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these unfortunates, not, be it remembered, voluntarily absent from the means of grace at home, the most inadequate provision was made by the Government. At the first formation of the settlement, a chaplain was very nearly forgotten, and one only officiated, without a Church, during its first six years. "Mr. Marsden, of whom we shall have to speak presently, with reference to New Zealand, arrived in 1794. For the next six years the colony enjoyed two clergymen, but from 1800 to 1807, Mr. Marsden had to serve alone. In 1810 there were four, the population having increased to upwards of 10,000. In 1824 an archdeacon was appointed, with eight clergymen. The number increased slowly. In 1836, the present metropolitan was consecrated Bishop of Australia; in 1842, the bishopric of Tasmania was founded; and in 1847, the dioceses of Melbourne, Newcastle, and Adelaide, were formed out of that of Australia, the residue being now called after Sydney, the capital.
The most remarkable of the Australian colonies, is South Australia, it was taken possession of only in 1837, and conducted on the pledge that no convict should be sent there. The copper mines, that have been discovered, have given an extraordinary stimulus to a country not in itself attractive or fertile. And the dioceses of Adelaide and Melbourne, comprising South Australia and Port Philip, the one from these causes, and the other from the comparative fertility of its soil, are likely to become the most important territories on this continent.
The martial behaviour of the New Zealanders, and the vengeance they took on the crews of vessels that had misbehaved towards them, and it must be confessed, their very awkward propensity to make an undue use of the bodies of their slain enemies, in the feast of victory, had inspired a dread of them, that stood much in the way of their conversion to Christianity. Mr. Marsden had met with many of them, when the whalers, in which they had embarked, touched at Port Jackson, and he was struck with their intelligence and desire of improvement. He came to England with a view to found the mission, and returned with two gentlemen, not in Holy Orders, from the Church Missionary Society; these he landed and settled at the Bay of Islands, near the northern extremity of the northern island, and after sharing with them the first fears and hazard of their holy enterprise, left them to the task, quiet, though venturesome and dangerous, of king and civilizing the natives, and gradually making a knowledge of the arts of this world prepare the way for the full acceptance of our religion. Their teaching spread its influence; the Wesleyans also occupied posts on the other side of the Island, and carried on a similar work, which did not interfere with theirs. In 1822 the first Clergyman was appointed and in 1841 Bishop Selwyn was consecrated. Let it not be supposed, that, if no martydoms have taken place in New Zealand, this sketch at all represents the real dangers the missionaries had to undergo, amidst a martial population, divided into clans, that maintained death feuds with each other. The fortitude, or rather the Christian devotion must have been great, that could have animated Mr. Marsden and his comrades to lie down and sleep, entirely unprotected, amidst a crowd of natives, just after they had heard the account of the massacre of the crew and passengers of the Boyd, at the place where they lay, and from the lips of the chieftain himself who had planned and executed it. The Church of England may justly be proud of such labours, so entered upon, and blessed with such large success. Since
PROGRESS AND DIFFICULTIES OF THE CHURCH THERE.
Bishop Selwyn has presided over these Islands, he has not confined his attention to them, but profiting at first by a visit of one of her Majesty's ships to various islands, for the purpose of redressing grievances, and securing peace; and latterly, in a small vessel, which some friends have provided for him, he has visited, far and wide, the islands of these seas, and either by a word of comfort and brotherly advice, where well meaning attempts had heretofore been made to establish some other form of Christianity, -or by a more direct exhibition of his own spiritual functions, where the field was unoccupied, he has given a stimulus and probably prepared the way to union, and has, we hope, consolidated a work, that cannot fail, under God's blessing, some day to shed abroad the most abundant fruits..?
Such is a slight sketch of the growth of these communities, in respect of religion; it should be added, that for some forty or fifty years of their existence, the Church in the Australian colonies, was stipendiary of the Government, paid pretty handsomely, but crippled as to extent, and making no use of the voluntary principle,--that principle, when properly used, and duly guarded, of true religious strength. By degrees, the political changes of the times, introduced Presbyterian and Roman Catholic Ministers to a share in the benefits granted by the State ; the Propagation Society stepped in with extensive grants, limited, however, both as to the time and the amount; and the number of the Clergy has been increased to its present extent, and their flocks taught somewhat to assist them; in one Church in Sydney the collections at the Offertory have amounted to £500 in a year.
It is obvious, however, that with a Clergy scattered over such extensive districts, and a population neither the most orderly by nature, nor trained by habit, that abuses and accusations must arise, embarrassing to the Bishop, all the more, because the law is uncertain, and evil disposed persons abound, who, judging others by their own sentiments, are prone to attribute unfairness, to decisions which they do not like. Party, also, is the bane of colonies, and every salutary exertion of discipline, arouses the fears, and tends to combine in a hostile body, those whose suspicions of some sinister intentions against themselves, are stronger than their love of justice, or regard for the well-being of the Church. We have said that the law is uncertain : in appearance the Bishops seem to take with them from England, powers of a secular character, derived from the Crown, sufficient to meet all possible cases,---powers, it may be remarked, quite separable from the inherent rights of their office, which they possess over men's consciences, but cannot extend to outward compulsion, without the sanction, if not the aid of the civil power. The powers, however, thus given by the Queen, as the Head of the State, have been disputed by the law authorities of the colonies; and it seems clear, that many powers professedly given to the Bishops, by their patents, are invalid altogether, because, by the existing constitution of the empire, the Crown has nó power of itself without the consent of the Houses of Parliament, to grant them. A document, then, of which a certain part, rather indefinitely described, is bad, cannot be relied on in any part; and we see the Bishops, therefore, --with clergy and people increasing in numbers, and difficulties and embarrassments growing in, at least, the same proportion-appealed to, and looked to, to heal all differences, and abolish all abuses, but unable to use the weapons, on which their strength seems to depend, because they cannot tell whether these weapons, when they employ them, may not crumble into dust.
Under these circumstances, the Australian Bishops have done wisely, to trust no more in the seeming support of the Crown, but to depend rather on their clergy and people. It is not yet so extensively acknowledged as it should be, that among those who are not basely determined to do wrong, freedom is the true road to obedience, peace, and unity. The Australian Bishops, by the paper before us, are taking the first steps, towards that voluntary compact with their people, which Mr. Gladstone recommended last year. And they are doing it in a wholesome and majestic manner, not including merely in their league those who offer to belong to it, and thus creating, as it were, two classes, an obedient and a disobedient laity, but embracing the whole, in a bond, strong enough for discipline duly to develop itself, but yet not close enough to interfere with due liberty or to create annoyance.
The plan is in all points temperate, yet energetic. Peculiar care is taken to respect the rights of the Crown; these prerogatives are not ornaments, meant for ostentation and pride, but safeguards of liberty. The Crown is, in fact, trustee for the clergy and people, and until the measures are matured and enacted by which the power to take care of themselves is to be transferred to the clergy and people, the Crown is bound to exercise a watchful superintendence over them. These rights, in their true and legitimate sense, will, we believe, on the whole, be properly secured. The Bishops, it will be observed, do not stand on'ultra views of the power of the episcopate, they are content to advise where they might perhaps order, and they wait till they can legally call for public assent to their proposals. They have taken time to mature their views, and have acted with secrecy and caution; but they have not finally decided in secret, nor struck in the dark. The suggestions they have sketched out, will doubtless in the end obtain the assent and consent of their clergy and people, after receiving such modifications of detail, as 'may appear necessary to these different bodies. All that could be done immediately they have done, they have declared that the doctrine of the Church of England, remains unchanged in that important particular on which doubt has been recently thrown. In this they have interfered with no one's liberties, they have done the very least that Bishops in their position could do. And they have also formed their Board of Missions. The superintendence of missions, is, as it seems to us, one of the most proper and important duties of Synods; probably, hereafter, the Board will act as a sort of Standing Committee of the Synod, at present, however, the holy enterprise will not endure delay, something good must be done, something good can be done ; those who choose to help are called on to join, the rest may stand by. We hope that the singular success, which has attended the first proceedings of these Boards, is an omen of the good success of the whole.
The document which follows, is no hasty expression of opinion, but the result of deliberations carried on by the Bishops during a month's constant and close intercourse. The subjects of which it treats are of the most practical character and closely connected with the best interests of the members of the Church in the Province of Australasia, and demanding from their brethren in the Church at home the fullest and most careful attention.
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS, AT A MEETING OF THE
METROPOLITAN AND SUFFRAGAN BISHOPS OF
THE PROVINCE OF AUSTRALASIA.
Held at Sydney, from October 1st to November 1st, A.D. 1850.
THE Metropolitan and Bishops of the Province of Australasia, having, by the good Providence of God, been permitted to assemble themselves together in the Metropolitan City of Sydney, on the first day of October, in the year of our Lord 1850, and having consulted together on such matters as concern the progress of true Religion, and the welfare of the Church in the said Province, and in the several Dioceses thereof, did agree to the decisions and opinions contained in the following Report.
We, the undersigned Metropolitan and Bishops of the Province of Australasia, in consequence of doubts existing how far we are inhibited by the Queen's Supremacy from exercising the powers of an Ecclesiastical Synod, resolve not to exercise such powers on the present occasion.
But we desire 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; and to suggest such measures as may seem to be most suitable for removing our present embarrassments; 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 Pacific.
We request The Right Reverend The Lord Bishop of Newcastle to act as our Secretary, and to embody our resolutions in
a Report, to be transmitted to the Archbishops and Bishops of the United Church of England and Ireland.
W. G. SYDNEY.
CANONS OF A.D. 1603—4. We are of opinion, that the Constitutions and Canons agreed upon with the King's Majesty's license, in the Synod begun at London A.D. 1603, and published for the due observation of them, by His Majesty's authority, under the Great Seal of England, form part of the established constitution of our Church, and are generally binding upon ourselves, and the clergy of our respective Dioceses. Where they cannot be literally complied with, in
consequence of the altered state of circumstances since the enactment of the Canons, we are of opinion that they must be, as far as possible, complied with in substance.
We concur also in thinking, that a revisal and fresh adaptation of the Canons to suit the present condition of the Church is much to be desired, so soon as it can be lawfully undertaken by persons possessing due authority in that behalf.
(Signed as before.)
FUTURE SYNODS AND CONVENTIONS, PROVINCIAL
We are of opinion that there are many questions of great importance to the well-being of the Church in our Province, which cannot be settled without duly constituted Provincial and Diocesan Synods.
Without defining the exact meaning of the word Synod as used in the Church of England, whenever the words “ Provincial Synod” or “ Diocesan Synod” shall be used in the following resolutions, we understand a body composed of one or more Bishops, with representatives chosen from among the clergy, meeting at such times and in such manner as may not be inconsistent with any law of Church or State.