The Church in Australia.
JOURNALS OF VISITATION
NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN PORTIONS
LORD BISHOP OF AUSTRALIA,
THE SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL;
RIVINGTON'S, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD AND WATERLOO PLACE;
Transcribed by the Right Reverend Dr. Terry Brown
Retired Bishop of Malaita, 2010
 JOURNAL OF VISITATION
ON Trinity Sunday, June 11, 1843, the Bishop of Australia held an ordination at St. James's Church, Sydney.
On Monday, June 12th, his Lordship was present at the Anniversary of the Diocesan Society, which was attended by the various parochial associations and schools of Sydney. The Bishop's Journal proceeds:—
June 12.—The Rev. F. Cameron preached. Upwards of 1,100 children, educated in connexion with the Church of England, present. The 100th Psalm exceedingly well sung by them before the sermon. After every abatement made on account of the inferior scale of the performance, it gave rise to gratifying recollections in the minds of all present, who had attended the anniversary meeting of the charity children at St. Paul's.
June 13.—To the north shore of Port Jackson, [3/4] opposite to Sydney, for the purpose of laying the foundation-stone of a church, to be called St. Thomas's, within the township of St. Leonard's. The attendance gratifying, though not numerous; and all very attentive to the proceedings, and to the address with which, according to custom, they were concluded. Returned to Sydney to attend the Executive Council.
June 14.—To Hunter's Hill. Held a Confirmation in St. Anne's Church—sixty-eight attended. Their appearance and deportment very gratifying; and reflect great credit upon their pastor, the Rev. G. E. Turner, by whom they had been carefully prepared for this solemn ordinance. At the conclusion, addressed them on the intent of this rite, and on their future duties.
June l5.—Returned to Sydney, to attend the Executive Council. At 10 P.M. embarked for Morpeth, on board the Thistle steamer. The night calm. Much rain towards morning.
June l6.—Reached Newcastle between 7 and 8 A.M.; remained two hours, waiting for the tide; arrived at Morpeth at 11: still raining heavily. Hospitably welcomed by Mr. Close.
June 18.—Preached in the morning at St. Peter's, East Maitland, of which the Rev. G. K. Rusden, M.A. is incumbent: and in the afternoon at St. James's, Morpeth, which is for the present under charge of the same gentleman. This latter church, built at the expense of Mr. Close, is in admirable order; and furnished with a good organ, [4/5] the gift of Mr. John Campbell of Sydney. The parsonage-house, adjoining the church, is nearly complete, and is a good residence. Grieved that it still remains unoccupied, in consequence of there not being any Clergyman disengaged who might be put in charge.
June 19.—To Paterson: at the parsonage; Rev. J. J. Smith's. The church, a substantial stone building, is complete as high as the eaves, and is ready for the roof; but a total want of funds prevents its being proceeded with. Mr. Smith, very much to his credit, has, out of his private resources, with such little assistance as could be rendered from the funds of the S. P. G., built and fitted up a small room for the celebration of public worship; also used as a school-room. It is provided with a pulpit, font, communion-table railed in, and all other suitable appurtenances: and the gratification expressed by the worthy clergyman at having obtained this little sanctuary for the use of his congregation, until the church can be completed, was very natural and becoming. Through the liberality of the Society, the parsonage-house has been much enlarged, and is now a comfortable dwelling. The garden adjoining has also been laid out and planted since my previous visit; and it was very satisfactory to find Mr. Smith, with his large family, so much better accommodated than they were on that occasion.
 June 20.—To Cam-yr-Allyn, on the river Allyn; Mr. Boydell's.
June 21.—To Mr. William Boydell's, on the Upper Allyn, where a small church is required; the population being situated too far from Gresford to attend divine service there with convenience.
June 22.—Fixed on a site for the church and burial-ground, and made arrangements for fencing and building. In the afternoon returned to Cam-yr-Allyn.
June 23.—Attended a meeting at Gresford, to consult on the erection of a church, towards which a subscription has been entered into. After considerable discussion, it was decided that, for the accommodation of the greater portion of the inhabitants of the district, the church should be built on the left bank of the Paterson, adjoining the ford.
COUNTY OF DURHAM—SPIRITUAL DESTITUTION.
June 24.—At Cam-yr-Allyn; engaged in preparing designs for the two proposed churches. It is equally singular and deplorable, that in this county of Durham, the third in the Colony in point of population, and containing, according to the late census, more than 3,500 members of our communion, there is not a church completed. The insensibility and neglect of the inhabitants is very distressing to contemplate: and to a serious mind sufficiently accounts for the pressure of calamity [6/7] under which this community now labours. Took occasion, in addressing the meeting yesterday, to observe, that the state of affairs verifies the declaration of the Apostle, "Your riches are corrupted," or have rotted away, "and your garments are moth-eaten."
June 25.—Read the morning service and preached in a store, where the meeting was held on the 23d; and where divine service is performed every fortnight, by Mr. Smith, from Paterson. The room was built as a place of merchandise, but had never been used as such. It was fitted with counters and shelves. The former were, at my request, removed, so as to take off, in some degree, from the objectionable character of the place: and arrangements were entered into, in compliance with my recommendation, to make further improvement by railing off a portion at one end, where a small communion-table might stand, and the Lord's Supper be administered with somewhat more of decency than had hitherto been practicable. Still it left an impression of regret and shame upon my mind, to reflect that the ordinances and holy mysteries of our faith should be coupled with circumstances which would almost seem like those of degradation. Juster impressions, however, appear to be springing up: and my earnest prayer is, that they may be encouraged and strengthened by my visit. The congregation amounted to more than 120. Some could not obtain admission, and stood at the door. During the service, as directed by the rubric, administered baptism. Afternoon [7/8] service and sermon at Cam-yr-Allyn, to a congregation of twenty-five or thirty.
June 26.—Arrangements had been made for laying this day the foundation-stone of the church; but, at the last moment, objections were raised as to the security of the title to the land proposed as the site. In consequence, the solemnity was not proceeded with. Returned to the parsonage at Paterson.
June 27.—Held a confirmation in the little school-room. The weather very unfavourable. Only eleven attended. Addressed them at the conclusion of the ceremony. Afterwards returned to Morpeth.
WEST MAITLAND—EAST MAITLAND.
June 28.—Consecrated the church of the Virgin Mary, at West Maitland, the Rev. W. Stack, B.A., incumbent. It is a stone building, with pointed windows, of no legitimate style or proportions, and an open roof. Externally the building has nothing to characterise it as a church; not having a tower, nor even the symbol of the cross. But it is well fitted up within, with accommodation for 300 or 400 persons; and affords altogether a gratifying spectacle, when contrasted with the small mean building in which divine service has hitherto been performed. The Clergymen present were the Rev. W. Stack (incumbent); the Rev. Jennings Smith (acting Chancellor); Rev. C. P. N. Wilton, of Newcastle, and the Rev. G. K. Rusden, of East Maitland [8/9] (Chaplains); and the Revs. G. A. Middleton, of Hinton; C. Spencer, of Raymond Terrace; R. T. Bolton, of Hexham. Preached on Psalm xciii. 5, "Holiness becometh thine house for ever."
