By Elizabeth Rogers Kotlowski
There has not been a more exciting book in years written with regard to Australia's past heritage than Elizabeth Kotlowski's Southland of the Holy Spirit: A Christian History of Australia. In fact, it can be somewhat sadly said that this is the first sophisticated telling of the untold story of Australia's Christian past and veritable foundation. By careful selection and presentation of hundreds of vivid authentic stories and historical records written in lively text, the author has accomplished for Christianity a firm foundation for the return to true and tried biblical action clearly purposed by God for Australia.
The whole story of our almost forgotten Christian heritage comes alive in this lively and thoroughly non-partisan account. Heroes are properly celebrated particularly with regard to their Christian characteristics, and church history is presented in a cohesive and meaningful way.
Research has been painstaking and provides the reader with fresh illumination of many key figures and events in the Christian history of our nation. In an age when society is seemingly at the crossroads with secularism running rampant, this history, unvarnished by myth, has perhaps never deserved closer scrutiny.
Any thoughtful reader would have to readily confess that there have been all too many times in our past history when in spite of lip service to basic creeds, the average church has wandered so far from the basic precepts of Christianity that it has deserved the host of uncomplimentary remarks and epithets that are now commonly heaped upon it by those hostile to Christianity. The writer of Southland of the Holy Spirit rightly concludes that "To know where we are going we must remember from where we have come". The key word is remember. "Remember all the way that the Lord God has led you".
Australia leads the world in many areas with its greatest potential yet to be fulfilled, which is to be used by God to become a world leader in exporting the Gospel through missionary outreach to our neighbours. Let us never forget Jesus' last command to us--that we are (without excuse or exception) to be witnesses unto Him wherever we are (Acts 1:8).
Alasdair P. Webster
Former Federal Member of Parliament
Past President, National Parliamentary Christian Fellowship
One memorable cold, blustery day in November 1959, I boarded an Italian liner and sailed out of Port Phillip Bay, bound for merry England. As the Melbourne smog melted with the horizon, little did I guess it would be twelve long years before I would set foot on Australian soil again. Born in Melbourne, Victoria, I grew up on Wulgulmerang, a 2600-acre sheep and cattle property, 16 miles from the Snowy River. My Dad, Lionel (Dick) Churchill Rogers, was another "Man from Snowy River", who helped pioneer the high country of East Gippsland, and my Mum, Heather Geraldine (Stutterd) Rogers, was a beloved bush nurse. I well remember the day Dad brought home Rosy, a temperamental brumby that tested my riding skills for the next few years. Wulgulmerang, which in the Aboriginal language means: "Where are you going?" was to be prophetic of my life story.
A search for God's purpose for my life led me to a study of my country's history. It is the hypothesis of this book that Australia was founded as a Christian nation. The Spanish Roman Catholic missionary Pedro Fernandez de Quiros named our country: La Terra Australia del Espiritu Santo, theSouthland of the Holy Spirit. My purpose is to answer the questions: "Where did Australia come from? Where is she going? What is God's purpose for our nation? How do we get there?" Thus, this book has been more than a journey back home--it has been an exciting discovery of "His Story" or how God miraculously preserved Australia and prepared her for a unique plan to reach the nations of the world with the Gospel. Australia is the back door to Asia, where by the year two thousand, half the world's population will live. The Psalmist wrote: God's words went "to the end of the world" (Ps. 19:4). The inhabitants of the islands shall be glad.
As I have circled the globe, God has miraculously preserved me and prepared me to play a part in the coming great move of the Holy Spirit. I can see Australia as an Australian, but also through American eyes because the United States has been my home for the last twenty years. It has all been part of God's preparation in my life. I shall always be grateful to my many wonderful American friends, who have taught me the ways of God. As I come home, it is to remind my fellow Australians to return to the God of our forefathers, just as the boomerang rebounds to the feet of its master.
This book is more than a history of Australia; it is about education, government, and above all, biblical principles. The manuscript started as a thesis for two Master's Degrees--in Public Affairs Journalism and Public Policy (political science) at Regent (formerly CBN) University. As I looked for a theoretical framework, I discovered the work of American Christian historian Verna M. Hall (1912-1987) and American Christian educator Rosalie J. Slater. In my study of Australian Christian history, I was excited to discover the same seven biblical principles stemming from our mutual English common law heritage--that were discovered by Misses Hall and Slater.
