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is at Port Essington, which has an excellent harbour. Victoria is its town.

409. VAN DIEMEN'S LAND.-This is also called Tasmania. It is nearly as large as Ireland. The country is generally mountainous: Mount Wellington rises nearly 4000 feet above the level of the sea, behind Hobart Town. There are several rivers, of which the Derwent and the Tamar are the chief. Numerous bays and harbours afford secure anchorage. The capes are also numerous. Many small islands lie off the coasts; the largest of which are Bruné, Flinders, Hunter Islands, and King's Island. Tasman's Peninsula is the penal station of the colony. The climate is generally dry and salubrious. The vegetable productions are numerous and beautiful. The settlements of the colonists extend chiefly through the middle of the island, from Port Dalrymple to Storm Bay. Hobart Town is the capital.

410. NEW ZEALAND.-This group of islands is situate in the South Pacific Ocean, about 1400 miles south-east of New South Wales. It consists of two

large islands and one smaller one. The two large

islands are traversed from north-east to south-west by a range of lofty mountains, intersected by beautiful valleys, and watered by fine rivers. Several active volcanoes are said to exist in the interior. Between the mountains and the sea is an immense extent of forest, plain, and pasture land; almost everywhere accessible by means of numerous fine bays and navigable rivers. The chief of these are Wangaroa Bay, the Bay of Islands, Port Nicholson, and the estuary of Hokianga, which receives the waters of twenty rivers, in the northern island; and in the

southern island, Akeroa and the harbour of Port Pegasus. Many small islands surround New Zealand. The climate is generally humid. The forests are extensive, various, and luxuriant. There are no indigenous quadrupeds, but various European breeds have been introduced. Black whales frequent the coast in vast numbers from May to September. New Zealand is a British colony. The chief settlements are at Port Nicholson and the Bay of Islands. Wellington and Kororarika are the chief towns.



411. General Description.-Polynesia consists, as its name implies, of numerous islands; which are scattered over the Pacific Ocean, and extend from Asia, Malaysia, and Australasia, on the west and south-west, to the wide open sea which washes the western shores of America. These islands, as regards their physical character, are either mountainous, hilly, or low coralline. The mountainous islands, mostly of volcanic origin, and originally submarine, are singularly romantic and sublime. The hilly islands are equally beautiful and luxuriant, but less majestic. The low coralline islands rise only a few feet above the level of the sea. They are generally small; but Tongataboo is 100 miles in circumferThey are all the work of the coral insects. The climate is generally warm and invariable, but tempered by the surrounding waters. The vegeta


bles are all tropical. There are but few quadrupeds; but birds and fish are abundant. Some of the islands are collected in groups; others are solitary. The principal groups are those of the Ladrone or Marian, the Caroline, the Feejee, the Tonga or Friendly, the Society, the Marquesas, and the Sandwich Islands.



412. Religions of Mankind.-The total population of the world has been estimated at 860 millions. Of these, 260 millions are Christians; 4 millions are Jews; 96 millions are Mahometans; and 500 millions are Heathens of various denominations. We have briefly noticed Mahometans and Heathens in the preceding pages. Jews are scattered, according to Divine Prophecy, over the whole face of the habitable globe; yet continue a distinct people. Christians are divisible into two great classes. majority are members of CHRIST's One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic CHURCH: others are members of multiform and discordant denominations; mostly heretical, and all schismatical.


413. Origin of the Christian Church.-When JESUS CHRIST was about to ascend into heaven, He gave this sublime catholic commission to His Apostles, and, through them, to their Successors "to the end of the world:"—"Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. Make Chris

tians of all nations; baptizing them in the Name of the FATHER, and of the SON, and of the HOLY GHOST." On the Day of Pentecost, three thousand souls were converted, and joined to the Apostles' fellowship; and from that day forward until now the LORD hath added to the Church such as are being saved.

414. Labours of S. Paul.-The persecution of the infant Church at Jerusalem, A. D. 37, scattered abroad the disciples; who thereupon preached throughout Judea, Samaria, Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Syria. S. Paul, however, whose public ministry began about A. D. 44, was the first great Christian missionary. During the course of his three apostolic journeys, he founded churches in the southern and central parts of Asia Minor, in Macedonia and Greece, and along the coasts of Asia fronting Greece. About A. D. 59, he was carried as a prisoner to Rome, where he found a church already existing, as well as in other parts of Italy. Released from thence, S. Paul appears to have revisited Ephesus, where he left Timothy as bishop; to have preached in Crete, of which he made Titus bishop; to have passed through Macedonia, and even into Spain. Returning thence to Rome, he there suffered martyrdom, about A.D. 68.

415. Labours of S. Peter and others.-S. Peter appears to have preached the Gospel in the north of Asia Minor and in Chaldea: S. Thaddeus at Edessa and in Mesopotamia: S. Mark in Egypt, where he founded the Church of Alexandria, and constituted Anianus its first bishop. There are also traditions that Persia, Arabia, Ethiopia, and Britain were visited by some of the Apostles.

416. The Church in the First and Second Centuries. According to S. Irenæus, bishop of Lyons, about A.D. 178, the Church had spread into Germany, France, Spain, and Libya. Tertullian, a few years later, testifies to the propagation of the gospel into Parthia, Media, and Armenia; among the Getuli and Moors in Africa; into all the borders of Spain; among many nations of Gaul; into those parts of Britain which were inaccessible to the Romans; among the Sarmatians, Dacians, Germans, Scythians, and many others.

417. Conversion of the Roman Empire.-In the succeeding centuries new nations were gathered within the Christian fold. Many of the Arabs were converted by Origen. The natives of Georgia and Iberia, and the Goths of Mysia and Thrace submitted to the dominion of Christ. The gospel continued to spread throughout Gaul and Germany; the conversion of the Gauls being completed by S. Martin of Tours. At the close of the fourth century, the decree of Theodosius banished Paganism from the Roman Empire, and Christianity took open possession of the throne of the Cæsars. During the three centuries that followed the age of the Apostles, the gospel was confined within its original limits; viz. Britain, the Rhine, the Danube, the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the boundaries of proconsular Africa; the labours of the successors of the Apostles being devoted rather to the consolidation of the Church within those limits, than to its extension beyond them.

418. Conversion of the Northern Tribes.—But the decay of the Roman Empire imposed new trials

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