June 29.—St. Peter's-day. Consecrated the church of St. Peter at East Maitland. The same Clergy, excepting Mr. Middleton, present as yesterday; Rev. F. Cameron also attending from Singleton. Preached on Isaiah lxii. 1. St. Peter's is a stone edifice, with square-headed windows, and flat ceiling: without tower, porch, chancel, or any external sign to denote the sacred purposes to which it is appropriate. Internally it is carefully fitted up: but in all our churches the arrangement of the pews appears to have been made without due attention; and the space allotted for the altar is, in almost every case, painfully circumscribed. Afterwards proceeded to consecrate the burial- ground.
June 30.—Confirmation at St. Peter's; fifty-four attended. The sight of these young people most gratifying; as it affords our best hope that there is a generation rising up, carefully trained in an acquaintance with the truths of Christianity, and prepared to regulate their lives according to its holy principles. Addressed them at the conclusion.
July 1.—Confirmation at St. Mary's church; thirty-eight attended. Everything well conducted; and the service attended to with serious earnestness, not only by the candidates, but by the congregation. Addressed them as usual.
July 2.—Preached in the morning at St. Mary's; [9/10] recommending a collection towards completing the porch and other parts of the church, still in an unfinished state. Nearly 10l.raised. There are parochial schools here and at East Maitland, the scholars of which attend their respective churches. In the afternoon went on ten miles, accompanied by the Rev. W. Stack, to Harper's Hill. Preached in a barn, which is used as a church every fortnight. About thirty persons present. Went to Mr. Wyndham's at Dalwood. Mr. Stack returned to Maitland for his evening service.
July 3.—From Dalwood to Singleton, by way of Glendon. Kindly entertained until the 9th by Mr. and Mrs. Cameron.
July 4.—Heavy rain; notwithstanding which a numerous meeting of parishioners assembled, pursuant to summons, to consider again the question of erecting a church, parsonage, and school-house, for this parish. The walls of the latter are nearly complete; and a proposal was made, and agreed to, to receive contributions in cattle, sheep, grain, or other articles of consumption, from those who could not give money, in order to discharge in part the existing debt upon the school-house, and to enable the contractor to proceed. The building, however, is most unsuitably placed, at a distance from the present site of the town, and from where it is likely to extend to during very many years. The eighth [10/11] occasion of my attending this town from 1830 to the present time inclusive; but nothing yet satisfactorily done.
July 5.—Engaged in replying to letters received since leaving Sydney.
July 6.—The same; and in writing to the Clergy and others in places which it is my intention to visit, fixing the times.
July 7.—Went with Mr. Cameron to inspect the school-house. Its present appearance very discouraging. Afterwards to inspect the burial-ground, a short distance from the town. Found it in tolerable order, but requiring enlargement, and repair of the fences; which were decided on.
July 8.—Engaged in examining a building, now vacant, containing a large room, which might, at a small expense, be fitted with the appurtenances for solemnizing divine service, and also to serve during the week as a school-room; with good residence over for a master and mistress. Agreed to hire the same for these purposes, for two years, at 40l. per annum; perceiving little or no probability of either church or school-house being finished within any shorter space of time. Left a plan and instructions for placing a desk, communion-table, font, benches, &c.
July 9.—Preached in the morning at the Court-house to a very respectable and attentive congregation of near 150, who more than filled the room. The Rev. F. Cameron read prayers. Afterwards proceeded twelve miles to Ravensworth, the [11/12] residence of James Bowman, Esq. J. P. Crossing Fal-Brook, on the left saw the unfinished walls of St. Clement's Church, the foundation of which was laid during my last visit. The edifice is of stone, and of a good design. The walls raised to about three parts of the full height; but there stopped, from want of power to raise additional funds. Much stone is prepared, and lying on the spot, as are also the iron window-frames. The walls must be sustaining injury from the weather, standing so long without protection of a roof. The spectacle was a melancholy one. Read the evening service and preached at Ravensworth, in the verandah, to a small congregation. Baptized after the second lesson.
July 10.—Rainy morning. Remained at Ravensworth.
EDEN GLASSIE—MUSWELL BROOK.
July 11.—To Eden Glassie, Mrs. White's; by whom, and by her late husband, received at all times with much kindness on all occasions of my visiting them during the past thirteen years. Evening service attended by the family and neighbours: twelve or fourteen in all. Preached a sermon, which, by a note upon it, appeared to have been delivered, more than twenty-three years ago, at my retired curacy. The retrospect not without some painful feelings; but tending to awaken seriousness, and, it may be trusted, not without improvement.
July 12.—To Muswell Brook. Met here the Rev. W. Gore; and made arrangements for his [12/13] establishment as incumbent of this place and Merton, fifteen miles distant. The church at Muswell Brook is completed to the height of the walls, which are of brick. The design is that of Codrington Chapel in Barbadoes, copied from an engraving which appeared, some time since, in one of the occasional Reports of the S. P. G. The parsonage, which adjoins, is roofed; but both buildings are now standing still through want of funds. Farther on, passed by St. Helier's, the residence of the late Colonel Dumaresq, a distinguished officer in the Peninsular and Waterloo campaigns, my first acquaintance in this Colony. He lies buried on one of the hills adjoining the road. Observed an eagle soaring over at a great height; the emblem struck me as not unappropriate. Crossed Hunter's River at Aberdeen, running in a scanty shallow stream, as was the case also at Glendon Ford. Muswell Brook perfectly dry. Reached Scone Parsonage, inhabited by the Rev. J. Morse, the incumbent.
July 13.—Remained at Scone.
July 14.—The same: occupied with correspondence. Walked with Mr. Morse to the village, containing only a few scattered huts. Went successively into all; and endeavoured by exhortation to awaken the people to a more becoming sense of their religious duties. Great insensibility prevailing, and little apparent impression produced on any.
 July 15.—Consecrated the church-yard, the church not being yet so complete, as to internal preparation, as to admit of that solemnity at present. It is a large commodious building, of brick, rather awkwardly designed, but substantially built; and at my suggestion, aided by a grant from the Society, provided with a small chancel. There is also a neat vestry. The parsonage a respectable and convenient brick house. The consecration was attended by the principal families in the neighbourhood, forming but a small congregation. From the village not a single individual came, though many of them have relatives interred in the ground. A mortifying proof of the discouragements which here attend the efforts of the Clergy, and of the insensibility to which their long unacquaintance with religious ordinances has reduced too many of that class to which the individuals in question had belonged. After the ceremony, proceeded, accompanied by Mr. Morse, to Murrurundi, on the river Page; nearly thirty miles, on a bad and difficult road. Reached the small inn at sunset.
