John Blacket (1856 – 1935) Methodist minister
Rev. John Blacket had a productive life: in the midst of heavy church and family responsibilities, and with only occasional access to Adelaide’s libraries, he wrote eight books of philosophy and history, the latter mostly about the first thirty years of South Australian settlement.
Despite covering large rural areas with only a horse and buggy to travel many miles on gravel roads, Blacket had a productive life: in the midst of heavy church and family responsibilities, and with only occasional access to Adelaide’s libraries, he wrote eight books of philosophy and history, the latter mostly about the first thirty years of South Australian settlement. His research was meticulous but his style hortatory, as in the introduction to his History of South Australia (Adelaide, 1911): ‘So long as the heart of the British race in the Australian Commonwealth beats true to God we have nothing to fear’.
As a Christian philosopher Blacket propounded a theology of divine immanence that facilitated an accommodation of scientific discovery with the Christian claim to historical revelation. Always respected by his opponents, he opposed socialist and single-tax doctrines but approved of trade unionism: these ideas were outlined in several pamphlets and his book, Theistic Essays for Thoughtful Men and Women … (Adelaide, 1891). He engaged in controversies in the press and in later life was often caricatured, the sketches showing his predilection for the frock coat long after it had gone out of fashion.
Further details : http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070318b.htm
The 250th anniversary of the birth of the Methodist Church took place in 1989. The commitment of early Methodist pioneers in Australia to the Gospel is shown in the following excerpts from, A South Australian Romance: How a Colony was founded and a Methodist Church formed, by the Rev. John Blacket, 1899.
Rev. Blacket describes the first act the new settlers made in South Australia:-
“What was the first act of the settlers on reaching shore? To go
on an exploring expedition? To attend to their material wants? No.
To give thanks to God.
There was neither ordained preacher nor temple made with hands.
In the great temple of nature, under the blue vault of heaven,
they returned thanks for the mercies of the voyage.
Is it not a picture worthy of the poet’s muse or the painter’s
brush? A little band of men and women – pioneer settlers, nation
builders – met on the shores of a country practically unknown.
Before them is the ocean. Riding at anchor in Nepean Bay is the
vessel in which they have sailed. Behind is the dense scrub of
Kangaroo Island. Away in the distance the mainland, on which they
will ultimately dwell.
Under foot the beach of Nepean Bay. Captain Morgan stands up.
The emigrants cluster around him. Heads are bowed and hearts
uplifted while the Captain conducts a short service, concluding
with extempore prayer.
Are not these the deeds that have won the empire ?
– the memory of which should never die.”
Source and further information on John Blacket : http://www.chr.org.au/fpbooks/vol2/CHP8.HTM
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