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that in which it must have been, had the population been altogether derived from the Malayan archipelago. Vol. II. pp. 50-52.
M. Malte Brun, referring to the hypothesis proposed by Meiners, that these islands belong to an ancient continent now buried in the sea,-remarks, that we might be disposed to adopt this supposition, were it not that, in explaining one difficulty, it gives birth to many new ones. New Holland, at all events, which is peopled entirely by a negro race, cannot have formed part of the submerged continent. It is, however, deserving of remark, that one of the prevailing traditions, mentioned by Mr. Ellis, states, that all the islands were formerly united in one ' fenua-nui or large continent, which the gods in anger de
stroyed, scattering in the ocean the fragments, of which Ta. ' hiti is one of the largest.' M. Malte Brun is inclined to adopt the conclusion, that their language, customs, and institutions
were formed in the bosom of an ancient empire, a powerful nation, and one which cultivated maritime habits, but which has since fallen from its eminence, and been frittered down into detached local communities unknown to each other. Mr. Ellis refers to this opinion in the following paragraph.
• From whatever source they have originated, the extent of geographical surface over which they have spread themselves, the variety, purity, and copiousness of their language, the ancient character of some of the best traditions, as of the deluge, &c. justify the supposition of their remote antiquity. Yet, their ignorance of letters, of the use of iron till a short time prior to their discovery, and the rude character of all their implements, and of the monuments of their ancestry, seem opposed to the idea of their having been derived, as supposed by some eminent modern geographers, from an antient powerful nation, which cultivated maritime habits, but which has been frittered down into detached local communities unknown to each other. Vol. II. p. 52.
Thus, every hypothesis is encumbered with difficulties; that, however, which would bring the tribes of Polynesia from America, seems to us the most plausible, although we must suppose, in that case, that the stream of population described, like the currents of the Atlantic, a very singular circle,-flowing first north-eastward from the Sunda Islands towards the coasts of North America, then south-eastward till it reached Araucania, and lastly, westward across the Pacific. That the Indian islands received their population from the American continent, no one, we suppose, would be absurd enough to imagine. It would certainly be a less round-about way of accounting for the dispersion of these tribes over the Great Ocean, to suppose that they found the means of reaching, or were accidentally driven, to the Ladrones from the Philippine Islands, whence the widely extended groupe of the Caroline Islands might afford them an
easy transit to the Tonga Islands and other more distant clusters. But it seems that the currents and the trade-winds are against the supposition. Dr. Prichard, who lays down this more direct route for their migrations, remarks, that the natives of the Philippines and Ladrones are superior in many respects to those of the Society Islands; which circumstance he would ascribe to their being nearer the centre of Malayan civilization. To account, however, for the more distant tribes being the most rude, we must suppose the islands nearest to Asia, to have been peopled at a more advanced era of civilization; whereas the learned Writer is of opinion, that it must have been subsequently to the dispersion of the Polynesian tribes, that their brethren in the Indian archipelago began to improve by the importation of foreign arts. • The great step in this progress
was made,' he says, ' through the medium of the Javanese, who ' first became proselytes to the religion of the Brahmans, and ' received from India the arts and social culture of the continent. · The commerce and settlement of the Javanese extended these • advantages, more or less, to the neighbouring nations. The
limits and degree of its diffusion may be estimated by the cor* relative admixture of the Indian language with the native dia• lects. Lastly, the adoption of Islam, and of a more modern
style of manners by the Malays settled on the peninsula, and • the subsequent extension of the power of this people and of
their colonies in the Archipelago, changed the face of things, ' and gave origin to a third class of societies.'
Bishop Heber was struck with the features of strong resemblance which the plains of Bengal presented, in the aspect both of the country and the people, to Polynesia; and the natives of Ceylon appeared to him as still more closely resembling the South Sea Islanders. Whether the Bengalees and Singalese were originally Malay colonists, or whether Sumatra and Java received their population from Bengal, the fact of a close affinity between them, as well as an intercourse from the earliest times, is indisputable. And what is highly remarkable, among the traditions of the Polynesian tribes, there are some notións closely allied to the Hindoo cosmogony.
