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Arthur Wilcox Manning

Arthur Wilcox Manning - journal of a voyage from Plymouth to Sydney on the Earl Grey, 1839-1840


was visible to our sight at the same time that our dear friends in England could see it, we seemed to have still one link connecting us with the land we had left behind us; and it was a pleasing fancy to think that a dear friend in England might be gazing at the same object as ourselves and at the very same moment, our eyes meeting as it were at the apex of the angle. But now this gratifying fancy is done away with, and “the last links are broken “. We are in different hemispheres, and gaze on different Heavens at night. There is certainly something melancholly in the idea, although I am going to my home, where I know I shall be happy. I know not how it is, but I feel that I have no business to be where I am, and a small still voice tells me that I ought to be in England, pursuing the plans for which I went there: and frequently I cannot help wishing that I had not left it so speedily. My conscience does not accuse me of rashness or interest, for I know not how I could have acted otherwise. My situation was one of difficulty and responsibility. My own secret illness and disturbed state of mind rendered me unfit for the arduous studies of a college; and dear Fanny’s delicacy of constitution and overstretched nerves made it dangerous to delay any longer bringing our engagement to its final issue, that she might speedily settle down into a quiet undisturbed life, and bid adieu to that false state of existence in which she had been so long wrapped. These considerations are not without force or claim, and yet I sometimes feel a kind of remorse as though I had slighted my Maker by relinquishing the plans I had formed for devoting myself to His peculiar service. ‘Tis true, it is but for a season, but still I have avoided a good opportunity, and have left it now to chance of circumstances whither I be able to become a Steward of God’s Mysteries or not. These occasional twiches, however, have the effect of making me more than ever determined to enter the Church so soon as my age will permit, if God will permit me to enlist myself. My parents do not like the idea of my receiving Ordination at the hands of a Colonial Bishop; but I consider his Ordination as valid as when conferred by the Bishop of London. I dread any interference on the part of my family - some of them, at least: but I trust they will permit me to choose my own profession according to my own dis-