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Reynolds, William Richard (1834–1901)

A useful Christian life came to a close on Friday, 25th January, 1901, when William R. Reynolds passed to where beyond these voices there is rest. Born in 1834, converted in 1853, and a local preacher since 1858, first in Gunning and then in Stanmore Circuit, Brother Reynolds served his generation according to the will of God, and then fell on sleep. What manner of a man he was may be judged from the tribute paid to his memory by the Rev. E. J. Rodd at the brief funeral service held in Stanmore Church on 26th January, before proceeding to Rookwood. Mr. Rodd said: – We are assembled to perform the last offices of friendship for one worthy of all the tokens of respect and affection we can show. His character possessed many estimable features. He was genial, tender, tolerant, sympathetic, generous-hearted. These natural qualities were ennobled and enriched by the saving grace of God. He was a sincere and humble Christian whose everyday life might with truth be called a walk with God; a spiritually-minded man who knew himself a citizen of heaven, and whose demeanour and conduct accorded with his high calling. He possessed in no small measure the gifts which mark out a man for usefulness in the Church – a quick intelligence and readiness of speech, a knowledge of Christion truth, and an experience of the deep things of God. The things he placed at the service of his Church with a beautiful modesty and, till his health failed, without any reservation. He was a good preacher, always acceptable, evangelical and earnest: aiming at the salvation and spiritual edification of his hearers, and that not in vain. He was a judicious and sympathetic class-leader, knowing well how to give to his members a seasonable portion of meat, and many can testify to the important part he has had in building up their Christian faith and character. As a Circuit steward he was diligent and faithful, a staunch friend to his Minister understanding his trials and difficulties, sympathising with him, and, if need were, defending him. For many years he suffered an increasing loss of health, which seriously affected his strength and spirits. I was with him in the Gunning Circuit twenty-three years ago, and when I came to Stanmore in 1890 and renewed my association with him, I was greatly affected by the change I observed. He had lost the energy and joviality which I had appreciated so much in the quiet little country circuit. But I found that, though these had gone, he had kept, indeed increased, his faith in God, his zest for spiritual things, and his zeal for service. He was far from so good a man physically, yet a much better man spiritually. The fire had refined his graces. God kept him in the fire, but remained in it with His servant till patience had its perfect work. 'Blessed is the man that endureth temptation, for when he is tried he shall receive the Crown of Life.' These more aptly describe the case of our departed friend. He was sorely tried, but by the grace of God he endured till God said, 'It is enough,' and weakness and suffering were exchanged for the glory of eternal life. During three periods of my ministry I was associated with him intimately, and so I knew him well. He was a most sincere and humble Christian, a loyal Methodist, an unsparing worker, a generous giver, an honourable citizen, an affectionate husband and father, a true and tender friend. We are all poorer for his going, but he is the richer, and we would not have it other wise. He earned his rest, he needed it, and God gave it him. A memorial service was held in Stanmore Church on Sunday evening, February 10, conducted by the Rev. J. E. Carruthers, at which affectionate tributes from the Revs. C. Stead and Dr. Sellors were also read. The memory of the just is blessed.

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'Reynolds, William Richard (1834–1901)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/reynolds-william-richard-24573/text34498, accessed 21 November 2017.

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