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Blackman, William Richard (1825–1898)

There was a large congregation at the Wesleyan Church, Mudgee, on Sunday evening last week, when a memorial service in connection with the death of Mr. W. R. [William Richard] Blackman was held. There was a full choir, some special hymns (printed on slips) being rendered. After a sermon by the Rev. R. H. Rickard on 'The Death of Moses,' the following memorial of the late Mr. Blackman was read:"The deceased gentleman was born at Freeman's Reach, near Windsor, on 25th August, 1825. He came with his parents to Mudgee when he was 10 years old. His parents decided to reside here, and he returned to King's School Parramatta, where for some years he, Mr. John Yates, and the Messrs. Single were fellow students. In 1855 he married Miss Mary Single, of the Nepean, who survives him as do seven of their nine children. As a young man he was steady, but was not (and did not profess to be) in any sense a religious man; he even delighted in some amusements which he would not in latter life attempt to justify. Still he held in great respect that which was good and Godly. He kept the Sabbath sacred as far as observing it as a day of rest for himself and his animals even when he was on a journey. Early in life he abandoned smoking on principle, and he took a pledge against all intoxicants in order to induce a friend to do the same. He had ever since been an ardent temperance advocate and worker. Early in the 'sixties' he was deeply impressed by the preaching of the Rev. Thomas Angwin, and in 1864 or 1865, while on a visit to Sydney, he heard 'California Taylor' preach in the Domain, and he went from thence to York-street Wesleyan Church as an inquirer for salvation. There he found the long-sought peace through accepting Christ as his Saviour. On his return to Mudgee he became a member of the church in which he had been worshipping for some years. He continued to be a member of and a worker in it up to the time of his death. From time to time he had honorably filled almost every office in the church which is open to a layman. Only three months ago he was elected a representative of this circuit to the Conference, but ill-health prevented his attendance. Some years ago he took a very active part in public matters. He was one of the oldest justices of the peace, the returning officer of the electorate, inspector of stock, a life member of the hospital, and he held other public positions. As one of the two who courageously pursued and captured Johnston, the bush-ranger, he was presented by people of the town with a gold watch. He was the recipient of several other interesting presents–the bushranger's revolver (given to him by the authorities) from the Hon. W. B. Dalley were among them. But he was more widely known and more heartily appreciated as a sincere, earnest, irreproachable Christian–one always ready to speak or do as only a truly Godly man could. His quiet, genuine, unassuming character had impressed people of every rank and creed far and wide. His reputation was a most enviable one. Admirable verbal tributes came during his illness and after his death from almost everyone. For years he had been a great sufferer, but he had a strong constitution, which bore him up. In his last illness, which was intensely severe, he conducted himself with Christian fortitude and beautiful patience. In the intervals of pain he spoke naturally, but charmingly, of his Christian peace and hope. As one looked at his tall form, and fine white flowing beard, and his radiant face, he was reminded of one of the Patriarchs. As he exulted in the triumphs of the faith 'that overcometh the world, the flesh, and the devil,' you felt that instead of ending life he was just entering upon it, upon the divine immortality of Heaven–that he was the conqueror,–and you almost instinctively suggested to him Paul's challenge, 'O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Ye are not the victors–I am the victor; ye are but my servants to bear me home–to my Father's home, in the Celestial City, on the other shore. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.' When the spirit had left its earthly tabernacle it was the light of Heaven's morning that rested on those marble features. Men said sorrowfully, 'He's dead,' but a voice from the Great Beyond said exultingly, 'Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord. Even so Saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labors'.

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Citation details

'Blackman, William Richard (1825–1898)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/blackman-william-richard-25019/text33529, accessed 22 August 2019.

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