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Title: Account of Kaohumu.
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Title: Account of Kaohumu.
Series Title: Account of Kaohumu.
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Language: English
Publisher: The Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication: London
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Full Text





ACCOUNT




KAO HUM Ts


LrONj ri':i N:
Tn L fRA r T t- I C' r ;
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ACCOUNT OF KAOHUMU,
A FAITHFUL SERVANT OF THE AMERICAN MIS-
SIONARIES IN TNE SANDWICH ISLANDS, WHO
DIED SEPT. 23, 1832.

FAITHFUL domestics in any country
are of great value; and those who
are under the necessity of employing
them, know that they are rarely to
be found. This is most emphatically
true at the Sandwich Islands. There
is no word in the language to desig-
nate the quality of faithfulness; for
that virtue is so rarely seen or known,
that there has scarcely been an oppor-
tunity to give a name to it. Kaohumu,
however, did possess it; and in a
degree which would have qualified
him for a station of the highest trust.
Kaohumu was born in the year
1807, at Honolulu, on the island of




2 ACCOUNT OF KAOHUMU.
Oahu. The lad ran into the common
vices of the people, and would soon
have involved himself in ruin, had it
not been for the redeeming influence
of the gospel, which directs the sinner
to believe in Christ, as the only way
of escape from sin and its awful con-
sequences. It was not until seve-
ral years after the establishment of
the mission, that he was brought
under the influence of instruction;
but as soon as he began to attend
school, he made rapid proficiency;
and was soon not only able to read,
out also to write to his friends.
In 1828, he married a native fe-
male, a domestic in the family of
Mr. Richards, the American mission-
ary, who says he was scarcely ever
known to be idle. Whenever he was
not employed in manual labour, he
had his book or slate in his hand,
and was often seen reading at ten or
eleven o'clock at night. A present





ACCOUNT OF KAOHUMU. 3
of a book always appeared much
more acceptable to him than a pre-
sent of any article of dress.
He uniformly conducted morning
and evening prayers with his wife
and those who resided in the same
house; and it was often a severe
trial to him that the other members
of the family took so little interest in
this religious duty. They now tell
us, and some of them with tears in
their eyes, that they often continued
lying on their mats while he was at
prayer, though he never failed to ex-
postulate: they sometimes returned
provoking answers, but his temper
always remained unruffled.
Special exertions were sometimes
made to lead him away by tempta-
tions; but he always stood firm, even
in those circumstances where the na-
tives generally are most likely to fall.
Some striking examples of this have




4 ACCOUNT OF KAOIIUMU.
come to our knowledge, which we
t.uk afford abundant evidence that
ne was actuated by true Christian
principles. He often counselled his
wife, and other members of the fa-
mily, to be diligent in learning to
read the Scriptures; and they say,
that nothing grieved him so much as
to hear them or others speak lightly
of us or our instructions. Only a few
days before he died, one of our do-
mestics was called to do a piece of
work; but not answering, was called
the second time. The boy said, in a
low voice, "He need not call again;
I will go when I have a mind to it."
Kaohumu said to the lad, What a
hard heart you have! What unkind-
ness to our teacher! What has he
done to you that you should make
such an answer? He has brought
us righteousness and salvation ; and
now, when he speaks, you answer




ACCOUNT OF KAOHUMU. 5
back again. Don't let us treat our
teacher so. Let us be quick 0o io
whatever he requests, and then listen
to his instructions."
This spirit of kindness in his feel-
ings was always manifest. Mr. and
Mrs. Richards recollect no instance,
during all the last three years of his
life, in which they had the slightest
occasion to reprove him for any mis-
demeanour or unfaithfulness. The
kindness of his disposition was most
strikingly described in a question put
by one of Mr. Richards's children, a
day or two after his death: the
child came to his mother, and said,
" Mamma, what made Kaohumu al-
ways smile so when we wished h:r
to do any thing for us ? Some of the
natives are very angry when thev
have any thing to do; and when they
speak to us, speak in an angry man-
ner; but when we desired any thing





