3.2 Reverend Günther's Journals
i. Aug-Dec 1837
[note] Rec’d Aug 7/38
Journal of James Günther, Missionary
at Wellington Valley, New Holland,
from August 8th to Dec: 31st 1837.
[8 August 1837]
August the 8th; The day of our arrival at the Mission Station. As I have given an account of our arrival, I need not enlarge upon it now; I merely repeat that we were agreeably struck to see a considerable number of Aboriginal Natives here, more than we expected, all anxiously waiting to see us, though we were at the same time seriously impressed with an idea of the ardent work we were about to engage in; to operate upon immortal beings who have so deeply degraded themselves, that their condition appears to be more that of brutes than of men. Oh! for much grace, for much faith & divine wisdom! May we by God's mercy and power be enabled to prove active, and zealous helpers of our Brother & Sister, who so kindly received us, & who have paved, in some measure, the way for us; may Christian harmony, & brotherly union prevail amongst us, accompanied by the blessing of the Lord!
[9 August 1837]
August 9. In catechising the Children today I was much pleased and surprised at the progress they have made, not only in reading the English, but also in Scriptural knowledge. Some of them would put many European children to shame. However degraded they may be, they afford at least a decisive proof, that they are quite as capable of cultivation of the mind as other nations. I feel therefore encouraged in spite of the despairing hope entertained by almost all Europeans in the Colony as it regards the civilizing and evangelizing of the poor Aborigines of this society. To convert them is God's work, Let us with
[10 August 1837]
August 10. faith and patience sow the heavenly seed, in due time it will bring forth fruit. Was part of the day engaged in some work in the Garden. Endeavoured today to get a number of Aboriginal words from the Children, together with the help of Mr Watson. In order to ascertain the proper pronunciation I caused a number of them to pronounce each word, they appeared to be amused at it. I have some difficulty to imitate the nasal sound which seems to occur frequently.
[11 August 1837]
August 11. As there is so much work to be done in the Garden & no man on the Establishment to be spared for it, I again spent a few hours in gardening. Also took a ride to look a little over the Mission's Ground.
[12 August 1837]
August 12. Prepared a sermon for the ensuing Sabbath Day.
[13 August 1837]
August 13. Preached from Rom:1:16  and felt some enlargement of mind in my delivery. At the end of the sermon I addressed myself more immediately to the Blacks, but fear they understood little. There were about 16 of them present, and the number of white people exceeded twenty. I find I am able, in a measure, to imitate St Paul's language in my text: it is the desire of my heart and my chief delight to proclaim the glad tidings of Christ, boldly and faithfully, both to heathens & nominal Christians, to the wise & unwise! Nevertheless, I feel my own insufficiency & only dependence on the Divine assistance. In the afternoon I accompanied Mr Watson to the Native Camp which is only a few hundred yards off our residence. Whilst we were talking to the Natives present, my eyes were suddenly struck with a strange & interesting, though for a new comer, almost frightful sight. Towards 30 blacks at once came out of the bush, mostly young men, with few exceptions, very robust & tall, several of them appeared to me at the least 6 feet high. Except one or two, they were all entirely naked and had increased their fierce & warlike look by curious
ornaments, such as feathers round the head, by painting their faces, and many, the whole of their bodies with various colours, red yellow white, prepared from a species of stones. They were indeed shockingly disguised. When first espying them, we were afraid they were enemies of our natives at the Camp, but as these beheld their approach with so much composure, we soon discovered that they were friends. They had come to assist the Wellington Natives in a fight that is daily expected with Blacks from another quarter. All were, in their way, well armed, some of their wooden spears appeared to be from 10 to 12 feet long, as the wood is exceedingly hard, sharply pointed at the end, & sometimes poisoned; the instrument is more dangerous than one might expect. Another of their weapons is worked thin, like a sword, but bent, resembling a bow & its use is throwing. A third instrument might be called a kind of cudgel: it is a stick about a yard long, with a thick knob at the end. Their shield consists only of a piece of wood a few inches thick, which in the midst, on the back side, has a handle. It may prove useful only by turning it swiftly round, to circumscribe a circle - the circumstance surprised me much at the meeting of these Blacks; there was no mutual salutation whatever; nor could we discern a smile or a look of anxiety in their countenances, as if scarcely noticing each other. The inmates of the camp remained in their sitting posture, and the new comers sat down likewise, without ceremony, kindling their fires. In the evening they celebrated their Native dance which was accompanied with much voice. We discerned from a distance about 30 fires. It being Sunday, we did not think it becoming to be spectators. The whole of the number, as far as we can calculate must amount to about 80.
[14 August 1837]
August 14. A considerable number of Native women surrounded the Mission House this morning; and Mr Watson, besides talking to them, gave an address in their own language, also prayed with them. I was sorry to observe that he was more than once interrupted from continuing, by his office
of storekeeping [etc]. I thought it a pity that a missionary's time should be so much taken up by secular engagements. We divided some meat among these women. In the evening we went to the camp to converse a little with the Natives, distributed also a little tobacco which they most eagerly desired.
[15 August 1837]
August 15. The Establishment was as it were besieged today by Natives, both men and women. After some conversation with a number of them we gave most of them some beef. I was surprised at the quantity required to satisfy them; they appear to think nothing of a portion amounting to two pounds each. It seems we must use these inducements, giving them the bread that perisheth, if we want an opportunity of administering to them the unperishable, lifegiving bread from heaven. Excepting a few, they all went off today to meet their enemy, at a distance of about 18 miles. Even our Jemmy Buckley who came down to Bathurst to meet us, having the appearance of nearly a civilized man, and at times seems to be under religious impressions, as I understand it, threw off his clothes and followed the rest, naked, into the bush. Their propensity to wander about in the bush, almost like wild animals, appears to be very strong.
[16 August 1837]
August 16. I copied a number of words today from a vocabulary of Mr Watson's of the Aboriginal language. From the little I have seen and heard of this language, during the few days of my residence here, I conclude that it is not so poor as we might naturally expect, judging from their rude manner of living, in consequence of which their notions must be very confined.
Was much pleased this evening with Fredric, one of our Native youths, apparently a very droll fellow, saying his prayers so well in English or rather leading the rest of the Youths & Children.
[17 August 1837]
August 17th. Was gardening most of the day, for I see if we want vegetables we must plant them ourselves. I presume there are many, I am afraid too many secular engagements here for a missionary. I was agreeably surprised this evening when Mr W. & myself visited at the women's camp after we had done talking to them & just turning to leave them some of the women desired Mr W. to pray with them to which he of course gladly complied praying in their own language.
[19 August 1837]
August 19. My day's work was a little gardening & copying a number of aboriginals words etc.
[20 August 1837]
August 20. I took the whole of the Service today, Prayers & Sermon, my text was 1 Pet: II,25. I feel not as much liberty in delivering as I could have wished. Our Sunday afternoon was embittered by a very distressing occurrence. A few days since, a cheese received from a friend as a present & just begun to be used was taken out of Mrs Watson's kitchen we were at a loss whom to suspect whether a white man that sometimes came into the kitchen or one of the Black girls. Now today it was, that is to say, part of it, discovered in the yard behind a piece of bark where it had been secreted. Since scarcely any body comes into the yard or rather as it is called the Children's Playground but themselves we suspected at once some of the elderly Girls in fact we made almost sure & put them to an examination. But it is almost incredible with what obstinacy boldness & impudence & even cunningness they denied & endeavoured to clear themselves of the charge. After a long & tedious trial they at last confessed. The name of the one is Nancy that of the other Eliza. The circumstance is the more distressing as they both especially the
former have made so much progress in knowledge, & their acquaintance with Scripture would surprise as well as gratify many of our Christian friends at home, nor have they been void of good impressions at times as far as I understand. Their propensity of stealing appears to be almost irresistible one of them had been discovered for theft only a day or two previous & received a serious reproof & warning
[21 August 1837]
August 21. The Girls were shut up, handcuffed and kept without food to day; It appears necessary to treat them with promtitude and even some severity. They were separately visited by Mr & Mrs W. & also by myself, when they at last made many confessions, of penitence with tears & resolutions for the better but there is not much dependence to be placed on them. After Evening Prayers they were relieved and received something to eat.
[22 August 1837]
August 22. It is lamentable how trying those Girls are, even during their confinement which was Mr W's Study as we have no other place for it). They have been stealing as Mr W. discovered this morning; and I had every reason to suspect Nancy of a theft committed this morning. Nothing that is eatable is safe which may partly be ascribed to their enormous appetite accompanied with the utmost thoughtlessness. This is no encouragement to have them & only them for servants. Nor is it only their propensity of stealing; thoughtlessness idleness & dirty habits in the extreme are the features of their character. We do indeed not despair that the time will come when they may be useful etc. but for the present it appears to me impossible, nor can it be expected or thought desirable that the Missionary's wife be an entire servant maid. am sure if the Committee knew exactly the fatiguing and nasty work they would not wish it. I am surprised that Mrs Watson could possibly go through what she did, but she evidently suffers not a little from the consequences.
