Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/107

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



and polluting influence, which served either entirely to neutralize its efficacy, or to convert it into a system of downright mockery and insult. The great majority of the convicts, on the one hand, being scattered all over the territory, were beyond the reach of pastoral instruction and pastoral visitation; and the clergy of the territory, on the other, who were always stationed in the immediate vicinity of those more concentrated masses of population, that were formed under Governor Macquarie's management, were generally created justices of the peace; the consequence of which was, that the same functionary, who on Saturday had been seated on the magisterial bench, and employed chiefly in sentencing to hard labour on the roads, double irons, and a hundred lashes, was on Sunday transformed into a minister of the gospel of peace, a messenger of mercy, and a herald of salvation! Nay, so blind have the authorities in New South Wales uniformly been, till very recently, to the absolute necessity of encouraging religious instruction, from whatever quarter it might be offered or procured, that during the whole course of General Darling's government, attempts were seriously and successfully made to prevent the arrow of conviction from ever reaching the heart of a convict, un-