M’ARTHUR ON HAWAII.
Kalakaua and Liliuokalani Responsible for Heathenism.
CONVERTS AMONG THE NATIVES.
Great Hopes for the Hawaiians Now that They Are in the Enjoyment of a Pure and Free Government—Officers of State are Especially Praised.
NEW YORK, Dec. 2.—The Rev. Robert Stewart McArthur delivered a sermon in the Calvary Baptist church last night on “The Responsibility of Kalakaua and Liliuokalani.”
After referring to the characteristics of the Hawaiians he quoted figures to show the falling off in the number of Christian converts among the natives since the reign of Kamehameha V, who removed all restraint from the Hula masters and Kahuna influence and thereby sided the spread of idolatry.
From 1838, when missionaries first visited the islands, to 1848, 27,000 converts to Christianity were made. Twenty thousand more converts joined the Christian standard within the next twenty years. In 1888 there were only 5235 converts among the natives of the islands, and within the next three or four years the number was still further decreased. This alarming falling off was not to be ascribed to the large decrease in the native population.
Among the causes which the preacher held responsible for the reaction in the spread of Christianity in the islands was the rise of the Kahuna and Hula masters. The former is a form of superstitious worship and the latter a kind of priest who favored the practice of idolatrous ceremonies. The worst forms of heathenism were revived under Kalakaua, who formed the Hale Naua Society.
Liliuokalani, who succeeded her brother Kalakaua, was little better than he.
Dr. McArthur said he had great hopes for the Hawaiians now that they were in the enjoyment of a pure and free government. He eulogized the officers of state, who are administering the affairs of the people.
“They are good Christian men,” he claimed, “and their government is the purest in the world today.”
(Pacific Commercial Advertiser, 12/11/1895, p. 1)