[23 August 1837]
August 23. A Gentleman of the name of Hudson, if I remember right lately arrived from England, paid us a visit to day & having heard the Children read sing & answer the questions put to them expressed great satisfaction about their improvements. I spent some time in the study of Mr Threlkeld's Grammar.
[24 August 1837]
August 24. I felt emotions of gratitude to day for a refreshing rain we had as it appears to such a scarce thing in this part of the Colony. I was inclined by it to plant and sow a little in the Garden. I studied again Mr Threlkeld's Grammar, but can not form a great opinion of the work though I am aware it is easier to criticise than to do better.
[25 August 1837]
August 25. We have had very few Natives about for these last today since their war excursion; to day a few of them returned & we were happy to hear that they had no fighting.
[26 August 1837]
August 26. We were informed this morning that one of the black women expected to be delivered of a child today & as we feared she might kill the Infant Mrs W. & Mrs G. were watching her a few hundred yards from the House in the bush. We were the more afraid of her killing it since we suspected the Infant might prove to be half cast a circumstance lamentable & provoking as it is appears to be very common. Mrs G. spent greater part of the day in watching or attending to her and she was safely delivered of a healthy child which indeed appeared to us to be half cast. [Some time after we were glad to observe that the Infant was not half-cast; it quite assumed the colour of the Blacks.]
A number of Natives returned this evening from their war expedition, also our Jemmy Buckley. Their entreaties for tobacco wore very pressing. They appear to care as much for it as for food. It is a pity we are obliged to indulge them in this luxurious habit it seems it cannot be avoided & proves an inducement for them to visit us.
[27 August 1837]
August 27. Preached from Hebr: XIII,14. Am afraid the Natives understood little or of it. I find it excessively difficult to
People in WellPro Directory: Threlkeld, Reverend L.E.
accommodate myself to their comprehension. They know enough English to express themselves as it regards their bodily wants and this appears to be all. The number of the Native children & adults at Church was 19. In the afternoon Mr Watson addressed a number at the Camp in their own language but being very poorly I could not accompany him.
[28 August 1837]
August 28. We distributed a considerable quantity of meat this morning among the Natives. Poor pitious creatures they seem to have no thought but that of eating. In taking a ride today with Mrs W & Mrs G we met two Natives in the bush who were digging for grubs at least a species of grubs, eagerly devouring them as they obtained them. The animal has a very curious kind of nest a little bag like a tube no doubt their own fabrication as substantial almost as leather very much the appearance of German tinder. The Natives cat these grubs raw but sometimes they roast them in hot ashes.
[29 August 1837]
August 29. We wanted to muster the cattle today but for want of men we could not get all of them up, we are afraid that a greater number are out in the bush as we have no stockmen. We have still many Natives about and often opportunities to converse with them. I have much to look about & to study the state and manners of the Natives. I have hitherto been chiefly an observer & feel not yet settled and feel not much inclined to study nor can I find time for it. So many new objects engage my attention.
[30 August 1837]
August 30. Mrs Watson being very poorly and Mr W. obliged to attend to her I attended a little to the Stores & distributed a quantity of meat among the Black females but did not quite satisfy them though I thought I gave them very large portions. Mr W & myself also conversed a little about the Aboriginal language as we do whenever time admits. In the evening Mrs G. was very poorly in consequence of overexertion.
[31 August 1837]
August 31. We were gratified this morning by the Native women about 8 in number displaying much readiness to learn the Alphabet. One of them who had made an attempt formerly knew still several letters though she has been in the bush for twelve months. I took a ride today with one of the Natives to fetch some cattle in.
[1 September 1837]
September 1st. Glanced a little over Mr Watson's Conjugations of the Aboriginal language. In visiting at the Native camp this evening, I was sorry I could do little or nothing, but distribute some tobacco.
[2 September 1837]
Sept: 2 Began to compose a sermon, but Mrs G. being taken ill I was prevented from finishing it. It is a hard case we have no servant on account of which Mrs G. often is obliged to exert herself more than is good for her. Besides my time is frequently spent in trifling jobs of a domestic nature and attending to my good wife when poorly. At present we still have our meals with Mr W's and consequently are released from a portion of domestic labour, how we shall do, when we have our own housekeeping, I don't know.
[3 September 1837]
Sept: 3. Preached again today as Mr W. will have me do it. I was obliged to take an old sermon, a thing which I do not like. My text was John II,3. Regeneration: I, Nature & design II, Necessity & importance, III, Means & agency employed in accomplishing it. We expected a good number of Natives at Church as there are many at camp but we had none besides our own i.e. those who are almost continually at the Establishment & our Children. In the afternoon I accompanied Mr Watson to the camp when he addressed an assembly composed of 8 women and two men in Wirruadurai as they call this dialect. I observed that they were mostly very attentive. After Mr Watson had finished they said that his language was good (correct) but still they could not understand all he said. Perhaps it was more the matter than the language that was not very intelligible to them.
In the evening we had 10 Native youths when I - (I usually officiate at Family Prayers) addressed them together with several white men as well as I could from the Gospel of the Day (15 S.a. Trinity) Matt. VI,24 and was followed by Mr W. with an address in their own tongue. I have to relate another distressing case of Nancy; she has again committed theft having taken a quantity of wheat out of the kitchen. The Girl appears to be an entire slave to that sin. In the afternoon I catechised the Children and when I had done I told this very Girl who did answer so well, "You know a good deal indeed but I wish you would also practise it." In the warning I gave her more particularly to this sin to which she is so prone. She knows more of religious truths than any of the Children, but conducts herself worse than the rest. We think it right to punish her well this time.
[4 September 1837]
Sept: 4. We, Mr W. Mrs G. & myself, took aside into some neighbouring mountains looking at the same time after the sheep & some cattle when I enjoyed the reviving & verdant condition of nature very much, spring having fully set in. As the grasses & herbs differ much from those I have seen in Europe the scenery was particularly interesting to me. When we returned home we met a number of black women who had been collecting a quality of roots and were just roasting & eating them. Curiosity tempted me to taste them and I found them by no means disagreeable; when roasted they resemble the taste of the chestnut, as it appeared to me, more than any thing else.
[5 September 1837]
Sept: 5. Mrs G. has been severely seized last night with toothache & headache & continues very poorly still.
[7 September 1837]
Sept: 7. In our intercourse with the Blacks nothing of importance has happened for the last few days. Though we have still a number about, I am some times grieved to observe that we can not pay that attention to them we could wish, as there are many other engagements. I have not sufficient acquaintanc
yet in the work to he useful with the English language. I perceive not much can be done and I am afraid I shall not speedingly as I could wish attain it, there being so many other things to attend to. As it regards Mr Watson his time is so much taken up with secular engagements that I am only surprised he can attend so much to that spiritual interest of the Mission as he does.
I am grieved to record that Nancy whom we had punished with solitary confinement for these few days feels as little sorrow for what has past as to add another crime to the former. She was confined in a little passage between the general parlour & our room from which I went early in the morning into the former. Being in a hurry, I did not shut the door well. She then discerned a key laying at the table in the Parlour which opened the door to a little store in the passage. This key she managed to get unnoticed by anybody till after an hour's time she was called for her breakfast & dropp'd it. We had some difficulty to make her confess for she would make us believe it was in the door. Mr W. then began to give her a good flogging when she made a most lamentable cry for my interference and endeavoured to resist Mr W. I indeed thought it my duty to interfere, however not for, but against her holding her fast at the same time speaking kindly and feelingly to her, "Your conduct is too bad, I said, that we can bear it no longer" or asked "Have not Mr & Mrs W been very kind to you? (Humanely speaking, it was through their care that her life was spared). "Yes they have" she replied. But see how ungrateful you have proved!" "Yes, I know" adding promises of better conduct. The Girl is so hardened & bent on wickedness that no thing but a thorough change of mind will produce better behaviour. Oh! that the time might soon come when not only she but many others of these wretched heathens will experience the heartchanging influence of the Divine Spirit! Mrs G. is still poorly mostly confined to her bed.
[8 September 1837]
Sept: 8. It was almost the first time this week that I was able to go to the Native camp as the attention Mrs G. required took up most of my time; Today she is getting better.
[9 September 1837]
Septbr. 9. I felt rather poorly today & had some difficulty to compose a sermon. Mrs G. thank God is much better. We had a heavy thunderstorm accompanied with much hail. The ground was covered with it, it caused a little destruction in the fields
[10 September 1837]
Septbr 10. Preached from Matt:XI, 28-30  when I started I, The character & condition of the persons addressed II, The enjoyments Christ promises to bestow III The obligations to which we are subject, in Christs service. Took again as usual the whole of the English Service. Mr W. had Service previously in Wireadurai with a number of Native women. Their habits prove some inconvenience to us as they will hardly allow both sexes to come to Church together. During day time the men avoid as much as possible the society of women. Sad what they call the young men at a certain age are strictly prohibited to come near a female, a law which originally may have been well intended & dictated by a sense of modesty, of its good effect at the present time with this degraded Generation & even of a strict adhesion to it when unseen we are very doubtful, though it must be allowed that the men are not quite so vile as the females who become wives or prostitutes at so early an age.
One of our Girls called Jane appeared this evening to be very much animated or agitated by some religious impressions. When the rest of the Children were gone to bed she continued sitting up. When observed & asked what was the matter she replied that she was distressed about her soul, her sin, & her wicked heart. She seemed to be much distressed indeed & fretting. We all Mr & Mrs W. Mrs G & myself went to see her & talked to her; to our questions she made very few replies only appeared to be extremely low spirited & would not retire. We then knelt down with her & I engaged in prayer (She understands English tolerably well.) We directed her at the same time to pray herself pointing out to her that it did not require many words even a sincere desire & heartfelt sign sent up to Jesus would be accepted as a prayer. She is the poor Girl who has a half cast child having lived with a wicked European for a considerable time though very young. What a pleasure & matter of gratitude and encouragement it would prove to the missionaries if at least one of the poor Aborigines should be truly converted may easily be imagined. May it please the Lord to hasten the period when we shall see a display of his sovereign mercy & heartchanging power.
[11 September 1837]
Septbr 11. The Girl appears to be a little more comforted still she speaks of some heaviness on her mind.
[12 September 1837]
Septbr 12. Most of the Natives that have encamped near us left to day. They made rather a longer stay than usual & in a considerable number. I wished we could have been of some service to them. though I do not mean to excuse myself from neglect I cannot help to declare, we are too much embarrassed by the secular concerns of the Mission. Notwithstanding I must allow that the Natives when here almost daily when accessible. I may say daily of religion. I trust not all will be lost on them. Even when wandering about in the bush religious truths appear sometimes to engage their thoughts. We have heard of instances of Natives saying their prayers when in the bush.
[13 September 1837]
Septbr 13. I am told Mrs Watson this morning that "the heavy load" which was on her heart" was taken away" and seemed to intimate some change having taken place within her. We would gladly believed it had we sufficient evidences; though looking to God's peace we hope for the best
[14 September 1837]
Sept. 14 Yesterday & today we had much said, there lightening & hailstones accompanied by high & cold winds. Accompanied Mr W. to the camp. This evening when we had prayers with the few Natives that remain only 8 in number. We had also a few besides those whom we call our own at Family Prayers. I saw today that the Natives know a little better to shelter themselves from the rain than I have hitherto observed, merely by a few pieces of bark.
[16 September 1837]
Septbr 16. We had a Committee meeting today when we resolved about several petitions to send to the [?] Committee as it regards the interests of the [?]. We also decided upon sending a carrier to Sydney for my goods as we have been waiting for them so long in vain & do not even hear whether they are on the road. To be without them all this time has put us to very great inconveniences and Mr Watson's too. Mrs G. more especially felt very uncomfortable through it in conjunction with other privations & inconveniences.
Septbr 17 Preached today from Phil:II, 12-13.  Work out your own salvations [?] . For it is God that worked "hearts?" which passage I observed comprises a Christian paradox: the path that all depends on God, on his operations; he must work his will & performance, as if we could, or were to, do nothing; and yet we are eagerly exhorted to diligence & activity, as if our salvation depended on our own efforts. Before the grace of God operates upon our hearts, we, being spiritually dead, are not able to do anything towards our salvation; but when [?]ing grace manifests itself within us, it is of great importance, how we apply it, what diligence we use. When God works, work yourself also. This mighty power, exercised in our behalf, is not intended to make us idle, but rather is to prove a stimulus for our exertions. Was rather distressed after Church being neither satisfied with my delivery nor with the sermon itself. for more of the holy , for more fervency in prayers, & perseverance in [?] with God! In the afternoon and evening I went repeatedly to the Native camp, at present quite close to us, to see after one of the Black women, Sally by name, who is dangerously ill, hardly expected to live over the night. It is a melancholy sight, to see these poor creatures dying apparently without God, without hope, ignorant of the Saviour of Sinners; as we are afraid is the case with this poor woman, though we would fain hope for the best as she has had at least, some opportunity of hearing the Gospel. I was glad to observe she has behaving very attentively & kindly to her during her sufferings much more so than I expected.
[18 September 1837]
Septbr 18. The poor woman died last night & was buried early this morning. I was too late to see the whole of the ceremony, or rather the nonceremonial performance of the burial which took place a short distance from the Camp where she was carried on shoulders. The grave was very short scarcely four feet long, they lay their dead in a sitting or bent position, nor has it depth enough. This is however up by a heap of earth raised to a considerable height. They first covered her over with some branches then with pieces of wood & stone after which the earth was put on. When they bury men they commonly mark some trees near the place but this honour is denied to the women. They changed their place for encampment
removing to some distance as they are afraid to “sit down” where a person has died they have much fear of death. - The husband besmeared his face with white pipe clay as a sign of mourning.
[20 September 1837]
Sept. 20. Was a little engaged in some work in the Garden.
[22 September 1837]
Sept. 22. I have nothing of any interest to relate in my journal at the present. There are very few Natives about and our occasional visits to those few, afford little worth communicating; there is so much sameness in the daily occurrences. Studied a little of the Native language with regard to which I must confess I could do very little as yet.
[23 September 1837]
Septbr 23. It always gives me pleasure to see Natives making their appearance or reappearance, especially when they consider this place their home. Thus one woman with a boy came to day and another boy of her’s who lives here called out “My mother is come home!” Was very late again with my sermon always some thing or other preventing.
[24 September 1837]
Septbr 24. Preached from Matt: XXV,13  (or rather the whole of the Parable of the ten Virgins) and as I thought with some enlargement of mind but with bodily weakness and pains. My sitting up so late last night caused some headaches. I was very poorly in the afternoon. To our regret we were informed to day that the Military attachment were to leave suddenly without others, supplying the place nor was any reason assigned for acting thus.
At evening Prayers where I expounded the Gospel for the day - (18 S. a. Triny) I was happy to have quite a congregation before me both of White & Black.
[25 September 1837]
Septbr 25. Mrs G. performed an operation to day which amused & surprised me, she was cutting the hair of one of our Black youths a very robust & tall fellow called George. I was surprised that Mrs G. had inclination & ability for it for it was a very nasty job; the Blacks exhale commonly a smell which is almost intolerable when you come near them. Besides the young man had just been greasing his hair with fish-fat as they frequently do. The poor fellow was quite proud of having his hair cut by Mrs G. thanked her very much and would say, it was done “Capital”. In the evening we were highly amused by this very young man and another Jemmy who had been fishing & were very lucky. In less than an hour they caught from 15 to 18 fishes all from
about 3 to 6 pounds weight, one they caught which we estimated to weigh nearly twenty. They were very liberal with them both to us & the Natives. When they observed our surprise & delight they were highly gratified and laughed all the time.
Now at last we were happy to hear from Bathurst that some of our things have arrived there.
[26 September 1837]
Septbr 26. Rose very early this morning to do some work in the Garden. In the evening accompanied Mr W. to the Camp where he had prayers with the Natives in Wirradurai when several of them appeared to be very attentive.
[27 September 1837]
Septbr 27. We troubled ourselves much to day by considering & consulting respecting the unexpected order to have the Infantry withdrawn from here. As it is at variance with the promise of the Government circumstances which in the first instance made the protection desirable are still the same and since we have had no reason assigned whatever why the Military were to be withdrawn we deem it our duty to send a petition to the Government through the medium of the Con. Committee. Should we not succeed it will at least be a satisfaction to our minds to have done our duty. And we are then directed not to look to & lean on the arm of man for protection & prosperity but to the Almighty alone who amidst a “Crooked & perverse generation” & in spite of all opposition & obstacles will not only keep us safe but also bless us, yes we trust ultimately, bless us in our labours to him, then will also the glory & merit of the work wholly be ascribed. However much therefore we may wish to have the Military continued if the Lord orders otherwise we shall not feel discouraged.
[28 September 1837]
Sept 28. Mrs G. gave this morning a reading lesson to some of the Black youths on the Establishment, Jemmy George & Harry who have taken a fancy to learn reading. When they had done reading or rather spelling they desired Mrs G. to teach them to sing also. She being not able for that task sent them to me I was in the Garden.
