By Elizabeth Rogers Kotlowski
The Lord Who sends thee hence will be thine aid!
In vain at thee the Lion, Danger, roars;
His arm and love shall keep thee undismayed
On tempest toss'd seas and all strange shores.
Go bear the Saviour's name to lands unknown,
Tell to the southern world His wondrous grace:
An energy divine thy words shall own,
And draw their untaught hearts to seek His face.
Many in quest of gold, or empty fame,
Would compass earth, or venture near the poles;
But how much nobler thy reward and aim,
To spread His grace, and win immortal souls. 
The twenty-fifth of August 1993 marked the Bicentenary of the opening of the first Australian Christian church that was also used for a school. It is, therefore, appropriate that Australians reflect upon their Christian foundations and their rich English common law heritage;reappraise the role of the Australian church in the critical Pacific Rim; and rebuild the fractured school rooms on which the future of our nation depends. Australians must rediscover their identity--where they have come from and who they are--that they might know their destiny: where they are going. Was Captain Cook's discovery of Australia accidental or could it have been the prelude to a dramatic second Acts of the Apostles? As John on the Isle of Patmos saw the heavens opened and Jesus Christ revealed in the last days, so it is the objective of this study to awaken the Australian church to see the good plans God has for them in harvesting the fields of souls, ripe for harvest around them, so that their children will have a future and a hope (Jer. 29:11).
Before a child is born--in fact, even before the world was made--God designed a special plan for that individual (Ps. 139:14-16; Jer. 1:5; Eph. 1:4-6). Is it also conceivable that God has a plan for a nation? He who created the seven continents and set the borders of the nations (Acts 17:26), must have had a purpose in His mind when He placed Australia in the southern seas close to half the world's population. Just as an architect, in drawing up a blueprint for a house, has a reason for putting the bathroom next to the bedroom, so God in designing His creation, reveals an order and purpose. He made the eye to see, the ear to hear, the mouth to speak (Ps. 115:4-7). The Scripture makes it abundantly clear that God had a plan for the nation of Israel (Gen. 12:1-4; 22:16-18; Gal. 3:7-9). God chose Abraham to raise up a people who would proclaim God's name among the nations. Israel's geographical location was pivotal in the ancient world, just as Australia's presence in the Pacific is strategic to south-east Asia. But how can the reader know if He has a purpose for Australia? Possibly, there are some clues in Australian history. The first clue is Australia's name. However, the reader may ask, "What's in a name?” In Bible days, names were very important. A man's name often gave an indication of his character and destiny (Gen. 32:28; Genesis 49; Is. 9:6; Matt. 1:21-23). A place was frequently named according to the significance of the events that took place at that location (Gen. 11:9; 22:14; 28:19).
A destiny for Australia was hinted at as early as 1606 by the devout Roman Catholic Spanish explorer and visionary, Captain Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, who renamed "Terra Australis" (or "Southland") "Austrialia del Espiritu Santo". Literally, this means, "South (land) of the Spirit Holy", or "Southland of the Holy Spirit"--"Australia" for short. The author chose "Southland of the Holy Spirit " for the title of the book because that is Australia's proper name. The title has nothing to do with being a "charismatic" Christian. It has everything to say about Australia's origins and destiny. Therefore, it would be appropriate for all Australian believers to pay more attention to the person of "the Holy Spirit", as He is an integral part of Australia's origins and destiny.
Who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is God (Gen. 1:2; Matt. 3:16; John 4:24). Before Jesus Christ, God's Son, returned to heaven, He commanded His disciples to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit, "the promise of the Father" (Acts 1:4-8). On the Day of Pentecost, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to empower believers to be His witnesses "unto the utmost parts of the earth". Three thousand people gathered from "every nation under heaven", and heard Christians speaking "the wonderful works of God", each man in his own language (Acts 2:1-11). Is it possible that event has something to do with God's purpose for Australia?
If the Book of Acts was a continuation of what Jesus "began both to do and teach" (Acts 1:1), is it possible that history has also been a sequel of what Jesus "began both to do and teach", since the works of Jesus continue under the ministry of the Holy Spirit through the believer on earth (John 14:12-17; Rom. 8:9)? It would be naive to say that everything in Australia's history has been the work of the Holy Spirit, but such a comparison may suggest a divine purpose for Australia. Just as Jesus worked through the lives of the apostles Peter, James and Paul, He has been working out His divine plan through men and nations since then. In the history of Israel, God used the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. He even raised up Pharaoh, who opposed God's plans, to achieve His purposes (Exod. 14:4; Rom. 9:17). God's power was clearly seen when He brought His people out of Egypt with many signs and wonders.
