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RELIGION.

THE progress of all matters relating to denominational Religion

since the early years of Australasian settlement has been steady and remarkable. For the first fifteen years after the foundation of the colony of New South Wales, only a single denomination was recognised by Government or possessed either minister or organisation—the Established Church of England. In those days the whole of Australasia was ecclesiastically within the diocese of the Bishop of Calcutta, of which it formed an Archdeaconry ; this continued until 1836, when the bishopric of Australia was constituted, and the Rev. William Grant Broughton, D.D. (formerly Archdeacon), was consecrated the first Bishop. In 1841 the bishopric of New Zealand was established, and in 1812 that of Tasmania. Considerable changes took place in 1847, when the dioceses of Melbourne, Adelaide (including South Australia and Western Australia), and Newcastle (including the northern portion of what is now New South Wales, and the whole of Queensland) were established, and the Bishop of Australia was styled Bishop of Sydney and Metropolitan of Australia and Tasmania. In 1857 the diocese of Perth was formed out of that of Adelaide, and in 1859 the diocese of Brisbane out of that of Newcastle ; in 1863 the bishopric of Goulburn was separated from Sydney ; in 1867 the bishopric of Grafton and Armidale was formed out of part of the diocese of Newcastle; in 1869 Bathurst was separated from Sydney ; in 1875 Victoria was divided into the two dioceses of Melbourne and Ballarat ; in 1878 the bishopric of Northern Queensland was established, with Townsville as seat of its Bishop ; in 1884 the diocese of Riverina was formed out of parts of the dioceses of Bathurst and Goulburn ; in 1892 parts of the bishoprics of Brisbane and Northern Queensland were formed into the new diocese of Rockhampton ; in 1898 the bishopric of British New Guinea was established, and in 1900 the new diocese of Carpentaria was formed in Northern Queensland. While the six dioceses of New South Wales were united under a provincial constitution, with the Bishop of Sydney as Metropolitan, no such union existed in Victoria or Queensland, and the decision of the Lambeth Conference of 1897, granting the title of Archbishop to Colonial Metropolitans applied, therefore, only to Sydney, whose Bishop thereby became Archbishop of Sydney.

Each state preserves its autonomy in church matters, but the Archbishop of Sydney is nominal head or Primate within the boundaries of Australia and Tasmania. In 1872 the ties between the churches in the various states under the jurisdiction of the Primacy were strengthened by the adoption of one common constitution. A general synod of representatives of each of these states meets in Sydney every five years to discuss Church affairs in general. New Zealand is excluded from this amalgamation, and possesses a Primacy of its own. As already stated, a Bishop of New Zealand was appointed in 1841. After various changes the constitution of the Church in New Zealand was finally settled in 1874, when the whole colony was divided into the six dioceses of Auckland, Waiapu (Napier), Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, and Dunedin. After the departure of Bishop Selwyn, who has been the only Bishop of New Zealand, the Primacy was transferred to the see of Christchurch, where it remained until 1895. In that year

the Bishop of Auckland was elected Primate of New Zealand. The missionary Bishop of Melanesia, whose head-quarters are at Norfolk Island, is under the jurisdiction of the New Zealand primacy. At present, therefore, there are twenty-three bishops in the states, including the Bishop of Melanesia, but excluding assistant bishops. The Synodical system of Church Government, by means of a legislative body, consisting of the clergy and representatives of the laity, prevails throughout Australasia, both in the individual states and as a group.

The Church of England has a larger number of adherents than any other church as well in each state as in the Commonwealth ; its position is strongest in Tasmania and New South Wales, where its doctrines are professed by nearly half of the population; in Western Australia also it is a very powerful body, numbering 42 per cent. of the people of the state. The Church is proportionately weakest in South Australia with adherents numbering 30-26_ per cent. of the total population. The adherents of the Church of England in Australia numbered 644,490 in 1871, 867,791 in 1881, 1,234,121 in 1891, and 1,497,620 in 1901, an increase of 853,130 in thirty years ; in New Zealand the increase has been from 107,241 in 1871 to 314,024 in 1901, or 206,783 in thirty years.

In 1803 a grudging recognition was extended to Roman Catholics, one of whose chaplains was for some time placed on the Government establishment ; but it was not until 1820 that any regular provision was made for the due representation of the clergy of this body. Until 1834 the Roman Catholics of Australia and Tasmania were under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Mauritius (the Rev. Dr. Ullathorne being

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Vicar-General from 1830 to 1834), but in that year Sydney was constituted a see, and the Rev. John Bede Polding, D.D., was consecrated Bishop, with jurisdiction over the whole of the Continent and Tasmania. In 1842 Hobart was established as a separate diocese, and Sydney became an archiepiscopal see. The diocese of Adelaide dates from 1813, that of Perth from 1845, and those of Melbourne, Maitland, Bathurst, and Wellington from 1848. During this year a diocese was established in the Northern Territory of South Australia, which since 1888 has been designated the diocese of Port Victoria and Palmerston. The bishopric of Brisbane was founded in 1859, and that of Goulburn in 1864. In 1867 the Abbey-nullius of New Norcia (Western Australia) was established. The dioceses of Armidale and Auckland date from 1869, and those of Ballarat and Sandhurst from 1874. In 1876 Melbourne became an archdiocese, and Cooktown was formed into a Vicariate-Apostolic. Other changes took place in Queensland in 1882, when the diocese of Rockhampton was founded, and in 1884, when the Vicariate-Apostolic of British New Guinea (with residence at Thursday Island) was established. In 1885 the Arcbbishop of Sydney was created a cardinal, and placed at the head of the Roman Catholic Church throughout Australasia. Following upon this appointment great alterations took place in the arrangement of dioceses in 1887, when the new dioceses of Lismore, Wilcannia, Sale, Port Augusta, and Christchurch, and the Vicariates-Apostolic of Kimberley and Queensland (the latter with jurisdiction over all the aborigines of the state) were established, and Adelaide, Brisbane, and Wellington became archdioceses. In 1888 Hobart was also made an archiepiscopal see ; ard a new see was established in 1898 at Geraldton, in Western Australia. At the present time there are six archbishops, sixteen bishops, three vicars-apostolic, and one abbot-nullius, or in all twenty-six heads of the Church with episcopal jurisdiction, irrespective of the VicariateApostolic of British New Guinea and of several auxiliary and coadjutorbishops.

The Roman Catholic Church occupies the second place in importance among the Churches of Australasia, and in each state, except South Australia, where the Methodist church is numerically stronger, and in New Zealand where its adherents are less numerous than the Presby terians. In 1871, the Roman Catholics returned at the census of the Commonwealth states numbered 408,279, in 1881, 539,558, in 1891 713,846, and in 1901, 855,800 ; this shows an increase of 447,521, in thirty years.

In New Zealand the increase was from 35,608 to 109,822 in the same period, that is to say, of 74,214. Compared with the total population the Roman Catholic adherents were 23•1 per cent. in 1871 compared with 21:6 per cent. in 1901, thus showing a slight decrease.

Amongst the earliest free colonists who settled in the Hawkesbury district of New South Wales was a small party of Presbyterians, and one

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of the first places of worship erected in the state was put up in 1810 at Portland Head by their voluntary exertions. Services were conducted there for years before any ordained minister of the denomination reached New South Wales ; indeed, it was not until 1823 that the Rev. Dr. Lang and the Rev. Archibald Macarthur, the first Presbyterian ministers in Australasia, arrived in Sydney and Hobart respectively. The Presbyterian Churches of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania, are united in a Federal Assembly which meets every year in rotation in the capital cities of the states mentioned. On the 24th July, 1901, representatives of the churches within the various states met at Sydney, when the union of the Presbyterian churches of the states of Australia was accomplished, and the first General Assembly met in pursuance of the scheme of union agreed upon by the Federal Assembly. The United Church is known

* The Presbyterian Church of Australia.” New Zealand is not included in this federation, and the Presbyterian Church in that colony is divided into the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand and the Presbyterian Church of Otago and Southland. Besides the churches mentioned, there are several small bodies of Presbyterians unconnected with the larger churches, such as the Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia in New South Wales, and the Free Church in Victoria. The church in each state, however, acts independently as regards local ecclesiastical administration, and preserves its autonomy in respect of funds and property.

The Presbyterian Church is strongest in New Zealand where its adherents number 176,503, equal to 23.42 per cent. of the population ; in Victoria the Presbyterians form 16:16 per cent., and in Queensland 11.7 per cent. of the total population ; in none of the other states does the proportion reach 10 per cent. Since 1871 the Presbyterian population of the Commonwealth has increased from 199,195 to 426,073, or by 226,878. In New Zealand the increase has amounted to 112,879.

The first Wesleyan, minister came to New South Wales in 1815, but it was not until 1821 that a Wesleyan place of worship was erected in Sydney, and it was even later before the denomination was allowed to share in the Government provision for religion. The first Wesleyan Church in Hobart was established in 1820. From 1815 to 1855 the Wesleyan Church in the colonies was regarded as a mission of the British Wesleyan Church, and from 1855 to 1873 it was affiliated to the British Wesleyan Conference; but in the latter year it was constituted into a separate and independent Conference as the Australasian Wesleyan Methodist Church. At the conference of 1890, held in Sydney, the church districts in Queensland were formed into a separate body, and in 1898, the union of the Methodist churches took place in accordance with resolutions approved by the Wesleyan Conference and Primitive Methodist District Assembly. The union of the Methodist churches of

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South Australia took place in January, 1900. Western Australia formed a district of the South Australian Conference until March, 1899, when it was constituted a separate conference, its first meeting being held at Perth in March, 1900. At present the Church is divided into six Conferences, viz., New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and New Zealand. These Conferences meet annually, while a General Conference is beld at triennial periods within the boundaries of each annual Conferenco in the order decided upon. On the 1st January, 1902, the Wesleyan Methodist, Primitive Methodist, and United Methodist Free Churches, entered into organic union, under the name of “The Methodist Church of Australasia.” The members of the various Methodist churches in Australia now number 504,154, an increase of 323,571 on the total for 1871, which was returned at 180,583. During the twenty years from 1871 to 1901, the number of adherents in New Zealand increased from 22,004 to 83,789. The denomination at present is proportionately strongest in South Australia, where it forms 25:5 per cent. of the total population, and in Victoria where the proportion amounts to 15.2 per cent.

A Congregational minister arrived in Sydney as early as 1798 ; and in Hobart the Congregational Church was established in 1830. At present there exists a separate Congregational Union in each of the Australasian provinces. Federal meetings have been held, and a Congregational Union of Australasia has been established. The first meeting of this body was held at Wellington, New Zealand, in 1892. It is intended to hold similar gatherings from time to time in the capital cities of the various states. In 1901 the Congregationalists in Australia numbered 73,563 as against 41,595 in 1871. The membership of this body has, however, remained almost stationary since 1891, when the adherents in Australia numbered 72,738. In New Zealand there were 3,941 Congregationalists in 1871, 6,685 in 1891, and 6,844 at the census of 1901.

The Baptist Church in Australasia dates from a much later period, the establishment of the first four Baptist Churches being as follows :Sydney, 1834; Launceston, 1839; Adelaide, 1840; and Melbourne, 1841. Churches were established in Auckland in 1852, in Brisbane in 1855, and in Perth in 1895. The adherents of this church in 1871 numbered 33,632, and in 1901 92,771, the incrtase in Australia for the thirty years being 59,139. In New Zealand the numbers for 1871 and 1901 were 4,732 and 16,899 respectively. The denomination is proportionately strongest in South Australia where it forms 62 per cent. of the total population.

The Jewish community in the Commonwealth had a membership in 1901 of 15,229 as compared with 13,805 in 1891, 8,815 in 1881, and 7,059 in 1871. In New Zealand this body numbered 1,262 in 1871, 1,536 in 1881, 1,463 in 1891, and 1,612 in 1901.

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