They came to me in great haste anxious to be included in singing. I at once ceased from work & gladly, embraced the opportunity; for when they are in the humor to be taught we must avail ourselves of it without delay. Having sheltered ourselves from the heat of the sun under a tree I began with singing to them the gamut hoping to give them a little idea of the elements of music. I tried both by numbers (as frequently done in Germany) & by la la &c; the latter appeared to answer better. My pupils were quite delighted with the exercise especially when I was striking the hands to it for they are fond of something noisy & lively. I concluded with that beautiful Missionary Hymn “From all that dwell below the skies”, which was not altogether strange to them. When singing was over they once more accosted Mrs G. to teach them to read when she devoted another hour to the task thankfully availing herself of their good humor which we are afraid will not be of long duration. - I had some headache to day in consequence of sitting up too late last night.
[29 September 1837]
Sept 29. We had hardly done breakfast when Mrs G’s. pupils made their appearance desirous to read. When reading was over I gave my singing lesson, in the same way as yesterday. They appeared to get a better idea of it. The dirty fellows - it must be remembered that they were quite naked - had rubed [sic] themselves all over with oil which they frequently do when the heat is great. It increased their unpleasant smell very much & Mrs G. could hardly bear it but observed “I must not mind if I can do the poor men any good.”
[30 September 1837]
Septbr 30. We had our Pupils again today. I willingly submitted to be interrupted in preparation for the evening Sabbath day.
[1 October 1837]
October 1st. Took the Parable of the Mustard seed (Mark. 4) for the subject of my discourse showing I, The weak & small beginnings of God’s kingdom II, Its gradual increase III, Its vast extension & then unity it affords. Service was well attended to day both by White & Black. May the Lord’s blessing crown our efforts!
[2 October 1837]
Octbr 2. My chief employment to day consisted in copying a number of sections from Mr Watson’s Collection of the Native language.
[3 October 1837]
Oct 3. We began to muster, brand, &c the Cattle to day, a task which has been delayed for some time, for want of sufficient hands on the Establishment, and on account of other pressing work.
[4 October 1837]
Octbr 4. Cattle mustering continued. In the afternoon I accompanied one of our men on horseback to fetch in some cattle when the Horse threw me but, thank God! I was not hurt. I don’t know! I don’t know! what to say to such employments for a missionary! And yet for the present we can not help it, if we mind at all the secular interests of the Mission. I trust better arrrangments [sic] will soon be made.
[6 October 1837]
Octbr 6. Our engagement about the Cattle ceased only today and after all, our labour appeared to be almost in ruin, many of the Cattle having broken out of the Paddocks so that we are not able to make out the exact number so much we can see that a good many must be in the bush. All for want of a person properly attending to them.
This evening at last we received some of our goods.
[7 October 1837]
Octbr 7. Apprehensive as we were that some of our things might be taken since some boxes were broken open we are thankful to see them as far as we have examined pretty correct. When in the Garden this evening I almost trod upon a snake, thank God for his protecting care.
[8 October 1837]
Sunday the 8th.
Felt very poorly when in the Pulpit so that I could hardly get through my sermon, the subject of which was Peter’s Denial from Luke XXII. We had almost a dozen Natives at Church I always feel sorry I cannot preach intelligibly enough for them.
[9 October 1837]
Spent part of the day in unpacking & arranging our things and part in gardening.
Together with our goods also a bale of blankets arrived from Government for distribution among the Blacks. They grew quite impatient that we would not distribute them immediately after their arrival, and our droll Fred used quite insolent language this evening adding “The Governor has not sent the Blankets for you they are belonging to the Blacks.” We distributed a few of them.
[10 October 1837]
On the 10th Mr W. & myself went early in the morning to the Sheepstation for the sake of mustering each the Sheep. Was agreeably surprised this evening to observe several Natives at Prayers who had just before said they would not come.
[11 October 1837]
Octbr 11. Our Ladies were engaged to day in making a kind of frocks of the Blankets for the Native women to make them look a little more decent. They were much pleased with them as they were with every thing that is new & strange to them. Several fresh Natives arrived at the Camp.
[12 October 1837]
Oct: 12. In taking a ride this morning, (Mrs W. Mrs G. & myself) we met 4 Natives women who had been strolling about in the bush in search of food i.e. oppossums and other animals as for instance guanas a lizard species of considerable size, even snakes they will eat. Two of the women were strangers to me but Mrs W. knew them and pointed out to me the one as a very wicked character. We spoke to them for some time in a serious way receiving hardly any reply. I addressed more particularly the one adverted to reproving & warning her by pointing to God’s anger against wickedness & the punishment & misery her conduct will lead to, if she did not repent & believe in Jesus. She knows English pretty well (having had much, though sad, opportunity of requiring it) & appeared to understand at least the substance of what I was saying. She indeed blushed very much but endeavoured evidently to suppress her feelings a impression by laughing. In my reflection on the way home my heart was deeply moved at the wretched & awful condition of these poor Blacks particularly the females. Vile &
degraded as they are by themselves they are rendered still more so by being made the victims of the filthy lusts of abandoned Europeans and all this is done it appears with impunity. I poured out my soul in prayer for them that The Lord might mercifully interfere in their behalf and display among them his saving grace & power. - In the afternoon when several Native women were standing before my Study door waiting for a frock which Mrs G. was making for one of them I read some sentences to them Wirradurri when they amused themselves in correcting & teaching me. They were highly delighted when I showed them some engravings out of the “Saturday Magazine.”
[13 October 1837]
Octbr 13. It was this evening we heard that King William was no more and Princess Victoria proclaimed Queen. May the Almighty prosper her reign & render the same a blessing to the Nation more particularly as it regards the cause of religion & piety. 
We also were informed of Mr Langhorn’s proposed plan in reference to his decision to collect Native children from all parts of the Colony. We do not expect much from it, that is to say we doubt very much whether many Blacks will be prevailed upon to give their children especially when taken to a distance.
[14 October 1837]
Oct 14. We went yesterday & to day to the River to look after the sheepwashing in which our men are engaged at present. We saw 9 Native men making themselves useful at it to day; though it could by no means be left to them entirely. Our men experienced very much dissatisfaction not to have spirituous liquors or wine at such an occassion it being quite a general emotion. Short as we are of these luxuries (as such indeed we never have them) we continued to spare them a little of our own, to satisfy them at least in some measure.
The number of the Natives at the Camp is increasing at present, probably many have come in consequence of hearing of the arrival of blankets. All their desires seem to be directed only towards their bodily wants as yet but in supplying these we have at least few opportunities to direct their attention also towards the wants of their immortal soul.
[15 October 1837]
Sunday the 15th Preached from 1 Pet: II, 9.10. A text, I am aware, not very applicable in its affirmative sense to our congregation consisting of heathens & professed Christians most of whom are no better than the former if not worse. We had a considerable number of Blacks at English Service though Mr W. had Service with them previously in their own language. I felt, I trust through the Lord’s assistance much animation whilst delivering
[16 October 1837]
Octbr 16. To day sheep shearing commenced, when I had to superintend it. We rejoiced to have a good number of Natives about and thus sufficient opportunity for Missionary efforts but they are a fickle unsteady race of beings; they are about to leave again. There is some rumour of war again among them; they are almost constantly pursued by the fear of war or existed to scheme the war themselves.
[17 October 1837]
Octbr 17. We had a nice shower of rain last night which induced me to go to the Garden only in the morning to transplant a little. When taking a ride to day Mrs G. & myself accompanied by a black Boy we were almost endangered by a black snake between 2 & 3 yards long & of considerable thickness. My Horse nearly trod on it. All the Natives want to go away to day even our youths Jemmy & George. Their desire for reading has subsided for some time. We expected to make them useful at sheep shearing but in vain.
[18 October 1837]
Octbr 18. I was again part of the day at the Woolshed and Mr Watson the other part. Such employments by which so much of our time is taken up rendered the information we received to day from the Revd. W. Cowper that a Farmer soon would arrive from England for this Mission the more pleasing to us.
[19 October 1837]
Octbr 19. Spent most of the day at the Woolshed as Mr W. could not well leave home Mrs W. being so very poorly.