July 16.—Preached at the Court-house to a congregation of about thirty, Mr. Morse reading the service. Afterwards crossed the township, and determined on the most suitable spot for the erection of a small church, as soon as pecuniary means can be provided. This place is situated close to the foot of the Liverpool range of mountains, the summits of which quite hang over it. Being the first halting-place on emerging from the pass, through [14/15] which the road to New England, and many extensive districts beyond the mountains, is carried, Murrurundi is, and promises to become still more, a place of considerable resort. Many restless and disorderly characters appear to be settled in the neighbourhood. A resident Clergyman is very much needed here, as there is at present neither check nor control of a religious kind except from the services of Mr. Anderson, a presbyterian minister, who has a school at no great distance, and preaches in the Court-house. A small chapel has been erected for the Roman Catholics, who have occasional visits from their priest. The present was the first introduction of the services of the Church of England. As a resource, until more effectual provision could be made, arranged that Mr. Morse would attend and officiate monthly. Went in the afternoon to the station of Messrs. White and Gill, intending to officiate there, but was disappointed of a congregation. Heavy rain set in soon after our arrival.
BAPTISMS AND CHURCHING IN A HUT.
July 17.—The rain continued during the night, pouring through the bark roof; and raising apprehensions of its coming upon the beds, which our entertainers had very kindly given up for our use; but fortunately we escaped. The morning very unpromising. Detained by rain till eleven; but soon after starting it ceased. Stopped at a hut to baptize an infant, as arranged on passing on Saturday. The [15/16] parents were emigrants from Somersetshire. As the woman knelt before me during the service for thanksgiving after childbirth, she was visibly and. becomingly affected. Her mind was evidently filled, as mine also was, with feelings of reverence and affection, at the remembrance of our common Church and country; placed as we were, at this vast distance from both, in the midst of the wilderness. The people were very grateful; and having no Bible, received with satisfaction the promise that one should be sent to them. Just as the ceremony was concluded, two other children were brought to be baptized; the report of our intended, visit having been spread. This day we passed through thirty-three principal water-courses, rivers, creeks, or brooks, and noticed not a drop of water in any; yet there had been a considerable fall of rain, and the general appearance of the cultivated land was luxuriant and promising. The people also are certainly well supplied with the necessaries of life. In the hut where we stopped, there was fine beef roasting for the labourer's dinner; and plenty of tea, and sugar, and milk; but their dispersed condition, in the employments of sawyers, shepherds, stockmen, and others prevalent here, is unfavourable in a high degree to the maintenance of regular habits and religious impressions; and where there are children sharing in such a mode of life, the effects are still worse. We went on to Puen-Buen, Mr. Bingle's, where a company of ladies and gentlemen was awaiting our arrival. In the evening took advantage [16/17] of the presence of a settler from New England to discuss the possibility of providing for the establishment and maintenance of a Clergyman in that remote and extensive district; and trust that some progress was made, from which further consequences may result.
July l8.—Mr. Morse and Mr. Bingle accompanied me to inspect a burial-place which had been set apart many years since, by Mr. Archdeacon Scott, near Ka-uga. About thirty bodies have been interred. It was pleasing to observe that some masters (particularly Mr. Bingle) had shown so becoming a mark of respect for the dead, as to place decent grave-stones over the remains of their convict servants. The fences required some slight repair, for which directions were given. Proceeded onward alone, crossing the Hunter at Muswell Brook, where final arrangements were made for the establishment of Mr. Gore, by agreeing to make an allowance for house-rent for a time limited, until the parsonage could be completed; the population of this town and neighbourhood being such as to render the residence of a Clergyman quite indispensable. From Muswell Brook to Skeletar, the residence of Lady Forbes, relict of the late Chief Justice; and thence to Mrs. White's, at Eden Glassie.
July 19.—To Wollen Hills. Mr. George Blaxland's: a bye-road; very solitary. Owing to a [17/18] misconception of the directions, missed the way: went six miles astray, and had a very difficult pass to cross in recovering the road. At Wollen, met by appointment Mr. Jenkins from Jerry's Plains, in order to consult on the possibility of stationing a Clergyman there: in which object the gentleman just named had, in correspondence with me, shown himself much interested. Agreed to use every effort for accomplishing the desired object: in the mean time arranged that Mr. Cameron should go over to officiate occasionally, and to administer the holy sacraments, until some more effectual resource could be applied. Learned, with extreme regret, that, owing to the long continued privation of religious services, the people are falling into habits of absolute unconcern and insensibility respecting the most awful and serious of all interests. Meetings have been held from time to time, at which the Rev. Mr. Stack was deputed by me to be present; and resolutions and lists of subscriptions were formed. But the sum collected, while the people were in better circumstances, was altogether trifling: and now they have not, generally speaking, the means of fulfilling their engagements. If there were a Clergyman in the Colony whose services were not employed elsewhere, it might still be possible to remedy, partially at least, this crying evil. But the labourers are few, and the harvest in consequence cannot be gathered.
July 20.—On the road to Cassilis. Passed several shepherds' huts, stopping to speak to such of the occupants as were of the Church of England, or as were willing to listen. Found one general feeling of anxiety to possess the benefit of attending public worship. Arranged with some that they should go to Merton, where, in consequence of Mr. Gore's coming to Muswell Brook, divine service will now be solemnized every Sunday. Others, too remote for this, cannot be attended to as they ought to be, until the object of placing a Clergyman at Jerry's Plains can be accomplished. Again missed the way: and reached, towards evening, a station on the River Goulburn. One of the stockmen, a native of Ireland, with the good will which those men gene- rally show to strangers, mounted his horse and showed us a way through the heart of the mountain, which it would have been impossible to find without a guide, and was not easy to follow with one. Crossed the Goulburn River, and Hall's Creek, five times: all totally dry. Reached Peberdy's Inn. A congregation, consisting of the family and workmen employed about the place, assembled for evening service. Baptized an infant, and preached.
July 21.—Proceeded towards Col-a-roy, Mr. Edward Hamilton's: but the road was heavy; [19/20] therefore stopped at Mr. Charles Blaxland's, near the proposed village of Merava. Should it ever be practicable to station a Clergyman in this district, one suitable place at which he should periodically officiate would be this village. Made some preliminary inquiries, and left some proposals for consideration, upon which a future communication will be made to me. A site is also to be selected for a burial place; the desire for which is strongly expressed. Evening service and sermon: attended by a small congregation.
