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Williams, though they only met for worship quietly in their own homes. The Tahitian teachers were the first who began to conduct public services, but their adherents were found to be numerically fewer than those of the Tongans.
Stress is laid on these details, because it was alleged by the London Mission that Messrs N. Turner and Cross had agreed with Mr Williams to devote their efforts to the Fijian group, and leave the Navigator's Isles to the London Mission. Messrs Turner and Cross, on the other hand, entirely repudiate any such compact, and state that the first they heard of it was when the London missionaries arrived in Samoa, where their agent was already established, in accordance with their promise to the friendly chiefs.
As neither party were inclined to yield, both missions continued to work simultaneously, each acknowledging the good work done by the other, yet regretting the division, which might so easily have been avoided. However, it has been a sacrifice of uniformity rather than of unity; and I suppose the Church militant must always be made up of divers regiments.
I believe the London Mission has at present seven congregational ministers in Samoa, and seventy-five native teachers. Their nominal adherents number about 30,000. The Australasian THE FAITH THAT WORKS.
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 tempera
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ment, 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.
NOTE ON ETU OB TOTEM WORSHIP.
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 the Indian tribes of America, that it is startling to recollect how large a place it held in the intricate mythology of so wise and learned a people as the ancient Egyptians, who not only excelled in all arts of peace and war, but seem to have mastered many of those mysteries of science which still perplex the learned men of the nineteenth century. Long ere the Greeks and Israelites had learnt their earliest lessons from the sages from Egypt, and while Borne was but a village of mud-huts, the banks of the Nile were graced with buildings, which, in their stately beauty, rivalled the marvels of Babel. Prominent among these was the temple of the sacred bull Mnevis. The patron god of Memphis was the golden bull Apis, to whom pure white bulls were sacrificed; while in his honour jet-black bulls were worshipped during life, and after death were embalmed, and preserved in sarcophagi of polished black
basalt. Only their bones were preserved, swathed in linen, and tied up so as to resemble an animal lying down. A full-grown bull thus prepared was no bigger than a calf, while a calf was the size of a dog. Thirty-three of these sacred bull-mummies were found in the catacombs, each in its own sarcophagus.
Other catacombs were entirely devoted to the mummies of sacred dogs and cats, beetles and mice, hawks and ibis, each neatly strapped up in linen and sealed up in a red earthenware jar. These are found packed like the contents of some vast wine-cellar—tier behind tier, and in layers reaching to the roof of the catacombs, some of which are large caves, with endless ramifications; yet chamber after chamber of these vast storehouses are all alike closely packed with this vast multitude of mummy-jars, accumulated by countless generations of reverent worshippers.
Strangest of all these sepulchres of sacred creatures, are the crocodile mum my-pits, in which are stored a vast assemblage of crocodiles of all sizes, from the patriarch measuring twelve or fourteen feet in length, to the poor baby only five inches long, each wrapped up in palm-leaves. Thousands of these little demigods, about eighteen inches long, are tied together in bundles of eight or ten, and swathed in coarse cloth. True believers in the crocodileheaded god Savak, kept these creatures tame in a great crocodile city near the artificial lake Mceris, where they were fed with cake and roast meat, washed down by draughts of mulled wine; their fore-feet were adorned with golden bracelets, and their ears were pierced and enriched with precious gems. But the worshippers had to fight the battles of their gods against various irreverent neighbours, notably against the people of Elephantine, who, so far from worshipping the crocodile, considered it a dainty dish, to be eaten as often as it could be captured.
So well known to their contemporaries was this Egyptian reverence for certain birds, beasts, and insects, that on at least one occasion it proved a valuable aid to their foes, as when Cambyses captured a city, by forming a vanguard of all manner of animals—cats and dogs, bulls and goats — assured that one or other must be held sacred by the besieged; and so it proved, for the latter dared not throw a dart lest they should injure their "bleating gods."'
Each of these had their especial sacred city, where their precious remains were embalmed and their mummies stored. Dogs and ichneumons might indeed be buried in their own cities, but hawks and shrew-mice were generally conveyed to Buto, and ibises to Hermopolis. Onuphis was the city specially dedicated to the worship of the asp; but all manner of serpents were worshipped in gorgeous temples over the length and breadth of the land, and the reptiles were fed with flour and honey by their appointed priests, and their bodies eventually embalmed with all possible reverence. Cat-mummies were stored in the sacred city of Bubastis; goats at Mendes; wolves were preserved in pits near Sioux; while the ram, sacred to the sun, was worshipped at Thebes, the sun city.
The death of a cat was considered so dire a misfortune, that if a house were to take fire the Egyptians would let it burn to the ground, if only they could rescue the cats, which, however, had an awkward trick of jumping into the flames. Should one of these perish, all the inmates of the house shaved their eyebrows. Should a dog die, the head and beard were also shaved. Each species of animal had its appointed guardians to feed and tend them, the office being hereditary. A heavy fine attended any accident which befell these precious creatures; and should one perish through carelessness, the life of the keeper was for