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The emigrant and the heathen; or, sketches of missionary life 1874

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Sticks of Missionary life. 
THE   KEY.   J.   J.   HALCOMBE,   M.A.
Hector of Bahliam, Linton, Cambridgeshire.
Suffolk Lane, City. CONTENTS.
WALES. By the Rev. R. G-. Boodle, formerly Examining
Chaplain to the Duke of Newcastle.
Chapter I.—Eirst Impressions  1
II.—What a Layman may do  7
ILL—Entering on Work     18
TV.—Up the Country  29
V.—Work in a Pastoral District   41
VI.—A Bush Township and its School  82
VIL—Bush Labour and Bush Polk  98
YHI.—Destitution of the Sick in the Bush  109
IX.—Random Recollections \  116
X.—A Servant of Christ in Training    125
XI.—Christ's Servant entering on his Work, and released
from ToH   134
XII.—The Aborigines  151
XHL—The Formation of the Church Society  168
XIY.—Growth and Progress of the Church Society  176
Journals of the Rev. R. J. DuNDAS.
Chapter I.—Notes from the Bishop's Journal   185
II.—Camping with Indians  190
III.—A Sunday on a Mining Creek     195
IY.—A Miner's Euneral  202
Y.—Life on a Mining Creek   208
VI.—Journey Back from the Mines, 1862  217
VII.—Two years amongst the Indians of Queen Charlotte's
Island  229
Chapter I.—Swamplands   241
II.—A Visit to the Gold Fields  253
Chapter I.—Caste    271
II.—Christmas in an Indian Mission Station  291
BURMAH.   By the Rev. Henry Rowley  313 THE
jjlpltyctums of Pmiatmal Merit in the HH|
first impressions.
It was a bright Sunday morning, on the 16th of January,.
1848, when the ship "Medway" entered the heads of Port
Jackson, having on board the Eight Rev. William Tyrrell,
the first Bishop of Newcastle.
His party consisted of two clergymen, seven candidates
for the ministry, a schoolmaster and mistress, and some
servants from the Bishop's Hampshire parish of Beaulieu.
Our voyage had been a long one, 120 days from Graves-.
end, but the delay had not been unprofitable. A sudden
change from English to Australian work would have been
like an abrupt transition from a dense to a rare atmosphere.
The mental and spiritual constitution would not have been
fitted for it. The pause gave time to prepare for the
change; and the opportunity thus afforded of reviewing
our past work in England, and considering the duties
which were awaiting us in our new sphere, full as they
were to be of untried and novel circumstances, helped us,
by God's grace, to enter upon our mission with greater THE  EMIGRANT  AND   THE  HEATHEN.
calmness and circumspection, and not, I trust, with less
determination, than if we could have passed suddenly from
the one part of Christ's vineyard to the other.
The two daily services, the Sunday congregations on
the main-deck or in the cuddy, and the monthly celebrations of the Holy Eucharist—begun as soon as the seasickness was over, and continued down the Atlantic, across
the Southern Ocean, and up the Pacific—had joined us in
imagination, as they kept us united in soul and spirit, with
our blessed English Mother Church.
The tedium of our ocean-life had been relieved by the
regularity of our daily lectures to the candidates for the
ministry, and our own studies ; as well as by the various
little incidents of catching sharks in a calm, and dolphins
in a breeze; watching an occasional whale, or the shoals
of flying-fish in the tropics, as they sprang ghstening
out of the water, and, after their few hundred yards' flight,
darted again, like a discharge of rifle-balls, into their
proper element.
Our first view of Australia had been at Cape Otway,
near Port Philip, the chief inlet to the rapidly growing
colony of Yictoria.
I need not say with what interest we had scanned it,
nor how eagerly, after passing Ninety-mile Beach on the
south, and doubling Cape Howe, we had asked the name
of each bay, or hill, or green spot, as we sailed up the
eastern coast.
Contrary winds had retarded us almost to the last; but
at length, having passed the heads of Botany Bay, and
having, a few miles further north, taken the pilot on
board, we passed between those tall stern cliffs of sandstone which look down upon the chafing waters of the
Pacific, and guard the entrance of one of the most lovely
harbours in the world.
A long, disastrous drought had lately been relieved by
abundance of rain, and the headlands and islands which FIRST  IMPRESSIONS.
rested on the blue waters were looking bright with fresh
Seven miles up the harbour lay Sydney, with her
beautiful wooded promontories and sand-fringed coves,
basking in the early sun. And as we glided up towards
our anchorage on that calm summer morning, and saw the
tall spire of St. James's Church rising out of the buildings
that were each minute growing more distinct, we felt that
the dearest part of old England—her Church—made even
a strange land home.
About 9 a.m., the last bit of canvas was taken in,.the
anchor let go, and the ship at rest.
What a feeling of security passes over you at that
moment, as you find yourself fast by the ground, after four
long months of perpetual motion; and how near seems the
realisation of all the hopes, trials,, and, if God please,
successes, to which the heart has long been looking
The venerable Bishop Broughton, whose body now
sleeps under the shadow of Canterbury Cathedral, was, at
the time of our arrival, absent from Sydney on a visitation;
but one of his clergy came on board to greet us. Under
his guidance, the Bishop, with some of our party, landed,
and proceeded to the temporary Cathedral of St. Andrew,
while I was conducted with the rest to St. James's
We publicly returned thanks for the mercies of our
safe voyage, and received our first Communion with our
Australian brethren.
It was a happy thing to kneel once more within the
walls of a church; and I might have believed myself in
old England, but for the shrill noise of the tettigonia or
locust, whose continuous whirr, like that of. a scissor-
grinder's wheel driven by strong steam power, seemed to
fill the whole air during the hot hours of the day.
In the. evening, the mosquitoes awoke with their hum at
the top of the room; and a few skirmishers attacked oUr
hands and faces before making their descent upon us in
I can never forget the open-hearted hospitality with
which we were received by our Sydney brethren. Australian hospitality is not confined to new arrivals from
England; through the whole of a sojourn of thirteen years
I found it unvarying. But it is especially cheering when
you land upon a strange shore, and have everything to
learn as to the details of living, to be received, as you are,
like .an old friend, with liberty to go in and out as you
please, and every one ready to help you.
The new diocese having, up to this time, been a part of
Bishop Broughton's vast see, we learnt from his secretary
what cures especially needed filling up.
There were three to begin with:—Morpeth, twenty miles
up the Hunter, where the navigable part of the river ends;
Singleton, thirty-five miles further up; and Muswell Brook,
thirty miles further inland on the same river, beyond
which, toward the west, there was no clergyman, but sheep
without a shepherd.
The Bishop himself determined to go to Morpeth, to
live at first in the parsonage, and to take the duties until
he could ordain one of the candidates, and place him there
under his own eye. He kindly gave me my choice of the
other two, and I fixed upon Muswell Brook. My dear
friend the Rev. H. 0. Irwin took Singleton as his work;
each of us having candidates for the ministry to reside
with us.
The first movement was to despatch Mr. Irwin in charge
of some of the candidates and all the servants to Morpeth,
to await the Bishop's arrival, it being an object to remove
them from the port and to give them something to do.
The Bishop wished me to remain with him, to see the
Bishop of Sydney, our Metropolitan, as soon as he should
return, and to have the benefit of his advice. FIRST  IMPRESSIONS.
I enjoyed this privilege in a few days, and then, with
my pupils, followed the first detachment to the Hunter,
leaving the two Bishops in consultation.
Newcastle, at the mouth of the Hunter, is sixty miles to
the north of the heads of Port Jackson. Its situation on
the side of a hill is good; and it looks inland up the river,
over a broad valley, filled with wood, and bounded on the
south-west by the WoUombi range, and on the north-east
by the hills of the Paterson and the Williams. At that
time its railway was not thought of, nor its harbour
secured by a breakwater, or so well filled with shipping as
it now is. The Sydney steamers touched there to land
passengers and cargo for the place, and then proceeded
with their chief freight up to Morpeth.
For the first few miles up the river the banks are low
and sandy; but by degrees they show some ten feet,
increasing as you advance to twenty feet or twenty-five
feet of rich alluvial soil above the water. In the midst of
tall dead gum-trees—which had been purposely barked all
round for some inches in width, and whose gaunt white
trunks and branches had formerly a thick scrub and
tangled festoons of creepers beneath them—were growing
rich crops of maize, and lucerne to be cut for hay; and,
in some places, tall-growing wheat.
In the midst of these you might see stumps of large
trees, about two feet and a-half in height, where, after the
crops of former years had been gathered in, the settler's
cross-cut saw had thinned some of the dead forest giants,
leaving the rest to be cut, and afterwards grubbed up at
Here and there were scattered the slab-built and bark-
covered huts of the owners or renters of these lands; and
near them, occasionally, a small planked stage would run
out on posts into the river, to enable the people to get
their bags of wheat and maize, or their trusses of hay, on
board the steamer on her way to Sydney; while a boat, D THE EMIGRANT AND THE HEATHEN.
tied to the little pier, heaved up and down in the waves
made by the passing vessel.
On our right, a few villas at long intervals, with their
verandahs, tasteful gardens, vines and orange-trees, showed
a higher kind of civilisation.
After passing on the same side the "townships" or
villages of Raymond Terrace at the mouth of the Williams
River, and Hinton at the mouth of the Pater son, we rejoiced
to find ourselves at last alongside the wharf at Morpeth,
and some of our party waiting for us, ready to escort us to
the parsonage. tm II
if sit ii
Morpeth, or, as it was originally called, "The Green Hills,"
lies along a sandstone ridge, which rises from the south
bank of the Hunter, and runs in a westerly direction two
miles to the town of East Maitland.
On the opposite side of the river stretches a fertile flat
about a mile in width, extending many miles up and down
the river: where English, Scotch, and Irish settlers exhibit
their respective national characteristics and differences of
In most places a furrow alone divides one farm from
another; but here and there a small piece of land is enclosed by a post and rail fence for the milch cows, or for
the working bullocks which plough the land, carry off the
produce, and fetch the supplies.
Around most of the wooden houses of the settlers are a
few young standard peach and nectarine trees, bending
about Christmas time under the abundance of their delicious fruit. Melons and pumpkins spread in wild luxuriance over the ground. And, along the verandahs of some
of the more careful and industrious, vines keep off the
fierceness of the summer heat, or, tied to stakes, like
raspberries in England, bear grapes, which in our English
climate could only be produced in a hot-house.
Beyond these rich lowlands, hills of moderate elevation
bound the view towards the north, rising to a bold outline,
where the River Paterson cleaves them, and opens up a
vista, along which ridge rises  above ridge  distinct and
dear, under  a  sky exquisitely blue;  and among these
picturesque hills He the little townships of Paterson and
Gresford. .
Only twenty-seven years before the arrival oi tiie
Bishop's party at Morpeth, this neighbourhood showed
no sign of civilisation.
Not a human habitation had been built; not a spade, or
plough, or implement, however rough, had ever broken the
surface of the forest-covered ground. Not a herb, or tree,
or seed, had ever been grown, which did not spring of
The poor black natives, who had roamed over the
country and fished the waters from times unknown, had
left absolutely no memorial to show that social reasoning
beings had ever shared the land with the opossum and
the kangaroo.
In the twenty-seven years before 1848 a great stride
had been made in fulfilment of the command to "replenish
the earth and subdue it."
The valley had been cleared, and brought into luxuriant
cultivation. Two wharves received the imports from the
Sydney steamers for the inland towns and settlers, and
shipped off, not merely the agricultural produce of the
neighbouring farms, but the still more valuable cargoes of
wool, tallow, and hides, sent down from the large grazing
districts, which were being taken up into the interior.
Three long lines of straggling streets had grown up
on the eastern end of 1 The Green Hills," containing a
population of some 700 persons; among whom were found
the ordinary elements of a rising colonial town.
Edward C. Close, Esq., the father and founder of this
little community, who was only lately called to his rest,
full of years, was one of those men who are so valuable
among the heterogeneous elements of a young colony.
Eirm enough in Christian principle to stand alone in doing
right, and to give those  who   are  weaker  an   example WHAT  A  LAYMAN  MAY  DO.
to follow, without any censoriousness or self-assertion,
but ever ready to do good to all classes; he was a
considerate Christian gentleman, and a sincere Churchman.
In early life he had served under the Duke of Wellington
in India and in. the Peninsula.
At one of the seven engagements in Spain named on the
seven clasps of his medal, while lying down with his regiment under heavy fire—himself untouched among his dead
or wounded comrades—he had made a promise to God
that, if spared, he would build a church as soon as he
should have the means of doing so.
In the year 1817 Mr. Close arrived in New South Wales
with his regiment—the 48th.
A contemporary of his, himself a valuable and highly
respected Churchman, mentioned to me a few years ago how
remarkable Mr. Close was for steadiness and Christian principle from his first years in the colony, when considerable
licence was the too general rule, and holy laymen were
scarce indeed.
He would often withdraw from the carousing of the mess-
room to enjoy a quiet evening with his steady-minded
friend; and on Sundays the two young men would not
unfrequently read the Holy Scriptures together, and thus
strengthen those high principles, of which Mr. Close to the
end of his life, and his friend to the present day, have been
eminent examples.
In the year 1821, at the time of his marriage, Mr.
Close received from the Government a grant of land,
which he had selected on and about the present site of
He had not forgotten his vow made in the hour of his
danger on the other side of the world. Whether for good
or for evil, it is still true, " Ccelum, non animum mutant,
qui trans mare currunt.'1
For a while he had not the means necessary for building 10
a church without assistance. But he was not idle in Christ's
service; there was plenty of preparatory work to be
done. There was not a clergyman in the whole Hunter
In his own service, and all around him, were convicts,
or, as they were called, | assigned servants," working out
their sentences. He did much to humanise these men by
the kindness, as well as by the justice and firmness, with
which he treated them.
The importance of keeping large numbers of men, who
had already broken through the laws, from insubordination
and rebellion, made it necessary to arm their masters, who
were generally magistrates, with very summary powers. A
great amount of restraint, which could easily be made very
oppressive and irritating, was left to their discretion. And
although masters could not at their own will order their
servants to be flogged, it was easy for brother magistrates,
sitting on the bench together, to order the flogging of each
other's servants on insufficient grounds or with undue
severity. There is no reasonable doubt that this was not
unfrequently done in the early times. And if anything
was likely to turn transportation from a reformatory punishment into a means of completing the hardening of a man's
heart, it was such absence of fellow-feeling and perversion
of justice under cloak of legal power.
Mr. Close was too conscientious a man ever to be unjust,
and too sincere a Christian to be harsh and tyrannical to
those who were in his power. As a magistrate he held the
balance justly between masters and their convict servants.
As a master and a neighbour he acted with consideration,
always ready to encourage those who showed signs of im-
* The first clergyman appointed to the Hunter was the Rev. C. P.
N. Wilton, who was placed at Newcastle in 1831.   He remained single-
handed for three years, riding sometimes, as he has told me, to Murru-
rundi, 130 miles inland.   In 1834 the Rev. G-. K. Rusden arrived from
|||||jland, and was sent to East Maitland. I
proving habits. And when there was no medical man
near, which was long the case, he was constantly found
- at the bedside of the convict or of the free settler, acting
as the doctor and Christian friend, where both body and
mind wanted relief.
But he did more. Before any clergyman visited the
district, he used to call around him his convict labourers,.
and any others who would come, for prayers on Sunday,
using, as far as a layman could do so, the Book of Common
Prayer, and reading a printed sermon to the people assembled. And this he continued to do for years, whenever
a clergyman was unable to be present.
He opened also a Sunday-school, as the increasing population caused the need of one, and taught in it, with the
members of his family.
It need hardly be said that Bishop Broughton warmly
approved and seconded one, who so truly I laboured much
in the Lord."
Of his character as a Christian host the Bishop of
Newcastle says, in a sermon preached on the Sunday after
his funeral, | Those who have traversed all parts of this
northern district of the colony, as I have done, have often
heard the squatter and the settler living hundreds of miles
from hence, describe with grateful feelings how, years ago,
they rested for the night under that roof, when not only
every want was supplied and every comfort provided for
the body, but they had felt years afterwards it was good
for them as men and as Christians to have enjoyed the
hospitality of that home."
In the earlier days of the colony, when churches were
required, the Government not only gave the site, but met
the contributions of the subscribers with an equal sum for
the building of the church.
Mr. Close might have availed himself of this assistance,
but he would not allow himself thus to be deprived of
rendering the full tribute which he had vowed.
II 12
Having given the land for the church and parsonage,
with garden and paddock attached, he built a substantial
stone church with a tower; which, though not up to our
present improved knowledge of church architecture, was
in every way vastly superior to anything which the colony
could then show. The colonial architect of that day turned
out such sorry specimens of churches, that it was well that
Mr. Close drew his own plan, and himself superintended
its erection. He was also the means of getting the parsonage built, which is one of the best and most convenient in
the diocese.
Thus had this good layman prepared the way for the
work which was to follow.
Up to the time of the arrival of the Bishop of Newcastle,
good Bishop Broughton, having the enormous area of the
whole of Australia to provide for, had been unable to
supply a separate clergyman to Morpeth. But from this
. date, not only were its spiritual want's supplied by the
occupant of its own parsonage, but it became the centre of
the diocese, and the source from which the chief Church
movements proceeded.
Bishop Tyrrell, having obtained from the Bishop of
Sydney such information as would enable him to enter
upon the work before him, proceeded to Newcastle; and
in Christ Church, of which the Rev. C. P. N. Wilton was
incumbent, he. was formally installed as Bishop of the
diocese, on Sunday, January 30, a fortnight after his
landing in the colony.
The less said about the architecture of that beautifully-
placed church the better. It was built in the early days
of the colony, on the hill above the town, looking from its
east end, where the low tower stands, down upon the
broad blue Pacific; and from the west, where the apse
strangely projects, upon the river and the wooded inland
flats and hills.
As this is the cathedral of the diocese, and as many WHAT  A  LAYMAN  MAY  DO.
essential Church works have already been accomplished, it
is earnestly to be hoped that a building more worthy of
bearing the name it does, may be raised on that beautiful
site—erected, not by the Churchmen of Newcastle alone,
but by the united efforts of the diocese. And may I
express one fervent hope besides,—that the daily
sacrifice of prayer and praise may there be offered, and
aid the growing religious life of the Hunter River
district ?
But we must move up again to Morpeth. The Bishop
was soon there, settled in the parsonage, with the two
senior candidates for the ministry, whom he purposed to
ordain on the second Sunday in Lent. He set himself
vigorously to work as parish priest of Morpeth, having
under his charge the little hamlet of Hinton, one mile off,
across the river, and a considerable district around.
Even when he had ordained one of these candidates as
deacon, to minister in Morpeth and its district, he himself
discharged the priestly, and shared to a large extent the
other ministerial duties of the parish, besides often aiding
the clergy of East and West Maitland, and of the parishes
within a radius of some fifteen miles.
Settlers had located themselves, not in reference to the
proximity of a church, but according as the land was
better suited for agriculture, or more accessible to means
of transport. Hence, even in the Hunter Valley, little
clusters of slab-built houses were often built six or eight
miles from the nearest church; and, unless they were to
be left uncared for on a Sunday, the clergyman of the
district was obliged to leave his larger congregations for
their sakes.
To meet these wants, the Bishop, whom no fatigue or
heat withheld from work, was ubiquitous : now at Morpeth,
or in some portion of its district; now taking the ordinary
service for one or other of the neighbouring clergy, that
they might gather in some school-room or settler's hut
UM 14
those who were too distant to come in to the church, and
at other times taking his own turn in ministering to those
small outlying congregations.
I remember, on one occasion, when I had come down
the country to Morpeth for an ordination, riding over with
the Bishop to Miller's Forest, some six miles off, for such
a service. Our route, not road, lay sometimes among tall
dead trees, with rich crops of maize growing among them;
sometimes through a bit of swamp, which let our horses in
to the knees; and then over rough log bridges covered
with loose saplings, from which much of the earth had
been washed or worn off, and care was needed to avoid
getting your horse's leg into some awkward hole, where
the sapling had been broken or thrust aside.
The population, with the exception of some Irish Roman
Catholics or Scotch Presbyterians, consisted chiefly of
Wesleyans, or "Primitive Methodists." But they assembled, filling the little building as full as it could hold, and
were reverently attentive during the service, and grateful
for it afterwards.
For the first few months after his arrival, the Bishop
was uncertain where he should buy or build a house for
his permanent residence. It was not an unimportant
matter; for a place badly chosen would have greatly
interfered with the usefulness of the Bishop and his
successors. Obviously the great desiderata were, that he
should be at the place most easily accessible to clergy or
others coming from the different parts of his enormous.
diocese, and where the post from these and from Sydney
was most regular and frequent.
Morpeth possessed nearly all the requirements of the
centre of the diocese. Placed at the head of the navigable
part of the Hunter, it was easily reached by sea from all
the northern parts of the colony. With Sydney, the seat
of government, from which it is distant about ninety miles,
the communication was daily; and for travellers or letters WHAT  A LAYMAN  MAY DO.
from the interior, it was almost as convenient as Maitland,
and far more so than Newcastle.
The only drawback was, that it was not, nor hitherto
has it become, populous enough to develop, under the
Bishop's eye, those diocesan institutions which need
numbers in order to make them successful. This, however, is of minor importance. Whatever institutions are
started at West Maitland or at Newcastle, the distance of
four miles in the one case, and twenty-two by rail in the
other, is not enough to interfere with the Bishop's complete
supervision. That he himself should wo?'Jc them would, of
course, be out of the question anywhere.
At first, there was no available house at Morpeth, and
the Bishop had some thoughts of buying a large unfinished
place beyond Maitland, ambitiously begun in earlier days
of unhealthy speculation, and never made habitable. But.
this idea was soon rejected. Besides requiring too large
an outlay to finish it, the capital objection to Aberglaslyn
was, that it was too much out of the way for ready communication with the Bishop.
Mr. Close solved this difficulty by selling his own house
as the Bishop's residence. For this it was very well adapted.
It is placed on some of the highest ground at the west end
of Morpeth, and within two hundred yards of the church
and parsonage.
Since changing its owner, that house has witnessed
many an anxious consultation for the good of the diocese,
prolonged far into the night. It has welcomed the clergy
and schoolmasters on their first arrival from England, for
which it is particularly convenient, being distant but five
minutes' walk from the wharf. It has been the centre to
which the wants, difficulties, and troubles of the various
districts have found their way, and from which has flowed
out comfort, or advice, or help, or, it may be, needed
monition. Thither hard-worked clergy have ridden, to
pour all their plans, their successes, into a sympathising
IP 16
ear; and, if they were worth anything, they have gone
away refreshed   and   inspirited,  and  nerved   for fresh
exertion by the example of the untiring energy which they
had witnessed in their Bishop,—at once an indefatigable
worker and a  diligent student.    Sometimes those who
were staying with him, or had dropped in from some
neighbouring parsonage, would be asked to join him in his
favourite walk up and down the path between his garden
gate and that which opens into the road opposite to the
church tower.    And, as the last phase of the Education
question was discussed (for Mr. Lowe was in the Parliament of New South Wales), or the Synod question, or the
means of supporting the clergy, or some special parish
matters,  needed a few more words, the pace became
quicker, and the dinner hour was forgotten, to the no
small displeasure of the good old housekeeper, whose cap
might be seen from time to time peering impatiently
between the pillars of the Bishop's verandah.
Often has the large paddock in which the house and
garden stand resounded with the merry voices of the
school children, on their annual feast day. And at the
garden gate the Bishop would stand with large baskets of
oranges, from the orangery at the back of the house, to
scramble them among the children, or with barrows full
of grapes from the vineyard, to give each child a bunch
or two before the end of the day's pleasure.
The school, with master's house attached, was built by
the Bishop in 1849, on a block of land separated by a road
from the church enclosure. Since then the Bishop built on
the south, or left side of the school, an infant school, a
dwelling for the mistress, and a room for the use of the
clergy; and a well-designed and well-built chancel has
been added to the church by a relative of the venerable
Mr, Close retired for a while, after selling his house, to
a large, wood-built bungalow, which he had built when he WHAT
first fixed at Mx>rpeth, but, after a little time, began building
on a piece of land immediately adjoining that which he had
sold to the Bishop; and there he spent the last years of
his useful life, genial and warm-hearted as ever, and taking
part, almost to the last, in the working of the Church. 18
Whatever traits of old England may be found in her
colonies, yet the circumstances of the young progeny differ
so materially from those of the parent kingdom—rich,
populous, and fettered as well as adorned by the labours
and precedents of centuries—that a fresh immigrant has
much to learn before he can act vigorously and effectively
in his new country.
Hence every sensible settler, however many improvements he may have in his brain,'follows the routine which
he finds around him for a while, until he has become
accustomed to the peculiarities of the climate and soil, the
value of labour, and the means of transit. A self-willed
theorist soon finds himself losing his capital, instead of
gaining interest for it.
The same holds good with Church work. The Catholic
faith and the essential principles of the Church are the
same everywhere; but a bishop or clergyman, transplanted
from English to Australian soil, finds the circumstances of
the Church to which he is introduced very different from
those to which he has been accustomed in the old country;
and time is required to enable him to understand what
things he may hope to reproduce after a while, what he
must be content to let go altogether, and what new modes
of working he must adopt in order to meet the new state
of things in which he finds himself.
In the meantime there is abundance of important work
on which he may zealously begin, and through which he ENTERING on wore.
becomes acquainted with the people and they with him;
and when he has learnt to understand the nature of the
material on which" he has to work, he may, under God's
blessing, apply his former experience with good effect.
It was, therefore, resolved that we should begin to work
with things as we found them, learning by observation
the existing needs, supplying them as we were able, introducing improvements in detail as our experience increased,
and so preparing ourselves and the people for any new
plans and more general efforts.
The first scheme postponed was that which we had
cherished in England and talked of on the voyage—the
commencement of a theological college for training candidates for the ministry; and this has continued in abeyance
up to the present moment. Neither at the time of our
arrival nor since has there appeared the prospect of a
sufficient number of candidates to make it worth while
to establish and keep up a separate college for their
Instead of establishing a distinct clerical college, which
would have been weak from paucity of pupils, those who
were candidates for the ministry were placed by the Bishop
under some clergyman, from whom they received assistance
in their reading ; and by working in his school and visiting
in the parish under his direction they gained experience
of parochial work. When he was absent at some of his
many places of service, they read the prayers and a sermon
appointed by him to any congregation to which he sent
This is, no doubt, a state of things far from satisfactory.
A hard-worked parish priest has not time, and scarcely
strength, to devote to keeping up in himself and imparting
to his pupils a thorough knowledge of theology; and the
beneficial training which numbers give to each other is
wanting. But we were obliged to adopt it as the best
course which the  circumstances  admitted.    Some very
c 2 20
Pgiod and useful men, who have now for some years been
ordained to the priesthood, have been trained in this way.
As to the lay services, the congregations had by this means
the opportunity afforded them of hallowing the Lord's
day; and while they were habituated to the regularity of
assembling for prayer, praise, and teaching, they never
confounded the office of the lay assistant with that of the
ordained clergyman.
At the time of our arrival, there was nothing like any
regular offering from the people towards the maintenance
of their ministers. The English Churchman, accustomed
at that day more than now to see his clergyman in the
old country maintained, without his aid, by tithes or pew-
rents, or Hving on his own private means, or on the profits
of pupils, with a mere nominal income from his parish,
carried to the colony, almost as a part of his Churchman-
ship, the idea that the voluntary support of the pastor by
his flock was a burden to the flock and a degradation to
the pastor; and seeing that the ancient offering of tithes
had been enforced by the law of the land, he looked to the
Government to provide for his clergyman from the public
funds ; and where the sum provided by the State was insufficient, the Church societies of the mother country were
expected to come to the aid of the colonial Church.
In the early days of the colony, when the convicts were
many and the free settlers thinly scattered over the country,
such extraneous aid was necessary. But the more the free
population increased in numbers and in wealth, and the
more largely the powers of self-government were conceded,
to the colony, the more evident it became that the Church
must look for her maintenance and growth to her own
inherent vitality,—in full accordance with the apostolic
rule, "Let him that is taught in the Word communicate unto
him that teacheth in all good things." 1
The necessity of ceasing to rely on the Government and
* Gal. vi. 6. ENTERING  ON  WORK.
on the English societies was but dimly before the minds of
the Bishop and clergy at first: the laity of the Church had
no better perception of it. It was therefore resolved that
working among and for the people, under the existing state
of things, must precede any organised attempt to obtain
from them support for the maintenance or extension of the
Church's work.
But though the principle of the support of the ministry
by the offerings of the laity was not rightly understood,
pecuniary aid for any Church work was expected through
the medium of the Bishop. A bishop, as being in connection
with the Church societies at home, and as an influential
person with the members of the colonial Government, was
apt to be looked on as an inexhaustible source of revenue.
Hence the Bishop of Newcastle, soon after his arrival, had
requests poured in upon him on every side for aid in
building new churches, schools, and parsonages.
He had, no doubt, some means at his disposal. But a
little inquiry soon revealed the fact that many of the
existing Church buildings were considerably in debt, and
that the churchwardens and trustees were contentedly
acquiescing in this state of things, paying from year to
year out of that miserable source of income, pew-rents,
the interest due on the debts; but making no endeavour to
wipe out the principal by fresh subscriptions. Only a few
days after his arrival at Morpeth, I received a letter from
him, dated Feb. 5,1848, in which he says, " Certainly the
state of our church is most unsatisfactory. Every church
and building belonging to the Church down here is encumbered with debt." The Bishop therefore preferred
the less showy course of getting the existing debts cleared
off, to the more pleasant one of at once beginning new
I believe I am correct in saying that he in no case paid
off all the debt for the people, but that he promised them
a certain amount of aid, on condition that they raised the THE EMIGRANT AND THE HEATHEN.
rest, either at once or within a specified reasonable period.
A little persuasion, backed by a conditional promise of £10,
£30, or £50, inspirited many who had for some time been
sitting down hopelessly under their burdens. Fresh subscription lists were opened, and within a short time the
Church buildings were free.
It is but fair to say that many of these debts had been
contracted during the times of prosperity, and that the
sudden and deep reverses which the colony had suffered,
and from which it was only slowly emerging when we
arrived, had prevented many who had put down their
names for large sums from fulfilling their promises. In
the meantime many had been forced to sell their properties
at a great sacrifice, and to make a fresh start on a more
humble scale in some other part of the wide unoccupied
territory. Some had migrated to California, in order to
retrieve their fortunes, Utile thinking that the feet of many
Australian flocks and herds were wandering over mines of
gold, which, in three years more, would attract shiploads
of energetic men from Europe,, and give a vast impetus to
the prosperity of the country.
The coming outburst of such prosperity was at that time
hidden from us; and I remember the Bishop expressing
to me his disappointment that he could not use the means
at his disposal in forwarding new works, which he saw
were urgently needed. But he rightly considered it most
important to begin with the humbler work of honesty
for the past. And he was content to seem to be doing
little, and to bide his time, until he could begin fresh
works on a clear foundation. His was a species of self-
denial little known and not much appreciated, but very
The pressure of business which came upon the Bishop's
shoulders on his first arrival at Morpeth may be imagined
by those who consider what the arrival of one who was
both head of a large party and Bishop of a new see implies. -ENTERING  ON  WORK.
I had started for my cure at Muswell Brook within a few
days after my arrival at Morpeth, as my predecessor had
left the parish a fortnight before we landed. Mr. Irwin
went up to Singleton the week after the Bishop came from
Sydney. The Bishop therefore kindly undertook the small
details of receiving all our goods from the ship, as well as
his own, and forwarding them to us. At the same time he
was settling himself and his household in the parsonage at
Morpeth, looking after carpenters and other workmen, and
seeing clergy, churchwardens, or settlers who desired to
pay their respects to the new Bishop, and to make known
to him their wants. Letters began to come in upon him
from distant parts of his diocese, so that it is not to be^
wondered at that in his first letter to me from Morpeth he
says, "I am here in a perfect whirl of business, with
scarcely a moment free from intruders." Two days later,
Feb. 7, he wrote, " My head is nearly splitting, from the
number of things I have to think of. It will be a great
treat to me to pay you a visit."
The same letter mentions that one of his episcopal
troubles found him out on the threshold of his work in
the loss of one of his clergy, and the need of supplying his
place by another. The important district of Moreton Bay,
which has since grown up into the colony of Queensland
and the bishopric of Brisbane, stretching northward from
about the 28th parallel of latitude, had but one clergyman
in its whole extent. Of this he writes, " There is another
district now vacant, Moreton Bay, the Rev. Mr. Gregor
having been unfortunately drowned last week while bath-
ing."       | I      .      ' I I
The Bishop had never seen him, nor had there been
time as yet even to communicate with him by letter. This
loss could not therefore be felt as that of a friend; but in
our little band, which we desired to stretch as widely as
possible to tend Christ's scattered flock, it made a perceptible gap.   The death of one clergyman in an English diocese, 24
unless he be a man of great eminence, is not felt beyond
the sphere of his own parish and personal friends, but in
an Australian diocese one loss is felt through the whole.
The whole number of clergy whom the Bishop, on his
arrival, found in his vast see was but twelve.* His two
new clergy were at once needed for two vacant cures,
and now one of the most extensive and distant districts,
which had no neighbouring clergyman to bestow on its
people even an occasional service, was suddenly left
To meet this great need the Bishop was obliged to arrange
with the clergyman who was vacating Singleton, and had
intended to leave the diocese, to go up to Moreton Bay.
He was only too thankful to be able in any way to
supply so serious a vacancy. The arrangement was but
temporary, yet, by God's blessing, the present need
was met, and the Bishop turned to work vigorously upon
the duties which, thick and increasing, were claiming his
I have seen Bishop Tyrrell, during the thirteen years I
enjoyed the privilege of working with him, under many
heavy trials and disappointments. He has sometimes
written to me, mentioning how sharply for the moment he
has felt the seeming blighting of some cherished scheme
for the Church's good. But he has a happy disposition,
or rather a clear faith and buoyant hope, which enable
him quickly to perceive God's overruling wisdom in such
crosses; and he has set himself cheerfully to the task of
repairing the loss, and of doing the work next before him,
instead of fretting over the vanished hope, or fearing idly
* The cures which Bishop Tyrrell found provided with clergy were,
on the coast line, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Port Macquarie, Moreton
Bay; on the Hunter River, Raymond Terrace, Hexham, Paterson, East
Maitland, West Maitland, Jerry's Plains; above it, Scone and Armi-
dale. But the clergyman of Port Macquarie was, from the infirmities
of age, able to do very little duty. And before long the Bishop ordained
a clergyman to take the great work of the district.
for the future.   He has seemed to have learned the lesson
which our Keble puts so beautifully :—
I Live for to-day! to-morrow's light
To-morrow's cares shall bring to sight.