July 22.—To Col-a-roy, Met by Mr. Hamilton, who conducted me to his residence; which is very finely situated.
July 23.—Morning and evening service in the house, attended by persons from the neighbourhood, six or seven miles around. Baptized three children.
July 24.—Mr. Hamilton started early for Sidney, to attend the opening of the Legislative Council, of which he has been nominated a member. To Llangollen, near Cassilis, the property of Messrs. Denison: accompanied on the way by Mr. Alfred Denison and Mr. Alexander Busby.
July 25.—Went to inspect the site of an intended village on Munmurra Creek; where an allotment has been marked for a church. Decided on a preferable situation; and had much conversation on the practicability of raising funds for the building, and to support a Clergyman. Difficulties appear almost insurmountable; but still they must not be yielded to. In the three counties of [20/21] Brisbane, Bligh, and Phillip, there are, according to the census, 1500 members of the Church of England, not to mention other Christians; and unless it be possible to afford them some outward means of grace and instruction, it is but too plain that all sense of religion will speedily disappear, and their descendants will fall into heathenism.
July 26.—Left Mr. Denison's at 10 A.M. In consequence of this late departure compelled to remain all night at a place called Tongey, a sheep station, belonging to Mr. Fitzgerald, of Windsor. As there were many people about the place, assembled them for evening service and a sermon. The poor people here were very civil and kind, giving me the best they had of everything. Lay down for a few hours in my clothes.
July 27.—Proceeded to Guntawong, Mr. Rouse's. Here, in the evening, was a good congregation. Service, and a short plain sermon, as usual.
July 28.—To Mudgee: on the road to which place we met the Rev. James Günther, who had come over from Wellington, by appointment, for that purpose. Went to the residence of Mr. Nelson Lawson; occupied at present by his relative, Mr. Nicholas Bailey.
July 29.—Much rain during the day. Occupied with Mr. Günther in arranging details for breaking up the Mission of the Aborigines at Wellington [21/22] Valley, of which he has for several years had charge under the Church Missionary Society: and for his removal to Mudgee, to take the pastoral charge of that place.
July 30.—Mr. Günther read the service at St. John's Church in Mudgee, this morning. Preached on the text, Psalm iv, 4. Much grieved to observe the state of dilapidation into which this church has fallen since it was consecrated: the windows, both as to the lead and glass, being nearly destroyed. This must be owing chiefly to the want of a resident Clergyman during so long a period. The parsonage also has suffered from remaining untenanted. The congregation consisted of more than seventy. In the afternoon, read prayers and preached at Mr. George Cox's. Passed the night there.
July 31.—Proceeded on the journey. Hearing that an act of violence had been recently attempted in this neighbourhood, by two armed men, who were still at large and supposed to be prowling on the road, accepted the proposal of an escort: and was attended by the chief constable, mounted and armed. But no cause of alarm presented itself. Stopped to rest at Tonna-botta, Mr. Bowman's station; there baptized two children of the overseer. Forward to a small public house at Cunningham's Creek. The people of the house, and others collected from the neighbourhood, came to evening service. Preached to them on Luke x. 27.
 CULLEN BULLEN.
August 2.—Came in the evening to Cullen Bullen, a property belonging to Sir John Jamison. Mr. Okell, the resident superintendent, did his utmost for our entertainment. The residents around, with the household, came to evening service. Preached a sermon of many years prior date, on Luke x. 42—"But one thing is needful," which again awoke remembrances of many distant times, places, and persons. Made an arrangement, that this place, and a station about twenty miles off, on the road we had come, should be visited occasionally by the Clergyman from Bathurst; who at the same time will officiate at a place called Piper's Flat, five miles distant; and will go, as frequently as circumstances permit, to Capertee, a station of Sir John Jamison's, where there is a considerable population hemmed in by the mountains, who have never been visited by any Clergyman.
August 2.—Went to Bathurst. At a place called Meadow Flat, came again upon a high road, which had not been the case since leaving Muswell Brook—a distance of more than 300 miles. Found the difficulty of travelling much increased. During six weeks there have been excessive falls of rain here; and the road, in consequence, so cut up, as to make travelling on it difficult, and even [23/24] dangerous. Crossed the River Macquarie, flowing rapidly: the second instance of a running stream in 500 miles. Came to the town of Bathurst; and to a good inn, kept by Mr. Read. Received there by the Rev. Thomas Sharpe, who is engaged in preparing the candidates for confirmation on Sunday next.
August 3.—A strong gale of wind, and heavy rain during the night. During the journey yesterday, there were someoccasional falls of snow; and early this morning the sides of the hills and roofs of the houses were partially covered with it. Such a spectacle is never witnessed in New South Wales, except in the Western and Southern counties; where, owing to their great elevation, a much lower temperature prevails during the winter months, than is experienced in the Midland and Northern parts. Consulted and made arrangements with the Rev. T. Sharpe, and Mr. Cope, of the Bank of Australasia (treasurer to the subscribers), for a General Meeting, to be held during my stay, to promote the erection of the proposed church in this town. Decided that notices should be issued, appointing Saturday, the 5th instant, for that purpose.
August 4.—At the house of Mr. Sharpe, who resides about a mile and a half from the town, there being no parsonage.
August 5.—Attended the meeting of which notice had been given; both numerous and respectable assembly of parties favourable to the measure. Addressed them in support and recommendation of the object, referring to the former meeting, at which [24/25] I was present, in 1841; numerously attended, but leading to no result; expressed a hope that a smaller number, acting with zeal, would accomplish more. Explained that the true mode of providing for the erection and support of Churches, &c., was not, according to the too prevalent custom, that a few contributors should each give a large sum, more, perhaps, than they could conveniently afford, but that all should unite in contributing, conscientiously and perseveringly, a certain proportion of their possessions and profits, which would then effect, without casting a burdensome obligation upon any one, the object which all were desirous of accomplishing:—that the Almighty never designed that the support of His Church should be burdensome to any; nor would it be so, if all were to concur in supporting each their proper share of the cost, by giving back to the service of the sanctuary a stipulated portion of whatsoever God had bestowed upon him:—that this might evidently be inferred from the comparison or parallel drawn between the frame of the Church and that of the human body; for that, in the latter, if every member did its proper office, and bore its appointed share of exertion, the most laborious undertakings might be accomplished without occasioning any sense of pain or weariness; whereas, if one portion of the members was to remain inactive, and to yield no support, the required exertion must be painful and oppressive to the other portion, which had thus thrown upon them more than their due share of the burden. This representation seemed to be approved; and at the [25/26] conclusion, those present, besides making up the amount (300l.)required to obtain the aid of Government towards the erection of the church, set down additional subscriptions, amounting to 90l., to be paid as the progress of the building should require; and also agreed to a regular weekly or monthly contribution of small sums, to be persevered in until the required funds should be provided for completing the church.
