, 16 April 1889

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