February 28, 1863
‘One Mr. Paton, expressing great anxiety to see some of them, she, after consulting some time with the other blacks, said she had some belonging to King John, her uncle, who was absent, and left them in her care. After considerable reluctance shown on the part of the other blacks, were produced, in which three were kangaroo tusks or bears tusks, , pieces of human bone, stones, charred wood, etc., etc. She described the virtues attributed to different articles. If any evil was wanted to befall one of another tribe, the doctor, after muttering, threw such a stone in the direction he was supposed to be, wishing that he might fall sick, or might die, etc. The spirit from the idol entered into his body and he was sure to fall sick or die. Another piece of charred wood, that the doctor rubbed on the deased part of any sick person, made the pain come out to the spirit into the wood, and the doctor carried it away. All this time the other blacks were in evident dread of the things being seen and handled, repeating, no white man ever seen these before!’ Mr. Paton got three specimens from them, an evil and a good spirit, and a piece of carved bone.’ Robert Hood, J.P. Hexham, Victoria, Merang, 28th, February 1863.
Mr. Hood asked Nora how he had never heard of or seen these things before. Living so long amongst them, and blacks, constantly coming and going about his house. She replied, ‘Long ago white men laughed at black fellows, praying to their idols. Black fellows said white men never see them again! Suppose this white man not know all about them, he would not now see them. No white man live now and see what you have seen.’
Thus it has been demonstrated on the spot, and in presence of the most reliable witnesses that the Aborigines before they saw the white invaders, were not “brutes” incapable of knowing God, but human beings, yearning after a god of some kind. Nor do I believe that any tribe of men will ever be found, who, when their language and customs are rightly interpreted, will display their consciousness of the need of a God, and that Divine Capacity, of holding fellowship with the Unseen Powers, of which the brutes are without the faintest trace.