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seeing Puaaiki lying in this pitiable situation, was touched with Christian compassion, and spoke to him of the great and good Physician, who alone could heal his maladies and restore his sight. Puaaiki seemed to rouse up on hearing tidings of so unwonted a character, and he eagerly inquired, 'What is that V On being again directed to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Physician of souls, he said at once that he would go and hear of him."
As soon as he was able to crawl out of the house, he accompanied Honolii to the place of worship, and heard for the first time the glad tidings of great joy to all people, that the Son of Man had come to seek and to save that which was lost. Nor did he listen in vain; for the Lord, who had shined out of darkness, opened the spiritual eyesight and heart of this blind buffoon, to receive the truth in the love thereof.
The change wrought in him by the Spirit of God soon became known, his connection with the chiefs being one means of making it public. For, soon after the period of his hopeful conversion, the chiefs, having a drunken carousal, sent for Puaaiki to practise the licentious hula, as formerly, for their diversion. The answer returned was, "That he had done with the service of sin and Satan, and that henceforth he should serve the King of Heaven."
Though derided, it does not appear that he was opposed in any way, or prevented from seeking instruction; and some of the chiefs themselves, for whom he had made sport, soon after became kindly disposed CHANGE FROM THE HEATHEN TO CHRISTIAN. 131
to the new religion, and all of them, at length, friendly to the Mission.
In the early Journal of the Mission, we find it said of this blind refugee from Paganism, ""Ko one has manifested more childlike simplicity and meekness of heart—no one appears more uniformly humble, devout, pure, and upright. He is always at the house of God, and there, ever at the preacher's feet. If he happens to be approaching our habitations at the time of family worship, which has been very frequently the case, the first note of praise, or word of prayer, which meets his ear, produces an immediate and most observable change in his whole aspect.
"An expression of deep devotion at once overspreads his sightless countenance, while he hastens to prostrate himself in some corner in an attitude of reverence. Indeed, so peculiar has the expression of his countenance sometimes been, both in public and domestic worship, especially when he has been joining in a hymn in his own language to the praise of the only true God and Saviour—an expression so indicative of peace and elevated enjoyment—that tears have involuntarily started in our eyes at the persuasion that, ignorant and degraded as he once has been, he was then offering the sacrifice of a contrite heart, and was experiencing a rich foretaste of that joy which in the world to come will rise immeasurably high.
"He is poor and despised in his person, small almost to deformity; and in his countenance, from the loss of sight, not prepossessing. Still, in our judgment, he bears on him the image and superscription of Christ; and if so, how striking an example of the truth of the Apostle's declaration: God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen; yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are; that no flesh should glory in his presence /"
After a suitable probation, and satisfaction given to the missionaries of his preparedness, Bartimeus was received into the church, along with one other, a female. The following is Mr. Richards' record of the examination undergone by this blind Hawaiian, at the time of his admission:
Question. Why do you request to be received into the church?
Answer. Because I love Jesus Christ, and I love yon, and I desire to dwell with you in the fold of Christ, and to join with you in eating the holy bread, and drinking the holy wine.
Q. What is the holy bread?
Ans. It is the body of Christ, which he gave to save sinners.
Q. Do we, then, eat the body of Christ i Ans. No, but we eat the bread which means his body; and as we eat bread that our bodies may not EXAMINATION FOR THE CHURCH. 133
die, so our souls love Jesus Christ, and receive him for their Saviour, that they may not die. Q. What is the holy wine 2
Ans. It is the blood of Christ, which he poured out on Calvary, in Jerusalem, in the land of Judea, to save is sinners.
Q. Do we, then, drink the blood of Christ?
Ans. No, but the wine means his blood, just as the holy bread means his body; and all those who go to Christ, and lean on him, will have their sins washed away in his blood, and their souls saved forever in heaven.
Q. Why do you think it is more suitable that you should join the church than others?
Ans. Perhaps it is not, (hesitating.) If it is not proper, you must tell me. But I do greatl^desire to dwell with you in the fold of Christ. (Here he wiped his blind eyes.)
Q. Who do you think are the proper persons to be received to the church?
Ans. Those who have repented of their sins, and obtained new hearts.
Q. What is a new heart?
Ans. It is one that loves God, and loves the Word of God, and does not love sin, or sinful ways.
Q. Do you think you have obtained a new heart?
Ans. At one time I think I have; and' then I think again, and think I have not. I do not know. God knows. I hope I have a new heart.
Q. What makes you hope that you have a new heart \
Ans. This is the reason why I hope I have a new heart. The heart I have now is not like the heart I formerly had. The heart I have now is very bad. It is unbelieving, and inclined to evil. But it is not like the one I formerly had. Yes, I think I have a new heart.
These questions were said to be all new to him, and answered from his own knowledge, without ever having committed any catechism.
Once in the church, this blind Bartimeus continued to grow in knowledge, grace, and usefulness. He became a true yoke-fellow with the missionaries, learning constantly at their lips, and communicating what he learned to the people.
In the year 1829, we find it said of him, that he was beginning to recover his eyesight a little, and was making a painful effort to learn to read. A missionary's wife at Hilo in 1830, where Bartimeus then lived as a Christian laborer, collected a few children and taught them the elements of reading. Bartimeus at once applied for admission to the class, but was discouraged on the ground of his blindness, and that the school was merely for children. His reply was, that he was a child, and must insist upon attending. And, by literally digging, as it was said—for he was so dim of sight that he used to bury his face in his book—he became able to make out a verse in the Bible.