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discriminating luminous truths of Christianity-involving in their consequences the immediate peace and future salvation of mankind.
Mr. Richards, upon the termination of his studies, thought of returning to Wales. Attached to his natal soil, he took pleasure in rendering any service in his power to his beloved Principality. Throughout life he employed both his time and substance for the improvement of his countrymen: to expand their minds, and liberalize their tempers, was his invariable wish. With a fair portion of intellect, joined to warm and empassioned hearts, he knew them capable of becoming eminently useful. He was desirous that their ministrations should be fraught with light, as well as with heat. That they should neither be the dupes of enthusiasm, nor the blind instruments of bigotry—he was not only free in his admonitions, but distributed among them those publications which were calculated to lead them into just views of Christianity. Nor will it be irrelevant to mention, that, apprized of the value of education to ministers of the Gospel, as the best preservative against fanaticism and superstition, Mr. R. was a warm friend to the General Baptist Education Society. It was established in 1794, by THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, meeting every WhitsunTuesday at Worship Street. He was particularly gratified by the instruction of two excellent young men, of his recommendation, from Wales, (Messrs. David and William Thomas, since deceased), who, returning home, becaine highly useful in their native
The scanty pe
country. With limited finances THE INSTITUTION
or Britain, has produced, or the united labours of all the best of men who have written since it was concluded.”
Upon leaving the academy, Mr. Richards went to Pershore in Worcestershire. Here, in conjunction with a venerable old gentleman of the name of Haydon, who exercised his ministry at a small place in the neighbourhood called Westmancott, he assisted Dr. John Ash, minister of the Baptist church at Pershore. This brought Mr. Richards acquainted with this amiable and good man, well known to the world by his neat English Grammar and excellent English Dictionary, together with other publications. So comfortable was Mr. Richards in this situation, that he cherished the recollection of it to the latest period of life. In a private memorandum, the reason assigned for his attachment is, that it particularly suited a young man disposed to intellectual improvement. In one of his letters, he mentions the decease of Dr. Ash with unfeigned regret. He died in 1779, and the late Dr. Caleb Evans, his intimate friend, in a funeral sermon from Acts xx. 38, Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more—which was published, paid an affectionate tribute of regard to his memory. They were indeed joint editors of the Hymn Book, entitled The Bristol Collection which is on the whole an excellent selection-enriched by some of the finest pieces of devotional poetry. “ David's harp of solemn sound” should
never be swept to the jarring strains of theological controversy. Praise is the leading object of that delightful part of worship—and to have our hearts attuned to devotion, is the best kind of improvement.
The Baptist Church at Lynn in Norfolk was at this time vacant, and had applied for a minister to the Rev. Hugh Evans, then President and Tutor of the Baptist Academy. This worthy man sent them the following reply:
last to you,
Bristol, May 14, 1776. Agreeable to my
I have been endeavouring to find out a proper person to supply you, at least for a time, and this is to inform you that there is one Mr. Wm. Richards, a Welshman by birth, who left our academy last September. He is a man of a good character and sound in his principles, endowed with a good share of understanding, and, I think, with a good degree of prudence. He has served a people in the neighbourhood of Tewksbury for six or seven months past, but is not settled there, nor under obligations to continue there. I proposed his paying you a visit for three or four months, or more, if agreeable to both you and him. He has agreed to do it, if you are yet destitute and desire it. Please to send a letter to him, directed to be left at the post-office in Tewksbury, Gloucestershire, to inform him of your state, whether you would have him come or not, and when. I am going a long journey into the west, therefore have advised to write to him. I am, with real esteem for you,
Your affectionate friend and brother in Christ,
To Mr. David Paxton, Lynn.
Accordingly Mr. Richards went to Lynn, arriving there July 5, 1776. In a letter to Dr. Ash he gives an account of his Journey, as well as of the Townand of the People with whom he afterwards settled. The letter shall be introduced as a proof of his active and intelligent mind, even at an early period of life.
Lynn, 29th Oct. 1776. I had not the least intention when I left Worcestershire of not writing to you till the 29th of October. I designed then that my letter to Pershore should be one of the first I should write from Lynn. It was my purpose to postpone it no longer than till I should get a little knowledge of the country, in order to give some account of it to you; for I was by no means willing to send a letter with only the bare and very insignificant account of my journey, and safe arrival at the end of it.
As for the particulars of my journey, and my circumstances since my arrival, you may have had some account of them, possibly, by Mr. B. Francis, if my letter to him arrived before he came the last time to