Go sleep like closing flowers at night,
And Heaven thy morn will bless." *
In the midst of these busy weeks, which claimed his
attention and care on every side, he was preparing for the
solemn time of his first ordination. The letter is before
me in which he announced that it was to be on the second
Sunday in Lent, March 19. And the dates at three different parts of the letter, with several days' interval between
them, will illustrate his words in it: "I really am incessantly occupied. Last night I was writing till 1.30, and
was up again at six this morning;"—not an unusual event,
I may remark, when work was pressing him, only that sometimes the hours of rest on the narrow iron bedstead were
still fewer.
That first ordination, like all the subsequent ones, was
held at Morpeth, and the church was crowded with those
who came from the neighbourhood to be present at the
service. Mr. Irwin said the morning prayer; it was my
duty to present the candidates ; and the Bishop preached
a sermon, of which I have now no record, but can only
remember that it was an earnest and valuable one, addressed
to the congregation as well as to the candidates.
With what thankful hearts and solemn hopes did we
leave St. James's Church that morning! Who can foresee
at such a time the mighty possibilities of success in Christ's
service, which open out before him ? Who can forecast
the enemies and battles, and alas! perhaps the failures,
that lie before those who then have girded their armour on ?
One of these deacons, since made priests, was sent before
* Christian Year,   15th Sunday after Trinity. 26
THE EMIGRANT AND THE HEATHEN. the Darling Downs, in what is now the diocese of
Brisbane: where, in spite of weak health, he has laboured
on faithfully, and has been made archdeacon by the Bishop
of Brisbane. The other was placed at Morpeth, where he
remained for about two years, and then returned to England. The duties of Morpeth being thus provided for, the
Bishop was enabled to assist the clergy in the neighbouring
districts of the Hunter Valley ; and so to work toward the
object which he had proposed in a letter written some
weeks previously, in which he said, "It is my purpose to
work Well this line of country, that all may see in some
degree what our Church is when fairly and efficiently
carried out into practice."
In the course of this first year a second ordination was
held in September, at which three deacons were ordained.
Two of them candidates brought with us from England,
and one who had been for many years residing in the
On looking back to that first year it seems marvellous
how much of his diocese the Bishop was enabled to visit,
holding confirmations whenever he found candidates prepared for him; and gaining that general view of the wants,
and acquaintance with the chief inhabitants of the diocese,
which would enable him to lay his plans for the future.
The Lent ordination, and Lenten work in and around
Morpeth, occupied him well through March, and nearly to
the end of April.
About the middle of May he went through the district
of the Upper Hunter for about eighty miles, visiting
Singleton, Muswell Brook, Scone, and Jerry's Plaius,
where clergy were stationed, as well as the smaller intermediate townships.
In June he went by sea to Brisbane, and visited the
distant northern portion of his diocese, where settlers had
gone out, and clergymen were greatly needed to follow
them.    This visitation occupied about a month. ENTERING  ON  WORK.
In September he rode down almost, if not quite, to the
southern extremity of the diocese: and visited Brisbane
Water* and its beautiful neighbourhood, where the population chiefly consists of sawyers, and those connected with
the timber trade. Tall thick forests cover the hill-sides,
and in the deep valleys the dense glossy foliage, the
festoons of creepers, and the cabbage-tree palms, with
occasionally a tall ant-hill, three or four feet high, give a
semi-tropical character to the shady tracks through which
you ride.
Soon after the ordination in September, the Bishop
passed up the Hunter to the rich western grazing districts
of Merriwa and Cassilis, and, having visited these, rode
northward across the Liverpool range to the towns of
Tamworth and Armidale. Thence he worked his way
eastward down the rugged hills, which fall from the tableland of New England towards the coast line ; returning by
Port Macquarie and Port Stephens to Morpeth.
I am not aware that he had visited the districts of the
Clarence and the Richmond rivers ; but by the end of his
first year far the larger portion of his huge diocese could
be realised in his own study at Morpeth. Besides these
long journeyings, he was continually riding to places ten,
fifteen, or twenty miles off, to give those who were remote
from their clergyman opportunities of Divine service.
Of course, plenty of work awaited his return, and his
correspondence grew in proportion to the places he had
visited. But in the midst of this, his reading was never
forgotten. He wrote, shortly after his return from his last
long visitation : "I have just been under severe discipline-,
not of illness, thank the Lord, but self-discipline, changing
the habit of ten hours' daily riding to the same period of
daily reading and writing."
* Brisbane Water in the south must not be confounded with Brisbane
in the north. They are separated by some six degrees of latitude, or
rather more than 400 miles. 28
There are always dark shades in every picture, and some
of these appeared in the midst of our first year's work.
Two out of the candidates for the ministry were instances
of what is too often found,—men who from their own hypocrisy, or the carelessness of those who professed to know
them, obtained recommendations which they did not deserve, and whom it was found impossible to make anything
of. It was so far well that partly on the voyage, and
partly soon after their arrival, their entire unfitness was
discovered. The passage of both was paid to England;
and one, the least unfit, sailed. Of the other, who had
been intrusted to me, and had for some time caused me
deep anxiety, I can say no more than that to my bitter
sorrow I followed him to his grave in Sydney four months
after our landing.
One more, a gentle, holy-spirited youth, who doubtless
would have done good work had he been spared, was
diseased in the lungs when he sailed, and he only drooped
and died. In the September of our first year, I received
the following account from the Bishop : I Poor Mr. Ison
was released most easily and happily on Monday evening,
and I followed him to the grave as chief mourner yesterday.
It was a melancholy scene."
Such our beginning—" Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing" CHAPTER   IV.
What strikes most new-comers, when they really get up
into the Australian " Bush," is the unfenced and apparently
unappropriated land through which they travel. And I
may add that those who return to England, after a long
familiarity with Australian scenery, are equally struck by
the entire enclosing and minute subdivisions of far the
greatest part of the old country. In New South Wales the
feeling is, as a gentleman once said to me, suiting the
action to the word, " Here 's a land where one has plenty
of elbow-room." In England you have hedge-bordered
roads, and paths to which you are confined, however
circuitous they may be. In the Australian Bush you leave
or follow the track at pleasure; and no one complains of
your riding or driving over his grass for a few furlongs, or
for twenty miles.
When I started on my first journey to my appointed
district of Muswell Brook, taking with me two candidates
for the ministry, and two servants, there was very little
fencing to be seen after the first two miles above West
Maitland. I had engaged the whole of the mail—a two-
wheeled car, carrying one on the box with the driver, and
four behind, with a modicum of luggage for each—and in
a short time we came upon parts of the road where the
ground was so saturated with water, or the ruts in the
native soil so deep and wide, from the heavy rains, that
our driver would frequently strike off among the trees, and,
after many a winding, bring us back again into the worn
and beaten track. 30
THE emigrant and the heathen.
Our journey that day was but thirty miles, from Maitland
to Singleton. Tie greater part of it was through tall gum*
and iron-bark trees, growing thickly together, with but
little underwood or scrub; but occasionally we came to a
place where the timber was thinner, and the appearance
not unlike that of an extensive park.
Along the whole route there was but one apology for a
bridge, consisting of some trees thrown across the little
creek, one over another, and covered with earth ; and bad
enough it was. At all the other " creeks"—as the brooks
or water-courses are called—the banks were cut down,
sometimes to the depth of twenty feet | and we drove
down one side, through the bed of the creek, and up the
opposite side. Probably in the one exception, at Anvil
Creek, the creek bed may have been too soft to bear wheels
at all. As might be expected, traffic was often stopped
after heavy rains.    Impatient horsemen might swim across;
* The trees which are most common in New South Wales are known
by the names of white gum, blue gum, spotted gum, red gum, apple-
tree, box, stringy bark, and iron bark. They differ very little in the
colour or shape of their f oliage. In common with nearly all the trees
of the country, they are evergreens, of a dull bluish green. The leaves
are shaped like the willow, but are so thick that the ribs and fibres
neither project on one side, nor are indented on the other, as in English
leaves. They hang on their stems, not with their face, but their edge,
turned to the sky; and being few in number, and high up, they cast but
little shade. On one occasion, being exhausted and unwell, in an
intensely hot day, I wished to get into shade; and, though riding through
thinly timbered country, was obliged to sit against the stem of the tree
on the shady side; the leaves afforded no shade. The iron bark and
red gum are the hardest of the woods mentioned. The former is so
heavy that I have seen a block of it used to sink the slack of a punt
rope. The stringy bark is the best for sawing into flooring boards.
The hard woods work well, when fresh; but if long dried, turn or break
the edge of an axe, break a gimlet, and will not admit a nail. Several
of these trees shed the outer skin of their bark periodically; and you
may see strips hanging from them twelve feet or fifteen feet long, and
from one to three inches wide, and as thick as brown paper. These
thin strips of bark, and the dry leaves, are of service to the bushman
who wants to light a fire to boil his | pot o' tea," but they add to the
readiness with which a bush fire often sets miles of country in flames. UP THE COUNTRY.
but vehicles were detained until the water had run off.
The traveller of the present day would find not only a wide
road with bridges over most of the creeks, but a railroad
in use as far as Singleton, and nearly finished to Muswell
Brook. On our way, we passed through the two small
townships or villages of Lochinvar and Black Creek;
distant from Maitland seven and fifteen miles. At the
former there was no outward mark of worship; at the
latter there was a small Roman Catholic chapel, to which a
priest came at intervals. Soon after the arrival of the
Bishop, a wooden church was built at Black Creek; and
after a while at Lochinvar a church and parsonage were
built, and'a clergyman settled there.
Singleton, which had then a population of about five
hundred, now more than doubled, is built on the banks of
the^Hunier, on a wide alluvial flat called Patrick's Plains,
from which most of the forest trees had been cleared ; and
good crops of wheat, barley, or maize were raised on the
rich lands. It is in itself singularly devoid of beauty, as
it is built on .a dead level. But hills rise all around ; and,
to the north, Mount Royal stands well among the broken
ridges, from which the Paterson, Fallbrook, and the
Rouchel flow. The little town had a brick parsonage, and
a school used as a church ; but in about a year from the
time we first saw it, the foundation of a stone church was
laid, which has since been considerably enlarged, and the
windows have been enriched with stained glass.
We were detained here one day, as the mail, which
started on the' following morning, had not room for us.
v&XLii as it at that time went on to Muswell Brook only two
days in the week, we must have remained until the week
following, had not the proprietor sent down especially to
$e&ch us'. The river being unfordable, we were put across
i in a boat, and found the vehicle awaiting us at the other
j We had hardly started, when, after pulling through some
if 32
heavy black soil, we came to a shallow gully crossing our
road, into which we sank with a bump; and one of the
horses refused to pull us out of it. He looked the very
picture of sulks and obstinacy, and probably remembered
that soon after the gully a long stiff hill awaited him. The
driver gave him a little time, and then tried him again.
The other horse was willing, but could not move us by
himself; and, when the whip was applied, the only indication our sulky friend gave of movement was to crop his
ears, and show signs of resenting with his heels any further
use of the whip. Fortunately, I had a piece of bread in
my hand, the -remains of my breakfast; so I jumped out,
and after patting and talking to the rebel a little, held the
bread to his nose. The sulks were still strong upon him;
but at length his ears came forward, he began to sniff at
the bread, lifted his upper lip once or twice, and then fairly
took the bait. The victory was nearly won : a few pats on
the neck, and rubbing the nose, completed it. I took his
head with my right hand, and still patted him with my
left. The driver started the near horse; both took the
collar ; and with a good jump, that nearly shook the three
inside passengers into each other's laps, the wheels got out
of the hollow, and we were off again. I ran on, holding
the rein for a short distance, till I saw that all was right,
and then jumped into my place.
Much of our drive was through tall white-stemmed gum-
trees, which shut in our view, and enabled us to appreciate to the full the badness of the road, as we bumped
sometimes into a deep rut, sometimes over a large fallen
bough; occasionally passing the carcase of a dead working
bullock, which told of the severity of the late drought,
when the ground, which was now covered with bright green
grass, had been bare as the road itself. Pleasanter and
more amusing sights were frequently afforded us, as from
time to time flights of the lowry, or rosella, or ground parrots,
with their gorgeous crimson, green, and blue plumage, •TSsSflsL   ■
rushed screaming over our heads ; or that solemn-looking
kingfisher, the great " laughing jackass," made the wood
ring with his merry peals of laughter; or a black and yellow
iguana, three or four feet long, waddled along the ground,
made for the first tree, and scrambled up out of reach.
The road was more hilly than before we reached
Singleton; and sometimes from the top of a hill we
obtained a fine view of valleys and hills in endless undulations, clothed universally with forest. At the several
creeks which we passed, the view was more open, the grass
more abundant; and the graceful casuarina, with its rich
dark foliage and tapering branches, kept up a pleasant
whispering sound over the streams or pools which it
On our way we had passed but one small township,
called Camberwell, nine miles from Singleton, on the banks
of Fallbrook. It consisted of a few wood-built houses, and
a brick inn; but represented a district, in which a few
years before there were several establishments of considerable size. On the opposite side of the brook was an
unfinished stone church, with three lancet lights at the east
end, and single-pointed windows at the sides. Bishop
Broughton, who laid the first stone, said that several among
those present on that occasion could easily have provided
the whole expense. Soon afterwards the reverses which
overtook the colony so impoverished the principal men of
the district, that most of them were scattered to distant
places, and the work was stopped. The church remained
roofless until about the year 1856; when it was so far
finished that the Bishop of Newcastle consecrated it But
the original design, which included a tower, has not yet
been carried out.
From Fallbrook to Muswell Brook the drive was more1
pleasant, but in that twenty miles we passed but two
dwellings—one being a good stone-built inn in an open
space, crossed by a watercourse, which had given it the
$$11$ 18         \\\ :-
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■■a'*' 34
name of "The Chain-of-Ponds Inn;" the other a shepherd's hut, one of the humble-looking sources of the
wealth of the country. To our right and left there were,
no doubt, huts or larger houses a mile or two off the
track; but they were out of our sight, and scattered very
widely from each other.
We were now fairly reaching the sheep-farming part of
the country. And it may be as well to describe the dwellings of the shepherds at once. The simplest kind is the
bark hut; which is thus made. A framework of posts and
saplings is first fixed in the ground, and to this sheets of
bark.from the eucalyptus, three or four feet wide, half-an-
inch thick, and from four to seven feet long, are tied with
strips of undressed bullock-hide, usually called 1 green
hide." The ridge piece is dried in a curve, laid over the
top, and weighted down by heavy saplings slung across
with green hides. The door and window-shutters, for there
is no glass, are often of bark fastened to frames of wood;
and the tables and bedsteads are not unfrequently made in
the same manner. The floor is the native earth; and
inside the bark chimney boulders from the creeks are piled
up, to prevent the fire from setting all in a blaze. Sometimes there is a skillen at the back of the hut; and now
and then some sheets of bark in front form a verandah,
and add much to the comfort of the inmates.
Slab huts are built much on the same plan; only that
slabs, split from the gum or iron-bark, set into the ground
and nailed to the wall-plates, form the sides and ends
instead of bark.
A watch-box is often used when lambing is going on,
or when the native dogs are troublesome; and the
shepherd or hut-keeper has to He near the sheep-yard,
to be ready to render any help that may be needed
through the night. It is a kind of barrow-frame, long
enough for a man to lie in, and covered with bark, as a
protection against cold and rain. UP  THE   COUNTRY.
There are usually two flocks, of a thousand each, at a
sheep station, with a shepherd to each flock, who leads
them out to feed by day; and there is a hut-keeper, whose
duties are to clean the sheep-yards, take care of the hut,
and act as cook. If there is a family at the station, the
wife acts as hut-keeper; and if there is a boy big enough,
he takes charge, under his father's direction, of the
second flock.
On our way up the country, we had seen something of
another class of men.    Many drays had met us, carrying
down wool, tallow, or hides to the coast;  others we had
passed on their way up the country, loaded with supplies
of all sorts for the establishments of the large sheej* and
cattle masters, for the "stores" in the inland towns; or
for the publicans.    One dray, which we passed the first
day, was bringing up the furniture which I had purchased
at Maitland.    The drays are large two-wheeled carts, very
strongly built,  with low  sides,   and  made  to   open,  if
necessary, before and behind.    Those  drawn by horses
have shafts, and carry from twelve to fifteen hundredweight.    The bullock-drays, which are drawn by eight or
ten oxen, carry two tons.    They have a strong pole, to
which the yokes of the pole-bullocks, and the chain of the
leaders, are fastened.    Each night a halt is made, near
water, if possible; the horses are unharnessed, cand the
bullocks unyoked, and turned to feed in the bush, with
hobbles on their fetlocks.    This being done, a fire is made
of the dead wood, which is lying about in all directions.
The quart tin pots are put on to boil, ready for the tea to
be thrown in; and the salt beef and " damper," which is
made of flour, water, and salt, kneaded on a sheet of bark,
and baked in hot ashes, are drawn out of their bag for the
evening meal.    If several drays camp together, the men
usually sit talking over their camp-fire until it is time to
turn in for the night.    They commonly carry a piece of
sacking stuffed with dry grass; this they lay under their
t-tsu 86
1    I
dray and lie on it, wrapped in a blanket or in a rug made
of opossum skins.
If the stopping-place is near a township or one of the
inns which are scattered along the chief lines of road, the
evening is too often spent in the tap-room, and rum takes
the place of tea, to the mischief of the poor fellows, who
are very apt to drink. A few of the draymen, however,
entirely avoid this temptation, and stick to their tea.
A midday halt is also necessary to refresh both man
and beast.
These draymen are a considerable class, and need
special treatment, if the pastor will really try to perform
the duties imposed on him at his ordination, and will*
I seek for Christ's flock that are dispersed abroad." *
They spend most of their time on the road, seldom
remaining at their homes longer than to rest their horses
or bullocks ; and many live in the bush, far from any
place of Divine service. A few, but few indeed, take their
best clothes with them, so as to be able to go to church, if
they stop at a town on Sunday. Therefore, if one does
not minister to them on chance occasions, they probably
go almost without any ministrations at all.
I soon felt it to be my duty to walk by their side, if not
pressed for time, and to converse with them; and if I
found any encamped at midday or in the evening, having
my Bible and Prayer-book strapped in a kind of ecclesiastical holster before me, I offered to read and pray with
them, and never found my offer rejected. As they were
such complete wanderers, I did not consider myself to be
trenching upon any brother clergyman's sphere of duty by
offering them such a short service, when I fell in with
them by the road-side, even out of my own district.
On one occasion, as I was riding down to Morpeth for
an ordination, I came upon some six or seven encamped
among the tall gum-trees, five miles short of Singleton.
* Service for the Ordering of Priests. UP  THE  COUNTRY.
It had been dark some time, and they were sitting on
fallen trees round their fire before turning in for the night.
I rode up to them, and said, "My friends, I am a
clergyman riding down the country; and as I am accustomed to have prayers with my household when at home,
I shall be glad, if you like, to read you a chapter of Holy
Scripture and pray with you before I go on." They
assented at once, took my horse, and tied him to one of
their dray-wheels, and threw on some fresh wood to enable
me to read. I was rather too tired to stand, so they set
an empty water-keg on end, and, putting their cabbage-
tree hats beside them, listened attentively to a chapter
from one of the Gospels, and to my comments upon it.
We then knelt down on the ground, and prayed from the
Book of Common Prayer. And as I left them with a
"God bless you, my friends," they thanked me with
apparent heartiness, and I rode on in the delicious air of
the calm starry night.
I can still see that crackling bush-fire, with its curling
smoke leaping up into the darkness, and the bent figures
of my brethren, the tall white stems of _ the gum-trees
rising around, and the dim shapes of the loaded drays in
the background. Probably we never saw each other again.
The effect of that night may have been transient or not,
God knows; but a bush clergyman who would do his
Master's work must thus continually cast his bread on the
waters, and leave the seed to be nurtured by Him to Whom
it belongs.
But we must return to the conclusion of our first
journey up the country.
After toiling over some very bad road, we reached the
top of a high ridge, with the ground sloping down before
us, and more thinly timbered than we had seen for many
miles. And there, to our delight, the driver pointed out
the snug little village of Muswell Brook. It lay below us
about two  miles off.    We could  not  see much of the 38
I   1
buildings; but the general view from the hill was very
fine, and we longed for some of our dear English friends
to share it with us. There was no lack of hill and valley,
covered with wood as usual; except where, along the
courses of the brook and the River Hunter, which here we
saw again for the first time since leaving Singleton, man's
hand had made clearings for the town, and for small
patches of cultivation on the alluvial soil.
To the north, Some thirty-five miles distant, stood the
bold rugged outline of the Murulla, a portion of the
Liverpool range, with its attendant crags. And these
were followed, all round to the right, by lower ridges,
varying in elevation; while, about five miles east of the
little town, a fine abrupt hill, called Bell's Mountain, lifted
himself head and shoulders above his neighbours, as if
looking patronisingly down on the civilisation that, after
so many centuries, was beginning to spring up around
him, and exchanging glances with his cone-shaped brother
Mount Warrendie, usually called Mount Dangar, who,
thirty miles to the south-west, stands over the River Goul-
bourn, which winds round his feet, in the midst of the
sandstone cliffs and peaks which fill that part of the
I could not but feel thankful that my lot had fallen in
a part of the country where God's hand had made the
objects around so pleasant to look at.
We were now rapidly approaching our destination. But
before we reached the wooden houses of the white-skins,
we were reminded in whose land we were, by seeing some
dozen of those houseless, homeless children of the bush,
the black natives, who had happened to camp close to the
township, and were lying or squatting on the ground, with
their curly heads uncovered; the elders with a blanket
skewered at the neck by a piece of sharpened stick, or
with merely a small girdle round their loins. Two or three
little children were playing round them, clothed simply in UP THE COUNTRY.
their own black skins, which, by the way, even in the case
of adults, is almost of itself a clothing, and takes away the
idea of nudity.   They had evidently passed the night there,
as there were several sheets of bark resting with one edge
on the ground, and propped up in a slanting direction, so
as to make a slight shelter from the windward.    Some
smouldering ashes, the remains of last night's fire, were
before them; and under one piece of bark an old grey-
haired aboriginal was lying on his blankets asleep.    They
turned to look at us ; but we were passing on, and at about
two o'clock we entered the south part of the town, for it is
divided into two parts by the deep creek from which it
derives its name; and, driving over a very substantially-
built wooden bridge, we drew up in a few minutes at the
Royal Hotel.    Nine years before this had been the only
building in the place, a mere bush inn, surrounded by
forest.    And, in spite of its name, it was only a weatherboard cottage, with the royal  arms standing, not very
conspicuously,  against   the   front,  and   containing   two
sitting-rooms and two small bedrooms, entered from the
verandah, besides those commonly used by the publican's
The first business of hungry travellers, who had breakfasted more than seven hours before, and had had a long
bush-drive since, was to get something to eat. And then,
as the Royal Arms could only accommodate two, I left the
candidates for the ministry in possession, and went with
the servants to the next small-inn, about two hundred
yards farther on. .
Having thus fixed our abode till the furniture should
arrive, we went down to look over the empty parsonage
and the church. They were both within one fence, and
the school about a bow-shot beyond. I found the sexton
preparing the church, for it was Saturday, and, it was
known that we should arrive that day. From him I heard
of one poor woman who was drawing near her end; so,
ill 40
having set my boy to begin upon the weeds, which in the
last few weeks had nearly overrun the garden, and were
choking the vines, I began my ministrations by the bedside
of poor Mrs. Wilde, whom I saw twice, and promised to
administer the Holy Communion to her on the next day.
The rest of that first afternoon was spent in learning
what I could about the parish from the schoolmaster and
my host, and in preparing for the services of the morrow.
I Oh, dream no more of quiet life :
Care finds the careless out; more wise to vow
Thine heart entire to Paith's pure strife;
So peace will come, thou knowest not when or how."
Keble in Lyra Apostolica.
" The Watch by Night." CHAPTER V.
The township of Muswell Brook, which was to be my headquarters, is situated on the north-western road leading
from Morpeth and Maitland to the great squatting districts
of the Liverpool Plains and New England. The southern
road to Sydney, surveyed by Sir Thomas Mitchell, joins
the mainland road here. But while the north-western road
is the great line of traffic to the coast from Tamworth and
Armidale and the surrounding country, the southern road
is unused, except for some small intermediate townships,
as Jerry's Plains and Wollombi. The formidable ranges,
which have to be crossed near the River Hawkesbury, have
always been a barrier to dray traffic ; and even horsemen
prefer riding to Morpeth, and taking the steamer to
Sydney, instead of toiling along the rugged and weary
southern line.
In 1848 Muswell Brook had a population of about 300,
including a doctor and a clerk of petty sessions. There
were four or five storekeepers—most useful men in a colonial
town—who kept in stock nearly every article you could
need, except books; and five publicans, largely supported
by travellers, draymen, and shepherds from the neighbourhood, as well as by some of the residents in the town.
At one end there was a steam flour-mill, with machinery
attached to it, which has at times been used in a small
way for making cloth. And at the other end was a " boiling-
down establishment," where, before the influx of the popula- 42
I \\
tion caused by the gold discovery, the surplus fat stock
of the settlers was killed, and reduced to tallow for export.
Blacksmiths, wheelwrights, rough bush-carpenters, joiners,
masons, bricklayers, and the other small tradesmen and
labourers necessary to supply the wants of their neighbours, some six or eight carriers, and the police force, consisting of a chief and three constables, were the elements
of the little community.
Like all young colonial townships, it was laid out in good
broad streets, which bore their names on the Government
chart, but, except in the best situations, were scantily
built over. Here and there, in the middle of the roadways, might still be seen the stumps of the old forest trees
standing, as the cross-cut saw of the first clearing had left
them, obliging all drivers to keep their eyes about them for
fear of an overturn.
Of the houses only about twenty were built of brick;
the rest, including the little, low, four-roomed cottage,
dignified by the name of " the court-house," were built of
slabs split from the surrounding trees, or of weatherboards. On the hill to the east of the town stood a
Presbyterian kirk, served at intervals from Singleton, and
on a twin hill were the foundations of a Roman Catholic
Almost in the centre of the township there was an allotment of two acres, on which had been built, only a few
years before, a brick school, with a master's dwelling, a
parsonage, and a church, consisting of a nave, with a
somewhat pretentious porch and vestry, built transept-
wise, and a small tower at the west end. There was no
chancel, but in the east end were three quasi-lancet lights,
each with a thin stone moulding over it, and glazed with
square panes in wooden sashes, Q-othicised at the top.
Within were high pews of red cedar, the top moulding of
which came well up to the back of the head of the sitter;
and when the congregation was kneeling the church seemed WORK  IN  A  PASTORAL  DISTRICT.
to be empty. In my journal I have recorded that I was
1 disappointed" at the first view. But this was perhaps
unreasonable, as mine was the westernmost church in the
new diocese. Not a building for any kind of worship was
to be found between it and Western Australia. Besides,
there was something in the central position and grouping
of the buildings which gave the idea that the Church had
rooted itself among the people, and offered to be their
true mother in God. When, in about eighteen months
after, a chancel was added, with a triple lancet in stone,
and two of the nave windows were replaced by stone-worked
and muUioned lights! and after a while the seats became
low and open, the general view, with all its faults, brought
to mind "the old country," to which all colonists lookback
with affection.
The history of that little church is characteristic of the
colony in those days.    Before a resident clergyman was
appointed, subscriptions had been raised, and Government
money promised for the building.    A captain in the army,
then a settler, living about four miles off, took the contract for building the  nave, with the porch and vestry.
The plan was said to have been drawn from the sketch of
a chapel in Barbados, given in a quarterly report of the
S. P. G.   But whatever was the original of the plan, its
execution was intrusted to a convict overseer, and convict
labourers.    These men, acting upon a well-known principle of convict morality, no sooner saw the master off to
Sydney than they neglected their work, for which, as convicts, they would receive no payment, and worked for any
one who would employ them, spending their earnings in
drink.    At length they heard that their master was shortly
coming up the country, and, knocking off their extra jobs,
which might have  brought them under the lash, they
turned to their neglected task.    But, in the meantime,
there had been heavy rains, and the trench was half-filled
with water.    Some of this was dipped up; at one corner 44
the foundation was solidly built, the rest was thrown in
with careless haste—the stones, small and large, alike
unsquared, being left, as I was told, to bed themselves;
and over all a cut base-course was placed, and the brickwork carried up above. In due time a surveyor was sent
to inspect the work, in order to report whether it was
executed in such a way as to entitle the trustees to the
payment of the Government grant. On the day of inspection the overseer contrived to open that corner of
the foundations which he had built up well. The fraud
answered, and the money was paid. But before Bishop
Broughton came up for the consecration, the faulty foundation had betrayed itself, and the walls were so cracked
that the whole building was nearly coming down again.
With much trouble the walls were secured; and the
Rev. W. T. Gore, who had a little before that time been
appointed to the parish, got the tower built at the west
end, which both improved the look of the church externally, and acted as a buttress to keep it up.
It was discovered, however, by painful experience, that
even good building, with well-laid foundations, would not
stand. The foundations of the tower and of the chancel,
which was afterwards built, were laid four feet deep on
what seemed a dry, impenetrable soil; but the drought and
heat penetrated so deeply during the fierce summer months
that they have cracked them and other buildings, in all
directions. And a noble stone church, which is now being
built in place of the smaller one of brick, through the
exertions, and mainly by the friends, of the present
clergyman, the Rev. W. E. White, and his family,
from plans by Gilbert Scott, of London, is, by order of the
architect, placed on a thick bed of concrete, as the only
safe foundation.
The day after our arrival being the fourth Sunday after
the Epiphany, the gospel for the day furnished the morning
sermon from Matt. viii. 28—32, on the power and readi- WORK  IN  A  PASTORAL  DISTRICT.
ness of Jesus to cast out evil, and to restore Satan's thrall
to his right mind: a message with which I was thankful
to be able to begin my ministry in a land where, by the
confession of all, Satan had held terrible sway. In the
evening the words of Isaiah lviii. 13, 14, at the end of the
first lesson, were a not inappropriate text, where, in the
absence of clergymen, many a Christian man had realised
at his I station," and on his sheep and cattle " run.
the sad but expressive saying, " There's no Sunday in the
Two days afterwards I had an instance of that change
of customs which a change to a hot climate necessitates.
My poor sick parishioner died on Monday morning, and
on Tuesday afternoon we laid her in the grave. A funeral
thirty-three hours after death would in England be revolting to the feelings of the friends. In New South Wales it
is sometimes necessary to bury within twenty-four hours ;
indeed, in an extreme case, I have buried a corpse within
twelve. In the case of this poor woman, I was glad that I
had reached the parish in time to administer the Holy
Communion to her while, though in extreme weakness,
her mind was perfectly clear.
What was at that time considered the extent of my
parish, and the Church services in it, I learned from a
memorandum left by my predecessor. There were three
places at which Divine service was held : St. Alban's
Church, Muswell Brook, of which I have spoken; the
little wooden court-house at Merton, a small township of
about thirty people, eleven miles down the Hunter Valley ;
and a room in a public-house at' Merriwa, a township with
a population of sixty or seventy people, across the ranges
to the west, forty-five miles off. Around these townships,
at distances varying from two to nine miles, a few gentlemen settlers were living,—the owners of sheep and cattle,
who had a few dependants close to them, besides their
households.     These could assemble at the places where 46
Divine service was held, and were always considered parts
of the congregation.
At Muswell Brook there were two services on one
Sunday and one on the next, which allowed one Sunday
service a-fortnight at Merton. Merriwa had but one
service a-quarter, held on a week-day. Holy Communion
was celebrated at Muswell Brook only four times in the
year; and a glass tumbler, and a common plate, not
appropriated to the purpose, had been used as a chalice
and paten.
The good-will of the people was immediately tested for
the supply of the last-mentioned want. They readily responded to the call, and within a few weeks a set of silver
Communion vessels and a linen cloth for the altar were
procured from Sydney, and we began monthly Communions. The Bishop having authorised the candidates
for the ministry to read the service in my absence, I was
enabled to give two services each Sunday at Muswell
Brook, keeping to the Sunday service once a-week at
Merton. On the alternate Sundays I sent one of the
candidates over to have prayers, and to read a printed
sermon selected by me. And I myself went every other
Friday for a service, and to teach the children for an hour
before the service began.
We were not well off for music, but within three weeks
several of the mechanics and a storekeeper in Muswell
Brook expressed a wish to join a weekly practice of Church
music. And though our attempts were of a very humble
description, they improved the singing; and by the kind
aid of Mr. John Cox and his wife, whose house was two
miles off, we advanced to a piano, and thence eventually
to an organ. Our English friends may smile at a piano,
but they will not smile at the loving zeal which, in the
bush, did the best it could, giving such an instrument as
was at hand, and bringing over a fully occupied mother to
play at the weekly practice, as well as on Sunday.    We WORK  IN   A  PASTORAL  DISTRICT.
all know Who it was that commended an offering with the
words, " She hath done what she could."
Ash-Wednesday came that year on the 8th of March,
and on Monday the 6th I had the privilege of beginning
the daily service. Foreseeing that the distant parts of my
district and other duties would often call me away, I gave
notice that when I was at home the service would be
regular, but that when the bell did not ring it might be
understood that I was absent. We began with prayers
twice a-day, at seven a.m. and at five p.m. But after Lent,,
by the advice of the Bishop, we only had daily morning
service, a service with a sermon at seven p.m. every
Wednesday, and two services with a sermon during Holy
Week, and on all holy days. It was so often necessary to
ride out five or twelve miles to visit sheep stations, that
the daily evening prayer would have been frequently
interrupted; but, except when I was absent on long
journeys, the daily morning prayer could be regularly
said. To the present day those services are still continued,
and with fewer interruptions than I found possible.
Merriwa I first visited on March 14th, and spent part of
two days there, visiting all the houses, and having a service
in the evening of the first day and the morning of the
second. From that time their service was always once a-
month at least.
I will at present speak of a part of the country, not so far
off as Merriwa, where, before long, I established a monthly
service, and usually passed the night. The River Goul-
bourn, which must not be confounded with the town and
diocese of that name, far to the south, rises on the eastern
slope of the dividing range of the colony, which is of
volcanic formation, but almost immediately enters' sand-^
stone ranges, and, flowing through a narrow winding
valley for sixty or seventy miles, empties itself into the
Hunter fifteen miles below Muswell Brook.
It is a lovely ride up the Goulbourn, and has delighted
mm S     J
I  I
me on many a weary journey. In some parts bold rocks
stand up perpendicularly from their base; in others the
face of the precipice is broken by grassy slopes, which
throw back the summits as if buttressed from below; and
as you look up you may see the little rock wallaby, about
the size of a hare, and the form of a kangaroo, bounding
from ledge to ledge, or jumping in and out of the small
caves in the face of the rock above your head. Sometimes the rocks close in almost to the river's bank; in
other parts they sweep away, leaving between their base
and the casuarinas that shade the river, a quarter or half-
a-mile of alluvial soil, mixed with a large proportion
of sand, moderately timbered, and covered with long
In many parts the rocks are exchanged for steep hills,
some of them cone-shaped, clothed with trees and grass,
through which large fragments of rock peep out. Their
tops are generally crowned with small pines; down their
sides grow various kinds of the gum-tree and the banksia,
or bottle-brush; and interspersed with these may be seen
the grass-tree, with its dark crooked stem and long grassy
crown, surmounted by what looks not unlike a large
bulrush, its brown head dotted over with little white star-
shaped flowers, each glistening with a drop of clear honey.
At the base of the hills, here and there, are clumps of
arbor vitse, the pretty wattle or acacia bush, with its long
delicate leaves and sweet yellow blossoms, like little balls
of floss silk; and various small flowering shrubs, which
give a civilised look to what in parts is quite a natural
It is indeed a pretty neighbourhood, and the soil grows
good fruit and vegetables around the homesteads. But
the grasses are not so nutritious on the soil of the sandstone as they are on the black soil of the volcanic
formation, some few miles to the north. And it is
surprising to see, as I have seen from the top of the high WORK  IN  A  PASTORAL  DISTRICT.
hills, how many miles of country are so rugged as to
be unavailable for pasturage. Hence it has not been
taken up by the large sheep-masters, with their thousands
of sheep; but a few men of small capital have fixed
themselves by the banks of the river and its tributary
creeks, mostly keeping cattle, which can travel farther for
their food, and need no protection, as sheep do, from the
native dogs.
Most of the settlers make cheese; and a wooden
building beyond the dwelling-house is usually a dairy and
cheese-room, in which, besides other means adopted for
keeping it cool, nearly the whole of the interior is sunk
several feet below the surface.
I had been at Muswell Brook several months before I
heard of the Goulbourn. It is situated off the direct track
to Merriwa, from which in most parts rocky ridges
separate it. The Church was at that time only feeling its
way into the country from the coast; and this valley had
never seen a clergyman, and the poor people were living
without any attempt at Divine service or teaching. When
I was first told of them, and said I should look after them,
the reply was that the trouble might be spared, for they
would never attend to a parson; and some rather severe
things which might have been true of some were applied
to them generally. Of course this was no check to my
duty, so I rode up and visited each house. I was most
civilly received everywhere; at each place I had a short
service, though my coming was unexpected, and I left
them, having appointed a day and hour for the next
On my next visit, at the appointed time, I found in each
case that I was not expected, and that no preparation had
been made. At one house they thought my appointed day
was in the week following; at another, they had quite 'forgotten what day it was; at a third, they supposed that some
heavy rain, and the threat of a thunderstorm, would have
hi 50
prevented my starting. However, ready or not ready, I
induced them to assemble, and left them something to
think about and some books to read. For several months
it seemed as if with most of them the time would never
be remembered, and the- discouraging prophecy would
come true. But at length, on riding up to the several
verandahs, I used to find that the work had been arranged,
and preparations made for service; and I have good
reason to believe that those times were looked forward to
with pleasure.
The nearest of the houses, called Richmond Grove, was
seventeen miles from me, where the Wybong Creek joins
the sandy bed of the Goulbourn. And there I have often
found some green wheat cut ready for my horse to eat,
while we were engaged in the service. One good effect of
my visits was that, after a time, several of the family
would find out when was the Sunday service at Merton,
which was about six miles from them, and, horses being
plentiful, would ride over to it.
The next house, called Mount Dangar Farm, was
eight miles higher up the river, and was situated about
a mile from Mount Warrendie, generally called, from
a surveyor, Mount Dangar. Between this and the farm
the river ran. Immediately behind the house was a
productive vineyard, and on the opposite bank of the river
stood another small settler's house, with its well-stocked
fruit-garden, containing oranges, grapes, figs, and mulberries. Past this, to the right of Mount Warrendie, was
a pleasant ride through a narrow valley, bounded by high
rocks, to the Merriwa road, six miles distant. In front of
the farm there were two houses, two and four miles off, up
a tributary creek; and before long another house was
built up the Goulbourn in the same direction.
It took some time to find out these outlying families,
and to gather them into one congregation. My whole
district, of which this was but a corner, was so large— WORK  IN  A  PASTORAL  DISTRICT.
more than 2,500 square miles—that, coming from an.
English parish of about 1,800 acres, I could not for a
while lay out my plans clearly to visit it all with the least
amount of waste. At first I used to ride out one month
by the Goulbourn, which was on the south of the district;
and, after going to Merriwa to the western extremity, work
homeward under the Liverpool range on the north side;
and the next month I used to ride in the contrary direction.
But after gaining a knowledge of the whole work, I found
it best to keep the same direction always, and then I took
Mount Dangar first. Either way, I generally slept there;
and by degrees all the families within four miles came
regularly to the service; and sometimes the Richmond
Grove people came up and joined. We assembled in the
sitting-room, into which the left of the two front doors
opened, and which was lighted by an unglazed window on
the left of the door. Often the room has been as full of
fathers, mothers, and children as it could hold; and at
times we had baptisms and churchings during the service.
After which the outlying families found their way through
the bush-tracks by starlight, some of them having to cross
the river several times. Three different families in succession occupied Mount Dangar Farm while I ministered
there, and from all of them I received a cordial welcome.
Occasionally I stopped at the house of a Mr. Hungerford,,
on a creek four miles off; but Mount Dangar, being the
most central, suited the congregation best.
Several of those adventures, common to a clergyman's-
bush experience, are connected with my recollections of'
this place. On one occasion, after working my way down
the country, I had stopped for a service at a wayside inn,,
at that part of the Merriwa road lately mentioned. I
delayed some time after the service to give instruction to
a very nice family of children, whose circumstances
required all the spiritual help I could give them. By the
time I was in the saddle, twilight, which only lasts half-
e 2 52
an-hour, was nearly gone, and heavy black clouds were
arching over the narrow valley. Before I had gone a mile
the inky black clouds had shut out every ray of light, and
were pouring down a steady and very heavy rain, without
a flash of lightning to show me the way. Though I had
good night sight, I could not see anything, and rode on
only by the sound, listening when my horse stepped off the
narrow track on the grass or sticks at the side. After two
miles, when we had just passed through a narrow gorge
in the rocks, my horse lost his track; and after some
wanderings, in which he was more disposed to pick the
grass than to find the way, he brought me up among some
acacia-trees, at the foot of a bluff rock. I could not afford
to wander on carelessly, for at my right was a deep creek,
into which it would be most unpleasant to fall, but through
which, at two different crossing-places, the track lay. The
pouring rain quite prevented any idea of 1 camping" out,"
if it could be avoided ; so by taking my direction from the
rock, and feeling the ground, sometimes with hands,
sometimes with feet, I found the track at last; and in
time, after several other losings and findings, reached
Mount Dangar Farm, where the good people had given
me up.
On another occasion, when a confirmation was approaching, there were candidates at Richmond Grove, Mount
Dangar, and at the inn just mentioned. I had too mueh
to do at home to be absent longer than duty rendered
necessary. I therefore started at daybreak, took each
class in its order, spending between one and two hours
with each, and reached home at ten p.m., after a ride of
sixty miles, which, I must confess, tired me; but I was
all right the next day.
■Towards the end of the first year, I had, in this part,
one of those misfortunes which horsemen must always be
prepared for. I left home on a fine, handsome iron-grey
horse, which I had lately purchased, and seemed to be in WORK IN  A PASTORAL   DISTRICT.
perfect health.    During the service at Richmond Grove he
was enjoying some green rye, which the good people had
given him.    I fear he had. eaten rather greedily, as during
the eight miles' ride between that place and Mount Dangar
Farm he became very sluggish, and on arriving we found
him suffering from a bad attack of colic.    We did all we
could for him; but as after some hours he became much
worse, I determined to go to the inn I have before spoken
of, six miles off, where better remedies could be procured.
The son of my host, whose name was Hewitt, kindly lent
me a horse, and, riding another, led my poor grey.    He
could but walk, and that with increasing slowness; and
after passing four miles up the creek by Mount Warrendie,
came to a stop at the narrow pass in the rocks before-
mentioned, and could go no further.    Young Hewitt galloped on to the inn to get something for his benefit, and. I
stood by the poor animal, who was by this time bathed in
a cold sweat, and trembling all over.    The sun had set,
and the twilight had faded, but there was a glorious moon
overhead, and the stars were shining, as only in such a
clear, dry atmosphere they can shine.    I kept rubbing my
poor horse, and talking to him, but he was failing fast, and
found it difficult to keep on his legs.    At length he languidly pricked up his ears—for he heard, before I did, the
hoofs of the returning horse—and gave a feeble neigh.
It was his last, for the exertion seemed too much for him,
and he staggered and fell.    He tried to rise, but could
not; and by the time Hewitt had reached us, his head was
flat on the ground.    A vein was opened to no purpose,
and in a few minutes all was over.
Two months afterwards, as I rode through the same pass,
I saw the bones of my poor steed picked clean. The eagles,
hawks, crows, and ants had done their part to help the
more voracious jaws of the native dogs, and in a few months
more no two bones were left together. But eight years later,
when I drove my wife up there, I showed her the skull. %
I cannot help adding that this loss gave occasion for
one of the many kind acts by which the Bishop lightened
the difficulties of the clergy and others. Just after
Christmas, 1848, I received a kind letter, in which, after
expressing his sorrow for the loss of my grey, he made
the value of him a New Year's gift, accompanied with his
One service, which I held at Mount Dangar Farm, I
shall not easily forget, from the painful sense of weariness
which oppressed me. I had left Cassilis, the westernmost
town in my district, early one morning—had visited, as I
rode, eight shepherds and hut-keepers, the former on their
"runs," the latter in their huts—and had had a short service
with each. At Merriwa, through which I passed, I had
presided for an hour at the last meeting before giving the
contract for building a church there; and at the meeting
there were not a few difficulties to get over. In the evening, at the end of a fifty miles' ride, I dismounted at the
verandah of Mount Dangar Farm. It was just service
time, and the people were assembled. I had therefore
time for nothing more than to wash my hands and face,
drink a refreshing glass of milk, and, after putting on my
surplice, come out of my room and begin the service. The
feeling of sleepiness from sheer bodily exhaustion was overpowering, and I earnestly hope that, if the sense of shame
at the exertions I was obliged to make to keep myself
awake was distressing to me, the service may not have
been unprofitable to the congregation.
One of my last acts before leaving the colony, early
in 1861, was to draw for Mr. Hungerford, at his
request, a plan for a wooden church, which I have since
heard has been built on a piece of land close to Mount
Dangar Farm. The Rev. W. E. White, the present
clergyman, has informed me that a few fresh settlers
have added to the population of that neighbourhood ; and
he sent me an interesting account of the opening of the WORK  IN
little chureh, and of his celebrating, for the first time, the
Holy Communion within its walls.
0 Lord—
I Wherever meets Thy lowliest band
In praise and prayer,
There is Thy presence, there Thy holy land—.
Thou, Thou art there."
From the Author of the 1 Three Wakings."
1 have previously mentioned that, when appointed to
the district of Muswell Brook, my farthest limit to the
west was the little township of Merriwa, forty-five miles
distant. But after a few months our eyes opened to the
country beyond, and the Bishop gave into my charge
Cassilis, another small town twenty-five miles still farther
towards the west. This place had, before the formation
of the diocese of Newcastle, been served by Mr. Gunther,
the clergyman of Mudgee; but Mudgee being now in the
diocese of Sydney, Mr. Gunther only continued his
services at Cassilis until the Bishop of Newcastle provided
for it.
In colonial Church work one step generally leads to
another in the endeavour to supply urgent wants which
lie around you on every side. And thus, the district
having no definite limits, I soon heard of some stations
beyond Cassilis, some of them with large families of
children; and occasionally extended my rides to the
stations of Uarbry, on the Talbragar, and Coolah, on the
Coola-burragundy, lying on different lines, fourteen and
twenty miles off towards the west.
The necessity of attending with regularity to the larger
population of Muswell Brook and its neighbourhood, and
reading as steadily as I could with the candidates for the
ministry, determined me not to increase my district
farther to the westward. Thus it was, before long,
roughly defined in breadth by the line of the Liverpool HI
range to the north, and-the Goulbourn River to the south,
where they run parallel to each other, about thirty-five
miles apart; and, in length, from Muswell Brook at the
east to Uarbry or Coolah at the west end, eighty-four or
ninety miles: not to mention some twelve miles of country
east of Muswell Brook, where shepherds' huts were dotted
on the sides of the bold hills, and near the bottom of deep
narrow valleys, which seemed to close in on every side.
I have before roughly ^estimated the area of the district as "more than 2,500 square miles;" it was really
about 3,000 ; or, to compare it with English measurements,
about the size of the counties of Somerset and Wilts
together, which are respectively 1,642 and 1,395 square
The geological characteristics of the district are remarkable, even to one who, like myself, can make no pretence
to geological accuracy.
The Liverpool range, which divides the waters which
flow to the Pacific from those which join the Darling, and
empty themselves through South Australia, is entirely
volcanic. Its outline is broken by bold cones and bluffs,
and it descends to the low lands by the successive steps
which mark the "trap" formation. The hills through
which the Goulbourn flows, as already mentioned, are
sandstone, and show many a precipitous face of rock
along the lines of the valleys. Six main creeks or
rivulets, known by the names of the Wybong, Hall's
Creek, Smith's Rivulet, Bow Creek, Krui Creek, and the
.Munmurra, rise on the southern slope of the Liverpool
range, and empty themselves into the Goulbourn ; besides
others, with which we are not now concerned, which flow
into the upper part of the Hunter. And between these
creeks lie, in succession, large undulating hills, with their
. spurs and smaller valleys. These, for the greater portion
of their length, follow the volcanic formation of the parent
.range,   from which   they   spring   like  ribs from  some WORK IN A PASTORAL DISTRICT.
gigantic backbone. But as they approach the Goulbourn,
in some cases for the last ten or fifteen miles, the sandstone cliffs succeed the volcanic hills. In one part of a
range, called the Dartbrook range, the trap may be seen
overlapping the sandstone. In some of the ranges conglomerate rocks appear.
In some places the road is deep with ,sand, in others it
is a dry hard gravel; while the decomposed "trap" makes
a rich black soil, which in wet weather is most tenacious.
About twelve miles east of Merriwa there is a deep sand,
which was the very plague of the draymen, and within a
hundred yards of it is a treeless or bald hill, from which a
large fragment has been torn by some convulsion. The
two portions are about five yards apart; and as you walk
down the small watercourse which divides them, you see
the ends of pentagonal basaltic columns on each side,
lying at about an angle of fifteen degrees.* Within a
mile and a half from this hill is the only pool fed by its
own springs which I have met with in any part of the
country which I have visited. Bubbles are constantly
rising to the surface, and the water, though usually fouled
by cattle, is strongly mineral. The pool is known by the
name of the Gingerbeer Springs.
In several parts there is a great deal of fossil wood, not
imbedded in stone, but in loose earth or clay. It occurs
near the surface, and appears where the heavy rains have
washed off the soil. I have found several trunks of fossilised trees nearly whole, besides considerable quantities
of fragments. In the neighbourhood of Muswell Brook,
in a clayey soil, they are largely impregnated with iron.
About ten miles from Merriwa, near the division of the
volcanic and the sandstone formations, I have seen several
large pieces almost white, and very hard.    Some are in
* I give these particulars from memory, having no record of observations made at the time, but I believe that what I have said above is
substantially correct. 58
part crystallised, and others, by their different colours,
show very distinctly the rings of the wood.
When speaking of the district of the Goulbourn River I
mentioned some of the varieties of ornamental and flowering shrubs, which make the sandstone country, though
poor in soil, so picturesque. The volcanic districts have
not the same variety. The timber most prevalent on that
soil is a small kind of eucalyptus, popularly called the box-
tree, from the colour and grain of the wood; and the chief
variety in the foliage is made by the currajong, which, in
bark, and in the colour and shape of its leaves, is very like
the pear-tree.1 The black soil is thinly timbered; but
what it loses in shrub and tree, it much more than gains
in the richness and abundance of its grasses, which make
it admirably adapted to the support of large flocks of
sheep and herds of cattle and horses. On this soil there
are three principal grasses, popularly called barley grass,
kangaroo grass, and oaten grass; and the last, unlike
most of the things in the colony which have a popular
name, really bears an oat, as it professes to do, in a rich
brown sheath. All these grasses grow in tufts, like small
specimens of the Pampas grass, and from their centre the
seed-stems spring. The former two grow about two feet
six inches in height; but the oaten grass, in favourable
seasons, throws up a seed-stem from six to eight feet long.
In the midst of these rich pasture grounds a few large
flock-masters had taken up their stations. And their
families, the few men employed about their head stations,
and the shepherds and hut-keepers belonging to them,
scattered thinly over the face of the country, claimed the
especial attention of the clergyman of a pastoral district.
Among the owners of these bush establishments men
of good family are often found, and some who have
graduated with honours at Oxford or Cambridge. Many
of their men, when I first knew the colony, and some of
the inhabitants of the small townships, were old convicts,
& ■MB
the terms of whose sentences had expired, or who were
still holding tickets of leave. There were, particularly
among the cattle-stations, some natives of the colony,
born of British parents; and there was also a considerable
element of the emigrant class, which year by year
increased, while the convict class, not being, replenished
by fresh arrivals from England, steadily diminished.
The religious condition of the district assigned to me,
with some most pleasing exceptions, was, generally speaking,
very low. Could it have been expected to be otherwise,
when the deteriorating influences at work, and the scarcity
of good ones, are considered ? In the first place, the colony
was founded upon England's convicts, with a few men who
came out to make money by their labour. The former
brought with them habits of evil, often deeply ingrained,
and a good many of the latter were men who would rather
live below a high Christian standard, even if it were customary around them, than strive to raise the standard in
the midst of surrounding difficulties. From time to time
not a few wild sons, whom their friends could make nothing
of at home, were sent out to try their fortune. Many of
the emigrants of the labouring classes were badly selected,
and some of the unthrifty and useless in various English
parishes were encouraged to go out, not because they were
adapted by their habits and characters to help the new
country, but because they could not get on in the old one,
and to be rid of them was a benefit to the employers of
labour and to the ratepayers. Even to some who had been
steady while they were surrounded by the opinion and
advice of friends and the regularity of Church services,
their entire uprooting from all accustomed influences, and
the unsettling idleness of a long voyage, proved too great
a trial of their faith. Habits of prayer and reading Holy
Scripture had been broken in upon; and the excitement
of settling in a new country, new faces, and new circumstances, and the want of any one near them who cared how 60
they lived, often made sad havoc of what had been good
in them.
In the townships there were frequent examples among
all elasses of impurity and drunkenness, not sufficiently
branded by any public opinion, which acts as so useful a
police on the outskirts of morality. And in the shepherds'
huts, where three men usually lived together, the constant
companionship, night and morning, of one corrupt "mate,"
if only one, exerted a very deteriorating influence upon the
one or two who might have been of a better mind. There
was some compensating power in the long solitude of the
day, when each shepherd was following his flock under the
brilliant blue sky, and the hut-keeper was left at home
to do the easy duties of preparing the hut and the sheep-
yards. Each had then abundant time for reflection, and
for any teaching of good in past days to rise up in the
mind. But the ever-recurring unchaining of the tongue,
when evening and morning brought the tyti-m-ates together
again, gave the bad a terrible power of suggesting thoughts
of evil, which were only too ready to germinate.
Add to this the grievous deficiency of clergy, and the
consequent impossibility of meeting evil, or strengthening
weakness, by a sufficiency of holy influences ; and it is not
to be wondered at, though it is most distressing, that many
Christian men never said a prayer, and had no thought for
anything but self and sin, and that even among the more
decent there were so few who had any idea of earnestness
in following God.
The shepherds were especially destitute. Services held
in the small townships were useless to them. The residents
might attend, and even the stockmen, who looked after the
cattle and horses, might easily find time to ride in from
the bush to join. But the shepherd must lead his sheep
out of the sheep-yard early on each of the seven mornings
of the week, remain with them all the day, while they were
feeding or lying down, lest the native dog should fall upon WORK  IN  A  PASTORAL  DISTRICT.
them, and lead them back to the yard again only a little
before sundown. Even a service held in the evening would,
in most cases, be quite unavailable to the shepherd; for
the greater number of huts were many miles away from
the nearest place where a small congregation could be
assembled. And yet all these, wanderers though they may
have been, were Christ's sheep, for whom He shed His
The problem of ministering to men scattered over so
wide an area was a very difficult one. They were
scattered, one here, and another three or four miles off,
along the banks of the "creeks," and near hollows on
the higher lands, where wells might be sunk; from the
Liverpool range to the Goulbourn, and from Muswell
Brook to Coolah. And yet, as soon as I saw the district,
I saw that some visitation of these poor fellows must be
attempted. If the manner of doing it were ever so
imperfect, it would be better than leaving them quite
uncared for.
It took me some months to feel my way along, and to
learn the different features of so large a district, and where
each little obscure hut was placed. But by information
afforded by the proprietors as to their huts ; by the kindness of an overseer now and then conducting me; by
following the tracks of the ration carts, which each week
took the supplies for the men; and sometimes by stumbling
on a remote hut by chance, as I might be riding across the
country without a track, I gradually became acquainted
with by far the greater number of the huts.
Soon after the whole district, which I have mentioned,
was assigned to me, I was enabled to lay out a general
plan of the work, with the object of spreading Church
ministrations over as large a surface as possible. Every
fourth week, including a Sunday, I was absent from
Muswell Brook, leaving one of the candidates for the
ministry to read the prayers and a sermon which I had
■ iitifl)
selected.    When at any time no candidate was with me,
the Bishop authorised John H. Cox, Esq.—a thoroughly
conscientious    and   zealous   Churchman,   who   was   in
very   many   ways "a comfort   to   me"—to   keep   the
congregation together in the same manner.    That Sunday I spent at Merriwa or Cassilis on alternate months,
having  a  morning and afternoon  service, teaching  the
children,  and,  between  the  evenings of   Saturday   and
Monday mornings, visiting the houses in the township.
Whichever had not the Sunday services had one service,
or sometimes two, on a week-day ; and the rest of the day
was spent with the children, and in the houses.    On each
other night during the week's journey I stopped at some
station, which had previous notice of my coming.   In some
cases as many as twenty people assembled, in others only
five or six.    Each morning, before leaving, I had prayers,
and spent the time from nine till sunset in making my
way to the next halt for the night.    During the day I took
sometimes one line of country, sometimes another, so as to
visit in turn all the huts which I had been able to discover.
But this would not do the work that was needed; for
the hut-keepers were the only persons to be found at home
during the day.    To get at the shepherds it. was neeessary
to find them on their runs.    A sharp look-out would often
detect a flock in the distance, or perhaps a few of the
sheep just appearing above a ridge; they might be a mile
to the right or left of the direct route, but with them was
a shepherd, and he must be sought.   On reaching him, the
rein was thrown over the horse's head, and he was left,
nothing loth, to rest and feed among the rich grass.    A
little ordinary conversation followed, often about the old
country, which both of us remembered with affection; and
then, upon the offer to read to him and join in prayer, he
sent his dog round to bring closer the scattering sheep,
and to sit on the farther side to watch them, while we
drew under the best shade we could find—generally little WORK  IN   A  PASTORAL  DISTRICT.
enough; and, without answering for others, I often felt
how lovingly our Lord had provided for our wants, by
promising Has Presence "in the midst," " where two," as
well as "three," should be "gathered together." Some
part of Holy Scripture was read; such teaching given, as
appeared most suitable; and then we knelt side by side,
and prayed in the words of the Confession, or part of the
Litany, and some of the collects of the Book of Common
On one such occasion I had fallen in with a weather-
beaten shepherd, who had been a soldier. It was by the
side of the old Cassilis track, three miles from Merriwa.
When our short service was over, and I was shaking him
by the hand, before riding on my way, the poor fellow,
who had been very attentive throughout, said, with tears
in his eyes, "Thank you, sir: you are the first clergyman
I've seen for sixteen years." For so long had this poor
fellow been without the help of any service. And his was
no uncommon case. For some time after I began my bush
work, I frequently found men, and sometimes women too,
to whom the sight- of a clergyman, or any approach to a
service, were events of long-past years.
Not a few of the men whom I met were Roman
Catholics; and some were Presbyterians: to all I offered
reading and prayer; and in very few instances was the'
offer declined. Most persons accepted it gratefully, and
looked out for the next visit. This was especially the case
where there were children. The mothers would gladly sit
and listen, while the little ones were being taught: glad that
their children should receive instruction, and welcoming
the old, simple teaching, which in some form or other they
had themselves received in their early days. I generally
found that, though the short teaching which such a visit
allowed hardly elicited an answer, and the little things
at first seemed shy and inattentive, what was said was
remembered afterwards.
Mki 64
II i
11! Ill
With young and old there was this advantage to balance
their many disadvantages, that whatever was said or done
was impressed on them by the rare circumstance of a
clergyman's visit to their bush home. And there were
not, as in our towns and villages, a number of persons
and events rapidly succeeding each other, to efface impressions which the teaching had left upon their minds.
Before leaving, I nearly always drew from my saddlebags some book or tract to be kept till the next visit. And
as the visits were repeated from time to time, the number
of Bibles and Prayer-books, which my bush people asked
me to bring up for them to purchase, increased.
One thing which I always endeavour to impress upon
them, was to do their best to hallow the Lord's Day by
especial prayer and reading, joining with each other in
the services of the day, if they could find those with them
willing to do so, with the especial view of maintaining
their union with the body of Christ's Church, into which
they had been ingrafted. I found it often useful, when I
met a man in the bush, to connect our prayer with the
Church's hours, the third, sixth, or ninth, as it might be,
and with the Divine acts which had hallowed those hours.
There was this great advantage in this practice, that it
hallowed something definitely. One of the great difficulties of religion in the bush is, that there is nothing
externally hallowed : no church, nothing outward to remind the people that God has a claim upon this world,
and that He bestows His blessing where His claim is duly
acknowledged. But wherever shepherds may be, they
know by the height of the sun what is the hour; and to
make them feel that certain hours are consecrated by
particular acts of God's mercy to man, and to teach them
how to put up a short prayer from time to time under the
" shadow" of those " great rocks in a weary land," was
one means of reminding them that even in the wild bush
God's own sun continually witnessed to His Presence and
gracious acts. If they had no recognised places, where
the springs of living waters gushed forth, the Church's
" hours," if they would use them faithfully, seemed to
bring to them, as to Israel in the wilderness, the " Spiritual Rock " following them, from which they might drink.
No doubt a good deal of seed was sown " by the wayside," or " among thorns; 1 and apparently came to
nothing. And the very extent of the surface over which
the work had to be done, hardly allowed it to be deep.
But in the famine of the Word of God it seemed better
to labour to give a small portion to all, if possible, rather
than to leave the scattered ones, who could not help themselves, to starve, while providing fully for those who could
be gathered together.
Thank God! better times have dawned since then ; the
district has been divided, and two hard-working clergymen, the Rev. W. E. White and the Rev. W. S. Wilson,
are zealously and lovingly labouring there; the former
fixed at Muswell Brook, the latter at Cassilis. But there
is still need of more labourers to do that work aright.
Work among sheep and cattle stations is for the most
part a simple work of faith—casting " bread upon the
waters"—for not only is it impossible to watch growth,
as in a parish where you may see your people frequently,
but shepherds and stockmen are very apt to migrate.
They generally engage with a master for a year, and
when their time is up many leave, and either go to
another part of the country, or turn to some other employment. Yet some appeared to do their best with the
opportunities they had.
There was a cattle-station twenty miles from Muswell
Brook, on the Wybong Creek, where, at one time, I
used, every alternate month, to stop for the first night on
my journeys. The stockman was the chief man at the
station, and with him was a hut-keeper, besides two or
three occasional helpers.    A few hundred yards off, on
'it tin
if 66
the opposite side of the creek, was a sheep-hut belonging
to another owner, with its three inmates.
When the work of the day was done, and the supper at
about six o'clock over, the shepherds came across, and
we had service, in which most of the men took their part
and made the responses. Service ended, we used to sit
round, and talk on various subjects till we went to bed.
On the first evening, during our conversation', I asked,
" What do you do, my friends, to try to keep Sunday ? "
" Oh, nothing, sir," was the reply. " What can we do ?
You know we have neither church nor clergyman nearer
than the Brook." " I know your wants too well," said I,
" and am sorry for them. Still, even as you are, you
could do more than you think." I then pointed^ out
that although they could not enjoy the peculiar blessings
which Christ's minister could impart to them, they might
at all events, as Christian men, enjoy the blessings of
united prayer and praise in the words of the Prayer-book;
and the stockman, being the chief man there, might read
the lessons and the epistle and gospel to the rest. And
I suggested that the men from the opposite hut might well
come over and join with them.
" There are," I said, " two reasons which might prevent
men from doing this. First, they may fancy that he who
took the lead was assuming the office of Christ's ministers,
like the teachers of the sects. But this is not the case.
You could not come to the church on Sunday if you
wished to do so, and, in taking the lead in the prayers,
would be doing no more than any parents might do, if
obliged to stay from church with some of their family that
were sick, or than every good captain of a merchantman
does every Sunday, when he is at sea, if he has no clergyman on board. Any Christians may thus pray and read
together most profitably, and without doing anything but
what is strictly right. The other difficulty which men
may feel is, that it would be hypocrisy to join in prayer WORK  IN  A  PASTORAL  DISTRICT.
together, and then to go out and swear and drink together.
It comes, then, to this, that either the drinking and swearing, or the praying and reading Holy Scripture, must be
given up. Which would be your greatest loss ? Don't wait
until you have overcome your evil habits before you begin
the prayers. If you desire to overcome them, your
prayers and reading together, with that desire, will not be
hypocrisy, and will help your endeavours."
After removing what I thought their chief obstacles, I
did. not attempt to bind them to any promise, nor did I
urge them. We then went off to bed. The men had
listened very attentively; but I cannot say that I felt very
sanguine, as I rode away the next morning, that they
would follow my counsel.    But I wronged them.
Two months later, as we were sitting round after our
evening service, I said, with some misgiving, " Well,
John, what have you tried to do about the Sunday
prayers?" "Why, sir," said John, "we thought what
you said was nothing but reasonable, and the men were
agreeable, and so we began the next Sunday evening, and
Cox's men came over, and we've gone on with it ever
since."    And they continued as they had begun.
In about nine months after this, John, the stockman,,
was out of his time of service; and, to my great regret, went,
off to Moreton Bay, and I have never heard of him since
The next month after his departure I met the hut-keeper
getting water at the creek, and asked him, " What have
you done about the Sunday prayers since John left you ? ""
I 0 sir," he answered, " we all liked them, so when the
new stockman came, we told him what John used to do,
and he fell in with it; so it goes on as before."
This was indeed good news to me; but in a year after
this all the men left, and a Roman Catholic and his wife
came to the place, and these, though civil enough, would
not be guided by me. However, after another year or
two, a married Churchman succeeded, and the Church's
f 2
SI 1 I
prayers were again used by the inmates of the hut, when
they could not, like their more fortunate brethren, be
present at a service.
Many a time, in hot weary days, I rejoiced to be among
those poor destitute brethren in the bush, for it is a happy
thing to be able to bring a cup to parched lips ; and often,
thank God! I was enabled to suggest some help for their
souls, which seemed very obvious, but had not occurred
to them, simply from want of a suggestion.
Within sight of the shepherd's hut just mentioned, is
a fine gap in sandstone cliffs, through which the road goes
towards Muswell Brook. Will the reader forgive me if I
introduce here a few stanzas which I wrote one day on
horseback after passing it, when the sweet yellow acacias
which studded it, and were relieved by a background of
cypress, were out in full beauty ?—
Sept. 14,1852.
There are flowers round beauty's pathway,
Where'er we toil along :
And the perfumed air is vocal
With the bell-bird's liquid song.
The viewless breezes whisper
To the tall trees as they go,
And fan the wanderer's weary cheek
With their balmy breath below.
And standing round, on either side,
The tall cliffs' giant forms
Bend their calm grey heads, which have braved
the wrath
Of a thousand Hghtning-storms.
They speak of bygone ages,
Of the days when Earth was young,
And upheaving Nature's tossing throes
On her Maker's accents hung. WORK  IN  A  PASTORAL  DISTRICT. 69
And oh ! the clear blue heaven,
With its fathomless abyss 1
Its still calmness seems to tell us
Of the realms beyond of bliss.
From our Father's hand, on every side,
There are blessings strewn around :
Duty's path still leads our footsteps
O'er hallowed Eden-ground.
Yet seek them not, these joyous things,—
They wither as we gaze,
And leave us still, with a yearning heart,
To tread deserted ways.
To cheer thee on thy pilgrim path,
From thy Father's love they 're given :
To gladden, not to stay thy steps,
On thy forward road to Heaven.
Seek the kingdom of thy Cod: 'tis found
Through meek and lowly ways;
Where calm-cheek'd duty guides thee far
From the siren voice of praise.
Cheer the lonely, soothe the broken heart:
And, where the earth-turn'd eye
Is dazzled by sin's flickering glare,
Point to Heaven's pure joys on high.
See a brother in each human form;
And thy toil will gladness be :
E'en the Cross itself is a blessed thing,
Since thy Saviour died for thee.
Seek duty thus : along its course
Thy Lord will joys provide;
And in thy sorrows thou shalt find
Thy Saviour by thy side.
Bless His mercy for all gifts of love:
Yet on this world's mouldering clod,
One only fills thy craving soul,—
Thy Saviour and thy God.
' Church work in a remote bush township has much to
contend with, where a clergyman's visits are few and far
'• i u- ■
From one week's end to another the inhabitants meet
each other without anything occurring to remind' them
that they are united by any other tie than those of
neighbourhood, or business, or subjection to the same
laws. That they are Christian brethren is kept out of
sight, not only by the petty squabbles and contending
interests which are always rife in small communities left
much to themselves, but by that powerful engine of evil,
religious division. A tolerably strong infusion of Irish
Roman Catholics is generally found among them; there
are a few Irish or Scotch Presbyterians, and usually a
small sprinkhng of followers of some of the sects which
flourish on English soil. These altogether make about
one-half of the community, the other half being members
of the Church of England.
Separated from each other by differing ideas of religion,
they usually ignore the subject of religion in their intercourse with each other; and thus, at each short period of
his visits, the clergyman has to lift up the hearts that
have been turned to the world during week-days and
Sundays since the last time of service. It is not, therefore, to be wondered at if the seed sown on soil so
unprepared for it brings forth little fruit.
Still, the alternative of neglecting to do what one can
do, because it is impossible to do more, is not to be
thought of. People are better for having even infrequent
ministrations than for being left almost absolutely without any; and Christ's truths, even when rarely heard,
leave a blessing behind them, and prepare the way for
happier times. In all ministerial working—but especially
in places where the services are unavoidably rare—the
only way to prevent throwing all up in disappointment, or
going on in cold formality, is to labour carefully, because
Christ has sent us to take disappointments as part of our
allotted cross ; and to leave the issue to Him Who, when
hope seemed extinguished, rose from the dead in triumph. fr.. i awm
One soweth, and another reapeth," and so our faith is
tried. The people are Christ's, the work is His; it will
prosper, if we do not mar it by our unfaithfulness and
mismanagement. And the anxious burden of a weight
beyond our strength, and the sight of Christian souls, who
need the Church's work if they do not desire it, stir up
the fervent prayers of many a toiling bush clergyman,
that "the Lord of the harvest would send forth more
labourers into His harvest"
It was up-hill work for some time at Merriwa, with only
thirteen visits in the year that could be paid to it,
supplemented by occasional letter-writing. The great
want was the presence of some earnest layman, who
would in some way make his influence felt for good during
the absence of the clergyman; and several years elapsed
before one was raised up.
It has been mentioned before that the place where
Divine Service was first held was a room in a public-
house. One of my first endeavours was to procure
another place. At each fresh visit I felt a greater repugnance to assemble the congregation at a house where,-
at almost all other times, there were scenes of gross
drunkenness. The publican was very accommodating.
He took what care he could to prevent drinking at the
bar during the time of service, even on a week-day; and
if I slept at his house, which on some occasions I did,
I could rarely induce him to take any payment for
either my bed or meals. But his civility could not
reconcile me to use a place, surrounded by such
associations, for the holy rites of Christ's faith; and
I chafed to see that, when each man could get up a
building for his own use, as a dwelling or an improvement to his establishment, we could not all join together
to erect a building, however humble, for the worship
of God.
There were certainly legitimate hindrances to under- 72
taking anything very costly at that time—the pressure of
pecuniary difficulties, which has already been mentioned,
and the small number of inhabitants in the township, not
a few of whom were Roman Catholics. But there were
means sufficient, had faith been clearer and love warmer,
to erect a small, simple church, which would have rescued
the services of Christ's holy Church from the loathsome
associations of a public-house. Had the chief settlers
consented to do their part, every poorer Churchman in
the district was prepared to follow; and it was always
found that when any district took up its burden their
brethren in. other districts helped them. We found this
the case afterwards; but then there was an indisposition
to move, which nothing apparently could overcome; and
my infrequent visits could not stir the vis inertia. One
alternative which was proposed to me was to erect a room
to be used in turn by the ministers of all denominations, as
each might require it—a proposal which was urged upon
me some years afterwards, when I resided at Morpeth,
and was endeavouring—and, thank God! successfully—to
get a small stone church built at Seaham, on the Williams
It need hardly be said that I could not accept this
solution of the difficulty; and we still assembled at the
public-house, though several of the congregation felt the
incongruity of our using such a place. The early
Christians could worship among the dead in the Catacombs,
for fear of persecution. At Philippi,* St. Paul could go
out I by a river-side, where prayer was wont to be made."
Even in the rhetorical " school of one Tyrannus,"f
St. Paul disputed daily with the Ephesians, to lead them to
the faith of Christ. But when, though ministering among
Christians, who were not badly off, we were driven by sheer
necessity to the room of an inn, we were forced to feel
humbled, and to remember that Jesus, Who sat at meat
* Acts xvi. 12, 13. t Acts xix. 9.
with sinners, could be with us, and rescue from sin those
of His flock who were living in the midst of it. I may
mention with thankfulness that I have lately heard from
the clergyman of that district, that the publican's stepchildren, whom I have catechised in that house, and who
are now grown up, are active and earnest Sunday-school
After a few years, I was, thank God! enabled to get up
a wooden church, but I was to be exercised by many a
disappointment first. Doubtless it was well, in the very
low state of Christian faith and practice then prevailing,
that we should have many a check, and that the cross,
which was eventually reared on the little hill that overlooks the town, should in its measure be like Him for Whose
sheep it was erected, " a root out of a dry ground," stunted
in growth, for want of the moisture which the worldly
means which God gave ought to have supplied.
Failing during our early days to get aid for a church,
I tried to induce those who were able to join me in
subscribing for a school. The Bishop would have provided
a master ; and at his request, the " Denominational Board
of Education" had appropriated a salary to supplement the
payments of the parents. In this school we should have
held our services until the time came for building a church.
After some delays, the manager of one of the sheep
establishments agreed to assist in raising a subscription
for the school-house ; and on my next visit we were to
meet, and set the plan at work. The next month, on my
arrival, I found that, in concert with others, he had already
made application to the secular board of education, which
at the end of 1848 was formed by the Colonial Government. That board had promised a master, and the school
was to be built forthwith. One of the regulations of the
secular board, miscalled the National Board of Education,
provided that the school should never be used for religious
services.    Thus my hope was again frustrated ;   and the 74
sound moral and religious progress of the poor little
township was indefinitely retarded by the exclusion of a
school, in which the training and discipline should be
founded upon God's truth.
There is no need of dwelling at length upon the various
obstacles in the way of building the church. The
endeavour was often repeated, and as often resulted in
nothing.    However, we left the public-house.
Small as the houses in the township were, being little
better than huts, some of them roofed with bark, and with
earth floors, we met sometimes in the little room of the
widow who kept the post-office; sometimes in the huts of two
or three others, as it was convenient for them to receive us;
for a while, in a wool-shed belonging to a sheep establishment a mile above the township ; and for a few times at a
new, untenanted hut, from which we were fairly driven by
fleas and bugs, which in that warm climate always swarm
in such places. This wandering was, however, productive
of good: the discomfort it caused enforced my arguments
for building a church.
Towards the end of 1849 I had, with one of the townspeople, selected a piece of land ; and the Government,
upon application being made in the usual form, granted
the allotment to the Church.
It was on a rising ground composed of sandstone, about
thirty feet above the black trap soil, on which the greater
portion of the little town was built. As you stood on it looking towards the town, the ground rose gently behind you
moderately covered with trees. To the west, on your left
hand, it sloped down towards Smith's Rivulet, which ran
over its rocky bed between deep black banks ; and beyond
this rose, step after step, the high line of hills over which
lay several tracks to Cassilis, and thence into the interior.
Towards the north, the eye looked over the little town to
another low hill, half sandstone, half trap, which bounded
it on that side.    And over this, and up the valley that WORK IN  A  PASTORAL  DISTRICT.
stretched away on the left of it, the fine bold outline of the
Liverpool range, twenty miles distant as the crow flies,
bounded the view. But that fine range of hills was not
dim and hazy, as it would be at such a distance in our
English climate, but clear and distinct, marking well the
lights and shadows on its rugged sides. If you could
climb to the top of that range and look down on the other
side, you would see the vast treeless level of the Liverpool
Plains extended before you as far as the eye could reach,
rich with luxuriant grass, a perfect ocean of pasturage.
And you would be standing on the line that divides what
is, at the time when I am writing, the newly-formed
diocese of Grafton and Armidale, from the parent see of
From different parts of this range issued four small
creeks, which, uniting three miles above the township,
flowed past it to the Goulbourn in one channel, which bore
the names of Smith's Rivulet and Gummum, corrupted
into Gammon, Creek.
Having secured a beautiful site for the church, I was
desirous of putting up the most temporary building, which
would cost only the labour. I proposed merely a sapling
frame, with a bark covering, and subscribing month by
month until we had enough to build a stone church. This,
I am convinced, might have been accomplished, if the
people had agreed to the plan; but it is necessary to
work with the means at one's disposal, and several of our
small number had not patience to wait for this : if anything was to be done, they must see it at once, so it was
agreed about May, 1850, to put up as good a slab building
as possible for £60. Even that was thought by a few an
unattainable sum. To save expense, I drew out the plan,
as much like Early English as I could in wood; the timber
being of stout iron-bark. One gentleman gave the hauling,
small subscriptions were collected in the township, and on
October 17th, 1850, in the presence of Mr. Thomas Perry
i'ti 76
(who gave the hauling), and twenty of the people, I laid
the first iron-bark sleeper of Holy Trinity Church. I
undertook the collection and management of the small fund.
About £10 more than the whole sum voted was expended
on the shell of the building, which was thirty-two feet long
by sixteen feet broad, with a vestry attached.
Little by little subscriptions trickled in. We got in the
windows, and then, with what benches and boards we could
procure, began at once using it for Divine service in very
primitive form. Soon, as there was a prospect of raising
a little more, some open seats of red cedar were ordered
down the country, and the Holy Table. An accident
characteristic of the bush befell the latter. It was being
brought up on the top of a loaded dray; and, at some,
peculiarly bad part of the road, the bullock-driver turned
aside into the bush, when the limb of a tree, under which
he was passing, caught two of the legs, and they were
torn off with about as much ease as you would snap a twig.
When our seats came up, we were still for some time
longer without flooring, and sometimes, as I stood at the
altar, I sank into the sand up to my ankles.
By this time a gentleman had been appointed to superintend one of the sheep establishments, who was heartily
desirous to aid in Church work. Wishing to have something permanent among so much wood, we had the floor
paved with stone, with steps up to the altar ; and my good
friend Mr. Marlay presented a harmonium to the church,
which he played himself.
At length, when in 1855 all was as far prepared as our
small means would allow, the Bishop crowned the work by
consecration. A notice appeared in one of the colonial
newspapers at the time, from which the following is an
I On Monday, March 19th, the Lord Bishop of Newcastle
visited this township, for the double purpose of consecrating
the church and holding a confirmation, and nearly every WORK  IN  A  PASTORAL  DISTRICT.
member of the Church of England in the town and its
neighbourhood came to take part in the service. About
five years ago an effort was made to commence a church.
It was found impossible to erect one of stone or brick at
that time, but the best was done in the way of a slab
building which the material admitted. It has simply a
nave and vestry attached; the roof is high-pitched, with
a small bell turret at the west end. There are three lancet
windows in the east end, and two in the west, with two
single lancet lights in each side, and one in the vestry.
The woodwork inside is relieved by a stone floor ; and- the
interior and exterior of the building, with the fittings-up,
though simple, have a church-like appearance, which may
lead some minds to think that what we do, even in a humble
way, to the honour of God, ought to be taken pains with."
In a letter I have lately received from the present
clergyman, he says that it will be necessary to enlarge the
church, as there is no longer room for the congregation
which assembles in it.
I can never think of that church without calling to
mind him who gave me the firstsSubscription towards it—
a poor man, and a shepherd. It is now some years since
I heard that he had been called to his rest. His name
was Robert Baird, and I first found him at a remote
station, eight miles above the town, towards the Liverpool
His hut was at the foot of a high ridge, near Coulson's
Creek, one of the small tributaries of Smith's Rivulet. A
few yards before his door was a small bit of ground,
enclosed, in the roughest bush fashion, by whole trees and
large limbs, heaped one upon another, with the lighter
wood thrust in at intervals to stop up gaps. Within this
garden the rich black soil bore an abundance of pumpkins
and water-melons, which scrambled luxuriantly over the
ground, or climbed up and hung over the rude fence ; and
on the parts of the enclosure which they did not occupy 78
1 lis
1  II
-■:   ill
!'.' A
were cabbages, quickly grown and excellent when the
season was wet, but in dry hot weather hanging exhausted
and flaccid, and in colour and toughness like " blue cotton
umbrellas" as a friend used to call them. Not far off were
a couple of cows ; for where the master encourages the
men, calves are cheaply bought, and easily reared. In a
small log pigsty, under the shade of a leafy kind of eucalyptus, called the apple-tree, were two or three pigs, or,
sometimes a litter. A few fowls were foraging about,
picking up grass-seeds, and running after grasshoppers
and insects of various kinds that swarmed everywhere.
Baird appeared to be thirty-five or forty years old, and
had a wife and several young children-^three boys and, I
think, two girls. I had heard at Merriwa that there were
sheep-stations up Coulson's Creek; and, while hunting
them up, fell in with Baird and his family in their retired
nook, about eighteen months before there was any prospect
of building a church.
They had never before been visited by a clergyman, as,
indeed, was the case with all the stations on that creek;
and they seemed genuinely grateful for anything approaching to Christian worship and Christian teaching. From
this time I made a point of going round by that line of
country as often as possible ; taking it on my way between
the upper part of the Wybong Creek and Merriwa. Sometimes I visited it for several months in succession. Sometimes, when I took another line of stations, there was an
interval between my visits of two or three months.
One thing that distressed me was that, when the good
woman knew I was coming, there was always a fowl or
something dressed especially for me. All my entreaties
that she would spare herself this trouble were unheeded.
Gudewives in all ranks, all the world over, will have their
way ; so, although I should have much preferred riding on
to the next station as soon as my work was finished, taking
perhaps a bit of damper and some tea or milk, I could not WORK  IN  A  PASTORAL  DISTRICT.
decline to take what she had so thoughtfully provided for
my refreshment.
We always had a short service : some of the prayers
and collects of the Prayer-book, a psalm or two (generally
those for the day); and some short part of Holy Scripture
was read and explained. Before leaving them I always
gave the little ones some especial teaching. Little, gentle,
shy things they were—those children of the bush—very
respectful in manner ; but for many a month not a word
could I get out of them. Sometimes I told them Bible
stories, with the youngest standing between my knees ;
sometimes I asked them questions, and answered them
myself; and when I had patted them on the head and
blessed them, they would run out, and leave me to say my
last words to their parents. And as I mounted my horse,
I could see them clinging together, and peeping round the
end of the hut at me with timid, roguish smiles, coming
out from their shelter and having a good stare at me as I
rode away.
Their mother told me that, when she questioned them
afterwards, they remembered much of what I had said to
them; but she could not get them to give their attention
to the simple books in monosyllables which I left for their
use. The first book which seemed really to get into their
minds was "First Steps to the Catechism." That gave
them the end of the clue, and they gradually got out of
what had appeared to them an insuperable difficulty. On
my next visit after leaving the book, their mother said that
they were beginning to try to read their letters, as well as
to learn the answers to the questions in the little book.
A year or two after this, when they had really begun to
make some progress with the teaching which their father
gave them in the evening, Baird told me that he was
anxious to remove to some place where he could send,
them to school. He could not put his plan into effect
immediately; and in the meantime heard of our intention 80
of building a church at Merriwa. He did not wait to be
asked, and did not hesitate from the knowledge that he
should need his money when he moved. He came forward
before any subscription list was opened, and begged me to
take charge of 10s. for the church, to which, some time
after, he added another 10s.
Does not this poor man's ready and unsolicited offering
to the service of God, which he would seldom be able to
attend, shame many Christians, who, having the talent of
abundance, spend it readily upon some self-indulgence,
some showy dinner-party or ball, some jewelry or dress;
and become suddenly fearful of expense when an appeal is
made to their charity ? They who have squandered money
by tens, or it may be by hundreds, give some poor pound
or half-a-crown at a collection, and often evade giving at
all in the aid of the work of Christ at home or abroad.
That poor man's offering always made me look on the
little church at Merriwa with hope. I cannot but trust
that God's eye will be over that house of His, towards
which He moved His humble servant's love to contribute
so readily out of the little that he had.
Baird sold off his cattle, took his wife and family to
Maitland, and while he put his children to school his wife
endeavoured to make their small savings last longer by
keeping a little shop, while he earned money in any way
he could.
The shop was not successful, for bush-life had not made
his wife a good shopkeeper. And after two years he came
back to his old employer as a shepherd; and now his two
eldest boys were able to take turns with a second flock of
sheep. I had lost sight of him most of the time when he
was in Maitland, and for some months was not aware that
he had returned to my district. He had been sent to a
station some few miles off, which I had never heard of.
At length, to my surprise and pleasure, I saw him one
Sunday in the church at Merriwa.    He had left his own WORK  IN  A  PASTORAL   DISTRICT.
flock for a few hours in charge of one of his sons, while
the second son was tending the other flock. After service
we were mutually glad to meet; and he told me he had
been wondering, poor man, at my not having found him
out. He described where his station was, on a creek
called Middle Creek; and the next month I rode up from
Merriwa to look after him and his family.
After some six or seven miles' riding, keeping a good
look-out, I caught sight in the distance of some sheep;
and looking carefully, soon made out the figure of a man
sitting down at the foot of a tree by the bank of the creek.
As it was about midday, I thought he might be taking his.
dinner, but soon saw' a boy by his side; and when I
reached him, I found that he was hearing one of his sons
read in the New Testament. I heard the boy read, and
questioned him, and found him much improved by his
Baird then told me that, besides keeping school at home
every evening, with much better success than in former
days, he made it his practice to take one of his.boys with
him each day in turn, to read, while one of the others
tended the second flock.
He continued to come down to the service at the church
while I ministered in the district. A few years after,
when I was at Morpeth, I heard that his work on earth
was ended.
| Go, to the world return, nor fear to cast
Thy bread upon the waters, sure at last
In joy to find it after many days.
The work be thine, the fruit thy children's part:
Choose to believe, not see 5 sight tempts the heart
From sober walking in true Gospel ways."
Keble's Christian Year.    Ninth Sunday after Trinity.
I liill:
Ik jig £
The westernmost township in my district, as has been
already mentioned, was- Cassilis. It was seventy miles
from my residence at Muswell Brook, and twenty-five miles
beyond Merriwa. Its Scotch name betokened the love of
its founder for the "land of the mountain and the flood."
Two miles above it was a place called Llangollen, so that
Scotch and Welsh memories came close together.
I must say that, in a new country, I prefer using the
native names, which, as in North America, are often very
euphonious, and serve to keep in memory the old and,
alas ! rapidly fading races which have preceded the white
man.    Still, it is a pardonable attachment to old associations, which makes a colonist give to his new home a name
that reminds  him  of his native  village  or  county.    A
Government surveyor is  hardly so  pardonable when he
fixes on some old-world name, taken without reference to
any connection.    To a stranger the jumble of old associations  is sometimes a little perplexing ;   and makes   him
think he has got hold of a dissected map, the pieces of
which have been shaken up and spread out at hap-hazard.
I had a good illustration of this when, in 1857, being
ordered off by my doctor for coolness and rest, I paid a
very pleasant visit of a month to Tasmania.    On a stagecoach journey  across the  island  from  Hobart  Town  I
crossed the River Jordan running into the Derwent, and
passed in succession Bridgewater, Brighton, Bagdad, and
Jerusalem Plains.    Jericho, York Plains, Tunbridge, Ross, A  BUSH  TOWNSHIP  AND  ITS   SCHOOL.
and Campbell Town followed in the county of Somerset; and
in a few miles I got off the coach at Perth, being only a
short distance from Longford, Launceston, Hadspen, and
However, such has been the fashion of colonists all the
world over. Portuguese and Dutch have given way to it
in some degree; but British settlers, whether in North
America or in Australasia, have sowed the seeds of old
names broadcast; and a name once given is soon fixed by
use, and is rarely changed.
The creek on which Cassilis lies keeps its native name,
the Munmurra: it is the last creek deserving a name
which flows from the Liverpool range to the Goulbourn,
and so on to the Pacific. About eight miles further towards the west, the range, which has been growing less
bold in outline, turns sharply round, and, becoming a
ridge of moderate elevation, stretches towards the south:
•continuing to be here, as it is in its more mountainous
form, the division between the eastern and western waters.
The valley of the Munmurra is much narrower than that
on which Merriwa lies; and, not having a bold broken
outline to head it, is less picturesque. But Cassilis is not
without its pleasing views, and the richness of the pasturage makes it and its neighbourhood of great value to the
flock and herd-master.
It was early in October, 1848, when I first visited it.
As I reached the brow of the hill which looks down upon
it the sun was nearly touching the ridge on the opposite-
side. Without a cloud, without any softening haze, it
sank glowing to the last of that more than warm spring
day: and the more distant hills were already becoming
purpled, as though the olive-coloured gum-trees which
clothed them had been changed to purple-flowered heather. The road turned to the right, and began a long
slope of nearly a mile dowm the side of the hill; at the
end of which, on the other side of the creek, the little
g 2
L'd9 m
township was beginning to enjoy the first cool shadows
thrown by the black hill behind it.
This part of the valley was almost free from trees; and,
being surrounded by wooded hills, had much the appearance of a piece of park land.    On the near side of the
creek the first building which met the eye was the residence of the mounted police, commonly called the " Police
Barracks : " and a few hundred yards further, also on the
bank of the creek, stood a strong slab-built cottage, called
the Court House, containing a room about eighteen feet by
ten feet, which was the justice-room, lighted by a small
window.    At the  end of the room, on the left as you
entered, a small platform, raised about a foot above the
floor, with a table and  three  common  chairs, was the
bench: and facing the presiding magistrate a door opened
into a small windowless room, strongly slabbed all round,
ceiling and all, the lock-up of the township ; so that it was
but a step from judgment to punishment.    Cassilis was
fortunate in having well-educated men in the commission
of the peace, two of them representatives of the honour
schools of Oxford and Cambridge.    Hence the decisions of
that bench were generally well considered, and were relied
upon as just and impartial, and free from the pettinesses
and vulgarity which in some parts deprived the courts of
their due respect.
After riding through two large enclosures called paddocks, about three-quarters of a mile square, fenced with
the ordinary post and rail fence, I reached the house of
Mr. Busby, a large flock-master, whose breed of horses
was known far and near. A hospitable welcome awaited
me there : and I was agreeably surprised to find a well-
chosen library of standard authors so far up in the bush,
and the taste that could appreciate them. The tide of
lady-society had not flowed up so far from the coast: but
the habits and conversation were such as would have been
enjoyed in a well-educated household in England. A  BUSH   TOWNSHIP  AND  ITS  SCHOOL.
That evening my good host had asked to meet me his
nearest neighbour, a brother of the late Bishop Denison, of
Salisbury, who had ridden down from Llangollen : and in
him I recognised a man with whom, ten years before, I had
passed through the class schools at Oxford. Such links to
the old country are not infrequently found at the other side
of the world; and they make a man feel almost at home
again in the midst of the land of cattle and sheep stations.
Old scenes, old friends, old events, are talked over, until
imagination does the work of reality, and the emigrant can
hardly believe that 16,000 miles of ocean roll between him
and the things that stand up so clearly before his mind's
I was sanguine enough to hope that the better-educated
men who had come out from England would settle permanently in the country from whose abundant resources they
were accumulating wealth; and would therefore take an interest in improving the social condition and moral tone of those
around them. There are some few who do so ; and it is
worthy the ambition of a Christian patriot so to labour to
mould the character of a young colony, which is growing
up into a nation. But, to my disappointment, I found
after a while that the majority of those who made money
withdrew, one after another, to spend it in England : and
thus, even while residing in the colony, they felt too much
in the condition of sojourners to exert themselves with full
heartiness to improve the state of things among which
their lot was cast.
The personal security in which one lived was remarkable ; when it is considered how recently the colony had
been freed from the annual importation of England's convicts, and that many of the shepherds and labourers were
still but ticket-of-leave men. The little bedroom in which
I slept then, and on most of my subsequent visits, had no
fastening of any kind : and within twelve inches of it one
of the outer doors of the house was either unbolted, or, far 86
more frequently, stood wide open; so that any one might
have walked in at his pleasure at any time during the
night, and taken purse or clothes, or, if so disposed, life.
It was even more surprising to see with what perfect freedom from apprehension my good host would often on a
summer's night leave the silver candlesticks on the table
of his sitting-room, when we went to bed; and set the
windows, which opened to the ground, wide open, that the
night air might draw in and cool the room before morning.
The same immunity from robbery and violence prevailed
throughout the greater part of the colony in respect of
" bushranging," as it is called, or, in English language,
highway robbery. In the thirteen years that I lived in
New South Wales I rode more than 36,000 miles, by night
and by day, in all kinds of places, and never had grounds
for the slightest apprehension. There seemed a sort of
lull in crimes of violence. Since that time bushrangers
have occasionally infested parts of the country; and a
few years before I came their depredations were frequent.
Desperadoes lived in remote places, and would make
descents upon travellers, or rifle houses. In the very
house where I have slept so securely I have been told that
it was a common and necessary precaution for each person
at the dinner-table to have a brace of loaded pistols by his
side : for the bushrangers often made their attack when
the masters of the house were within, being pretty sure
that the assigned "servants would not come to the rescue
when their master's eye was not upon them; and the
masters, if unarmed, might be kept quiet by one or two
men with pistols, while the rest took anything which could
be found in the house.
The lock-up attached to the Court House, which has
just been spoken of, was, during those troublous days,
-connected with a singular scene of violence.   Two assigned
servants were about to be made use of as witnesses against
some evil  doers : and to  keep  them  safely they  were A  BUSH  TOWNSHIP  AND  ITS   SCHOOL.
lodged in the lock-up, under care of a constable. Some
of the gang, who were at large, declared that they should
never give evidence against them. Very early one morning, before daylight, the constable ran up to Mr. Busby's
house, and told him that the lock-up had just been broken
open, and the men carried off. Mr. Busby waited until
there was light enough to see tracks; and then started
with a mounted party in search of the bushrangers. They
had taken the way towards the interior, in the direction of
Tongey; and the pursuers followed, with their eyes on
the ground, watching the newly made track. Presently it
was found that the bushrangers, thinking to leave less
track, had left the dusty road, and taken to the grass. But
what they thought would have baulked their pursuers
really gave them the greatest help.
The sun was hardly up, and therefore the dew, generally very heavy, was thick upon the grass. The fugitives,
as they went, had therefore. made through the dew a
track far more clearly visible than they would have left on
the road: and Mr. Busby and his party were enabled to
follow them at full gallop.
After about eight or nine miles, on reaching the top of
the dividing range, they found the body of one of the witnesses, whom the miscreants had shot to prevent his giving
evidence. The other had by some means escaped from
their hands ; and though shots were fired after him, he got
safely off. Leaving a constable to watch the body, Mr.
Busby galloped on with the rest of his party ; and followed
the dew-track up to the hut of some shepherds, where the
murderers had gone in to get their breakfast. Their capture was at once effected, and they were taken down the
country. The surviving witness, who had so narrowly
escaped with his life, filled up the very clear evidence
against them: and, like too many of the desperate characters of those days, they ended their lives upon the
fS'lJ 88
My first visit to Cassilis was so timed that I preceded
the Bishop by a few days. He was on his first visitation to this part of his diocese: and he thence proceeded
to the northern districts of Liverpool Plains and New
He had arranged that I should ride up first; and,
besides visiting the people, and having services, that I
should search out those at Merriwa and Cassilis, who
were so far fit for confirmation that a short preparation
would be sufficient for them. These, as might be supposed, were not many in number; but there were a few,
both adults and young people, who, even upon so short a
notice, desired to avail themselves of this opportunity.
And I was glad to begin with them, on my first visit,
those intimate relations, into which a preparation for confirmation brings the pastor and his flock. The day or
two, which was all I had to devote to the work, was not
spent in teaching and examining classes. The shortness
of the notice and the smallness of the population made me
take each candidate separately; and thus the teaching
was more personal and searching than would have been
possible if several had been taken together.
My work of preparation being finished, as well as time
allowed, I rode back to meet the Bishop, and to accompany
him to Merriwa and Cassilis. Starting after my day's
work at the latter place, I went by appointment to the
house of Mr. Hamilton, at Collaroy, eleven miles off:
and had service in the evening with him and his family,
and the people living around his store and woolshed, about
a quarter of a mile off; Collaroy is finely situated, looking northward from the brow of an abrupt hill, that rises
in the valley of the Krui Creek. Below it is a rich flat,
threaded by a winding line of casuarinas; which, except
at one reach half-a-mile up, conceal the waters of the
creek. Hills rise on all sides, not over-thickly timbered;
and, twenty miles off, the landscape is backed up by one A  BUSH  TOWNSHIP  AND  ITS   SCHOOL.
of the finest views of the Liverpool range. ' As you stand
in the verandah the eye takes in at one glance the East
Bluff, the Moon Rock, and, if my memory serves me
rightly, Oxley's Peak. The ride up to the house from the
Cassilis side is remarkably beautiful. A hill not far up
the valley breaks the line of the range ; and as you pass
on, the features of the bold background successively
emerge, or are concealed behind it.
The next morning, after a ride of twenty-eight miles, I
met the Bishop, followed by his groom, not far from the
Gingerbeer Springs, and turned back towards Merriwa.
Such meetings and rides were generally times of much
refreshing conversation: and past and future work were
well talked over. On.that ride the Bishop kindly rescued
me from a little difficulty.
My first horse having become very much jaded by some
months of hard work, I was looking out for a second;
and had taken one that morning on trial from a station
near Merriwa. It was a fine young animal, with plenty of
spirit, not long broken in from his bush freedom. After
riding some few miles with the Bishop, and having reached
the top of a high ridge called the Wapingi, we were overtaken by a shower—one of those short, decided showers,
which come down in a hot climate, when every drop
makes itself felt. The Bishop put on his macintosh, and I
proceeded unguardedly to do the same, as if I were on my
own quiet Dobbin. My steed did not fancy the unstrapping and unfolding; but when, holding him hard with my
left hand, I had got the right hand into the sleeve, off he
dashed; and as I was then unable to get the macintosh
on or off, its flapping against his shoulder in the strong
wind that had sprung up made him still worse. Of course,
he did not keep to the dray track; and, my right hand
being entangled, I had the greatest difficulty in keeping
'him clear from trees with low branches, which would have
struck me off. 90
li if
In this emergency the Bishop called out to me, " Stop
till I come to you!" Stop—why, that was the very
thing I wanted to do, but could not effect. However, I
did my best to moderate the speed of my frightened horse,
guided him clear of trees, and dodged the branches as well
as I could. The Bishop pushed on his horse to my side,
and caught my flapping macintosh. I loosed my right
hand from the bridle for a moment, and with one good
jerk the Bishop relieved me and my horse of the offending garment. Of course a wild, frightened dash followed
the movement; but two hands soon guided the terrified
animal clear of dangers, and before long brought him
under control: and we finished our ride without any
further adventure. We rode to Mr. Perry's, at Terra-
gong, four miles up the creek from Merriwa : and after a
ride of forty-seven miles, thirty-two of them on a very uneasy horse, I was not sorry to rest.
The next day, October 5th, 1848, the Bishop held his
first confirmation in that district at a private house, one
mile above Merriwa; and one of the candidates was my
good friend the tenant of Mount Dangar Farm, who had
ridden up twenty-one miles to be confirmed. The next day
the Bishop called with me on most of the people of Merriwa ; and we then rode on to Collaroy.
On the 8th the Bishop confirmed in the Court House at
Cassilis; and the next day, after a good deal of talk with
him and the gentry there, about future operations for the
good of the district, I left the Bishop to proceed on
his northern visitation, and myself returned to Muswell
The visitation of an Australian Bishop is not like that
which bears the name in England. It is a hand-to-hand
and heart-to-heart visit to each clergyman, and to his
people with him. The Bishop of Newcastle's first visits
were necessarily for the sake of gaming a personal knowledge of the districts, and of the chief laymen in them. A  BUSH   TOWNSHIP  AND   ITS   SCHOOL.
In many places there was no clergyman; and, besides
holding services wherever he went, the Bishop had to discover where clergymen and schoolmasters were most
wanted; and to form some kind of idea what must be the
area of which each must at first take charge.
In a year or two, when matters had become more set-
tied, in writing to each clergyman to arrange his visit, he
would ask how he could best help him in his work: by
services in different parts of his district, with or without
meetings ; by visiting any of his people, especially any
with whom a misunderstanding might have arisen, or who,
from any cause, were difficult to be dealt with ; by examining schools; by helping forward some disheartened, or
stimulating some sluggish building committee. In fact,
wherever a clergyman needed a helping hand in his
work, he found a ready sympathiser in his Bishop, and
one who would throw himself heartily into his plans, or
improve them if necessary.
On his first visit to Cassilis it was considered that a
school was the desideratum. The Bishop promised to
provide a master and books ; and to procure a salary from
the "Denominational Board" of Education. And the
gentry agreed, on behalf of themselves and the district,
that a school should be erected by subscription, which
might also be used when needed for Divine service, until
the time arrived for building a church; which appeared
to be in very distant perspective. The beginning seemed
hopeful: but in colonial Church work pre-eminently
those whose hearts are in it must learn to labour on under
disappointment and delay—only too happy if, by God's
blessing, their plans are permitted to take effect after a
Within the next month one of the principal settlers
wrote to the Bishop, saying that he was informed that if
such a school were established as had been contemplated,
the Roman Catholic children would not be sent to it: and 92
that so many difficulties had arisen, that he should throw
his weight into a plan for a secular school, according to
the scheme of Government, which was newly set on foot.
He would not break his promise made to the Bishop, if he
still held him to it; but to rear a Church school under
such circumstances would be against his judgment. One
such defection in so small a community made the other
settlers hopeless of building a Church school: and the
Bishop, with much regret, released the now unwilling
promise; and it seemed as if the hope of daily Church
education had vanished.