[20 October 1837]
Octbr 20. Spent again part of the day at the Shearing. We were grieved & annoyed to day several of our Natives especially our two Youths Jemmy & George going to the bush. It is grievous that all the instructions they receive and the knowledge they possess have so little effect on their conduct; and it is annoying since they can make themselves very useful on the Establishment and their services are so much wanted at the present that you never can calculate on their assistance. They at once & not infrequently when their is the most work take a fancy to go to the bush and you cannot dissuade them. Some times they are induced & almost impelled to go. We suppose this to be partly the case at the present occasion as they go out on an errand where they like to have a large number. The fact is their desires for work* have subsided and now they want to engage into some other folly viz to make a young man, a grand business & ceremony with them. When a youth has arrived at the age of about 13 or 14. In what the ceremony consists we do not exactly know as it is rather a secret with them. When they have arrived at the place appointed for the business the boy is introduced into a company, as a stranger among coming from a great distance & one of the elderly men it should seem who has beforehand absented himself from the sect makes his appearance in disguise pretending to be some extraordinary being: He makes inquiries about the youth and having approved of his being promoted to the stage of a young man the laws to which he has henceforth to submit are made known to him. He is to abstain from certain kinds of food, he is bound to engage in war, but the principal law is that he is to avoid entirely the society of females he is always to keep at a considerable distance from them; this may originate in a sense of modesty but whether it now has the desired effect or whether it is strictly attended to when unseen is doubtful. The young man has to submit to these and other laws for several years till the men pronounce him a man & permit him to marry. In most parts of the Colony the youths have one of the first teeth pulled out when made young men; this is not the case with the Wellington tribe.
[21 October 1837]
Octbr 21st After having tired myself with some domestic work I began to prepare a sermon, succeeding rather slowly & finishing late at night.
[22 October 1837]
Oct. 22 Preached from Exodus XL 34 to 38. I can not recollect having seen so small a number of Natives at Church as to day. In the afternoon, however, several women came from the Camp who received some instruction & a short address from Mr Watson. We had a nice congregation of Europeans at Evening Prayers.
[24 October 1837]
Octbr 24. Mr Watson & myself went to the Sheepstation to day to have the Sheep branded. In observing the wickedness of our men, I was much struck with the thought that they must prove a good obstacle in our way, and yet, it appears, it is difficult to get better ones in the Colony. If we could but obtain a few pious servants! It is undeniably a most desirable thing, I had almost said, it is a matter of necessity.
[25 October 1837]
We spent another day, at least the greater part of it, at the Sheepstation.
[26 October 1837]
Octbr 26. Was very early in the Garden, as we had some rain last night, endeavouring to plant a few things; but as the rain is getting so scarce I have not much hope of succeeding.
There are very few Natives about. Nothing happened worth relating.
[28 October 1837]
Octbr 28. After I had begun my sermon this afternoon, we were agreeably surprised at the arrival of the rest of our goods; the want of which we have felt so very much, as both ourselves & Mr Watson were put to great inconvenience by the delay.
We received also some very kind letters, among the rest I had one from Dear Mr Blumhardt, the Principal of the Basel Institution. Old as it was (it was intended to reach me before I left London) it still proved a refreshment to my soul and called to my mind many pleasing recollections.
[29 October 1837]
Octbr 29. I had a very small congregation to day, both of White and Black. Preached from John. XIV, 1, an old sermon, as I was prevented from finishing the one I began yesterday. In the afternoon I catechised the Children, but had much difficulty to get answers from them, as they naturally are so very backward, to open their minds freely, I was perfectly sure that they could answer several of the questions they did not answer. It may have been partly owing to my self, as I have difficulty to accommodate myself to their abilities in English.
[30 October 1837]
Octbr 30. Was all the day engaged in unpacking one box each; force myself very much through it, as we have no body to give assistance. A Native Boy, Paddy Possum, as they call him made his appearance after a long absence, for about 2 years. He was staying here & learnt a little to read for some time; now he intends again to stay.
[31 October 1837]
Octbr 31. Still engaged in unpacking. Though some of our
things were spoiled, on the whole we received them as safe & sound as may be expected, considering the long distance they have come, both by water & land, & the length of time they have been packed up i.e. more than a twelve month. To our disappointment several thing which were mentioned in the Society’s List of supplies, especially of earthenware & ironmongery. which we consequently could not procure ourselves, have never been packed up.
[1 November 1837]
November 1st. Mr W. & myself were again part of the day engaged in the Stockyard branding cattle. There is always some engagement or other of this, or, a domestic nature, besides the constant necessity to look after the men, that I can find no time for studying not even for the Native language, not to speak of general studies.
[2 November 1837]
Novbr 2 Mrs G. very poorly to day, & has repeatedly felt so for some time partly owing to the circumstance that she has to tire herself frequently with work, to which she was not accustomed and overexert herself, as she no body to assist her. The apparent assistance, now & then rendered by some of the Black Girls, frequently only increases the troubles of our Ladies. On the whole, however, I have reason to be thankful with regard to my dear Wife, as she feels wonderfully supported, and enabled to submit to what she would have thought impossibilities.
[4 November 1837]
Novbr 4. Jemmy & George came back to day from the bush; they felt rather ashamed of themselves, or, afraid of some reproof, as they avoided to be seen by us. My time was occupied with my regular Saturday’s work, preparing a sermon.
[5 November 1837]
Nov. 5. Delivered my sermon, from Isaiah LV, 1, to a middling congregation; A few more Blacks attended than last Sunday. But our two Runaways, Jemmy, & George, would not make their appearance. In the evening, however, I saw Jemmy & talked a little to him. He is very poorly, having caught a severe cold in the bush. Mrs G. made him a little gruel. Every time he comes back from the bush he is unwell, being no more accustomed, like many others, to the irregular manner of living in the bush; and yet the poor Fellow will take no warning.
[6 November 1837]
Novbr 6 Was engaged part of the day in superintending & assisting pulling down our kitchen as it was in a very bad condition and made a new one requisite. -Had some conversation with Jemmy, but could not elicit many answers. Having shown to him the folly & shame of wandering about in the bush like a wild man, I asked him whether he did at all care for his soul, when in the bush? He candidly confessed, “No!” Whether he ever did pray this time in the bush? “No,” was his reply. (He has that good quality to speak truths thus making an exception from most of his countrymen.) When he returned from the bush previously, to this, & was asked whether he ever did pray?
he replied, “Sometimes, when I was by myself.” I now endeavoured to make him sensible, how wrong it was of him who knew so much better, to behave like wild Natives. He admitted it was wrong and would also declare, when further questioned, that he felt sorry for it. When I told him “I fear you do not” he could still say “yes”. How far this is the case, the Lord only, knows. It is indeed very discouraging, that even those of whom we entertain most hope, give so little, if any evidence, of a change of conduct, nor manifest a true desire for something better.
[7 November 1837]
Novbr 7. Mr W. took a journey into the bush to day, to pursue his missionary efforts among the wandering tribes of the poor Natives. May the Lord’s blessing attend him and make him a blessing to these poor heathens! - I prevailed, at last, on Jemmy to do a little work. It always lasts for a few days, after his return, till he is settled again.
[8 November 1837]
Novbr 8. Went early in the morning into the Children’s Hut, to have Morning Prayers with them, an office which Mr W. generally performs. I went through part of the Church Service with them, and was glad to hear them respond so well. When catechising them from part of St. John.C.X (the good Shepherd) I received some good answers. Went to the Native Camp between 10 & 11 A.M. when I found the heat very oppressive. For want of knowing the Native Language and on account of their little knowledge of good English I could not do much. What they know of English is chiefly the language of wickedness. Besides it requires more time to understand their pronunciation (with af ew exceptions) of the English. Looked also after our wheat field with regard to which we had fears, in consequence of the long continued dry weather which has proved injurious in several places in the neighbourhood. I was thankful to find our crop in good condition.
[9 November 1837]
Nov 9. Had a little conversation with Jemmy, chiefly reproving him for not attending Family Prayers, and going to Camp every night. It is very distressing of late, that we can scarcely get any Native to come to Prayers nor prevail on them for work, except now & then some trifle. The heat which has for some time been very great is the principal cause for both neglects or at least an excuse. They will be by the waterside, & have on that account their Camps close to the river, about a mile off our House. If we lived close to the water, and had there a large piece of ground fenced in we should do better in many respects, we could have them more under our eyes, exercise greater influence on them, guard them better against the destructive influence and abuse of wicked Europeans. We also could prevail on them to keep themselves a little more cleanly for their smell, especially in summer is almost insufferable. We cannot afford water here, at the Mission House, to keep the Children as
clean as desirable; though much of our men’s time must be taken up in fetching water. Another advantage probably would be, that we might succeed near the water with a garden. In our present garden every thing is dried up, all our labour was in vain. We have for several weeks been without any vegetable whatever and we are likely to be so for months. It is a hard thing for me, I must confess, to eat day after day my meat without any kind of vegetable, or any substitute. Nor do I think it at all a good thing, to give our Children day after day nothing but animal food for their dinner. The subject that we should be near the water has enjoyed our attention very much of late. My time was mostly taken up to day by attending to the Store & looking after the men.
[10 November 1837]
Novbr 10. Spent several hours in superintending & assisting the men, whilst they were loading the Mission’s wool for Sydney. How closely you must watch every thing, & look after every man, is well known by those who know anything of the Colony. With regard to the Natives it is not much us at least, they require whatever they do superintendence. To let our men direct them, can never do them much good. Whilst we, by attending to these things, are often forced to neglect our principal duty, we must at the same time owe that secular concerns are not always attended to as we would wish; however much time we might devote to them.
