Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/57

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drenched with the blood of its owners. When Ahab covets the vineyard of his neighbor, the Jezebel of power will soon find out a way of putting him into undisturbed possession. Subornation, to set Naboth on high, will be easy; false witnesses will not be wanting among the sons of Belial; and the multitude, ever governed by ignorance, prejudice, and interest, will readily pursue him to death. But will the ministers of the gospel—will Elijah be silent—surely there is one among them—and will the God of Elijah look on with indifference when a whole nation are defamed, disinherited, and slain?

Often have I wished that those who have heads to understand and hearts to feel, were but to see the children of these savages—these interesting little prattlers—when, hastening to meet me in the forest, they group around me, some laying hold of my hands, some hanging on the skirts of my coat, and others running before to announce my arrival in the camp. Who could avoid calling to mind the scene in Galilee; or resist the conviction that the Saviour of men had these also in his eye, when he said, "Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not."

I was annoyed at hearing it continually asserted that the language of this people is an unintelligible jargon. I have proved that it is not: and that to obtain a knowledge of it is far from impracticable. It is an interesting language—one that will richly repay the labour of acquisition both to the Christian and the man of letters.

My enemies may sneer, lampoon, and defame. I regard them not. My endeavours to prevent a war of extermination, and the difficulties I have had to contend with in paving the way for the heralds of salvation to these unfortunate savages, I leave to the missionary and the future historian. In their, hand I am not afraid of my reputation but honor and dishonor, evil report and good report, often fall to the lot of the Christian; and to him they are all alike.

The language of Derbal, difficult as it is, is, to a certain extent, laid open; the manners and moral condition of its inhabitants are unveiled; a foundation is laid for the propagation of Christianity on the Australian continent; and, whether I live to see it or not, the superstructure will rise; and I rejoice in the anticipation. Hell may stir itself and men may oppose; but neither the malice of the one nor the rage of the other, will prevent the happy consummation. The decree has passed the lips of the Most High[1] Another continent will, ere long, be added to the empire of heaven—Christians will hail the intelligence with joy and angels will celebrate the event in hymns of triumph.April, 1883.

  1. See the second Psalm.