If taught and practised, these seven biblical principles of government and education will transform individual lives, families, church and civil government and bring a restoration of freedom or liberty to Australia, or to any other nation. The biblical foundation of Australian society is being rapidly eroded. Most parents no longer teach their children biblical principles, so humanist educators have introduced a values clarification program into government schools to fill the moral vacuum. Humanist legislators have introduced United Nations human rights' instruments to replace Christian laws. But when the Christian foundation of a nation is removed, the lawful state will collapse, sooner or later. Moral corruption will destroy the nation from within, like it destroyed Rome, as Saint Augustine eloquently testified. "If [then] the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Ps. 11:3).
We must first repent and believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15). We must rediscover the Christian foundations of our country, and educate our children in biblical principles of government and education. This action will help restore our Christian leadership. Even though the story of Australia's founding is very different from America's, we share a common heritage--the British common law, based on biblical law, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the law of love. The Gospel contains the seed of liberty, and the tree of life "on either side of the river" produces "the leaves . . . for the healing of the nations" (Rev. 22:1-2). Principle means "source" or "origin". To know who we are, we must know where we have come from (our origins) and, then, we will know where we are going.
Some Apologies and Clarifications
This book is going to be controversial no matter which way I cut the cake. It is about seven principles of government and education derived from the Bible. It is called the Principle Approach. How can I talk about principles of government without mentioning some touchy issues, especially at this time, as the republican versus a constitutional monarchy debate rages on and United Nations human rights' instruments are threatening the very Christian foundations of our nation? An Australian friend had suggested I leave out the word "republic". But, an American friend, the principal of a local Christian school, said: "If you leave out "republic", you'll cut the heart out of the Principle Approach". I would not want to be guilty of cutting out the heart and leaving you with the lifeless body, so I left it in. Actually, the words "republic" and "commonwealth" have the same Latin root, "civitas".
Some suggested that I leave out all American references. I realise that could be the major difficulty Australian readers may have with the book. I apologise. My problem has been a lack of access to British and Australian sources (except for the two months I was in Australia in 1992). The alternative, which I chose, was to write the book from the perspective of an Australian who has lived in America for the last twenty years. The reader may ask: "Can anything good come out of the United States?" Movies, McDonald's hamburgers, and hundreds of new books are imported annually from America, along with a multitude of other goods and ideas--some good and some not so good. Christians need to accept the truth no matter where it comes from. Like the wise old cow, we should chew the hay and spit out the sticks.
One of the "goodies" I discovered in America was the research of Verna Hall and Rosalie Slater, bringing to light biblical truths, which like unearthed veins of gold, reveal America's history. Why did I choose Hall and Slater's research? While there are many other excellent philosophies that incorporate biblical principles, I know of no other subject that strikes at the heart of society more than "government". Some of you have read books by the American Christian author Gary North, who has unequivocally stated that: "There is no escape from the conclusion: The United States Constitution is an atheistic, humanistic covenant", Political Polytheism (Tyler: ICE, 1989), p. 403. This belief undercuts the whole integrity of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution. However, my thesis is that the seven biblical principles of government, as articulated by Verna Hall and Rosalie Slater, are found in both the Constitution of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution.
I am certainly not suggesting that Australia should become a republic. Australia already has a Christian constitution and a Monarchy we can be proud of. I am an Australian still, and always will be. In 1954, when Queen Elizabeth II visited Australia, I saw her eight times! She was young, radiant and beautiful. Our home was well stocked with books about the Royal Family. I remember listening to the royal wedding on the wireless, while I lay on the floor of the sitting room at boarding school in Melbourne. That makes me prehistoric to some of you! The point is, I am all for the Monarchy. I've lived in England, Scotland and Canada. The Commonwealth "family", the Monarchy and our common Christian British heritage bind us together like no other institution could. I think that is a good thing in a world that is falling apart.
Nor am I suggesting that Australia should become a theocracy in the sense of being governed by professing Christians, who would use the power of the sword to force everyone else to become "Christians". Sadly, history provides some graphic examples. I am advocating a theocracy in the sense of God ruling in the hearts of His people, who in turn exercise the powers of authority that God has ordained. It is important to distinguish two extremes--that of the pietist and the reconstructionist. The pietist emphasizes personal salvation and the transformation of the inner man, while the reconstructionist emphasises the transformation of society, starting from the inner man. The pietist asks: "Why polish the brass on a sinking ship?" Politics is "dirty". On the other hand, the reconstructionist believes that he is to set up the Kingdom of God on earth. Jesus did not deny this. He said, however, that it was not for his disciples to know the times or seasons (Acts 1:6-11). I believe the truth lies somewhere between these two extremes. The problem with most Christians is that they do not understand the critical role of civil government or distinguish between the different spheres of government that God has ordained--self-government, family, church and civil government. Each area has different functions. The role of the church, in evangelism and discipleship, can be better carried out if the civil government does its job of punishing evil doers and protecting well doers.
Those who are fearful of a rising Christian nationalism and argue that the emphasis in the New Testament is not on nationalism but on the church, which is multi-national, need to re-examine the teachings of Christ. He frequently talked about the Kingdom of God, starting from within a person and working its way outwards to change society (Matthew 13). Because Jesus' ministry was short, there was no time for a nation to be developed upon these principles. That took centuries. In Old Testament days, the nation of Israel operated upon biblical principles of civil government. Though it may be argued that Israel was replaced by the church (which became spiritual Israel), God did not do away with nations. Rather, He created every nation (Greek: ethnos or people group, Acts 17:26). One good reason was to prevent the concentration of power in a centralised government. Today we are seeing a de-emphasis of nationalism with an emphasis on multi-culturalism and a veneration of a one-world governmental model. A return to biblical principles of government based on God's Law, as spelled out in the Old Testament and restated by Christ in the New Testament, is what the Australian Constitution and the Monarchy are all about.
This book is a review of our English heritage and its consequences. It is written from the point of view of an educational historian. To explain the significance of events and describe the philosophy of government, I have divided the book into three parts. The theoretical sections are necessary to understand the narrative. Much of the important material--as, for example, the identification of the seven biblical principles of government--has been put in the footnotes so as not to interrupt the flow of the story.
For the same reason my use of 'he', 'man' and 'mankind', etc. throughout the book is simply for ease of expression and to aid the flow of the text. It is not intended to be sexist in any way. The reader should also bear in mind that Australia was founded in an age when gross sexual discrimination was the norm. Men also naturally featured more prominently among the early explorers when persons of sheer physical strength, unfettered by child bearing responsibilities, were needed to hack a path through the unfriendly wilderness.
Because this book is an overview of Australian history, it was necessary for me to be selective. It was therefore impossible to include all the significant events and individuals within the scope of one book. So, if I have left out some of your favourite players, please forgive me. And I do not necessarily think New South Wales is the greatest and the best State! It just happened NSW got started before the rest. Although I lived in Sydney for seven years, I grew up in beautiful sedate Victoria.
Since I have not lived in Australia since 1959, it has been hard for me to get a real feel for the political, social and spiritual climate in Australia while living in the United States. News from "Down Under" has been sparse and far between, except a "Man from Snowy River" or a "Crocodile Dundee" that fired the American imagination. When I was in Australia for two months in the winter of 1992, I had access to primary sources and current information that I cannot readily find in the Unites States. I apologise that I have not been able to adapt the book more to the Australian scene.
For that reason, I would welcome your input in the form of suggestions, ideas, comments, that could be included in the next revised edition. I want to make the book useful to you, especially to teachers and home schoolers. I also plan to write an accompanying teacher's guide, and possibly, a series of short biographical narratives of famous Australians, for grades three to seven. Let us know if you are interested. Please write to me, or to Dr Graham McLennan, Director, The Christian History Research Institute, 81 Woodward St, Orange, NSW 2800, Australia. We will look forward to hearing from you.
It is timely that this book should be finished on 25 June 1994, the day of March for Jesus Australia in which 100,000s of Christians from across our country participated. The March was part of a global March for Jesus, in which Christians from 178 countries from around the globe declared to the world that Jesus is Lord. If Jesus is Lord, then whom should we fear?