Meanwhile, we were enabled to establish a Sunday-
school, with the aid of a well-disposed woman, the wife of
the chief constable : and on each visit I found a little
flock of children assembled to be catechised. Our
progress was very small, for want of the day-school to
carry on the Sunday's work; but it was better than
The establishment of a secular school in such a place is
an almost irremediable evil; until, as is earnestly to be
desired rather than hoped, the whole system crumbles,
and is discarded. In a large population, if there are some
who unhappily think that their children are better taught
without the influence of Christ's Church, and the full
truth, which her Lord has committed to her charge, there
is still room for schools in which the children of the
Ghurch enjoy their full inheritance of clear Christian
training. But in a small population, where a single school
could embrace all the adult residents, as well as the
children, there is no place for a second.
The Church, no doubt, must always struggle through difficulties for the good of God's children. Should the pecuniary
resources and worldly power wielded by the State flood'
her, where she is weak, with the creedless system of teaching, miscalled education, she must not simply throw up
her hands and sink.    She must arouse herself, and in the A  BUSH  TOWNSHIP  AND  ITS   SCHOOL.
strength of her great commission, " Feed My lambs," she
must by more diligent catechising, not only through her
clergy, but through her devout laity also, supply the deficiencies of the schools. But we are not theorising; we are
only speaking from many happy examples, when we say
that the most beneficial education, which makes itself felt
through the whole population brought into contact with it,
is that of a school under a master who is thoroughly imbued with the doctrines of the Church, and works intelligently under her. In such cases the intellect is.provided
for, and all its powers drawn out; but all is subordinated,
as it ought to be, to Him Who created, redeemed, and
sanctifies us, and has given us life in His Church.
Poor Cassilis ! it seemed as if, as soon as the living
form of Christian education was offered, it was withdrawn,
and the dry bones of a worldly system substituted in its
The two gentlemen who lived nearest to Cassilis,
though they would much have preferred the original proposal, despaired of a Church school, and allowed themselves to be made "local patrons" of the new " Board of
Education." But the wheels of the new institution in
Sydney moved slowly. Month after month nothing was
done. The year 1849 slipped away, and 1850 was advancing ; and all concerned had had abundance of time to
think over the whole question. I had found out, and told
the " patrons," what they had learnt from other sources,
that they had been mistaken in supposing that the Roman
Catholics would not allow their children to attend a Church
school. They would have been quite willing that they
should have attended, provided they had been permitted,
which we always conceded, to sit apart at certain portions
of the religious teaching. And the Roman Catholics
especially were not at all in love with the secular system,
in spite of its being sometimes called the Irish 1 National
i 94
The people, therefore, had long felt that it would have
been better had they accepted the proposal first made to
them, and the "local patrons" were good Churchmen
enough to appreciate the benefit of having their clergyman
really working for their school, and with them. However,
the step had been taken; and it seemed as though they
must He on the bed they had made for themselves.
About the middle of the year 1850 a master was sent
up by the so-called "National Board." No school was
yet built; but he was to have a room in one of the houses
of the township where there was space for all the scholars
who would come. On the first or second day one of the
i local patrons 1 went to visit him; and, on his knocking
at the door, it was opened to him by the master himself
in an unmistakable state of intoxication. He at once
turned away in disgust, went home, and wrote to his
colleague to come to Mm. The "patrons" consulted;
and after writing one letter to the board at Sydney, m
their official capacity, announcing that they had dismissed
the new master as unfit to be entrusted with the education
of the children of the township, they sent a second, in
which they resigned their office, and stated that they
should throw alT their weight into the scale of the
« Denominational Board," which, only through misrepresentation of the facts of the case, they had been induced
to desert.
Within a few days after this had been done, I arrived
for my monthly visit, and they communicated to me the
change in the aspect of affairs. We agreed not to say
anything in the township, that we might not raise expectations before we could see our way to do something
effectual: this was on the 25th of July. After the
services I rode to Pembroke, a station about twelve miles
distant. There are two roads, starting from different
points ' at Cassilis, diverging gradually to a distance of
seven or eight miles, and meeting again at Merriwa.    On A  BUSH  TOWNSHIP  AND  ITS   SCHOOL.
one of these roads lies Collaroy; on the other, to the
north, up the Krai, the small germ of a township called
Cockrabel, consisting of four or five huts.* Two miles off
the road from this is Pembroke. Here, after evening
service, and before I turned into bed at two o'clock in the
morning, I wrote a letter to the Bishop, informing him of
the change which had taken place at Cassilis, asking if he
could provide a master, and saying that I should ride
down to Morpeth soon, to consult him about the whole
business. When I did so on the 1st of August, he kindly
promised to look out for a master at once, and send him
up as soon as possible, and to see that a salary was
forthcoming for him.
On the 22nd of August I was again at Cassilis, and
after returning to Mr. Busby's from the afternoon service,
found a letter from the Bishop, saying that the bearer was
a very good and earnest man, lately arrived from England,
and that he had sent him up to supply our want of a
master.   In fact, Mr. H was then in the township, and
had sent up the Bishop's letter with one from himself.
Our good fortune, long pent up, had come upon us with
a burst, before we were ready for it, and we felt a little
perplexed. There are seldom any spare houses in small
bush townships, and we did not at that moment know
where to house the new master, still less where he might
assemble the scholars. The people were still in profound
ignorance that any Church schoolmaster was to be sent
to them.
That evening I rode up to Llangollen, and it was
arranged that Mr. Denison, Mr. Busby, and I, should go
early the next day to the township, to find some place for
* A year or two after the time of which I am writing, a carrier who
owned one of these huts, finding Merriwa a more convenient place for
his work, bought an allotment there; knocked his hut to pieces, carried
it and its contents in several dray-loads to his newly purchased bit of
land, and put it up there.
j!. ■
I - UH
our new acquisition. Mr. Denison most kindly showed
him Australian hospitality in his own house until his
whereabouts was settled. The next morning we tried the
most likely houses for a spare room, but without success.
At last Mr. Busby came to the rescue. He bethought him
of a house he had two miles off, on a retired creek; and
though it was too far off for the schoolmaster, he promised
it to the clerk of petty sessions, who rented a house in the
township, if he would give up to him that which he
occupied. There was no difficulty on his part, and the
landlord agreed to the transfer of the tenancy, Mr. Busby
paying the rent.    So our first difficulty was overcome.
The next point was to announce the arrival of the
master to the people, ascertain what children would be
sent, and what fees would be paid for each; for it was
customary to have different rates of payment, according
to the ability of the parents to pay. Not a single parent
refused. Whether they were Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, or Church people, all rejoiced in the prospect of
a school; and after two or three hours all the preliminaries
were settled. I had a good long talk with-the master, who
proved to be the very man for the place. There have since
been several masters, but, with varying success, the school
has continued until this day, and is now in better condition
than ever, having a clergyman resident in a newly built
parsonage-house just below the township.
After the school had been a few years in the cottage,
I drew a plan for a school with a master's house attached,
and saw it nearly up, but was obliged, from a break-down
of health, to leave the district of Muswell Brook and
Cassilis before its completion.
It was Friday evening when my work of preparing for
Mr. H 's establishment in the school was done.    I
started a little after sunset, intending to ride twenty-five
miles to Merriwa, that I might reach home for my Sunday
duties.    On reaching the inn at Merriwa, I found that the A BUSH  TOWNSHIP  AND  ITS  SCHOOL.
only bed was occupied. It was a glorious night, with the
full moon shining as no English moon ever did shine; so
I took a cup of tea and pressed on. By the time I
reached the next inn, sixteen miles further on, it was
nearly two o'clock, and I knew my horse would receive
little care from the sleepy ostler if I succeeded in getting
him out of his bed, so I jogged on, dismounting occasionally,
and lying down for a few minutes to rest myself and my
horse; and about an hour after sunrise I pulled up at my
own gate, after a ride of seventy miles.
I have to confess that both my horse and I were
sufficiently tired ; but I had the thankful feeling which he,
poor old fellow, had not, that the cloud was removed from
Cassilis, and the Church school established there.
| How couldst thou hang upon the cross,
To whom a weary hour is loss ?
Or how the thorns and scourging brook,
Who shrinkest from a scornful look ?
| Yet e'er thy craven spirit faints,
Hear thine own King, the King of saints;
Though thou wert toiling in the grave,
■ 'Tis He can cheer thee, He can save."
Keble's Christian Year. Tuesday in Whitsun Week
; fc If lull m
Since returning to England, it has occasionally been my
duty to search for, and aid my brother commissary in
selecting, clergy for the diocese of Newcastle. In the
search I have fallen in with two very different classes of
minds: each of which forms a very erroneous idea of the
work of a colonial clergyman.
The first of these two classes is a high Christian type of
mind: one which yearns to give up something for its
Saviour: which longs to sacrifice home and ease, and to
toH for Him Who shed His blood for us. For such hearts
unknown difficulties have a special attraction. \ They look
with satisfaction at the ninety and nine sheep safe in the
fold; but they yearn for the wanderer. They would
gladly embrace weariness, painfulness, lone hours and
sleepless nights, and think them gain, that so Christ might
j grant them to bring in the lost one, or to rear in the desolate places of the earth slips and shoots of His Holy
Not a few of these overlook colonial work, as though it
did not afford them a fit field for their exertions. Africa,
India, and China, or the Melanesian Islands, they think'
can alone furnish what they yearn for.
Now, I am very far from wishing to draw such spirits
from any call they may have to bear the standard of the
cross to idolatrous or Mohammedan countries; but such
spirits are wanted for our colonies also. The most enterprising can find souls enough in them, which, without his BUSH LABOUR AND BUSH FOLK.
labours, would be untended: he may exhaust both body
and mind, and yet find wants lying beyond the powers of
the present small band of clergy. In the bush towns, and
in the outlying stations, there are poor wanderers who
cannot find their way back without aid, and have no one
to aid them. And there are not a few, who, when sought,
resist at first; yet, under God's blessing, are caught and
brought in by persevering endeavour.
To carry to each of these scattered ones their portion in
turn, requires careful economy of time, activity, bodily endurance, and determination. And to perceive, during the
short occasional visit, what is most needed, and to administer it to the best advantage, often to the unwilling,
taxes a man's penetration and resources, and, many a
time, his self-command over the exhaustion of a wearied
body, and, consequently, a flagging mind.
In the larger towns there is abundance of scope for all
the powers which God has bestowed on him, to lay solidly
the foundations of Christ's Church in the midst of a population swept together from all parts, and imbued with
very different shades of opinion and faith.
And if he looks, as he will, beyond his own parish, to
his clerical brethren and their flocks, he may be sure that
the steady, intelligent working out of the Church's system,
with such measured advance as will enable his people to
understand and follow him, will prove the greatest strength
and help to the whole diocese. I have remarked before,
that, for good or for evil, the various clergy and districts
in a colonial diocese, though many miles apart from each
other, affect their brethren far more perceptibly than is
the case in the denser population of old countries.
There are also many vital questions connected with the
constitution and the government of the colonial Churches,
and their intercommunion with each other and with the
Church Catholic; which, I am persuaded, must be solved,
on their part, by their internal powers exhibited in their
h 2
,' • I 100
Hi I
synodical action, and, on the part of the English mother,
by her obtaining freedom of action in spiritual things,
which at present she lacks or cannot see her way to grasp.
The contradictory judgments of the English law courts,
each claiming a quasi infallibility, cannot be the support
on which the Church in the colonies rests.
Whether, therefore, the energetic spirits of whom I
have spoken desire to succour the spiritually destitute, to
enter upon a laborious work, to mould elements somewhat
.chaotic into a well-organised parish; to act in a body, in
which the .work of each unit tells perceptibly on the rest;
or to aid in working out the great problem of the union of
the newly formed Churches with the rest of Christendom;
he may find ample scope for the most devoted and useful
labours in the colonies.
Of the other class of minds, of which I have met with
specimens, I cannot speak with the same respect; and
would distinctly discourage them from offering themselves
for colonial work.    We want none of them.
They are such as wish to go out to a colonial cure because they think that so far from England they may do
more as they like, and find themselves less tied to the
work of souls. They have a notion that in the bush they
will have more opportunities of indulging in a semi-secular
life than if they remained in England. There are some
who hope that in a new country they may combine a good
measure of agricultural or sheep-farming pursuits with
the work of the ministry; and show pretty plainly, as
might be expected, that on the more secular object
a very large share of their interest is fixed, and that
Christ's ministry would be their second, not their first
These men, who are really unfit for Christ's service anywhere, are especially mischievous in the colonial Church,
where clergymen are so few and far between, and where
the scarcity of the workmen needs to be compensated by BUSH LABOUR AND BUSH FOLK.
their fervent zeal and single-minded devotion to their
work. As in the large cities of England a man's whole
soul needs concentrating upon the spiritual welfare of the
multitudes in alleys and crowded streets; so in the wide
extent of a colonial district, including perhaps several
scattered townships, God's servant must be continually
intent upon his work, that he may penetrate the nooks
and distant corners, pick up stray sheep anywhere, and be
ready to show to all, according to their needs, how, under
difficult circumstances, they may maintain their union
with Christ's Holy Church.
It should be branded on the heart of every man who
aspires to be a colonial clergyman: | No man that warreth
mtangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may
please Him Who hath chosen him to be a soldier."* A
faithful worker will find many a pleasure by the way, besides those deeper comforts which Christ gives to all who
honestly make sacrifices for Him. He will find on his
rides many an object of interest, many a little adventure
—if he likes such things; he will find those who become
warm and firm friends ; he will find some who welcome-
his ministry, and some who learn to do so after a time.
But his duty cannot be done without casting aside thoughts
of ease, and throwing his whole heart and energies into it.
There may be few such severe privations in New South
Wales as fall to the lot of Bishops and clergy in Newfoundland and the Labrador; but those who fancy that
they will never have to rough it, or that they can take
their work easily, are greatly mistaken.
For some time after I had become, as I thought,
acquainted with the district, outlying places kept opening
upon me, claiming thought and attention when head and
hands were already more than full. To meet the new
claims it was necessary to abridge times of rest, and to
encroach as  much as   possible  on the   mornings   and
* 2 Tim. ii. 4. mm
P St !■•!
evenings: generally arriving at a station long enough
before bedtime to have service that night, and starting
for the next place early the following morning; or, if I
arrived too late, owing to the distance, or the amount of
work I had found to do before, we had an early service
the next day, before those at the station dispersed for their
On one occasion I saw some strange faces among the
congregation assembled at the Cassilis Court-House; and
found a settler and his wife, named Nevill, who had
driven through the bush in a cart, bringing their child to
be baptized. When the service was over I had some conversation with them, and found them steady Church
people, natives of the colony, born of English parents,
who were living many miles off in the Sydney diocese.
They had come in from their place at Deridgery, a
station on the south of Cassilis, not far from the upper
part of the Goulbourn; and they were very glad when I
promised to visit them.
The next month Nevill came by appointment to meet
me at Cassilis, and after the second service escorted me
to his home. We had ridden nearly sixteen miles, touching once or twice upon the Munmurra Creek, and only
passing one shepherd's hut on our way. During the last
few miles the iron-bark forest, the change from the black
to the sandy soil, and the thinner grasses, showed that
we were approaching the Goulbourn ranges, when, on
emerging upon a small clearing, we saw the little bush
settlement a short distance before us.
On our left was a small watercourse, the Deridgery
Creek, not flowing—those small creeks hardly ever flow—
but containing a water-hole or two, which after rains were
well filled. On the other side of the creek was a railed
paddock, where was grown wheat for the household, and
oats or barley for cutting as hay; and there stood also the
barn and outhouse, made of the roughest slabs, split from BUSH LABOUR AND BUSH FOLK.
trees which had once grown on the spot, and roofed with
bark. One or two small huts. were before us on the
right, and just beyond them Nevill's own dwelling, built
of slabs, not more pretentious, but a little larger. As the
eye looked on beyond these primitive dwellings, it saw, on
a little rise some fifty yards further, that universal accompaniment of a settler's homestead, the stock-yard, with the
gallows at one corner.
A stock-yard is an enclosure varying in size according
to the size of the settler's herd of cattle or horses. It is
strongly made with the stoutest poles and rails, six or
seven feet high, and divided into two or more compartments, so that part of the herd may be drafted off from
one to another, if necessary, for the purposes of taming,
branding, or killing. The gallows is made of two young
trees let firmly into the ground, with a fork at the top of
each. Across these a round log is placed, like the windlass
of a well, having a strong rope, usually of plaited bullock-
hide, attached to it. By this the bullock or sheep that has
been killed at sundown is hoisted out of the reach of
native or other dogs till the next morning to cool, when it
is taken down and cut up, and the greater part salted for
future use.    Fresh meat is rarely used at the stations.
The arrival of horsemen at a station is always a signal
for getting some tea, with its accompaniments, salt beef
and damper; and after the first words of welcome, while
my good host was taking care of my horse, and his wife
putting on the kettle, I got a few minutes 'of rest and
quiet thought.
It was always with me a matter of anxious consideration
how to spend these visits to the best advantage. Owing
to the many other calls on my time, I could seldom visit
such outlying places as Deridgery more than two or three
times in the year. To carry on any regular and complete
system of teaching at such long intervals was impossible.
Written sermons were, of course, not to be thought of. 104
I usually chose some striking part of Holy Scripture, and
endeavoured to point out its bearing upon reconciliation
with God, the daily struggles and progressive holiness of
Christian life, and on future hopes and fears ; and I used
portions of the morning and evening prayers or the
Litany, with some of the Collects that seemed most
suitable. The Psalms for the day were almost invariably
used, unless those for the day before or after seemed
better adapted to my small congregation.
In conversation many little points were drawn out, and
such advice and encouragement given as might recur to
their minds afterwards. Just before, going to bed I not
unfrequently read some of the admirable " Hymns for
Little Children," which the grown members of the party,
as well as the younger ones, always appreciated. And
whenever there were children, and sometimes when there
were not, I tried to find half-an-hour for the Catechism
and its explanation, in order to leave some systematic
doctrine for after use. From time to time, while endeavouring to supply food for their use during their long
privation of service, I pointed out the order of the Church's
seasons, and the great doctrines which they taught; and
so I was obliged to commit them to His love and care
Who had senjt me to them.
The most serious difficulty in the way of genuine improvement was the inability to bring the poor outliers to
Holy Communion. Many were too far off to come in to
the regular administrations at Muswell Brook, Merton,
Merriwa, and Cassilis; and I was only able to administer
it at five out-stations. At the rest various causes prevented my offering it, or the offer being embraced. In
,many cases, long years of sin, not sufficiently repented of,
prevented anything but exhortations to repentance and
preparation for better things. In others, long absence
from all services and my own unfrequent ministrations
had not overcome, the grievously wide-spread idea, too BUSH LABOUR AND BUSH FOLK.
common even in England, where the church bell can be
heard all over the parish, that the Holy Eucharist is only
intended for some advanced Christians, and that others,
if they neglect it, may safely content themselves with a
lower Christianity.
I can hardly see the way out of this difficulty in a bush,
district, on any sufficient scale, except by providing more
clergy, and thereby enabling them to see the people more
frequently, and thus raise their faith and practice to the
standard of the Church.
One of the bush huts where I was enabled to celebrate
the Holy Communion was Rainbow Station, situated in the
midst of abrupt hills and narrow valleys, about twelve
miles from Muswell Brook. I found there a shepherd and
his wife, lately come from Scotland—Episcopalians, from
the neighbourhood of Glencoe. They were unable to
come into church at the township, and having been communicants at home, embraced gladly the offer which I
made of administering to them at their own hut.
The Rev. J. Blackwood, then a deacon, who had been
fixed by himself at Singleton after Mr. Irwin's removal to
Moreton Bay,' was glad of the opportunity, and rode up to
me at Muswell Brook. The next day we rode out together
to the sheep-station. It was a rough hut, roofed with
bark, consisting of one room only, and the floor of earth.
But, humble though the place was, all preparations had
been made which reverence could have dictated to simple
The very earth before the door—for the ground round
a hut is usually bare of grass—had been swept for some
distance; and no spade, broom, or iron pot, or any of
the untidiness usually seen outside a shepherd's hut, was
visible. Inside all was neat, and looked as well as the
poor materials allowed. Some clean curtains screened off
the bed. Everything was arranged with scrupulous care,
and the table, covered with a snowy cloth, was placed at 106
the end of the room. M'Coll and his wife, who appeared
to be some forty-five years old, were in the Sunday clothes
they had used at home; and during the whole service
their appearance was that of Christians worshipping with
the deepest reverence of Him in Whose presence they
When all was over, and we were thinking of getting
our horses and finding our way back, good Mrs. M'Coll
begged us to stay and take some refreshment; and taking
down a shawl which hung in one corner across a string,
showed us a table with a simple dinner ready prepared
for us. A few years later they removed to a place about
four miles from the township, and were enabled to come
in to the service on Sundays. I believe they have now
bought a piece of land some miles further away, and have
settled upon it.
The Nevills, of whom I spoke just now, were always
attentive; and, I believe, made good use of the very little
which I could do for them. She has, since I left the
diocese, been called from this world and from her young
family; but I can quite remember her thoughtful look
when I was speaking to her little ones, then very small,
or showing her what she might do for them as a Christian
mother, without any school to aid them.
At most of the small stations I visited, we used to
separate for the night at ten o'clock. I usually remained
in the sitting-room for an hour or two more, or, if I had
the luxury of a table in my bedroom, sat there, to get
some quiet time for reading and writing. I had another
reason in many places for not going early to bed, though
generally very tired with the riding and work of the day.
Insect life of all kinds is very abundant;. and, on sandy
soils especially, fleas swarmed, not unattended by their
broader cousins. Happy are they whose skins are thick.
I have stayed out of bed till I could hardly keep my eyes
open, in hope that on lying down I  might fall asleep •BUSH LABOUR AND BUSH FOLK.
before my persecutors found me out. But the hope was
often vain. No sooner was the candle out, and the first
forgetfulness coming on, than I felt, what Cicero tells us is
a noble sentiment, that I was " never less alone than when
alone." Several times in a night have I struck a light,
rubbed my eyes, and killed all I could find, and put out
my candle, only to light it again in a short time. Once at
Deridgery, when goaded beyond endurance, I dressed
myself at two o'clock in the morning, went out of the hut,
and, though there was a slight frost, for it was winter, lay
down in my macintosh by the stock-yard fence until
daybreak, at about half-past six. Such nights were not
the best restoratives after a day's labour; but a good
wash in the morning, the pure air, and the bright blue
sky, set one up again for another day's work.
A case occurred about half-a-mile from the little township of Cockrabel, mentioned in the last chapter, which
made me long for additional clergy, to visit the stations
more frequently than it was possible for me to do.
There was an overseer's station on a rising hill above
the bank of the Krui Creek; and calling one day on my
way to Cassilis, I found a poor shepherd there far gone in
heart disease. His master had kindly brought him from
his station at the Liverpool Plains, where he could get no
nursing, to be looked after as well as possible for what
seemed likely to be the last few weeks of bis life. He
was unable to move from his bed, which was placed on the
floor of a spare room* and the overseer's wife tended him
His pains were often very severe; and she told me that
during the paroxysms, or whenever she did not attend to
him as soon as he knocked on the floor with his stick, his
language was fearfully blasphemous. I visited him, and
returned two days after from Cassilis, on my way home,
to minister to him again. The next month he was still
living, and seemed glad to see me; and the overseer's wife
frUffl 108
said that after the last visit he was for some days more
patient, and more watchful over his words. This visit
also seemed to have left a temporary effect upon him.
But the next month I found the room empty, and the
poor man buried. About a week before, when he had
hardly strength to move, and seemed to have but a day or
two to live, he lost all patience; and, putting his stick
into the handkerchief which was about his neck, twisted it
round and round until he choked himself. Had he, in his
misery, enjoyed the benefit of constant ministerial visits,
the thoughts which seemed to have been awakened in him
might have been deepened into repentance, and his end
have been ver}T different.
Had Sodom enjoyed the opportunities which were
lavished in vain upon Capernaum, it would not have
Surely it is not too much to hope that some at least
who have read of these wants of their brethren in the
bush will make it a part of their fervent daily prayers, if
they do not so already, that the " Lord of the harvest
would send forth more labourers into His harvest;" and
that others, who are fitted for the work, will feel called
upon to leave, for Christ's sake, home, friends, and
country, and to devote themselves heart and soul to
carrying His Gospel to the distant corners of the earth,
where'His scattered people are so much in need of help.
Many Englishmen are led out by the hope of gain: will
not Churchmen be led out to help to gather in fruit for
their Lord, and look for a lasting home, friends among
the blessed, and " a better country, that is, a heavenly WSjm
I Heb. xi. 16. 109
Those who realise the inevitable conditions of a young
colony will readily understand that many a want and
many a difficulty must be occasionally experienced in the
More especially is this the case in a country where the
few aboriginal natives have been so entirely neglectful of
the first command of their Maker, to " subdue " the earth,
as those of New South Wales. It must not be forgotten
that no civilised man had lived on any part of Australasia,
or thought of beginning to turn to account its abundant
resources, before the year 1788. On the 28th January
in that year, Captain Phillip, at the head of 279 free
persons and 751 convicts, having found the sandy and
waterless shores of Botany Bay, which the English
Government had destined for the settlement, unsuited for
the purpose, landed on the site of the present city of
Sydney; and the first tents were pitched, and the iron
axe rung among the trees of the dense forest which then
surrounded Port Jackson, and which had hitherto heard
nothing but the blows of the stone tomahawk, with which
the natives had cut out for their food opossums or the
tree grubs.
The colony was, therefore, only- between sixty and
seventy years old at the time to which these recollections
refer. And it is rather a cause of wonder that so much
had been effected within that time at a distance of 16,000
miles from the mother country, than that many things,. 110
i I 111
still remained to be done to meet the wants of the settlers.
It must be remembered, too, that nearly all supplies had
to be sent from the coast, so that the further the settlers
pushed inwards to the west in search of grazing country,
the longer was the line of conveyance from the port. And
professional men or mechanics had to be brought out
from England, and forwarded by degrees further and
further from Sydney.
For several years after our arrival, there was no medical
man to the west of Muswell Brook. On one occasion,
when I arrived at Cassilis, I found the blacksmith, a tall,
sturdy fellow, suffering from dislocation of the'shoulder.
The day before, he had been trying to shoe a half-broken
colt for the first time, and had been kicked across the
smithy. No bone was broken, but the poor fellow was
much bruised, and hia shoulder put out. His neighbours
had already been doing their very best by pulling at his
arm till they were tired. At last, finding that all their
well-meant endeavours had only succeeded in putting the
poor man to much pain, and increasing the swelling of the
upper part of the limb, they had sent a man off on horseback for the nearest doctor, seventy miles distant.
On entering the hut, I was asked to try my hand at
the case. But as the doctor had been sent for, and I had
never been present when a dislocated joint was reduced,
I would not make the attempt, for fear of giving more useless pain. The doctor might have been away twenty or
thirty miles in another direction; but, fortunately, he was
at home, and lost no time in setting off. On his arrival,
he soon put the shoulder in its right place; but owing
to the first delay in sending to Muswell Brook, and the
140 miles which had to be ridden by the messenger and
the doctor, the patient had been forty-eight hours without
surgical aid.
A few years later, a medical man was settled at Cassilis;
and, as the mounted police were no longer wanted, owing- DESTITUTION  OF  THE  SICK IN  THE  BUSH.
to the more settled state of the country, the police barracks
on the bank of the Munmurra were converted into his
In 1851, when on a long journey to the Castlereagh
River, far to the west of Cassilis, of which I will speak
hereafter, I found a settler who had broken his collar-bone
a week or two previously. He had been galloping with
his dogs after a kangaroo, and his horse getting his foot
into one of those large deep cracks which, in the volcanic
soil, open during long droughts, had fallen and thrown
his rider heavily. No doctor could be procured,, and those
about him set the bone as well as they could, bandaged
the man firmly; and, without the aid of a licentiate of any
college of medicine or surgery, the bone united, and a
cure was effected.
If a man has self-restraint enough to avoid interfering
in serious cases when a regular medical man can be procured, and to abstain from an endless quackery of himself
or others for slight ailments, it is most useful for him to
gain some acquaintance both with medicine and surgery
before going out to a colony. My own knowledge of
either was very small, yet I often found the little I knew
useful to those who were suffering, and would have found
it impossible to get to a doctor.
Among all the valuable training which St. Augustine's
College gives its pupils, their medical instruction, and
their access to the practice in the hospital at Canterbury,
are not least in importance. Had not my time been too
fully occupied with the discharge of my last duties to my
English parish, and the preparation for leaving England,
after I had accepted the call of the good Bishop of Newcastle to accompany him, I should have put myself under
some medical man, or gained admission to some hospital
for a while before sailing. I might then have relieved
much misery, which I saw at outlying stations, more
effectually, at least, than I was able to do. &sp£j 112
1 .
At the small township of Cockrabel I certainly gained
a credit which I did not deserve. One day, as I was returning by that route from Cassilis, after calling at the
other huts, I went to that which, in the sixth chapter, I
mentioned that the owner afterwards packed on his dray
and removed to Merriwa. He was, as usual, away with
his drays, but his wife was in bed suffering great pain
from a bad leg. I visited her simply as her clergyman,
and, after reading to and praying with her, was leaving
her with such comfort as I could give, when she said,
imploringly, " Please, sir, will you look at my leg ? "
I begged her not to unfasten the bandages. But I
could not persuade her; and with much care she un-
bandaged the swollen and discoloured limb. It showed
so much inflammation that I gently touched it with the
palm of my hand, and, finding the heat quite as great as I
had expected, commiserated the poor woman and proceeded
on my journey. Two months afterwards, when I dismounted at her door, she met me with tears in her eyes,
and abundant invocation of blessings. "0 sir!" she
said, I from the time you touched my leg it began to get
better, and is now quite well."
It was in vain that I disclaimed the efficacy which she
attributed to the touch, and bade her thank God for His
mercies to her, reminding her how we had prayed for such
relief as His love and wisdom saw fit to grant. For
years after, when I visited her, she would still recur to
her old idea that the recovery dated from the touch.
In one emergency I was really enabled to be of some
use to a little sufferer. I had started from home for
Merriwa in order to select the ground on which the church
was afterwards built; and wishing to visit some stations
on the lower part of the Wybong, I altered my usual
route a little. It was a delicious spring morning, about
the third week in October, 1849, one of those bright, calm
Australian days, neither hot nor cool, with a gentle air DESTITUTION  OF  THE   SICK  IN  THE  BUSH.
breathing from the  east, when existence itself seems a
After a ride of sixteen miles, and having passed round
the base of a fine upstanding mass of rock on my right,
studded to its summit with flowering shrubs and patches
of the yellow dendrobium, I had entered the Wybong
Valley through a low gap in the sandstone ridge, which
bounds its eastern side. Turning to the left down the
valley, I soon fell in with a shepherd following his flock.
As usual, I dismounted, and remained with him for a
time, and then proceeded towards his station, rather more
than a mile off, to visit his wife.
I had not gone more than half the distance, when I met
a child six years old, running in evident terror, crying,
and calling for his father with all the breath he had left.
His fright and haste were so great, that I could get no
further into the cause of his trouble than that something
had happened to his little brother. On galloping up to
the hut, I found the poor mother wailing over her little
two-year-old boy who had just been severely burnt.
She had been washing, and, as is a common practice in
the bush, had lighted her fire of dead branches in the
open air, neas the bank of the creek, that she might have
a shorter distance to carry the water. Of course, while
she was at her tub the child played, as children always
will play, with the fire. His only article of dress was a
calico night-shirt. This caught fire; and, before his mother
could do anything to help him, he was severely burnt from
the knees to the throat. When I rode up she had him in
her lap, and was sluicing him and herself too with soapsuds. The poor little boy was screaming violently with
the pain; and the mother kept up a despairing wail,.,
alternately trying to soothe him, and saying, " Oh, my
pretty, pretty boy; oh, what shall I do ? My pretty boy!
Sure, and he'll die." Those who know how an Irish
mother laments can guess that I had some difficulty in ! 1 !
checking the flow of words, which ran on to the father's
going out in the morning, and his pictured sorrow at
coming back, and seeing his little one dying.
Seeing the state of the child, I said immediately, " Those
half-warm suds are no good; ,where's your flour-bag?
Flour is far the best thing to put to the poor little fellow."
"It's all gone, your reverence; I made up the last into a
damper last night.'' \ \ When shall you have more ? " " Not
till to-night, your reverence; the ration-cart will be here
this evening." 1 Why, the poor child will be dead before
it comes. Where's the nearest station?" "There's a
gunyeh* over that hill, your reverence, about half-a-mile
off, where a shepherd of Captain Pike's. is lambing
down." "Well, where shall I find a bag?" She told
me; and, snatching the bag from the hut, I galloped as
fast as my good horse could carry me to the gunyeh. You
are always sure to find the shepherd where lambing is
going on; so I got the flour at once, and hastened back
with my bag.
From the bed in the hut I pulled a sheet, which we put
under the little sufferer; and as the mother wetted the
different parts of the body, I sprinkled flour over them.
By degrees the screams became less violent; and after
about twenty minutes, just as we had finished our work,
the little one fell asleep.    I charged the mother to keep
* Gunyeh is the name given by the aborigines to the slight shelter
which they extemporise in a high cold wind or driving rain. To protect them from the former they stick a few boughs into the earth to
the windward, sloping slightly to leeward. Against the rain, when it
is of long continuance, they use sheets of the eucalyptus bark, sloped
in the same way, and propped to leeward by sticks. They never
enclose themselves. The name has been applied by the settlers to the
temporary shelter made for shepherds, when they are sent for a short
time to any place where there is no hut. It is something like a gipsy
tent, and is made of saplings stuck into the ground, and meeting at the
top like the rafters of a high-pitched roof. Over this framework are
fastened sheets of bark, tied on with bullock-hide. A sheet of bark is
laid on the ground to keep the hay bed from the damp, and the fire is
the body covered with flour, and to send her husband
to Muswell Brook for the doctor: and then, thankful to
have dropped in just at the time of need, rode on to
Merriwa, about twenty-five miles further.
The doctor came the next day, and applied lime-water
and oil, and in due time the child recovered from the
effects of his burn.
