Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/32

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is fast disappearing from the haunts of his comfortless abode. The "famine" spoken of in the parable, has consequently begun sorely to press upon him; compelling him to deeds of horror in order to sustain life, thus remarkably verifying, the prediction of his sad fate, "and no man gave unto him." The time of his saying, "I will arise and go to my father," is, therefore, now come. Have the British, then, the only nation with whom in his exile he can communicate, attempted his conversion, or encouraged him to adopt the heavenly resolution of returning to his father? How have they conducted themselves towards him in Tasmania, and in Eastern, Western, Southern, and Northern Australia? I pause for a reply. Alas! all around me is silent. I can hear nothing but echo in the graves of the slain, repeating the ominous monosyllable, as if it came from the lips of the injured dead, "How" I need no other reply. Your deeds answer for you. Ye have proclaimed this younger branch of the family of Shem, to be exclusively under your protection.—Instead of alleviating the famine brought upon him by your avarice, ye have driven him to the dreadful alternative of eating his own young in sight of the very habitations ye have erected on the lands of which ye have dispossessed him[1]—ye have forbidden other nations to hoist a flag on, or adjacent, to the continent of Australia, as if ye wished that the guilt of exterminating her inhabitants might rest entirely on your own heads—ye have poured the filth of your jails on her shores—ye have raised the "great whore of Babylon" from the dust—she that for ages "made the nations drunk with the wine of her fornication"—ye have decked her out afresh, and sent her to perpetuate the pollution of a virgin land—ye have imparted to the Australian your own vices in their worst forms—ye have compassed sea and land, not even to proselyte, but to render him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves, and then ye have slain him. "O ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell". Yet ye sing psalms and hymns, ye offer many prayers, ye build Christian temples, and ye dedicate them to the Most High; while, before your march into the interior of this interesting but yet unexplored country, which ye now encompass on all sides, instead of the voice of the missionary proclaiming the gospel of peace, nothing is to be heard but the sound of the musket in pursuit of the flying prodigal over whose forlorn condition the son of God wept. Well did the prophet describe you, when he

  1. See instances of this deed of horror in Bennett, Bamber and other writers on Eastern Australia.

    "I heard of a child being eaten by the parents; the reason given was, that they were very hungry."—Bennett.