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2-174 (Text)

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author,male,Watson, William,un addressee,male
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Official Correspondence
Watson, 1842
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To the Rev W Jowitt 
Mission House, Wellington Valley, 17 Jan 1837.
My Dear Sir
Not more refreshing to the parched earth is the rain from heaven, than your letters to our almost fainting spirits in this inhospitable wilderness. But like angel's visits they are "few and far Between". No doubt in the midst of your multifarious engagements, we receive our portion, but we feel sometimes that portion to be small. I am sure your heart would sicken, had you any idea of the wretchedness with which we are surrounded. Amongst the hundreds of Europeans who live in this neighbourhood whether masters, overseers or servants, scarcely an individual is to be found who has any fear of God before his eyes, and a very large majority of them live in the violation of every moral principle. On some establishments, where there are from 30 to 40 servants, scarcely a hut can be found where there is not a native female living in adulterous connexion with the European inmates. The fruit of such connexion, we have too much reason to believe, meets a premature death from the hands either of its unnatural father or mother. Aboriginal men compel their females, frequently against their will, to prostitute themselves in this lamentable way, because they themselves receive the wages of iniquity, being supported by the Europeans in such connexions. It is to be credited that such proceedings are going on where the masters are living on the establishment, or if not living amongst their servants, are occasionally visiting them and must be well acquainted with the evil conduct of those in their employ. Honourable exceptions indeed are found as it regards master and overseer, but all we know of amounts to no higher a number than four. True, we have the ordinances of Divine worship attended every Lord's day, and as far as we know, those who attend are under some moral restraint, so far, and no farther has the preaching of the Gospel appeared to influence the minds of those Europeans who have been favoured with hearing it. No doubt it has reached you that our mission is unpopular in the Colony. Look at the state of Society here and let me ask, can the cause of the Redeemer be popular with the devoted servants of the prince of darkness? Where the generality of the people labour to encourage the aborigines in all kinds of vice, no wonder, if the aborigines prefer such associations to living with us under spiritual instruction. We need your X'n sympathies - we need your prayers. Our trials, mental trials, are beyond your conception. They are known, they can only be known, to the searcher of hearts and to ourselves. Many are ready to infer that because, after four years of labour among the aborigines, few only are at all attached to mission or benefited by the instructions they have received, no good will ever be effected among them. You will not thus calculate. The Parent Committee will not thus infer. No person acquainted with the history of missions will thus speak. And I assure you that we have no such apprehensions. While we daily mourn over our unworthiness before God and our unfitness for so great and holy a vocation: whilst we have daily discouragements and disappointments, we do hope - we do believe - that God will call, from among these poor perishing heathen, a people to glorify His holy name. One of our native youths, Gungin (Jemmy Marshall) is very deeply affected with a sense of his guilt and danger as a sinner. He weeps and groans and sighs when we converse with him, and he acknowledges his sinfulness and expresses a desire to be better. There are others who feel their sins a burden and occasionally seem to long for spiritual deliverance. If the conflict between a desire to be saved and a sinful heart be so long and frequently so severe under more favourable circumstances, what must be the struggle in the mind of a native when his knowledge of Divine things is comparatively very defective and everything around him is calculated rather to destroy than encourage his serious impressions. What our feelings are in the prospect of the conversion of Gungin may be better conceived than described. What are all our privations, disappointments, troubles, anxieties, tears, if the Lord smile upon our work and bless the labour of our hands to His own glory. Our children continue to improve in scriptural knowledge. We look to the Lord to sanctify that knowledge. "The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord". As they are continually under our eye and constantly under instruction, they can scarcely fail of improving. My Diary from April 1st to Oct 1st will be forwarded herewith. They contain nothing of an interesting nature: our duties being continually the same and our daily conversations with the natives affording but little variety, we feel no pleasure in forwarding, as you will feel no interest in perusing papers, little superior to blanks. I remember one of the members of your honourable Committee saying previously to our leaving our beloved country, "Mr Watson, you are going on the forlorn hope". I thank my Heavenly Father that I have never viewed the scene of our labours in that way. We have always believed that God would prosper His own work, and greatest fear is that the Corr. Comm. in Sydney should be induced to abandon this part of the field. 
Mrs Watson unites with me in sincere X'n regards to you and to all the Committee, praying that the great Head of the Church may guide you in all your councils, and crown your attempts to spread the saving knowledge of His name throughout the whole world with abundant success, and finally by his mercy bring us all to unite in ascribing salvation to the lamb that was slain. 
I remain 
My Dear Sir 
Yours faithfully
W Watson.
received ? 1837