[11 November 1837]
Novbr 11. Most of our Natives at the Camp complain of sufferings in the throat. I ascribe it to their irregular practises during the present heat, drinking all day long water & jumping into the river, whenever oppressed with heat. Several came up to whom Mrs W. gave some medicine & fixed flannels around their neck, whilst I proceeded to the Camp attending, in a similar way; a poor woman who was unable to come up. The poor things look very piteous, & helpless, when ill. As I went in the middle of the day, I felt the heat very much and was not very well in the afternoon. The thermometer stands about 90 degrees in Mr W’s. Study.
[12 November 1837]
Nov:12. It was the first time to day, during my residence here, I preached extempore, from 1 Cor. 1, 30 & 31, as I did not think the sermon I intended to preach suitable, when looking over my congregation which was extremely small: besides our Children scarcely any Blacks were present, and not half a dozen Europeans with the exception of our men. We had not yet brought our Blacks youths into order. In the afternoon I catechised the Children, under the Verandah, from the Chapter from which my text was taken, but had some trouble to make them attentive. We were rejoiced in the evening late, to see Mr W. safe back from his excursion into the bush & bringing a boy of about 8 years to be added to our little School.
[14 November 1837]
Novbr 14. Our kitchen being not yet finished, since we have only one man to spare for the work, who, only rarely, is assisted by a Black boy; I cannot spend much of my time in looking after & occasionally lending a helping hand.
[15 November 1837]
Nov. 15. Our Jemmy is brought, again, a little in order. Mrs G. prevailed on him to read to her to day & I gave him with some others a singing lesson.
[16 November 1837]
Nov: 16. We had several of the Natives at Prayers this evening. After Prayers we had a long conversation with Fred, who would make us believe that his heart was good. He knows a good deal; will, for instance, repeat the greater part of the Church Prayers; he occasionally leads the rest, when saying prayers, either in English Wirradurai. A short time since he engaged in prayer with some of the Blacks in the hut by themselves, & said a prayer of his own composing. He will seldom take his meals without asking a blessing; this he will sometimes do at the different Stations he visits before wicked Europeans is put them to shame. He will tell us, sometimes, of Europeans whether they are good men, or no. This chief criterion is, whether they pray. But, with all this, his heart appears never to be touched or moved, so that the whole seems so rather like the religion of a formalist. Still the Lord alone knows the intentions of the heart. The poor Fellow I am sorry to add will occasionally mock at religion, and betrays sometimes a good deal of duplicity. If you displease him he will use very insolent & abusive language. As for work he is worth more than any of the Natives.
I was really thankful & rejoiced that we were so agreeably refreshed with much rain to day, for which we had been so anxiously waiting and availed myself of it by gardening a little.
[17 November 1837]
Nov: 17. The rain still continues to pour down, and it is getting quite cold, so that the temperature reminds one of an English November. After the great heat we feel it the more. The thermometer had been as low as 60 during those days. Another circumstance proved very uncomfortable to day: in almost every room of the House, water comes down, as the building is in a very dilapidated state. At the same time it is far too small for two families; I am quite at a loss where to put our boxes & things, so as to be able to move about; and have to spend ever so much time in arranging; not to speak of another inconvenience arising from it, that is I cannot avoid, whatever forethought I may take, as every thing must be packed up, & box put upon box, often much to waste my time in seeking for things that are wanted. - Our kitchens are almost inaccessible to day, both Mr Watson’s & our’s are full of water, & Mrs W. was obliged to cook our meals in her bedroom but I must not call it bedroom only, it is sitting room too.
[18 November 1837]
Novbr 18. Spent another day in domestic arrangements etc. My spirits are sometimes quite depressed, that I am obliged to spend most of my time, like a domestic servant, or, a labouring man, and not like a missionary. In fact I can sometimes find no time to prepare my sermon for Sunday. Mrs G. was much engaged this week in sewing for the Natives even to the neglect of her own work.
[19 November 1837]
Nov. 19 Preached from Phil: IV, 4  and was glad to see a considerable number of Natives present; I counted 23 including our Children. Their attendance at English Service pleased me the more, since they have previously Service in their own language. We had scarcely any Europeans at Church. I must frankly say, our European neighbours appear, with hardly any exceptions, more ungodly, if possible, than these Black heathens. We must conclude so, at least, when we judge from their indifference to the means of grace. How baneful their influence must be on the Blacks, may easily be guessed.
[20 November 1837]
Nov: 20. Did some whitewashing and such like things to day.
[21 November 1837]
Nov: 21. Mrs G. gave Jemmy & Paddy a reading lesson to day and I followed with a short singing exercise. I also prevailed on them to tell me a number of words & phrases of their language. It is a difficult thing to make them stay a quarter of an hour for that purpose; nor have they much ability to teach us their language - I have repeatedly suffered a little in my eyes, and now it is again coming on. It is not an infrequent thing with new comers in this Colony.
[22 November 1837]
Nov: 22. Very few Blacks about to day: they are collecting somewhere in the neighbourhood for war, the fear of which almost constantly pursues them. A neighbouring tribe of whose number the Wellington tribe have killed one, a considerable time ago, have intended, for some time, to avenge themselves.
[23 November 1837]
Nov: 23. To day at last I was able to put part of my books on shelves; hitherto I was obliged to keep them in boxes which greatly inconvenienced me. This evening a number of our Native tribe made their reappearance, all prepared for war, and encamped close to the Mission House, whilst two of our youths went on horseback to look out the Enemies. We felt a little uneasy, should those Blacks make their appearance for war, as we apprehend they might take our Native Girls by force, and now we have no Military to protect us. Late in the night, however the two youths returned, & from their inquiries it appears
that their enemies are not near, or even preparing. It is not infrequent that Europeans take delight in frightening them with false accounts, this appears to be the case in the present instance. - We endeavoured to improve the opportunity presented by their constant apprehension of war, to make them reflect on the serious nature of dying.
[24 November 1837]
Nov: 24. A goodly number of Native at the Camp when we visited them.
[25 November 1837]
Nov. 25. The heat is excessive to day, so that I find it very difficult to study my sermon for tomorrow.
[26 November 1837]
Nov: 26. The object of my sermon was “Christ crucified” from 1 Cor: II, 2. Whether my Blacks hearers understood much, I doubt. Still it always gives me pleasure, to see a number of them at Church: they may at least get some notion & impression of sacred & divine ordinances. We counted 31 of them. Their attendance at the English Service pleased me the more as they had Service previously by Mr W. in their own language, where I observed some of them very attentive & even in my own Service several appeared to pay all possible attention. After Service I administered the ordinance of baptism to an Infant of European parents when all the Natives stayed & were pleased with the sight which was to many of them quite new & strange. Oh that we might now be permitted to incorporate some of them into the Church by this divine ordinance! I expressed this wish & prayer of mine to several of them, I told especially Jemmy how much we wished we could baptise him & see him become a good man, a Christian; then he might go into the bush & preach to his country men. In answer to which he exclaimed “That right! that right!” thus at least acknowledging that he must allow it would be a good thing. Whether he feels any desire for it I don’t know. Fred who was hearing all I said to Jemmy called out, “I do not believe”! “Yes, I believe some things. I dare say I shall believe bye & bye.”
The heat was almost insupportable to day, 100 degrees in Mr W’s. Study and 106 degrees in the shade outside.
[27 November 1837]
Nov: 27. The Father of the Child I baptised yesterday having been taken dangerously ill sent for one of us when I proceeded to see him but was obliged to go on foot great as the heat was since we through the neglectfulness of a Black boy could not get up a horse. It was four miles walk just at noon so that I felt it very oppressive but without any bad consequences
The poor man had been anxiously waiting for a minister & was rejoiced to hear of my arrival. He had been insensible all the morning and became happily quite sensible whilst I was there so that I could read & talk to him & engage in prayer for a considerable space of time. The sufferer is in a piteous state: (though I would fain hope for good) greatly distressed about his sins & almost despairing of his salvation. When I was about to leave him his insensibility returned. -After my return in the evening we began to reap a little wheat, five Natives assisting us.
[28 November 1837]
Nov: 28. To day Mr W. went to the see the sick Man & found him a little better. I had a long conversation with several Native women to whom I was reading in the same time a number of sentences collected from Mr Watson thus to ascertain the proper pronunciation. In the mean time I also got into some serious talk to them to which they usually had very little or nothing to reply. They do not like at all to hear of the devil (called Wandong in their language & considered to be the author of all evil) of hell & everlasting misery.
[29 November 1837]
Nov: 29. The little time I could spare from domestic engagements I devoted to the Native language.
