Manley, Ken R. & Barbara J. Coe: Grace of goodness

Manley, Ken R. & Barbara J. Coe

The Grace of Goodness: John Saunders – Baptist Pastor and Activist, Sydney 1834-1848,  Greenwood Press in association with Baptist Historical Society of NSW, Macquarie Park, NSW, 2014

Rev John Saunders (1806-59) was the pioneer Baptist pastor in Sydney from 1834 to 1848. As well as establishing the first Baptist Church at Bathurst Street in 1836 he became a leading figure in the religious and moral life of the colony. A leading figure in the temperance movement at a time when alcohol was still a major scourge, he was also a courageous and outspoken critic of the treatment of Aborigines by many British settlers at the fevered time of the trial of white men for the Myall Creek murders. Henry Reynolds called his sermon on this theme ‘one of the most eloquent presentations of humanitarian doctrine’ from that period. (blurb)

As well as telling of Saunders’s work for missions and in pursuit of philanthropic, scientific and moral issues, the book includes his letters, written while he was travelling as chaplain to female convicts aboard the George Hibbert and after his arrival in Sydney.

Review by Doug Hynd.

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