Tar. Main object of this volume is to throw light on the introduction of Christianity and civilization into the islands of the South Sea. From the moment that Wallis discovered the beautiful group which bears the name of George the Third, many schemes were form ed for bettering the condition of the natives, who, at their first interview with Britons, though they saw much to excite their wonder, could receive no favour able impression as to the obligations of morality on the cultivated mind. It was not, however, till a la ter period that any plan was matured for conveying thither the knowledge of true religion and the ele ments of social improvement. Mercantile specula tion had, indeed, been invited to the shores of Otaheite in quest of materials on which to found an intercourse beneficial to the inhabitants of both hemispheres; and Science had selected the spot as a theatre for her tri umphs in the sublime department of astronomy. But the year 1796 had arrived before the benevolent spirit of the Gospel undertook a nobler mission, animated by the hope of establishing among the gentle savages of the Pacific the foundations of a pure faith and the motives to a holy life.
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