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discriminating luminous truths of Christianity—in-
country. With limited finances the INSTITUtion has, in the course of the last twenty years, reared several young men, who are at this time both active teachers of youth, and faithful pastors over the churches committed to their care. The scanty period of two years admitted not of their entering deeply into any branch of learning. But most useful to candidates for the Christian ministry was some acquaintance with their native tongue—with the Greek and Latin classics—with mathematics, logic, rhetoric—with history, ancient and modern—together with a course of ethics and theology, expanded as well as invigorated—by an access to a considerable library. Doddridge remarks, with his usual felicity— “It is obvious that Paul, though favoured with such extraordinary degrees of divine inspiration, sets a proper value upon Books, and expresses a great concern about their being safely conveyed to him from Troas. Let us therefore pity the ignorance rather than imitate the enthusiasm and madness of those that set learning at defiance, especially in the ministers of the Gospel. Let us thankfully acknowledge the divine goodness in having furnished us with so many excellent writings of wise and pious men in all ages; and let us endeavour, by frequent converse with them, to improve our furniture, that our profiting may appear unto all men / Yet let us all remember, that how large and well-chosen our library may be, THE SACRED VolumE is of infinitely greater importance than all that Greece, or Rome,
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:—
DEAR BRETHREN, Bristol, May 14, 1776.
Agreeable to my last to you, 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,
HUGH Eva Ns. To Mr. David Parton, 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 Town— and 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.
DEAR SIR, 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