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CHARACTER AND LABOURS
THE REV. SAMUEL MARSDEN,
FORMERLY PRINCIPAL CHAPLAIN OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, IN NEW SOUTH WALES;
WRITTEN FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE
RAISING FUNDS TOWARDS THE ERECTION
OF A CHURCH
PARISH OF MARSFIELD,
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY B. ISAACS, GEORGE-STREET,
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THE following account, which formed a series of communications to The Parramatta Chronicle, was never intended for any other mode of publication; the object of the writer having simply been to excite attention to a subject, which he considered to have been too much overlooked. This end he has the satisfaction of thinking has been sufficiently accomplished--at least, as far as respects the circulation of that public print. At the solicitation, however, of several friends of the late Mr. Marsden, he has ventured to reprint his remarks in their present shape; but being actively employed in duties of an arduous kind, he has not had sufficient leisure to make any important alterations in them, nor even to furnish such additional information, as a careful reconsideration of the subject would, undoubtedly, suggest. Such as they are, therefore, the writer presents them to the public, and he earnestly hopes they may be rendered instrumental in promoting the religious and spiritual welfare of the town and neighbourhood of Parramatta, and of correcting certain misrepresentations prejudicial to the reputation of Mr. Marsden, which, in some way or other, have obtained in an influential quarter in England. Not purposing to write a life of Mr. Marsden, he has cautiously abstained from discussing those topics of colonial history which might lead to unprofitable controversy; for, in his opinion, we are living far too near the days of the venerable man, to take a candid.
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and impartial view of the various acts of his life, or to estimate fully and satisfactorily the policy, which dictated many of his measures. Mr. Marsden had his faults as well as all other men; but the peculiar circumstances, in which he was placed in the early days of the colony, will afford a sufficient answer to many of the charges which have been urged against his ministerial character; while the oft-refuted calumnies which have been recently exhumed by the Rev. W. Pridden, M.A.,. Vicar of Broxted, Essex, in his late publication on Australia, 1 can only be disproved by a reference to Mr. Marsden's own pamphlet--a work which the writer of the present observations would respectfully recommend to Mr. Pridden's candid perusal. The principal subject enlarged upon in these pages, is Mr. Marsden's connection with the Church and London Missionary Societies; and no doubt has ever been entertained of the zeal and energy which he displayed in propagating the glad tidings of the Gospel, and in carrying into effect, to the utmost of his ability, the wishes of the religious public at home. To these, therefore, the attention of the reader is chiefly directed; and the writer feels assured, that even this brief view of the labours of Samuel Marsden, in his laudable endeavours to convert the heathen, will lead to the conviction that a public and lasting monument ought to be erected to his memory.
Parramatta, May, 1844.