On the 29th of June, 1823, the Sabbath morning dawned upon the missionaries at Kailua under circumstances unusually animating, and they prepared to spend this holy day in extending, their labors among the people around them. Mr. Bishop and Thomas Hopu proceeded early in the morning to Kaavaroa, a village about fourteen miles distant, on the north side of Karakakooa, (Kealakekua) where they arrived at 11 A.M. Kamakau, chief of the place, received them with many expressions of gladness, led them to his house, and provided some refreshments; after which, they walked together to a Heiau, (house of cocoa-nut leaves,) which he had some time ago erected for the public worship of Jehovah. Here they found about a hundred of his people assembled, and waiting their arrival. Mr. Bishop, with the aid of Thomas, preached to them from John iii. 16., and endeavored in the most Towards the latter part of the discourse, the preacher was interrupted by Kamakau, who, anxious that his people might receive the greatest possible benefit by the word spoken, began earnestly to exhort them to listen and regard, telling them, their salvation depended on their attention to the truths which they heard. After the service was concluded, he again addressed them, affectionately recommending them to consider these things. Kamakau wished them to meet with the people again, but as the day was far spent, they thought it best to return. He then told them, that after their departure he should assemble his people, and repeat to them what they had heard. He asked many questions on religious subjects, several respecting the heavenly state; and appeared interested in the answers that were given; especially when informed that heaven was a holy place, into which nothing sinful could enter. familiar manner to set before them the great love of God in sending his Son to die for sinners, and the necessity of forsaking sin, and believing on him, in order to eternal life.
Kamakau is a chief of considerable rank and influence in Hawaii, though not immediately connected with any of the reigning family. He is cousin to Naihe, the friend and companion of Kamehameha, and the principal national orator of the Sandwich Islands. His person, like that of the chiefs in general, is noble and engaging. He is about six feet high, stout, well-proportioned, and more intelligent and enterprising than the people around him. For some time past he has established family worship in his house, and the observance of the Sabbath throughout his district; having erected a place for the public worship of the true God, in which, every Lord’s Day, he assembles his people for the purpose of exhortation and prayer, which he conducts himself. He is able to read, writes an easy and legible hand, has a general knowledge of the first principles of Christianity, and, what is infinitely better, appears to feel their power on his heart, and evince, their purity in his general conduct. He appears, indeed, a modern Cornelius, and is a striking manifestation of the sovereignty of that grace of which we trust he has been made a partaker; and we rejoice in the pleasing hope that He who has “begun a good work, will perform it until the day of Christ.” (Ellis)
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(These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)