NEW SOUTH WALES
BURNS, PORTMAN STREET; HATCHARDS, PICCADILLY;
T. B. SHARPE, SKINNER STREET, SNOW HILL;
AND BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.
ADDRESSED TO THE LORD BISHOP OF AUSTRALIA.
Manéroo, January 1st, 1844.
In the month of September I furnished your Lordship with an account of my first tour through the Manéroo district, and of my proceedings up to that time. I have since been continually occupied in the same itinerancy, and my proceedings have been of exactly the same nature I then described. Having no residence, and consequently no home, I have been obliged to go from house to house; and during the whole time I have been in this district, I have not at any time been more than three days at once in the same place, except on one occasion, when I was confined for a week with a violent cold and sore throat at Dr. Robertson's. But although the fatigue has been excessive, and I have suffered many privations, and much inconvenience from this constant moving about, I have not regretted that I was in a measure compelled to it from want of a home, as I have thus been enabled more fully to [3/4] carry your Lordship's instructions literally into effect, in "searching out the people amidst their flocks and herds:" and have had better opportunities of fulfilling the duties of my ministry, having thus become acquainted with the inhabitants of every part of this wide district, both the proprietors of stock, and the labouring populations, shepherds and others; and I have endeavoured to impress upon all the unspeakable importance of those ministrations which my being sent amongst them was designed to supply. I have generally been everywhere gladly received, and my services thankfully acknowledged. After twice travelling the circuit of the district, and consulting the wishes and convenience of the inhabitants, I fixed on the different stations where I have had stated Sunday services at intervals of six weeks in each place; and which I intend, God willing, to continue, varying from the regular routine occasionally, in order to visit more remote and isolated places.
The following description will give your Lordship some idea of the extent and locality of Manéroo, and of the manner in which I am employed when making my rounds. On crossing the boundary of the county of Murray at Micalègo, where my district commences, the road runs due south, through downs of greater or less extent, having precipitous mountains on either hand, the Murrumbidgee River and ranges on the west, and a continuous branch of the sea-coast ranges on the east. Twenty miles from Micalègo, on the banks of the Murrumbidgee, is Mr. Bradley's head station, who is a very large proprietor [4/5] of stock in this district. Here I have occasionally Sunday service. Ten miles further south is Reid's Flat, where the country becomes more open, the mountains receding on either side, the ranges on the right trending westward towards the Australian Alps, or Snowy Mountains, and those on the left falling back towards the sea-coast. From Reid's Flat, where I believe the Government have had the site of a village surveyed, to be called by the aboriginal name Binj_ra, and where the Manéroo district properly commences, roads branch off in different directions. About six miles to the southwest, Mr. Lambie, the Commissioner of Crown Lands, resides; from him I have received much attention. Five miles south from Mr. Lambie's is the station of Mr. Dawson, with whom, I believe your Lordship is acquainted. Here I have Sunday service statedly every six weeks, and on the same day also at Mr. Ryrie's station about six miles to the north-west, who has a large establishment, most of whom gladly attend my ministry. On the following Sunday I attend at Mr. Brooks's, nine miles S.S.W. from Mr. Ryrie's; and here I have generally a large congregation, from twenty to thirty; Mr. Brooks being a large proprietor, and consequently employing a number of people, at the same time that he is most zealous in the cause, and very anxious for the permanent establishment of a clergyman in the district.
Eastward from Mr. Brooks's is Arable, the station of Mr. Buckley, with whom I have not yet become [5/6] acquainted, he having been residing at Twofold Bay since I came to the district. Ten miles south of Arable is Mafra, Mr. Boyd's head station, who possesses very large herds and a vast tract of country in this district. Paying occasional visit to his and other stations in the neighbourhood, I proceed to the eastern portion of the district, where I have stated services on three Sundays successively. On the first, at Dr. Robertson's station, changing it occasionally for Mr. Cunninghame's or Mr. Moore's three or six miles distant. On the second, at Mr. Boucher's, about eight miles N.N.W. from Dr. Robertson's, and taking in a large station four miles distant, lately belonging to Mr. J. T. Hughes.
On the third Sunday I attend at a place called Taylor's Flat, fourteen miles north-east from Dr. Robertson's. Here I have a very promising congregation, there being several small settlers in this neighbourhood, and a very gratifying anxiety amongst them for the ordinances of religion. On the road from Reid's Flat to the south-east the country is occupied for nearly twenty miles by Mr. Bradley's sheep-stations, where there are only solitary shepherds and hut-keepers. At fourteen miles is the Rock Flat Inn; but, except the family at the inn, there are not residents in the neighbourhood. Twelve miles further south-east is Nimittry Bale, where there are a number of Roman Catholic settlers. Six miles further there is another inn, kept by a Protestant; and as Mount Cooper, a large establishment of Mr. Campbell's of the Wharf, is [6/7] only seven miles distant, and there are a number of small settlers around, I intend occasionally having a Sunday service in this neighbourhood. Eight miles to the eastward of Nimittry Bale is a tract of country amongst the mountains, called Greenland, where there are a number of small settlers, whom I have visited; and here also I have been requested to have a Sunday service, which I intend to do occasionally. About sixteen miles south-west from Dr. Robertson's is another large tract of country, called Deligat, where Mr. Campbell and several other stockholders have stations; but most of the people are Roman Catholics, and there is no place in the neighbourhood where I could assemble more than the people of one station. However, I visit them occasionally. On the west and south the district is bounded by the Snowy River, a deep and rapid stream, very difficult to cross. Its course is among the Snowy Mountains, north and south, till, about ten miles to the southward of Mr. Brooks's, it turns east, and runs E.S.E. till near Deligat, when it turns west; and, forming a sort of peninsula, it again winds to the east, and falls into the sea, a few miles south-west of Cape Howe. Beyond this river there are stations in different directions, very isolated and difficult of access from the steep mountain ranges; to the south-west are the extensive districts of Omeo and Gipps Land. Port Albert, in the latter, is upwards of 300 miles from the Snowy River, Omeo about 120. I have been requested to visit the latter place, but I really know not how to find time for it; however, [7/8] I am looking out for some individual or party going that way who may act as my guide.
To the north-west from Mr. Lambie's, about thirty miles, is another extensive district, called Bollèro, enclosed by a range of the Snowy Mountains, and the Murrumbidgee ranges. Mr. F. Mitchell has a station here, at which his brother resides. It is about two days' journey from the Tumut River, on the other side of the mountains, about sixty or seventy miles. My district being of such extent, having so large, and at the same time such a scattered population, your Lordship may be sure that my time is fully occupied; and I have now to beg your Lordship's attention to the great inconvenience I labour under from having no residence. It is true I could not, were I not constantly travelling about, perform my duty efficiently. But still it would greatly lighten my difficulties, and greatly contribute to the comfort of my situation, had I a home to return to, were if only for a few days at one time, after going the circuit of my district, where I could enjoy a little relaxation, and find time for a little study, from which I am, in the present circumstances of my situation, almost entirely precluded. The effects of an itinerating ministry on the minds of the people are very desultory,--especially a people who have been shut out for years from participation of the means of grace, and who consequently have in a great measure become careless about them. Generally, they will give themselves no trouble about attending them when offered. As to its being [8/9] their duty, and their very great privilege in having the opportunity to do so, this they scarcely ever think of; and then, the recurring periods when these opportunities occur being so wide apart, tends to make them more careless. Thus they hear the word, indeed, but for the most part they are "hearers only;" it is so long before they hear it again, "they forget what manner of men they were." And it can hardly be otherwise among a population engaged in such pursuits, and so widely scattered, as that of this district. Still I know it is our duty to labour in hope, not doubting but that some of the seed of the divine word sown will fall upon ground prepared for it by the Spirit of God, and will not return to Him void. But I feel the effects of an itinerating mode of life to be very dissipating on the mind of a minister--that the difficulties in the way of his preserving his spirituality of mind are very great. In his case, there is not, apparently, the same necessity for that close and constant mental application, and spiritual exertion and watchfulness, which one must employ who labours among a stated and regular congregation; and therefore he is very apt to decline into spiritual sloth, and there is danger of his performing the duties of his high vocation in a routine and mechanical form; and much more so must this be the case when he has not opportunity of retirement for study, and he is cut off from all intercourse and communion with his brethren in the ministry. All this, I can assure your Lordship, I feel very much; and I think it [9/10] would tend, in some measure, to obviate the difficulties of my situation had I a residence here. My congregations consist, on an average, of from fifteen to twenty persons, sometimes more, sometimes less. The carelessness and ungodliness of the labouring classes is very awful. It is difficult to get them to attend divine service, when their occupation does not hinder them, especially if their masters are careless about it. Some, the shepherds, who must look after their flocks, are altogether precluded from attending. That class who are designated as "old hands," the convicts who have become free, or hold tickets of leave, are in a deplorable state; and even the immigrants who have been long in the Bush, without the means of grace, are nearly as bad. However, from what I hear and see, there is certainly some improvement taking place, to which the introduction of immigrant families greatly contributes; and there could scarcely have been a greater temporal good bestowed on the people themselves, and the colony at large, than the great reduction that has been made in the rates of labourers' wages. Ten years ago, I am told, there was not a single female in the district. Now, there are almost as many married men and single, and, I am happy to say, the sin of concubinage does not exist here--at least so far as I have been able to learn. The Commissioner of Crown Lands has the power of preventing any person of bad character from settling in the district; and Mr. Lambie has in many instances used his authority in cases of this [10/11] kind. The number of married people in the district is greatly on the increase, and this tends greatly to the amelioration of manners. Up to the present date I have baptized fifty-three children, a fact of itself sufficient to prove how greatly a clergyman was needed in the district. I am sorry to report that it is not practicable to establish schools for the children here; the people living so far apart that there is no locality where even a few children could be brought together. There are several single families who have got teachers for their children, in different places--men incapable of any other employment, and frequently very unfit for this. But I really see no remedy for it under present circumstances. Were their affairs prosperous, I am sure the settlers generally would contribute to the support of schools where their children might board and lodge.
I should have been glad if I could have fixed on places where the people might assemble, and to whom I could preach on week-days as well as Sundays, at some of the stations where I call, and am frequently obliged to stop for a night in my journeys, in addition to the places where I have stated Sunday services; but this, from the nature of the people's pursuits, I found to be impracticable; and the only plan I could adopt as a substitute, has been to assemble as many as could be got together in the evenings for family worship. I regret I cannot say that I have succeeded in persuading any masters, or heads of families, to continue this service in my absence; so lax, and dead to the spiritual [11/12] concerns of themselves and others have even those who have been at one time religiously disposed become from long disuse and absence of religious ordinances.
Trusting that my proceedings will meet with your Lordship's approbtion, I conclude this report, and remain,
Obedient faithful Servant,
EDD. GIFFORD PRYCE.
The Lord Bishop of Australia,
&c. &c. &c.
P.S. I forgot to mention that Twofold Bay lies south-east about forty-five miles from Taylor's Flat; and as Mr. Boyd has a number of people employed there, I purpose visiting that locality the first opportunity.
E. G. PRYCE.
I LEFT Brisbane at two o'clock in the afternoon, (attended by my servant, William Sutton,) to perform a clerical tour through the northern part of the extensive district which has been committed to my pastoral care.
We have two horses, and are properly equipped against heat, cold, and the attacks of the barbarous, and too often ferocious, aborigines. We have provisions for two days, at the end of which time we hope to reach the first station, which belongs to the Messrs. Archer, and is about sixty miles distant from Brisbane, in a northward direction. We rode fast till we arrived at the station of the German Missionaries, seven miles distant from Brisbane, in a north-easterly direction, where we hoped to meet one of the Messrs. Archer, and to enjoy his company thence to their station. We reached Lionshill by three o'clock; but Mr. Archer had departed some time before, leaving a request that, if we came in the course of the afternoon, we should be informed [15/16] that he intended to ride slowly, and would not proceed far that night. When we had procured from the Missionaries a tomahawk and a tinder-box, which we had forgotten to bring with us from Brisbane in the hurry of departure, we set off for the purpose of overtaking Mr. Archer, having had the road kindly pointed out by one of the Brethren of the mission. We rode over a very barren country for a distance of seven miles, when we were happy to come up with the gentleman who was to be our companion for the night and the next day. We road forward about eight miles, when we encamped for the night on the banks of a nameless creek, about one and a half mile distant from the Pine River.
August 15th.--I awoke once or twice in the course of the last night, but I slept well considering it was only the second night I had slept in the bush since I came to the colony. The cloak and the fire protected me fully against the effects of the cold, which I much dreaded before I left home, as I had for some time been in rather delicate health. We got up about five o'clock in the morning, soon after day-break; and after having a pot of tea, we started, intending to perform fifteen miles of our journey before breakfast. This design we accomplished, and breakfasted at the foot of a remarkable round hill, manifestly of igneous formation, on the banks of a creek or stream, of which the water ran as clear as crystal over a pebbly bottom. We then proceeded on our journey about fifteen miles farther, when we stopped at another mountain-brook, which was not [16/17] running, but in which there was plenty of good water. We had a pot of tea, but did not feel inclined to eat. We then advanced slowly forward on our journey, over a very hilly country, as two of the horses had begun to fag very much,--the one from his age, the other from his youth. After experiencing some difficulty in crossing some creeks near the Messrs. Archer's station, when the sun had set, we reached the place of our destination, about seven o'clock in the evening. When we reached the station, the Messrs. Archer received us kindly. We soon had tea; and then conversed on various subjects till ten o'clock, when I read a portion of scripture, and prayed for myself and the others who were in the house with me. When we had finished our united devotions, the others retired to rest, and I followed their example after I had brought up this Journal to its present point.
August 16th.--The hut in which I slept this night is very open; and as I was elevated on a table with only two blankets, I was very cold; yet I slept not unsoundly, as by the two previous days' rides I was somewhat fatigued. I arose this morning about seven o'clock, and went before breakfast to the nearest sheep-station, to pray with the men, and exhort them to do their duty to God, themselves, their masters, and their neighbours. At this station there was only one Protestant; and as the Romanists did not appear to desire, but rather to decline, my services as a clergyman, I addressed my observations to the Irish Protestant. After I had read the [17/18] prayers of the Church, I returned and had breakfast; and as I could not visit with advantage any of the sheep-stations till the evening, when the shepherds returned with their flocks to the fold, I made a botanical and geological excursion in company with Dr. Leichhardt, a Prussian botanist, and Mr. David Archer, who has the chief control over the establishment, in virtue of his being the oldest colonist. We directed our steps to the westward, towards a very high mountain, which would at once supply us with botanical and geological specimens, and give us the command of the country to the eastward. We could not traverse the whole course of the mountain-stream, as I had to return by four o'clock in the afternoon, that I might visit a station at sunset. We returned accordingly; and when we had dined, I set out in company with Mr. Thomas Archer, to a station which is distant from the head-station about four miles, and which we reached at sunset, just as the shepherds had got their sheep into their folds. I waited till they had their dinner; and when they had dined, I read a chapter of the New Testament, and the prayers of the Church, and then addressed them in a short extemporary discourse; the drift of which was to show them that they had immortal souls to be saved, that they could not save them themselves, and that Christ alone could save them. In order to receive this salvation offered to them by God in Christ Jesus, they must believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world, to be the propitiation [18/19] for the sin of their souls, as the power of God and the wisdom of God unto salvation. They must not only keep this commandment of God to believe in his Son, but carefully observe all his other commandments, speaking the truth, doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with their Maker. The poor men were visibly affected; and I left them under the impression that my visit to them had not been in vain, promising to send them Bibles from Brisbane when their master's dray came to it. We returned to the head-station, had tea, and then conversed on various subjects till ten o'clock, when we had prayers. Soon after our devotions we retired to rest.
August 17th.--After breakfast this morning, all at Messrs. Archer's head-station were assembled to hear prayers read. When we had united in prayer according to the order of the Church, I addressed some observations principally to the servants, reminding them of what they owed to their God, and setting before them the leading truths of the Gospel. They were very attentive, and appeared very thankful. Most of them were Presbyterians from Scotland; yet they united with pleasure and interest in the service of the Church of England. At one o'clock we started from the Messrs. Mackenzie's station, accompanied by Mr. David Archer. We passed over a well-watered and richly grassy country, lying between two ranges of mountains, through which the Brisbane flows. The road, which was very heavy from the late rains, runs through an undulating valley. Few rocks make their appearance; [19/20] but such as appear are of a taley or chlorite character, similar to those around Brisbane. We saw, in a brush through which we passed, a beautiful blue flower, with a most delightful smell, of which the corolla is formed of one entire leaflet or petal. The plant had a spinæ; but we did not know to what family it belongs. On our journey this afternoon, we also saw a number of the aborigines, who were very vociferous in their calls of "Name you," but did not attempt to deal us any blows. They were, however, all armed with shields, spears, waddies, and boomerangs. I really should not have like to have met or passed the savages, if I had been alone or unprotected, as they had a most ferocious aspect, and exhibited several points of barbarous conduct. They were near a dense brush; and I understand that they often encamp in such a position, for the sake of a safe retreat, in case they should be attacked successfully by Europeans. Their position, otherwise, was also well selected for observation, and for attack and defence, being on the point of a terminating ridge, with a hollow on each side, along the ends of which passes the road on which Europeans travel. We arrived at the Messrs. Mackenzie's station about sunset.
August 19th.--Although the hut was full of tobacco smoke, and though there were five gentlemen besides myself at rest in it, I had the soundest sleep last night that I have had for the last twelve months. I awoke refreshed in body and mind, and arose about seven o'clock. When I had dressed, I made arrangements [20/21] for visiting the out-stations, and for performing service at the head-station. After breakfast, in company with Mr. John M'Donald, I proceeded to visit the out-stations, and by a route of between fifteen and sixteen miles we visited three before three o'clock in the afternoon. All the men at these stations readily joined in the devotional exercises, and some of even the most hardened were deeply affected. I had considerable pleasure in addressing some of these men, as they were very attentive, and expressed their thankfulness when I had ended what I had to observe to them. At five o'clock I performed service at the principal station to about twenty people. They were very attentive; and I pray to God that He may bless all that was spoken aright to their everlasting welfare. There were a good many Presbyterians present, who were as attentive as those who belonged to the Church of England. I also observed that one Roman Catholic was present, who appeared to join with fervency in our devotions. To-morrow, by eight o'clock, I shall, I trust, have performed all my duties at this station, which I wish to leave as soon s possible for several reasons, that I may proceed on my missionary tour, which will likely require more time in the performance than I anticipated at the commencement. A squatter's life, from what I have already witnessed of it, I do not at all envy; though I believe it possesses its charms in the careless independence in which it is passed, free from all the restraints of civilization. Upon the whole, I am satisfied with the labours of this day, [21/22] which have, however, produced no inconsiderable sensations of fatigue. Still I can endure the hardships of a bush life much better than I expected, from my previous habits and state of health, to be able to do. Custom, probably, would make such a mode of life not merely tolerable, but even desirable, as conveying many pleasures highly acceptable to man's proud and independent spirit. I commit myself this night to the care and keeping of that merciful Heavenly Father, who has so often and so long cared for me, and protected me far beyond my deserts.
August 19th.--I rose at six o'clock; and by a walk of eight miles, visited two stations before eight o'clock. Mr. J. M'Donald accompanied me; and our conversation turning on our collegiate education, and the land of our fathers, many painful and pleasant recollections were awakened in my mind. I hope and trust, that whatever happens to me hereafter, I shall ever submit in humility to the dispensations, and bear with patience the dealings, of that providence, the course of which is so wisely directed by my Heavenly Father. This morning I had less satisfaction in the discharge of my duties than I have hitherto experienced during this missionary tour, from a conviction that I was praying with, and addressing those who did not unite in my prayer, nor pay any regard to my address, much less feel the force of it in their hearts. One of the men to whom I spoke is the most hardened creature in iniquity that has ever come under my observation. He is totally [22/23] insensitive to every religious, virtuous, and good impression. He stated that he had quite made up his mind to go to hell, provided he could accomplish his desires of this world's grossest pleasures. I reasoned with him a long time; but fear that only a very small, if any, impression was made on his obdurate heart. I pray, however, that the Spirit of God may open his understanding, and soften his heart, before he descend to the grave, that he may not have to meet his God with his sins unrepented and unforgiven. When I returned to the head-station I had breakfast, and then started, in company with my servant, for the Messrs. Bigge's station, where we arrived about three o'clock, after a very pleasant ride. The country through which we rode this day is hilly, with a range of immense mountains on the right hand and on the left, covered to the very summits generally with lofty pine-trees. The Messrs. Bigge have by far the best head-station of all those I have visited; and every thing about it betokens order, regularity, and care. At this station I have experienced a very kind reception, and have spent a very pleasant evening in the company of the two Bigges and one of the Archers, who is with them at present on a short visit.
August 20th.--This day being Sunday, I made preparations for regular divine service in the morning; and performed it accordingly at eleven o'clock. I am very sorry to say that only a few of Messrs. Bigge's men attended. After service and dinner, as I could not meet with any of the men till towards [23/24] evening, I rode in company with the elder Mr. Bigge to the top of a mountain, to obtain information as to the positions of the stations. By the time we returned, the sun had descended; and it was stated the shepherds would have now their flocks in the folds, and be in their huts or gungas. With the view of finding them at home, and of preaching to them the unsearchable riches of Christ, I set out to visit them, along with the younger Mr. Bigge. I was happy to find them all at their humble abodes; and I had very great satisfaction in praying with these men, and in addressing them afterwards touching the faith of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the observance of the Sabbath-day. These men were all very grateful for my visit; and I left them with great pleasure, promising to pay them another pastoral visit as soon as possible. We returned to the head-station, and had tea. I then went to one of the huts at this station, and had prayers with the men who were in it; but regretted to find that three of the men, who are Protestants, persisted in absenting themselves. However, much disappointed, I returned to the Messrs. Bigge's house, with the resolution of visiting these men to-morrow morning, in company with one of the Messrs. Bigge, that I might be at the bottom of their conduct, and admonish them. We spent the remainder of the evening principally in conversation on religious and congenial topics. We retired to rest about eleven o'clock.
August 21st.--I rose early, and brought up my [24/25] journal. After breakfast I admonished the absentees of yesterday with some effect, I trust, and then made preparations for proceeding on my tour. About ten o'clock, I set out for the Messrs. Scott's station, only distant about seven miles to the southward from the Messrs. Bigge's station; accompanied by the elder Bigge as our guide through the bush, the road being very indistinct. He left us about a mile from the Messrs. Scott's station, when we had reached a position were we could not lose ourselves before coming to the place we desired to make. When we had crossed the river Brisbane, and ridden about a quarter of a mile along its southern bank, we reached the station belonging to the Messrs. Scott. It is a cattle-station only. On arriving, I found that the men were busily employed in branding cattle; so that I could not, without inconvenience, meet with them till the evening, when their work for the day would be concluded. I determined, therefore, to stay all night. When I entered the Messrs. Scott's hut, I saw order, comfort, and cleanliness prevailed. I was kindly welcomed by both brothers, one of whom was a sheep-farmer at home, yet come of Scotia's gentlest blood. I spent with them a very pleasant afternoon and evening. I read prayers in the evening for the men, and addressed them afterwards, preaching to them Christ crucified, as the power of God and the wisdom of God--as righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. They were very attentive, notwithstanding they were all Roman Catholics, as I understood [25/26] afterwards. They are the only men that on entering the hut, have welcomed me; and I really believe they were sincere in their expressions of kindness.
August 22d.--This morning, about eight o'clock, I left the station of the Messrs. Scott, accompanied by Paddy, the Stockman, as our guide to the station of the Messsrs. McConnel. We reached the latter place about twelve o'clock, having ridden a distance of about thirteen miles, principally over a flat country, through which Stanley Creek runs, which is one of the branches of the Brisbane, and flows almost parallel to the branch we ascended when we came from the Messrs. Mackenzie's to the Messrs. Bigge's station. The plain here is much more extensive than it is on the other side of the Brisbane range, and the soil is much deeper and of a better quality. When I arrived at the station, one of the Messrs. McConnel gave me a hearty welcome; and I soon perceived numberless indications of the wealthy squatter. The house is substantially and neatly built of the wood of the iron-bark tree, a special of the genus Eucalyptus, and is shingled with the same material. There is a large stockyard, capable of holding 800 cattle, with an excellent dairy, the principal apartment of which is covered by an outer house, in the form of a shade, in order to keep out the great heat of the sun. There are a great many huts for the accommodation of the servants on the establishment: there is also a large paddock for the use of the horses. After [26/27] dinner I was shown the whole establishment, and was much pleased with all I saw. About sun-down, Mr. D. C. McConnel accompanied me to the nearest out-station, where I read prayers, and addressed the men, who were very attentive. One of them asked me to send him some tracts, which I promised readily to forward to him with a Bible, by the very first opportunity. When we returned from this station, which is about three miles from the head-station, we had tea; and as two gentlemen arrived just as we had finished it, it was nearly nine o'clock by the time the tea-apparatus, consisting entirely of tin-ware, was removed. When the table was cleared, the men at the head-station all assembled to prayers. I read the prayers of the Church for them, and then addressed them at some length, as they appeared very attentive and susceptible of religious impressions. I told them that Christ is their all as the heirs of immortality, and that He ought to be in them all; that Christ could not be theirs without a living faith in Him as the Son of God, and the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world, to take away the sin of the world. This led me to direct their thoughts to an eternal hereafter, and furnished me with an opportunity of exhorting them to place their affections on things above, and not on things below. I exhorted them also to remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy; as well as to place confidence in the good providence of God, and to implore His fatherly protection in the midst of the various dangers to which they were constantly [27/28] exposed. I retired to bed with the intention of visiting the most distant out-station early in the morning before breakfast. I forgot to say, and must now add, that there were fifteen in all at evening prayers, and that all, both gentlemen and working people, were most attentive; and apparently, and I trust in reality, their devotion equaled their attention. Mr. Mort, the superintendent, has a gentlemanly bearing, and is a staunch churchman. The Messrs. McConnel have been educated among Dissenters in Manchester, but are very favourably disposed to the Church of England in this colony; particularly as there are only a very few of their sect in it, and as there are, besides themselves, fortunately none, as far as I yet know, in this district.
August 23d.--I rose at dawn this day, and proceeded in company with Mr. D. McConnel, to the remotest out-station, in order to meet with the shepherds before they went out with their flocks. We reached the station in good time; but when I entered the hut, I soon learned that they were all very strict Romanists, who would not willingly accept my services as a clergyman. We therefore left, without having accomplished the object for which I went. We returned from this station, distant from the head-station about six miles, by nine o'clock; and on our return we had breakfast, soon after which I set out, in company with Mr. Francis Bigge, for the station of the Messrs. Balfour, which lies farther up the river to the northward than Mr. McConnel's station. We [28/29] reached Balfour's station about two o'clock, after a ride of between twelve and thirteen miles, over a hilly country chiefly, though the commencement of the journey was on the rich flats forming part of McConnel's run. On arriving at the station, we did not find either of the Messrs. Balfour at home, the one being absent at Brisbane, and the other among the out-stations. When Mr. John Balfour returned from the out-stations, he gave us a real Scotch welcome of gentlemanly kindness. We talked over our future proceedings; and Balfour entered into my view with great zeal and kindness, promising me all the assistance in his power. We spent a very pleasant evening; and I retired to rest about ten o'clock, with the design of going to an out-station early in the morning. I may here mention, that I have seen, for the first time, the celebrated Bunga Bunga tree, which is of the coniferous family, and is very like the common pine tree, but of a lighter colour in the bark and leaves. The cone which it bears is highly prized by the aborigines; and is perhaps the most nutritious natural production of Australia. The only specimen of the cone which I have seen was nearly the size of a man's head.
August 24th.--It rained heavily during a part of the night, and the rain continued till morning. There being no appearance of fine weather, nothing remained but to resolve to stay a day longer at this station, and postpone my visits to the out-stations till such time as the rain should cease or moderate. [29/30] It rained heavily till towards four o'clock in the afternoon, when it partially subsided. I took advantage of this abatement in the fall of rain, which proved to be of short duration, and set out in company of Scott, the overseer, to visit two, and, if possible, three of the out-stations. We reached the nearest one just as the sheep were coming up to the folds; and I had time to read prayers before it was dark. The men here did not appear to have much sense of the importance of religion; and accordingly did not join very earnestly in the devotional exercises. We left this station just as it became dark, and rode to the other, three miles distant, over a bad road, in the midst of darkness and drizzling rain. When we arrived, the oaths I heard did not impress me with the idea of a very favourable reception. I considered it my duty to administer a rebuke, on account of the awful oaths which I heard uttered by one of the men to the dogs, that made a great noise on our approach. When I had reproved him, I prayed with them all, and spoke to them of the unsearchable riches of Christ, of their obligation to keep the commandments of God, and of the danger of breaking them. We left at the conclusion of my address, to perform a ride over six miles of undefined road, in the midst of pitchy darkness and heavy rain. Although the road was extremely rough, and my horse slipped once or twice in descending the banks of the creeks we had to cross, which were slippery from the rain, we reached the head-station in safety, about nine [30/31] o'clock in the evening, when the rain increased in heaviness and thickness. In the course of this ride we passed and repassed the spot where the aborignes had murdered, with horrid barbarity, one of the men on the station and the water-hole, or pond, into which the mangled body was thrown by the savages after the bloody deed had been wantonly committed. The overseer, who was then a shepherd, and living in the same hut with the unfortunate man, narrated to me, with considerable feeling, and rude Scottish eloquence, the circumstances attending the murder. I had tea on my return to the head-station, and soon after I retired to rest, as I was wearied with this evening's ride, extending over a distance of about thirteen miles.
