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Vailima Prayers & Sabbath Morn - Robert Louis Stevenson

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Prayers Written At Vailima by Robert Louis Stevenson

INTRODUCTION



In every Samoan household the day is closed with prayer and the 
singing of hymns.  The omission of this sacred duty would indicate, 
not only a lack of religious training in the house chief, but a 
shameless disregard of all that is reputable in Samoan social life.  
No doubt, to many, the evening service is no more than a duty 
fulfilled.  The child who says his prayer at his mother's knee can 
have no real conception of the meaning of the words he lisps so 
readily, yet he goes to his little bed with a sense of heavenly 
protection that he would miss were the prayer forgotten.  The 
average Samoan is but a larger child in most things, and would lay 
an uneasy head on his wooden pillow if he had not joined, even 
perfunctorily, in the evening service.  With my husband, prayer, 
the direct appeal, was a necessity.  When he was happy he felt 
impelled to offer thanks for that undeserved joy; when in sorrow, 
or pain, to call for strength to bear what must be borne.

Vailima lay up some three miles of continual rise from Apia, and 
more than half that distance from the nearest village.  It was a 
long way for a tired man to walk down every evening with the sole 
purpose of joining in family worship; and the road through the bush 
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