Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/54

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effect of fire-arms, they requested him in this instance to forbear pointing out that the bird he was about to kill had young ones.

Time would fail me to enumerate the many instances of disinterested benevolence shown by them to the invaders of their country. They repeatedly recovered strayed stock and brought them to the owners, carrying in their arms the kids and the lambs which they found, while they themselves were wandering through the forest in search of food and famishing with hunger. They treated the lost Wanderer with the kindest hospitality, dividing their humble repast with him, allowing him to rest for the night in their camp, and conducting him on his way in the morning. They held the house and the property of the lonely settler sacred, aiding him in his toils when present, and sharing their food with his children when absent. They rescued the fainting soldier and the emaciated explorer from the mazes of the forest; and, not only saved them from the horrors of famine, but restored them to their families, their friends, and the settlement. To examples of virtue so remarkable, and taking into account the relation in which we stand towards them, unparalleled in the history of nations, Captain Banister, Mr. Hall, Mr. J. Butler, and many others can bear testimony.

Nor are these splendid instances of a friendly, generous, and noble mind, peculiar to the tribes immediately around us. The subject of the following narrative presents us with a picture of moral excellence which will probably excite universal astonishment, and induce the question, Is there one of the countless multitudes of that charming sex who adorn the parks, grace the assemblies, and form the source of domestic happiness in Britain's favoured isle, that would, if born in a barbarous land and exposed to the degrading influence of savage life, exhibit a disposition so amiable, so interesting, and so worthy of admiration. The deist will probably point to the example with exultation. But Christianity triumphs over the system of the sceptic, not only in the heavenly influence which renders that which she finds good, better, but in the omnipotent power which, melting the heart of stone into tenderness, transforms a character the most depraved into one of angelic purity and loveliness. This—far beyond the limits of her art—the goddess of reason cannot accomplish. She may conceal the deformity of vice, but she can neither elevate the soul nor change the heart. Destitute of ability either to improve or convert, she leaves human nature just as she finds it, whether exhibiting some faint impression of the creator's workmanship, or thoroughly marred by sin and Satan. It receives no plastic touch from the stiff hand, no inspiring influence from the cold lips, no heavenly animation from the lifeless form of that phantom of the infidel's imagination, natural religion.