August 6.—Attended divine service in the Government building appropriated formerly as a residence for the military officer commanding the detachment. The two main rooms and passage between completely filled, and many compelled to remain outside. Altogether, not fewer than 150 to 180 persons present, including the military. Confirmed eighteen; and afterwards preached on the duty and importance of exertion to provide a church in which the word of God might be preached, and the sacraments ministered according to the usage and principles of the Church of England; the excellences of which as Christian, Reformed, and Catholic, were pointed out. Between 9l. and 10l. collected. Afternoon, at Trinity Church, Kelso, on the opposite side of the river Macquarie. Confirmed fifteen, and preached on the benefits derivable from that ordinance.
August 7.—Proceeded towards Sydney, to Hartley, forty miles.
August 8.—To the foot of the Blue Mountains; two miles from Eum Ford. Forty-seven miles.
August 9.—To Sydney, thirty-six miles.
 SECOND TOUR.
VOYAGE TO PORT PHILIP.
Friday, September 15.—Embarked at a quarter past seven, A.M., on board the barque Rajah, bound to Port Philip; and sailed with a strong north-east breeze, which continued all day. At night began to blow hard from the north-west, which carried the ship far out to sea.
Sunday, 17.—Morning service at eleven, attended by the officers and crew. Preached on Mark vi. 50, 51, "He talked with them, and said unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I: be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship." A most attentive congregation.
Monday, 18, and Tuesday, 19.—Wind fair; towards evening saw Kent's group, at the entrance to Bass's Strait.
Wednesday, 20.—Off the entrance. Wind very strong from the north-west. All day employed in endeavouring to make the passage between the islands, but ineffectually.
Thursday, 21.—The same strong wind against us. No progress all day. In the night, by a shift of wind made the channel into the strait; ran past Kent's and Sir Roger Curtis's Islands, hauling round Wilson's Promontory, and standing north-west.
Friday, 22.—Early in the morning came on to blow a gale of wind from the north-west; lay to for [27/28] twenty-four hours, under close-reefed topsail; blowing very hard, the sea high, the ship in much motion, and very uncomfortable.
Saturday, 23.—The gale continued until day-break, going off latterly in violent gusts; which ceasing, a breeze sprung up from south-west. Made sail for Port Philip. Suffered extremely from sea-sickness. In the night driven back by return of north-west gale.
Sunday, 24.—Fine calm day; wind fair and moderate from south-west. Continued to stand northerly. Morning service at eleven; preached on Matt. xvi. 26, "What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Afternoon at five; preached on Matt. x. 9, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father." Saw land a-head and on both bows.
Monday, 25. Soon after midnight came off the port. Stood off and on, or lay to, until day-break. Stood on, and entered between the Heads at half- past seven, A.M. The pilot came on board, and we continued all day beating up towards Geelong, our place of destination. At sunset anchored about five miles short of it.
Tuesday, 26.—Weighed anchor at day-break, and arrived off Point Henry, where the ship will lie to take in her cargo (principally wool) for England. As soon as our arrival was known, the Police [28/29] Magistrate, N. A Fenwick, Esq., with the other members of the Church Committee, took measures for receiving me on my landing; and Charles Sladen, Esq., the Honorary Secretary, shortly afterwards came on board the Rajah to make the arrangement. The town of Geelong lies at the bottom of a deep bay, which forms the inner harbour, but into which vessels of any burden cannot enter, in consequence of a bank or bar extending nearly across. The distance from the ship to the landing-place was about five miles and a half. Had a very unpleasant tedious row to the shore, the wind being very strong and contrary. On landing was received by Mr. Sladen, who had gone round again by land; but, through some mischance, missed the carriage, which the Committee had directed to be in readiness. Walked with Mr. Sladen to his residence, where I was most kindly and hospitably entertained during the period of my residence at Geelong. This is a town of recent establishment, in the county of Grant; but rapidly increasing in extent and population, and likely to become a place of importance, from the wide range of good pastoral and arable land to which it forms the natural key. The number of ships which load here with wool for England every year is very considerable; and there is a constant export of stock to Van Diemen's Land. It was immediately apparent that an incorrect representation had been made to me of the state of circumstances here; leading me to believe that the entire population (or with exceptions scarcely worthy [29/30] of notice) consisted of natives of Scotland, and that there was a very inconsiderable minority in the place of members of our Church. Nothing could have been less correctly stated. The principal residents in and near the town belonged to us; and I quickly received the most gratifying assurances of their attachment to the religion which they professed. They have erected an exceedingly good roomy brick parsonage, which before I left the place was perfectly habitable. A large and substantial school-house adjoining was also approaching to completion. In the afternoon of this day, at my request, a meeting of the Trustees, or Church Committee, took place, which I attended; and explained to the gentlemen present the utter state of destitution in which I was placed as to my further supply of Clergymen. To this alone, assured them, with the fullest sincerity, it was owing that they remained, and must still remain, without the services of a Clergyman even to visit them occasionally; and in evidence of the dearth and straitness which prevailed, I referred them to the circumstances of my own arrival among them without the attendance of a Clergyman. The cause of this was the impossibility of obtaining the services of any to accompany me in this extended Visitation without closing one or more churches; and depriving the inhabitants of the place, from which such Clergyman might be removed, of the benefit of public worship so long as I might be absent. The Society, however, may receive my assurance, that I have seldom experienced [30/31] a more painful sensation than in being compelled to make a communication of this nature to an assembly of gentlemen representing a very numerous and truly respectable portion of the Anglican Church, consisting almost exclusively of free emigrants and their families; and of whose cordial attachment to that Church, and sincere anxiety for the restoration of its services, I received everyday more satisfactory proofs. As the best resource in my power, I gave immediate notice of my intention to commence on the following day the daily services of the Church in the Court-house, the only building which could be obtained in any degree fit for the purpose.
Without continuing the report of my proceedings in the form of a regular journal, I may report to the Society, that from the 27th of September (the day after landing) until my departure from Geelong, I continued to have daily prayers every morning, and the prayers with a sermon every evening. The attendance was very good, far beyond my expectations; and it was continued throughout by the parishioners with unabated seriousness and regularity. At the same time I made arrangements for the young, and others who had not been confirmed, to attend me every day, for the purpose of examination; and thus engaged, I passed a fortnight quietly and happily in the oversight of the flock of God committed to my charge.