[30 November 1837]
Nov: 30. Went to see the sick man in the neighbourhood and found him much worse almost without interruption insensible. I just could by watching a few sensible moments put a few questions. For instance I asked him “Can you pray at all?” “No Sir, cannot think of such a thing.” “Then you will see, said I how necessary it is to pray when we are in the enjoyment of health.” That is truth, Sir! he replied with much emphasis.
Most the Natives especially young men left to day, a circumstance which was the more grievous to us as harvest is just beginning. It is not an uncommon thing for them to go away just when there is most work for them. So Mr W. & myself shall be obliged to put our hands to the sickle in good earnest. We reaped a little again this evening.
[1 December 1837]
December 1st Mrs G. had her washing done to day & yesterday by two of our Native Girls was however obliged not only to superintend them closely but to put her hands to the task & so many things once again poorly as she is. She has made herself quite ill & I am fearful she will injure herself under present circumstances. I also was obliged to lend a helping hand, such as hanging the clothes out [?]. My time is frequently taken up with such things so that I scarcely ever am able to take a book in hand or even to pay the necessary attention for the study of the Native language. I see more & more the necessity of having a European servant. I can see what Mrs W. has done for herself by hard work & the anxiety connected with the Mission and are painfully aware what Mrs G. would do for herself. Though never accustomed to such work she now makes every possible effort but it will not do. We endeavour to domesticate our Native Girls but to depend on their services for the present is a vain comfort.
[2 December 1837]
Decbr 2. Repeated my visit to the Sick Man whom I found very little better than the last time; he continues to be for the most time insensible. But I could speak to him a little, & engage in prayer. I also read a Chapter & expounded it, intended, not such so much for the poor Sufferer, but rather for several European men that were present, who perhaps have not heard the Gospel for a long time.
[3 December 1837]
Dec: 3. It being Sacrament Sunday I preached from 1 Cor: XL,: 23-29. Our Party of Communicants was as small as it possibly could be; only Mr Watson & Mrs Gunther were the persons to whom I had to administer The Holy elements of bread & wine; Mrs Watson being suddenly taken ill in the night we were deprived of her attendance. I felt rather distressed that we should be, though surrounded by many Europeans, almost entirely excluded from Christian communion & have so little prospect of beholding soon the Table of our blessed Redeemer surrounded by a little congregation of Blacks. It is difficult to say whether our White or Black neighbours are most indifferent to religion. Very few Natives at Church.
[4 December 1837]
Dec: 4. Our harvest began to day in good earnest, the wheat being exactly very ripe. We had not much assistance from the Natives. Two of our Girls reaped well; some of the Children made an attempt, occasionally from two to four young men, or, boys could be prevailed upon; also three women back sometimes a fancy[?], only one of them did pretty well. As we have only two men on the Establishment & these were sometimes detained from reaping through other engagements, it may easily be supposed, that the Missionaries also had their share of labour. Had we taken chiefly the office of superintending, & teaching the Natives to handle the sickle, much of the wheat would have gone to ruin. I feel justified in declaring, that both Mr Watson & myself worked as hard as any labouring man would do during the whole week from the 4th to the 9th inclusive. Of course we could only work part of the day as the heat was very great, so that it became oppressive even between 6 & 7 in the morning. The thermometer was the whole week standing about 90 degrees & more. We were both so stiff & fatigued, that we some times could hardly move or hold the sickle both of us especially Mr W. being afflicted with rheumatism. Nor could we sufficiently rest ourselves in the night on account of the heat. We went in the morning commencing at the break of day & in the evening availed ourselves, some times, of the moon light. I was on Saturday evening (that was the only time I had to spare) hardly able to prepare a sermon. Gratitude to Almighty God for the good crop of wheat vouchsafed, and a regard to the temporal interests of the Mission made us indeed willing to submit to the task; but I must candidly confess, I thought it a hard thing to be obliged to do as we did, for want of men. Whether in the end it will tend to the real interests of the Mission if we are obliged to spend our strength & time in his way, is doubtful for us.
[10 December 1837]
Dec: 10. Preached from Acts X, 34. 35. When at the end of my sermon I addressed myself more particularly to the Blacks, Jemmy, one of the few that were present, uttered a heavy sigh, thus giving at least proof that he understood & felt something of what I was saying.
[11 December 1837]
Dec: 11th. We reaped last week, the principal part of our crop; the remainder which is much infested is not yet ripe. But there is besides a great deal; at least as to extent, of [?] wheat, almost all over the Paddock, too [?], almost, to be reaped & yet too valuable to let it perish. As we had nobody to assist, * of our children as the men were. Coming & shaking shears at the Natives, though in great number about to day, were otherwise engaged i.e. in preparations for [ILLEGIBLE] Mr W. & myself had to commence another week as we finished the last. From Monday to Thursday the 14th the time was chiefly spent [?] in the [?] wheat.
[12 December 1837]
On Tuesday the 12. The number of Natives that were about was very considerable; all their thoughts were absorbed in war & other follies. In the evening they celebrated their Native dance. Having observed this after our Evening Prayers, by hearing the great noise (they were about a mile off near the River) and by beholding their large fires commonly kept at this occasion Mr W. & myself proceeded to pay them a visit, though perhaps not very welcome for they were aware that we did not come like a number of Europeans whom we met there to amuse ourselves. I never saw or heard anything to equal such a wild & noisy scene. The dancing partly consisted of about 18 young men, all, as a matter of course, naked & painted; the arms boisterously extended; the whole performance very boisterous, still not without paying some regard to time. Our Jemmy, who like some others of our youths was among the number, behaved as wildly as any, howling & singing. In the front stood the elderly Native men as spectators; behind, a few yards distance, the women were sitting, acting as musicians. They sang with all their might, being led on by several men, who were at the same time beating time with some of their little war instruments. However, they did not wish us to be their spectators for a long time and consequently closed the scene soon after our arrival. The women left each for their respective camp, and the men sat down to commence their consultations about the war expected to take place the next day. We embraced the opportunity, to speak to them in a serious way. Mr Watson gave them an animated address in their language reproving them for their wicked, idle, war like habits, & vices, endeavouring to dissuade them from going to war and pointing out to them our great errand & God’s will towards them. Several replied, “It is truth! It is truth!” Many of them appeared to have very little courage for war; but they must yield to their ring leaders & being challenged, it would be considered a great shame, not, to meet the enemy. The lively & boisterous occurring scene, it seemed to us, was intended to inspire them with courage. The whole number of Natives at the camp may amount to about 80. The next morning early I took
a walk to the Camp with Mrs G; to see, & talk to, the wild warriors who were just engaged in a lively consultation, some of them knew how to give themselves quite an air of great speakers. They were mostly painted with white & yellow, & red. There were about 30 men fit for war. Soon after, the whole lot of Natives, both men & women left, except a few elderly persons, to proceed a few miles where they expected to meet the enemy.
[14 December 1837]
Dec: 14. Our warriors came back again to day & several of the opposition party with them. Their frequent cry of war, happily, seldom leads to a serious battle. Only a few individuals had a little fight this time, but were soon reconnected[?]. No injury was done, whatever. I endeavoured in the evening to get some of them to reap, as our last crop is partly ripe, but could not succeed, though several had promised.
[15 December 1837]
Dec: 15. Mr W. went to the Wheat field early this morning with the Children, whilst I have to attend a little to the stores etc at the same time endeavouring to get some of the Natives to reap. At last I prevailed on a number of them, as many as 11, mostly young men with whom I proceeded to the field. It was quite an enjoyment to me to see them so willing & all beginning in good earnest to reap and I was happy to show those who knew not, how to handle the sickle most of them knew a little of it. It was a curious sight most of them were naked; some had a shirt on, some a pair of trousers without shirt, or, a jacket without anything else. Some as may be expected managed to cut themselves; nor did they reap as nicely as we could have wished. Still, we cannot mind a little loss if we can only make them work.
[16 December 1837]
Dec: 16. Had conversations with several Natives; & prepared for Sunday. We could not continue reaping, as the wheat is not all ripe enough.
[17 December 1837]
Dec. 17. The text I preached from was Matth: IV, 17, and I was glad to learn afterwards, that some of the Natives understood something of my sermon. Besides our Children we had only 8 of them at the English Service, Mr W. having had previously a short Service in their own language. Am happy to say, that for those two Sundays the attendance of Europeans was a little more then usual.
[18 December 1837]
Dec: 18. We got again a few Natives to reap, and in the evening we were glad to observe that a number of them took a fancy to go by themselves to reap neither of us going with them.
