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2-243 (Text)

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addressee,male author,male,Porter, William,un
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Official Correspondence
Porter, 1841
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Wellington Valley N.S. Wales 
Nov. 1, 1841 
Dear Sir, 
About three weeks ago I wrote you, on a very important subject, and fearing that the Letter might not safely reach you I have thought it desirable to address you again on the same subject: which I beg leave to do in the present communication. In my last Letter, I expressed my wish and intention to resign my situation as Agriculturist to this Mission, and gave some general reasons for so doing. I must again say, my mind is unaltered and I still wish to leave this secular employment. 
The first reason, I shall mention for wishing to take this step is the very great discouragement I have met with in my agricultural pursuits. This is the fourth season I have cultivated our Land to the best of my ability, and every year I have failed in obtaining a Crop. (Last year was not an exception as we had only seven Bushels to the acre.) The present season we shall not have a single Bushel as the plants have long been dried up from the want of rain. Our Cattle and Sheep too are suffering very much from the great scarcity of food, and should the drought continue a few months longer many of them must inevitably die of starvation. It is a very remarkable fact that while most other parts of the Colony, have lately been visited with copious showers of rain, we have scarcely had a drop in this District. This once beautiful and fertile Valley, is now a complete bed of dust and sand. And our River once a running stream, is now for more than five miles, nothing but a dry channel, without so much as a single pail of Water for either man or beast. We have to fetch all the Water we use for our whole establishment from a distance of nearly three Miles - which is both expensive and laborious. 
The next thing I shall mention, which induces me to resign my situation is the apparent impossibility of procuring such servants for the Mission Establishment whom I can conscientiously employ. I am thoroughly satisfied that no Mission can ever succeed when the Missionaries are obliged to employ as Servants, such men as we, with our present Establishment, are unavoidably compelled to do so. What I have above stated are my principal reasons for giving up my present avocation. Still there is another which I must add to those already mentioned. - It is the strong and unceasing desire I have to exchange my secular duties, for those which are spiritual. For I must candidly tell the Society that I could not continue in a secular appointment even if I had better success in my agricultural pursuits - It does in no way answer the expectations I had previously formed of it. 
I do not wish the Society to understand that I am tired of a Missionaries life. No, dear sir, very far from that. I have a sincere, and I may add, as ardent a desire to be a Missionary, as I had before I left my Native land but it is to be a Missionary in the real sense of the Word. The only motive I have in wishing for this is the love and desire to be a Preacher of the Gospel. Any other sphere of labour the Society might eventually appoint me to - I should cheerfully enter upon, provided the duties were of a spiritual kind. But while I sincerely wish for the sphere of labour, I have above described, I must confess I feel really unfit for such an office, until I have by a course of study obtained a knowledge of such things, which I am informed by His Lordship the Bishop of Australia, is considered necessary to be eligible for the Sacred office. I do not think I should feel much inconvenience, in leaving an active life, for a certain period of Study, as it is what I am very much attached to, particularly the Greek Language; a slight knowledge of which I have obtained through the kind assistance occasionally given me by my Christian Brother, The Rev. J. Gunther. 
If the Society can accede to the wishes I have above expressed, I beg to add that I am anxious as soon as practicable to enter upon the new labours of study. If the Society still continue this Secular Establishment and are not able or willing to send another agriculturist so that I can shortly return, I consider it may be carried on just as well if a "working overseer," was engaged in this Colony who would be under the control and superintendence of the resident Clergyman. This might be done, without interfering with interfering with his ministerial duties, and would occupy a very small portion of his time. Mr Gunther quite concurs with me in this opinion, and has promised to write to the Home Committee on the subject. 
Waiting your reply. 
I remain dear sir 
Your Obedient Servant in Christ 
William Porter.