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as I myself have been assured more than friends of Mr. Richards have been inonce by those who have been used to duced to publish a selection of sermons attend personally to the wants and sor- from his pen; and which, though written rows of the poor, in the obscure recesses without even the most remote view to in which indigence conceals its miseries publication, and destitute of the living and shame, the traces of Mr. Richards's energies which his earnest and impressive footsteps were continually to be found. delivery imparted to them, are so simple

“But above all, that master grace of the and scriptural, so judicious, yet so perChristian character, a genuine and deep suasive, so much, in short, what Mr. humility, was manifest in Mr. Richards Wilberforce has described, and what to all who knew him; and in proportion parochial sermons ought to be, that it is to the degree in which he was known, hoped they will, by the blessing of God, was seen to pervade the whole inward be found productive of much spiritual and outward man. In short, few per

benefit to the reader. It has been also haps have ever exhibited in an equal considered desirable to append to the degree the beauty and excellence of the discourses a memoir of the author, with Christian character. He not only pointed copious extracts from his letters, which out to others the path to glory, and exhibit great piety and tenderness of bonour, and immortality, and with ex- character. The following is an outline ertions, far too laborious, we now fear, of the chief particulars, contained at for his bodily powers, was unremittingly greater length in the Memoir ; and employed in compelling them to enter though it exhibits few or none of those into it; but he advanced in it himself striking incidents, which are so apt to with a free and determined step. Pro- attract almost exclusively the popular vidence also eminently blessed his mani- mind, yet it is hoped that it will be found fold ministrations; and numbers, I doubt to contain lessons of heavenly wisdom, not, will at the last day rise and call which all ought to be anxious to learn, him the blessed instrument of their sal- while it pourtrays a character which all vation. He was, indeed, a burning and would do well to imitate, following this a shining light; and truly it was a mys- true servant of Christ, as he followed his terious and a dark dispensation of Pro heavenly Master. vidence, by which such a man was re- John Richards, was born at Penryn, moved from such a sphere of usefulness, in the county of Cornwall, August 4, at a period of life when, according to 1771. His father was a gentleman of the ordinary course of nature, he might some independent property, and was gereasonably look forward to a long course Derally respected for his sound sense and of service. But though so suddenly integrity of principle. His mother was called away, he was ready for the sum- the only daughter of Joseph Loscombe, mons; and, however great was the loss Esq. a merchant of Bristol. to his congregation, it could not but be As it is the principal object of this gain to him, to rest from his labours memoir to afford a sketch of Mr. and enter into the joy of his Lord.' His Richards’s.ministerial character, his early modest and unassuming nature would history will be noticed as briefly as poshave shrunk, while living, from the tes- sible. At the age of ten years he was timonies of respect and gratitude which placed under the care of Dr. Cardew, were poured forth over his remains. But the master of the grammar-school at to the feelings of those who enjoyed the Truro, where he remained a little more privilege of calling him friend, and to than two years. Hence he was removed myself his kindness has granted that as a commoner to the public school at distinction,-it was soothing to witness Winchester, of which Dr. Joseph Warton this universal homage of veneration and was then master. From his boyhood he thankfulness. But while it attested the was always popular, from his frankness magnitude of the loss that had been sus- of manner and kindness of disposition, tained in the death of Mr. Richards, it which particularly manifested themselves inspired a hope that cannot but be grati- in an uncommon absence of selfish feelfying to all who esteemed and loved him, ing. In 1789, he was admitted a penthat though he himself can no longer be sioner of St. John's College, Cambridge. pointed to as a living illustration of the He took his degree of Bachelor of Arts effects of true vital Christianity, his ex- in 1793, and shortly after quitted the ample will long continue to direct and university. If ever he recurred to the animate others in their Christian course.” period of his life passed at college, he al

