Nhsc-v1-243

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nhsc-v1-243

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died in 1818, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions sent the First Company instead, men like Hiram Bingham, Asa Thurston, and Elisha Loomis. He was converted completely to Christianity and by the time of death had mastered English and Latin, common arithmetic, geometry, and was learning Hebrew. Because of the strength and fervor of 'Opukahaia's determination to bring Christianity to Hawaii, the mission felt obliged to undertake forming the First Company and sent it out in 'Opukahaia's place. One of 'Opukahaia's letters frames this frustrated commitment:

I hope the Lord will send the Gospel to the Heathen land where the words of the Savior never yet had been. Poor people worship the wood, and stone, and shark, and almost everything [as] their gods; the Bible is not there, and heaven and hell they do not know about it. I yet in this country and no father and no mother. But God is friend if I will do his will, and not my own will. 9/

David Malo, born in 1793, commenced his studies for Christian ministry at 30 years of age. He spent the previous 30 years immersed in ancient culture preparing for the priesthood. Converted in 1823 in Lahaina, he began writing the Mo'olelo Hawaii (Hawaiian Antiquities), a historical description of ancient mores, after 1831, in the company of other illustrious Hawaiian peers at Lahainaluna Seminary. Before his death in 1853, Malo finished other writings that have been lost. Had he not written the Mo'olelo Hawaii, all that has been included about ancient religion in this Report would never have been available. Although converted, Malo still accepted the task of writing about the past he had come to reject.

Malo cannot be fully appreciated, however, by reading his written work without assessing his lifetime as a period of immense cultural upheaval:

1) The conquest of Oahu by Kamehameha in 1795 (Malo was two years old);
2) The ceding of Kaua'i to Kamehameha by Kaumuali'i in 1810 (Malo was seventeen);
3) The death of Kamehameha I in 1819 and overthrow of the kapu system in the same year (Malo was twenty-six);
4) The arrival of the First Company of American missionaries in 1820 (Malo was twenty-seven);
5) The conversion of Malo at Lahaina in 1823 (Malo was thirty); William Ellis arrived in Hawaii with Tahitian converts who spoke fluent English;
6) Malo entered Lahainaluna Seminary in 1831 (he was thirty-eight when he commenced his studies); 10/ [See footnote for explanation of curriculum at Lahainaluna Seminary.]
7) The first printing press at Lahainaluna Seminary published the first Hawaiian language newspaper, Ka Lama Hawai'i (The Hawaiian Torch) in 1834 (Malo was forty-one);
8) The Hawaiian Magna Carta, or Declaration of Rights, was promulgated by Kamehameha III in 1839 (Malo was forty-six);
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