Elizabeth Rogers Kotlowski
25 June 1994
I wish especially to thank Dr Graham McLennan, BDS, Director of the [Australian] Christian History Research Institute, and National Coordinator of the National Alliance of Christian Leaders (NACL). Dr McLennan made this book possible by generously making his resources, counsel and contacts available to me. Four years ago, I had a desire to write the story of Australia's Providential history. Unknown to me, Dr McLennan, 20,000 kilometres away, also had a vision for such a venture--to celebrate the Bicentenary of the opening of the first Australian Christian church and Christian school. While God had given me the writing talent, He had given Dr McLennan the resources and contacts that I needed to write the book. It was God who providentially brought us together. We started to correspond; Dr McLennan sent me books, and then last winter, he invited me to spend two months in his home, where I had access to his private library. Dr McLennan's research assistance, his direction, encouragement and practical support, along with the gracious hospitality of his wonderful wife, Pam, and their three children, Chris, Tess and Michael, all contributed to make this book a reality. To God be all the glory. Thanks, too, to Katie Field for her research assistance, and to Max Schibrowski for the use of his office equipment.
I also want to thank Dr Walter W. Davis of Regent University School of Public Policy for the many hours he spent reading book drafts with meticulous concern for transitions and scholarship, and for his constant encouragement and patience. Thanks also to the following people for reading and criticising the rough draft: Dr Graham McLennan; Rev. Dr David Mitchell; Rev. Robert Frisken; Rev. Dr Gordon Powell; Richard Eason; Dr Richard Ely; Paul Meeth; Dr Clifford Kelly; Miss Rosalie Slater; Dr Carole Adams; Dr Peter Prosser; Jose Gonzalez; Cynthia Ellenwood; Maxwell Lyons; Katherine Dang; Stephen McDowell; Anita Simpkins (nee Rivera); Jeanette Smith; James Duncan; Laura Lunn; and to Dr Elaine Duval for editing. Thank you Jill Read for your professional painstaking copyediting, and Kristi Taylor for your secretarial assistance. I appreciate all your valuable input and encouragement. Thank you Paul Jehle, for introducing me to the Principle Approach, and Carole Adams, President of Stonebridge Educational Foundation and School, for your inspiration in encouraging me to launch out on such a mammoth undertaking as writing a Christian history of Australia. The result of the input from many great minds has been the birth in me of a desire to see Australian school children walk the roads of God through a knowledge of the history of "Australia Del Espiritu Santo", our Lord's beloved "Southland of the Holy Spirit", a land from which one day will shine the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ to the surrounding nations.
SOUTHLAND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
A CHRISTIAN HISTORY
COMMEMORATING THE OPENING OF THE FIRST CHURCH
AND THE FIRST CHRISTIAN SCHOOL IN 1793
LA TERRA AUSTRALIA DEL ESPIRITU SANTO
SOUTHLAND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
IDENTIFICATION OF KEY INDIVIDUALS, EVENTS, INSTITUTIONS AND DOCUMENTS IN AUSTRALIA'S PROVIDENTIAL HISTORY TO HELP THE AUSTRALIAN CHURCH TO DISCOVER GOD'S UNIQUE PURPOSE FOR AUSTRALIA
ELIZABETH ROGERS KOTLOWSKI
Christian History Research Institute
81 Woodward St, Orange, NSW 2800
J. Bell Pty. Ltd., 13-15 Mc Cauley St., Alexandria, NSW 2015
Dr Graham McLennan, Publisher Christian History Research Institute
81 Woodward St, Orange, NSW 2800
Cover Design by Marvin T. Harrell
This book is copyrighted. Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission.
Enquiries should be made to the publisher, Dr McLennan.
Copyright: Elizabeth Rogers Kotlowski, 1994
All rights reserved.
National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry
Kotlowski, Elizabeth Rogers, 1932--
Southland of the Holy Spirit: A Christian History of Australia.
First Published, Orange, NSW, Australia:
Christian History Research Institute
ISBN 0 958 76900 3
Australia--History to 1900
To My Parents
Lionel (Dick) Churchill Rogers and Heather Geraldine (nee Stutterd)
and to Granny,
Mary Alice Rogers (nee Gamble)
who led me in the roads of God.
"One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts".
"Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
3. Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
4. We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation
to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
5. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
6. That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
7. That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments".