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The daily increasing interest which is manifested by all Christians, who observe the signs of the times, and have leisure to study the Prophecies, concerning the approaching fulfilment of those which relate to the second coming of the Saviour of mankind, will, I hope, be sufficient apology for an individual who has not had the advantage of studying the Holy Scriptures in their original tongues, presuming to offer an opinion on so important a subject.
While studying the Prophecies relative to New Jerusalem, I have been led to take a very different view of their fulfilment from that set forth by some of the Clergy of the Church of England, whom I have heard preach on the subject; and as I consider a time is rapidly approaching in which every individual in the world ought to have a peculiar interest in the Prophetic writings, because every year must bring us nearer to the time to which St. Paul alludes, when he desires the Corinthian believers to profit by the experience of the Israelites, saying to them, “ Now all these things happened to them for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come,"* I cannot conscientiously refrain from communicating my opinions on the unfulfilled Prophecies to those who may feel interested in them.
* 1 Cor., x. 11.
From the time St. Paul wrote to the Christian Church at Corinth until the present day, his epistles have, with all the other portions of Holy Writ, been the spiritual food of many believers who are now with him in glory, and in this manner the words of our Saviour have been fulfilled, when he promised his Apostles that he would be with them to the end of the world; but I believe that the generation which shall be alive on the earth when , this long prophesied “ end of the world” takes place, have a peculiar interest in the Prophetic warnings, with which the Old and New Testament Scriptures abound; and my object in writing the following pages is merely to lead enquirers after the truth to follow the example of the Bereans, who, as St. Luke tells us, “ searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."*
Since I commenced this work, I have, from time to time, read the opinions of other writers on this subject, and some others connected with it; and where I have found ideas which coincided with my own, I have made quotations, partly with a view of bringing any work which pleased me before the notice of persons who might not previously have met with it. Where I have made extracts from the Holy Scriptures I have written them in italics, in order that they may be the more easily distinguished by any person wishing to translate the book into any European language, as I consider all the inhabitants of Europe particularly interested in the unfulfilled Prophecies.
For the information of individuals who may not have time to read larger works on the rise, progress, and prospects of this Colony, I have given a place to the
* Acts, xvii. 11.
following extract from the “ Sydney Morning Herald," in which journal it appeared as a leading article about a year since:
“THE DESTINIES OF THE COLONY.-In attempting to speculate on the destinies of this gigantic continent, the most far-seeing intellect would find itself at fault. The history of the past serves only to confuse our conceptions of the future. New Holland was colonized with no other view than that of supplying a substitute for the plantations lost to Great Britain by the revolt of America, To those plantations England could no longer banish her criminals ; it was therefore deemed necessary to seek some other region wherein her penal discipline might be resumed. Such a region had been found by her great navigator. Its remoteness from the mother-country, the congeniality of its temperature to the European race, the assumed fertility of its soil, and the known mag. nitude of its territory, combined to recommend New Holland as in all respects eligible for the penal settlement of which the British Government were in quest. To New Holland, accordingly, did the stream of transportation begin to flow; and for fifty years and more did that stream continue to flow without interruption.
But in this, as in ten thousand other instances, the wisdom of Providence asserted its superiority over the wisdom of man. The statesmen who selected Botany Bay as a substitute for their lost plantations, and who directed its shores to be occupied for the mere purposes of a roofless gaol, and who sought no higher result than the safe keeping and economical employment of convicted offenders, little dreamt that in so doing they were laying the foundation of a succession of prosperous colonies, whose produce would at no distant day constitute an important element in the resources of the nation. But so it was. The convict was to be the pioneer of the colonist. The penal settlement was to make way for the free province. Botany Bay was to expand into New South Wales; and New South Wales was to be only the first member of a family of Australian States. Van Diemen's Land, Swan River, South Australia, New Zealand, and Victoria, are the undoubted progeny of the penal experiment commenced at Botany Bay. For ought that is known, for ought that history tells, had Botany Bay never been thought of as a nursing mother for British convicts, these several countries would to this day have remained under the exclusive occupancy of barbarian tribes. But because Botany Bay ontstripped the narrow objects of its settlement, and gradually opened up the unsuspected capabilities of the vast territories which loomed beyond its prison-house, colonization became attracted to its shores. And because the colonization of New South Wales was crowned with a success at once splendid and surprising, the colonizing spirit became roused to new adventures, and colony after colony was added to the Australasian group.
“ About forty years have now elapsed since our soil was found capable of producing something more profitable than the grain and vegetables required for convict rations. And the new pursuit which then began to excite attention, and to draw capital from our father land to these immeasurable wilds, and to change the entire aspect of the country, has continued down to the present day to be the chief and almost the only course of our material prosperity. Upon the growth of wool and the breeding of stock the colony then began to wax rich; upon the growth of wool and the breeding of stock its riches are thought still to depend. Of the various articles of colonial produce or manufacture exported from New South Wales in exchange for the productions or manufactures of other countries, our wool even now constitutes full three-fourths of the money value. But the question often arises in thoughtful minds, Is this huge monopoly to be permanent ? is its permanency desirable ? is its permanency possible? Is our social existence to be for ever dependent on so frail an animal as the sheep? Is our social well-being always to fluctuate with the rise and fall of the wool market, with the abnndance or scarcity of pasture, with the absence or prevalence of catarrh and scab amongst our flocks ? Are the vast majority of our sons to be driven into the wilderness, and compelled to earn a scanty and precarious subsistence by looking after sheep and cattle? Is it desirable that our resources should be so stinted, our occupations so vagrant, through all time coming ? Is it possible that a community so circumstanced can ever reach any considerable rank in the scale of civilization ? All these questions must be answered in the negative.
“And one good reason why they must be so answered is this : nature herself has laid down limits beyond which the multiplication of our flocks and herds cannot be maintained. A careful inquiry into the physical resources of the colony, with reference to this particular point, was instituted in this journal in the early part of the year before last; and the result was, that, reasoning from well established data, the day seemed not very remote when those limits would be reached. In the article referred to it was