August 25th.--I rose this morning at six o'clock, and set out in a very light rain, or rather mist, to visit Mr. Balfour's third station, We found the inmates of this hut almost all ready to receive my services in a proper spirit. They were all Scotch people, and were very respectable for their station in life. They all joined most devoutly in prayer with me, and were most attentive when I addressed them after we had offered up our prayers to our God and Saviour. In this hut there was a Mrs. ------, the mother of three of the inmates, a young man, a boy, and a girl,--a woman of somewhat superior character, who had experienced many severe trials; and these marks of sad affliction were visible in her personal appearance, and could be perceived, without great effort, in the constitution of her mind. By [31/32] these dispensations she has, in as far as I could judge, been disciplined into humble and genuine piety. The simple and affecting account which she gave of her bereavements was, that she had lost five children in her native land, and since she came to this country, her husband, and one of her remaining sons, who was shot dead before her eyes, by the accidental discharge of his companion's musket. She added, that the shock which she then received far exceeded any that she had before sustained, not even excepting the death of her husband. I felt deeply for this poor woman; and as she has some intention of removing to Brisbane, for the education of her youngest son and only remaining little daughter, I trust I may have an opportunity of being of some use to her, as well as to her fatherless children. All the inmates of this hut appeared to be people of strict religious and moral principle; and it were well for this country if all its inhabitants were equally well disposed to the fear and love of God, and the observance of his commandments. I left this place with perhaps more real satisfaction than any one which I have yet visited. When I returned at nine o'clock, after a ride of about six miles over a hilly country of conglomerate sandstone formation, I had breakfast, and then made preparations for retracing my steps to the Messrs. McConnel's station. At this station I experienced the kindest and most gentlemanly treatment from Mr. Balfour, a descendant of Balfour of Burley. Mr. Balfour pretends not to vie with his ancestor in wielding a sword, but, what is far [32/33] more useful, if not esteemed so honourable by the world, far surpasses him in the management of sheep. His flocks are all in excellent condition, and have been improved in breed as well as multiplied wonderfully in number; four years having witnessed their increase from 1,800 to 9,000 and upwards, exclusive of a loss of 2,000, caused by the aborigines in their repeated predatory attacks on his stations. I left this station in company with Mr. Francis Bigge. The day had cleared, and we had a view from the Bunga mountains, in the north, to the distance of between thirty and forty miles to the northward of the hill or mountain on which we stood. While on the top of this hill, we saw three kangaroos, the finest specimens of that species of animal which I had ever seen. When they started, the sound of their leaps resembled that of horses galloping at full speed. As we approached the station of the Messrs. McConnel, we passed over a very rich plain, close to the Brisbane, which I feel persuaded would form a good sugar plantation. We reached the station about two o'clock. We spent the afternoon and evening pleasantly; and after prayers I retired to rest, with the intention of starting at an early hour to-morrow, for the station of Messrs. Graham and Ivory.
August 26th.--This morning I rose by break of day, and made preparations for the journey to the station mentioned in the account of yesterday's proceedings. Notwithstanding the early hour at which I rose, it was nearly nine o'clock before all was ready [33/34] for a start, as one of the horses cost some trouble before he was caught, being one belonging to the Messrs. McConnel, which has been kindly lent for the use of my servant till we reach Ipswich. We joined, at the most distant out-station, Mr. Mort, the superintendent, who rode with us about a mile, in order to put us in the road which leads to the station of Messrs. Graham and Ivory. Our ride was for about five miles along the bank of a creek, between two ranges of mountains, over very good soil, on which grow the usual trees,--that called the Moreton-Bay Ash predominating. There are also a good many grass tress on some of the flats and basins. We rode up the bed of a creek for a short way, the sandy bottom of which is covered with particles of iron pyrites, and produces an appearance not unapt to deceive one into the belief that it is one of the most precious metals. We travelled on, and crossed a second creek, the boundary between the runs of the Messrs. McConnel and the Messrs. Graham and Ivory, at a place where there is a plentiful supply of water, as clear as crystal, running over a dark blue rock of primary formation. We have now entered a country which deserves the name of mountainous, the tops and sides of which are covered with large boulders of real granite. I left the road for a little, to examine the formation of one of these mountain-ridges, and ascertain the character of the rock which composes it. The rock I found to be real granite, as fine nearly as that which abounds in Aberdeenshire, which is so admirably [34/35] adapted for building purposes, and a great quantity of which is constantly sent to London for the erection of public and national works. It is to be hoped I shall soon succeed in procuring at least three blocks of this fine Australian granite, which will take a good polish, to form a baptismal font for St. John's, Brisbane. Beyond this pass and ridges, there is a fine basin, of not very great extent, surrounded by granitic hills of considerable elevation. As we advanced, we proceeded through another pass, and over another ridge, when we descended on the run which we wished to reach, where our eyes were soon gratified with the sight of two fine flocks of sheep. Here we passed along a creek for a short way between two conical granitic hills, one of which much resembles Dumbarton Rock, and by this resemblance recalled to my mind a world of not unpleasing associations. This part of the country resembles the Highlands of Scotland more than any other part of the colony which I have yet visited. I spent with Graham and Ivory a pleasant afternoon. In the evening I read prayers for the Protestant part of the people on the station. Those who attended were very respectable young men from Scotland; and having been well brought up, were very devout during prayers, and as attentive during my subsequent address. We soon afterwards retired to rest in very primitive beds, as these gentlemen have only been here a very short time. The principal furniture in the hut is a number of very excellent books, betokening the good and [35/36] religious education which the possessors had received; and which, I was most happy to find, they had not, like many others, forgotten. I am quite certain that both these young men are very religiously disposed, both from the tone of their conversation, and from their deportment. May God, of his infinite goodness and mercy, grant that they may be preserved, by the power of his grace, in the paths of truth, righteousness, holiness, and godliness, in which they have manifestly been instructed with great care to walk in their early years.
August 27th.--This morning I got up early, and started, after an early breakfast with Graham and Ivory, for the station of Messrs. Oliver and Borthwick. We reached the station which we sought, as it became dark, with considerable difficulty, as the dray track was in many places indistinct. It was stated to us that the distance between the two stations is only thirty miles by the road we came; but from the place at which we rode, and considering the time we had been on the road, I think if Sir Thomas Mitchell had chained it, it would have counted full forty miles. At all events, having been on horseback from eight o'clock in the morning till six at night, with only one hour's intermission, I was very tired at the conclusion of this day's journey. The sensations of fatigue may have been more acute from the circumstance, that for the last two days I have not been quite well. I read prayers for a short time after I reached the station, and then almost immediately went to bed, not expecting a very comfortable night's rest.
 August 28th.--This morning I visited, before breakfast, the out-station, in company with Mr. Oliver. There were three Protestants there, who were all very devout and attentive. We went to the station over a freestone elevation, on which grew some beautiful flowers, which I had not seen before, After breakfast, I read the prayers of the Church for the people at the chief station, and addressed them thereafter; pointing out to them very briefly the leading doctrines of our most holy faith. They were all emigrants, and were remarkable for their proper behaviour during prayers and the address. I waited after prayers till eleven o'clock, when I directed my servant to make preparations for proceeding to Mr. Wingate's station. When he had brought in the horse, I was very sorry to find that my own fine young horse had received a very serious injury during the previous day's ride. As this injury is in the wither, I shall not be able to ride my horse any more on this journey, and must therefore walk all the way to Brisbane. I set out at twelve o'clock, with the intention of walking this day's journey. Accordingly I walked a distance of thirteen or fourteen miles over a very level country.
August 29th.--Although very tired last night from my unusually long walk, as, with one exception, it is upwards of ten years since I walked thirteen or fourteen miles continuously, I feel quite fresh this morning, as I had a comfortable bed and very sound sleep for part of the night. It blew hard the greater part of the night, and was very [37/38] cold in the morning. I walked about till breakfast-time, after which I read the prayers of the Church to the family and one servant, the only Protestant on the establishment, besides the proprietor and his relatives. As I proposed to give my horse half a day's rest, I accompanied Messrs. Wingate and Fletcher with a dray, to a distant part of the run, whence they intended to fetch bark to complete the roof of their hut. We passed through a very rich flat. When we returned from this excursion we had dinner, and then set out on foot to the temporary station occupied by Mr. John McDougall, a native of the colony, which forms part of Wingate's run. After a walk of nine miles over alternate flats of rich black soil, and low ridges of light sand, I reached this station sometime after sunset, where I was kindly welcomed. Soon after my arrival, I had all the Protestants assembled to prayers. There were four who made their appearance on Mr. McDougall's summons, with whom I prayed; and whom, after prayers, I addressed at considerable length. They were attentive and devout, and appear very decent, quiet men. Mr. McDougall is an experienced bushman, and has accordingly more comfort about him in the space of a few weeks, than the less experienced men whom I have visited have about them after a residence of years, and with no design of relinquishing the position in which they have placed themselves. After some conversation with McDougall on the natural characteristics of the colony, much of which he has seen in his [38/39] patriarchal wanderings after his flocks and herds, I went early to bed, as I felt both tired and chilly after my walk, performed under a clear sky and a very powerful sun. My couch was as primitive as it could well be, yet I slept sweetly and soundly from previous fatigue.
August 30th.--It was my intention to start early this morning for the purpose of reaching Ipswich, if possible, in the evening; but this design, as many others have been, was frustrated by the disappearance of our horses, which were lost for the first time since we left Brisbane on this very fatiguing journey. It was a considerable time before they were brought back by my servant, as they had returned some distance towards the station we left yesterday afternoon. The delay thus occasioned rendered the prospect of reaching Ipswich to-day hopeless; and I therefore determined to remain with Mr. McDougall till dinner-time, and then set out for Mr. Owen's accommodation-house, which is fifteen or sixteen miles from Ipswich. At half-past three o'clock we reached Mr. Owen's accommodation-house, after a fatiguing journey of up and down hill, and through a swampy flat of full eight miles. On making inquiry, I found we could not reach this night the government station, which is distant eight miles from this place, on the road to Ipswich, owing to the badness of the road, which in many places is almost impassible.
August 31st.--This morning I rose early, and set out by seven o'clock to walk to Ipswich, which [39/40] is about sixteen miles distant from Owen's house of accommodation. On reaching Thom's at Ipswich, I intimated that service would be performed there in the evening, and spent the afternoon in arranging some of my papers. In the evening eighteen people assembled, when I read the prayers of the Church, and delivered a short address.
