Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/30

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improvement from modern science which, enabling the mariner to launch into the main ocean, at all seasons and against all winds, disclosed to the view of the astonished sons of Japheth a new continent, which had been for ages inhabited by the descendents of Shem—but, they knew not their brethren!

A glance at the map of the Indian ocean, will show the track by which the Australian moved, island after island, from the Malayan peninsula to the southern continent; while the vicinity of Java, Timor, and New Guinea, and the discovery that the Malays have been for ages annually visiting its shores for the purpose of fishing and trading with China, are more than sufficient, were there no concurring evidences, to establish the conclusion that Australia was peopled from India.

The time when the Australian found his way across the Indian archipelago to the southern continent, is, and will perhaps be forever buried in that cloud of obscurity which hangs over his history; but there is reason to believe that his migration had a very early date. The absence of friendly recognition, and the non-intercourse which subsists between him and the Malays of the present day who visit the coast, each viewing the other in no other light than that of strangers and enemies, would lead us to adopt this view of the subject. But the argument rests on still stronger data. The island of Java possesses, in the ruins with which it abounds, evidence of two distinct invasions from India—that of the Hindoos prior to the Christian era, and that of the Mahomedans several centuries afterwards. But, since neither idols nor temples, neither literary nor architectural remains are to be found in any part of Australia, the conclusion is unavoidable, that the present are its Aboriginal inhabitants, and that their ancestors must have belonged to a migration which left India, not only before the imposture of Mahomet, but prior to the rise of the Hindoo superstition, even in its most ancient form, that of Budism. This migration, too, must have preceded all those to the several islands of the Pacific, where either idols or temples, literary or architectural remains are to be found, as well as all those to the American continent, thus distinguished from preceding migrations.

But though it cannot be determined when the Australian left India, whether before or after the Grecian era, no doubt can be entertained, that he is of the family of Shem; and therefore, according to the ties of consanguinity, related to the Redeemer of the world—an honour which those who treat him with scorn and contempt cannot claim. Away then with the doctrine, that he is incapable of that moral and intellectual