July 28, 2007

11 January 1807, Sunday, by Elizabeth Macarthur

Mr. Rowland Hassal and Mr George Oakes joined Mr. Marsden in giving the service today. Mr. Oakes spoke of the state of supposed innocence of the natives in the Pacific, alluding to their worship of false gods and consequences of such worship on their morals. Mr. Marsden used that theme to continue from last week's sermon on the evil of commerce with rum, again piercing the officers with his preserving needle-like eye. How his hypocrisy shames us all! Does he not pay labourers with rum? And now that he stands on so high a horse, look at the shambles in which this church is sunk! We have stools for John and I and the children, as do many of the officers, but Mr. Oakes' family stands throughout the service, all for the lack of a pew! And that with both a lumber yard and a carpenters shop adjoining the church! Really, I somewhat regret my gift of oil to Mrs. Marsden, although it is so often the way that the high moral ground adopted by the bible beater takes no account of the state of his own family. John and I are so lucky, I know, that we share our view of the world and do not seek to impose it on others - John tells me that several of the missionaries, such as Mr. Oakes and Hassal have been, have been tremendously involved with local people, of both sexes! Yet they will preach to me on morals! Mrs. Marsden will still be welcome at my house, but I gave her husband no more than a curt "Good day" as I left the church this morning. Really, something must be done with the interior - of the church and the men who are charged with it.
I looked for the poor family on the way home, but they were not to be seen. The smoke from the fires has gone, and I suppose the fires also, and the heat was settled by such a storm yesterday evening. Now the path home is no more than damp, and our cart rides with nary a bump. The children too seem well, and it is time for me to write Home to Edward, and some of our friends. Mrs. Lucas did not feel well enough to attend church today, but the darling woman has been busy in the kitchen, putting a leg to the spit and convincing one of the young native girls to spend the morning turning it. She is a pleasure and I continue to bless the day that John decided we needed a tutor for the girls, and a companion for me.

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