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because his son has there found a grave. May the living and the dead in Africa experience the blessing of the Lord ! “ Grace, peace, and mercy be upon you all! I hope His
presence will be with you, when you meet for prayer; and if (as may be probably the case) some may not be with you the first time you hear this, call another meeting, and read this letter again, so that all may hear it who wish to do so. And believe me, with inuch Christian love, to be--Your affectionate friend and minister,
6. LEGH RICHMOND."
We have already alluded to "the Fathers of the English Church,” and to a respectable body of the clergy, at whose earnest entreaty, and on whose promise of support, Mr. Richmond undertook that important publication. At the same time, they submitted to his consideration the propriety of confining his selections from the writings of the Reformers to four octavo volumes.
In yielding to the wishes of his clerical brethren, amongst whom was the late Mr. Robinson, of Leicester, and Dr. Gilbee, the rector of Barby, in Northamptonshire, he considered the whole body of his advisers as responsible for the expenses, and pledged to carry him through the hazard of the undertaking: and with this idea, he announced the proposed work, under the sanction of a joint editorship. The selection was, however, left to his own discretion ; and trusting too implicitly to the reputation and merits of the Reformers, and judging of the public mind by his own estimation of their writings, he extended the work to eight volumes. Admitting the value of his materials, we still question the propriety of increasing the size of the publication; not only because the risk was doubled, but also, because the purchase was rendered too expensive for the generality of theological readers. Whatever might be the cause, the sale was comparatively slow. It neither fulfilled the expectations of Mr. Richmond and his friends, nor was it in any way commensurate with the sterling value of the work. The spirit of the age was not sufficiently advanced to appreciate the importance of such an undertaking, though its merits are now generally admitted, and it has become a book of acknowledged reference. And yet it was allowed by competent judges that the editor had performed his office of selection with great fidelity; including the sentiments of all, and excluding none; mingling with them no comments of his own, but leaving the reader to the free and unfettered exercise of his judgment.
Worldly policy, however, was not one of the qualifications of the subject of this Memoir : he was by no means fitted for transactions of a secular nature. None possessed more of the harmlessness of the dove-few had less of the cautious prudence of the serpent.*
The sale of "The Fathers” was insufficient to defray the expenses of publication; and in the summer of 1814, on a balance of accounts, it appeared that Mr. Richmond was indebted to his publisher in the sum of 20001. ; and that he had no means of defraying this large amount, but by the stock in hand.
These pecuniary embarrassments lay heavy on the mind of Mr. Richmond, and deeply affected his spirits. His depression was observed by his friends ; but it was not without difficulty he was prevailed on to disclose the cause. He was a man of most delicate feeling, and shrunk from the idea of calling on others for relief.
The knowledge of these facts induced many of his friends to exert themselves in the sale of " The Fathers ;" and by their exertions, in the course of about fifteen months, the whole debt was discharged.
It is not intended, by the above remarks, to reflect on the parties with whom the work originated, or on the persons employed in its publication : yet it is but common justice to our much esteemed friend, to explain to the world a transaction, to which no small blame has been attached, yet in which nothing is to be regretted but the increased size of the work, and his want of knowledge in the business-part of its publication. In the pecuniary transactions of life, Mr. Richmond preserved an undeviating rectitude. With an income never exceeding 4001. or · 5001. ; till within a few years of his decease; and with a family of twelve children, to be maintained and educated, (with the exception of two, who died in infancy,) it is much to his credit that he provided things honest in the sight of all men, "owing no man any thing," and depending only on his own resources. With respect to the difficulties arising from the publication of “ The Fathers,” he ever considered himself entitled to public sympathy and relief, having undertaken the work, not indeed with the security of legal instruments, yet with the implied en
* Mr. Richmond's aversion to the affairs of this life, and his consequent unfitness for them, is portrayed in the following anecdote.--He was on a visit to his friend Mr. F., who excused his absence by saying “I must leave you for an hour, Richmond, to do penance at our parish vestry.” “If,” replied Mr, Riehmond, “it is penance to you, it would be a perfeet purgatory to me."
gagement of an adequate support. Whether he was right in this supposition, we are not prepared to decide. The history of this transaction conveys, however, an impressive lesson to all candidates for the press, not to engage too precipitately in the dangers and risks of authorship; but to calculate the consequences, and by wise and judicious arrangements, to endeavour to ensure success, or to anticipate the possibility of failure.
The following letter shews the strength of his faith, and his implicit reliance on the promises of God, amidst his difficulties.
6 With the most affectionate love, regard, and estimation, my dearest Mary, I must expostulate with you, on this mistrustful and despondent view which you seem too willing to indulge. I may say, what has God done, in his whole course of providential mercies for eighteen years, that we should not, to the fullest extent, trust Him with ourselves, our fortunes, and our children, for the time to come? Will mistrust of our only Provider and Protector, render us less likely to meet with trials? I am too deeply sensible, and grateful also for your conduct and feeling on the general subject of domestic matters, not to enter most heartily into them. But as you have asked my advice on your state of mind, I do most earnestly conjure you to consider the genuine meaning of those texts--- Take no thought for the morrow;' and Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God,' &c. (Phil. iv. 6, 7.) See also, 1 Peter v. 7; Psalm lv. 22; and many more. I am persuaded that mistrust of God's providential care is a besetting sin of many of God's children, and hinders much of their peace, comfort, and useful
You are not justified, my dear Mary, in foreboding evil to yourself and your children. How many clergymen with large families have much fewer comforts, and worse prospects ? God has blessed us too much in many points of view, to warrant such sad conclusions and gloomy doubts. Pray lay these things more unconditionally on the Lord, and He will infallibly prepare, strengthen, and support you in every thing. What has he not done to prove this? It is the joy of my heart to hope and think that your merciful restoration to me and mine, is to exemplify a lasting confidence in the wisdom, love, and power of that God, who so delightfully brought you through the greatest of all trials, in the valley of death, leaning on his rod and his staff. May God enable you to keep up my spirits as well as your own, by the belief, that he who hath done, will also do all things well, It is my perfect persuasion that by faith we are saved, in body as well as in soul. Therefore, with the minutest attention to every prudent and active means, • Only believe !' is the Christian's motto."
During the Emperor Alexander's visit to this country, Mr. Richmond had the gratification of meeting him at Portsmouth. Mr. Richmond had ascended a lofty tower in the dock-yard, and from its summit was viewing, through a telescope, the surrounding objects, when his Imperial Majesty and suite unexpectedly entered. Mr. Richmond offered to withdraw ; but the Emperor would not consent, saying—" Perhaps, sir, you are acquainted with the points of view before us ?" Mr. Richmond assured him he well knew every spot in the neighbourhood'; and drawing out his telescope, directed the eye of the Emperor to the different objects worthy of notice. After a long and interesting conversation with his Majesty, before they separated, Mr. Richmond said—“I avail myself of this opportunity to thank your Imperial Majesty, in my own name, and in that of all the friends of the Bible Society in England, for the distinguished patronage and support that your Majesty has shewn to the same cause in Russia.” The Emperor obligingly replied-
thanks are rather due to your country, and to the friends of the cause : for had it not been for your example, we should have had no Bible Society in Russia."
Some months after this remarkable interview, Mr. Richmond inclosed a copy of his Tracts, with the following letter, to his Imperial Majesty.
"May it please your Imperial Majesty,--An offer has been made to me, by the Rev. Mr. Paterson, of conveying a copy of the book which accompagies this letter to your Imperial Majesty, through the kindness and condescension of his Excellency the Prince Galitzin.
“In presuming to take this liberty, I am influenced, not by the opinion which I myself entertain as to the value of the contents of the volume, but by the firm persuasion which I hold, that the Christian sentiments which form the foundation of those simple narratives, are dear to your Majesty's heart.
“Your Majesty's public conduct and avowed principles have tended to convince me, that neither the splendour of imperial dignity, nor the glory of military conquests are in your Majesty's estimation, comparable to the privileges and blessings which
Christianity alone can confer on those who live under the influence of the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
“ In the belief and hope that it is your Majesty's desire to promote the temporal and eternal interests of the people of Russia, by any instrument, however apparently small and unworthy, which God may see good to bless, I submit this little volume to your Majesty's candid acceptance.
“ These short. Annals of the Poor' have been made very useful, through the mercy and power of God, to many in this country. England is now attached to Russia, not only by past political and friendly relations, but much more than ever, by your Majesty's dignified and condescending deportment, during your recent visit to this kingdom. May the King of kings, who is alike the Lord of Russia and of Britain, make use of even so feeble an instrument as this little volume, to convey some of the spirit al blessings which have attended its publication in Britain, to the utmost extent of your Majesty's dominions.
" When your Majesty shall be pleased to receive this book, may the author of it be permitted to remind your Majesty, that he is the same individual whom your Majesty saw at the summit of the lofty tower, in the dock-yard at Portsmouth, on Friday, June 24th last; and who then had the unexpected honour of lending your Majesty the telescope with which your Majesty surveyed the surrounding prospect. The kind and condescend. ing manner in which your Majesty was pleased to notice an English stranger on that occasion, is recollected with the sincerest satisfaction and gratitude, whilst I now present this volume to your Majesty's notice.
“ Your Majesty will be pleased to allow me, as a minister of the Gospel, to conclude by praying Almighty God, that His grace, peace, and mercy, may be abundantly poured down upon your Majesty, and upon the people of your extensive dominions, over whom he has given you the earthly sovereignty !
"May the Gospel of the blessed Jesus prosper among the subjects of all the Russias ; and that it may be your Majesty's chief crown of rejoicing, in the great day of his appearance, is the supplication of-Your Imperial Majesty's most obedient and unworthy servant,
“ L. R."
The following reply was received by Mr. Richmond from his Imperial Majesty, accompanied with a ring of considerable value :