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The Cruise of the Mary Rose Here and There in the Pacific   By: (1814-1880)

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The Cruise of the Mary Rose, or Here and There in the Pacific, by William H G Kingston.

This book is very largely about the work of Christian missionaries in the Pacific. There is a thin plot, but otherwise we are treated to lengthy texts extracted from the reports of various missionaries, and of Naval officers who had visited the area.

The book is dressed up with a cover and a title that makes it look like a boy's adventure story from the second half of the nineteenth century. I imagine that many a kindly old aunt, searching for a Christmas present for a favourite nephew, will have bought a copy, and been surprised when the "thank you" letter didn't seem as effusive as she expected. But don't let me stop you reading it if you are interested in the work of these brave missionaries.

Kingston is generally quite pious in his writings, so you can imagine how pious he is when trying to out missionary the missionaries.

Some of their more nauseous habits of their "clients" are described, such as eating your enemy when you have killed him.




My family had for centuries owned the same estate, handed down from father to son undiminished in size, and much increased in value. I believe there had been among them in past generations those who feared the Lord. I know that my father was a man of true piety. "Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you," was his favourite motto. What a world of doubt and anxiety, of plotting, and contriving, and scheming, does this trust in God save those who possess it. On this blessed assurance my father took his stand in all the difficulties of life. It never failed him, and so we his sons had a good training and a godly example.

The younger members of each generation followed various honourable professions, but they failed to rise to high rank in them, owing, I fancy, to a want of worldly ambition the general characteristic of our race. Altogether, however, I believe them to have been a simple minded, upright, clear sighted set of people, who did whatever their hands found to do honestly and with all their might. Such people ought to rise, it may be said. So they do, but not to what the world calls the summit. They generally rise to a position of independence, where they may enjoy fair scope for the exercise of their mental and spiritual faculties. There they are content to remain, for a time. This world is not their rest. Another world opens to their view. In that they see the goal at which they aim. There is the golden crown. Why then be distracted by the glittering baubles which are held up to draw their attention from the real jewel the gem without price? I am happy in the belief that such was the reason that my ancestors did not become men of much worldly note.

The occupant of the family estate had always attended to its cultivation, and was properly called a gentleman farmer. Unostentatious and frugal, he never lacked means, in spite of bad harvests or unexpected losses, to assist the younger members of the family in starting in life, or to help forward any good cause which required aid.

My father, Paul Harvey, was a perfect type of the family so was my elder brother, his namesake. John came next; a daughter followed; I was his fourth child. He kept up a good old custom never broken through from any excuse. An hour before bed time his children and the whole household assembled in the sitting room, when he read and explained a chapter in the Bible. A hymn was sung, and prayers full of fervour were offered up to the throne of grace. After this a simple supper was placed on the table, and we were encouraged to speak on the events of the day, or on what we had read or thought of... Continue reading book >>

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