Tongan Version

Tongan Version The Tonga dialect, belonging to the Polynesian or Malayan languages, is spoken in, Tonga, or Tongataboo, the largest of the Friendly Islands. In 1850 it was estimated to contain 9000 inhabitants, of whom considerably more than half bad been converted to Christianity, the Protestants among them numbering, 5000. As early as 1797 the London Missionary Society had sent nine missionaries to that island, but they had; to give up that station on account of the ferocious disposition of the natives. The agents of the Wesleyan; Missionary Society were at length enabled in 1826, to settle peaceably in Tonga, and they now extend the blessings of Christian instruction to all the islands of this archipelago. At first only detached portions of Scriptures were translated into Tongan, until, in. theyear 1847, the version of the New Test. was completed, and an edition of 4000 copies left the mission press at Vavau. A new edition, consisting of 10,000 copies, was furnished in 1852 by the British and Foreign Bible Society; and, owing to the rapid circulation, of this edition, another of 10,000 copies was undertaken in 1860, under the editorial care of the Rev; Thomas West. In the same year the preparation for translating, printing, etc., of the Old Testament was commenced, which was completed in 1863. As to the results of the dissemination of the Word of God, we may notice that up to March 31, 1889, 35,276 copies, either in part or in whole, were circulated. (B. P.)

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