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(1.) Schools. We cannot incur the responsibility of seeming to countenance any system of erroneous, defective, or indefinite religious instruction, by incorporating ourselves with the Boards, either general or local, which have the regulation and superintendence of schools so conducted.
But wherever a Church of England School cannot be established, the clergy, after communication with the Bishop, should consider it their duty to remedy, as far as possible, the evils or defects of any schools to which Church children may be sent by their parents.
(2.) University. We are of opinion, that the establishment of the University of Sydney may promote the growth of sound learning, and may in many ways assist the Collegiate Institutions of the Church of England in our respective Dioceses.
But while we are not unwilling that the Students in our Diocesan Colleges and Schools should compete with all other classes of Students in such public University examinations, on general literature and science, as may be established by a Senate, appointed under ordinance of the Colonial Legislature, we should decidedly object to any University system which might have the effect of withdrawing from our own Collegiate rule the students educated in our separate Diocesan Institutions.*
W. G. SYDNEY.
* Our readers will observe that the Bishops give only a guarded and qualified sanction to the University of Sydney ; a paragraph in the Newspaper from which we have been quoting partly accounts for this necessary caution: speaking of that University, it says, “Perhaps the most objectionable of its features, in its original shape, was the exclusion of all Ministers of religion from the Senate. This has been removed, the stipulation now being, that of the sixteen fellows of whom the Senate shall consist, twelve at least shall be laymen." But as it is a fundamental principle of the Institution that no Religious Book be used by authority, except the Old and New Testament without note or comment,” such a principle the Bishops could never approve.
X. AUSTRALASIAN BOARD OF MISSIONS. The objects of the Australasian Board of Missions are twofold Domestic and Foreign.
1. DOMESTIC.-The conversion and civilization of the Australian Blacks.
2. FOREIGN.The conversion and civilization of the Heathen races in all the Islands of the Western Pacific.
The difficulties to be expected in this work, perhaps to a greater extent than in other Missions, are
1. The low state of barbarism in which these races now are. 2. In the Australian blacks, the unsettled habits of the race.
3. The multiplicity of languages and dialects throughout the whole field of operations.
4. The unhealthiness of many of the Australasian Islands, in certain seasons of the year, especially from January to April.
These peculiar difficulties must be met by a plan of Missionary action deviating in many respects from the practice of other Missions.
1. The low state of barbarism in which these races now are, seems to require, that a select number should be brought under the most careful training, at a distance from their own tribes.
2. The unsettled habits of the Australian blacks require the same corrective, and further suggest the necessity of providing religious instruction for them, rather by means of visiting Missionaries than by fixed Mission stations.
3. The multiplicity of languages makes it necessary to conduct instruction in some one language common to all, which must be English.
4. The unhealthiness of many of the islands makes it advisable that Missionary action should be carried on, rather by long visits of the English Missionaries, during the healthy season, than by the occupation of permanent Mission stations.
(Signed as before.) The following Table will show the comparative increase of Clergy in the Province of Australasia, since the foundation of the several Bishoprics. SYDNEY, founded 1836. No of Clergy at that time, 18 Present No. 54. New ZEALAND, do. 1841. Ditto ditto
Ditto TASMANIA, do. 1842. Ditto
ditto 19 Ditto 51. ADELAIDE, do. 1847. Ditto
ditto 11 Ditto 22. MELBOURNE, do. 1847. Ditto ditto
Ditto 15. NEWCASTLE, do. 1847. Ditto
Ditto 27. Total 77 Total 202
It will be seen that among the various subjects upon which the Synod of Bishops decided, one of the most important relates to the establishment of an
Australasian Board of Missions." With a view to the formation of this Board, a public meeting was held in Sydney just before the Synod was brought to a close. The “Sydney Morning Herald” of November 2, contains a very full account of the proceedings, which excited great interest in Sydney: we have only space to extract the very interesting speech of the Bishop of New Zealand.
Five resolutions, relating to the constitution of the Board, were passed at the meeting; they were severally proposed by the Bishops of Tasmania, Adelaide, New Zealand, Melbourne, and Newcastle, and supported by lay members of the Church. The BISHOP OF NEW ZEALAND in moving the third resolution—"That the foreign efforts of the Australian Board of Missions, be first directed to the islands lying nearest to Australia; viz. New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands; in the hope that, by the blessing of God, its missions may hereafter be extended to all the heathen races inhabiting the islands of the Western Pacific,”-spoke as follows:
If he could have felt, that his drawing their attention to the subject matter of this resolution, would, in the slightest degree, have weakened their interest in the eternal welfare of their own poor blacks, he would not have said a single word. It was to the misery of the Australian black that New Zealand was indebted for the present condition of its aboriginal people, and he (the Bishop) was indebted for his own position. That venerable and lamented missionary, the Rev. Samuel Marsden, was first induced to direct his attention to the moral condition of the New Zealanders, by his observation of the misery and degradation in which the native races of the Australian continent were plunged. But their attention would not, he trusted, be the less forcibly drawn to the consideration of the Australian black, because of his desire to enlist their sympathies in favor of those benighted races who inhabited the islands of the Western Pacific. On the contrary, the one work would be a material assistance to the other. He would first draw their attention to the wonderful progress of the Gospel in New Zealand, and by marking this progress, they might derive additional encouragement to persevere. The first missionary efforts were made in the vicinity of the Bay of Islands; but the news that such instruction was to be had, was soon spread over the whole of the northern island. At a district on the southern part of that island, far distant from the place where the missionary resided, the two sons of the chief were so desirous of obtaining instruction, that they left their home clandestinely, and embarked in a whaler for the Bay of Islands, in order to bring back, if possible, a missionary to reside among themselves. The missionaries were by no means certain, at that time, in the condition of the southern coasts, as to the safety of the attempt; but Mr. (now Archdeacon) Hadfield volunteered to return with these young men to the place from whence they came. A few years after this, these young men, who had in the interim been baptized, and become zealous Christians, finding that their missionary was not able to do all the work necessary to promote the rapid spread of Gospel truths, volunteered to go along the coast in an open boat, to convey instruction to their less favored brethren. Thus it was, that many who had never seen the face of an English missionary, had become Christians and civilized. At one place of this description,
when he asked, with some feeling of diffidence, whether there was any one among them who was able to read, he was told that there were a good many who could do so, and a class of thirteen was at once formed, who were able to read the Scriptures as fluently as their brethren at the Bay of Islands. Could there be any greater manifestation of Divine goodness, than was afforded by this rapid spread of Christianity and civilization over a whole country, resulting from the exertions of one man? He might well say that New Zealand and the New Zealanders owed a deep debt of gratitude to the memory of Samuel Marsden, and of Christian sympathy to the Australian blacks, whose misery had drawn the attention of that good man to the equally forlorn condition of the neighbouring islanders. The Chatham Islands were brought within the influence of the Gospel, in the same manner; and when he visited that place, he found there no less than three hundred candidates for baptism. The islands of the Western Pacific, lying in the closest vicinity to the equator-such as New Britain, New Hanover, the large island of New Guinea, might, he hoped, in the end, become the field of missionary enterprise. At present, as far as he could ascertain, there was not a Christian among them. The Church of Rome had made some attempts to convert these islanders, but had been compelled to abandon these attempts, in consequence of the savage nature of the people. At present, however, he proposed to direct their attention to the islands lying in nearer proximity to the eastern coast of Australia. His attention was first more particularly directed to this subject, during a voyage which he made in the Dido man-of-war, touching at the Samoas, at Tonga, at the Friendly Islands, and at Rotumah. Bearing in mind what he had himself become acquainted with, as to the almost miraculous manner in which religious knowledge had spread throughout New Zealand, he came to the conclusion, that it was the solemn duty of all Christians, and more particularly of himself, to do as far as practicable for these islanders, what had been done in former times for the aboriginal natives of his own diocese. He remembered that mercantile men in New South Wales, had been able to induce persons belonging to these islands to go with them, in order to obtain employment; and he did not doubt that he should be able to procure, in the same way, pupils whom he might instruct and return to their parent lands. The result shows that he was right in this. He procured a small vessel, and in his very first voyage, he met with so much success and encouragement, as determined him to adopt some definite plan upon which he might pursue the work. He saw plainly that he could not contemplate the establishment of Christian ministers upon the islands, and he, therefore, brought the young men to New Zealand, where, after a residence of eight months, they acquired a sufficient knowledge of the English tongue, and communicated to the teachers a sufficient knowledge of their own language, to enable them to understand each other. They were then returned to their native place, to exercise upon those people such influence for good as the knowledge which they had acquired would give them. This plan had succeeded so well, that in every place where there were persons who had been subjected to this slight training, masters might land as freely, and might reside with the natives as confidently, as in any part of New Zealand. It was this plan which he should propose now to follow. The climate of these northern islands was such, that in the months of January, February, and March, they were most unhealthy for Europeans, who were apt to suffer so severely from fever and ague, as to paralyse their exertions for the remainder of the year. In the intermediate period between these unhealthy seasons, the islands might be visited by a small vessel, and a teacher left, from whom the people would receive some instruction, and by whom arrangements might be made for getting some of the younger natives to accompany them to the place of their destination. Until a better place could be provided, his own college at Auckland would do very well for training these young men; and the vessel, on her return voyage, might call at the several stations, and take them there. At this place they might acquire a sufficient knowledge of the English language to be able to read the Scriptures, and to impart religious education to their own countrymen. He preferred teaching them to read the Scriptures in English, because, by this means, they would avoid the delay and difficulties of making translations into a number of languages. In the islands of the Pacific, as among the tribes of Australia, the languages of the people very much varied; and at one time, while lying at Tanna, he had heard as many as ten different languages spoken on board the vessel.
The College at Auckland would at present accommodate some twenty or thirty pupils, or perhaps more, at an expense of not more than £10 per annum each ; for there was an agricultural establishment, and various workshops attached to it, which aided in its support. Experience had shown that industry must be cultivated simultaneously with the imparting of religious instruction, in order to ensure any permanent success to their efforts in the latter direction. He therefore left these men to choose the kind of employment best suited to their tastes and abilities; and it was found that they usually settled down to some particular branch of industry, which they steadily followed.
The only missionary effort of any consequence, which had been made in this direction, was by a clergyman of the Presbyterian Church, who had been sent from that Church in Nova Scotia, a distance of about twenty thousand miles, and who at present occupied a station on one of the New Hebrides. If people so distant had awakened to the importance of this work, surely New South Wales, which lay within 1000 or 1200 miles of these islands, could not be less interested in the eternal welfare of their inhabitants. When he was last there, he was enabled to do this good missionary a service, which would, he trusted, not only benefit the missionary himself, but advance the work in which he was so zealously engaged. A custom prevailed at these, as well as other islands of the South Seas, of strangling the wives of those who were absent when they had been away for a sufficiently lengthened period to induce a belief that they had died or abandoned the country. A number of the people of this island were away at Tanna, and had been so long absent, that preparations were being made to carry out this horrid custom. The Chief, naturally anxious, applied to him (the Bishop) to go with his vessel to Tanna and fetch those men back. Upon this he told them that they must go to their missionary and prevail upon him to intercede for them. Thus constrained, they went to the missionary, to whom in all probability they had paid but little attention before, and the missionary, of course, made no difficulty in complying with their request. He (the Bishop) was also equally ready in his compliance when the intercession of the missionary had