September 1st.--Last night I was somewhat fatigued, but this morning I felt quite refreshed, and ready to enter on my walk of twenty-five miles. We started about seven o'clock, and reached the government station at Red Bank, about nine o'clock. We left Red Bank, after having had a pot of tea, about ten o'clock, and passed over a hilly country, of very little use, for several miles, either for cultivation or grazing purposes. Around Ipswich there is a good deal of flint, lying quite exposed to the surface. There is also limestone here, but it is not of a very good quality; and I believe there is also coal, though I have never had time to go to the spot where it is to be found. The general character of the country which I have traversed during this missionary expedition is mountainous. The soil on the greater portion of it is poor, and can never, even by the appliances of modern science and art, be brought into a state highly fruitful in purely agricultural productions. Until the colony at large become so circumstanced as to be used for the extensive growth of the vine, the greatest portion of the scene of my present travels can only be rendered available for grazing purposes; and much of [40/41] it is but poorly adapted to the maintenance of cattle, horses and sheep. Though the general aspect of the northern district be mountainous, and the general character of the soil meager, yet there are within its limits several plains of considerable extent, the soil of which is rich in the extreme, and is suited to the growth of almost every description of agricultural produce which may be made available to the sustenance of man. On the branches of the Brisbane especially, and its various tributaries, there are many such rich soils, where wheat, corn, rice, sugar, coffee, arrow-root, and cotton, would grow in luxuriant abundance; and where there can be little doubt they will be cultivated, whenever labour become so cheap, that the crops thereby raised will afford a remunerating return to the grower, for the risk and outlay of the capital expended. It will be apparent, that among a population at once thin and widely scattered, the erection of churches at present would be an almost totally useless work, inasmuch as no considerable number of people could assemble in them for prayers, and the hearing of the word of God; and there being little prospect of an increase of population, as well as great uncertainty respecting the place in which population, when it does increase, may concentrate, it is difficult to divine where, in future times, temples of God may arise, with their spires pointing to heaven; and thus reminding man, as often as he enters them, that he ought always to aspire after heavenly things, and not set his affections on things below. If, in the midst of such [41/42] uncertainty, a conjecture may be hazarded as to the places where churches may be built in these districts, I should imagine that the site of one would be somewhere in the district of the Pine River; of another, near the junction of the two branches of the Brisbane into one stream, where the stations of the Messrs. McConnel, Bigge, and Scott, all meet; and of a third, not far from Mount Forbes, on the ground included between the two roads which separate at Ipswich, and lead to the northern and southern parts of the Darling Downs.
It is, of course, very plain that Ipswich, now not only fixed upon by Government, but also surveyed and laid out as a township, in a place where a church of the living God is required; and I trust that, at no distant period, the means for the erection of a small wooden temporary church may be procured, as there is not suitable place here for the celebration of Divine worship. Seeing it would be useless now to erect churches in the rural parts of this district, even were the circumstance of this portion of the colony such as to allow the erection of places of worship in fixed parishes, it is manifest that the devotion and religious knowledge of the inhabitants can be kept alive only by missionary labour, expended in going from station to station, praying with the few on each who can be conveniently collected in one place, and preaching to them the Gospel of Christ. As to the reception with which I met from the proprietors of the stations, it could not well be surpassed in point of courtesy and kindness. Every [42/43] one, I may add, was anxious to afford me every facility in meeting with the servants on the stations for the purposes of devotion and religious instruction; and all set a good example to those under them, by attending prayers, and by listening to my address at the head-station. Almost all, too, were active in aiding me in the accomplishment of other objects for the support and extension of religion and its ordinances, which it was my aim to effect on this journey, as it shall be on the others which Providence will permit me to make. More, also, besides encouraging their servants to promise assistance for the maintenance of religion in the district, stated that they would themselves contribute to the support and advancement of true piety to the utmost of their ability; and if, agreeably to my anticipations, their actual liberality correspond with their promissory declarations, their conduct will prove a pleasing and gratifying aspect, when contrasted with the little less than impious behaviour of some persons who are callous to the momentous concerns of religion.
The conduct in general, of those who earn their bread by the sweat of the brow, bore a favourable appearance. Many who had not heard the sound of the glad tidings of great joy for years, were visibly and deeply affected with what was spoken to them; and not a few expressed their gratitude to me for the exertions I had made to come among them, to preach to them, in the wilderness, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There were, however, some few exceptions to these well-disposed and well-behaved [43/44] people. Still there was only one person so hardened in iniquity as to appear to be beyond the reach of good impressions in this world; and, unless repentance be wrought in his stubborn soul by the glorious power of God's Holy Spirit, the hope of final redemption in the world to come. With this desperado I conversed for more than an hour; and his conscience being seared as with a hot iron, I could not discover a single avenue in his obdurate heart through which there could be insinuated so much as one iota of the truth as it is in Jesus. I left him in the hands of God; for I considered and believe him to be beyond the power of man, as an instrument for his conversion from sin, impurity, and impiety, to righteousness, holiness, and the service of the one living and true God. To this miserable man my efforts did not appear to be of the smallest service; but I trust and hope that to most others my labours, under God, were of some use in awakening their minds to a sense of religion, and in impressing on them the necessity of consulting the interests of their immortal souls in the midst of their endeavours to provide for the body which perisheth.
I trust that the above account of my proceedings will not be unacceptable to the Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, from whose liberality, administered by the Lord Bishop of the diocese, I have derived my support since my appointment to this district.
Missionary for the S.P.G.F.P.
 Memorandum added by the Bishop of Australia.
MR. GREGOR had furnished me with two other Journals, recording, very minutely and distinctly, his daily proceedings in two similar tours: the first from the 21st of September to the 16th of October to the south; and the second from the 30th of October to the 10th of December, 1843.
These records are too voluminous to be transcribed; but I may testify that they are marked by intelligence and good sense; contain many most useful observations on the character and condition of the people; and afford distinct evidence of the laborious zeal with which Mr. Gregor devotes himself to convey the glad tidings of redemption to those far separated members of Christ's body, who but for such exertions to reach them, must be hopelessly cut off (as it may be feared too many actually are) from all which can call to their remembrance the words of eternal life: for "how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach except they be sent?"
W. G. A.