During my residence here, the committee having determined to proceed with the erection of the church, I laid the foundation-stone with the [31/32] accustomed religious observances, in the presence of a large concourse of inhabitants, (to be called Christ-Church); and on the same day, consecrated the burial-ground, distant about a mile from the town. On Saturday, the 7th of October, I held the confirmation in the new school-house, which by the strenuous exertions of the trustees had been prepared for the occasion, and provided with an enclosed chancel and communion table; extremely becoming in its appearance, and thoroughly conforming to the apostolical precept of decency and order. In the administration of this holy ordinance on the present occasion, I experienced peculiar pleasure, in consequence of all who attended it having been brought under my personal examination. Their acquaintance with the chief truths and duties of religion was in general highly satisfactory; and their conduct marked by a very encouraging appearance of sincerity. On the day following, Sunday, 8th of October, officiated in the morning in the school-house. The congregation exceeded 100: and there were more than twenty communicants at the Lord's table. In the evening, the service in the Court house was so numerously attended, that the place would not contain all who came. This was the conclusion of my services here. I cannot express the regret and disappointment which I experience in being compelled to leave once more without the services of a pastor, a congregation who have so religiously shown their desire to partake of the holy ordinances of the gospel, and who have in many instances even denied [32/33] themselves, with a view to make the necessary provision. Before my arrival, the principal settlers had made an arrangement among themselves to attend public worship every Sunday, one of their number reading the service, and another an approved discourse by some divine of our Church. I have given my sanction to this arrangement, and have promised to forward to Mr. Sladen, who is among the chief promoters of this design, a collection of suitable sermons. I also requested the District Surgeon, Mr. Clarke, to have the goodness, with my understood sanction, to read the burial-service over the dead. But the thought of leaving this town, and the entire county in which it stands, destitute of all ministerial aid, and consolation for the sick and dying, all superintendence of the school, and, still more, of every lawful means of partaking of the holy Sacraments, made upon me, and will convey to the Society, and to all friends of the Church in England, a profound impression of the difficulties which I labour under in providing the means of grace for all this people. My persuasion, after fifteen years' labour among them, is, that although the Church of England will have severe trials to undergo in establishing itself in this land, it is unquestionably, whether we reckon according to numbers or intelligence, the Church of the people's preference. Where it is duly administered, I know no instance of its failing. But unless means can be found of providing for the case I am now discussing, and a hundred other such, by sending over Clergymen, and those also of a superior [33/34] character and ability, it will be flattering ourselves too much to believe that it can maintain its ground. In the present instance, I should have been truly thankful had it been in my power to promise, on behalf of the Society, such pecuniary aid as might be becomingly and usefully bestowed in this place, for the service of the present generation, and much more with a view to futurity. But the embarrassed state of the Society's funds restricted my disposition; and I went no farther than to promise 60l., or it may be 70l., which is required to make a commencement of the church, of which I enclose a north-east view. No measure could tend so much to promote its erection, as the establishment here of a Clergyman qualified for the duties of the place. I beg also the Society's acceptance of a copy of a sermon, preached by me on board the Rajah, which has been printed here at the request of the seamen of that vessel.
Monday, October 9.—Embarked at seven, A.M., on board the Aphrasia steamer, for Melbourne. The members of the Church Committee accompanied me to the vessel, and remained till its departure. I took leave of them with feelings of sincere thankfulness for their endeavours in the service of the Church, as well as for their kind attention to myself; and my most earnest hope and desire is, that the want of a Clergyman's services, which they so deeply deplore, may be speedily and satisfactorily [34/35] supplied. To Melbourne, about forty-five miles, across Port Philip. The wind was north-east, and rather strong against us: but the vessel made head, and reached the wharf at Melbourne soon after three P.M., where I was kindly received by the Rev. A. C. Thomson, Captain Lonsdale, Mr. James Smith, and others, whom I had known on my former visit, and subsequently, as friends and supporters of the Church. In the year 1838, Melbourne contained but three houses deserving the name; and its population consisted of a few hundred souls. It is now a large metropolis, with suburbs covering a very great extent of ground, and with a population approaching to 8,000, more than one- half of whom are members of our Church. Shortly after landing, I received a visit from the excellent Superintendent of the District, C. J. La Trobe, Esq., who from that time, during the whole of my two months' residence, continued to render me the most valuable services, accompanied by the kindest hospitality and attention.
On the following day made arrangements with Mr. Thomson, for prayers in St. James's Church, every Wednesday and Friday morning, and for prayers and a sermon on the evenings of the same days in every week during my stay. In a town of this magnitude, some arrangements of this nature would be at all times desirable; but where the charge is wholly imposed upon one Clergyman, the only one in the county of Bourke, it would be utterly impossible to carry it on after my departure. [35/36] .A Confirmation was also fixed to be held on Friday, the 27th October: and in consideration of the numerous calls of duty to which Mr. Thomson is subject, I was glad to have an opportunity of offering him some assistance, by examining those who proposed to be confirmed; though, indeed, he had previously seen and examined the whole number.
St. James's Church is a large structure, substantially built of a dark-coloured stone found in the neighbourhood. It has been opened under my license for the celebration of public worship, and affords accommodation for a numerous congregation. Indeed, with the exception of the smallness of the chancel, it is very satisfactory in its architectural character. It presents, however, the appearance of only bare walls, and is in a most incomplete state, both within and without, as well as burdened with a debt of 900l., which renders hopeless its completion at present: the area around it is not even enclosed. The wooden building in which I officiated here on my former visit, stands close to the church, having been converted into a very convenient school-house; but, I regretted to learn, not well supported or attended. It did not appear to me regular to proceed with the consecration of the church while in so unfinished a state, and also in debt. But measures were immediately entered upon for promoting a fresh subscription for the reduction of that encumbrance. A meeting held for that purpose was very well attended; and before my departure, between 3001. and 400l. had been collected. The resources [36/37] of the inhabitants have been much reduced by the fall in the value of land and stock. In fact, great distress prevails, arising from that cause; and there was another subscription in contemplation at the same time, for the erection of another church in the eastern quarter of the town. Considering all these drawbacks, I regard the exertion which has been made on behalf of St. James's, as bearing favourable testimony to the liberal feeling and good principles of the inhabitants of Melbourne. Funds were also collected, and measures taken to form Committees, to assist in the superintendence of the Church School for both boys and girls; and it is gratifying to report, that a great increase of members, and general improvement in the management, had taken place in consequence. There is also a Sunday School, in which the numbers are increasing, in the management of which the Clergyman is very much assisted by the voluntary attendance of several well-instructed and able teachers, both male and female. The Church and community at large are under the strongest obligations to them for this service. The congregation of this church is left in a very embarrassed situation, in consequence of the unexpected defalcation of the sum of 500l. which, during the visit of Sir George Gipps to this town in 1841, they were led to expect would be placed on the Estimates, and voted towards the completion of their church. But owing to the insufficiency of the sum appointed by the Act of Parliament (5 and 6 Victor. cap. 76) to be expended on "Public Worship," the expected [37/38] aid has been necessarily withdrawn. It is my confident persuasion, that if the resources of the Incorporated Society were in that condition of prosperity which every friend of the Church of England must desire them to be restored to, there would be no indisposition to contribute towards an object of such importance as this is; but under the existing difficulties of the Society, I did not consider myself justified in pledging myself to render any aid beyond the very moderate grant which I had promised last year. At the same time, I will not dissemble that I turned from the contemplation of the subject with a feeling of deep regret that my resources were thus straitened.
On Friday, 27th October, I administered the rite of Confirmation to eighty-seven young persons, and was greatly struck and gratified by their attentive and becoming deportment. My own frequent intercourse with the greater number had enabled me to form my conclusions, which were generally favourable, as to their proficiency in the required knowledge of their duty as Christians. Generally, I am persuaded, they sensibly felt the solemnity of the engagements they were now to make, and were seriously resolved, by God's grace, to fulfil them.
DISTRICTS BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES.
DURING my residence at Melbourne, my attention was much directed towards the religious condition of the adjoining districts beyond the boundaries; [38/39] that is, in Grant, Bourke, Murray, Western Port, and Gipps' Land. With regard to Portland Bay, I had, thus far, less cause for anxiety, that there is one Clergyman stationed there (the Rev. J. Y. Wilson, a Missionary of the Society). But the others are altogether destitute; and a fearful state of principles is, as might be expected, rapidly extending itself. From many of the settlers I received expressions of good will; but could obtain no pledges as to what assistance they would render towards the support of a ministry. Indeed, it may be hardly reasonable to expect pledges of a permanent nature from persons who are themselves only occupiers by the sufferance of Government; nor do I expect that anything satisfactory can be arranged, until they are allowed to acquire a freehold property, in a portion, at least, of the lands over which their flocks and herds are depastured. I annex a copy of a letter addressed by me to a gentleman with whom I held frequent communications on this subject; and am confirmed in the opinion that the plan here proposed, for the establishment of Clergymen, deserves consideration, and a trial; and would be easily carried into effect, if the cordial assistance of Government were granted.
At Melbourne, I was detained after my actual business there was completed, by the hope of meeting with a suitable vessel, in which I might perform the voyage to Portland; but could meet with none such, and was compelled, with much reluctance, to forego my intention of visiting that settlement. [39/40] The expectation of enjoying the pleasure of a visit from the Bishop of Tasmania, who was then embarked, and in Bass's Strait, detained me a fortnight; but on the arrival of Sir John Franklin, finding that the Bishop had been compelled to return in haste to Hobart Town, I had no engagement to detain me from Sydney, where I was engaged to be before Christmas.
December 8.—Proceeded to William's Town, which is the port of Melbourne, six miles down the River Yarra. The population is much reduced, and the town in a decaying state, in consequence of the falling off of its commerce; but there is still a considerable population unprovided with means of communion with the Church of England: on which account I was anxious to pass a Sunday there. On the 10th, officiated, morning and afternoon, in a store, hastily prepared for the occasion, but not incommodious. The building seemed not to have been used for the purpose of its erection; but the counters and shelves with which it was furnished, formed a somewhat incongruous association with the solemn offices now administered in it. The attendance was very numerous and very respectable.
 RETURN TO SYDNEY.
December 11.—Embarked for Sydney, in the ship Midlothian.
December 12.—Weighed and proceeded down the port; but by the state of the wind, compelled to come to anchor off Shortland's Bluff.
December 13.—Proceeded down to the Heads, but could not leave the port; the wind from south- east blowing strong into the mouth.
December 14.—Weighed anchor early; but the wind failing, took up our former position. The steamer Shamrock, bound to Sydney, by way of Launceston, at that time appearing in sight, resolved to secure a passage, and removed from the Midlothian to the steamer. By nightfall, we had made two-thirds of the passage to Launceston.
December 15.—About 11 A.M. came off the mouth of the Tamar River; proceeded by George Town to Launceston, arriving at the wharf at 5 P.M.
December 16.—Enjoyed the very great and uexpected pleasure of a visit from Archdeacon Marriott, who happened to be at George Town, and hearing of my arrival, came very kindly to join me at Launceston; where we spent this and the following day together with mutual satisfaction, and in interesting conversation upon many subjects of importance to our respective churches.
 December 17, Sunday.—Morning, at Trinity Church, the Archdeacon preached a very excellent sermon. Evening, at St. John's Church, where I preached once more in my former diocese: and thus made up the number of my sermons to fifty-nine within the last ninety days. I trust in God some good effects may have attended them.
December 18.—Embarked for Sydney; where, on the 21st, after a very rapid and agreeable passage, I had great cause for thankfulness, in being once more restored in safety to my family.
December 31.—Held an Ordination at St. Andrew's Church: when the Rev. James Allan (formerly a presbyter of the Church of Scotland) was admitted to priest's orders, and Mr. Joseph Cooper was ordained Deacon. Mr. Allan preached a very admirable discourse (on Heb. xiii 17), wherein he gave a most lucid and candid statement of the reasons which had gradually led him to the conviction that presbyterian ordination did not sufficiently confer a title to administer the holy Sacraments, and that diocesan Episcopacy was the only divinely appointed order for the government of the Church of Christ. The earnest sincerity of his manner, and the conclusive form with which he stated his arguments and conclusions, produced a deep impression (as several of the hearers stated to me afterwards) upon their understanding and feelings. [42/43] Mr. Allan has been stationed at Braidwood, having charge of the county of St. Vincent: where I have every reason to be persuaded he is making full proof of his ministry. Mr. Cooper has a wide circuit in the northern districts, on Fal-Brook and the Wollombi.
January 1, 1844.—Festival of the Circumcision. Confirmed at St. Andrew's Church upwards of 300, belonging to the parishes in Sydney. The church crowded, and the day was most oppressively hot; which rendered the ceremony not a little fatiguing. But full compensation was afforded by the exceeding beauty of the spectacle of so many serious and well conducted young persons presenting themselves, in the face of the Church, to ratify and confirm the promises made in their name at their Baptism. In this country, these occasions, by bringing forward such evidence of the admirable order and-religious feeling in which so large a proportion of our population are brought up, give rise to feelings of peculiar satisfaction. We might have expected something very different. In truth, no one can so properly judge of what is, and what is likely to be, the character of the natives of this Colony, as by attending at the Confirmations.
CONFIRMATIONS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF SYDNEY.
January 6.—Held a Confirmation at St. Matthew's Church, Windsor: extremely well attended; and [43/44] appearance of the candidates quite as satisfactory and pleasing as before described.
