Australia

Australia or NEW HOLLAND, a vast extent of land forming the main portion of Australasia. Its area is about 2,700,000 square miles. The population in the five English colonies, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, West Australia, and Queensland, was, in 1862, about 1,240,000 souls. The native population is rapidly decreasing. Their numbers are estimated at from 15,000 to 20,000. Toward the close of the last century Episcopal chaplains were appointed by the British government in New South Wales, which at that time was a penal settlement. In 1795 the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts commenced its missionary operations. In 1836 the first bishop was consecrated, and in 1847 three new sees were constituted. In 1865 the Anglican Church had in Australia (exclusive of Tasmania, q.v.) seven dioceses, Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, and Goulburn. The Roman Church has an archbishop at Sydney, and bishops at Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Maitland, and Brisbane, and a population of about 80,000 souls. The Moravians established a mission to the aborigines in 1849. In 1858 they sustained there two missionaries, but no specific results are yet reported. The Wesleyan Missionary Society opened a mission in New South Wales in 1815, in South Australia in 1838, in Western Australia in 1839. Their missions, both among the English population and the natives, have been blessed with remarkable success. They had, in 1865, 99 circuits, 484 chapels, 256 other preaching places, 145 missionaries and assistant missionaries, 5226 subordinate agents, 16,246 members, 2707 on trial for membership, 35,612 scholars in schools, 91,870 attendants on public worship. There are also Congregationalists, Baptists, German Lutherans, and other denominations, though less numerous. The government contributes to the support of the churches and clergy of the Episcopalians, Wesleyans; Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics. In 1855 there were 613 public, Roman Catholic, and private schools, in which 40,000 children received instruction. — Almanac de Gotha; Schem, Ecclesiastical Year- book.

 
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