Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/12

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tion with which it is sometimes accompanied, is, when absolute and properly administered, fraught with blessings great and many. The English standard is, to every country over which it waves, the ensign of deliverance from tyranny, injustice, and cruelty. As the friends of the human race, therefore, our conquests ought never to be relinquished; and the happiness, temporal and eternal, of the conquered or adopted nations, though it cannot be expected to be the primary, ought to be the ruling motive of all our colonizing proceedings. Nor is it necessary to the attainment of this grand object, or our own interests, to seize their uncultivated lands. We have no more right to do this, than the Sovereign has to take possession of the untilled lands of the nobility and gentry of the United Kingdom.

It is cruel to add to the misfortunes of the wretched. Savages are men, and therefore possessed of all the privileges that belong to man. To disregard these privileges, is to insult the supremacy of the Creator, from whom they emanate, and who never authorised any nation to invade those of another. When governments, therefore, or adventurers sanctioned by them, possess themselves of the patrimonial inheritance of the savage by force, and for no other reason than that of his inability to defend it, they rob their fellow-creature with a wantonness of cruelty which shows how little influence Christianity has yet gained, at the end of nearly two thousand years, over either the private or the national character of its European professors. When they take advantage of his ignorance and his necessities, acquire possession at a price far beneath its value, expose him thus defrauded to vice, and then leave him to perish by famine—a practice extensively acted upon I fear at this moment in New Zealand, to which adventurers are flocking like vultures to carrion—they commit an act of duplicity so infamous, that it is difficult to find in language a term sufficiently appropriate to its designation. Such aggressions, too, on nations who never invaded the inheritance of others, is the more reprehensible when we reflect that the difficulty of accomplishing all the good we wish to them and to ourselves, is easily surmounted. The Aboriginal inhabitants are ever ready to enter into treaty, and will readily part with their lands for a consideration, which, not bearing the stamp of swindling, but that of an honourable and a generous disposition, ought to be ample and sacredly reserved for the purpose of communicating to them a knowledge of revelation. Nor, to those who are influenced by no higher consideration, ought it to appear a light argument in favour of such a mode of proceeding, that it is as cheap as it is