George Arthur

George Arthur (1784 – 1854) soldier, colonial administrator
It seems that the 1824 Lieutenant-Governor of Tasmania, George Arthur, had become a Christian some ten years earlier — when in Honduras in 1814. In the words of the rather cynical agnostic Manning Clark:  “Then, while reading the Scriptures he had begun to be weighed down with guilt for a detestable sin against his most Holy Maker, and to know that the heart of every man was desperately wicked and altogether in enmity with God”.

In 1804 the Lieutenant-Governor of New South Wales had authorized the settlement of Tasmania. Historian Clark explains that the landing was not celebrated by the drinking and the festivities which had marked the arrival at Sydney. At ten o’clock on the Sunday morning the military, convicts, settlers, officers and the Lieutenant-Governor — all assembled to hear the Reverend Knopwood read divine service, preach on the prosperity of the new settlement, and pray to God for a blessing upon the increase of it.

It seems that the 1824 Lieutenant-Governor of Tasmania, George Arthur, had become a Christian some ten years earlier — when in Honduras in 1814. In the words of the rather cynical agnostic Manning Clark:

“Then, while reading the Scriptures he had begun to be weighed down with guilt for a detestable sin against his most Holy Maker, and to know that the heart of every man was desperately wicked and altogether in enmity with God. Happily for him, in the midst of this conviction and abasement, it had pleased God to convey to his soul the most cheering reflections. In Honduras, he had read of the all-sufficient atonement by Christ; and had become perfectly tranquil, perfectly cheerful and perfectly happy. Through the free grace of God, he had come to believe he would one day enter into eternal life.”

A decade after Arthur’s experience in Honduras, the Legal Adviser in the British Colonial Office was the powerful evangelical James Stephen. According to Manning Clark, even then Stephen thought of Benthamism as a subtle enemy of Christianity.

Early in 1824, Stephen told the appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen’s Land, George Arthur, that he had an opportunity to make Tasmania a branch of a great and powerful nation which must exercise a mighty influence for good or evil over a vast region of the Earth. He told him of the importance of his mission to establish a Christian, virtuous and enlightened State in the centre of the Eastern Hemisphere and within reach of the Chinese, Hindu and Mohammedan nations which surrounded him. The problem was how to render it Christian, virtuous and enlightened.

Source : http://www.dr-fnlee.org/docs6/cfa/cfa.pdf

refer also

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_George_Arthur,_1st_Baronet

and

http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A010034b.htm

and

http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/A/George%20Arthur.htm

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