Page:A Lady's Cruise in a French Man-of-War.djvu/168

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nominal adherents number about 30,000. The Australasian Wesleyan Mission has two white missionaries and one native minister. These superintend the work of 50 teachers and 85 local preachers. There are 47 chapels, with 1200 church members, and congregations numbering altogether about 5000.

The Roman Catholics number about 4000.

As has been the case throughout Polynesia, many of the new converts have become earnest missionaries; and not only have several Samoan teachers found their way to Fiji, but when in its turn the infant Church in that group determined to commence a mission among the savage races of New Britain, two Samoan teachers volunteered to accompany their Fijian brethren on this noble but dangerous enterprise. Others have gone to settle in the very uninviting Gilbert and Kingsmill groups, close to the equator, amongst hideous tribes of the lowest type, whose barren isles fail to yield any manner of crop; so that for lack of better diet, the unpalatable fruit of the pandanus, which in Samoa is only used for stringing into necklaces, is accounted an important item of food. For love of these poor souls these self-denying men give up their own most lovely homes, and bid a lifelong farewell to parents and kindred. Many a bitter scene has been enacted on these shores, when aged relatives, clinging to these dear ones with all the demonstrative love of the warm southern temperament, follow the mission-boat as it pushes off, and wade up to the shoulders, weeping and wailing for those who may never come back to them, and knowing full well how many have already fallen in the hard-fought battle. Certainly these Samoan teachers have given good proof of their zeal and willingness to endure hardship, as good soldiers of the Cross.


We are so much in the habit of considering this strange worship of representative animals, in connection with the simple superstitions of such utterly uncivilised races as these poor savages of the Pacific Isles, or