January 7.—Attended morning service at Windsor; preached on the text, John vi. 50. Administered the Holy Sacrament, assisted by the Rev. H. T. Stiles. The table well attended; and by several confirmed yesterday. After service proceeded to Richmond; where the Rev. J. K. Walpole is stationed. Preached at St. Peter's; and held a Confirmation.
January 8.—Proceeded to Penrith; stopping at the parsonage with the Rev. R. R. Sconce.
January 9.—Held a Confirmation at St. Stephen's Church, Penrith, for that parish, and South Creek, Castlereagh, Mulgoa, and adjoining parts. A very good attendance, and most gratifying day.
January 10.—Proceeded to Wivenhoe, residence of Mr. Charles Cowper, Member of Council for the county of Cumberland.
January 11.—To Campbell Town; held a Confirmation for that parish and Appin. Went on to Liverpool.
January 12.—Held a Confirmation in St. Luke's Church, for this town and parts adjacent. Went to Paramatta.
January 13.—To Prospect. Held a Confirmation in St. Bartholomew's Church. The attendance not numerous, but very pleasing; and will probably be larger hereafter than on this, the first, occasion of this ordinance being administered here.
January 14, Sunday.—Preached morning and [44/45] evening in St. John's Church, at Paramatta. In the morning a large congregation; but in the evening the numbers were diminished by a very violent storm of wind, rain, and hail, which occurred this afternoon. Very considerable damage done to the windows of the church and many private houses by the hail.
January 15.—Held Confirmation in St. John's Church. The numbers confirmed were considerable, but not so large in proportion to the population as at Penrith, Campbell Town, and other places; but all very attentive and serious in their deportment. Here, as in all other places, the young people had every appearance of listening with earnestness to the address which, after their Confirmation, I customarily took occasion to deliver, explaining the nature and design of the ordinance, and exhorting them to a careful discharge of the duties by which they had so solemnly acknowledged themselves to be bound. Returned to Sydney much gratified, and encouraged by the numbers who had generally attended the Confirmations, and by the very proper and becoming deportment which was everywhere apparent on the part of those who presented themselves to partake of my blessing.
EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS OF THE BISHOP OF AUSTRALIA.
July 3, 1843.
"I MAY observe that, during my present progress, I have been in one county, Durham, in the whole extent of which there is not a church, and but one Clergyman. In the adjoining county of Brisbane there is one church, and one Clergyman—no more. After that I shall pass through three entire counties, in which there is neither minister nor ordinance of religion; and the five counties included in this enumeration contain a fourth part of the area of New South Wales, and from a sixteenth to an eighteenth of the entire population. Going along without even the attendance of a Clergyman (for indeed I cannot spare one to accompany me), it cannot be expected that I can practically do much for the benefit and instruction of the scattered inhabitants. But it may afford them proof that they are not overlooked or forgotten: and it is of great importance to keep alive among them a feeling of attachment to the ordinances of the Church, until the time shall arrive for their enjoyment of some better provision, which the mercy of God may have in reserve for them.
"Believe me I feel very deeply and sensibly the expressions of satisfaction with my humble efforts in the cause of the Gospel which you convey to me on behalf of the Society. There is no day of my life in which I do not with grateful remembrance dwell upon the benefits conferred by it upon this extensive and far-distant member of the Church of Christ, and I earnestly pray that the spirit which has made those benefits co-extensive with the limits, not of this single diocese, but almost of the world itself, may not be checked by a decay of zeal or liberality on the part of those whom God has blessed with means and resources for contributing to so excellent a work."
 Sydney, 3d April, 1844.
"THE district beyond the boundaries of location are now the following: Moreton Bay, Darling Downs, Clarence River, McLeay River, Maneroo, Murrambridge, Murray River, and Portland Bay.
"I have placed in the foremost class these eight districts, which have, through the provident liberality of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the means of grace in some degree afforded them. But the following are altogether destitute of that blessing:—New England, Liverpool Plains, Bligh, Wellington, Lachlan, Murray, Western Port, Bourke, Grant, Gipps' Land. I have reason to believe that in the eighteen districts there are upwards of 14,000 inhabitants.
"But for the exertions of the Society these immense tracts of country would be altogether destitute of the very name and offices of religion; except that, I believe, the Roman Catholic or Presbyterian Ministers may occasionally traverse some portion of them. It is impossible to estimate too highly the services which our Clergy are here placed in a position to confer; inasmuch as they may in reality be said, so far as their restricted efforts can accomplish it, to be resisting the establishment of the dominion of Atheism. It may appear a strong term to employ, but I use it deliberately, upon conviction, from experience. Indeed, I should be greatly failing in my duty were I not to implore the aid of our venerable Society, in representing to Her Majesty's Government its indispensable obligation to render some encouragement to that good cause, the cause of the Church of Christ, which our efforts are now singly maintaining in these districts. I think I speak advisedly when I say, that the outlay of the Government for religious purposes, within these eighteen districts, has not, up to this date, amounted to 400l., though I believe that the expenditure, within the same, for civil purposes, amounts annually to nearly 15,000l., and the revenue collected from them may be of double, or nearly thrice that amount. In my place in the late Legislative Council of the Colony, I brought the subject forward, proposing that a certain rateable proportion of the head-money received for pasturage of cattle should be applied to religious purposes; and, contrasting the provision made for the [47/48] security of their flocks and herds, with the total disregard of religious institutions, I could not forbear applying to the subject the question, 'How much, then, is a man better than a sheep?' But the force of the interrogation was lost, apparently, upon the Council, by whom it was received with a degree of indifference which surprised me, I acknowledge, and disheartened me from ever repeating the attempt."
Sydney, June 22, 1844.
"AT the same time I can assure the Society that, wherever its bounty has been exercised, and the means of grace in any reasonable degree supplied, there is evidently an abundant harvest, the fruit of the labours and expense bestowed upon the soil. In the city from which I write, we have now five churches. On my first coming hither, in 1829, there were but two. In St. James's and St. Philip's there are in each three services every Sunday; in Trinity Church, St. Andrews, and St. Lawrence, there are two. The arrangements are so made that the Holy Sacrament is administered in two of those churches every Sunday in the year. In two of them there is a daily service; and in one of the others on the Festivals. The number of communicants altogether is at least sixfold of what it was when I first knew the place. In the country generally there is a great improvement, not only in the outward attention paid to religion, but I am persuaded in the spirit of devotion, and in a deep sense of the obligation to render unto God the things that are God's. Had I means to erect fifty additional churches where they are most required, and to provide for the support of their fifty clergymen, I am under no apprehension but that Christian principles would take deep root, and that the Church of England would be the choice of the great majority of the inhabitants. My great anxiety, however, at this time is concerning the condition of the districts beyond the boundaries, over which population is extending rapidly without any attendant provision even for their maintenance in the belief of Christianity."
R. CLAY, PRINTER, BREAD STREET HILL.