God even uses individuals, events;events, institutions and documents (such as laws of Parliament) that appear to hinder the Gospel, to advance His cause, in the same way that God used the oppressions of Pharaoh to bring deliverance to His people. When God brought His people through the Red Sea and destroyed Pharaoh and his army, God alone got the glory. God can turn anything to His advantage. As Joseph said to his brothers: "You thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good" (Gen. 50:20). There is one condition--the obedience of His people. As the Israelites stood precariously on the brink of the Red Sea, they had a choice--to obey God's command, through Moses and "go forward", or to retreat (Exod. 14:15). With the horsemen and chariots of Pharaoh's army close on their heels, retreat was unthinkable. After the people made the decision to go ahead, God sent a strong east wind which miraculously divided the waters of the sea, making a path over dry ground where there had been several metres of water the night before. Liberty awaited the Israelites on the other side once the people were willing to make that step of full commitment, and they saw their enemies sink "as lead in the mighty waters"(Exod. 15:10). In the same way, today, God calls His people to go forward, and He will make a way where there seems no way out of the bondage of sin, and they will "see the salvation of the Lord” (Exod. 14:13). When they move in obedience to His Word, the power of the Holy Spirit of God goes into operation (Acts 5:32).
The author invites the reader to study the person of the Holy Spirit and to look for the acts of the Holy Spirit, as He has worked through the lives of individuals, events, institutions and documents in Australia's history. Did any of Australia's founding fathers, explorers, pioneers, governors, statesmen and missionaries feel that Australia was designed for a special purpose? What events might reinforce this idea? What social, political or ecclesiastical institutions would suggest such a destiny? Are there any original documents that point in that direction?
In reflecting upon our Christian foundations, the author has preferred a historical approach. Professor Ernest Scott of Melbourne University claimed that "the historical way of regarding phenomena is indispensable to a right understanding of them", J. D. Bollen, Senior Lecturer in history at Macquarie University stated that it is "a good historical rule that the way to understand something is to look at its origins". He added that the Christian should not think that religion is "purely domestic and insignificant by any public standard, when he turns
to the history of Christianity in Australia. He is dealing with a part of Australian history".
The book will be a survey of Australia's Christian history--a reflection on her foundations. It is the author's purpose to trace the development of Christian self-government from its early English beginnings to the adoption of the Federal Constitution in 1901. It is not intended to be an in-depth analytical treatment of every area but rather a selective chronological narrative account of events. Because this book is written for the Bicentenary of the opening of the first Christian church and the first Christian school in Australia, emphasis will be placed on the implications of these events.
This investigation looks for biblical principles and evidence of God's Providence in the affairs of men. Four significant aspects will be considered: key individuals, events, institutions (ecclesiastical, social or political) and documents (including speeches, sermons or essays). When researching a key individual, the writer will evaluate his Christian history (time and historical setting), Christian influences, Christian character and Christian contribution. In examining a key event, the author will consider causes and purposes, key individuals, principles of civil government, and its historical significance. While studying a key institution, the writer will investigate doctrine, character and government. Finally, when assessing a decisive document, sermon, speech or writing, the author will identify statements expressing an understanding of Christian principles of civil government.
As the data selected by the historian are determined by his point of view, the author will review Christian and pagan ideas concerning the nature of man and government from a distinctly theistic perspective. This review will include a summary of the seven biblical principles of government. Emphasis will be put on the growth of the English form of government (later transplanted to Australia). As the setting is also crucial, there will be a brief survey of Australian geography. Since the objective of this overview is to establish Australia's Christian purpose, stress will be put on Australia's founding, the leadership of the first fifty years, early pioneers and missionaries, the development of Christian self-government and its culmination in the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution. Because the philosophy of education of the youth of a nation determines the philosophy of government of the next generation, the author will trace the history of Australian education from its earliest Christian beginnings to the present day. In conclusion, the writer will attempt to place Australia within the context of God's plan for the nations.
The author presupposes that the existence of the uncreated God of the Bible is evident from His creation (Rom. 1:18-20); that He is distinct from and controls His creation (including man, though he has given him free will); and that the Bible is the accurate, inspired (God-breathed) record of His dealings with men and nations. By identifying biblical principles of government through researching key individuals, documents, institutions and events in Australian history, the author hopes to demonstrate the development of Christian self-government, which is the foundation of liberty. A broad overview using a selective narrative (rather than an analytical) approach will be used.
The theoretical framework for this study is the work of American Christian historian Verna M. Hall .; and American Christian educator Rosalie J. Slater.; . In their study of American history, they discovered seven principles of government and education (discussed in Chapter 2), that are universal and thus applicable to any nation because they are rooted in the Bible. It is argued that if these biblical principles can be shown to be foundational in Australia's history, an educational program designed to educate Australians in these principles will help raise all areas of life to biblical standards.
It is the author's belief that the introduction of the New South Wales Public Instruction Act 1880 set a seal on a secular drift away from the teaching of Australia's Christian history and the practice of local self-government. However, God's original call to Australia to be "a city set on a hill" (Matt. 5:14) and a light to the nations of Asia, as believed by so many of Australia's early pioneers, still stands. "The gifts and callings of God are without repentance" (Rom. 11:29). In this introductory chapter, the author will touch upon the opening of the first Christian church and school, and on the National Prayer Gathering , which was part of the 1988 Bicentennial celebrations of the founding of Australia as a Christian nation. Finally, the writer will discuss a biblical approach to restoring Christian self-government to the family, church, and civil government, known as the Principle Approach . This philosophy begins with the concept of individual Christian self-government. Self-control or temperance is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23; 1 Cor. 13). Christian self-government is as old as Christianity. It was not a new idea to those who came to Australia on the First Fleet as they brought Christianity with them.
On Sunday, 3 February 1788, a week after the First Fleet sailed into Sydney Cove, Richard Johnson, the first chaplain to the colony of New South Wales, preached his initial sermon "under some great [gum] trees" to a congregation of convicts and troops. It was an impressive occasion.
Careful preparations were made, the convicts being ordered to 'appear as clean as circumstances will admit . . . ' and 'No Man to be Absent On Any Account Whatever'; the guard was to be changed earlier than usual, so as to give those
who had been relieved 'time to cleanse themselves before Church,' and the 'Church Drum' was to beat at 10 o'clock.
Johnson's text was Psalm 116 verse 12: "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?" It was appropriate for the special occasion. The First Fleet of eleven ships had survived a gruelling eight-month voyage with the loss of only thirty-two lives. It was a time to thank God for their safe deliverance, and what better way was there for men to show their thanks than to "take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord" (verse 13)? The service was well received, according to Captain Watkin Tench, who noted that the troops and convicts were "equally regular and attentive".
The first church, which was also used as a school, was not opened until 25 August 1793. In the four and a half years that had elapsed since the first service under the gum trees, Johnson had regularly held services in the open air or in a store-house in Sydney and Parramatta, conducted baptisms, marriages, burials, as well as attended executions. In addition, he visited the sick and condemned in their huts, often taking food from his own store to the hungry. He also laboured on his farm to support his family. Johnson actually built the church with his own hands, receiving assistance from only a few convicts.
The difficulties the chaplain met with in the construction of the church reflected the harsh priorities of a penal colony and the arbitrary rule of "enlightened" governors who were hardly sympathetic to "evangelical" causes. The first Australian governor, Captain-General Arthur Phillip, had ordered Johnson to confine his sermons to "moral subjects", while Major Francis Grose, the second governor, accused him of being a troublesome "Methodist" and sabotaged the building of the church in every way possible. Johnson finally finished it at his own expense, "working as hard as any convict in the colony". He was not reimbursed for the cost of 67 pounds until five years later. 
The simple T-shaped building of wattle, daub and thatch construction, situated at what is now the junction of Hunter and Bligh streets (Richard Johnson Square) in Sydney, was large enough to hold 500-600 people. The nave measured eleven by five metres and the transepts twenty-three by five metres. Governor Phillip had set aside glass for the windows, but his successor, Grose, had not disclosed its whereabouts in time for the first service. Rough-hewn slabs did for seats. Other furniture included a reading desk, a clerk's desk, a communion table, and some things--a font, plates, communion cup, and registers--that Johnson had brought from England, while the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge (SPCK) had donated hymnals and a large assortment of tracts. A small church bell, which was barely heard a hundred yards away, summoned the inhabitants to worship.
The first church service in the new building on 25 August 1793 was attended by convicts, several officers and their wives, including Mrs Grose, the governor's wife. Grose himself was conspicuously absent and discouraged others from attending, so that many times Johnson preached to "twenty and seldom to above a hundred". There is no record of what Scripture Johnson took as his text for that day, but we know he used the Book of Common Prayer (1662 edition). This suggests he must have read a selection of Scriptures from the lessons for Morning Prayer for 25 August (Jer. 38: 1-14 and 1 Cor. 6) or for Bartholomew's Day on 24 August (1 Cor. 4:18-5:13; Acts 5:12-16; and Luke 22:24-30).
On weekdays, the first church served as a Christian school until it was burned down five years later under circumstances suggestive of arson. A study of the school rules (1798) would leave no doubt as to the biblical nature of the education the children received. Every school day (including half a day on Saturday) started and ended with prayer and the singing of a hymn written by Isaac Watts, while all children were required to learn the catechism and to attend church on Sundays. They were instructed in religion, morality, reading, writing and arithmetic. The central text was always the Bible.
From the start, Johnson supervised schooling in the colony. In 1793, he put William Richardson in charge of the newly constructed church-school, while he opened another school for soldiers' children near the barracks, with William Webster as master teacher. The earliest schools were dame schools (small schools for young children, run by a mistress). The first was established by Isabella Rosson in Sydney in 1788 or 1789. A second was established by Mary Johnson (another ex-convict) in Parramatta in 1791. In the same year, Johnson appointed Thomas MacQueen as the first schoolmaster on Norfolk Island. In 1792, Samuel Marsden arrived from England to assist Johnson in his pastoral and educational duties. .i).;The first school opened specifically for Aboriginal people was Governor Macquarie's Native Institution, at Parramatta in 1814, with an ex-missionary, William Shelley, as headmaster. In 1819, a fourteen-year-old girl from the Institution won first prize in the public examinations, defeating all the white children in the colony. The editor for the Sydney Gazette argued that this disproved the popular opinion that the Aborigines were not able to be educated. Further, he reasoned that if the effects of Aboriginal schooling did not appear to be lasting, it was due to the menial employment to which they were assigned, rather than to their lack of intellectual ability.
A testimony to the reality of what God has done through Christian schooling over the last two hundred years was demonstrated on the occasion of the Bicentenary celebrations of Christian schooling in Australia. .i).Christian schooling;Although 25 August 1793 was the date of the actual opening of the first church, which was used as a Christian school during the week, the celebrations were held during Education Week, 1993.
The Bicentenary celebrations of Christian Schooling, sponsored by the Christian Community Schools Limited, were held in Sydney on Friday, 17 September 1993. The day of the march was the first fine day in several weeks. (The inclement weather had caused extensive flooding throughout south-eastern Australia.)
Over 3000 students from 50 different Christian schools participated in the March of Witness. Most came from NSW, but some travelled from Victoria while others represented three schools from Western Australia. Participants included students from some of the oldest church schools as well as from the newest. The youth were a spectacular sight, as they marched four abreast in brilliant sunshine, from the Sydney Domain down Macquarie, Hunter, O'Connell and Loftus streets to the Forecourt of the Sydney Opera House for a public gathering.
At the head of the procession, the Sydney Town Crier marched to announce the purpose of the march. He was followed by the Mounted Police, the Toongabbie Baptist Christian Community School Colour Party, and the NSW Corrective Services Band, which claims direct lineage to the NSW Corps that came with the First Fleet. Other participants were the Kings' School Military Band (from the oldest existing school in Australia), and the Scots College Pipe and Drum Bands. Students dressed in school uniforms or period costumes and carried Australian flags, or green and gold helium balloons, school banners and placards with messages for the people of Sydney. Decorated floats depicted education past and present.
As the students marched past places of significance, they offered silent prayers. At Parliament House, they prayed for State and Federal governments and members of Parliament; at Richard Johnson Square, they prayed for Christian schooling; at the Education Department Building, they prayed for the state schools, their teachers and students; at Circular Quay, the birthplace of Australia, they prayed for Australia--that righteousness and justice would be established and that the people would return to God and rebuild the nation on His values.
As the marchers passed Richard Johnson Memorial in Richard Johnson Square , the site of the first church and school, students presented their donations to a representative of the Sydney City Council, for the renovation of the Memorial and for the erection of a plaque commemorating the Bicentennial celebrations.
The 3000 marchers joined another 5000 students, teachers and parents in the Forecourt of the Sydney Opera House in front of the steps, to thank God for the work of Rev. Richard Johnson.
The public gathering opened with a spectacular release of hundreds of green and gold balloons to a fanfare of trumpets. This was to symbolise their commitment to the land of Australia, as well as the spirit of unity and hope invested in our children. The compere for the ceremony was Mr Stephen O'Doherty MP. In his opening remarks, he brought greetings from the Premier and NSW Minister for Education as well as from the Honourable Ross Free, Minister for Schools, Vocational Education and Training. Mr John Lambert, President of the NSW Board of Studies, officially opened the celebrations.
The Rev. Robert Frisken, President of the Christian Community Schools Ltd and Chairman of the Celebration Committee, brought a short address on the meaning of Christian schooling. A brilliant pageant of music, dance, gymnastics and drama followed, depicting the history of Christian schooling in Australia, from Johnson's first school until today, with a segment that looked forward to the future.
St Andrew's Cathedral School Choir led a magnificent presentation of the Bicentennial song, "What Shall We Render?". The song, written by Rev. Dennis Patterson for the occasion, acknowledged the contribution of Richard Johnson to Christian education and challenged all Australians to celebrate God's goodness to us and to call upon His Name. The program culminated with a rendition of Geoff Bullock's song, "The Great Southland", which was accompanied by a symbolic dance and the release of pigeons to symbolise the movement of the Holy Spirit in revival across the "great southland".
The march and public gathering were the climax of a week of celebrations that commenced with prayer breakfasts across the nation on Saturday 11 September, and a special commemorative service at St Phillip's Church  in Sydney on Sunday 12 September. Throughout the week, special local events were held in Christian schools in various parts of Australia. In Victoria, 1200 students from Christian schools gathered at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat for a day of special festivities.
On Thursday 16 September, an education seminar, entitled: "Education 2000 and Beyond" was held in Sydney. The three keynote speakers were Rev. Robert Frisken, Dr Carl Weiland, Managing Director of the Creation Science Foundation, and Mr John Heininger of the Australian Evangelical Apologetic Society. The seminar was chaired by Mr John Lambert, President of the NSW Board of Studies.
The march and celebrations were a spectacular end to Education Week 1993. It was an impressive indication of the extent of the growth of Christian schooling in Australia, and offers hope as Australians make plans for the year 2000 and beyond.