• In several respects,' says Mr. Ellis, 'the Polynesian account resembles not only the Mosaic, but those preserved by the earliest families of the postdiluvian world, and supports the presumption that their religious system has descended from the Arkite idolatry, the basis of the mythology of the gentile nations. The mundane egg is conspicuous in the cosmogony of some of the most ancient nations. One of the traditions of the Hawaiians states, that a bird deposited an egg (con
* Prichard's Physical Hist. of Mankind. Vol. ii. pp. 43, 44.
taining the world in embryo) upon the surface of the primeval waters. If the symbol of the egg be supposed to refer to the creation, and the bird is considered a corrupted memorial of the event recorded in the sacred writings, in which it is said, “ The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,” the coincidence is striking. It is no less so, if it be referred to the ark, floating on the waters of the deluge.
The sleep of Ruahatu accords with the slumber of Brama, which was the occasion of the crime that brought on the Hindoo deluge. The warning to flee, and the means of safety, resemble a tradition recorded by Kæmpfer, as existing among the Chinese. The canoe of the Polyne sian Noah has its counterpart in the traditions of their antipodes, the Druids, whose memorial states the bursting of the waters of the lake Lleon, and the overwhelming of the face of all lands, and drowning all mankind excepting two individuals, who escaped in a naked vessel, (a vessel without sails,) by whom the island of Britain was re-peopled. The safety which the progenitors of the Peruvian race are said to have found in caves or the summits of the mountains, when the waters overflowed the land, bears a resemblance to the Hawaiian; and that of the Mexican, in which Coxcox, or Tezpi and his wife, were preserved in a bark, corresponds with the Tahitian tradition. Other points of resemblance between the Polynesian account and the memorial of the deluge preserved among the ancient nations, might be cited; but these are sufficient to shew the agreement in the testimony to the same event, preserved by the most distant tribes of the human family.'
Vol. II. pp. 62, 63. The inhabitants of the Georgian, Society, and adjacent isles, comprehended, according to the ideas they entertained prior to the arrival of foreign vessels, the whole of the human race. They are said, however, to have preserved, by oral tradition, a singular prediction, delivered long ago by one of their prophets named Maui; viz. • That in future ages, a vaa ama ore, literally an outriggerless canoe, would arrive in the islands from some foreign land. - Accustomed to attach that appendage to their
single canoes, whatever might be the size or quality, they con• sidered an outrigger essential to their remaining upright upon 'the water, and consequently could not believe that a canoe * without one would live at sea. The arrival of Capt. Wallis's and Cook's vessels, when they recovered from their terror and astonishment, was regarded as the fulfilment of Maui's prophecy. When a boat or a vessel has been sailing in or out of the harbour, Mr. Ellis has often heard the natives exclaim, while gazing at the stately motion, Te vaa a Maui e! Ta vaa ama ore! Oh the canoe of Maui !--the outriggerless canoe! But a still more singular prediction, the islanders say, remains to be fulfilled; and according to the tenor of it, this Polynesian wizard must actually have dreamed of the arrival of an American steamer !
• This remaining prediction also has reference to a canoe, and de
clares that, after the arrival of the canoe without an outrigger, e vaa taura ore, a canoe or vessel without ropes or cordage, shall come among them. What idea Maui designed to convey by this declaration, it is perhaps not easy to ascertain; but the people say, it is next to imposšible that the masts should be sustained, the sails attached, or the vessel worked, without ropes or cordage. They say, however, that one prediction respecting the vessels has been accomplished, but that the other remains to be realized. I have often thought, when contemplating the little use of rigging on board our steam-vessels, that should a specimen of this modern invention ever reach the South Sea Islands, although the natives would not, perhaps, like the inhabitants of the banks of the Ganges, be ready to fall down and worship the wonderful exhibition of mechanical skill, they would be equally astonished at that power within itself by which it would be propelled, and would at once declare that the second prediction of Maui was accomplished, and the vessel without rigging or cordage had arrived. Vol. II. p. 56.
It would be easy to multiply amusing citations from Mr. Ellis's volumes, but it cannot be necessary. Those which we have taken, do not relate to topics of the highest interest; for we could not conveniently enter upon the wide subject of the history and prospects of the Mission, for a satisfactory exposition of which we refer our readers with pleasure to the work itself. A portrait of Pomare is prefixed to the first volume, and there are some pleasing views of Polynesian scenery, besides numerous wood engravings representing the Tahitian idols, altars, utensils, musical instruments, &c. The present edition of these volumes is, we are happy to find, already exhausted. In the next, Mr. Ellis will have it in his power to introduce some material improvements : at all events, an Index should be added. The Tour in Hawaii might eventually be incorporated with these volumes, with advantage, under the same title. All who possess that interesting volume, will of course wish to possess Mr. Ellis's present work, for which, in the name of the Christian public, we tender him our best thanks. It is a most instructive and valuable record.
Art. IV. Brief Memoir of the Jews, in Relation to their Civil and
Municipal Disabilities. By Apsley Pellatt. With an Appendix :
Price ls. London, 1829.
Jews to Palestine has excited so lively an interest in the minds of many pious and well-meaning members of the community, their actual condition in this country has been almost en
tirely overlooked? Although the best proof that could be given of a benevolent interest in their welfare, would be the endeavouring to promote their elevation to the common level of citizenship, by the repeal of those unjust laws or arbitrary customs which perpetuate their degradation. Seventy-six years have elapsed since a bill for the relief of the Jews from civil disabilities passed both houses of Parliament, and received the royal sanction, but was afterwards silently repealed, to satisfy the bigoted and fanatical clamours of the nation. On that occasion, the Rev. Mr. Romaine signalised himself by a zeal that was certainly not according to knowledge, nor at all consonant with the spirit of Christianity. That pious but narrow-minded and eccentric man went so far as to oppose their naturalization under any circumstances, on much the same grounds that were taken, in the middle ages, for consigning them to the stake or mulcting them of their property. * The Jews', he said, 'murdered • Christ, and would murder us if they had power; they blasphemed Christ and his religion, so that they are murderers and blasphemers convict. And who ever heard of a natural
born murderer or a natural born blasphemer?' He argued, that their oath could not be binding, for they worshipped a false God; and charged them with ‘frequently crucifying Christian
children on Good Friday, in contempt and mockery of Christ's • crucifixion'. It is mortifying to think that such outrageous absurdities should have proceeded from a Protestant clergyman in the eighteenth century; and still more, that a vulgar hue and cry thus raised, should have overborne the decision of the Legislature. Other persons prognosticated that, if the bill passed, the Jews would multiply so fast, engross so much wealth, and acquire such predominance in Great Britain, that Judaism would become the fashionable religion of the English!
That measure, which facilitated the naturalization of the Jews, was, at the time, the most liberal boon that could be bestowed, the greater part of the Jews then resident in England being foreigners. The case is now, however, Mr. Pellatt remarks, widely different. Of the 25,000 Jews domiciled in • Great Britain, the majority are British-born subjects, and do not require naturalization, they have therefore less to ask of the legislature, than of the City of London'.
The immediate object of Mr. Pellatt's pamphlet is to advocate the extension of municipal rights to native-born Jews. It seems that while in Bristol, Exeter, Liverpool, Norwich, and other great towns, Jews can trade freely without molestation; ir. London, they lie under the most invidious and annoying disabilities. Things are not carried quite so far, indeed, as they were formerly, when the Bank of England systematically refused to • discount a Jew's bill, and even rejected a bill with a Jewish