6 ,ACCOUNT OF KAOHUMU.
of Kaohumu, he always smiled, and
ran very quick to get it for us."
The children loved him so, that the
night after his burial, when they fully
realized that he was gone, they wept
themselves to sleep.
Another thing for which he was
remarkable was, the general neatness
of his appearance, while, at the same
time, he exhibited the opposite of
vanity and pride. He never sought
to adorn his person, though he was
especially cautious never to appear
indecent. He manifested a real dis-
gust at the foppishness of many, who
seem to wear clothing only to show
it, and would rarely accept any ar-
ticle of clothing that had a showy
appearance, but always such as would
be least likely to attract attention.
This characteristic was particularly
noticeable, as it so much distin-
guished him from the common na-




ACCOUNT OF KAOHUMU. 7
tives; and we could not but admire
Kaohumu's modest appearance. But
his real views on the subject of dress,
and the principle by which he was
actuated, we did not learn till after
his death.
At those seasons of the year when
ships frequent this place, the market
is usually thronged with a multitude
of unprincipled natives, many of
whom have no business, having no-
thing to sell, and no means of pur-
chasing what they need: they go
to loiter away their time, and see
what is exposed for sale. Kaohu-
mu frequently said to his wife and
others around him, Don't go to
that place of temptation. The eye
sees, and then it desires; and that is
the way that evil comes. You will
not find salvation at the market.
The way to heaven is not a way of
trade." On being solicited to join




8 ACCOUNT OF KAOHUMU.
some other young men in trading
speculations, he replied, I am afraid
I shall sell my soul." One of the
company said to him, You have not
many clothes, and what you have are
not handsome, and it would be well for
you to buy some more; and there is
no harm in speculating, so as to get
a few clothes." Kaohumu answered,
" My skin is covered, and I am suf-
ficiently warm: what do I need
more? I do not wish to give my
thoughts to that subject. I am afraid,
if I go with you, my soul will suffer
for it. I cannot go." In one in-
stance, one of his relations offered to
make him a present of an elegant
mantle: he said, I cannot accept
it. It will only cover my body, and
I do not need it there, and it cannot
hide my sins; and moreover, when
I go away, 1 cannot carry it with me."
He was still urged to accept it, but




ACCOUNT OF KAOHUMU. 9
he replied again, My mind is not
there; I have no fear respecting my
body; all my thoughts are turned
towards my soul; that is the thing
which will live for ever; but my
body, and my clothes too, must all
rot in the dust; and if I can only
obtain that which will give my soul
acceptance with God, that is all my
desire. But your mantle does not
fit such a sinner as I am. I have
always seen that those who give their
minds and thoughts to clothing for
the body, are a company who do not
regard the right ways of the Lord;
and I therefore do not mean myself
to be ensnared by such earthly things.
What my teacher sees I need, he
gives me; and what I wish is, to per-
form faithfully the work which he
assigns me, so that I may have his
approbation, and hear his instruc..
tions. There is nothing that I prize




10 ACCOUNT- OF KAOHUMU.
as I do the word of God, and I can-
read that better without your nice
mantle than I can with it."
He was very attentive to his mother
and to his half-sisters, and anxious
for their spiritual welfare.
During the sickness of Mr. Rich-
ards, Kaohumu manifested a great
degree of feeling and affection. It
was always pleasant to see him come
into the room. It seemed a pleasure
to him to watch by the sick-bed of
his teacher; and his tenderness and
care at that season of trial, greatly
endeared him to the family. He
never acknowledged himself to be
weary while any thing remained to
be done, and never appeared impa-
tient at the most frequent calls. But
he was so reserved, that what was
t'en passing in his mind we did not
know. We have since ascertained,
that one reason why he wished to be





ACCOUNT OF KAOHUMU. 11
in the room was, that he wished to
watch the appearance, and know the
feelings of his teacher while in great
distress of body, and, as was sup-
posed by all the natives, near his end.
This was the great subject of conver-
sation with his wife at that time.
When we heard of this, we most
strongly felt the importance of the
Christian, and more especially the
Christian missionary, exhibiting pa-
tience under suffering, and at least a
calm and peaceful resignation in view
of death. We were very sensibly
reminded that these graces can be
far more impressively taught by ex-
ample than by sermons; and, indeed,
all the instructions which we may
give on these subjects may be worse
than lost, if not supported by our own
example. This is new evidence that
missionaries are closely watched, and
that, too, when least aware of it.