As we approach the centenary of Australia's nationhood in 2001, Australians might ask: Does God have a plan for Australia? Several eminent thinkers and visionaries contend that Australia does have a special destiny. Henry Parkes, Father of Federation, called for Australians to be "one people with one destiny". It was out of a conviction that "God made of one blood all nations” (Acts 17:26), that Dr John Harris wrote his monumental book, One Blood. The book describes the encounter of the Aborigines with the early Christian missionaries. Harris argued that any attempt to restore vision to the Australian church must include the Aboriginal Christian church. He felt that God did not only come to Australia with the First Fleet; His "eternal power and Godhead" were evident in all of His creation (Rom. 1:20), even in the gold of the wattle, the laugh of the kookaburra, and the spirituality of the Aborigine.
English evangelist Smith Wigglesworth was also of the conviction that Australia was predestined to be one people with a special destiny. He prophesied that the last and greatest revival in history would come out of the continent of Australia. However, before revival flames can ignite the nations around Australia, the fire of the Holy Ghost must burn within the hearts of Australian Christians, bringing reconciliation between Aborigine and white, Protestant and Roman Catholic, husband and wife, parent and child. God has given to the Australian church the "ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:18-20). This reconciliation or "calling back into union and friendship the affections which have been alienated" has already started, as seen in 1988, at the National Prayer Gathering in Canberra, where white Christians asked the Aborigines to forgive them, and black and white ministered to each other. Those individuals who have been "reconciled" to God through Jesus Christ have found that He has a special plan for their lives, as He does for nations.
The National Coordinator of the National Alliance of Christian Leaders, Dr Graham McLennan, has articulated his firm conviction that Australia has a special destiny. Speaking at the National Prayer Gathering , Dr McLennan said: "As we celebrate our Bicentenary, we need to reflect on our foundations and recognise the hand of God in the commencement of a Christian nation in the Pacific within reach of the great Asian nations". The event was the culmination of a gathering of 50,000 Christians, who assembled from around Australia, for the dedication of the new Parliament House, which Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II opened in the capital, Canberra, in May 1988.
Although Australia became a Federation in 1901, it was not until 1927 that Australia's first Parliament House was opened in the beautiful, newly established capital. However, it is important to recall that the first Parliament of 1901 was opened with prayer as the government established its authority under God.
Almighty God, we humbly beseech Thee to regard with Thy Merciful favour the people of this land, now united in one Commonwealth. We pray for Thy servants the Governor-General, the Governors of the States, and all who are or who shall be associated with them in the administration of their several offices. We pray Thee at this time to vouchsafe Thy special blessing upon the Federal Parliament now assembling for the first session, and that Thou wouldst be pleased to direct and prosper all their consultations to the advancement of Thy glory and to the true welfare of the people of Australia, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who has taught us when we pray to say: Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. . . . 
National days of prayer and fasting had been proclaimed throughout Australia's two-hundred-year history. Fifty years after the arrival of the First Fleet, the Governor of New South Wales, George Gipps, a Christian, proclaimed Sunday, 2 November 1838 a national day of prayer and fasting because of the severe drought. Two days later the drought broke. On 11 September 1895, fifty-seven years later, another day of prayer was declared, under similar circumstances. A day of thanksgiving was proclaimed three weeks later to thank God for the breaking of the drought.
When, in 1988, it was rumoured that the new Parliament House was to be opened without prayer, Christians, recognising that this was to be a historic moment, made plans to come to the capital, Canberra. The result was the largest prayer meeting in the nation's history when Christians from all denominations gathered together to pray for Australia, expressing their belief that "where there is no vision, the people perish" (Prov. 29:18).
Ignorance and rejection of Australia's Christian foundations has created the present dilemma--a crisis in morals, family, economics and government. The turning point in Australian history--that is, when we "lost" our biblical heritage--was with the introduction of the New South Wales Public Instruction Act 1880. With the passing of that Act, the state took over education under the premise of religious neutrality. Restoration of our biblical heritage starts with education in the biblical principles of every subject. Benjamin Franklin once said: "He who shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world". This book is intended to be a rediscovery of those biblical principles of history, government and education upon which our nation was built. While some may dispute how a country that was conceived in chains can give birth to freedom, they should remember that throughout history true religion has always visited the suffering in their afflictions (James 1:27; Matt. 25:35-36).
The fact of Australia's British origins has posed another question. Do Australians have an identity crisis, as has been believed and debated by many today? Such a belief in a "cultural cringe"--be it fact or fantasy, be it engineered to support a political philosophy, or cultivated by an intellectual elite to control the thinking of a new generation--is relevant to all Australians, as seen in the attempt to implement "Australian Studies" into all schools across the nation. (It is already compulsory in Victoria.) The rationale behind Australian Studies is twofold. First is the notion that in order to find their true identity, Australians need to get rid of their "dependency" on Great Britain (and the United States, for that matter). Second is the belief that white settlers dispossessed the native Australians, destroyed the environment, and exploited the working class, migrants and women.
The implications of the beliefs of the "cringe fringe" for the study of history are particularly serious. First, the historian must debunk the study of British history (that was done several years ago). Second, Australian history, once taught in schools with great pride, needs rewriting since the last 200 years has been but "a brief and nasty interlude" when contrasted with "the millennia of Aboriginal experience". The "new" historians also reject orthodox history as it is too concerned with big names and events in the public national and international arenas, rather than with the little man in the local community where the real Australians live out their private, uneventful but equally meaningful lives. Another reason to reject conventional history is that it is largely male chauvinistic and white. What is more, Australian's unholy alliances with Britain and the United States got Australians involved in other people's wars. To reflect Australia's changing identity, the proposed motto for the 1988 Bicentennial program was changed from "The Australian Achievement" to "Living Together".
The limitations of such a curriculum with its political aim of the independence of Australia from Britain and America is controversial and contradictory in nature since contemporary Australian culture cannot be understood without reference to her British origins. If British history is not taught anymore, and Australian history is not credible anymore, Australia can have no future because it is the knowledge of the past that shapes the present.
Even the eminent Australian historian, Manning Clark, was an advocate of the "republican" agenda. He elaborated on the evils that the white man brought to Australia in the violence done to the Aborigines, the convicts, and the land itself. He failed to mention that few new civilisations have been established without the use of some violence. Certainly, although white Australians cannot be proud of the atrocities committed to the Aborigines, the settlement of the continent was remarkably peaceful when compared to the establishment of civilisations in other parts of the world.
In spite of the evils that he believed civilisation brought to Australia, Manning Clark, in his comprehensive history of Australia, has demonstrated that Australia has a Christian or Providential history. However, he did not identify the biblical principles of that history and government, nor specify God's purpose for Australia. According to Colonial Office member, Sir James Stephen, who helped initiate the founding of South Australia, "the government of men should conform to the fatherhood of God, rather than to any notions of abstract human rights". Educators need, then, to consider the relevance of Scriptural truth. One such application of biblical principles to guide education is the Principle Approach , identified in Chapter 2 as seven biblical principles of government and education. These can undergird Clark's view of Australian history.
What is the Principle Approach? The Principle Approach maybe defined as "an historic Christian method of Biblical reasoning which makes the Truths of God's Word the basis of every subject in the school curriculum". It is the author's basic tenet that Australia was founded upon Christian principles. It is not implied that all of Australia's founding fathers acted on biblical principles. However, it is my intention to demonstrate that to the extent that they operated according to biblical principles, Australia in fact became a Christian nation. If these principles can be identified, understood and taught, they can once again be implanted in the homes and school rooms of our nation.
The key to the success of any government based on this Christian philosophy depends on education and history. God governs through teaching, and history is "His Story", or the story of God's hand at work in the affairs of mankind. As it is written: "These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children . . . that it may be well with thee and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land" (Deut. 6:6-18; See also Ps. 78). In His divine foreknowledge, God chose Abraham to found a nation because He knew he would be diligent in teaching his children how to govern every area of their lives by God's standards, so that God would be able to fulfil His promises to Abraham's descendants (Gen. 18:19). Although the humanists have long recognised the importance of education, they are committed, not to these biblical principles, but to secular standards. Sadly, state schools are now the instruments of secular standards. In effect, state schools and universities are brainwashing the citizens of tomorrow at the state's expense!
To apply the Principle Approach to a nation means to understand that country's origins or roots from a biblical perspective. Noah Webster, in his 1828 Dictionary, defines a principle as "the source, cause, or origin of any thing; that from which a thing proceeds; ground . . . foundation; that which supports . . . a series of actions or of reasoning". In researching a nation's history, it is necessary to look for governing sources and ideas that guide the thoughts and actions of individuals. For example, the Bible-based English common law (explained in Chapter III), which was brought to Australia by the people in the First Fleet , greatly influenced the development of the nation. This is in accordance with the principle enunciated in Acts 17:26 and Psalm 24:1, that God forms nations and desires people to acknowledge Him as Creator of people and nations.
The Principle Approach is also a method of biblical reasoning (Isa. 1:17-18; Prov. 4:23; Rom. 12:2).
This approach enables the individual to think governmentally, that is, to think in terms of "who" or "what" is controlling, restraining, directing or regulating; to discern whether the operations of government (direction, regulation, control, restraint) are being confirmed by, and exercised with, the operations of education. It compels one to ask, "Who is governing, first, internally--from the heart or mind?" Then, "Who is governing externally, in social and civil activities?"
It is important to think governmentally because, as the Honourable Robert Charles Winthrop, Massachusetts orator and legislator, noted in 1849: "Men . . . must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible, or by the bayonet".
In the study of history, it is important to identify "who" or "what" is controlling individuals, events, institutions and documents. The Principle Approach, as a method of biblical reasoning, enables the individual to think governmentally by researching, reasoning, relating and recording (commonly called "Four-R-ing ") information about a subject. See Appendix II.
Thinking governmentally--in terms of the flow of power or force--internally as well as externally, will enable the historian to find the true source of power, whether it be God or Satan. Civil government starts with Christian self-government: "He that rules his spirit [is better] than he that takes a city" (Prov. 16:32). A man must know how to rule himself before he is qualified to rule others. He must be able to manage his own household before he is capable of managing a church (1 Tim. 3:5). Government begins internally in man's heart and flows outwards --first, to a man's family, and then to institutions outside the home. God ordained three governmental institutions: the home (including education and voluntary association), the church and civil government. Civil government was designed for man's good--for his protection, not for his harm (Rom. 13:4). The Christian idea of man (as having individual value) gave rise to the Christian concept of government for the protection of man's inalienable God-given rights of life, liberty and property. Because man is valuable to God, He has a plan for man, both for the individual and for nations.
God's Purpose for Australia
The task of identifying God's providential hand in Australia's history is uniquely difficult because Australians have been ashamed of their origins and so have ignored their Christian history. They have been afraid to look at the past for fear they "might hear the clink of convict chains". The result of this ignorance has been that Australians have embraced humanistic solutions to their country's problems. Concomitantly, they have been unaware that there are biblical answers.
To discover their destiny or calling, Australians must first be willing to accept their convict beginnings and see that God can make something beautiful out of the mud of human degradation. In the light of this, the tale of the Granny Smith apple can be quite instructive. The Federal President of the Churches of Christ, Neil Gilmore, told a story at the National Prayer Gathering, of the origin of the Granny Smith apple. This unique Australian apple originated from some rotten English crab apples that had been thrown away on a rubbish heap at the end of Maria Anne Smith's property in Eastwood, Sydney. In the spring, Mrs Smith was surprised to find that a new kind of apple tree had sprung up; its fruit was crisp and tart with its own distinctive flavour. Gilmore pointed out that the first white people who came to Australia were English discards (criminals, thieves, prostitutes), disposed of at the end of a property of an Empire. But, as the writer of 1 Corinthians noted (1:27-8), God uses those that the world has discarded to achieve His purposes. A convict people that was rejected as English rubbish over 200 years ago, has become a new unique nation. Australia, with its own distinctive features and heritage, has a peculiar contribution to make to the critical future of the Pacific Rim.
To understand and cooperate with God's plan for their nation and to know how to take responsibility for its government, Australians must understand Christian self-government and the form of government established by their constitution. As Australians learn to identify these Christian principles and the results of their application in civil government and education, they will know how to preserve their liberties. When a nation forgets her Christian history and is ignorant of biblical principles of government, she loses her freedom. She is like a ship without a rudder, at the whim of every wind, or, like a Hereford bull in the show ring, easily led by the ring in its nose. Only the continual teaching and practice of Christian principles will safeguard Australia's liberty.
While Americans may feel that the word "liberty" is peculiar to America, liberty is predominantly a biblical concept;biblical concept for "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (1 Cor. 3:17). John Locke's famous definition of liberty distinguishes between liberty and licence:
To understand political Power, right, and derive it from its Original, we must consider, what State all Men are naturally in, and that is, a State of perfect Freedom to order their Actions, and dispose of their Possessions, and Persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the Law of Nature. . . . But though this be a State of Liberty, yet it is not a State of Licence. . . . The State of Nature has a Law of Nature to govern it. . . . And Reason, which is that Law, teaches all Mankind . . . that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty, or Possessions.
Liberty is not licence. It is freedom under the Law of God (the Law of Nature). Sin enslaves, but Jesus Christ sets man free from sin and gives him the power to overcome sin (through the indwelling Holy Spirit, Rom. 8:2). If man lives according to the Law of God (written on his heart), then he will not need man to rule over him or externally control him, because he has submitted himself to the Lordship of Christ. When he is set free from sin on the inside, he has freedom from the rule of man on the outside. In other words, the key to external liberty is individual self-government. Then a man will not need another man to tell him what to do. He will allow himself to be ruled by God and His Law. He will follow Paul's admonition to the Galations to "use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh" (Gal. 5:13). Liberty then implies an individual responsibility to guard man's God-given rights (life, liberty, the right to own property and the pursuit of happiness), which are inseparable from his person.
The key to understanding these rights is the Dominion Mandate (Gen. 1:28-29). When God created man in His image, He gave him a decree to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and to "rule", or to take dominion over the earth and its resources. The Hebrew word for "dominion" is "rahdah", meaning to "reign" or "rule". An attribute of lordship is to exercise stewardship of property. The principle of property, includes the conscience, which is the most sacred of all property. It implies the right to obey God, rather than man. These property rights cannot be given away, nor can they be taken away by man. This is in contrast to man-made "rights": What the State gives, the State can take away.
In the realm of Christian self-government, when a man yields his will to the Lordship of Christ and renews his mind through the exercise of his reason, he will be able to control his appetites. He will be able to govern himself. This will be evident in his actions, deportment, conversation and conduct. As he learns internal or Christian self-government, he will be able to exercise control over widening external spheres of influence--his family, church and civil government.