With a view to further the important ways spoke of it with strong expressions practical object, pointed out in the con- of regret and self-condemnation; for time cluding lines of the above extract, the wasted, and talents misapplied. Yet, here, amidst much idleness and neglect of only on examination of their cases; and the studies of the place, he laid the foun- to relieve occasional distress among the dation of a knowledge of English litera- resident poor, by money, clothing, and ture, which, in the leisure afforded in his food, given after personal inspection and first curacies, he enlarged to a consider- visiting the dwellings of the applicants. able extent. His information, aided by This was the first institution of the kind, a retentive memory, a lively fancy, and extending to both objects, and its utility his frank and gentlemanly manners, ren- has been proved and exhibited by the dered him so agreeable a companion, subsequent establishment of similar ones that his company was much courted, in the metropolis and other large towns. and he had welcome admission into A wide field was now opened for the what is usually styled the best society. exercise of Mr. Richards's industry and

He was ordained deacon at Exeter in humanity; and in this school, as he often 1794, and immediately entered on the declared, he learned some of the most curacy of Paul, near Penzance. He useful lessons of his life. To the labours afterwards undertook the curacy of St. of this Society he devoted himself for John's, Millbrook, but relinquished it many years, till his parochial duties, with in order to give his undivided attention the care of the Dispensary, so fully occuto his widowed mother. In 1799, he pied his time, that he was no longer able married a daughter of J. S. Wynell to attend to the Society as he had formerly Mayow, Esq., of Bray, in the county of done. Cornwall, by whom he had nine children, In 1808, Mr. Richards succeeded the six of whom survive him. Early in the Rev. C. Phillott in the curacy of St. following year he settled in Bath, and Michael's, which he continued to hold commenced his public ministry as curate till his death, in 1825. The parish of of All Saints. He performed the weekly St. Michael's, wbich is a curacy within duty at that chapel, and on Sundays he the rectory of Bath, contains a popularead prayers and preached at the different tion of about 3000 inhabitants, a large churches within the rectory of Walcot proportion of which are of the middle in turn, With one interruption of no and lower ranks. On entering upon the long continuance, he remained at Alle charge of such a parish, he had ample Saints till Midsummer, 1808.

room for the exertion of the most active Having no parochial charge, he offered benevolence within the limits of his pato take, without receiving any additional rochial duties : to these he applied himremuneration for his services, a portion self with an honest desire to fulfil them of the parish to inspect and visit; but diligently and conscientiously; yet it canhis offer was not accepted. He was not. not be denied, that in the latter period however, unengaged, even at this period, of his life, the retrospect of his early in works of active benevolence. He saw ministration in this parish and elsewhere much distress around him, which he was was by no means satisfactory to his mind. anxious to relieve; at the same time he From the time of his entrance into the could not close his eyes to the imposture ministry, there was a perceptible and grathat, in such a city as Bath, mingled dual improvement in his character; and with it. To relieve the one, and check within the last ten or twelve years of his in some degree the other, the Society for life, in particular, he declared himself to the Suppression of Mendicity and Relief have experienced a most important change of Occasional Distress was established in in his religious principles and conduct, January 1805. Lady Isabella King, in of which there will be occasion to speak conjunction with Mr. Richards and Mr. more fully. Duncan, were principally concerned in In December, 1810, his wife's uncle, the formation of this institution. Mr. Dr. Lukin, then dean of Wells, presented Duncan says, that “his clear good sense him to the vicarage of Wedmore, in the was on that occasion inestimable, and the county of Somerset. He lost no time in value of the heavenly motive that impelled completing, at a considerable expense, all his actions was manifested in the per- the repairs of the vicarage-house, and apseverance with which he bore up against pointing a resident curate, with a stipend the obloquy that prejudice endeavoured that might be considered handsome for to throw on the simple attempt to dis- the value of the living ; covenanting with tinguish between real and fictitious dis- him for an afternoon service, which had tress.” The objects which this Society not before been customary. proposed to itself were, as its title implies, It is now necessary to advert to the twofold—to suppress mendicity, as far as change in Mr. Richards's views, which possible, by the institution of an office has been already alluded to. Whatever where relief was to be granted to vagrants, was the extent of that change, nothing could have been more gradual than its proper attention, was emphatic, without progress. That he should have espoused declamation, and natural without famiany opinions, or imbibed any principles, liarity. There was something peculiarly hastily, was quite contrary to his turn of powerful in his manner as a preacher. mind. But slow and gradual as that Simplicity, earnestness, and affection, change was, Mr. Richards always spoke all lent their aid to enforce what he of it as most material in its results urged on the heart and conscience; but, on his character. His understanding perhaps, what may be said to have conwas informed; but it was his heart stituted the peculiar charm of his manner, that was most deeply touched and af- was its genuine feeling. His look, his fected, and his conduct was answer- voice, his action, all attested how deeply ably changed. His preaching partook he felt the solemn truths which he laof the alteration : the peculiarities of the boured to impress on others. He never Christian system in the fall of man, and assumed higher ground for himself than his renewal to holiness by the redemp- for his hearers. There was nothing harsh tion of the Saviour and the sanctification or repulsive in his teaching. When he of the Spirit, entered more frequently and touched on the terrors of the Lord, it was distinctly into his discourses. He pressed with a solemnity suited to the awfulness more strongly the necessity of the con- of the subject, and with compasssion for version and dedication of the heart to

the impenitent sinners he addressed. He God: he exhorted more earnestly, and to “ told them weeping that they were the higher degrees of holiness. Amusements, enemies of the cross of Christ.” But he which before formed his recreations, he delighted to dwell on the winning topics by degrees abandoned : some, because of the mercy and long-suffering of God, he considered them incompatible with and the tender love of the Saviour to the Christian life; others, because they a lost world. His sermons, of which interfered with his professional duties, or those in the printed volume afford a occupied too much of his thoughts ; or tolerably fair specimen, were plain practended to impair the clerical character tical addresses, containing strong exhorin the estimation of many. In the relin-' tations to devotion of heart and life, quishment of some of these, he shewed on Christian motives. They abounded no little self-denial. Some of his letters in forcible remarks on the uncertainty of to his friends which have been preserv- life, the vanity and insignificance of temed, powerfully illustrate the nature and poral compared with eternal objectsgradual progress of this important and with affecting appeals to the heart and decisive change in his character.

conscience. He was anxious to keep Mr. Richards's exertions among the clear of controversy in his preaching. sick and afflicted were most indefati. There was one point, however, on which gable. His delight was to go about he had been misunderstood. His usefulamong the poor: he used to say that dess, he was informed, had been impeded he was fitted for it, and that he never by his being supposed to espouse Calwished to be taken out of it. His ex- vinistic tenets. This induced him occaperience in the visitation of the sick led sionally to introduce a few sentences into him in general to place but little re- his sermons, which might convince his liance ou a death-bed repentance. He hearers that he did not hold them. But, had painfully witnessed that, in cases in general, he was anxious to shut the of recovery, resolutions of amendment, question up, as he felt that there were made merely under the fear of death, difficulties in it which could never be were broken ; serious impressions wore cleared up in this world. off, and evil passions and habits resum- His church was generally crowded to ed their sway. It was to the surrounding excess. Many strangers who visited Bath, friends therefore, in such cases, that he including not a few persons distinguished always thought his instructions most for piety and talent, were in the habit of likely to prove beneficial. With this frequenting it. The poor were attracted view he did not allow his visits to ter- in large numbers by the plain and suitminate with the decease of the sick per- able manner in which he instructed them. son. To a friend he said, “ You have It was to this class of hearers that he not done all, when the person you have adapted his evening sermons in partibeen in the habit of visiting is dead; cular; and numerous are the instances continue your calls and warnings still in which the impression was both strong to the living.”

and lasting. Many communications He had a strong, yet pleasing, voice; have been made to his family, since his and his reading, on which at an early death, from persons in different situaperiod of his ministry he had bestowed tions in life; mentioning the spiritual benefit which the writers had derived From this time till his death, it pleased from Mr. Richards's preaching.

God to visit him with a succession of In 1817, he instituted a weekly ser- severe family trials. By these afflicting vice on Tuesday evenings at his poor- dispensations, his heavenly Father was house. “His manner," said one of his gradually withdrawing his affections from hearers, was that of a kind father earth to heaven, and preparing him to addressing his family.” At first, a few dwell for ever in his

presence. of the poor adjoining the house requested In the spring of 1824, he was so permission to attend; and in a short weakened that he frequently was obliged time the room was crowded to excess. to go from his house to his church in a This was more than he had anticipated; wheel-chair. With the advice of his but he did not like to send the people medical attendant, and at the solicitation away, and he had not power to transfer of his friends, he quitted Bath, and was the lecture to the church, which he wil- absent from his parish for a longer period lingly would have done.

than he had ever been. He returned to In the same year, his labours were Bath the autumn, still in an enfeebled much increased by his appointment to state of health, and with a conviction that the chaplaincy of the Bath City Infirmary his labours for the future must be cɔnand Dispensary. “This Infirmary," he siderably abridged. It was with great writes in his journal, “is a little world difficulty that he was able to preach a in itself; a world of the sick and the few times during the winter; the last time dying: so is the larger world. But even was about five weeks before his death, in this small place of the kind, what a

From this period his complaints gained number of cases, all differing from each ground rapidly on him, and he was other in some particulars, pass in review strongly urged to try, without delay, the and succeed to each other! In the course effects of change of air. He left Bath for even of six months, what a variety of Ridgeway, near Plymouth, on the 29th of suffering, what various causes which March, and bore the journey better than produced the suffering, what various was anticipated; but his disorder returned and totally different tempers and minds upon him with every unfavourable sympunder it! Sick rooms, hospitals, prisons, tom. On the Monday preceding his death, alms, and poor-houses-these are the he said to his brother, “ I am very ill-I real schools of spiritual instruction, these have no confidence but in Christ-I have are the places where the minister of the no other reliance-I am nothing in myGospel should more especially be found. self. I have not that assurance which It is, indeed, in many respects, a de- some have,—but I havea good hope." On pressing, a heart-sickening walk; but it the following morning, he said to his wife, is a salutary one."

“ Mary, I am going to leave you, I say In October, 1819, he was severely this to keep you from disappointment." afflicted by the loss, at the age of eigh- During his illness he was observed to be teen, of his eldest daughter; a young wo- much employed in silent prayer. He man of considerable intellectual endow- often requested that the Scriptures and ments, united to great piety and gentle prayers might be read to him. On the ness of disposition. How keenly he felther Sunday preceding his death, he desired loss, and yet how submissively he bowed to hear part of the church service; and to the dispensation, may be seen from on the day before he died, he expressed letters written about the period of her a strong wish that a prayer of thanksdeath. In one he thus expresses himself: giving should be offered up on his behalf. “ Yes, God has been pleased to deal us His excessive weakness precluded, not a heavy, a very heavy blow; but it is only much communication, but also much in love, not in anger, for He doth not exertion, of thought; and he seems to have willingly afflict or grieve: his name and realised in his own case, what his exhis nature are love; and however dark perience led him so often to observe in and inscrutable many of his ways are, that of others—how unfit a death-bed is and must be to us, while we are in this for the mighty work of preparation for state, yet of this we are sure, for our eternity. Happily he had not delayed reason and faith both assure us of it, this important matter. “ He had,” like that in all his dealings with us he only the excellent Hooker, “ been long preintends our final happiness and benefit. paring to leave this world, and gathering Affliction is the great school in which comfort for the dreadful hour of making such creatures as we are, are to be his account with God.” A triumphant trained, and to have those virtues ex- end he had never ventured to anticipate, ercised which are to make us meet for nor to hope, for himself. His humility a better and a purer state of existence." led him, in his own case at least (if not in that of others), to consider a feeling of his wife and family with strong expresexultation unsuited to the closing hours sions of thankfulness: in the review of of the probation of frail and erring man. his own life, he could trace the hand of But his death, though not triumphant, a merciful Providence guiding and conconveyed the silent and not uninstructive ducting him through the various events lesson, “ Mark the perfect man, and be- of it, and gently leading him to good; hold the upright; for the end of that man and no train of thought more sensibly is peace.” His end was truly in peace. affected him than that of the forbearance He fell asleep, and is entered on his rest. and mercy of a gracious God. His huHis death took place on the 15th of April, mility was very striking. It did not shew 1825, in the 54th year of his age. itself in a few hasty expressions of self

His parishioners requested what they condemnation, easily uttered, and too affectionately termed the privilege of easily passing current for its genuine conveying to Bath, and interring at their fruit. Indeed, he was averse to speaking own expense, the remains of their beloved of himself. With him it was, like every pastor. They were attended to the grave other principle which he embraced, striciby the Archdeacon and other clergy of ly practical. With respect to his fellowBath, and by nearly three hundred of creatures, it led him“ in lowliness of his friends and most respectable of his mind" truly “ to esteem others better parishioners. The sensation produced than himself.” Towards God it was exby his death was very great: each indi- hibited in a deep and abiding sense of his vidual to whom he was known, whatever majesty and holiness. Though alive to his rank, seemed to feel as if a member the danger of a spurious liberality, he of his own family had been taken ; every entertained perfect charity towards all one had some service to remember, some who differed from him. He was singukind act to recollect, some word of his larly exempt from any modification of which was mentioned to his praise, and spiritual pride; and so strongly did he fondly dwelt on.

dread any approach to censoriousness, Enough has been already said to ren- that he was always ready to offer someder it unnecessary to dwell on the cha- thing in extenuation of the apparent racter of Mr. Richards. He was singu- errors of others, especially if he himself larly gifted with those qualities which was affected by them. It needs not be more peculiarly endear the Christian mi- added, that he was devoid of party feelnister to his dock. There was a simplicity ing. “ If we must have parties," said and frankness in his character which won he, “ let there be but two parties amongst the confidence of all who knew him. us, the good and the bad. For my part, in There was a quickness of feeling and my walk through life, it will, I believe, warmth of temper in his natural disposi- be my lot to belong to no party or class tion; but so greatly were these subdued

To say the truth, I wish to beby the power of religion, that his habitual long to none. I wish to think for myself, temperament was that of calmness, and to take the word of God for my guide, his latter years a continued exhibition of and to pray to him to enlighten my unquiet submission and resignation under derstanding where I am wrong.” Above the pressure of severe affliction. Indeed, all, there appeared in him a fervent and his readiness to pass by affronts, to for- heavenly spirit of devotion to God, and give injuries, and to act as a peace-maker, great deadness to the world : he spoke was one of the most striking traits of his and acted like one “whose conversation character. Gratitude to God was a pre- truly “ was in heaven," and whose heart dominant feeling in his mind. He always and mind thither ascended, and with his spoke of the happiness he derived from risen Saviour continually dwelt.

of men.

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. W. V.; D. M. P. ; SperanS; K.; T. R., are under consideration. A packet was left for J. M. (Senex) at our publisher's. SALOPIENSIS wishes to remind his clerical brethren, that the fifth of November falls

this year on the Sunday, " in order that they may be prepared to make a seasonable improvement of the service in their addresses to their congregations.” He has no wish to excite party feelings ; but he thinks it “no breach of charity to endeavour to make their hearers sensible of the great privileges granted and preserved to them, as a Protestant people.” He considers also, that “there are many matters of a spiritual and practical nature connected with the subject, and alluded to in the course of the service for that day, which the wise and faithful Minister will be careful to expound and enforce.” K. K. had better take the advice of some judicious clergyman, who knows the circum

stances of the case.

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