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But to return to the subject of the Memoir. MR. RICHARDS, during his continuance in Wales, was employed in rendering his religious brethren every service in his power. At one time he assists them in settling their disputes—and at another in adjusting any
difference that arose between Churchmen and Dissenters. Conscientiously seceding from the Established Church, he nevertheless enjoyed the acquaintance of some of the Clergy and Members of that community. Though he approved of good sense, benevolence, and piety in all denominations, he detested intolerance and bigotry. Wherever be thought the religious as well as the civil rights of his countrymen were violated, he instantly set bimself to the assertion of them. The following is an instance, and cannot but command our approbation.
Park Nest, Neu Castle, Emlyn, March 28, 1801.
It is reported to me (but I know not how to Credit your report), that
hesitate and make some demur about marrying a niece of mine. I beg leave to tell you, that this young woman has been baptized these seven or eight years at least, and I expect that this piece of intelligence, which you may depend upon being a real fact, will suffice to remove all your scruples, so that you may no longer hesitate on that head.
Had she not been baptized, Sir, I should not have expected that you would refuse to perform the marriage ceremony.
I should have thought that
you had known better. I scarce ever knew of any of the clergy hesitating in such a case, except in this diocese. For the last forty years there have happened here near half a dozen instances of that kind; I mean of clergymen refusing to marry the unbaptized children of the Baptists ; not such of them as had been baptized in adult age. You are the very
first that ever made a refusal of that kind. In some of the instauces above alluded to, the Baptists were obliged to apply to the Bishop; who always with the greatest readiness obliged the clergymen, without any further ado, to comply. Letters of different Bishops to those who had applied to them on such occasions, are now in being. The last I think was from the late Bishop Warren. Their Lordships uniformly regret that their clergy should be so inconsiderate and unreasonable as to give any occasion for such applications,
Some of the clergy that had some hesitation, would afterwards yield to reason, and save us the trouble of applying to the Diocesan.
That was the case with the late Mr. Rees, your predecessor at Mydrim, when this young woman's mother was married. He at first hestitated and refused. I went and spoke to him; he was soon convinced of his error, and readily complied. But you, Sir, have less reason to demur than he had. The young woman you
hesitate about is a baptized person, but her mother was not so at the time of her marriage. Mr. Rees knew that; and yet, as I said, (upon the maturest consideration, he consented to perform the ceremony. Hoping that this will quite be sufficient, Sir, to convince you that you have not the least cause of demur or refusal on the present occasion,
I remain, Sir,
W. RICHARDS. To the Rev. Mr. Morgan,
Vicar of Mydrim.
MR. RICHARDS (whatever was the issue), deserved the thanks of every dissenter for his excellent Letter on this occasion. It is to be regretted that the Church of England should claim a power of refusing to marry or bury the unbaptized of any denomination. These and similar acts of illiberality ought to be abolished. Its best advocates, however, inculcate the revision of its Articles and Discipline. The ATHANASIAN CREED is its principal blemish. Archbishop Tillotson acknowledged, a hundred years ago, writing to Burnet—" I wish we were well rid of it.”-The present Bishop of Lincoln hath declared "I cannot but conceive it to be both unnecessary and presumptuous to say, that except every one do keep them whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly”—and our veneRABLE MONARCH is said, when coming to it in the course of the public service at Windsor, to have paused till it was finished; when he resumed his devotions with his accustomed fervency*.
* See interesting Anecdotes of the Life of Richard Watson, Lord Bishop of Llandaff, in two Volumes, written by
No man or body of men have a right, on account of discrepancies of opinion, to anathematise individuals, or to feel unkindly towards the brotherhood of mankind. There can be no doubt that a great mass of moral excellence pervades the three denominations of PROTESTANT DISSENTERS, and also the classes of Methodists, both of the Calvinistic and Arminian persuasions. Beside her admirable Liturgy, THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND hath shown herself tolerant and friendly under the illustrious auspices of the BRUNSWICK FAMILY! With some of her clergy, distinguished for sound learning and Christian moderation, I have the honour of being acquainted, as well as with many of her members, who breathe a spirit of candour, beneficence, and piety.
It remains only to mention, that one circumstance greatly contributed to increase the indisposition and low spirits of MR. RICHARDS during his long stay in Walesthe loss of FRIENDS. At that period, he was deprived by death of Dr. Morgan Jones, of Hammersmith, and the Rev. William Williams, of Cardigan. In a letter to a very respectable clergyman at Lynn, he laments the event in all the anguish of disappointment.
An excess of feeling was the peculiar infirmity of his nature. But Reason and Revelation prescribe wise limits to the indulgence of the sensibilities of the
himself; and also a curious conversation between his MAJesty and Dr. Beattie, on the Service of the Church of England, in an ExcURSION TO WINDSOR, by J. Evans.
wounded heart. Throughout life my deceased friend was most vulnerable in this part. On these sad occasions he felt acutely; but his emotions at length subsided. Soothed by the lenient hand of time, the effervescence of passion was allayed by the dictates of a fervent and enlightened piety. In his own handwriting were found the following lines, transcribed from a modern poet; whose sacred melodies are fraught with sweetness and delicacy
0—thou, who dry'st the Mourner's tear,
How dark this world would be,
We could not fly to thee!
But thou wilt heal that broken heart,
Which, like the plants that throw
Breathes sweetness out of woe !
When Joy no longer soothes or cheers,
And even the Hope that threw
Is dimm'd and vanish'd too!
Or who would bear Life's stormy doom,
Did not thy wing of Love
On Peace-branch from above!