Burke & Wills Web
The online digital research archive of expedition records
© 2020

Sunday, 19 August 1860

The Dean of Melbourne, Reverend Hussey Burgh McCartney (1799-1894) held a special service at St James Cathedral, which at the time was on the corner of William and Little Collins Street.


20 August 1860, Page 5.

To implore the Divine blessing upon the Exploration Expedition was the object of a special service held at the Cathedral yesterday afternoon. The attendance was extremely thin, and included but few of those connected with the expedition and Mr Burke, the leader. Two or three members of the Royal Society, including Sir William Stawell, were present.

No change was made in the ordinary evening service, save a special mention in the single prayer in which such interpolations are admissible. The Rev. the Dean was the preacher, and he took for his text Hagar's words. “Thou, God, seest me” (Gen. xvi., 13). He spoke of exploration as being a duty incumbent upon society, and drew a parallel between Hagar's position and one in which the expedition might possible be placed, as exhibiting the necessity for the party to have faith. He also quoted God's command to Abraham, “Arise, walk throughout the land, and the length and breadth of it, for I will give it to thee,” not to draw a comparison between Abraham's journey and the exploring party, but as showing that the work imposed on Abraham ought to be performed by the people of the people of this country.

In his concluding address to the explorers themselves, he entreated them to seek Divine Protection, and pray that their eyes might always be opened, that they, like Hagar, might find a well of water in the wilderness.

A collection in aid of the Female Refuge was made at the close of the service.


Genesis, XVI, 13.
And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
www.burkeandwills.net.au Burke & Wills Web The digital research archive of expedition records
© 2020, Dave Phoenix