[19 December 1837]
Dec: 19. This morning early about 10 Natives went again by themselves to the Wheat field, finishing all that was ripe. We certainly must repay their labours well: we can scarcely satisfy them, when they are at work. For instance, a sheep especially when you give it [to] them whole to divide themselves, as we did [?] will scarcely satisfy a [?]. But if work only contributed to
get them into better habits, & paves the way for our principal service among them, I think we ought to spare no means. And fear I must be allowed to make one observation, which forcibly struck me these days, & have often appeared* to us a matter, very considerable to be attended to. It is in short this; we ought to have some body to cook for the Natives etc a kind of eating house. That it is impossible for ourselves to attend to it, I need not say, and none of the Natives are fit for the charge. It is conscionable* in the first place because we might, if things, were done in a regular & proper way; & with the necessary superintendence, do with less than half the quantity of food now consumed by them. In the second place it would afford a nice opportunity, to wean them from their irregular, beastly & immoderate habits in eating, and, even of impressing on their mind the Source from which all things flow, in the third place we should be more able to do satisfaction to ourselves & to the Natives and we should have more hold on them with regard to work. I will explain myself: whenever we give our Natives meat, they will be sure to take it to the camp or even if they cook somewhere in our kitchen it will come to the same thing: Some idle fellows these who we do not feel justified to feed or another who for bad behaviour ought to be punished with receiving nothing will come & either by entreaties or by threatenings obtain part of the portion of those who have deserved it. Nay the poor fellow (who is deserving) loses some time the whole of his meat by these assailants and then comes to us for more or will be obliged to suffer hunger. In the last place I may add it would not take up near so much of our time to attend to their wants. At present you have ever so many times during the day to go into the store to give to each.
[20 December 1837]
Dec. 20. Yesterday as well as to day Mrs G. was very poorly so that I could scarcely leave her at all.
[21 December 1837]
Dec. 21: Thanks be to God Mrs G. is a little better. How happy to hear Jemmy making an effort in our kitchen to read, & when at a loss to proceed calling out for me to teach him. This is a rare occurrence. The evening being so very rainy we allowed several of the Natives to sleep in our kitchen.
[23 December 1837]
Dec: 23 We have at present, and had for some time, a considerable number of Natives about varying from 50 to 70, most of whom come daily up from the camp to the Mission House. Thus our time is pretty taken up in conversing with them about what concerns their everlasting salvation & attending to their bodily wants; of the latter kind alone they appear to have wants. It is on that account that we are scarcely give any interesting information about them & our endeavours. As they make hardly ever an inquiry about religion & seldom reply to our questions & admonitions; we cannot present our Committee with dialogues of any importance. [?] “See truth*!” they sometimes reply but little more.
(Dec 23 (continued)
Not withstanding we learn occasionally that they do not forget all they hear; but sometimes speak among themselves about what they have heard of religion, when, as may be expected, some express more, or, less, or, no belief, and others cold[?] ridicule. It just strikes me and a few days ago when Mr W. was charging several with unbelief, one, emphatically replied, “What! I not believe?’ “I believe long time.”
[24 December 1837]
Dec. 24. Previous to our English Service, Mr W. had a short service in Wirradurai with about a dozen of Native women. At our English Service there were, besides our Children, 21 Native men & boys present. I read prayers & Mr W. succeeded me by an address in Wirrradurai & an English sermon from Isaiah XI, 1. Later had a baptism of a Child of European parents.
[25 December 1837]
Dec: 25. We commemorated the Nativity of our Blessed Redeemer by Divine Worship as usual Mr W. read Prayers & I preached from the Fallen of the Angels, Luke II, 3. There were about a dozen Natives present. But there were two Services besides, one previously & one after our English Service the one for the women and the other for the men as they do not like to be together. The Young men, it will be known, are prohibited by law to come where females are. The whole numbers of Blacks that were at Church to day, some of them twice amounts to between 40 & 50 not including our Children whose number is 10 at present, by far a larger number, than ever attended during the time of my residence here. It being the commemoration of that adorable manifestation of God’s love it was particularly pleasing to me; and, I would fain have taken it for an indication of brighter* manifestations of His love & saving mercy among these poor, & wretched, heathens.
Mrs G. made a large plumb pudding for a number of boys &, youths, an enjoyment for which they had been anxiously looking. It proved indeed quite a feast to them. They sat themselves very orderly round our kitchen table, & one of them was asking ged* very nicely.
[26 December 1837]
Decbr 26. A great many Natives about the Establishment to day, crying out for tobaco [sic], meat, wheat ecet[?]. It would take us all the day, not to speak of the enormous expense it would amount to, to attend to all their wants. I prevailed on two youths to teach them a little reading.
[27 December 1837]
Dec: 27. We had a little more, though very inferior wheat to reap and prevailed upon 16 Natives, mostly young men, to put their hands to the sickle. Some of them did very well others soon complained of backache ecetra. It is a trying circumstance, when we get them to work, that we cannot get them in the morning early; they will not move from their camps, till the sun has been up for some hours, neither will they work at noon. They soon complain of heat.
[28 December 1837]
Dec. 28. Was rejoiced this morning when coming to the wheat field to see again about 14 Native men & boys reaping and
at the same time could number 19 women that were gleaning. Soon after, no less than 22 Black women, besieged the Mission House; more, than ever I saw up together. They sadly teased us for tobacco of which our provision is exhausted. In the evening several of our reapers were pressing upon us for blankets. The worst is, that they so frequently give them away to wicked Europeans, who perhaps give them no more in exchange, than a bit of tobacco or some other trifle & some times nothing.
[29 December 1837]
Dec. 29. Our Natives plagued us very much to day for tobacco & we have no more to give them. They are addicted, in the extreme, to the habit of smoking, and will go for miles to obtain a little piece. No white face will pass them, but will be assailed for “baky.” We are afraid many will leave, if we can not afford them some tobacco. I was delighted, when in the morning at six o’clock I went out of doors, to see a number of Natives reaping in the field, without one us being with them.
[30 December 1837]
Decb 30. This morning early before breakfast our Natives finished reaping. We were very much annoyed this evening about some of our Native youths, or, shall I say about Europeans? For the sake of decency, & in order to please, our Ladies made of late, not only gowns out of the Blankets for the Native women, but also cloaks for the men. They hitherto were quite delighted with them, & every man wanted such a cloak; now this evening we observed them undoing the work & turning their cloaks again into plain blankets, and, the reason they assign for so doing, is, that these were “Irish cloaks.” It is not unlikely that some of the wicked Europeans, surrounding us, have put this idea in their heads, perhaps to annoy us. It is curious, however, our Natives commonly attach some idea of inferiority to what is Irish & Ireland, as we have observed in other instances.
[31 December 1837]
December 31st. The last day of a year which formed a new era in my life, having entered on my Missionary work among the heathen. I have indeed to remember many, & great, mercies & favours, & thus abundant cause for gratitude. But at the same time also much cause for supplicating the Almighty’s person for my many neglects, ingratitude & transgressions. Oh for my faithfulness in the discharge of my duties, for more holiness in my general conduct; for more zeal & energy, knowledge & wisdom, & especially, faith & patience.
Preached from Psalm XC, 12, applying it to the conclusion of the year. We had a great number of Natives at Church to day. There was Service for them in Wirradurai & I numbered 21 at the English Service. The whole number of them, attending Church, will be about the same as on Christmas day.
As a general observation I must add that the more I see of the Aborigines of this country the more I feel convinced of the need of the Almighty’s powerful display of his saving mercy as the only means to effect what human efforts must despair of. In addition to their deep degradation as to conduct here is such a stupiors[?] apathy & indifference discernible in them as is a Church indivisible[?]. Whatever they may hear, whether God’s promises or the threatenings, they appear to be utterly unmoved by it. Still I am aware that the heart of every natural man does not much differ & that in every case where a sinner is truly converted it requires the mighty power of God.
The Study of the Native language, I perceive is absolutely requisite to do any effectual good among them. I am grieved to say I have acquired so very little of it as yet. The reasons why not I have repeatedly stated & I hope I shall be excused in urging once more the necessity of having some person to take charge of the secular concerns of the Mission, if that is not already arranged. We neither can attend sufficiently to the Natives when here in numbers nor are we able to pursue them in the bush as we ought. To acquire their language soon we ought to be almost constantly with them.
As a matter of much gratitude I add that I enjoy & have enjoyed since the time of my residence here good health more so than might have been expected from my former doubtful state of health. Mrs G. feels the heat more than I, still she also, thank God, stayed it as well as may be expected.
May the Lord enable us to devote all our strength, our whole selves, souls & bodies to his Service & may he graciously condescend to regard this Mission, these poor Natives, with compassion & mercy. O may the day of salvation soon rise upon them!
Passed in Committee
Febry 10th 1838.
[Signed] Wm Watson
[Signed] James Günther
[Note] Read in Committee
Feby 10th 1838
[Note] Rev. J. Gunther’s Journal
Aug. to Dec./37