In severe sickness the condition of a shepherd far in the
bush is very miserable. There is no medical attendance,
no nursing, none of those little comforts which relieve
pain—nothing but salt beef, and damper, and tea; and
these nauseate a weak and sick man. There is no doubt
that pure air and God's blessing on nature work a cure in
hot a few cases, which with so little assistance would sink
in the crowded alleys of London; but I have often seen
suffering in a hut which a very few of the appliances
which are easily obtained in a town or village would have
At Maitland there was a hospital, to which many a sick
man or woman was sent from the bush, if able to bear the
journey. But a distance of 100 or 200 miles, in a horse
or bullock dray, often under a burning sun, was more
than some patients could bear, and I have known some
die on the road.
i 2
i m IT
One hot summer morning, as I was leaving Mr. Perry's
house at Terragong, near Merriwa, for the upper part of
the Wybong, I heard that S—, a shepherd, whom I had
often visited near Robert Baird's,* on Coulson's Creek,
was supposed to be in a dying state. I had lost sight of
him for some time, as he had been removed to a sheep-
station of which I had never heard, two miles from his
former hut, high up among the broken volcanic ranges
towards Hall's Creek.
No track led past it; but having heard in what direction
it lay, bush instinct guided me to it; and, after climbing
some steep ascents, I found it perched on one of those
steps which abound in ranges of trap formation. Abrupt
hills rose behind it, ridge above ridge; beside it a stony
gully descended rapidly from the higher ridges, and was
soon lost among the lower hills, as it went down towards
the creek below. In heavy rains this was a brawling
watercourse, but in ordinary times it was quite dry. I
cannot now remember how the station was watered—no
water or well was to be seen when I visited it. Probably
what was retained by a dam thrown across the gully
lasted for some time after rains; but in a long drought it
would be necessary to drive the sheep down to the creek
for water two or three times in a week; and the supply
for drinking would be sent up to the hut. Some such
stations are only used when the season gives water in the
* The shepherd mentioned in Chapter Y. RANDOM  RECOLLECTIONS.
dams or gullies. Wells are not always serviceable. I
have known several in which the water, when reached,
held a strong solution of alum. One, sunk at a sheep-
station, two miles from Collaroy, was as salt as sea-water
—utterly useless, unless salt-works were to be established
there; and a cask of water was sent on a dray for the men
once or twice a-week.
The hut where poor S— was lying was a very wretched
one. Originally made of the roughest slabs, put up green,
the gaps which the shrinking wood had left had never
been plastered up with mud or mortar, and you could see in
or out all round it at will. A storm had blown off one large
sheet of the roofing bark, which had not been replaced,
and a gap was left more than two feet by four feet overhead. Fastening my horse's bridle round a neighbouring
I box " tree, I pushed the door open, and walked in.
The inside of the hut was very saddening indeed. On
his hay bed, on the floor of the hut, with everything in
disorder around him, lay. the poor man, unable to raise
himself—so disfigured by disease, that I could not have
recognised in him the strong, fine-looking man I used to
visit in the valley. In spite of the free admission of air,
the smell was almost sickening, and the hut was full of
the restless buzz of hundreds of blow-flies—like our
English bluebottle, but of a duller hue—which sometimes
settled on the patient's face, and then, darting hither and
thither in all directions, seemed as if they would warn off
all intruders from their prey. The temperature in the
shade was nearly 100° Fahr.; and the first words that
my poor suffering brother uttered as he saw me enter
were, | 0 sir, for the love of God, give me a drink of
tea." Within a few feet of him were a quart pot of tea
and a tin pannikin, which his son had left there for him in
the morning, when he went out with his flock; but he had
been too feeble to reach them.
It was now about twelve o'clock, and he had been left
1   11 118
quite alone since a little after eight. His wife had been
dead some years; and he was living with his son, a lad of
seventeen or eighteen years of age, who had the charge
of a flock of sheep, while the father was supposed to be
acting as hut-keeper. I stayed by that sad bedside as
long as I could, giving such poor relief as the hut afforded,
and endeavouring to minister to the soul which would
so soon be removed from all help on earth. Oh, who
shall know what the God of mercy may do with souls
that have lived the greater part of their time " in a barren
and dry land where no water is ?"
Before I left the hut to go on my journey the son
returned for a few minutes, to help his father to anything
he needed, and then to leave him for some five hours
more, until he brought in his flock at sunset. I crossed
the gully, and rode over the steep hills beyond it, sadly
thinking of that dying brother, who with the severe and
increasing bodily infirmities of ebbing life, and the more
awful spiritual needs of a soul which had been sadly
neglected, was lying in that lonely sheep-station with
none to relieve his bodily sufferings, and no man to care
for his soul.
Within a day or two poor S— died ; but the knowledge
of such a case, and the certainty that there are always
similar cases existing in the far-off corners of the earth,
give a reality and a wide scope to the petitions in the
Litany, for "all in necessity and tribulation," for "all
sick persons," to the commendation of God's-" fatherly
goodness" in the prayer for all conditions of men, of " all
who are in any ways afflicted and distressed in mind,
body, or estate," and to the fervent supplication in the
prayer for the Church militant—" We most humbly
beseech Thee of Thy goodness, 0 Lord, to comfort and
succour all them who in this transitory life are in trouble,
sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity." If when
we use these prayers we would but remember how the RANDOM  RECOLLECTIONS.
Eye of our heavenly Father is over all His creation, and
would lift up our heart for those far distant brethren whom
we do not see but shall one day meet, the prayer of
charity would surely bless the heart that offers it; and
who shall say how many a prayer sent up to God in the
daily services of an English church may " drop upon the
dwellings of the wilderness
" in blessing ?
| The course of prayer who knows ? " *
The cup of suffering may not be removed, and no minister
of Christ may pass that way; yet an angel may be sent
from heaven, from Him Who knows what anguish is, to
strengthen the desolate and afflicted in ways man does not
The distance from poor S—'s hut to the Wybong was
sixteen miles, without a track, and, until the last two
miles, without a hut; and hence, it may be easily inferred,
without water ; for it is not long before sheep-stations are
put up where water is to be found. In all other respects
it would have been the very paradise of the sheep-farmer.
There was abundance of rich feed, the thick kangaroo grass
standing more than knee deep over all the hills and
valleys, the timber "thin, and comparatively small, though
at a distance seeming to cover the whole country. No
large hollow logs or sandstone caves to afford shelter for
the native dogs ;i and only surface-water or wells are
wanting to cover it with flocks. As it is, such country is
well suited to cattle and horses, which travel further for
Oh, what a sound is that of water to an Australian in
* | Christian Year j" Second Sunday after Easter.
f The native dog, or dingo, is about the size and make of a fox : it
has a brush. Generally the colour is of a lighter shade than the fox ;
but some few are of a blackish brown. They are very destructive to
sheep, and will kill very young calves, but will not touch a man,
though they will follow him, when on horseback, for miles.
5 IPlj 120
such a day! Without a cloud to screen you from that
blazing sun which looks down upon you from the north;
with scarcely a breath of wind to stir those few narrow,
pointed leaves that hang dangling overhead between you
and the intensely blue sky; with a cloud of flies buzzing
round your head, and settling on your, face if you intermit
for an instant the whisking of your handkerchief, or of the
little spray of gum-tree or native cherry with which you
are trying to defend yourself; with the shrill whizz of the
tettigonia all round, now making you feel as if every gum-
leaf were screaming at you—now changing for a minute or
two to a deep low " hum, hum, hum," only to burst forth
with a whizz of fresh intensity, and to recall, under very
different feelings, Wordsworth's description of the cuckoo's
| That seems to fill the whole air's space,
As loud far off as near."*
Around and on some tree, as you pass it, even the poor
black mutton-birds\ droop their wings, and show their
white bar of feathers, as they sway unsteadily to and fro,
and gasp with open bills for the cooler air that won't
Your own brow and your reeking clothes seem to have
the only moisture that exists for miles—a moisture, by
the way, which tends from its rapid evaporation to cool
the body, and thus to make the scorching heat of from
* Wordsworth's Poems of the Imagination, ii.
f The bird commonly called the " mutton-bird" is nearly the size of
a rook, with a bill curved like a honeysucker's, and a tail which wags
almost like the motacilla. It is quite black when the wings are closed;
when anything makes it open them, it shows a very marked band of
white feathers on each wing. It builds a large mud-nest, like a swallow's in material, and the shape of a large pudding-basin j this it
perches on the upper side of some large horizontal branch. The nest
answers its purpose so long as the hen is sitting; but when the brood
is hatched, and the wings no longer thatch it over, the first heavy rains
soften itj and it falls off. RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
100° to 114° in the shade much more endurable than
85° or 90° in a damp atmosphere.
It is well for you if, under these circumstances, the
intense thirst does not come on before you are within a
few miles of some creek or hut. Hunger you may forget,
but not thirst, whenever from any cause it is excessive.
When you have been long in want, if you cannot get a
draught of tea or of pure water, you are not particular,
and swallow eagerly whatever comes first, disregarding its
colour and taste. I have gone down on my knees to
drink from a wheel-rat water so muddy that you could
not see your finger half-an-inch below the surface; and a
large settler now in the colony has told me that he has
taken thick mud in his handkerchief to strain off water
enough to boil his pot of tea when travelling.
On one of my monthly journeys, I was nearly paying
for my drink more dearly than I had intended. I had
been by no means well; and hence my journey, in very
hot weather, told on me more than usual. I had left
Mount Warrendie in the morning; and, after a service
and teaching a family on my way, was proceeding to
Collaroy by a route now little used, called, from a stone
building three miles from Merriwa, the " Stone-house
Road." Many times I had dismounted and lain down to
rest, leaving my good horse Dobbin to feed with the
bridle tied to the stirrup. As I approached Bow Creek,
I knew that, a little below the point where the road
crossed it, there were several rocky holes in the creek-bed
usually containing water. The first of these had been so
fouled by cattle that I only let my horse drink; and when
I had given him enough, tied the bridle to the stirrup, and
turned him to feed in the long grass, while I went to a
smaller hole below where the water was better, and whence
my arrival scared a whole flock of bright-green and red
On returning, I found that my intemperate drinker had
m! 122
returned to the water; and there, up to his girths in the
pool, and with outstretched neck, he was slowly drinking
on and on, as Baron Munchausen's horse is said to have
done after passing the portcullis. My salutation was not
friendly—"Get out, you greedy old fellow." He was
not accustomed to be scolded; and with a sudden splash,
which sent the water over him in a shower, out he went at
a long trot.
Quiet as he was, and often as I had caught him in the
grass and mounted him that very day, I had no doubt of
his allowing me to come up to him. But I was mistaken.
Holding up his head high, and setting out his tail, he
started off with that long, high, springy trot, which seemed
to say, " Catch me who can," looking back at his unfortunate master, sometimes over one shoulder, sometimes
over the other. After running and calling to him until I
had hardly breath or strength left, I tried another plan.
I went off far to the right, walking briskly, trying to get
beyond him, and drive him back; for, unfortunately, he had
struck off from the road at right angles, and was making
away from all huts and dwellings of man towards the
Goulbourn. Seeing me go from him, he began to feed,
but kept a good eye on me; and just as I had got on a
line with him, though far away to the right, he started off
again at that provoking long trot.
Matters began to look serious. It wanted but an hour
of sundown; I was seven miles at least in each direction
from the nearest stations where I could get a horse to run'
my truant in; he had my all on his back, and I was spent
and weak, and not in condition for camping out. But in
the bush you must depend on yourself, and you must
never give in when one plan fails.
I had not long before heard how the natives got near
enough to kangaroos to spear them; and other means
having failed, I determined to try the same plan. Lying;
down on the ground, as if resting, I remained quiet until   RANDOM  RECOLLECTIONS.
Dobbin began feeding. When he was engaged, I crawled
along towards him on my right side with both hands and
the left foot. He soon looked up again uneasily; and I lay
still again, moving on when he began to feed. I was a
considerable distance from him, but gradually crept nearer.
As the space between us became considerably less, my
stealthy hunt grew more anxious. Several times he looked
at me suspiciously, and was almost starting off again. The
least sudden movement on my part • would have placed
several hundred yards between us, and made my task
hopeless. At last I was within a length of him ; he took
a long, doubtful look at me, and then put his head down
and went on feeding. I did not venture to speak to him,
but, sliding a little nearer, jumped up and caught the stirrup, and with it his bridle. Old rogue! I felt sorely
tempted to give him a cut with my whip for the trouble
he had given me ; but more prudential, if not more kindly
motives prevailed, and, looking forward to what might be
my needs in any like case for the future, I only patted his
neck, and made him gallop back as fast as he could to the
I reached Collaroy late and a good deal exhausted, but
far better off than if I had been forced to walk on, with the
unpleasant uncertainty whether my horse would not roll,
break the saddle, and perhaps the girths, and stray off
homewards, leaving my saddle and saddle-bags in the
In estimating the fatigue of a colonial clergyman's work,
something more must be considered than the actual length
of his rides, from twenty to fifty, or sometimes sixty miles-
in a day, with, occasionally, exhausting heat, and at other
times pouring rains and heavy soil. When a settler travels,
he has nothing to think of at his stopping-places, but how
to make himself most comfortable, and to prepare by rest
for the journey of the next day. The clergyman travelling in his district may stop many times in the day at huts
Wi 124
or stations; but when he stops it is not to rest—the great
object of his journey has to be attended to.; and very often,
at the end of a long day, the ftrst thing he does after dismounting is to prepare for or begin a service, or to visit
people with different spiritual wants, prepare a confirmation
class, or try to reconcile a quarrel. He has but a short
time to do a great work, and enters upon it, very, often,
wearied in body. He is making up, perhaps, for the
wants of several weeks, and preparing for a blank of
several weeks to come. He has to think for each, and
cannot afford to attend sufficiently to himself. Often he
contrives to forget his own weariness of body in attending
to the subjects which occupy his mind.
But this kind of work tells surely upon human strength
in the course of time. It is one of those ways in which,
though freed from the terrible persecutions and torments
of former ages, we must cheerfully take up our cross, and
follow whithersoever Jesus leads us, and be ready to spend
and be spent for Him Who died for us. 125
In the fifth chapter of these " recollections " mention was
incidentally made of the little township of Jerry's Plains.
I did not at that time expect to have occasion to bring
forward its name again. But it has lately gained an
interest in the heart of many a sorrowing brother and
parishioner as the resting-place of the body of a faithful,
and holy-minded pastor and priest, whom we had hoped
might have been spared to do many years of good service
in the diocese in which he had so zealously laboured
The dust of the old world is hallowed by hundreds of
thousands of the bodies of saints : and many a village and
churchyard is dear for the sake of those that sleep there.
In the.newly Christianised lands, of the South such spots
are as yet rare. The territories have been taken possession of by British sailors for the Crown of England-. It is
the office of the Church to consecrate the hills and valleys
of those sunny lands for her Redeemer and Lord by the
deeds of her children, who take up the cross for His sake,
and by the bodies of those who have been nurtured into
saints through the presence of Christ that resides in her.
Henceforth Jerry's Plains will be one of those spots to
which the thoughts of many a brother will lovingly turn.
William Woodman Dove, who was taken to his rest on
the 23rd of March, 1867, at the early age. of thirty-five,
was one of those many earnest spirits which the great
Catholic awakening of the Church of England has drawn
Ithiffta 126
into her bosom from the dissenting bodies; one of those
sheep whose forefathers were scattered from the true fold
through our supineness or worldliness, when the " shepherds fed themselves, and fed not their flock,"* but who
have heard the voice of the Good Shepherd rousing both
shepherds and sheep, and calling back wanderers " out of
places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and
dark day."f They have ~ known the Shepherd's voice,
and have followed Him.
William Dove's father was a respected Congregationalist
minister in Gloucestershire. I am unable to say by what
means the son was led to feel the defects of the system in
which he had been brought up, and to believe in the faith
of the Church. Whatever were the means employed, the
attraction of the Body divinely appointed prevailed over
every earthly consideration ; and the strength of his convictions decided him to emigrate to New South Wales, in
the hope that he might be permitted to obtain entrance
into the ministry, and devote his life to the service of
Him Who had called him.
Those who knew him best will estimate the cost at
which he followed the call which he had received. They
know how strong the love of home was in him ; how eminently domestic was his disposition ; and how lovingly he
thought of those old grey church towers of England, which
linked his faith in the present to the hallowed past. But
all that he had loved and valued, save the Church itself,
he had given up to come to a land of strangers, not to
seek a worldly competence, and to return; not even with
the offer of that employment to which he most longed to
devote himself; but in the hope that He Who had led him
thus far would still lead him on.
Another point remarkable in him was his devotional
spirit, as contrasted with the spirit of controversy.    There
Ezek. xxxiv. 8.
f Ezek. xxxiv. 12. A  SERVANT  OF  CHRIST  IN  TRAINING.
was in him none of the pugnacity of the neophyte, who
thinks it necessary to justify his change by arguing against
the views held by those from whom he has come. In all
my acquaintance with him—and some of it was very intimate—I never knew him bring forward unnecessarily
the errors of those among whom he had been brought up.
He was eminently positive and constructive in his religion;
yet if it were necessary to prove the wrong to be wrong,
as well as the right to be right, he did not shrink from
doing so ; and he did it clearly, with charity.
He arrived in Sydney about the middle of the year
1853, and soon put himself in communication with the
Rev. Canon Walsh, of the parish of Christ Church, by
whom he was temporarily employed in his parochial
A few weeks ago I received a letter from Canon Walsh
in answer to my announcement of his death. He says,
11 never can forget those days when he used to come to
me from the neighbouring police-barracks to consult me
about taking holy orders, I was then so much struck
with both the depth and the simplicity of his character."
At that time the See of Sydney was vacant, owing to
the death of good Bishop Broughton in England, and the
Bishop of Newcastle had gone to Sydney for a few weeks,
and was endeavouring to prevent the newly projected
university from being as much without religious teaching
as its chief promoters desired. To him Canon Walsh
recommended Dove, then about twenty-two years of age, and
the Bishop at once resolved to take him into his diocese.
It was the Bishop's practice, when any man offered himself for holy orders who was not a graduate of one of our
universities, or who had not been sent out from St.
Augustine's, to test him by offering him the mastership
of some parish school. If he failed, or showed any un-
worthiness, of course all idea of ordination was at an end.
But if he bore the trial well, and Showed that -he was able 128
III $ 11
to influence the young minds for good, he was then sent
to one of the clergy to read with him, or in some cases
taken by the Bishop himself to be prepared, and to aid as
far as he could in parish work. The ordeal of the school
■was a searching one in many ways, and those who have
stood it well have proved some of our useful men.
The plan was also of service as a means of providing
masters temporarily for schools in need, which was often
a sore difficulty. Drunkards and idlers might have been
procured in abundance from that class of men who were
sent out from England by their friends because they could
do little with them at home. But steady, painstaking
men, who might be trusted in some township far from
their clergyman, were not so easily found.
Our first master at Cassilis, who had been thus sent on
probation, and had proved to be a useful man, was removed about the time that Dove arrived at Sydney.
On the Bishop's return to Morpeth he wrote to me promising to send Dove up by the next mail to Cassilis, and
telling me of the high character he had gained during his
short sojourn in Sydney.
My first interview with him was by the roadside on the
top of a hill about a mile and a-half from Cassilis. Heavy
rains, and consequently the heavy black soil, which you
cannot avoid either on the grass or on the road, had
delayed him ; and, as it was Saturday, I had been obliged
to leave Cassilis before his arrival, to be in readiness for
the duties of the next day at Merriwa.
He was riding up on one of the mail horses—a very
common way of reaching Cassilis from Merriwa—and
while the mailman proceeded on his way with the bags,
dismounted ; seating ourselves on a fallen box-tree, we had
a long conversation about the duties which awaited him,
and the people among whom he would have to live and
There are persons whose, genuineness impresses you at A  SERVANT  OF  CHRIST  IN  TRAINING.
once—not because they are very demonstrative and forthcoming, for they are rather the reverse, but their quiet
manner carries a reality with it; their few thoughtful
questions show that they appreciate the difficulties which
they are prepared to meet, and you feel that they are only
anxious to know their duty and to do it. Dove was one of
these; and I was thankful to have him provided as my
fellow-worker, where true and steady work was greatly
In addition to his school work, the Bishop had authorised him to read prayers on those Sundays on which I
was not there, and sermons, which I should give him for
the purpose; and I have still the sermons which I lent
him to read to the people, marked with the dates at which
he read them.
After my first bush interview with him, I rode on my
way to Merriwa, feeling confident of one thing, which
cheered me—that whatever he had to do with things
sacred, whether in giving religious instruction to the children, or in joining with the people in prayers on Sunday,
he would do it with reverence. It required a very short
acquaintance with him to show that his habit of mind was
essentially reverential.
He arrived at Cassilis on the 13th of August, 1853 ;
and until he could be settled, Mr. Denison kindly invited
him to his house at Llangollen. We had been obliged
to give up the cottage, where the school was originally
opened; and the only place we could get was a large slab
hut, roofed in with bark. It was a rough place enough
to live in. The greatest luxury about it was its being
papered all round with sheets of the 1 Sydney Morning
Herald," interspersed with some prints from the " Illustrated London News." Here Dove taught; and here he
lived alone for five months, preparing his own meals, and
only having a woman to come in once a-day to sweep and
clean the place for him.
m Ill
B 11
Fresh as he was from England, and from his relations,
and with feelings wounded by the breaking of old ties,
which the better light and the dictates of his conscience
had caused, this lonely life was a sore trial to him. He
often wrote to me for advice and comfort'; and when I
paid my regular visits, he used to pour out without reserve
all his pent-up feelings, and rejoiced in the opportunity of
free Christian intercourse. But there was no complaining,
no shrinking from any cross which was laid upon him;
and no regret—nothing but thankfulness for the step
which God had enabled him to take.
He was especially fond of and beloved by children, for the
one love nearly always begets the other; and he set himself
with right good will to his task as schoolmaster. Even in
the short time that he was at Cassilis I found the school
improved in knowledge, in discipline, and reverent behaviour. He was especially careful in teaching the children their prayers, and guiding them in the use of them.
* He also made the care of the children a reason for
calling often on the parents. And though he called on
all, whether they had children or not, the parents of his
scholars were especially made to feel that he and they had
deep Christian interests in common—the example to be
set, and the training to be given to their little ones.
In whatever I did for the teaching or training of the
lambs of my flock he heartily co-operated. What I wished
to be prepared for me I always found ready; and he
would carry on any instruction I had given in my short
visits.    We both pulled the same way.
-He was a valuable helper to me in gaining a knowledge
of my people, and meeting any particular evil which might
have been going on during my absence. To have listened
to what neighbours might be disposed to tell of each
other would not have elicited the truth, and would have
fostered a spirit of tale-telling, with all the evils which
it implies.    From him I learned all that it was needful to A  SERVANT  OF  CHRIST  IN  TRAINING.
know; and he directed me at once ta any especial case of
sickness and trouble. He was himself a most useful
visitor among the sick, helping sometimes to nurse, as
well as to read to them.
In January, 1854, my school at Muswell Brook needed
a master; and a successor having1 been provided at Cas-
-silis, Dove came down to reside with me, read more
regularly for holy orders, and managed a mixed school of
about 100 boys and girls; a mistress, who resided at the
schoolhouse, taking charge of the infants and needlework.
He left Cassilis with the regret of all. The parents and
children had become attached to him; and Mr. Busby
wrote expressing his regret at losing so "exemplary"
and useful a man from his neighbourhood. Poor fellow!
he brought away an unpleasant reminiscence of his last
days there. A large centipede—a giant in size, strength,
and venom, compared with its puny English namesake—
had found its way between his sheets; and as he was
turning into bed one night gave him a very severe bite on
the foot. The pain was excessive, and the subsequent inflammation very great. After his arrival at our house
many weeks passed before he recovered from the effects
of it.
From that time till his ordination as deacon in September, 1855, I was in close communication with him, and
had every opportunity of observing his character and
In the school he was most painstaking; and while firm
and judicious in enforcing discipline, he was gentle and
forbearing under very trying circumstances, both with
children and with unreasonable parents; and colonial
parents are often very unreasonable, from having no such
control over them as lingers in many country parishes in
England. I remember his coming to me in a state of
comical perplexity, one day. when I had gone down to help
him in the teaching, to consult me about the treatment of
a boy, the very pickle of the school, who was always in
disgrace, and whose ingenuity in wrong-doing was out of
the common way. | What shall I do with this boy ? He
has been catching bees; and, while avoiding being stung
himself, has contrived to pull off their wings, and to drop
them down the backs of the little children." The culprit
did not look one bit ashamed, and had quite the expression of one who would have enjoyed devising some practical joke for us if he could. Of course we visited the boy
with condign punishment. But, by perseverance, Dove
succeeded in taming this, wild spirit; and this very boy
became his mother's greatest help and comfort, when a few
years later his poor father was thrown from his horse and
killed on the spot, leaving his widow with six or seven young
children. This little fellow seemed to have imbibed some of
Dove's gentleness to ballast his own vigour ; and he would
watch his mother's wishes, and give up his time to help
his little brothers and sisters, with a thoughtfulness which
surprised all who knew his earlier character, and fancied
that he could turn out nothing but a bushranger.
Out of school, as well as in it, Dove won the heart of the
children ; and on the annual school feast-day he was always
the contriver of some popular amusement. With children
of higher education he was also a universal favourite.
His self-forgetfulness and love of children very soon drew
them to him.
But he never forgot his higher calling. He was a
thoughtful student, and read early and late, and turned
gladly from copies, slates, and school routine, to Pearson,
Butler, Hooker, and his Greek Testament. In our lectures
he always showed a readiness in catching the point of an
argument, and was never satisfied with conclusions without taking pains to master the steps by which they were
He took great delight in the ancients, wisely seeing how
needful it is to balance modern views by those which pre- A  SERVANT  OF  CHRIST  IN  TRAINING.
vailed nearer the fountain-head. He frequently borrowed
the Oxford translation of the Fathers; and as I had not
the originals, nor would he have had time to master them,
he gladly availed himself of this accessible form, to learn
how St. Chrysostom or St. Augustine explained the Gospels, or the Acts of the Apostles, or the Epistles of St.
The devotional element in his character was strong and
deep.    And he felt a great happiness to come from the
rare services at Cassilis to the opportunity of daily morning service.    We were not able to have daily evensong.
He made a conscientious use of the fasts of the Church-
as seasons of humiliation and self-discipline ; and her
festivals were to him seasons of holy joy. So surely in*
this point, as in others, is the Lord's promise fulfilled,
1 Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."
He was very active, and most useful in church decorations. There were not among us, as may be found in
jmgst well-worked English parishes, a body of willing and
intelligent helpers. The taste and the ability had to be
formed; and there were no examples around us to stimulate or guide us. Year by year we found more help, and
the helpers understood their work better; but the supply
was less than the demand, and the work fell heavily upon
those who undertook it. Among these, Dove was one of
the most energetic and successful. That it was for God's
house and service was enough to make him throw all his
heart into it. 134
Christ's servant entering on his work, and
released from toil.
William Dove was admitted to the Diaconate, at Morpeth,
in September, 1855. During the examination, and until
the day following the ordination, we were both staying,
under the roof of the Bishop of Newcastle. And thus, in
many ways, all of us who were concerned in the ordination were thrown together, both familiarly at meals, and
in the. solemn heart-searchings of examination and converse, as well as in the holy services of the Church.
Under such circumstances much of the inner man shows
itself in the demeanour, in answer to questions, in casual
remarks dropped, and in expressive silence.
Dove's manner had in it nothing over-wrought or excited. There was not a trace of what one has sometimes
seen with anxiety—the forward, self-satisfied manner of
one who only awaits the reception of his commission to
begin setting everything right by his confident inexperience. There was in him a calm, reverent thoughtfulness,
a swiftness to hear and a slowness to speak, as in one
who felt great difficulties and responsibilities—great above
human power—which were opening before him; and yet
had humble confidence in the guidance provided for him,
and in the presence of the Lord, Who was sending him
forth to the work. Ready to go and devote himself to
Christ's service, he yet looked, after having been pronounced I apt and meet " for the work, to receive, by
laying on of hands " and prayer, that grace which would
enable him to go forth in his Saviour's name, and to discharge effectually the duties of the ministry.
The latter part of that ordination day was one of those
calm, peaceful evenings in the Australian springtide so
exquisite in their temperature, before the heat of the year
has set in. The heavy rains which had fallen early in the
preceding week had made everything on earth green ; and
there was that intensely blue sky above, which, if it. did
not bring heaven nearer earth, at least lifted up the heart
vvith the eye to that place, whither Jesus had ascended,
and whence He sent the Holy Spirit on His Church. It
was to. that young labourer in Christ's vineyard a restful
pause, before he was sent to bear " the burden and heat
of the day,"
On that evening, whatever .were the thankful feelings of
his heart for the gifts which had been given him, whatever
were the steadfast resolutions to use them faithfully unto
the end, a colouring must have been given to them by
those words of our Divine Master to Peter—" Lovest thou
Me more than these? Feed My sheep., feed My lambs.",
For on these words the striking and heart-stirring words
•of the Bishop to the candidates had been founded. At all
■events,, we. who tarry behind him a while in our work can
feel convinced, as we think of his ministry, that he did
indeed love the Lord Jesus fervently, and endeavoured to
the last to feed His sheep and His lambs.
Dove was first appointed to assist the Rev. B. Glennie
in the distant and almost unlimited district of the Darling
Downs. That, district is now in the colony of Queensland,
and in the diocese of Brisbane, but was then a portion of
the diocese of Newcastle, and in the colony of New South
One of the most dangerous modes of employing the
services of a young deacon is to place him by himself in.
one of the large bush districts. He is thus cut off from
the  support of the Holy Communion when he especially 136
needs it. He is removed from the example, advice, and
influence of clerical brethren; and, while the clerical life
and duties are new to him, he has to itinerate for weeks
together among settlers, stockmen and shepherds ; among
the greater number of whom, to say the least, the tone of
religion is very low. It requires some knowledge of men,
as well as deep habitual piety and soundness of doctrine,
to enable him to maintain his clerical character wherever
he goes, and at the same time to lead on the minds of
those among whom he ministers. Some young men have
failed grievously under the trial; and have sunk down to
the level of those to whom they have been sent, instead
of raising them up to a higher standard of faith and practice. A colonial Bishop is in continual danger of giving
way to the temptation of filling up some large destitute
bush district with a freshly-ordained man, because he sees
the people standing in such exceeding need ; and it is not
easy to get a man of experience to go out so far from
This evil was mitigated in Dove's case by the Bishop
considerately placing him with a priest, from whom he
could obtain the Holy Communion, and take counsel on
his return from his long joumeyings. It would be well if
in every outlying station a priest and deacon were located
together. To do this there are two difficulties which must
be faced: one is the paucity of men, which, alas ! we are
everywhere feeling ; the other, the insufficiency of funds.
But, serious as these difficulties are, I believe they are not
insuperable; and the gain to the workers of sending two
together, after the pattern of our Lord's Mission of the
Seventy, and, I believe, the gain to the Church, would be
very great.
The day following Dove's ordination he started with
me; and we rode up together in two days to Muswell
Brook. He rested with me one day, and then, with the
very hearty good wishes of all who had known him there, ENTERING  ON  HIS  WORK,   AND  RELEASED  FROM  TOIL.   137
proceeded on his long journey of some 400 miles to the
north. His route lay over the Liverpool range, by Mur-
rurundi, through Tamworth, and New England ; and, after
the late rains, it was not an easy one. But he reached his
destination safely, to the great joy of Mr. Glennie, who
cordially welcomed his fellow-labourer.
The small township of Drayton was Mr. Glennie's headquarters. With him Dove lived, and found it a great
comfort to get a day or two of his society occasionally,
and as much reading—little enough—as he could find
time to secure. Their joint district extended over the
Darling Downs, which lie high on the westward slopes of
the dividing range, and far away down the course of the
Condamine River and its tributary creeks, as they wind
towards the Darling.
Drayton is about eighty miles from the coast at Moreton
Bay, and so is within reach of the sea-breeze, which generally reaches it two or three hours before sundown, and
makes it more pleasant as a residence. But the farther
you go in towards the lower country round the Condamine, the more intense and unrelieved is the heat.
I have unfortunately lost all the letters which I received
from him during the early years of his ministry, and have
only a general recollection that they evidenced hard and
laborious work, conscientiously done, among widely-scattered sheep and cattle stations. He often wrote to me for
advice; and all his difficulties and questions showed his
anxiety to do his best for those among whom he laboured.
His work as a deacon, as indeed is the case with the
greater part of even a priest's work in the early stages of
such a mission, was preparatory. Much simple teaching
had to be given, which had never been heard, or had been
forgotten, since the days of childhood. There were many
places which he could visit but eight or twelve times in
the year, and many not so frequently. He had chiefly to
break up ground for sowing seed,  or to sow that which 138
others might reap ; but whether he taught repentance, faith,
or holiness, he did it in the spirit of the Church's teaching,
and with a genuine reverence and love of souls, which no
want of the externals and aids to devotion could quench.
He served in the diaconate about two years and a
quarter, and was ordained to the priesthood on the 20th
of December, 1857. In consequence of a break-down of
my health from over-work, the Bishop had most kindly
urged me to leave Muswell Brook in the August preceding,
and to take the parish of Morpeth, as being less in area,
and putting me in the way of his help. We were therefore delighted to be able to have Dove under our roof for
five weeks before the ordination, and found him not only
not in the least deteriorated by his bush work, but improved by all the discipline he had gone through, and
more matured in all his views. He stayed with us nearly
a week after his ordination, and actively aided us in our
Christmas decorations. Let no one think of frost and
snow, and warm clothing without, and holly berries
within, as necessary accompaniments of Christmas. All
things are.reversed on the other side of the Hue.
Our decorations on that occasion were rather a fight
against the difficulties of the climate ; our native cherry
and the bright foliage of the scarlet Bignonia, on which
we relied for our green, were safe enough: and so, at
sunrise on Christmas Eve, were our Oleanders, which
were in the full beauty of their rose-coloured blossoms.
But a hot west wind sprang up early, and soon reached a
temperature of 104° in the shade, and, aided by a scorching sun, quickly reduced all the blossoms which were exposed to their united force to the colour of brown paper.
The only ones which escaped were a few on the larger
oushes in the Bishop's garden ; which, growing in the
middle of the shrubs, had been in some degree protected
from the heat.
Dove left us on the feast of St. Stephen, under a blazing ENTERING ON HIS WORK, AND RELEASED FROM TOIL. 139
sky, which would make it hard for your English carollers
to realise the favourite carol of " Good King Wenceslas."
He went, not overland but by steamer, up the coast to.
