Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Thomas Smith (2nd)
The son of the Rev. John Blackburn, was born at Malton, Yorkshire, June 16th, 1840, and died August 30th, 1870, at Bradford. From childhood he was taught the ways of religion, both by precept and example. When twelve years of age, his parents then being stationed at Belfast, Ireland, Thomas felt his condition as a sinner, and sought and found mercy. This change was evidenced by a consistent life, in which he was greatly encouraged by the pious example of his parents.
In 1860 his name was placed on the plan as a local preacher, but three months afterwards he was taken into the regular ministry, in which he delighted and laboured with success. In his journal he informs us that during his ministry he saw more than sixty added to the Church, the greater part of whom own him as their spiritual father. A local preacher, writing to him from Plymouth mission, says:- “Your labours amongst us were not in vain, many claim you as their father in the Lord; my dear mother, now seventy-nine years of age, says she was brought to God through your labours, and she is now happy in the Lord; such, at least, is the testimony of one saved in the eleventh hour.” But in this work he was not to remain long, his frame being unable to support the incessant labours of a Primitive Methodist preacher; after eighteen months in the regular ministry, he returned home to recruit his health, but returned no more to his station.
In 1862 his name again appeared amongst us as a local preacher, and, though feeble in body, he continued to preach with acceptance and profit to his congregations, and many regret they shall hear him no more. He was a lover of Sunday-schools, a constant labourer in the Band of Hope and Temperance cause, a leader of an important class, and for some time a Sunday-school superintendent and society steward; all these offices he filled with honour to himself and the good of the Church of Christ. His affliction was protracted, for some weeks he was confined to his bed and suffered much temptation, but he overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of His testimony. On the day of his death he spoke more of heaven than formerly, and said, “There I shall be free from weakness and pain, and washing in the fountain of Christ’s blood will make us ready.
“Thou Lamb of God, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power.” :
Soon after reciting the above he asked his mother for a drink of water, and, when giving him it, said “Thomas, you may drink the next pure from the fountain;” he faintly replied “Yes! pure from the crystal fountain in heaven,” and in a few minutes bid adieu to earth.
Thomas was born on 16 June 1840 at Malton, Yorkshire, to parents John Blackburn, a PM minister, and Mary Wilkinson.
Thomas died on 30 August 1870 at Bradford, Yorkshire.
- 1861 Maidstone
- 1862 retired ill
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1872/47
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers