Charles Hadfield to Frederick Chesson, 19 May 1878, C137/106

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Hadfield, Charles









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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C137-106


19 May 78

My dear Mr Chesson,

In thanking you for the copy of ‘The Aborigines Friend’, allow me to say that I look upon the step taken by the South Australian Parliament to enable the Govt to make grants of land to the Aborigines of that colony, referred to in it to be a wise and encouraging measure in that the nomadic habits of those people have, until very recently, been so incessant as to have proved the chief obstacle not only to civilization but to their evangelization, our missionaries (humanly speaking) having mainly from this cause failed to arrest their sufficient heed to the gospel of the grace of god, duly to be preached unto them in common with all sinneres and ab uno sanguine, according to the Society’s motto. It is, therefore, not surprising that some colonists should still look upon civilization among them as impossible, and so be disposed to leave them ‘to roam at will,’ only one member of the S. Australian parl seems however to have so expressed himself. Their… of aborigines civilization much more than their conversion to Christianity has been ever looked upon by some as among the things impossible. But, happily, as Christians we are privileged to look upon their case from a higher and more hopeful point of view, believing that he who has … is not only faithful, but able to perform that with him ‘all things are possible.’ I offer two plain instances of this in our day. One, the moravian missionaries in Australia who when others had failed went forth with prayer and the pure gospel, and have effected something at least ‘a … of small things,’ and I trust soon to be followed by ‘greater’. Devoted men, I am assured, have, with god’s blessing, been enabled to not only check in a measure the wandering propensities of the tribes, but have been the means of Christianizing …, hence we take courage, and so we shall go on conquering and to conquer civilization will follow.

The other instance I would just refer to is the result of M Duncan’s – a lay man, work among the savage indians of north British Columbia. With the prayer of faith and with bible in hand that devoted Christian encountered those terrible cannibals, affecting wonders by god’s grace, and has since collected his gathered church and build a town near the sea where they have not only built a church, school house, but established trading by sea, with promise of high state of civilization shortly.

Having the promise that ‘the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth’ we know also that civilization will also be universal. Thus I give a word for our missionary societies.

I am
Dear Sir
Yours very truly
Charles Hadfield Col