Brisbane ; and thenee rode through Ipswich up to Drayton. There he remained about a year more. But as the
northern- part of the diocese had been apportioned to the
see of Brisbane, he requested to be moved, before the new
Bishop's arrival, in order that he might remain^istill
under the Bishop of Newcastle.
The Richmond River district needed a clergyman, and
to that post the Bishop appointed him, fixing, him at Lis-
more. The scenery of this district is very different from
that of the Darfing Downs. It lies on the eastern side of
the dividing range, not more than thirty miles from the coast.
The country is less open, and more broken by picturesque hills and abrupt valleys than the interior. There is
much rich pasture-land; but there are also large forests
of valuable trees, and scrubs, from which large quantities
of red cedar and other timber are sent down to the coast
for shipment. Here he only remained till July in 1859,
but carried with him, on leaving, the kind regards of the
settlers, rich and poor, among whom he had ministered.
This move was not his own seeking, but was owing to the
Bishop's kind consideration of him.
On the 8th of September in that year he married in
Sydney one whom he had long known in England : and
the Bishop offered him the cure of Jerry's Plains, on the
Hunter River, as being better suited than the remote
Richmond to the circumstances of a married man. He
brought his young bride up to Morpeth, and left her to
our care for six weeks, while he went to Lismore to take
leave of his parishioners, and remove his furniture and
books. He stayed with us but a few days after his return,
and then went up with his wife to the new eure, which
was to have the labours of the last seven years of his life.
Jerry's Plains is a small straggling township, about fifty
11! 140
fi; J
miles north-west of Morpeth, on the most direct line to
Merton and Merriwa. There is nothing remarkable in
the scenery. As you emerge from the monotonous gum-
tree forest on the Morpeth side, you look down to the
right across the alluvial flat which gives its name to the
place; and by the line of the Casuarinas you trace the
course of the Hunter in its deep-sunk bed. From the
opposite bank of the river rise low hills; beyond which,
twenty miles off to the north, lies Muswell Brook. About
half-a-mile before you, upon a rising ground, on the left
of the road, stands a small wood-built house with its
verandah, with a garden sloping down in front of it. This
was the house rented as the parsonage. A little beyond
it, by the side of the road, two rooms of a cottage thrown
into one made the school and church: a few houses follow; and on an abrupt rise, about a quarter of a mile
farther, are the foundations of a stone church, begun in
Bishop Broughton's time, but checked, almost at the
beginning, from want of funds, which, in so small and
poor a place, it has never as yet been possible to raise.
The area of the whole district attached to Jerry's Plains
is 1,200 square miles, and in it there are two fairly built
churches—one of brick, in the Norman style, at Wark-
worth, about seven miles on the road towards Morpeth;
the other of stone, at Fall Brook, about twelve miles off,
between Singleton and Muswell Brook, which was consecrated in 1855.
In his first letter, written from an inn in Jerry's Plains,
where he and his wife were awaiting their furniture, he
says, "I am pleased with my new parish; and, from the
little intercourse I have been able to have with my people,
I think I shall, with God's blessing, get on tolerably well.
They all seem very kind and glad to see me, and to have
a clergyman again with them."
He soon began to set himself steadily to his work, and
found much to do in the outskirts of his parish, under
Mount Popong on the south, and round the spurs of
Mount Royal to the north, so that a second horse was
necessary to enable him to accomplish his parochial visit-
ings.    In February, 1860, he wrote :
11 am, as you may suppose, very busy, this parish
having got into a sad state.    The approaching confirma-
m ov
tion gives me additional work.    The amount of ignorance
is quite wonderful.    Every one is very kind, but many
think me a sad innovator for doing even the commonest
parts of a pastor's duty.    For instance, the candidates for
confirmation had never been instructed in any other way
than by being heard say the Catechism; and my classes
have excited some wonder, though the work in them is the
merest rudimentary instruction, such as at Muswell Brook
would hardly have been needful, even in the   Sunday-
school.    But in time, by keeping a standing upper class,
and by care in the school for the younger ones, I do hope
to break through the barriers  of gross ignorance  and
deadness of heart which seem to hedge round so many
of our young people.    The work is certainly hard ;  but,
after all, I do not know what I should do without hard
work.    Sometimes, when I think of all the trials, of our
Church at home, the riots in churches " (we had then been
hearing much of the profane disturbances at St. George-
in-the-East), "the controversies on the Holy Eucharist
and other high and holy doctrines and practices, paraded,
as such controversies are, in the newspapers, I often feel
that, if I were not a man, I could almost shed tears at the
dangers and difficulties of so much that I love with all my
heart.    And then I feel how valuable a remedy I have in
my work.    I jump on horseback, and take a long round,
and then  come back with the bright side uppermost;
more ready to give thanks to God for what He has done,
and to hope in His Name, than to look forward to evil
before it comes.    I often find a good round of visiting or
a long ride like a tonic to the mind." 142
This extract is characteristic ; the same kind of history
of acts and feelings is ever recurring in the many letters
he wrote to me after this.    There is the same evidence of
careful pastoral labour in many different ways ; the same
earnest sympathy with the stirrings of the Divine life in
the Church; the same genuine feeling of distress at any
seeming or temporary triumph of unbelief or misbelief
over the faith of the Church.   It must be remembered
that this young  clergyman was sixteen miles from his
nearest clerical brother, or from any one with whom he
could discuss the deep subjects which were of such vital
concern to him.    In January, 1863, referring to the onslaught of unbelief made in and after the publication of
I Essays and Reviews,"  he  said : — " Through  God's
mercy we shall, I trust, meet once more; in a better
world, if the course of our work and duties keeps us apart
all our lives here.    Meanwhile, let me tell you how great
a help and comfort your letters are. . . .   Anything which
strengthens us against the incoming tide of faithlessness,
which already beats against our ancient landmarks, is of
the greatest importance.    I hope I do not doubt concerning His care for the Church, Who has promised that the
gates of hell shall never prevail against her : but one is
saddened from day to day by the great want on all sides,
and even in oneself, of practical faith, a realising and
living upon the great verities of our Holy Religion."   Nor
did the difficulties of misbelief meet him merely as the
distant sound of what was going on in other parts of the
world : he had to cope with them among his people.    In
January, 1864, he wrote: " We are not altogether free
from  scepticism  even in  this remote  diocese.    Unfortunately many have grown up in this country without
opportunities of instruction in Catholic truth, having only
very vague ideas of the Christian faith; and yet often
with sharp intellects, uncultivated,  yet still shrewd and
thoughtful.    Such persons are sadly injured when such
books as Colenso's, or j Essays and Reviews,' get into
their hands. They cannot see beyond the circle of doubts
and difficulties, which such as Colenso raise; and they
take all they read as true and unanswerable. Too often
they do not like to speak of their difficulties to their
clergyman, who would at least pray for them, and direct
their reading towards a solution of that which has perplexed them."
While he was thus anxious about the maintenance of
the integrity of the faith against assault, he was indefatigable in building up the devotion which is essential to
the growth of Christ's people in holiness. It has been
mentioned that there was no church at the township of
Jerry's Plains; and in a letter already quoted, written a
little more than three months after his arrival, he thus
refers to the place used for Divine service: "When I
came here I found everything dirty and wretched, and
quite unfit for God's service. The desk was a tower-like
erection, very shabby, and so high, that in the low hut,
which is our only church here, my head was nearly against
the shingles, and the heat made me quite faint." He
says, " I got the whole affair removed, and from the material a neat and rather more church-like prayer-desk and
pulpit (in one) made."
Little as this may seem to those who have more money
or more assistance, it was all that could be done at first;
and was a simple first move towards doing all things decently and in order. To carry out the design of the
original stone church was out of the question for a long
time. -But he very soon began to prepare for getting up
a more suitable school-church of wood, and early in 1862
he began the building. He says in February: " You will
be pleased to hear that our new school-church is begun.
It will be a large wooden building, and is to be finished in
about three months. It will consist of chancel, nave,
vestry, and porch."    As to his own residence, owing to
«M iHra ■ 1
the difficulties thrown in the way by the freeholder, it had
not been made over to the Church. 11 am sorry to say,"
he adds, 1 that we shall not be able to buy the parsonage
after all." And so it continued till his death. The
owner, a few months before he was taken to a better
home, sold the house over his head; and had he lived a
few months longer his lease would have been out. Like
Abraham, who " sojourned in the land of promise as in a
strange country," he had no place which he could call his
own, except the "possession of a burying-place.'' He
very truly felt himself a " stranger and pilgrim upon
earth." Yet in the country which he loved far less than
the land of his birth, he expended every energy of mind
and body, till he sank under the strain, and rests where
he toiled for Christ and His Church.
The spring from which this faithful labour issued peeps
out in a letter written June, 1862: "I have received
more than most other men—pardon, guidance, strength,
especially the first, and nothing I can do should be too
great an exertion to show my thankfulness." His sense
also of the blessing of being in, and ministering in, Christ's
Church was very deep. In September, 1864, he says,
after mentioning both troubles and successes : " I do hope
that I am willing to stay here, or anywhere, all my life, if
Our Blessed Lord wills it. I do feel most deeply the
great joy and honour of being a priest in Christ's Holy
Church." JSe was also deeply sensible of the blessing
and aid of intercessory prayer. There is scarcely a letter
of his that does not witness to this. "I know you
kindly remember me and my work in your prayers. It is
such a comfort and help to remember this; and thus to
realise the tie, which no distance nor length of absence
can ever break." He particularly remembered others,
and asked that himself and his work should be especially
laid before the Lord, in the Holy Communion.
He found great comfort in the occasional clerical meet- ENTERING  ON  HIS  WORKj  AND  RELEASED  FROM  TOIL.  145
ings which were held in the houses of himself and. some
three or four others of his brethren; and in one letter
speaks with satisfaction on the increase of devotional tone
which pervaded those meetings, and that several of the
members had joined an " English Association for Intercessory Prayer."
Owing to some of those troubles which try the constancy and patience of all church builders, his school-
church was not opened till July, 1863. But when
finished he fitted up the church, which was kept entirely
for holy services, with much care. After this, the congregations steadily increased; and the singing, to which he
paid much attention, improved. " You will be glad," he
writes in January, 1864, " to hear that our congregations
have increased nicely since the new. church has been
opened. We have now a really good number of regular
attendants, and often a very fair week-day congregation.
I am unable, through absence from home, to have the daily
service; but I say the Litany every Wednesday and
Friday, and have full service on all saints' days, and other
holy days. On Christmas, Easter, and Ascension Days
we have Holy Communion over and above the regular
times, which are once in four weeks. Otherwise we have
not yet increased the celebrations." After thinking much
about a Hymnal, he introduced " Hymns, Ancient and
The northern railroad which was being made between
Singleton and Muswell Brook, added much to his work,
as many navvies were for some time in that portion of his
district near and above Fallbrook; but he laid himself
out for .these strangers, as well as for his own permanent
flock, and ministered to them in no perfunctory way, but,
as he did everything for Christ's service, with thought and
care and love.
He, in common with most of his brethren, long felt the
want of some good reading, of a sound Church tendency,
!M Smbuh
to put into the hands of his people. A paper was started
called the " Christian Volunteer," but all the clergy were
too incessantly working to have time to do it justice, and
its life was short. After a short interval he joined several
of his brethren, and sent for Erskine Clarke's " Parish
Magazine," which they " localised," Dove becoming editor
of the few added pages.
Space does not allow me to mention many things which
I fain would add. In August, 1855, after many endeavours after synodical action, the first regular synod of the
diocese of Newcastle was held at Morpeth: it consisted- of
clerical and lay members, and Dove was elected honorary
secretary for the clergy. In -all matters connected with the
establishment and working of the synod he took a warm
interest; and, in common with his Bishop and the rest of
his brethren, was strongly opposed to asking any legislation from the secular power in such form as would throw
any doubt upon the spiritual independence of the Church.
The Bishop of Sydney and Goulbourn on the other side,
most unhappily, took another view. But the diocese of
Newcastle maintained its ground effectually.
In the midst of all Dove's work an hereditary disease
developed itself. In June, 1865, he wrote: "I broke
down after Easter, and thought it necessary to consult
Dr. B—, who attributed my ill-health to overwork on
Sundays, and the excessive amount of riding needful in
this parish. He told me also, which I had suspected,
that I had heart disease, which required care to prevent
its immediate growth. I am giving up the third service
on Sunday, and my kind people have enabled me to buy a
buggy, so I shall now drive to many duties	
It is a trial at my age to feel oneself less useful than heretofore."
That he did not take his work even now very easily is
clear from a letter written six months later. 1 My symptoms do not leave me, and I do not think my strength ENTERING  ON  HIS  WORK,   AND  RELEASED  FROM  TOIL.   147
increases. I am quite knocked up for two- or three days
by a moderately heavy Sunday's work, such as that of last
Sunday: two services, two baptisms, and churchings, and
forty-two miles. However, I must not complain, for I can
keep on steadily, if not very actively." Others would
think that he worked actively still. His last letter, written-
October, 1866, speaks of his being "just in the thick of.
confirmation work;" which, where candidates are so
widely scattered, implies very heavy fatigue. He says:
I Our good Bishop visited us on the 8th, and stayed
until the 10th. Nothing could exceed his genial kindness
and pleasantness. On the 9th he had a confirmation here,
nineteen receiving the holy rite." The Bishop then went
on to some parishes farther up the country, and a week or
two later was to return for a confirmation in another part
of Dove's district. He says: " My work is increasing
much at the head of Fallbrook, and round Mount
Royal. I have very nice congregations and encouraging
work in that direction. Once or twice lately a ] bush
missionary,' a kind of ranter, has been round warning
the people against me and my teachings. And it has
been quite cheering to find how generally they have
refused to have anything to do with him. He has
made a point of elaborately shaking off the dust of his
feet against them, or rather cleaning it off with a cloth
he carries for the purpose. Such things really cure
Referring to an offer the Bishop had made him of
removing to some other cure, he says: " One's life is too
short and uncertain to throw aside all the confidence and
affection and readiness to be taught, which I may have
succeeded in gaining during my seven years' residence here.
I would'rather work here till I die or return to England.
God is very good in giving me so much sympathy and
kindness from my dear parishioners, and in leading them
to make  such  kind   allowances  for   my^ neglect,  when
l  2
li ;i •';'*
strength will not hold out for all the work I should like
to do."
The work lie did at that time prostrated him severely,
and for some time he was obliged to take a rest. The
Bishop of Newcastle asked him down to stay with him
and get advice; and, after about a fortnight's stay at
Morpeth, he returned home, about the middle of January,
apparently better. He, however, soon fell back again;
and, in spite of all that could be done for him, faded away
towards that land where the saints are made perfect.
Through February, and the first three weeks of March,
his prostration daily increased. His clerical brethren
came from many miles to comfort and to aid in nursing
him. The Bishop says of his dear friend at Muswell
Brook: " William White has been nursing him day and
night, like a brother, and all the neighbouring clergy have
been very kind. In fact, our dear brother is a general
favourite, and we shall all feel his loss very much."
Mr. White, who was with him to the last, wrote about
the last steps of his earthly pilgrimage. " He never lost
his consciousness to the last. He was quite powerless to
move or turn in his bed, and I remained with him constantly for more than a fortnight, Wilson kindly taking my
Sunday duty. The kindness of the parishioners could not
be surpassed. His mind was most active, almost too active,
during his illness. He would discuss the most difficult
Church questions. The difficulty was to keep him from
thinking too much. He was very fond of being read to.
Neale's Poems,.and the 'ChristianYear'—' Safe Home' in
the former, and the piece for the Wednesday before Easter
in the latter—were his favourites."
Mr. White was obliged to go away to the Wybong and
Mount Dangar, parts of his district, on the 19th, 20th,
and 21st of March, but the Rev. James Blackwood, of
Singleton, remained with him. Mr. White says : " When
I returned, on Thursday, the 21st, to Muswell Brook, I ENTERING  ON  HIS  WORK,   AND  RELEASED  FROM  TOIL.    149
was grieved to hear a bad account of him. I hurried over
on Friday morning, not knowing whether I should find the
dear fellow living; dear old Blackwood had remained all
the week. At three that afternoon .we all expected his
death, and Blackwood read' the commendatory prayer; but
he rallied again for a little while. He never murmured
through the whole. About two hours before his death he
asked me to read him the last chapter of the Revelation.
He said, 'I cannot say much.'a-1 answered, 'You mean
that those words expressx^yhat you feel ?' and he said,
'Yes, even so, come, Lord,Jesus.'■ He held out his hand
to feel for poor Mrs. Dove just before he breathed his
last. I had gone out .ojy&^e room for a few minutes at a
quarter past.two on the. moffiuing of the 23rd, when
Blackwood ran to call me. Dole's spirit passed away just
as I came in. His end. was as calm and peaceful as a
sleep. I was so thankful thatiBlackwood was there; we
were able to assist poor old-Mrs. A— to lay out the
remains of our dear brother in his robes, as he expressly
wished himself."
Two days after, on the Feast of the Annunciation, he
was buried.
The Rev. James Blackwood and the Rev. W. E. White
were two of the pall-bearers, and the Rev. Canon Child,
of Scone, read the Burial Service. .:. All had in their
time, though not together, been reading with me at
Muswell Brook. j*£;
Mr. Child says: "At two %¥■• wk^walked down from
the house, I leading the way^ White and Blackwood
following as pall-bearers, and the churchwardens behind
them; then the people—a large train. The body was
borne by very wilHng bearers all the way to church and
grave. On entering the church the coffin was placed in
front of the communion rails, within the chancel. . . .
The church was quite full. After leaving the church
Mrs. Dove  and the children followed the coffin in the
■ 150
carriage, and got out at the bottom of the steep bank to
walk up to the grave, which was made in the north-east
angle of the chancel foundation of the Jerry's Plain
church, and was built up of stone; so that if ever the
church is built, the pastor will He within its sacred
precincts. Here, amid a crowd of anxious parishioners,
we laid him in his grave. . . . There were probably
200 people present, and the coffin, therefore, was not
immediately covered, as they seemed so desirous of
taking the last look of the coffin which held their pastor's
remains. The coffin was very plain, of brown cedar
varnished; on the name-plate was 'Rev. W. W. Dove, 35.'
Mr. White says, ' It was a touching sight; I don't think
there was a dry eye there. ... I feel I have lost
more than a brother in dear Dove. He was always with
us in every good work; and such a gentle, humble spirit!
We did not appreciate him fully whilst he was among us.
We need not grieve, however, for him; he died a martyr's
death—a martyr to overwork.'"
Such was that dear brother in life and death, leaving,
now he has passed from our sight, a train of blessed
memories behind him. Will no young man, with the
health and strength which God has given him, devote
himself, in his Saviour's service, to take up the pastoral
staff which William Dove has laid down ?
i Mortal! if life smile on thee, and thou find
All to thy mind j
Think, Who did once from Heaven to Hell descend
Thee to befriend:
So shalt thou dare forego, at His dear call,
Thy best, thine all."
Keble's Christian Year. Wednesday before Easter. 151
I cannot put on paper my few recollections of the
aborigines of New South Wales without a feeling of sadness. As an Englishman and a Churchman, I am bitterly
ashamed, nay, I am afraid, of the account to be rendered
at the Judgment-day, when I reflect how the arrival of my
fellow-countrymen, bearing the name of Christian, and
having the habits and appliances of civilisation, brought a
curse upon those wild children of the forest, debased a
large part of them by fresh sins, instead of raising them
towards the God Who made them, and has been the cause
of their rapid diminution in numbers, if not of their complete extinction.
Some persons speak very complacently about the law,
as they call it, by which the savage fades away before a
civilised race. But unhappily the working of this law is
to be traced only too evidently to the human agents. It is
not so much to the white man's musket or rifle, used in
self-defence or in protection of property, that the destruction of the aboriginal inhabitants is to be traced, as to the
white man's drunkenness and the white man's lust, which
have imported deadly diseases into the native veins, and
have not only caused many premature deaths, but have
checked the birth of native children, who might at least
have filled up the gaps made in their ranks by death. We
are accustomed to -see in the returns of the Registrar-
General of England a large annual increase of population.
In New South Wales and other Australian colonies, there 152
has been a considerable annual decrease in those tribes
which have been brought into connection with the white
man, the decrease being in proportion to the intercourse
between the two races.
Collins, the historian of the early years of the colony,
makes mention of several native tribes which he saw on
both sides of the Sydney harbour. "When I landed in
Sydney in January, 1848, not one individual of those
tribes remained alive. I saw one wretched, drunken native
in the suburbs, who belonged to a distant tribe ; but those
men, women, and children, who used to fish in the waters
of the north and south shores of the harbour, were simply
wiped out, and, except in God's book of remembrance,
and in the future resurrection, were as though they had
never existed. There the Englishman had first set his foot
and multiplied, and there the natives were not driven away,
but simply extinct."
The same result has followed in different degrees in
most other parts of Australia. In a report on the Australian aborigines ordered to be printed by the House of
Commons in 1844, there is a letter from a missionary at
Port Phillip to Mr. La Trobe, the Government Superintendent, dated 1842 ; in which it is stated that the population of four tribes immediately round the station had,
since the beginning of the mission, a period of four years,
decreased one-half; and the writer adds, " Should the
present state of things continue, but a very few years will
suffice to complete the annihilation of the aborigines of
Australia Felix."
Where my lot was cast, on the Hunter River, the extermination was far advanced, though not quite complete.
It must be remembered that before 1831 the white man
had not settled on the Hunter Valley from Morpeth
upwards. Only twenty-seven years later, when I first saw
it, the sight of two or three natives about Morpeth and
Maitland was of rare occurrence, and they were, in nearly THE  ABORIGINES.
all cases, those who would hang about public-houses for
drink. As you advanced farther from the places which
had been longest settled, you might now and then see
small knots of natives. In the district intrusted to me,
measuring roughly, from Muswell Brook to some few miles
beyond Cassilis, about 3,000 square miles, there were, of
men, women, and children, about sixty remaining: the
small fragments of several independent tribes, who, like
partridges in the winter, when the sportsman's gun has
thinned the coveys, had amalgamated ;and at certain times
would assemble from various parts of the bush to hold j a
corroberee, or native festival, which was but the shadow of
such meetings in former times.
Farther to the west and to the north, in the districts of
the Castlereagh, New England, the Clarence and Richmond
Rivers, and Moreton Bay, the tribes were m'ore populous.
Mr. Oliver Fry, Commissioner of Crown lands on the
Clarence River, made a report in 1843 to the Hon. E. Deas
Thompson, the Colonial Secretary in Sydney; in which
he says that on the Clarence River were seven tribes, containing from fifty to one hundred men in each, and on
the smaller river, the Richmond, four tribes, numbering
about one hundred in each. The aggregate of the district under his charge, including some other tribes besides
those mentioned, was about 2,000. I am unable to say
to what extent the present census of that part of the
colony would differ from that which he furnished more
than twenty-four years ago ; but he mentions, quite as
an independent fact, a distinction between the tribes of
those parts and others, which I cannot but consider one
chief cause of the larger native population of that neighbourhood, that they have " evinced a disinclination to
almost any intercourse with the settlers, manifested by the
exceeding infrequency and short duration of their visits to
the stations; nor can they," he continues, "be prevailed
on to allow a white man to approach their camps, and
mi 154
in no instance have they ever become domesticated, or
attached themselves to any establishment on the river."*
Neither the home Government of those days, nor the
authorities in the colonies, are chargeable with indifference
to the preservation of the natives. On every occasion they
showed their anxiety for their welfare, and had the same
spirit prevailed among the convict population and free
settlers, the efforts made for their civilisation and conversion would have had some prospect of success. In a
despatch from Downing Street to Sir George Gipps,
Governor of New South Wales, dated December 20th,
1842, Lord Stanley, after commenting upon the unfavourable reports both of the missionaries and of the "native
protectors," concludes, " I should not, without the most
extreme reluctance, admit that nothing can be done; that
with them alone the doctrines of Christianity must be
inoperative, and the advantages of civilisation incommunicable. I cannot acquiesce in the theory that they are incapable of improvement, and that their extinction before
the advance of the white settler is a necessity which it is
impossible to control. I recommend them to your protection and favourable consideration with the greatest earnestness, but at the same time with perfect confidence, and I
assure you that I shall be willing and anxious to co-operate
with you in any arrangement for their civilisation which
may hold out a fair prospect of success."
The colonial authorities on their part endeavoured to
protect the natives from injury, and to promote their civilisation. Laws were made and penalties enforced for their
good. It was made penal to sell spirits to them, and the
police were charged to prevent the white men drawing the
native women away. Considerable sums were expended
out of the proceeds of the lands sold to settlers by
Government for the support of native "protectors," whose
duties were not only to  protect the  aborigines  against
*"Keport,"p. 252. THE  ABORIGINES.
wrong, but to endeavour to teach them the arts and habits
of civilised life. Lands were set apart for them in different
districts, tools were provided, blankets and food given, and
encouragements held out to them to betake themselves to
agriculture and pastoral pursuits.
Among the settlers there were some few who interested themselves in the welfare of the natives around
them, treated them with kindness, and taught them, as
well as made use of their services. But the example of
the majority of white men in the bush was so unchristian,
and their treatment of the blacks so demoralising, that
the missionaries desired to be removed as far as possible
from them. And as the sheep and cattle stations were
gradually pushed farther into the interior and surrounded
them, they asked to be removed still farther into the
unsettled parts. Sir George Gipps, in a letter to Lord
Stanley in January, 1843, endorses the statement of a
missionary, that one of the chief causes of the failure of a
mission, of which he is speaking, is " the deadly influence
of ungodly Europeans." Mr. La Trobe also, in an official
paper referring to the bad practice and influence of
European settlers, says: 11 think it my duty to state
that the evil effects of that influence can scarcely be exaggerated."*
The attempts that were made to bring them to Jesus
Christ were, from various causes, very disheartening in
their results. And yet, on looking back upon them, one is
not surprised at their almost entire failure. Within that
part of Australia extending from Moreton Bay on the
eastern coast to Geelong on the south, comprising, at the
present time, the colonies of Queensland, New South
Wales, and Victoria, four missions were established, and
received pecuniary aid from the Government in addition
to the land granted to them. No doubt many earnest
men  were  interested  in each of them,  but the very
* «
Report of House of Commons on Australian Aborigines," p. 243. 156
enumeration of them is suggestive of disunion, and therefore of weak and desultory attempts at the great work of
bringing wild, uncultivated heathen tribes to the faith of
Jesus Christ.
The earliest mission was that of the Church Missionary
Society, at Wellington Valley, about 160 miles north-west
of Sydney, founded in the year 1832. Within a few
years the London Missionary Society had fixed a mission
near Lake Macquarie, on the coast, sixty miles north of
Sydney. A Lutheran mission was planted at Moreton
Bay, and a Wesleyan mission near Melbourne, in 1838.
Within ten years from the foundation of the first of
these, two of them were entirely broken up, and the
others were in a state of collapse. A few children had
been taught to read, and read fairly. They could say
prayers, and had some knowledge of religious truth. A
very small number of adults received instruction, and
some of them became useful in various kinds of work.
But the impressions made on them were in very few
instances lasting, the partially-formed habits were soon
discarded; and those who had hoped to see their plans
for them succeed lost heart, and gave up the work.
Sir George Gipps, who passed four days at the mission
station at Wellington Valley, makes particular mention of
a native, named George, who could both read and write,
and was superior in every point to any native he had ever
seen. * As a proof of his civilisation, the Governor states
that a gentleman, with whom he was dining, caused
George to dine at the table with him, and that on this
occasion he " behaved with perfect propriety; so much so,
indeed, that, but for his colour and his modesty in speaking only when spoken to, he might have passed for an
ordinary guest." But two years after this, in 1843, the
clergyman in charge of the mission writes in a desponding
tone about the whole mission, and adds, " a young man,
the same who was prominently introduced to his Excellency j»11 x ip . *\ -%,1-ni *^-»
the Governor, on his visit two years ago, as one far advanced in civilisation, has almost entirely returned to wild
habits," i.e., the habits of the natives. "He has been
more unsettled for these eighteen months than I have
ever known him before."
This is only a specimen of the way in which, in nearly
all cases, the work, which seemed to be progressing for a
while, was stopped, and soon undone. And the consequence was that the Government declined to continue the
aid it had, for a few years, given to the missions; and
the missions themselves were discontinued. I believe I
am, right in saying that the Roman Catholics, of whom
there was a-considerable number, never attempted a mission in New South Wales. And it must be sadly confessed that the want of vigour, and the disunion, which
prevailed in the Church Missionary establishment at Wellington Valley, were ill-suited to cope with the many and
serious difficulties which were found in the natives themselves, and with the evils of European influence.
But it is impossible to accept the ill-success which has
attended former missions to the aborigines as sufficient to
absolve the Church from the duty of renewing her labours
for their conversion.
Wiser, more zealous, and more patient efforts may, we
trust, receive that blessing from the Lord, which seems in
great measure to have been withheld hitherto. British
energy is not usually repelled by a few early failures in
some important worldly object. Shall men of the same
race and blood lose all their energy when the cause is their
Saviour's, and the price is the rescue of souls for which
He died ?
At the present time the state of the white population of
the colony, though very far from showing to the heathen
a pattern of the effect which the faith should have on the
lives of those who embrace it, is less grossly and actively
antagonistic to Christian teaching than it was thirty years
;  111 it'
ago. And if one or two sound and earnest Churchmen,
with a large-hearted and energetic priest to lead them,
were appointed to this work—if they would seek out and
follow the natives, study their character, and give them
such teaching as they can take in, I believe the seeds sown
would, in God's good time, spring and grow up man
"knoweth not how." It would be very important that
one of the party should be always at the centre; and,
according to the plan sketched by the Bishop of Newcastle,
should give more regular instruction and training to any
adults or children who might be persuaded to come to
him; but visitation of the wanderers should, I firmly believe, be an essential feature of the mission. This, of
course, could only be done by an exercise of self-denial of
no common sort: but self-denial is no strange idea to
those who have tried in earnest to obey the Lord's words,
" If any man will come after Me let him deny himself, and
take up his cross daily, and follow Me."
I have no doubt, from what I have seen and heard of
the natives, that there are among them intellects more
capable of understanding the truths of the Gospel than we
may find among some of our baptized labourers in the
parishes of Christian England, and hearts and consciences
on which the call to repentance and holy living will not
fall in vain.
It would be, I think, most'unwise to make fixed residence
and regular manual labour necessary conditions of dis-
cipleship, but there are always individuals among the
tribes who will, with more or less regularity, join themselves to the white man, tend or wash sheep, act as stockmen (for they are very fond of riding), work about a house
or garden, reap, or take part in many of the other occupations of civilised life; and these men would acquire useful
habits while they were being taught Christian principles.
It must be borne in mind that, independently of natural
indolence Or inferiority of intellect, the circumstances of THE  ABORIGINES.
the aborigines had for ages been most unfavourable to improvement. Cut off by oceans from all the world besides,
for generations unknown, destitute of the example or teachings of their more advanced fellow-men, they had not
been led by opportunities to those pursuits, nor forced by
necessity to those inventions, which insensibly elevate and
civilise men. They had no grain to encourage them to
till the ground, no sheep, oxen, or other useful animals, to
train them to the comparative regularity of pastoral pursuits. The warmth of their climate enabled them generally
to live without shelter. There were no beasts of prey to
oblige them to seek the protection of a dwelling at night;
and their mode of procuring subsistence by hunting, fishing, cutting from the hollow trees the honeycomb of the
small native bee,* or the opossum as he slept through the
day, made a fixed dwelling inconvenient. When the wind
blew cold from the south, it was warded off by a few
boughs stuck into the ground to windward; and a sheet
or two of bark stripped from a gum-tree, and propped by
sticks, formed a temporary shelter to these black children
of the forest when the rain was more heavy or of longer
continuance than usual. After (at the utmost) a few
nights' sojourn on the same spot of ground, they would
walk away almost as unencumbered as the kangaroo,
leaving no home behind them; and, having procured their
food for the day, they would lie down in any fresh place
where water was procurable.
Their manufactures were of the simplest kind, consisting
of wooden weapons for war and hunting; the spear simply
pointed or barbed; the nulla nulla, or knobbed war-club ;
the waddy, a sort of elongated policeman's truncheon
drawn to a point at the end;  a small hand shield for
* The native bee is no more than one^sixth of an inch in length. It
has a sting, which, when caught, it attempts to use in its defence, but
is so weak that it is unable to penetrate the thinnest skin. Hence the
natives cut out their nests with impunity.
ill VmW-
parrying an enemy's spear; and the boomerang, which, if
it missed its mark, returned through the air. to the thrower*
The women made some well-twisted string (of different de-.
grees of fineness) from the-fibres of thacurraJDng.hark, which
they sometimes netted, sometimes linked together without
knots, into girdles or headbands for the men, or bags for
the women to carry roots, fish, or other eatables; they
plaited, also, very neatly, bags of rush and.grass; and
then there was the blanket-shaped opossum rug made of
skins, not badly sewn together.with fine.string, or with the
sinews of the kangaroo. |*||
Their j mode of life called for no forethought, exercised
little skill. They lived from hand to. mouth; nothing
could be laid up, for they had no home in which to store
it. In a thousand years the. children were no farther,
advanced than their ancestors.
Among such a people the arrival of the.white man has
poured a flood of civilisation and complicated social relations, the aggregate of the experience of ages. And however
we, who have been nurtured in them, may appreciate
these advantages, we can far less reasonably expect that
the free wanderers of the forest will, at our exhortation,
fix themselves in any large numbers to regular labour, than
we could hope to induce the English country lad, who has
from his childhood ridden his master's horses to water or
followed the plough, to consent at once to sit for long
hours at a compositor's desk in a close room in the city,
and to work long after midnight setting up the type of
a parliamentary speech; though he might thereby eat
meat more frequently than before, or dress in smoother
cloth and a better shirt on Sunday.
We must not push the natives on too fast, but lead them
gently forward as they are able to bear it.
I have before stated that when I arrived at Muswell
Brook, I found but sixty individuals alive out of the five
tribes that once roamed over the large area comprised in THE  ABORIGINES.
my clerical district. Very rarely did any considerable
number even of these meet in one place; they generally
wandered in parties of from two or three to twenty: sometimes camping for a few days near a township, and then
scattering among the hills, or by the rivers, and disappearing for months. Occasionally, in a long bush ride, a
few might be overtaken (with their hatchet, boomerang,
and waddy stuck in their girdle), with a lump or two of
fat twisted among the curls of their hair, and perhaps their
gins, or wives, following, carrying by the tail the newly
killed opossums. The clothing of the men was sometimes
a striped shirt, sometimes a blanket given by Government,
sometimes nothing but their girdle. The women usually
wore a blanket or opossum rug, unless some white woman
had given them a gown.
I saw at once how little I could hope to effect with those
whom I could so seldom see, and whom I had not time to
search out; but it was a plain duty to seize every possible
opportunity of conversing with them. My first attempt
was to learn the language; but it was not very successful.
I found one of the survivors of the Merton tribe, King
Jerry, who, from intercourse with the white man, had
picked up a fair stock of broken English; and I agreed
with him that he should teach me, and I was to give him
a dinner each time. The first lesson was short, and Jerry
was well satisfied; the second time I kept him about an
hour, which proved altogether too much for his 'patience.
As we sat in the verandah he continually stopped me to
ask, "When you give me what you promise me?" He
looked wistfully towards the kitchen to see if the cook was
coming; and showed every symptom of weariness. When
his dinner arrived he did full justice to it; but he avoided
me for the future, and I had no more teaching from King
Finding that I could get so few opportunities of learning the language, but that many of the natives could talk
M fl
.*. V'
and understand broken English, I devoted my endeavours,
when I could meet with them, to winning their confidence
and teaching what I could. And I found that some of
the teaching, at least, was remembered.
One afternoon in 1849, as I was on my monthly journey
to Merriwa, I overtook a party of about fifteen returning
to their camp, which was then at the township; some
women and children were among them. One gin had her
infant, where they usually carry them, at her back,
sitting in a fold of her opossum rug, and looking over his
mother's shoulder. Two or three little boys, fat little
fellows, full of fun and merriment, were running about by
the side of their elders, clothed only in their own black
skins, and throwing with exuberant glee some toy
boomerangs, which, I suppose, their fathers had made
for them.
We were more than a mile from the township; so I
dismounted, and, after a few ordinary observations,
determined to teach what I could. I had made up my
mind that my first teaching must be the existence of God,
His omnipresence, and His moral government. The sun
was towards the west; so, pointing to it, I said, " See big
sun! You know Who made him ? " The only answer
was a laugh and a look of inquiry. I took off my hat and
bowed my head as I said, pointing to the sky, " Great
God make sun." The same question was asked in reference to many different objects—the ground on which
we were walking, the trees around us, the river, the hills,
the beasts and birds ; and, pausing for a few seconds after
each question, I gave the same answer as before, with the
same gestures of reverence; and then said,." Great God
make me white fellow, great God make you black fellow,"
and then, spreading out my hands, | Great God make 'em
By this time we were on a ridge, and twenty miles to
the north rose clear and distinct the bold Liverpool range. THE  ABORIGINES.
Pointing to it, I asked, " You see black fellow up on big
range ? Black fellow on big range see you, me ? You
see Muswell Brook?" (forty-five miles over the hills to
the east). "You see Cassilis?" (twenty-five miles to
the west). And then, as the half-inquiring laugh followed
each question, I said, uncovering my head, " Great God
see black fellow on big range—see you, me—see Muswell
Brook—see Cassilis—see all place. Dark night—no star,
no moon, no camp fire—all dark; you no see, great God
see; see in dark, see in light—see you, me, now—see you,
me, all time." In similar broken language, and referring
to the white man's gardens and fruit, with which the
natives were well acquainted, I spoke of Eden as a mark
of God's love; the prohibition, the sin, and the punishment.
We had now reached Merriwa and each went our way, with
a mental prayer on my part that God would bless the seed
I had been attempting to sow in those poor untaught hearts.
Several months later some blacks came to me at
Muswell Brook, offering to get me some native honey; for
which (when brought) I paid them in flour and meat. I
asked them to come into the verandah, as I wished to
speak to them. I did not know them, for to an unpractised eye one black is not very easily distinguished
from another. When I began to say much that I had
on the last occasion, one who appeared to be listening
attentively said, " That what you tell me up at Merriwa."
It was evident that, if I had forgotten his features, he had
not forgotten my words. " Have I seen you before ? "
" Oh! you not know me ?—I Peter." I Well, Peter," said
I, looking full into his face, which, though certainly not
good-looking, had an expression far from unpleasant, " I
not know you now, I know you after. Glad you think
what I told you." He said he had thought of it much,
and had talked of it to other natives, so that to a certain
extent poor Peter was becoming, like St. Andrew, a
missionary to his brethren of some portion of the truth.
m 2 :'
It was but seldom, and usually at considerable intervals,
that I could see my poor black friend. The jealousy of
his tribe, which feared the influence of the white man,
kept him much away. From him I learnt a little of their
native vocabulary; and when I had the opportunity of
seeing him, carried on his teaching. He told me that he
and his people had no prayer or worship of any kind. He
said that when he was a boy he used to hear the voice of
the spirit of the woods in the dark stormy nights, but he
had heard nothing of him since.
Into that chaos dark and void I tried to infuse something of the knowledge of God. By degrees I pointed out
to him that God sent His own Son for us sinners; and
told him that, upon repentance and faith (though I put it
in a less technical form), he could be made by baptism a
partaker of God's blessings. And I taught him almost at
the outset a short prayer, which I taught to every native
to whom I was able to give any instruction: "0 Lord,
make me to know Thee, and to know Jesus Christ, Thy
Son." I took care to guard him not unfrequently against
the idea, which he would naturally imbibe from seeing the
evil lives of too many white men, that becoming a Christian
need not bind him to holy living. I said, "You no do
what bad white fellow do. Bad white fellow get drunk,
swear, tell lies, steal. Great God angry." Peter's was a
mild, kindly-disposed, and trustful disposition, and I was
beginning to have great hope that ere long I might have
had the privilege of baptizing him unto Christ, but it was
not granted to me.
Some time in the winter of 1850, on my return from
Cassilis, my servant told me that a native woman had
been to the parsonage during my absence to ask for some
tea and sugar for Peter, who was ill, and some had been
given. The next morning I started with Mr. Kemp (who
was reading with me for Holy Orders) to see what else poor
Peter might want.   The native camp was a mile out of the fTHE  ABORIGINES.
township towards St. Helier's, a station then the property
of the widow of the late Colonel Dumaresq. The rain was
falling in a heavy, determined, business-like way, without
wind; and on reaching the camp we found poor Peter
lying on the ground under the partial shelter of a sheet of
bark, with a log fire burning before him, and suffering
from intense headache. He had been ill for some time;
and his face had a ghastly look, as if half the blackness
had been washed out of it. I persuaded him to walk
home with us, had a bed made for him on the kitchen
floor by the fire, and gave him some medicine and
some gruel. Next morning he told me, " Cobborn house
make him go round, round, round," i.e., the big house
made him feel giddy. And before midday two of the men
of his tribe, jealous of my keeping him away from them,
came for him, and took him back to the camp. The party
soon moved ; and some time after I heard that Peter was
better, and had taken a job of shepherding at a station in
another clerical district.
Not long after this I heard that a native at the gate
wanted to speak to me. I had never seen him before, but
saw he was oppressed with some great grief. He burst
into tears as I went up to him, and said, bitterly, " Poor
Peter dead! poor Peter, your black fellow, dead ! he my
brother." He told me that he was far away in the interior
when Peter died; and, having just returned, he had been
sent by his uncle to inform me of his death, and to bring
me Peter's dying message.
The poor fellow had again been very ill; and one day
said to his uncle, "Imurry bad; take me to Misser Boodle,
Muswell Brook." He walked a short distance with great
difficulty, leaning on his uncle; and then, finding his end
approaching, said, "I no go further; I die. You bury me.
Go to Misser Boodle; say to him, I going to Almighty
I mentioned this the next day to my schoolmistress, who
Hill! passp
:   111 166
told me the following story, which I believe she had heard
from her husband, the chief constable. Peter, with other
natives, had at one time been employed by a publican to
strip some bark for the roof of an out-building, and the
payment was to be made in tobacco. The job being
finished, a good many blacks were crowding into the taproom, some to be paid for the bark, others for mere
companionship ; and some of those who were being paid
were trying to get as much as they could. Peter had
received his tobacco in the crowd; but afterwards came in
again, and held out his hand for payment.    G , the
publican's son, said, "No, Peter, go away, I paid you."
"No, massa," was the ready reply; "you pay another
black fellow."    G , not feeling sure, paid him again.
He went out with his prize, and nothing more would have
been thought of the matter; but in a few minutes back
came poor Peter, looking very much ashamed, and held
out his hand with the tobacco, saying, "Massa say musn't
tell lies; you did give me 'bacca," and restored the ill-
gotten treasure.
I thanked God for this evidence of his denying himself
and confessing his fault for conscience sake. Though my
poor friend Peter had not been baptized, who shall say
that Christ's truth had not wrought in him some fruit,
which, through His precious blood, He may accept ?
Who shall say what he might have become with less than
half the blessings lavished on the barren hearts of many a
Christian man and woman ?
In my limited experience I found several more of the
aborigines (with less steadiness than Peter, but yet with
sufficient willingness to be taught) to convince me that
persevering labour on such a soil, rightly directed, would,
with God's blessing, produce fruit. But little can be
expected from the desultory efforts of those who are overburdened with the charge of a Christian population, which,
if not overwhelmingly numerous, is scattered over so wide THE  ABORIGINES,
an area as to leave no time or strength for due attention
to the peculiar wants of the heathen.
Men are wanted, able to bear fatigue and hardship,
sound in the doctrinis of the Church, and zealous in
heart, and especially gifted with a power of adapting
their manner of teaching to the peculiarities of their
disciples. To such men a mission to the aborigines
should be given as their one great work, to which they
must devote their full energies for the love of Christ.
I would only add that what is done should be at once
undertaken by those who have authority; or, while we
are delaying, these poor souls may have passed away to
the presence of the God Whom they have not known on
. earth, Who seems to have committed them to the care
of our branch of His Church, that we may impart to them
that blessed faith which He has committed as a talent
to us. 168
For the first three years from the foundation of the See
of Newcastle, the Bishop and his clergy found themselves
far more than occupied in endeavouring to minister to
the people as widely as possible. They increased the
services, sought out those who were scattered in the faraway corners of the bush, among hills and valleys, where
no minister of Christ had before been seen. Fresh
schools were set on foot, and some much-needed churches
were built.
Many very urgent wants had to be supplied, though in
a most imperfect way, in order to arouse anything like
Christian life among our flocks. Over the wide area
assigned to each clergyman it was no small labour,
especially during the heats of summer, even to find out
all Christ's wandering sheep, still more to minister to
them regularly. And then we had to learn the character
and habits of the people, and to gain their confidence
before we could prudently lay down, or ask them to join
in, any plans of united diocesan action.
But from the first we saw that in order to make any
progress in the great work which was opening before us,
a society must be organised to collect and manage funds for
various diocesan purposes. Even in the mother country,
where there are tithes for the support of the clergy, and
where old grey churches and parsonages, within short
distances of each other, attest the rich inheritance, for
which the present generation is indebted to the piety of THE  FORMATION  OF  THE  CHURCH  SOCIETY.
those long since with God, societies are indispensable for
the maintenance or advance of Church work. Far more
are they needed in a young and growing colony, whose
birth is in the recollection of some few who are still
We did not find old churches and church-buildings
dotted over and hallowing the land. There was the vast
stretch of unfenced forest country, with here and there
a town or little village on the banks of a river, and many
a settler's establishment or shepherd's hut in the bush:
showing the energy of our countrymen, who had left home
and friends sixteen thousand miles away, to gain a livelihood or to make a fortune. But there was no provision
by tithes or endowments which could place Christ's ministers among them, to remind them, as God's children, that
they were destined for a better world.
Some measure of assistance was given by the Colonial
Legislature; but the principle of Sir R. Bourke's Act,
passed in 1836, by which grants were annually made to
the Church of England, with other religious bodies, was
one which contained the elements of decay within itself.
There was no chance of its being allowed to provide in
any adequate degree for the growing needs of the population ; and attempts were made from time to time by the
various sects which did not share in the grant, and by
politicians who sympathised with their aim, to abolish all
State aid to religion—attempts which, at length, have
unhappily succeeded, reservation being made of the
interests of those individuals who have hitherto received
salaries as long as they shall hold their present posts.
By the exertions of the Bishop of Newcastle before he
left England, subscriptions had been promised to the
young diocese from members of the Mother Church for
five years. The cessation of this aid could, of course,
easily be calculated. And the excellent Society for the
Propagation of the Gospel, which " hath been a succourer
Ml .31
ill 1
of many," and had, during the seven years from 1840 to
1846, given to the Church in the whole Australian continent, then under Bishop Broughton, £4,000 per annum,
gave diminished sums to each of the newly-formed sees,
and by degrees lessened the amounts given to them, as they
might be expected to become better able to provide for
It was, therefore, quite evident to those who would not
obstinately close their eyes to the present needs—and
still more those that were impending:—that funds must
be raised in the diocese itself, if the growth of the Church
was not to be stunted.
For the first public introduction of this subject, the
Bishop took advantage of the presence of some of his
episcopal brethren in the colony.
The year 1850 was memorable in the annals of our
Southern Church for the "meeting" of the six Bishops
of the province of Australasia. That meeting was held at
Sydney, and its objects, as stated in its minutes, afterwards published, were—1st. " To consult together upon
the various difficulties in which we are at present placed
by the doubtful application to the Church in this province
of the ecclesiastical laws which are now in force in England." 2nd. § To suggest such measures as may seem
to be most suitable for removing our present embarrassments." 3rd. "To consider such questions as affect the
progress of true religion, and the preservation of ecclesiastical order, in the several dioceses of this province; and
finally, in reliance on Divine providence, to adopt plans
for the propagation of the Gospel among the heathen races
of Australasia, and the adjacent islands of the Western
The session began on the 1st of October, 1850, and
ended on the 1st of November. Those present at it were,
Bishop Broughton, of Sydney, the revered Metropolitan,
and the Bishops of New Zealand, Tasmania, Adelaide, THE  FORMATION  OF   THE   CHURCH   SOCIETY.
Melbourne, and Newcastle—the only Bishops then consecrated in Australia and the islands of the Pacific.
At the close of the session, the Bishop of Newcastle
invited his old college friend, Bishop SelWyn, and Bishop
Nixon, of Tasmania, to visit Morpeth; and in order to
make full use of our episcopal visitors, the 14th of November was fixed for the meeting, at which the general
wants of the Church in the diocese were to be put before
the people.
Bishop Selwyn had already been for some days under
the Bishop's roof, had visited with him several of the districts near Morpeth, and had stirred up the hearts of a
congregation assembled in Christ Church, Newcastle, by
his burning words, in a sermon upon the first part of Joel
ii. 28.
On the morning of the 14th of November, Bishop Nixon
arrived by the Sydney steamer. I was appointed to meet
him, and to escort him to the service at St. James' Church,
Morpeth, with which we were to begin our day. The
steamer had stuck on the "flats," some-miles-down the
river—no uncommon event; and while I was waiting
impatiently on the wharf, the church-bell ceased. I quite
despaired of our reaching the church before the congregation left it; but at last the steamer came in sight, and, as
our walk was only five minutes long, we were in time for
the celebration of the Holy Communion.
The meeting was held in the afternoon at the Courts
house, East Maitland, two miles distant; and there, to a
large number of attentive Churchmen and women, the three-
Bishops, and some of the clergy present, explained how
much, and in how many branches of its work, the extension
and prosperity of Christ's Church in that newly-settled
land depended upon their zeal and steady co-operation.
An outline was given of the constitution and objects of
the proposed society. It was intended that during the
next five months the clergy should speak of it in their 172
several districts; that the Bishop should take every
opportunity of preparing the way for it wherever he might
go ; and that in the meantime rules should be prepared,
in order to be submitted to a meeting to be called for the
formation of the society.
Before the meeting separated an address of hearty and
respectful welcome was presented to the Bishops who had
come among us; in which, among other things, it was
said: " We feel assured that your Lordships' visit is not
to be considered as one of mere friendship to our respected
Diocesan, but as one made by Bishops of Christ's Church,
coming, in the spirit of Christian brotherhood, to aid and
cheer a brother Bishop and the flock entrusted to his
charge. .... On the departure of your Lordships
for your respective dioceses, permit us to express the
earnest hope that you will continually remember us in
your prayers, and be pleased to convey to our brethren
committed to your charge the assurance of our love in
Christ, and of our prayers for their spiritual and temporal
welfare We would desire, above all, to render
our humble thanks to our merciful Father, that while sin
and infidelity are arousing themselves through the'world,
He has graciously stirred up to new life our branch of the
Church. We consider it no small sign of His goodness
towards us, that six Bishops of the Church of England
have been allowed to meet and take counsel in the diocese
of Sydney; and three to assemble in this diocese, where,
within the memory of man, the Word of God and the
Name of Jesus were unknown."
At the conclusion of the meeting a collection was made,
and £22 14s. was collected; which, as the first-fruits of
the united action of the diocese of Newcastle, was given to
the Bishop of New Zealand for his mission to the heathen
in the islands of the Pacific. The clergy present returned
to Morpeth, and spent the rest of the day with the three
Bishops—a day not to be forgotten by those who shared
in its proceedings, and especially refreshing to those who
for three years had spent most of their time in labouring
in the bush, cut off from personal intercourse with their
brethren in other places.
The seed thus happily sown sprang up into life in the
Easter week of the following year. On Sunday, April 14,
1851, after service in Morpeth church, and a very excellent
sermon by the Bishop, a meeting was held in the schoolroom, at which the Newcastle Church Society was called
into being, the rules which had been drawn up for it
adopted, and its officers appointed.
The names of the six different funds, into any or all of
which subscriptions might be paid, show how extensive
was the ground which the Church Society covered. They
were called—1. Education Fund; 2. Book Fund; 3. Building Fund; 4. Clergy Fund; 5. Mission Fund; 6. General
Fund. The young diocese desired to keep before its
members the duty of—1st. Training up Christ's little ones
entrusted to her care, whether in primary or in more
advanced schools; 2nd. Of aiding in the supply of God's
Holy Word, books of sacred reading, and secular literature
of a sound and improving character; 3rd. Of encouraging
Church buildings, whether churches, schools, or parsonages;
4th. Of providing for an increase of clergy, either by
collecting money for salaries where none existed, or by
adding something to those that were insufficient; 5th. Of
helping missions to the heathen according to their power,
in fulfilment of the Lord's last command, " Go ye into all
the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;" and,
lastly, there being many needs which arise, when the Church
is engaged in its work, which can hardly be foreseen or
specified, and, perhaps, are temporary; and yet, if there
is no fund to meet them, the Church suffers : for these the
1 General Fund" was intended to provide.
Thus six distinct purses were provided under one management, enlisting the different sympathies and supplying the in!
different needs of the Church, yet without the rivalry, and
perhaps the jealousy, of different societies.
It was also at the option of each subscriber either to
make his offering a special one to any particular local or
diocesan object, or to pay it, without further Hmitation,
into any of the funds.
Another feature of the society was that it was intended
to be rather an aggregate of Parochial Associations, called
"District Associations," than an aggregate of individuals.
Any one might pay his subscription to the treasurer of the
society, and some few subscriptions were always so paid,
especially those of subscribers not residing in the diocese ;
but the bulk of the subscriptions was paid to the district
committees in the several parishes or districts of the
Two-thirds of these local contributions to the "Education," " Book," and " Building Funds" might, if desired,
be retained in the district in which they were contributed;
and the remaining third, with the total of the " Clergy,"
" Mission," and " General Funds," were to be remitted to
the Diocesan Society.
These provisions gave the widely-scattered members of
the Church a greater interest in the society; and made it
more easy to bring its claims before them, and to look up
and collect subscriptions, than if all had depended upon
one central committee. The principles of local interest and
extended Christian brotherhood were both represented.
The first years of the existence of the society, beginning
in the middle of April, contained the subscriptions of less
than nine months. That year was also one of great change
and excitement in the colony, for it was in May, 1851, that
the discovery of gold at Sofala, near Bathurst, startled us
all, and for a while threatened to turn everything upside
down. We were, therefore, well pleased and thankful to
find that our first year's total amounted to £531, out of
which the sum given for additional clergy was £276. THE  FORMATION  OF  THE   CHURCH  SOCIETY*
There were two items which pleasantly marked the
time—one contribution of £20, and another of £5, from
successful gold-diggers, who thus sanctified their gains by
rendering a tribute to the Lord.
The funds of the Newcastle Church Society afterwards
increased far beyond our expectations; and in many ways
it became a great blessing to the diocese.
It was an important day for the Diocese of Newcastle when
the Church Society was formed. It was a day of hopes
and fears : of hopes that, by God's blessing, it might be
the means of drawing out the energy of the laity to aid in
the great work that was before us, and of refreshing the
thirsty places of the land; of fears, lest worldly selfishness, prejudices, and jealousies might close the hearts and
hands which should open to help forward Christ's work.
The formation of the Church Society was the first
steady effort towards making the young diocese self-
The Church at home is rightly called upon to provide
for planting missions in heathen lands, and aiding the first
struggles of a colonial Church, where the shoot newly
planted needs watering from without until it has taken
root and begun to draw its moisture from the -new soil.
And there are some colonies, like Newfoundland, where the
battle for life is so hard that greater and longer-continued
assistance is required than in others. To supply these
great and increasing needs, the Churchmen of England are
in Christian charity bound—and are well able—to offer far
more largely than they have yet done. Many still give
nothing; and of those who do give, many do not make
offerings in a fair proportion to their means. But, however much a colonial Church requires and has a right to
look for the help of the Mother Church during the early
years of its existence, nothing could be more enervating to GROWTH AND PROGRESS OF THE CHURCH SOCIETY.
it than to continue year after year trusting to external-
sources for support, and making no call upon its own
members to supply their spiritual wants.
The effort was made in the Diocese of Newcastle after
the first three years of its existence, and two years before
the cessation of the special subscriptions which had been '
promised in England to meet its first necessities.
There were some real difficulties which threatened us at
the outset; for the most important object of the Church
Society was the support of additional clergy—not to speak
of the increase of existing salaries—and the approaching
need of providing for the whole number, when the State
aid should cease.
Churchmen who had come from England were unprepared for this. They had been accustomed to see their,
clergyman provided for by tithes secured by law, and the
greater number of the parishioners, who profited by his
ministrations, were not called to contribute anything to his
support. The old associations of the emigrant Churchman
were, therefore, against the Apostolic precept, " Let him
that is taught communicate unto him that teacheth in all
good things." To the Church of England layman it was,
for the most part, a new idea, and new ideas do not generally spring into vigorous action at once.
Then there was the positive irreligion of many of the
settlers and convicts—especially in the bush, where more
clergymen were wanted. Those whose daily lives were a
denial of all religion were little likely to contribute to its
There were many, also, who had come to the colony,
not to make it their home, but to realise a sum of money
and return to England. Many of these took no interest
in improving things around them, and especially grudged
spending money upon things so unremunerative as clergy,
and churches, and religious schools.
The  miserable  divisions, which prevail wherever our
;.■! i
ill 178
countrymen are settled, had their effect in dissipating
energies which, if united in Christ's Church, would have
economised money and men, and have been able to act
with vigour. In each little township, if it had but two or
three hundred inhabitants, were found representatives of
three or four different sects. Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Wesleyans, and Baptists or Independents, would
divide the little community with the Church. And a flock,
which might have been efficiently tended by one pastor,
residing among or near them, was scantily fed at irregular
times by the occasional visits of ministers who lived at a
distance, and performed similar desultory work in other
From these and other causes there was, among the
majority of the colonists, an unwillingness to contribute to
the pressing needs of the Church, up to the time when the
Church Society was formed. As an illustration of this,
the Bishop of Newcastle has mentioned, that when Bishop
Broughton was on the point of sailing to England for the
last time, he was anxious to send a clergyman to a district
in the south of his diocese. The full stipend was available, but there was no parsonage. The Bishop, therefore,
asked a settler, who was a member of Council, and had an
income of £5,000 or £6,000 per annum, to guarantee the
collection in the district of twenty pounds per annum for
the rent of a house. The settler replied that he had consulted with his neighbours, and that they were willing to
guarantee ten pounds per annum, but would not undertake
to promise so much as twenty pounds, and this wealthy
settler pledged himself to one pound.
This is a sample of the spirit against which the Church
Society had to win its way, and against which it did win
its way year by year, with a success that astonished the
workers as well as the bystanders.
From its first establishment in 1851, until the separation of the northern portion of the diocese in 1860, and GROWTH AND PROGRESS OF THE CHURCH SOCIETY.
Total Amount
of Collections.
Increase on
Preceding Year
£531    ..
■ —
£1,412    ..
£2,247    ..
£3,362   ..
£4,627   ..
£5,323   ..
£6,028    ..
£6,849   ..
£7,400   ..
its erection into the see of Brisbane, the numbers of contributors, and the total contributed, not only never fell off,
but increased considerably each year. The amounts contributed in these nine years, and their increase, were as
follows :—
When in 1860 the receipts from what had then become
the new Diocese of Brisbane were cut off from the Newcastle Church Society, the receipts were diminished to
£5,361; but the responsibilities of the society were also
largely diminished. And a comparison of the receipts for
the reduced diocese with those of the same portion, before
its division in the preceding year, shows an increase of
It ought to be added that on May 12th, 1868, after
seventeen years of valuable labour, the Church Society was
merged in the then established Diocesan Synod, under
the direction of which the same important work of raising
and administering the funds of the diocese was then
carried on. In each of the years, between the reduction
of the diocese and the transmigration of the spirit of the
Church Society into the Diocesan Synod, the funds steadily
increased; and the concluding year, so far from showing
any diminution of the zeal of the members of the Church,
shows an increase of £1,640 upon the year preceding,
making a sum of £8,546, or £1,146 more than was contributed in the last year of the undivided diocese in 1859.
It has not been during a period of uninterrupted pros-
n 2 180
perity that the offerings of the Churchmen in the diocese
have continued to increase. There have been several years
since the foundation of the society, when troubles and
losses affecting the colony would have fully accounted for
a falling off of subscriptions ; but the steady rise was maintained, notwithstanding all difficulties. An extract from
the Report for 1857 will give one instance of this. It says,
" The circumstances of'the year 1857 will long be remembered among us. Agricultural produce swept away by
three devastating floods, each more disastrous than the
preceding; growing crops destroyed, houses submerged,
merchandise and stores injured or carried away by the
rising waters, rents generously forgiven or lowered, from
want of ability in the tenants to pay, traffic for several
months almost stopped, and trade at a standstill; then the
commercial panic in England and America, which for a
time affected even this distant member of the great Anglo-
Saxon body; and, in the midst of these trials, contributions freely made by those who suffered much, to lighten
the burdens of those who suffered more; and more
recently, the calls of charity responded to in the colony
for the overwhelming afflictions of our Indian brethren.
All these circumstances, which impress the past year indelibly upon our memories, ought to be taken into consideration, if we would rightly estimate the amount of the
funds raised for our Church Society." These words prefaced an announcement of an increase of £705 on the previous year's subscriptions. The Report went on to add,
I With this increase in the funds of the society, there has
also been a steady advance in the great work which we are
labouring to promote. There are more ministers' dwellings
built, or in progress, more schools, more churches, and,
we may thank God, more ministers labouring in this
diocese than when we last met together."
The means which, under God's blessing, produced such
satisfactory results, were, in the first place, plain statements GROWTH AND PROGRESS OF THE CHURCH SOCIETY.       181
of the needs which existed in the diocese, and of the use-
lessness of looking to external sources for their supply.
It was frequently and widely impressed upon the members
of the Church, that they must themselves provide that
pecuniary support which could not be looked for elsewhere.
When a clergyman was required for any place which had
not a Government stipend, the Bishop impressed upon the
Churchmen in the district, that, if they desired one to be
sent to them, they must contribute to his support. In
order to secure the income, the principal laymen were
asked to guarantee a certain sum—part of which was their
own subscription, and part was raised from the contributions of the smaller settlers and poorer members of the
Church. Many shepherds in the bush gave willingly,
some of them 5s., 10s., or £1 a-year.
Those districts which received Government aid for their
clergyman were appealed to, as a matter of justice, to
contribute towards those who had none; and the duty was
generally acknowledged when laid clearly before them.
In several of the districts half of the offertory was paid to
the Clergy Fund, in accordance with the Bishop's expressed
desire. The Bishop urged upon all the districts that had
£200 a-year from Government for their clergyman, that
they should each contribute £100 a-year towards those
who had no Government aid. Any sum which a district
contributed to the Clergy Fund above this £100, was paid
to its own clergyman in augmentation of his income.
None of these sums were paid to the clergy directly, but
to the Church Society itself: and were distributed in quarterly payments by the committee to the clergy who were
entitled to them.
The work was much helped forward in those districts
where the parochial meetings were regularly held, and
information given on Church subjects in general. In these
there was greater steadiness in the contributions, and a
growing interest was felt in the progress of the Church. 182
Much good also resulted, where, through the influence of
the clergy, some of the more earnest laymen undertook to
collect from the scattered settlers.
There were some districts in which the clergy did not
understand how to make a beginning, or shrank from
enlisting their better-minded parishioners in the cause.
Here the Bishop's visits were invaluable. Always ready for
any work, he sometimes aided the clergyman in a meeting;
or he would call on the laity and set them in motion ; and
in some parishes, where nothing had been effected, and
the clergyman was disheartened, the Bishop's visit drew
out willing workers; and the result showed itself in the
increased funds of the society.
It must not be supposed1 that when success is mentioned,
a whole spiritual desert is represented as brought into
fertility; nor that it was as easy to effect what was really
done, as it is to write or read of it. Very much remained
and still remains to be done. But that an actual and
considerable success was granted to the Church Society,
even in its early days, is evident, when it is said that
in the beginning of the third year of its existence it was
found that the colonial resources, partly derived from the
Government aid, and partly from the funds of the Church
Society, provided all the stipends for the clergy, and that
the Bishop announced to the Society for the Propagation
of the Gospel, and to his English friends, that henceforth
their aid would not be required for the current expenses,
but for the most important object of investments for its
permanent good. The Bishop says in a letter appended
to the Society's Report, and dated May 9th, 1853:
" Two thousand pounds will be available this year for
these purposes, and, I trust, a similar sum during each of
the next four years."
That plan of endowment was, that, as far as there were
funds available for the purpose, any donation up to £500
should be met by a similar sum from the investment fund,
and the amount invested as a permanent endowment for the
object fixed upon. *
Several schools were partially endowed in this way;
three canonries were endowed with £20 a-year each, half
of the principal for endowment being contributed by the
Bishop and his English friends. Some parishes received
a small endowment for their clergy; the endowment of
the bishopric was completed; and to enable the Church
Society to pay the clergy their quarterly salaries, when
due, before all the subscriptions had been paid in, the
society itself was endowed with £1,000 as a permanent
balance; out of which the sums required were advanced,
and into which they were repaid again as soon as the
subscriptions of the districts were sent in.
These and other endowments are of the greatest possible
benefit where the large bulk of Church funds arises from
voluntary subscriptions, and the prudent management and
forethought of the Bishop have enabled him to raise them
as an off-growth of the Church Society.
The Diocesan Depot, which is most useful, and has
been most successful in its working, is a nursling of the
society, which, for the first eight or nine years of its
existence, voted a sum annually to aid the payment of its
original debt. But it would never have succeeded at first,
nor have maintained its efficiency as it has done, had it
not been for the wise care of the Bishop.
It has now a stock of £1,600 worth of books, free from
debt, replenished by orders from England to the value of
£200 each quarter. It is so managed that the Bibles and
the Book of Common Prayer are sold in the colony at
prices charged by the Society for Promoting Christian
Knowledge to its subscribers; and other publications of all
kinds are sold at English retail prices; the expense of
carriage, packing, &c, from England, being borne by the
Depot. To meet the wants and tastes of various persons,
any one is allowed to send, through the manager of the 184
Depot, any list of books which he may desire to have,
provided they are unobjectionable ; and his list is included
in the quarterly order, so that in about eight months' time
he may obtain his books at the Morpeth Depot, for the
same price he would have given for them in Paternoster
Such are some of the instances of progress which the
Newcastle Church Society has exhibited during the seventeen years of its separate existence. We may well hope
that, as a department of the Synod which has taken it to
itself, it will, be, as before, increasingly a blessing to the
Church in the Diocese of Newcastle. Imim Itaft in IriM (Mitmbfc
Yale, Wednesday, June 14, 1866.—Left New Westminster in the Lilloet for Hope and Yale at three o'clock.
Rained all the morning and the whole day incessantly.
212 passengers, many Chinese. There was a row in the
evening, and a white man stabbed a Chinaman, and was
secured. At night we lay to ; there was much noise, and
I could get but broken rest.
Services—Yale and Hope, Sunday, June 18.—Held
service at Yale. The attendance was forty. The harmonium was played very fairly by the daughter of the
schoolmaster. I had the morning prayer and litany. The
collection was 13 dollars. In the afternoon I went by canoe
to Hope, where at six o'clock in the pretty church of that
lovely spot I held service. Hope is now all but deserted.
Still we had eighteen persons, besides a few Indians.
Canoe Voyage to Hope.—The river at this time is at
its height, some twenty feet above the common level,
through the melting of the snow. It is a tremendous
torrent, rushing onwards, carrying in its vast breadth and
depth the waters of many great tributary rivers gathered
in its course of nearly 1,000 miles; at times, whirling
and upheaving surges seemed enough to overset and
swallow up in an instant our tiny bark, but with quick, 186
cool, and unerring eye, our Indian guided us safely
through. At other times there were rapids and canyons,
or gorges, along which the contracted waters rushed more
fiercely, as if enraged. The famous and dangerous Em-
mory rapid and " Hell's Gate " warned us long before by
their roar and din; at the latter there was but one passage
safe at this time for the canoe. It was on the opposite
side of the stream, here about a quarter of a mile wide.
The current was sweeping us down at the rate of seven
miles an hour. It was necessary to begin to cross in sufficient time to prevent our being cast upon the rocks in
mid-stream. As we were coming down it seemed as if
nothing could prevent our being smashed to pieces, and
we seemed only just to .escape destruction. With our
three Indians, however, there really was no danger. They
knew the water and the ground so well that they could
make the exact calculation necessary to avoid a catastrophe.
It was exciting, however, even to those who had confidence
in the Indian canoemen; to others it would certainly be
alarming. T