12 ACCOUNT OF KAOHUMU.
While Kaohumu's mind was so much
on this subject, he called to see an
old foreign resident, who was sick
and near his end : the impatience
which he exhibited under his suffer-
ings, his constant fretfulness, and his
horror as death approached, made a
most powerful impression on the
mind of Kaohumu. When he re-
turned, he remarked to his wife, I
cannot go to that place again. Oh
what a death is his! There is the
end of a life of sin. My desire is to
die as the righteous do : his death is
a death of ease and comfort."
It is very evident that death was a
subject quite familiar to his mind;
for it was one to which he often re-
ferred in his conversations with his
friends. It appears evident, also,
that he was growing more and more
familiar with it, that he deeply felt that
life was short, and that he had not,a




ACCOUNT OF KAOIIUMU. 13
moment of time to lose. He im-
proved his time accordingly, and it
is not known that, during the last
few weeks of his life, he wasted a
single hour.
About the 15th of September, he
complained of a slight pain in his
ear; being, as he supposed, occa-
sioned by water which got into his
ear while bathing in the sea. A little
cotton wool dipped in laudanum was
prescribed; and nothing more was
said about it until the 19th, when he
came with a heavy countenance to
Mr. Richards, and said, "What, sir,
shall be done ? for my ear is so pain-
ful that I cannot do any work." He
was immediately advised to go to
bed, and the best remedies in our
power were prescribed. In the after-
noon, he learned that the man who
had been doing his work had not
been faithful: he rose immediately,




14 ACCOUNT OF KAOHUMU.
without the knowledge of any one,
except his wife, and said to her, as
he was going from the house, Oh,
how badly my work is done! Great
pity for it !" He did not return until
evening, nor until he saw that his
work was well done. We should have
mentioned, that on the 18th, as he
came in from work, he said to his
wife, What can be the matter with
my ear? it pains me greatly." She
replied, Why, then, do you continue
to work? Go and lie down until it
is better." He exclaimed, Is that
your thought? Do you think I wish
to spare my body? No, my body I
do not prize. For a long time I have
considered my body of little value. I
only wish to attend carefully to the
work which is given me to do, so
that I may be found a good servant.
This is the only way I can reward my
teacher for all his kindness to me.




ACCOUNT OF KAOHUMU. 15
And, besides, what is my body? I
do not think much of that; 1 only
wish that my soul may live; and then
I shall be blessed, whatever becomes
of my body."
After he returned from his work on
the 19th, his ear grew more painful,
though no one knew it except his
wife; but, notwithstanding the seve-
rity of the pain, he took his Testa-
ment, and, while he held that in one
hand, he kept the other at his ear, and
thus he read till we were all asleep.
His wife remonstrated with him, but
he answered much as he did respect-
ing the work the night before: Do
you think I shall let the word of God
alone out of regard to my body ? No,
it is from this I expect salvation;
and, besides, while I read it, I forget
my pain."
And well might he read, for it was
the last time When morning came,





16 ACCoUNT OF KAOHUMU.
reason fled for ever! He continued
until Sunday evening, the 23rd, and
then breathed his last. It was well
for him that he improved time while
he had it; for the first warning of
his approaching end was from the
fact that his mind wandered; and a
death-like stupor settled on him, from
which he never awoke.
His death, we trust, has been
sanctified to several of his relations.
His mother and both his sisters ex-
hibit a seriousness which leads us to
hope they are not far from the king-
dom of God. His wife, since his
death, has been the most striking
example which we have witnessed of
strong conviction of sin. The other
natives in our family were deeply
affected by his death ; and we think
that most of them are striving in some
degree to imitate his example.


Rood & Pardon, Printers, Paternoster Rov.




wIC


A OARDEN contempltion suits,
And may instruction yield,
Sweeter than all the flow'rs and fruits
With which the spot is 1U'd.

Eden was Adam's dwelling-place,
While bleat with innocence;
But sin o'erwhelm'd him with dir-
grace.
And drove the rebel thence.

Th, garden of Gethhemane
The second Adam saw,
J Oppress'd with woe, he set ua free
From the avenging law.




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