All forms of biblical government--family, church and civil--start with individual Christian self-government. In the beginning, God created man in His likeness and commanded him to subdue the earth and rule over every living creature including himself. This is known as the Dominion Mandate (Gen. 1: 26-29). God justified His right to rule man solely because He was the "uncreated Creator" (Gen. 5:2). Adam failed the test of Christian self-government when he disobeyed God's commandment by eating the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3). He was unable to control his appetite. As a result of Adam's disobedience, man inherited a predisposition to sin, that is, to violate the Divine Law. This sin nature made it impossible for him to rule himself properly without God's help. God knew that "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked" (Jer. 17:9), so He ordained government to punish evil-doers and to encourage those that do good (Rom. 13:1-4; 1 Peter 2:13-14). The development of Christian self-government was slow. When Cain slew Abel (an example of Cain's lack of ability to control his anger as a result of sin), God Himself acted as judge as He had not yet established civil law (Gen. 4:1-16; Isa. 33:22).
Later, men became so evil that God, fearing the destruction of all mankind, decided to send a flood to destroy them and make a fresh start with God-fearing Noah and his family. After the flood, He re-established the Dominion Mandate with the added provision of capital punishment for murder. The reason for civil government is the protection of human life so that man can exercise his liberties and enjoy his property. Man's ability to govern himself is the foundation of all government because only the man who is "a new creature in Christ" is truly free to exercise Christian self-government. A decline in Christian or internal self-government will create a need for an increase in external government. For example, a child who does not exercise self-discipline in the home will obligate his parents to exercise external controls over his behaviour, or there will be anarchy. On a larger scale, in a society in which every man does what is right in his own eyes, such as in the days of the Book of Judges, there will be a rise of anarchy (a lack of control or restraint) or conversely, tyranny;tyranny (an arbitrary exercise of unauthorised power). Christian self-government, then, is the foundation on which the whole of society is built, starting with the individual's heart, and expanding to the family unit, and then to the outward sphere of the church and local (later, state and federal) civil government.
God's purposes for family, church and civil government are procreation (Gen. 1:28), propagation of the Gospel (Matt. 28:18-20), and protection of life, liberty and property (Rom. 13:4), respectively. The first reference to nations (Gen. 10:20, 31-32) pertains to families. The rise of centralisation and the humanistic form of government is alluded to in Gen. 10: 11 (the story of Nineveh) and in chapter 11. In order to stop this pagan tendency towards centralisation and the placing of sovereignty in the state (rather than God), God confused men's language at the Tower of Babel and scattered them across the earth to fulfil the Dominion Mandate as He had commanded (Gen. 11; 1:26-28).
[He] hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us (Acts 17:26-27).
God created the nations and set their boundaries with the purpose that they would seek Him. Jesus, in His final admonition to His disciples, commanded them to teach His commandments to all nations (Matt. 28: 18-20). The Great Commission , as it is known, could only be fully implemented with the colonisation of new lands and the growth of empires, as the tools of navigation became refined.
The reasons for colonisation varied from ventures for God, to ventures for gold and glory. Whatever the motives, missionaries accompanied the explorers and often led the way. Since Australia was settled by the British, she inherited the common law and the British form of government as well as the Church of England. Australians were taught British history; they knew very little of their own, except from a British viewpoint. (Actually, the truth of Australia's penal colony would not endear the British to the Australians.) It was not that there was any type of bondage or subservience (after the first fifty years), but rather, as Australian historian Manning Clark maintains in The Quest for an Australian Identity, that Australians developed an inferiority complex.
Yet, while Australia ceased to be a British colony in 1901, the new Federal Commonwealth of Australia remained "under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland". That Australians are still bound to their British roots is evidenced by the fact that, from 1901 to 1986, few attempts to change the Constitution have been successful. The controversial Australia Act 1986; was passed through parliament without going to the people by referendum. As in Britain, there has been an increasing move towards secularisation and centralisation as new generations of Australians have grown up, ignorant of their biblical roots. This trend has been accelerated by Australia's loss of financial power through massive overseas borrowing and increasing foreign ownership of her institutions, such as the media--all with government approval. According to Dr Graham McLennan, "The cry for national sovereignty and independence from a foreign power has a hollow ring to it as successive Australian governments rush to subject themselves to United Nations' control, especially through Section 51: Section XXIX--the external affairs' provision in the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution --again, without the consent of the Australian people".
Clearly then, a new generation of Australians has grown up, totally ignorant of their Christian history. In light of this, it is even more imperative that the truth be articulated to every generation. That is why God has again and again commanded parents to teach their children the Laws of God and the history of His care and provision for them (Deuteronomy 6 and Psalm 78). When men, through ignorance or denial, neglect God's Law (evident to all men in the creation), they make other gods for themselves (Romans 1). Men look to man (humanism) or to the state (socialism) to provide for them, instead of to God. Naturally, where the Spirit of God does not reign, there is tyranny or anarchy. So an understanding of the Christian (Providential) view of history, with the premise that God is directing men's affairs, is essential to safeguarding our liberty. The reader should heed Fyodor Dostoyevsky's warning to his nation: "If there is no God, then everything is permissible". The failure of seventy years of atheistic Communism in the Soviet Union has demonstrated the truth of his prophetic words. "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance".