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Full text of "In memory of the Rev. William Rogers Richards, D.D. : pastor of the Brick Presbyterian Church, Madison, New York, 1902-1910 .."

3. 5. i + 



^ PRINCETON, N. J. ^ 



Presented by Er. F, L. Fai^oYi 



BX 9225 .R519 15 1910 




In memory of the Rev. 




William Rogers Richards, 


D 




Irving Press, NT 



/ 

IN MEMORY OF THE 

Rev. William Rogers Richards, D.D. 

PASTOR OF THE BRICK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 
NEW YORK, I902-I9IO 



CALLED TO HIS REWARD 

ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF JANUARY 

NINETEEN HUNDRED AND TEN 



PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE SESSION 
FEBRUARY. 1910 



THE GUIDE 

(in memory of WILLIAM R. RICHARDS) 

By John Finley 

Once up a rugged northern mountain's trail 
He led the way, this lover of the height, 
Who often climbed to catch the first dim sight 

Of day, or keep it longer than the vale; 

Our guide, who knew the springs that did not fail, 
Who taught the tenderest the steep's delight, 
Tempered the morning's pace to last till night. 

And cheered the way with song and quaintest tale. 

A heightsman, clean of soul, of body lean, 
Who knew the unblazed trails; up heights unseen 

He's guided multitudes, teaching God's ways. 
Slowing his great soul's stride to others' needs, 
Yet leading on, making his creed his deed 

And theirs — so lived he nobly through his days. 

Reprinted from The Outlook. 



SYMPATHY— APPRECIATION 

THE first expressions of sympathy received by the 
Brick Church from another congregation came to 
us with pecuHar and touching significance from the 
Brown Memorial Church of Baltimore, which shared 
with us the sorrow when Dr. Richards' immediate pred- 
ecessor in our pastorate, Dr. Maltbie D. Babcock, died 
in the full tide of a blessed ministry, only a year after he 
had come to us from Baltimore. 

TELEGRAM 

Baltimore, Md., January 7, 1910. 
To Hamilton Odell, 

Clerk of Brick Church Session, 
New York City. 
We sympathize deeply with the Brick Church in an- 
other irreparable loss. 

Session of Brown Memorial Church. 

This telegram was read from our pulpit on January 
loth by Rev. Dr. Henry van Dyke, who had returned 
to counsel and to console us in our sorrow and bereave- 
ment — sheep left again without a shepherd. 

At this service Dr. van Dyke said : Dear and old 
friends, for the second time within ten years we are 
suddenly called to mourn the loss of the beloved minister 
of this church. On Thursday Dr. Richards was here in 

I 



full strength and vigor, working with you in Christ's 
vineyard. Now he has gone up higher and the Master 
has said to him, " Well done, good and faithful servant, 
enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." 

A preacher of rare intelligence, refinement and force, 
at once deeply spiritual and thoroughly practical; a pas- 
tor, faithful, sympathetic, wise and gentle; a presbyter, 
judicious, sane, serene and strong, caring not only for 
his own church but for the wide cause of Christ in the 
great city and in the whole world ; a man of quiet power, 
brotherly and firm, with a clear mind, a kindly sense 
of humor, and a large, steady, loving heart; in all that 
he undertook he gave his best to his work and to his 
fellow-workers. Therefore he earned success. The 
church prospered in his care. The city was the better 
for his presence. We all honored and loved him, and 
we love him still with that grateful, tender. Christian 
love which shall keep his memory fragrant with the name 
of Jesus folded like a flower among the leaves of his 
book of life. 

On the following Sunday Dr. van Dyke, in speaking 
of lives worth living, and of the dignity of service, 
referred to Dr. Richards as follows: . . . There was 
also that other man, whose presence in the flesh 
vanished from our side but a few days ago, the Chris- 
tian minister, William R. Richards. He was essentially 
a preacher, a student and interpreter of Holy Scripture, 
an expounder of the mysteries of faith. But he con- 
ceived of this function not from the point of view of 
authority, but from the point of view of service. It was 
to make his message clear and level to the comprehen- 

2 



sion of the average man that he labored — not to clothe 
it with the clouds of metaphysics, the thunder of vague 
eloquence, the lightning of brilliant rhetoric. He tried 
to bring religion " home to the business and bosoms of 
men." He wrought his sermons out of straight and 
simple need. He filled them with practical warnings, 
with intimate counsels, with quiet, tender, lasting con- 
solations. He touched with a delicate, firm hand those 
chords which vibrate in every heart. His Christianity 
was domestic. It was like the fire on the hearth. Nor 
was it only in the pulpit that his faith was shown. He 
proved it by his works. He truly ministered to his 
church in all things; watching over its interests, gently 
guiding its course, keeping every part of it in good order, 
and at the last leaving everything in the parish committed 
to his charge in working trim and his final task finished 
to the very last stroke. Meantime his service had over- 
flowed the bounds of his own particular station, as good 
service always does. He made the beneficent power of 
his large and tranquil manhood felt in a score of ways — 
as a presbyter, as a citizen, as a university man, as a 
typical American of the old stock, a Puritan enlarged 
and sweetened, a very human " divine." Without noise 
or strife, he moved along the manifold paths of service, 
week after week, year after year, doing his work well 
and helping the work of others. And not until he 
quietly, swiftly departed on his higher mission did all 
those whom he had served, know how much he had done 
for them — how great he had been in the dignity of 
service. 



FUNERAL SERVICES 

The following report was prepared by a stenographer present and 
is printed just as written : 

FUNERAL SERVICES OF 

REV. DR. WILLIAM R. RICHARDS 

AT 

BRICK CHURCH, NEW YORK CITY, 

ON 

MONDAY, JANUARY TENTH, NINETEEN HUNDRED 

AND TEN, AT TEN-THIRTY A. M. 

The Strains of Chopin's Funeral March stole softly 
from the organ loft, as the casket was borne into the 
church, preceded by the clergymen participating, Rev. 
Robert Davis, reading: 

" Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made 
heaven and earth, for we are strangers before Thee, and 
sojourners, as were all our fathers. 

" Our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there 
is none abiding. 

" All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as 
the flower of the field ; the grass withereth, the flower 
fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever. 

" Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord 
pitieth them that fear Him ; for He knoweth our frame, 
He remembereth that we are dust. 

" I am the resurrection and the life ; he that believeth 
in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live ; and who- 
soever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." 

Directly behind the chief mourners came, in a body, 
the officers of the church, to pews appointed them in the 
front where official representatives of Presbytery, and 
of various religious and civic bodies were also placed. 
After the great silent throng were seated, the choir sang : 

4 



HYMN 978 

For thee, O dear, dear country, 

Mine eyes their vigil keep; 
For very love, beholding 

Thy happy name, they weep. 
The mention of thy glory 

Is unction to the breast, 
And medicine in sickness. 

And love, and life, and rest. 

O one, O only mansion, 

O paradise of joy, 
Where tears are ever banished, 

And smiles have no alloy; 
The Lamb is all thy splendor, 

The Crucified thy praise; 
His laud and benediction 

Thy ransomed people raise. 

With jasper glow thy bulwarks. 

Thy streets with emerald blaze; 
The sardius and the topaz 

Unite in thee their rays; 
Thine ageless walls are bonded 

With amethyst unpriced ; 
The saints build up its fabric; 

The corner stone is Christ. 

Thou hast no shore, fair ocean; 

Thou hast no time, bright day; 
Dear fountain of refreshment 

To pilgrims far away. 
Upon the Rock of Ages 

They raise thy holy tower ; 
Thine is the victor's laurel, 

And thine the golden dower. 

The Rev. Shepherd Knapp then led in prayer: 

O God, our Father, Light of the blind. Strength of 
the weak, yea, also Light of those that see. Strength of 

5 



the strong, hearken unto us as out of the depths we cry 
unto Thee! Grant, O most merciful Father, that mak- 
ing full confession of our many sins, we may never 
forget that Thou art good to all and ready to forgive. 
Enable us so to hear Thy Holy Word that, through 
patience and comfort of the Scriptures, we may have 
hope. Send into our hearts thy Holy Spirit that we 
may be comforted of Thee, and help us by Thy grace to 
hold fast the promise of everlasting life through Jesus 
Christ, the Saviour of the world. 

The congregation joined in the repetition of the Lord's 
Prayer. 

The congregation, rising, followed the clergy in the 
repetition of the Apostle's Creed — (" The confession of 
our Christian faith"). 

The congregation being seated, there was rendered 
the following contralto solo: 

" Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither have 
entered into the heart of man the things which God hath 
prepared for them that love Him. I Cor., ii, 9. 

" For He hath prepared for them a city, whose builder 
and maker is God. Heb., xi, 10. 

" There remaineth, therefore, a rest for the people 
of God. 

" Therefore fear lest any come short of it. Heb., 
iv, 9, I." 

Rev. Dr. Henry van Dyke: Let us hear those things 
which are written for the strengthening of our faith 
and for the comfort of our hearts, in the Holy Word 
of God — {reading) : 

" Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord 
pitieth them that fear Him ; for He knoweth our frame, 
He remembereth that we are dust. 

" As for man, his days are as grass ; as a flower of 
the field, so he flourisheth. 

" For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone ; and the 
place thereof shall know it no more. 

" But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to 



everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteous- 
ness unto children's children, to such as keep His cov- 
enant and to those that remember His commandments 
to do them. 

" The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 

" He maketh me to lie down in green pastures : He 
leadeth me beside the still waters. 

" He restoreth my soul : He leadeth me in the paths 
of righteousness for His name's sake. 

" Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow 
of death, I will fear no evil : for Thou art with me ; Thy 
rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. 

" Thou preparest a table before me in the presence 
of mine enemies : Thou anointest my head with oil ; 
my cup runneth over. 

" Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the 
days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the 
Lord forever." 

Jesus said : " Let not your heart be troubled : ye be- 
lieve in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house 
are many mansions. H it were not so, I would have 
told you. I go to prepare a place for you ; and if I go 
and prepare a place for you, I will come again and re- 
ceive you unto myself that where I am, there ye may be 
also. 

'* n ye love me, keep my commandments; and I will 
pray the Father, and He shall give you another com- 
forter, that He may abide with you forever, even the 
Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because 
it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him. But ye know 
Him, for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I 
will not leave you comfortless, I will come unto you. 

" Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more ; 
but ye see me ; because I live, ye shall live also. 

" These things have I spoken unto you, being yet 
present with you ; but the Comforter, which is the Holy 
Ghost whom the Father will send in my name. He shall 
teach you all things, and bring all things to your remem- 
brance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 

" Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. 
Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your 
heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." 

Hear also what St. John saith (reading) : 



" And I saw a new heaven and a new earth : for the 
first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and 
there was no more sea. And I, John, saw the holy city, 
new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, 
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I 
heard a great voice out of heaven saying. Behold, the 
tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with 
them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself 
shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall 
wipe away all tears from their eyes ; and there shall be no 
more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall 
there be any more pain : for the former things are passed 
away. 

" And he showed me a pure river of water of Hfe, 
clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God 
and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and 
on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, 
which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her 
fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for 
the healing of the nations. 

" And there shall be no more curse : but the throne of 
God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants 
shall serve Him : And they shall see His face, and His 
name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no 
night there; and they need no candle, neither Hght of 
the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they 
shall reign forever and ever. 

" And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful 
and true : and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent 
His angel to show unto His servants the things which 
must shortly be done. 

" Behold, I come quickly : blessed is he that keepeth 
the sayings of the prophecy of this book." 

May God bless to all our hearts the reading of His 
Holy Word. 

The choir than sang Hymn No. 981. 

Ten thousand times ten thousand. 

In sparkling raiment bright. 
The armies of the ransomed saints 

Throng up the steeps of light: 

8 



'Tis finished, all is finished, 

Their fight with death and sin: 

Fling open wide the golden gates, 
And let the victors in. 

What rush of hallelujahs 

Fills all the earth and sky; 
What ringing of a thousand harps 

Bespeaks the triumph nigh. 
O day, for which Creation 

And all its tribes were made ; 
O joy for all its former woes 

A thousandfold repaid. 

O then what raptured greetings 

On Canaan's happy shore ; 
What knitting severed friendships up 

Where partings are no more. 
Then eyes with joy shall sparkle. 

That brimmed with tears of late; 
Orphans no longer fatherless, 

Nor widows desolate. 

Bring near Thy great salvation. 

Thou Lamb for sinners slain ; 
Fill up the roll of Thine elect. 

Then take Thy power and reign ! 
Appear, Desire of nations ! 

Thine exiles long for home; 
Show in the heavens Thy promised sign ! 

Thou Prince and Saviour, come ! 

Prayer. By Rev. Dr. George Alexander: 

Our Father in heaven, pity our weakness and draw us 
close to Thyself. Let not the consolations of God be 
small with us, for our grief is great. We cannot under- 
stand the mystery of Thy dealings; Thy ways are not 
as our ways. We do not distrust Thy fatherly good- 
ness, but we are dim-sighted, and our hearts are sore. 
In mercy draw us close to Thyself. Strong Son of God, 
whom not having seen we love, manifest Thyself unto 



Thy sorrowing children. EnHghten the eyes of our faith 
that we may see in Thy pierced hand the key of death 
and of the world beyond. We do not sorrow as those 
who have no hope; for since we believe that Thou hast 
died and risen again, we believe that they also which 
sleep in Thee, God will bring with Thee. Even through 
our tears we give thanks unto Thee, O God of consola- 
tion and of hope. We give thanks unto Thee for one 
whom we have loved long since but lost awhile. We 
shall be stronger because he strengthened us ; we shall 
be wiser because he taught us ; by Thy grace we shall 
walk closer with Thee because in high companionship 
we walked with him ; we shall be richer : for though we 
sigh now for " the touch of a vanished hand, and the 
sound of a voice that is still," we nevertheless know 
that we shall be with him when we are ever with the 
Lord. We thank Thee for all that Thou didst ordain 
for him to do, and by Thy grace to be. We thank Thee 
that, having served his generation according to the will 
of God, he was taken unto Thyself, with " no sadness 
of farewell," and with scarce a pang in passing from 
the land of the living to join the glorious company of 
those who never die. And now we beseech Thee, O 
God of our salvation, impart unto us, who live and labor 
still, something of the mind and spirit that was in him, 
that we may go forward to do in the earth the work 
which has fallen from his hands. Let Thy blessing rest, 
we beseech Thee, upon all those institutions of learning 
and philanthropy and religion to which he gave so much 
of himself. Strengthen the shoulders upon which shall 
drop the burdens which he so nobly bore. Have pity 
upon those whose hearts fail them and who feel that 
they can scarcely go forward because that other great 
heart no longer shares the perils of the pilgrimage. Help 
us to go forward and do the work of God. O Thou 
who art head over all things unto the Church, mercifully 
regard this household of faith to whom Thy servant was 
a father in God, breaking unto them the bread of life, 
and ministering as of the ability that God giveth. Grant 
that the shock of this fresh bereavement may make more 
real to them the bond which unites them in one bundle 
of life with one another and with their Lord. Let not 
theirs be the grief that saps the mind, but that sorrow 

10 



which ripens the fruit of holy character. O Thou who 
art the Father of the fatherless and the widow's friend, 
be very tenderly and graciously near unto those who are 
most sorely afflicted by this stroke of Thy providence. 
May they be conscious that the Everlasting Arms are 
underneath and around them. May the Spirit of the 
Lord God come to them as their Comforter, and do 
Thou point their eyes and ours to Thy better country, 
even the heavenly, toward which we are journeying. 
Grant that we may have the assurance that when our 
work is done, for us the veil shall pass, for us shall come 
the vision of that land of beauty into which Thou hast 
been gathering so many bound to us by ties of kindred 
and of friendship. May there be in our hearts a great 
longing for the vision of Thy face, for the glory of that 
better country. Hear, Lord, our prayer ; comfort our 
poor hearts, and keep us in The Way : for Christ's sake. 
Amen. 

Tennyson's " Crossing the Bar " (music by Joseph 
Barnby) was then rendered by the choir: 

Sunset and evening star. 

And one clear call for me ! 
And may there be no moaning of the bar. 

When I put out to sea. 

But such a tide as moving seems asleep. 

Too full for sound and foam. 
When that which drew from out the boundless deep 

Turns again home. 

Twilight and evening bell, 

And after that the dark! 
And may there be no sadness of farewell, 

When I embark. 

For, though from out our bourne of Time and Place 

The flood may bear me far, 
I hope to see my Pilot face to face 

When I have crost the bar. 

II 



Benediction. By Dr. Alexander: 

" Now the God of peace, that brought again from the 
dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 
through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you 
perfect in every good work to do his will, working in 
you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through 
Jesus Christ : to whom be glory forever and ever. 
Amen." 

Upon January 9th, at a joint meeting of the Elders, 
Trustees and Deacons, a committee was appointed to 
prepare a suitable minute. Upon this committee were 
John E. Parsons, president of the Board of Trustees; 
Hamilton Odell, clerk of Session, and Caldwell R. Blake- 
man, representing the Board of Deacons. 

The following was approved and ordered spread upon 
the minutes of Session: 

REV. WILLIAM ROGERS RICHARDS, D.D., DIED 
JANUARY 7, 19 10. 

The death of Dr. Richards makes suitable that resolu- 
tions appropriate to the occasion shall be placed upon 
our minutes ; not for us — for those who are to come after 
us in that future when his name shall be a memory, and 
who will not know him and cannot love him as we did. 
To think of Dr. Richards is to praise him; his eulogy 
is written in our hearts. 

He belonged to the Brick Church from, and it may 
fairly be said by, his birth. His great uncle, Mr. Guy 
Richards, was a member of the congregation and active 
in the work of the church for forty years up to his death. 
Dr. Richards was born in Boston on December 20. 1853. 
He was the son of Rev. George and Anna Richards. 
His father was associate pastor with the Rev. Dr. Rogers, 
and afterwards pastor of the Central Congregational 
Church in Boston. He entered Yale College in 1871. 
He was made a member of the University Corporation 

12 



in 1906. In 1903 it gave him the degree of Doctor of 
Divinity, an honor which the New York University had 
conferred upon him eleven years before. After grad- 
uation from Yale, Dr. Richards studied law at Columbia 
Law School, and then, as he felt a decided call to the 
ministry, he went to Andover Theological Seminary, 
from which he was graduated in 1879. His first call 
after leaving Andover came from the Central Congre- 
gational Church of Bath, Ale, He accepted it and for 
five years labored there with signal success. In 1884 
a call came to him from the Crescent Avenue Presby- 
terian Church, of Plainfield, X. J. He accepted it and 
began his pastorate there at once, remaining in Plain- 
field for eighteen years. In 1880 Dr. Richards married 
Miss Charlotte B. Blodget. daughter of the Rev. Henry 
Blodget, D.D., a missionary in China for many years. 
In 1902 Dr. Richards was unanimously called to the 
pastorate of the Brick Church. His installation took 
place on Sunday afternoon, October 26, 1902. The Rev. 
Daniel Russell, Moderator of the Presbytery, presided. 
The Rev. John C. Bliss, D.D., read the Scriptures and 
the Rev. George Alexander, D.D., preached a sermon 
from I Tim., 1:12: "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, 
who hath enabled me. for that he counted me faithful 
putting me into the ministry." The Rev. Dr. Atterbury 
made the installing prayer. Dr. van Dyke gave the 
charge to the pastor. Dr. van Dyke then handed to 
Dr. Richards the key of the church. The Rev. Wilton 
Merle Smith, D.D., charged the people. 

Dr. Richards came to an harmonious and united 
church. Under the recent ministeries of Dr. van Dyke 
and Dr. Babcock, it had reached a condition of activity 
and material as well as religious prosperity, which led 
to the question. How was the existing condition to be 
maintained, to be improved, if possible, but under no 
circumstances to suffer a setback? And in undertaking 
the work, it must have been in the mind of Dr. Richards 
that his immediate predecessors had established a stand- 
ard of pulpit service up to which it would be expected 
that their successor should attain. It would have been 
unfair and unreasonable to expect, when Dr. Babcock 
came to us, that he would reproduce the characteristics 
which we had learned to admire in Dr. van Dyke. Dr. 

13 



Babcock taught us that almost opposite extremes may 
lead to the same goal. And the tragic termination of his 
brilliant career as pastor and preacher created a situa- 
tion to satisfy which required, in him who was to follow, 
a rare combination. We quickly learned to know Dr. 
Richards as the minister of his church. Birth and good 
breeding, followed by Christian training, had made him 
a Christian gentleman ; modest, quiet, courteous, con- 
siderate, and kindly. His character was written in the 
expressive lineaments of his attractive face, lit up as 
was so easily the case by an irradiating smile, and on 
occasions showing the vein of quiet humor which was 
characteristic of him. There was no lack of strength, 
but his force of character interposed no barrier between 
him and the affection with which we quickly learned 
to regard him. To the loveliness of his life and the 
charm of his friendship there could be no better tribute 
than the universal wail of personal sorrow which fol- 
lowed the announcement that he who had grown to be 
dear to us had in a moment been taken from us to join 
the company of saints and angels in His Father's house 
of many mansions. His last service was at Christ 
Church, the early evening of the night upon which he 
died. He knew no difference of station or position. His 
work was the work of his Master, whether among the 
lowly or those of high estate, the rich or the poor. He 
was the friend of all, and all repaid him with a degree 
of appreciation and devotion which left nothing to be 
desired. 

H, when Dr. Richards came to us, we had misgivings, 
it was from a possible doubt of his ability, or, for the 
matter of that, of the ability of any man to satisfy a 
taste which had been refined to the highest point of pos- 
sibly unreasonable expectation. What struck us at onee, 
what, in fact, we were in a measure prepared for, was 
the contrast between Dr. Richards' preaching and that 
to which we had been accustomed ; and this was in- 
tensified by the simplicity which we soon saw to be a 
distinguishing feature of his pulpit work. It was as 
compared with the preaching of Dr. Babcock, the differ- 
ence between the torrent, almost irresistible in its power, 
and the strong and steady-flowing stream, equally ir- 
resistible in the achievement of its results. Dr. Rich- 

14 



ards' sermons were so simple that a child could follow 
them, so interesting in argument and illustration, so 
novel and original as to compel attention, delivered with 
a quiet force which, on occasion, rose to the highest 
order of impassioned oratory ; dealing with sublime sub- 
jects in a way so lucid as to be within the comprehen- 
sion of the humblest, and marked, when they dealt with 
points of doctrine, by a logic which admitted of no ques- 
tion. If a single word were to be sought to describe 
his preaching, earnestness would perhaps come nearest 
to what we wish, an earnestness which thrilled in every 
word that he uttered, and the effect of which, though 
subdued, was overpowering. It would not be difficult 
to continue the attempt to give some impression of Dr. 
Richards, as he went in and out among us, known to all. 
It is needless. We loved him, young and old, and the 
tears of all followed him to his too-early grave. 

Of his work sufficient evidence is furnished by the 
Year Book which was completed, and ready for distribu- 
tion when he died. There was not a vacant sitting in 
the church. But Dr. Richards' work was not limited to 
his own church. He was a member of the Moderators' 
Council of Presbytery. He served two years as Mod- 
erator. He was also a member of the Church Extension 
Committee of Presbytery, a member of the Council of 
New York University, a director of the Union Theo- 
logical Seminary, a member of the Yale Corporation 
and of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. He 
was a member of several clubs, including the Century, 
Yale, Quill, Chi Alpha, and Presbyterian. He was also 
a member of the Society of the Sons of the Revolution 
and a director of the New England Society. During 
his ministry the success of the Affiliated Churches was 
continued and put on a permanent basis. And he did 
much by his efforts and his personality to strengthen 
pleasant relations with his ecclesiastical neighbors of 
other denominations. Of no one could it be more suit- 
able to say, " Well done thou good and faithful servant." 
He has left to his family as a heritage the memory of 
a noble service and an honored name, and to us the in- 
centive to continue the work to which he gladly gave of 
his strength and of his life. 

15 



MEMORIAL SERVICE 



UNION SERVICE IN MEMORY OF 

WILLIAM ROGERS RICHARDS, D.D. 

BY THE 

BRICK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 

christ church and church of the covenant 
affiliated 

In the Brick Church, Sunday Evening, January 30, 1910 

AT EIGHT o'clock 

Rev. henry VAN DYKE, D.D., Presiding 



ORDER OF SERVICE, 

ORGAN PRELUDE , . Carl August Fischer 
CHOIR HYMN Barnby 

Sunset and evening star, and one clear call for me! 
And may there be no moaning of the bar, when I put out 
to sea. 
But such a tide as moving seems asleep. 

Too full for sound and foam. 
When that which drew from out the boundless deep 
Turns again home. 

Twilight and evening bell, and after that the dark! 
And may there be no sadness of farewell, when I embark; 
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place 

The flood may bear me far, 
I hope to see my Pilot face to face 
When I have crost the bar. 

16 



Prayer. By Dr. van Dyke: 

O God, light of the hearts that see Thee, and Hfe 
of the souls that love Thee, and strength of the thoughts 
that seek Thee ; from whom to be turned away is to fall, 
to whom to be turned is to rise, and in whom to abide 
is to stand fast forever; grant us now Thy forgiveness 
and Thy blessing as we are here assembled to offer up 
our confession and our supplication. Though we are 
unworthy to approach Thee, or to ask anything of Thee 
at all, vouchsafe to hear and to answer us for the sake 
of our great High Priest and advocate, Jesus Christ, 
our Lord. 

O Lord God, the hope of the faithful, the strength 
of those who labor, and the repose of the blessed dead, 
we bless Thee for all Thy saints who have witnessed 
in their lives a good confession, and especially for those 
dear unto us who have fallen asleep in Jesus. Grant 
us grace of our God so to follow their good example 
that we may be one with them in spirit, and finally share 
in their eternal rest. 

Most gracious, loving Father, Thou who knowest the 
sorrows of every human heart, Thou who knowest the 
duties and cares of every human life, as we have come 
here to thank Thee for the great help that Thou hast 
given us through Thy servant departed, so comfort us 
in our sense of his loss that we shall be able to feel that 
it is his eternal gain. So renew in us the faithful mem- 
ory of his service and the faithful witness which he bore 
to Jesus Christ, that his life may be now present with us 
in this service, and so bring us into the communion of 
saints that we may share with him that joy which is 
everlasting in Thy Heavenly Kingdom. Through Jesus 
Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen. 

Reading of the Scriptures. By Rev, George C. De 
Mott.* n Cor., V. i-io: 

" For we know that if our earthly house of this taber- 
nacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house 
not made with hands, eternal in the heavens : 

* Rev. Mr. De Mott, Pastor of the Central Congregational 
Church, of Bath, Me., was in attendance as representative of that 
church, at which Dr. Richards served his first pastorate. 

17 



" For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed 
upon with our house which is from heaven : 

" If so be that being clothed we shall not be found 
naked. 

" For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being 
burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but 
clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of 
Hfe. 

" Now He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing 
is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the 
Spirit. 

" Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, 
whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from 
the Lord : 

" For we walk by faith, not by sight : 

" We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be 
absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 

" Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, 
we may be accepted of Him. 

" For we must all appear before the judgment seat of 
Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in 
his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be 
good or bad." 

HYMN ..." Saviour, Blessed Saviour " 

Saviour, blessed Saviour, 

Listen while we sing; 
Hearts and voices raising 

Praises to our King. 
All we have we ofifer. 

All we hope to be, 
Body, soul, and spirit. 

All we yield to Thee. 

Brighter still, and brighter, 

Glows the western sun, 
Shedding all its gladness 

O'er our work that's done ; 
Time will soon be over. 

Toil and sorrow past, 
May we, blessed Saviour, 

Find a rest at last. 

i8 



Remarks. By Dr. van Dyke : 

We have come here to-night, a company of Christian 
friends, representing directly five churches — the Congre- 
gational Church, of Bath, Me., where Dr. Richards be- 
gan his ministry; the Presbyterian Church, of Plainfield, 
N. J., where Dr. Richards continued his ministry; and 
the Brick Church, the Church of Covenant, and Christ 
Church — the threefold fellowship in which Dr. Richards 
triumphantly ended his ministry. We have come to re- 
fresh our minds and strengthen our Christian devotion 
by the thought of his beautiful and useful life; we have 
come to express our gratitude for the good which he did 
to us ; and in this service the other Christian churches 
of this city sympathize and share, and some of them are 
represented here by their ministry. 

A great, simple, noble life, of real inspiration and 
help and service to mankind, has been closed ; and to us 
have been left the sweet influence, the precious memory, 
and the glorious example. Let us keep and treasure 
them. I was reading but the other day what George 
Muller, of the Orphanage in Bristol, said when his wife 
died. He preached a sermon in which he said : " I have 
three grounds for thanksgiving to-day — first, that God 
gave me this helper for my life; second, that God so 
long let me enjoy this companionship; third, that God 
has taken His servant to Himself without pain." 

It is not my part to-night to make an address, but 
simply to preside at this service as one who has been 
asked to do what he can for the time to supply the great 
loss that has been caused here by Dr. Richards' calling 
from us. The first address to-night was to have been 
made by Dr. Grosvenor, our nearest neighbor, pastor of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, but 
Dr. Grosvenor is ill and unable to be in his own pulpit 
to-day. He has written expressing his deep regret that 
he cannot be with us. He says : 

" It is impossible for me in this brief moment at my 
disposal adequately to speak of my friend. Dr. Richards. 
His death was so sudden, so overwhelming in its unex- 
pectedness, that we have not had time to realize it. His 
was a beautiful life, lived close to God, and full of loving 
service for all God's children. He was a scholar, a 

19 



bright-minded, large-hearted, wise, sane man, whose 
preaching was most upHfting, and whose ministry to all 
who knew him was a perpetual benediction. To his 
family and the church so sorely afflicted we offer our 
deep and loving sympathy and our earnest prayers." 

I will now ask Dr. Francis Brown, president of the 
Union Theological Seminary, to speak. 

Address. By Rev. Francis Brown, D.D. : 

It is my privilege to have been, like most of you, a 
parishioner of Dr. Richards', and I came here, as you 
have come, in sorrow for a beloved pastor, missing a 
friend, rejoicing in the translation of a saint of God. It 
might be possible partly to describe Dr. Richards by the 
process of exclusion. Some men are like fiery visitants 
of the night, like comets, or shooting stars, puzzling, 
mysterious, passing into nothingness, or wandering away 
through space. Dr. Richards was not like these. His 
passing was not like the passing of these. Some men 
are simply plodders, doing the useful work of the world 
without great significance — commonplace, average men, 
among whom most of us again would class ourselves. 
But no one would call Dr. Richards a commonplace man. 
Some are massive, portentous personalities, seeking 
domination, and domineering by habit, and receiving the 
position that they claim. Dr. Richards was not a man 
like these. There might have been found those who would 
not call him an extraordinary man at all, just as there 
are people who would not call Washington an extraor- 
dinary man ; people for whom the extraordinary has the 
connotation of the eccentric, even of one-sided develop- 
ment, of the phenomenal, the startling. But most cer- 
tainly he was an unusual man, a man made up of qual- 
ities, many of which are rare, existing in him to a rare 
degree, and one in whom the harmonious composition of 
those qualities made a rare man. He had insight and 
quickness of mind, and with them a tremendous power 
of work and industry that left nothing to chance ; and, 
when he could help it, left nothing to the spur of the 
moment. He had solidity and strength, and the reverse 

20 



side of that was tenderness, delicacy, and courtesy. He 
had great sobriety of thought, and it was by the sobriety 
of his thought that he held men when he had drawn 
them to him; this joined with felicity of speech, choice 
of fit words, absence of the attempt or the need to pile 
up epithets, the striking at his meaning at one blow. 
He would not have called himself a metaphysician ; he 
was too much concerned with the practical affairs of 
life. But his mind was one that could grasp large ideas 
and hold them firmly, and his power of expression was 
such as to pass on those ideas with definiteness and dis- 
crimination and effect. You could hardly call him, I sup- 
pose, a pioneer in his thought, though pioneers are use- 
ful men, and, when they keep themselves well in hand, 
noble men, and leaders of men. But we must not have 
too many pioneers. The pioneer is often rough and hard 
and rash. Having to find his own way, he goes too 
fast and too far, sometimes, so that even followers some- 
times miss the path. Dr. Richards was a man who held 
firmly to beliefs long cherished in the church, but he 
had worked his way to these beliefs for himself, and 
therefore his thought always had the garb of freshness. 
You did not know always when he began his sermon 
where he was going to bring you out, but you went 
with him in confidence, and you found new vistas open- 
ing before you as you went, and presently, without 
knowing just how, you were standing beside him at a 
new point of view, looking at a new side of the old 
truth from a familiar side, but bathed in a fresh, warm 
light. And behind all was the manhood of him, the 
sturdiness and the simplicity, the self-respect, and the 
respect for the other man, the frankness, and the trust, 
and the consideration of those whose views diverged, 
crowned by that faith in God, which made him so quiet 
and so sure, that spiritual comprehension of the unseen, 
that constant fellowship with Jesus Christ! 

Dr. Richards was a Commissioner to the General As- 
sembly in 1887 from the Presbytery of Elizabeth, when 
he had been only three years in the Presbyterian Church. 
It was there, I think, that I first met him. I do not 
remember that he made a speech in that Assembly. I 
find by the record that he was a member of the Com- 
mittee on Temperance. The Assembly met at Omaha, 

21 



and after its dissolution a party of us made an excur- 
sion to Colorado, having never seen the Rocky Moun- 
tains before, and he was one of the party, and there was 
close and pleasant fellowship on the way. We made 
many expeditions together, with Denver as the center, 
and I remember the last time I saw him there. It was 
at Silver Plume, to which we had gone out, and from 
which I had to return to meet an appointment in Denver, 
while he remained behind to climb Gray's Peak, the 
highest peak of the Colorado range, alone, and a 
fine tramp he had up over the snow, with great satis- 
faction and joy at the end of it, as he told me later. He 
was such a splendid outdoor man, with so much vigor 
and vivacity, enjoying the natural world so deeply, and, 
by his comradeship, making recreation seem so worth 
while. 

He had no direct relation with Union Seminary until 
after he came to New York to live. He preached in 
our Adams Chapel for the first time on the 13th of April, 
1902, before he was called to be the pastor of this church. 
There was no collusion in the arrangement between us 
and the committee of this congregation, but I believe 
they regretted that occasion as little as we did. A few 
months afterwards, in January, 1903, when he was al- 
ready the pastor of this people, he was asked, not un- 
naturally, because he was a New England man, like so 
many of the founders and professors of the Union Sem- 
inary, to join its Board of Directors, which he did, and 
then began the years of steady, faithful, interested, de- 
voted service in that relation. He had the clear mind of 
a good counselor. It was not so much that he had 
policies of his own to develop or advocate, but he judged 
questions of policy with great wisdom, and he expressed 
his judgment, with deference always, but with decision. 
He never shrank from any duty that seemed to him 
laid upon him by this connection with Union Sem- 
inary. That was not his own seminary, but his care for 
its students, his concern for their best welfare, and the 
readiness with which he aided us in seeking and in find- 
ing opportunities for them to serve, all marked his 
loyalty there. It would be wrong of me not to bear tes- 
timony to this devotion of his, which we are missing 
every week more and more. Before long he became a 

22 



member of the Executive Committee of our Board. He 
was instrumental largely in bringing about kindlier re- 
lations between the Seminary and the Presbytery of New 
York. Before he came here, like his predecessors in 
this pastorate, he had been known as an advocate of 
fairness and justice and breadth, and one of his last 
services outside of this city was to represent the Pres- 
bytery before the Synod of New York, in a case in which 
a graduate of the Seminary was concerned. He grew 
into the confidence of all those who had work to do 
there. 

Both as a director and as a pastor, he seemed to me 
a typical man, almost an ideal man. At the Seminary 
we thought of him as belonging to the class of men de- 
scribed in the preamble to our charter, in words which 
we are fond of repeating: " who desire to live free from 
party strife, and to stand aloof from all extremes of 
doctrinal speculation, practical radicalism and ecclesias- 
tical domination"; and in his whole ministerial life he 
was one to whom we need not hesitate to apply the words 
of Jehovah, spoken of one of his ministers of old : " The 
light of truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was 
not found in his lips. He walked with me in peace and 
uprightness, and did turn many away from iniquity." 

HYMN "O Paradise" 



O Paradise ! O Paradise ! 

Who doth not crave for rest? 
Who would not seek the happy land, 

Where they that loved are blest? 

Ref. — Where loyal hearts, and true. 
Stand ever in the light. 
All rapture, through and through, 
In God's most holy sight. 

O Paradise ! O Paradise ! 

The world is growing old ; 
Who would not be at rest and free 

Where love is never cold? — Ref. 



23 



Lord Jesus, King of Paradise, 

Oh, Keep us in Thy love, 
And guide us to that happy land 

Of perfect rest above. — Ref. 

Address. By Rev. George Alexander, D.D., Moderator 
of Presbytery: 

When the stunning announcement smote upon my ear, 
" Dr. Richards died last night," my first thought was, 
"How is it possible to go on without him?" He had 
become so closely interlaced with those interests which 
are to me most worth while, that his sudden removal 
seemed for the moment to imply disorganization and 
collapse. But he was a wise master builder. His work 
abides because the qualities of his soul went into it. 
Others may build thereupon and not labor in vain, for 
the work is sound. 

It has been my privilege to be linked with him in sev- 
eral departments of Christian service, preeminently in 
two — in the effort of the Presbyterian Church of New 
York City to do its part in the advancement of the King- 
dom of God here, and in her endeavor to fulfill the last 
commission, " Go ye into all the world and preach the 
gospel to every creature." In this latter relation I first 
came to know the caliber and the quality of the man. 
It was while he was yet pastor in Plainfield that he be- 
came a member of the Board of Foreign Missions. For 
almost twenty years we have been comrades in that 
service, and he has been an evergrowing factor in the 
prosecution of that great enterprise. The first thing that 
impressed me was the faithfulness of the man, his down- 
right faithfulness. He had accepted a trust, and he 
could not play fast and loose with it. In the earlier 
years of that service he was the most remote member in 
point of residence ; in the later years he was burdened 
with the cares and toils of a great parish ; but no one 
was more constant and more punctual in attendance; no 
one was less disposed to repudiate any demand upon 
his time and energy. In the pictorial phrase of Abraham 
Lincoln, he was " a man to tie to." 

His fidelity was matched by his thoroughness. He 

24 



could not do a slovenly piece of work. When an in- 
tricate problem was submitted to him, with the utmost 
patience he laid bare the essential facts, and then marched 
to his conclusion quietly, considerately, but with the in- 
evitableness of fate. A piece of work that he had done 
needed no revision ; it had been done thoroughly ; it had 
been done right. His brotherliness was a feature no less 
marked. It grew and mellowed with the flight of years. 
The men and women who are enduring hardships as 
good soldiers of the Cross of Christ in heathen lands, 
gripped his heart. He sympathized with them in their 
spiritual warfare. His whole nature expanded under the 
sense of the grandeur and heavenliness of their enter- 
prise. 

As a Presbyter, he touched intimately a larger number 
of colaborers. Born and bred in another communion, 
he was becoming every year in fuller sympathy with 
the genius of the Presbyterian Church. Not that he 
was becoming sectarian, that was impossible; not that 
he was loving less the communion in which he was born 
and reared ; but he was coming to appreciate more fully 
how facile and powerful an instrument the Presbyterian 
Church may be for the promotion of the Kingdom of 
God among men. In the Presbytery of New York dur- 
ing the eight years of his Service here he was a unifying 
and an uplifting force. His puritan inheritance, his 
broad culture, his keen intelligence, his fearlessness, and 
his friendliness, gave him a place of leadership which 
he neither sought nor shirked. He became the presid- 
ing officer of the Presbytery at a critical time, when it 
was trying to resolve itself from an aggregation of atoms 
into an organism in which every member should throb 
with the common vitality, and to win for the adminis- 
tration the confidence of the men of light and leading 
within the Presbyterian fold. What has been accom- 
plished — and much has been accomplished — what has 
been accomplished could not have been without William 
R. Richards. No one ever suspected him of interested 
motives or tortuous methods, and his keen glance con- 
veyed the intimation that it was not worth while to try 
tortuous methods with him. Few know how much it 
cost him during the two terms of his incumbency to bear 
that which came upon him daily, the care of all the 

25 



churches. What he did in warning the unruly, support- 
ing the weak, and appeasing strifes has made the epis- 
copal oversight of the Presbytery mean more than it ever 
meant before. It was characteristic of the man that, 
when he laid down this office, he did not refuse to be the 
most trusted and helpful adviser of his successor. 

He lived to serve, he loved to serve. He rests now 
from his labors and his works do follow him. They 
follow him ; yet they stay with us. Life will mean more 
to us because he lived and wrought at our side. For 
myself I have one regret. He was not a man to invite 
effusiveness, and I never told him how large a place he 
filled in my heart. Perhaps he knew it; I hope he did. 

Dr. van Dyke: 

The next address will be made by our friend, Dr. 
Henry A. Stimson, representing the Congregational 
Church, from which Dr. Richards brought his strength 
and devotion to the service of the church of his later 
years, and after that Mr. John E. Parsons, representing 
the Session of the Brick Church, will read from some 
of the letters which have been received and from the 
minutes adopted by the Session, and the prayer will 
be offered by Dr. Coe, the Senior Minister of the Re- 
formed Church of this city. 

Address. By Rev. Henry A. Stimson, D.D., of the i^.Ian- 
hattan Congregational Church : 

When God has taken from us one whom we loved and 
have long known, we are less concerned with what others 
may say of him, however valuable or eloquent that may 
be, than we are with what we find he was to us. The 
one is quickly crowded out of mind by the pressure of 
the world in which we are living, the other furnishes 
the material for sweet memories and the substance for 
the building of character, which we all find so hard to 
achieve, and which is beyond price. Therefore, I have 
nothing to say to you, dear friends, concerning the his- 
tory of our brother, or his denominational relationship, 

26 



or of any contribution which the church to which I be- 
long may have rendered to you in him. I can only justify 
myself in occupying a few moments as I try to tell you 
what he was as I knew him, to help you to know what 
he was to you. That is the important thing. 

When I think of our brother as I first knew him in 
his New England home in the company of his mother 
and his sisters, I think of him as an old-fashioned Chris- 
tian. Brought up in the atmosphere of a country par- 
sonage, surrounded with the gentle faces and quiet 
voices of his mother and his sisters, in an atmosphere 
of love and purity, steadfast devotion, and care for the 
welfare of others, where prayer was constant and faith 
was simple and satisfying, and life was well ordered, in 
the fear of God, he began his career with the prepara- 
tion, which went far toward making him the man that 
he became. Despite what historians tell us of the vice, 
the irreligion and the profligacy that were prevalent in 
our country in past times, when we meet such men and 
think of the homes from which they came, there is rea- 
son why the thought of a Golden Age still abides in the 
heart of Christian people. 

When I think of him as he was in college, and as he 
was in the Seminary, it is of a beautiful youth, a fine 
scholar, a leader of men, but gentle, kindly, self-con- 
trolled, one of the best-loved men of his class. Later 
I remember well the pride with which I listened to him 
as he stood in the great assembly of graduates at New 
Haven at the annual gathering in Alumni Hall to speak 
for his class. Erect, manly, eager, intelligent, with his 
beautiful face and his flashing eye, which appealed to 
the crowd of the Alumni with a power that was as 
thrilling and as persuasive as it was evidently all uncon- 
scious to himself; a beautiful vision of the splendid youth 
that in their best estate our American colleges are con- 
tributing to the life of the land. 

Years passed in what was almost the retirement of his 
New Jersey parish, but as from time to time he emerged, 
everyone saw that his evident growth in intellectual 
power, in strength and dignified impressiveness, was the 
mark of a man who was doing his work right nobly, 
and was in the finest way successful in impressing him- 
self upon the people among whom he lived, while he was 

27 



building up a great and useful church, to be his monu- 
ment and his joy. As we have known him of late, older, 
and burdened with the care and the responsibility of a 
great city parish, there was the same reserve strength, 
the same self-control, with the ripening judgment and 
the increasing force, and the same self-forgetful person- 
ality. Beneath all was the humorous spirit which found 
its opportunity of expression in the intimate fellowship 
of his friends. 

The old Latin word from which our English word 
" culture " comes has had a fine ascent of meaning. It 
was originally applied to the cultivation of the garden 
and the field, of the fig and of the vine. Then it was 
used of the garments, and the equipage, and the adorn- 
ment of the home. Then it was applied to intellectual 
refinement and education; and last of all, and only last 
of all, it came to denote worship, the uplifting of the 
thought toward the unseen. Now to-day there are many 
about us whose conception of culture is dwarfed and 
incomplete. They are distinctive in costume, in equip- 
age, in the adornment of their homes, but to them can 
be applied the term only as it was arrested midway in 
its development. They are refined in manner and cul- 
tured in thought and speech, and there they stop. The 
effect of their culture is to separate them from their 
fellow men. They become exquisite and remote. They 
are content to hold themselves aloof from the crowd, 
and to deal with the needs of the community and even 
with the obligations of civic life at arm's length, or with 
so much of service as gifts of money may occasionally 
produce, while they themselves move on in their own 
selfish way, unconcerned except where their personal in- 
terests may perchance be involved. The great world, 
God's world, the place of the coming in of His King- 
dom and the upbuilding of His saints, is to them com- 
mon and unclean. 

But there is another culture. It is far truer and it is 
of a far higher type. It is the culture to which the word 
can be applied when it is raised to its full scope and 
splendor. It describes the man who has learned to know 
God, who has surrendered his life to Him and is busy 
ordering it according to the pattern that has been given 
to him in Jesus Christ. He also is gentle and refined, 

28 



but it is a refinement that is within, that penetrates deep 
into the soul, and of which the outer Hfe can never be 
more than an imperfect and somewhat crude expres- 
sion. The further he advances, the humbler he becomes ; 
the more he knows of God, the less he thinks of himself 
and the tenderer his heart is toward the failures of his 
fellow men. He becomes more loving for he knows how 
much God has to forgive in him and how much God 
has still to confer before he will be what God would 
have him to be. Therefore he is patient with his fel- 
lows, and realizes more and more his oneness with them. 
He is the man who softens as he ripens ; in him old 
age takes on its divine beauty when the shadows of earth 
lengthen, but the light of heaven begins to be seen. Year 
by year he grows in the breadth of his sympathies and 
in the generous efficiency of his brotherly service. 

Now it was this culture that marked our brother in a 
preeminent degree. His was the refined and gentle, the 
highly developed attainment of the beautiful Christian. 
He was a saintly man, both because of the sincerity and 
the simplicity of his intimacy with God and of the ten- 
derness and the constancy of his love for men. 

The last time we were together, a few days before his 
death, I met him returning from a house of over- 
whelming sorrow. He was so distressed that he could 
speak of it only in broken tones, and the reality of his 
sorrow was marked in every line of his face. 

" He was courteous as a Knight of old, 
And he the very soul of friendliness. 
The spirit of youth lost never in him its power; 
So sweet his soul, his passing smile could bless. 
But this one passion all his long life held, 
To serve his Master to the last lingering hour." 

He was a gift of God to this great church and also to 
the community, of a value that can hardly be put in 
words, and this will be realized by many a heart which 
has felt his impress, and which I hope this service will 
aid in long cherishing his beautiful memory. 

The summons came to him as he would have wished, 
in the fulness of his strength, in the midst of his work, 
in the quiet of his home, in the companionship of those 

29 



he loved and who loved him most, and without a pain. 
It was a euthanasia, a translation from the toilsome sor- 
row-marked service of earth to the glories of that better 
life, where God's " servants are serving Him," and 
where sorrow and death do not enter. If in the last 
hour he could have spoken, he would have perhaps used 
the words with which the dying Sir Walter Scott spoke 
to Lockhart : " My dear Lockhart, be a good man ; noth- 
ing else will give you any comfort when you come to 
die." 

I hear voices in this place to-night — voices no longer 
sounding on earth, but joining in the praises of Heaven. 
As we think of the new voice added to them, if our 
faith be true, we do not mourn ; we rejoice at the battle 
won, and at the triumph of a follower of the Lord Jesus 
Christ. God has given us a friend forever. We have 
known a manly man. Let us thank God, and take 
courage. 

John E. Parsons, Esq., President of Board of Trustees 
of Brick Church: 

In the short time which has intervened since Dr. Rich- 
ards' death, communications occasioned by his death 
have come from the President of the United States, from 
the British Ambassador, from the Session of Christ 
Presbyterian Church, from the Church of the Covenant, 
from the congregation of the Central Church at Bath, 
Me., in which Dr. Richards began his ministry; from 
the Presbytery of New York, from the directors and 
from the faculty of Union Theological Seminary, from 
the Church Extension Committee of the Presbytery of 
New York, from the trustees of the Yale corporation, 
from the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, from 
the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions, from the 
New York City Mission and Tract Society, from the 
Session of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, 

30 



from the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, from 
the Englevvood Presbyterian Church, from the Marble 
Collegiate Church, from the West End Presbyterian 
Church, from the Congregation of the Church of the 
Pilgrims, Brooklyn, from the directors of Whittier House 
of Jersey City, from the American Tract Society, from 
the Presbytery of Elizabeth, N. J., and many others. 
There would not be time to read at length all these com- 
munications, but a few passages from some of them I 
am commissioned to read. [Mr. Parsons then read some 
of the communications printed in this volume.] 

Prayer. By Rev. Dr. Edward B. Coe, of the Collegiate 
Reformed Church : 

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, who hast ever 
been the refuge and strength of Thy people, whose ways 
are not as our ways, nor Thy thoughts as our thoughts, 
but whose wisdom cannot err, and whose compassions 
never fail, we thank Thee that among the mysteries and 
sorrows of life we may look to Thee for light and com- 
fort, while we bow to Thy most Holy Will. We thank 
Thee for the great blessing which Thou hast granted 
to us in the life and work of Thy servant, our brother 
and friend, whom Thou hast called from Thy service 
among us on earth to other and higher spheres of service. 
We thank Thee for his strong faith in Thee and in the 
gospel of Thy grace, in Jesus Christ ; for the earnest- 
ness and power with which he preached the truth as it 
is in Jesus, and for the witness which he bore to it in 
his daily life ; for his unwearied devotion to all the work 
of the Master in which Thou didst so richly bless his 
labors ; for his sympathy with all the needs and sorrows 
of human life, and his earnest endeavor to bring men, 
here and everywhere, under the power of Thy truth and 
into fellowship with Thyself; for the many ways in 
which he rendered lasting service to this church, to this 
community, and to the world. In loving and grateful 

31 



memory of him, we praise Thee for his good example, 
for the inspiration of his friendship, for the abiding in- 
fluence of his character and spirit, for the new purposes, 
and hopes and aims awakened by him in many souls, and 
for our firm assurance that he is now with Thee. We 
commend to Thy most tender consolation and care those 
who were nearest to him in life, and on whom his death 
has brought the deepest sorrow. We beseech Thee to 
uphold, strengthen and comfort them with the constant 
sense of Thy presence and love. We pray for Thy bless- 
ing on this church, that all who have been here asso- 
ciated with him in Christian worship and service may 
illustrate in their lives the lessons they have learned 
from him, and may carry on with undiminished harmony 
and zeal the work in which he was their leader. We 
pray for the institutions with which he was connected, 
that others may enter into his labors in the same spirit 
of loyalty to Christ and to mankind. And finally we be- 
seech Thee to grant that we, cherishing his memory and 
inspired by his example, may be diligent and faithful 
in the work which Thou hast given us to do, and, after 
this life, may enter with him into the presence and joy 
of our Lord. We ask this, O most merciful Father, 
with the forgiveness of our sins, in the name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 

HYMN . . . . "For all the Saints" 

For all the saints, who from their labors rest, 
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed, 
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blessed. 

Thou wast their rock, their fortress and their might; 
Thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight; 
Thou in the darkness drear, their one true light. 

O blest communion, fellowship divine! 
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine; 
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine. 

The golden evening brightens in the west ; 
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes thy rest; 
Sweet is the calm of Paradise the blest. 

32 



But lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day ; 
The saints triumphant rise in bright array ; 
The King of glory passes on his way. 

From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast, 
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host, 
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
" Hallelujah, Hallelujah ! " 

Benediction. By Dr. Alexander: 

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the 
dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, 
through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you 
perfect in every good work to do His will, working in 
you that which is well pleasing in His sight, and the 
Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, the 
Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with 
you forever. 

SEVENFOLD AMEN .... Stainer 
ORGAN POSTLUDE— Marche Solonelle, Gounod 

The following poem was printed upon the last page 
of the order of service : 

To Dr. Richards: 

Strong shepherd of the sheep of God, 
Pastor that fed our hungry souls; 

Dark are the ways our feet have trod. 
No shepherd call our grief consoles. 

This tribute that we render you, 

In sudden sorrow gathered here. 
Is but the honor due the dead, 

Sad homage to that silent bier. 

Deeper than tears our questions search 

In self -condemning agony. 
To know the reason for this loss. 

The cause of our heart's tragedy. 

33 



What work called out your utmost strength 
Beyond the measure of its power? 

What ministry of God-like love 

Has brought us to this lonely hour? 

To whose life's sorrow was it due 

That you should give that last deep breath ? 
What soul asked sympathy so great 

It opened wide the door to death? 

What over-eager sheep we've been, 

Seeking the love you ne'er withheld ; 

How greatly have we asked of you, 
By petty, selfish needs impelled. 

And now there lies where you have stood. 
In death's calm dignity at rest, 

The outward semblance we have known, 
Loved temple that your spirit blessed. 

The tenant that has left it still 

And lifeless where it glowed so bright. 
Has gone that way up which you strove 

To point weak men on to the light. 

The valley of the shadow must 

Have blazed with glory as you passed; 
Blessed men are they who crossed with you, 

Soul speaking soul unto the last. 

I think you dwelt so near that land, 
Your soul was so attuned to God, 

He could not stay that one short step 

Between Him and the way you trod. 

And in some dream of perfect light — 

The step between full-bridged in sleep — 

Your soul slipped from the bond of earth 

That held you, shepherd, with your sheep. 

Bereft, sad-hearted, lonely-souled. 

We who have known your ministry 

Of strength and light and Christ-like love 
Shall comfort in our sorrow see. 

34 



That step that bridged the way for you 
Between dim paths, and Hght beyond, 

Is nearer still to those you love, 

Unto your soul heaven's closest bond ; 

And in full presence of God's light 

Just that least step between divides 
Our grieving hearts and yours whose love 
Still close and dear with us abides. 
January lo, 1910. Helen Palmer Gavit* 

As many of the following tributes as time permitted 
were read by Mr. Parsons. 

Letter from the President of the United States 
The White House, Washington, 

January 18, 19 10. 

I am very sorry that I cannot attend the memorial 
service in the Brick Church for your late pastor. Dr. 
Richards, on Sunday, January 30th. I knew Dr. Rich- 
ards well and had known him ever since he was in col- 
lege. He was a senior when I was a freshman. He 
always commanded the respect and affection of his class- 
mates, and united with good fellowship and a pure heart, 
great ability and simplicity of character. I sympathize 
sincerely with the congregation which he has left in their 
great loss. 

Sincerely yours, 

Wm. H. Taft. 
The Brick Presbyterian Church, 
Fifth Avenue and 37th Street, 
New York, N. Y. 

* Miss Gavit, as Parish Secretary, was intimately asssociated 
with Dr. Richards in the work of the Church. Only a few days 
before his [death she was taken ill and wrote these touching 
verses upon her bed in a hospital, where she was subsequently 
operated upon for appendicitis. 

35 



Letter from the Right Hon. James Bryce, British 
Ambassador. 
British Embassy, Washington. 

January 31, 1910. 

We were deeply grieved to hear of the terrible sorrow 
which fell so suddenly upon you and desire to be per- 
mitted to express to you our sincere sympathy. Though 
we had so seldom enjoyed the privilege of seeing Dr. 
Richards and of hearing him preach, we had conceived 
a warm regard and felt a warm admiration for him, and 
had hoped for further opportunities of meeting him 
and knowing him better. His loss is indeed a grievous 
one for the city where he was a power for good, and 
many are those who will have cause to mourn it. 

Pray forgive me for venturing to write to you and 
believe me to be 

Sincerely yours, 

James Bryce. 

Christ Church Session 

Christ Church Memorial Building, 

336 West Thirty-sixth Street, New York. 

January 18, 1910. 

Through the death of the Rev. William R. Richards, 
D.D., pastor of the Brick Church, Christ Church has 
lost one of its most loyal and devoted friends. At the 
commencement of his ministry in 1902 our work was 
carried on in the old and inadequate buildings in West 
Thirty-fifth Street, which had served it as a home for 
over forty years, but which had become outworn and out- 

36 



grown in the course of that time. To-day we are wor- 
shipping and carrying on our social activities in the 
splendid Memorial Buildings, one of the most beautiful 
and complete centers of institutional church work in the 
city and in the world. 

This change in our material equipment has been at- 
tended by a corresponding growth in the size and scope 
of our work. Our church has increased in membership 
and in contribution ; our Sunday School, in spite of 
great changes of population in the neighborhood, has 
more than held its own ; our clubs and other social activ- 
ities have multiplied in number and increased in mem- 
bership, so that the Church House has become a neigh- 
borhood center of wide-reaching usefulness instead of 
a modest annex to the work of the church and Sunday 
School. These changes are in a large measure due to 
the devoted interest which Dr. Richards has taken in 
our work. 

At the beginning of his pastorate he found the plans 
for our future development in an indefinite and formless 
condition, and gave himself patiently for many months to 
conferences with the committee, in which they were 
crystalized and determined. He found the funds for the 
proposed building lacking some two hundred thousand 
dollars of the amount necessary to bring the work to a 
successful conclusion, and it was due to his personal in- 
terest and solicitation that this large sum of money was 
secured. The completion of the buildings in the fall of 
1905 was an occasion of deepest satisfaction to Dr. Rich- 
ards and he gave expression to the spirit which had con- 
stantly actuated him by rejoicing that in many respects 

Z7 



they were finer than those which the Brick Church itself 
possessed. Dr. Richards, until the very day of his death, 
attended with regularity the monthly meetings of the 
Church House Committee; has been with us upon all 
festival occasions of the year, and has constantly kept 
the work and its needs before the people of the Brick 
Church. 

In addition to these large material services. Dr. Rich- 
ards endeared himself to the members of our Session 
and to the congregation and young people of the church, 
through his sunny temperament, his vivid and earnest 
sermons, and his manifest interest in all that pertained 
to their welfare. 

The Session of Christ Church hereby records its heart- 
felt gratitude to our Heavenly Father for the blessings 
he has given us through this devoted servant of Christ, 
and its sense of profound loss in his removal from us. 
It extends to the people of the Brick Church and to the 
members of Dr. Richards' family its heartfelt sympathy 
in their great bereavement, and its prayers for their help 
and guidance in the days that are to come. 

William H. Wilson, 
Clerk of Christ Church Session. 

At the regular monthly meeting of the Christ Church 
Memorial House Committee on January 6, 19 lo, the 
Rev. Dr. William R. Richards, the pastor of the Brick 
Church, apparently in the enjoyment of fullest health 
and brightest spirits, met with us to confer regarding 
the needs of the work for the coming year. That night 
he was swiftly and silently called away from us. 

38 



The Memorial House Committee, as well as the Christ 
Church Memorial Building, was in a large measure the 
creation of Dr. Richards' wise mind and loving interest 
in the affiliated work of the Brick Church. It was due 
to him that the vague plans, which had been formed pre- 
vious to his coming to the Brick Church, for the erection 
of the new buildings were definitely determined and the 
money was raised for the carrying out of those plans. 

As soon as the project assumed definite shape Dr. 
Richards met regularly with those interested in the work, 
and rendered valuable service in the preparation of the 
rules under which the activities of the Memorial Build- 
ings have been so happily and successfully conducted. 
His satisfaction in the completion of the new buildings 
and the inauguration of the work in them was very 
great, and that interest continued to be displayed through 
his regular attendance at the committee meetings and at 
all festival gatherings, through his unfailing sympathy 
in all the plans for the advancement of the work and his 
generous aid in securing the money necessary for their 
maintenance. 

The members of this committee desire to record their 
deep appreciation of his splendid Christian manhood, 
devoted services and uplifting fellowship. Saddened 
at his sudden death and our irreparable loss, we express 
our gratitude to God that for so many years it was our 
privilege to be associated with him in a work so dear to 
his heart and ours. We bear loving testimony to his 
unfailing wisdom and tact, unselfishness and fidelity. We 
recognized in him while living the true marks of a dis- 
ciple of our Master, and we rejoice in the assured faith 

39 



that there was awaiting him in our Father's House the 
welcome of our Lord to a good and faithful servant. 

The secretary is directed to record this memorial of 
our appreciation and affection upon the minutes of the 
committee, and to forward a copy with our heartfelt 
sympathy to the family of Dr. Richards and to the Ses- 
sion of the Brick Church. 

James M. Farr, 
Hector M. Hitchings, 

Committee. 

Church of the Covenant, 

To the Session of the Brick Presbyterian Church, 
New York City. 

At a meeting of the Session of the Church of the 
Covenant, held February 2, 19 10, the following minute 
was adopted : 

" The Session of the Church of the Covenant hereby 
records our appreciation of the Rev. William Rogers 
Richards, D.D., late pastor of the Brick Presbyterian 
Church, and our sense of loss in his sudden translation, 
January 7, 19 10. 

" His prophetic outlook upon the needs of our great 
city and of the world, and his practical methods for 
meeting those needs, made us all look up to him as a 
great leader in the promotion of God's Kingdom. 

" His brotherly interest in our work and in us made 
very real and personal the affiliated relationship between 
our churches. We shall ever hold in grateful memory 
his wise messages from our pulpit, and especially his 

40 



prayer and benediction on his last visit, at the close of 
our Sunday School service on Christmas morning. 

" We mourn the loss of a tried and trusted leader, a 
wise and loving counsellor, a faithful and appreciative 
friend, a man so filled with the Spirit of Jesus Christ 
that it will ever be an inspiration to purer living and 
nobler service to have known him." 

George S. Webster, Moderator. 

Daniel H. Wiesner, Clerk. 

The Congregation of Central Church, Bath, Me. 

To the Session of the Brick Presbyterian Church, New 
York City, from the Central Congregational Church, 
Bath, Me. 

January 22, 1910. 

Greeting: We have your kind invitation to be pres- 
ent by representative delegate at the Memorial Service 
to be held for Rev. Dr. William R. Richards, in the 
Brick Church January 30th, and regret exceedingly the 
inability of any member of our congregation to be with 
you on that occasion.* Absence in person, however, shall 
not prevent our sending the expression of our sincerest 
sympathy in the loss to you and to the church at large 
of this true servant of Christ. 

We recall that the fruitful ministry of Dr. Richards 

was begun in this city thirty-one years ago. He came 

to Central Church directly from the Seminary and here 

with rare fidelity and growing power he labored for 

five years. To our Manse, he brought the bride of his 

* As was seen on page 17, Rev. Mr. DeMott found it possible 
to attend the Memorial Service. 

41 



youth ; here two of his children were born, and from this 
church he was called to the larger service in Plainfield, 
N. J. We recall that, during these intervening years, 
his interest in this parish has continued, and that he has 
always rejoiced in its welfare. And this feeling has been 
returned. We have followed his increasing success and 
enlarging usefulness with something of maternal pride 
and thanksgiving, knowing that in a sense we gave him 
to the world. Therefore, we would share with you the 
consciousness of a common loss. 

Will you kindly convey to Dr. Richards' family the 
assurance that their sorrow is our sorrow? Will you 
express to the Brick Church our sincere sympathy in 
having lost a true leader in the things of the Spirit? 

Rightly has he been called, by one who knew him well, 
" a guide to the heights." 

" A heightsman, clean of soul — 
Who knew the unblazed trails ; up heights unseen 
He guided multitudes." 

In this let us rejoice — that he, following the Master, 
has led men up to God and Eternal Life. 

Wishing you grace, mercy and peace, we remain, 
Faithfully yours, 

Geo. C. DeMott, Pastor. 
Wm. R. Shaw, Clerk. 

The Presbytery of New York. 

The Presbytery of New York is called, in the all-wise 
Providence of God, to mourn the loss of the Rev. Dr. 
Richards, a brother useful, honored and beloved, an ex- 
Moderator of this body, at the time of his death an im- 

42 



portant member of the Moderator's Council and of the 
Church Extension Committee. The Presbytery would 
record its grief at our loss, and its appreciation of the 
character and services of our beloved fellow member. 

William Rogers Richards, son of the Rev. George and 
Anna (Woodruff) Richards, was born in Boston, De- 
cember 20, 1853, received his preparatory education in 
Mr. Day's school in Bridgeport, Conn., and entered Yale 
College in 1871. On graduation with high honors in 
1875, he went for a year to the Columbia Law School in 
New York City, then entered Andover Theological Sem- 
inary and graduated into the ministry of the Congrega- 
tional Church in 1879. His first pastorate was in Bath, 
Me. ; while there he married Miss Charlotte Barrett 
Blodget, daughter of the eminent missionary to China. 
After nearly five years in this charge, he was called to 
the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church in Plainfield, 
N. J. He rendered eighteen years of service there, and 
was then called to the Brick Presbyterian Church in this 
city, became a member of this Presbytery in the year 
1902, and continued in most active service until the mo- 
ment of death. 

Dr. Richards was destined from birth to high position 
and large usefulness. Of the best New England an- 
cestry, with endowment of strength and beauty physical 
and spiritual, he found himself from earliest years 
placed and kept in an environment tending to his highest 
development. He passed easily and quickly toward the 
lead, in college life, in matters of scholarship, of religious 
and of social life. He developed in early days, and to a 
large degree, the faculty of success in whatever he under- 

43 



took. The influences of his briUiant college career 
marked him through his life's work. To the end he re- 
tained his scholarly habits, clearness of thought, close 
friendships, fondness for outdoor Hfe, readiness and 
power in dealing with men, and his religious consecra- 
tion. 

In his Plainfield pastorate he was markedly successful. 
The church grew greatly in numbers and in power, 
branches developed, the pastor in chief became widely 
influential and in many and varied spheres of life. On 
special occasions he took a wise and helpful part in 
politics, when moral issues were clearly at stake. He 
was called to the Moderatorship of the Synod of New 
Jersey, and became widely useful as a Presbyter. He 
won the confidence and love of his church to a rare de- 
gree. The relation between that pastor and his people 
became ideal. 

When called to the Brick Church of this Presbytery 
he did not want to come ; but God made it plain to him, 
and to others, that the path of duty lay thus. The strug- 
gle was hard ; but bravely and determinedly he set his 
face according to his Master's will. It required high 
courage and devotion on his part to leave the happiness, 
security and promise of the well-established home and 
work and to go out into the new country, knowing little 
of whither he went. Many of us remember the difficult 
conditions into which he came. From the first he mas- 
tered circumstances, compelled respect and appreciation, 
won love and following, led onward for his church as 
for himself into widespread usefulness. The social and 
religious service of that church has never been so large 

44 



as under the administration of Dr. Richards and the 
men who have sustained him through these years. Al- 
most the first great matter that he undertook was to 
secure the large amount of money needed to establish 
the beautiful memorial for his beloved predecessors, 
which now stands on our roll as Christ Church. As one 
of his associates has said, " his heart was in the tene- 
ments although his church was on Fifth Avenue." And 
in many ways the foundations of his church were deep- 
ened and broadened. 

In our Presbytery Dr. Richards soon became a leader, 
revealing himself as wise, resourceful, controlling. He 
was made Moderator, and held this position for three 
terms. His spirit of fairness, his breadth of vision, his 
attention to detail, his conciliatory attitude where pos- 
sible, were conspicuous. At a time when a spirit of 
separativeness was feared, he seized the idea of a partial 
reorganization of Presbytery, and did much to inau- 
gurate a new era of mutual confidence and prosperity. 

His services to the church at large were many and 
great. He was made Vice-Moderator of the General As- 
sembly in 1906, and presided with conspicuous power. 
He was appointed on several important committees hav- 
ing in charge the welfare of the church. On the Board 
of Foreign Missions his services were notable, the pres- 
ident of that Board testifying that his judgment seemed 
almost infallible on the questions presented. In the re- 
lations of our church to other branches of the great 
Church of Christ, and in the irresistible movement of 
all the Christian churches toward unity of efifort, whether 
or not of organization. Dr. Richards was farseeing and 

45 



helpful. He had deep interest in efforts for social up- 
lift and political purification, yet he was never carried 
away by the wild enthusiasms of the moment or by im- 
practicable schemes of betterment. He was widely wel- 
comed and successful as a college preacher. 

Our Presbytery at this time thinks of the man as well 
as of his service. We found that he was loving and 
lovable; that he wanted to help us all. As a preacher 
he was strongly intellectual yet fervently appealing. He 
had a message to deliver for his Master, and he uttered 
the message with clearness of thought, felicity of dic- 
tion, and force of appeal. He was faithful in the pas- 
toral office, doing conscientiously the routine work of an 
ambassador for Christ in personal relations with men. 
He gave himself without reserve to the work and the 
world, in the Spirit of Him who came not to be min- 
istered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ran- 
som for many. 

At midnight the call came to him, and found him 
ready. Happy transition from the high point of his use- 
fulness here, to the higher activities of the life beyond! 
We are missing him greatly, in our Presbytery and in 
our hearts. We sympathize with the bereaved members 
of his household. But we would take this occasion to 
express the triumph of Christian faith. He is not dead 
— he cannot die. We believe that the Master has said to 
him : " Well done good and faithful servant ; thou hast 
been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many 
things. Enter thou into the joy of the Lord." 

Anson P. Atterbury, 

Chairman of Committee. 
46 



The Men's Association of Brick Church. 
Minute Adopted March 14, igio. 

During Dr. Richards' pastorate in the Brick Church, 
his intense loyalty to the Master's service made its 
lasting impress on all the varied activities of the 
Church, but upon none more strongly than upon the 
work of the Men's Association, and while we have left 
to others the summing up in more complete form the 
life of our late beloved Pastor, we, as an Association, 
desire to record upon our Minutes a tribute of affec- 
tion for that faithful Ambassador for Christ who dur- 
ing eight years was our spiritual guide, and our in- 
timate and loving associate and friend. 

Immediately upon assuming the pastorate of our 
Church, Dr. Richards entered into the spirit and fel- 
lowship of this Association with that hearty devotion, 
that singleness of purpose, and that earnest self- 
sacrifice which were characteristic of all his labors 
among us. 

He was a regular attendant at our meetings, and 
always contributed to the interest of the evening. 
Whether he related some humorous personal experi- 
ence, or told of some interesting Summer travel, or 
merely took occasion to thank an Association lecturer 
for his services, he would draw upon his admirable 
equipment as a speaker and by his refined taste, his 
nobility of thought, or his fund of good humor, never 
failed to charm his hearers. 

Dr. Richards gave to this Church, and to this Asso- 
ciation, the full measure of loyal devotion, and, just 
as his love and devotion included all, so the love of all 
went out to him. 

Though he was gentle, he was earnest and forceful. 
He was an inspiring preacher, a manly Christian, and 

46a 



he spared not his strength in his work for Christ. 
He was a true shepherd of his flock, who pointed the 
way home to God with a happy countenance and a 
winsome smile. 

What his devotion accomplished for this Association 
is our precious heritage, and the knowledge that our 
love answered his love is our tenderest memory. 

At this time of grief and sadness we look up and 
thank God that Dr. Richards was our brother in these 
last years of his life, that we have seen the sweetening 
of a character, already lovable to an unusual degree 
when he came to us, and to know that in his uncon- 
scious preparation for the life beyond, not only he 
himself, but those who came in contact with him, were 
drawn closer and closer to the Master. 

While the call for us has not yet come, let us each 
one pledge so to live that there may be a joyous meet- 
ing on that yonder shore, there to share with Dr. Rich- 
ards the heaven which his companionship has already 
brightened. 

(This tribute was received after this memorial volume had 
been printed, and is inserted as extra pages.) 



46b 



Directors of Union Theological Seminary. 

January ii, 1910. 

Whereas, in the all-wise Providence of God, the Rev. 
Dr. Richards has been called from his earthly activity, 
the Board of Directors of Union Seminary would hereby 
record our sense of sorrow and loss in the death of this 
member of our Board, and express our high apprecia- 
tion of his services to this Seminary and to the church 
at large. 

William Rogers Richards, son of the Rev. George 
and Anna (Woodruff) Richards, was born in Boston, 
December 20, 1853. ^^ a child he breathed the stim- 
ulating atmosphere of ministerial life. New England 
gave to him all possible of physical health, intellectual 
discipline, religious heritage. At Yale College, he quick- 
ly assumed leadership in his class, both as scholar and 
friend. Graduating in the year 1875, he entered the 
Columbia Law School in New York City; it is probable 
that this step was taken, not so much with an idea of 
becoming a lawyer, as to give himself time to think about 
the great decision which was already before him. His 
brief legal training was of large avail later, in his chosen 
profession. 

In the fall of 1876, he entered Andover Theological 
Seminary, and came under the inspiring influences of 
Edward A. Park, Egbert C. Smythe, J. H. Thayer, and 
others of that time, and while Austin Phelps was still 
lingering on the borderland. In the quiet and studious 
life of that institution he developed great power and 
promise. He graduated in 1879, in a large sense a " man 
of God — furnished completely unto every good work." 

47 



At Bath, Me., the young man began his ministerial 
career. The seclusion of the far-off village could not 
hide him. He married Charlotte B. Blodget, daughter 
of the Missionary to China. In the year 1884 he passed 
from Congregationalism to Presbyterianism, and as- 
sumed the important pastorate of the Crescent Avenue 
Church in Plainfield, N. J. Here he labored with great 
faithfulness and success, and with growing reputation 
for eighteen years. He refused chances for change ; he 
looked upon himself, and became looked upon by others, 
as fixed in his life's work. But in the year 1902 it was 
made evident to him, and to others, that the Great Head 
of the Church wanted him to become pastor of the 
Brick Church in New York. This involved an addi- 
tional struggle of which it was hard for him to speak 
afterwards. He did not waver when the duty was made 
plain. 

In New York he began cautiously but strongly. After 
a year or two his people and the community in general 
began to find that he was strong and true, wise and lov- 
ing. He made many friends in many spheres of activity, 
and he bound them to him as with the "cords of a man." 
His intellectual endowments had always been apparent; 
ever more effectively, the heart qualities became devel- 
oped, in preaching as throughout his intercourse with 
men. He became a leader in Presbytery; soon, and for 
some years, its Moderator. He served for several years 
most helpfully on the Moderators' Council. As a mem- 
ber of the Board of Foreign Missions he was greatly 
useful; the president of that Board has recently said 
that Dr. Richards' judgment on the questions pre- 

48 



sented seemed almost infallible. He had opportunity to 
show his power when called to the Vice-Moderatorship 
of the General Assembly in 1906. He was active and 
useful in many matters connected with the social and 
religious welfare of our city and country. His coopera- 
tion was welcomed by leaders of other denominations. 

As a preacher he was strong and compelling; as a 
presbyter he was wise and winsome; as a pastor he was 
faithful and gentle ; as a friend he was tender and sym- 
pathetic. He fought a good fight — and he kept the faith. 
With a mind opened to newer thought, he held strongly 
to certain old essentials of Theology that he had proved 
in his own spiritual experience. 

It was soon after his transfer to New York that he 
became a member of this Board. He has added greatly 
to the strength and steadfastness of this institution. 
What public part he has been called upon to take has 
been fulfilled with dignity. His services in bringing 
Presbytery and Seminary toward harmony have been 
invaluable. 

We have been, of late, mourning the departure of 
strong and beloved members of this Board ; and now an- 
other is taken. In the flood tide of his power and suc- 
cess, he has passed into the larger life. In the midnight 
the call came to him, and found him ready. As his 
earthly life, stainless and strong, now closes, we mourn 
our loss, we sympathize deeply with his immediate family 
and with his church, and we rejoice in his triumph. 

Wm. M. Kingsley, 

Recorder. 

49 



The Faculty of Union Theological Seminary. 

January 12, 19 10. 

The Faculty of Union Theological Seminary desires 
to put on record its sense of most grievous loss in the 
death of Dr. WiUiam Rogers Richards, a member of 
our Board of Directors and an invaluable adviser in the 
work of our institution. Coming from New England, 
where he was born in Boston (1853) he was a splendid 
incarnation of the cool, lofty, high-born sincerity and 
integrity that early stamped itself upon the New Eng- 
land character. His legal training, before he entered 
upon the ministry, had framed a keen mind to exact 
thinking and given it great capacity for separating the 
essential from the nonessential elements of any question. 

His religious life was no outward attachment to his 
activities but formed the warm motive power behind all 
he thought and did. Reserve and strength alike marked 
him, and yet his reserve was no barrier between him 
and anyone needing counsel or aid. Even his rare gifts 
as a preacher could not have given him his unique hold 
upon the lives and affections of three such congrega- 
tions as those of the Congregational Church of Bath, 
Me. ; the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church of Plain- 
field, N. J., and the Brick Church, New York, had not 
his work as sympathetic, ministering pastor made him a 
personal friend to young and old. To know him even 
slightly was to trust him utterly. To have him once 
for a friend was to have one to whom one could ever 
and always turn. His firm faith made him tolerant of 
intellectual divergence, and even when formulae and po- 

50 



sitions dear to him were challenged, he always wished 
to meet the challenge only with the appropriate weapons. 
This gave a largeness and richness to his life that made 
that life invaluable to many seeking clearer views of 
truth and duty amidst the confusions of the day. There 
was harmony and unity and such fulness of manhood 
in him who has been taken from us, that we feel how 
sadly that life will be missed in all its manifold relations, 
as father and husband, as pastor and preacher, as friend 
and counselor. We comfort ourselves in his strong 
faith which we hope daily to make our own, and rejoice 
amidst our sorrows in the rich fruit of the life's work. 

Charles R. Gillett, 

Secretary. 

The Church Extension Committee. 

The Church Extension Committee of the Presbytery 
of New York records its deep sense of loss in the sud- 
den death of the Rev. William Rogers Richards, D.D., 
the pastor of the Brick Church, in the early morning 
of January 7th. 

Dr. Richards has been a member of this committee 
from the time of his coming to New York. With a keen 
sense of the church's obligations to the entire community 
and an appreciation of the vastness of the problem raised 
by the phenomenal growth of this metropolitan city, he 
threw himself into our work with the utmost enthu- 
siasm. He has been a constant attendant at our meetings, 
assisting us incalculably with his statesmanship, wise 
counsel, and unerring tact. He has given much personal 
attention to the work, examining proposed sites, and vis- 

51 



iting our young churches. He has taken a vigorous part 
in our campaigns for contributions, plead our cause in 
pubHc and private, and sought to bind the churches of 
the Presbytery together in a common responsibihty for 
the advance of the Kingdom in this city. 

Above all, he has so endeared himself to each one of 
us by the charm of his rich, tender, strong personality 
and by his manifest consecration to Christ that we can- 
not but miss him most sorely whenever we meet together 
for the discharge of duties in which he had so large a 
share. 

We desire to extend our sympathy to the church he 
has so ably served and to his family in whose sorrow 
we feel we have a part. 

Signed on behalf of the Committee — 

Wilton Merle Smith, President. 
Henry Sloane Coffin, Vice-President. 

Yale University, Secretary's Office. 

New Haven, Conn., January 19, 1910. 
I beg to inform you that the following minute appears 
in the records of the meeting of the Yale Corporation 
held January 13, 19 10: 

" Voted, to direct the secretary to extend to the family 
of the late Rev. Dr. Richards the deep sympathy of the 
President and Fellows on the death of a member of the 
Corporation who was especially highly valued for his 
devotion to the university, his beauty of character, and 
his soundness of judgment." 

Very truly yours, 

Anson Phelps Stokes, Jr. 
52 



The Board of Home Missions. 

January i8, 1910. 

Every member of our Board feels keenly the loss 
Presbyterianism has sustained in his being called to the 
higher service. I am sure I voice the sentiments of the 
Board when I express their hearty appreciation of all 
that he was as a man and all the service that he rendered 
to the church at large through the various organizations 
with which he was connected. 

Not only the Brick Church, but all Presbyterian in- 
terests are the poorer for his translation. We shall sorely 
miss that genial Christian manhood, and extend our ear- 
nest sympathy to the Brick Church in their bereavement. 
Sincerely yours, 

C. L. Thompson, Secretary. 

Board of Foreign Missions. 

January 27, 1910. 

' In the death of the Rev. Dr. William Rogers Richards 
(which occurred suddenly at his home in this city on 
January 7, 1910), the Board of Foreign Missions of the 
Presbyterian Church has sustained an irreparable loss. 
He was elected a member of the Board in 1890, and 
during the entire twenty years which have since elapsed, 
served with conspicuous fidelity and efficiency. His at- 
tendance at meetings of the Board and its subcom- 
mittees was most regular; his wide outlook, long experi- 
ence and wise counsel were of incalculable value to the 
Board. His marked intellectual qualities, which distin- 
guished him as a preacher, were evident in his grasp of 

53 



the many important and often perplexing problems of 
the Board, and were most graciously and generously ex- 
tended. His interest in the work of the Board was mani- 
fested in many ways, and it was quickened by his visits 
to the Syrian and Mexican Missions. 

Dr. Richards was for eighteen years pastor of the 
Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, of Plainfield, N. 
J., and in 1902 accepted the call of the Brick Presby- 
terian Church of New York, the pastorate of which he 
held until his death. 

The Board desires to record its afifectionate appre- 
ciation of Dr. Richards' noble Christian character, his 
striking and attractive qualities of mind and heart, and 
his kind and courteous intercourse with his fellow-mem- 
bers in the bonds of Christian fellowship. 

In Dr. Richards' death the community has lost a pa- 
triotic and unselfish citizen — the church a devoted pastor 
and a preacher of rare power and persuasiveness, and 
a leader of courage and wisdom. 

Resolved, that this Minute be placed on the records 
of the Board and a copy sent to the family of Dr. 
Richards. 

Alfred E. Marling, 

Chairman. 

New York City Mission and Tract Society. 

January 18, 1910. 

Our City Mission Society has had no meeting since 
Dr. Richards died, and will have none until February, 
and, therefore, we have no resolutions adopted, 

54 



In view of these conditions, let me say, as President 
of the City Mission, that we deeply sympathize with 
the church in the very great loss it has sustained in the 
death of Dr. Richards. The Brick Church has always 
been most catholic in its sympathy and in its beneficence. 
Dr. Richards led it along these same lines in a most 
intelligent and broad-minded way. 

Not the City Mission only, but the Evangelistic Tent 
Work of whose Executive Committee I am chairman, 
and many other good causes mourn with you over his 
sudden death. 

He was a man of God, of well-balanced judgment, 
steadfast purpose, and of high ideals, and the city is 
poorer because of his departure, while at the same time 
it is richer because of his life and labor. 
Yours very truly, 

A. F. SCHAUFFLER. 

Session of Madison Avenue Church. 

We, the Session of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian 
Church desire, in the name of the church and congrega- 
tion, to record our sense of the loss we, together with 
all the churches of the Presbytery of New York, have 
sustained in the death of the Rev. William Rogers Rich- 
ards, D.D., pastor of the Brick Church, and our grati- 
tude to God for the gift to our city, during these past 
eight years, of this eminent minister of Jesus Christ. 

We recognize that, while Dr. Richards gave himself 
unsparingly to the work of his own great parish and 
made the church he served a source of power for the 

55 



Kingdom of God, he also bore on his heart the needs of 
all the churches, was untiringly active in the work of 
the Presbytery, brought his sound judgment, kind heart 
and unfailing tact to the solution of our common prob- 
lems, led the Presbytery in many important advances in 
the organization and extention of its activities, stood 
firmly for a broad, progressive and inclusive church- 
manship against all narrowness and traditionalism and 
exclusiveness, furthered the church's missionary enter- 
prise both by his counsel and leadership in the Board of 
Foreign Missions, and by his close identification with 
the forward movements of the city, lent his influence 
and gave his personal service to the causes of social and 
civic righteousness, and above all, contributed in himself 
a conspicuous example of the positive, modest, forceful, 
affectionate, cultured Christian gentleman and the able, 
consecrated and self-sacrificing Christian minister. 

We wish to extend our hearty sympathy to the Ses- 
sion and people of the Brick Church in their loss of 
this gifted, faithful and beloved pastor, and to Dr. Rich- 
ards' family in whose sorrow we feel that, with many 
hundreds of others, we have a personal share. 

Henry Sloane Coffin, Moderator. 
Augustine Sackett, Clerk. 

Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. 

January 9, 19 10, 

Session of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church de- 
sires to unite with all the church of New York and of 
the whole country in expressing to the Session and con- 

56 



gregation of the Brick Church their grief and sorrow 
for the death of the Rev. Dr. William R. Richards, their 
pastor. 

Session recalls the devotion to his Master's business, 
his gentle grace, his earnest spirit, his distinguished 
service and the abundance of his labors of love. 

Besides the ministry of his own pastorate, his was the 
care of all the churches, and the spread of the Kingdom 
at home and abroad, in all Christendom and in all the 
isles of the sea. He spent himself upon education and 
charities and civic righteousness and the uplift of the 
people. He had gained the love and respect of the whole 
city in which he dwelt, and in the height of his power 
and with the promise of many years of usefulness, he 
was cut off in a night. 

Truly God's ways are not as our ways. 

But while we mourn with you, it is not as those who 
have no hope — for him it is far better. 

We commend you and all the church to the word of 
His grace that He may grant you good hope and com- 
fort unto the end. 

By order of Session, 

S. B. Brownell, Clerk of Session. 

Session of Englewood Church. 

Englewood, N. ]., January lo, 1910. 
To Rev. Robert Davis, 
Brick Church. 

The Session of our Englewood Church was called to- 
gether after the service this morning, and they deputed 

57 



me to write to you to say that you are much in our 
thoughts and prayers at this time. 

The sad death of Rev. Dr. Richards must be a per- 
sonal bereavement to you, as it is a great and most 
deplorable loss to the Brick Presbyterian Church. 

Our Session and the people of our church sympathize 
with you deeply, and they would like to send through 
you, if they may, an expression of their sincere sympathy 
to the Session of the Brick Church. 

Faithfully and respectfully yours, 

Frederick B. Schenck. 

The Marble Collegiate Church. 

January 8, 1910. 
To the Session of the Brick Presbyterian Church: 

The Elders worshiping at the Marble Collegiate 
Church desire to convey to you an expression of their 
prayerful sympathy in your deep sorrow. The Lord be 
with you. May you be sustained and strengthened by 
the consolation of His grace. 

With regard, 

David J. Burrell. 

West End Presbyterian Church. 
To the Session, 

Brick Presbyterian Church. 
Dear Brethren : At a special meeting of the Session 
of the West End Presbyterian Church held yesterday, 
we were appointed a committee to express to you and 
through you to your church and your pastor's bereaved 
family our grateful appreciation of his self-sacrificing de- 
votion and that clear, intellectual and spiritual vision 

58 



with which he pursued the duties of his high office as 
minister of Christ Jesus. 

While we can feel with you that they are thrice blessed 
who are called home 'mid their triumphs in their Mas- 
ter's service, yet grief asserts itself as the church, in its 
sense of its loss, recalls those well-spent years of prep- 
aration, development and matured ministry which Dr. 
Richards was permitted to enjoy. We lament with you 
the loss of a leader in the church, an executive mind, 
gifted in discerning, not only what his own people need- 
ed, but also what, in Presbytery, Synod and General As- 
sembly, the Presbyterian Church stands for in govern- 
ment, faith and practice. Sympathetic with all new truth, 
with new statement of old truths, proving all things, 
holding fast to that which is good, abounding in good 
works, visiting the needy in affliction, in honor ever pre- 
ferring his brethren. Dr. Richards was a rare combina- 
tion of scholar, pastor, servant, benefactor. 

With you we honor the man — the man of God — his 
work, satisfied that He who called him both to and from 
his work, and knoweth all things from the beginning, 
has done best, and assured that your people will be 
blessed in his death with a new baptism of zeal, as they 
were continually blessed in his loving and wise ministra- 
tion. 

Commending you, your people and the grieving family, 
to the Lord of the Resurrection and of the New Heaven 
and the New Earth, we are, 

Very sincerely yours, 

W. W. LOCKWOOD. 

W. E, Waters, 
59 



Church of the Pilgrims, Brooklyn, N. Y. 

January 9, 19 10. 
To the Congregation of the 

Brick Presbyterian Church, 
New York City. 

At a meeting of the members of the Church of the 
Pilgrims held Friday evening, January 7th, we were re- 
quested to express to you our sincere and deep sympathy 
with you in your great bereavement. 

In the death of Dr. Richards the whole Church of 
Christ has suffered a severe loss which will be univer- 
sally felt, but to you who knew him in the intimate 
fellowship of pastor and people, the sorrow must be 
peculiarly heavy and hard to bear. 

We commend you most affectionately to the only 
Source of comfort and strength, assuring you of our 
earnest prayers, that the promised Sufficient Grace may 
be given to you, in this hour of your need. 

In behalf of the Church of the Pilgrims, 

Very sincerely yours, 

Simeon B, Chittenden, 
Charles A. Hull, 
Joseph Epes Brown, 
Albro J. Newton, 
Arthur Truslow, 
Thomas Christie, 
Joshua M. Van Cott, 
F. H. Colton, Deacons. 
Frederick Cobb, Clerk pro tent. 

60 



Directors of Whittier House. 
The Brick Church, January 21, 1910. 

New York City. 

The Directors of the Whittier House in Jersey City 
have asked me to convey to you their profound sympathy 
in this hour of your trial. 

Dr. Richards was long a member of our Board of Di- 
rectors and for some years its president. He was always 
generous, faithful and helpful. Whatever good our 
work accomplished has been due in no small degree to 
him. If it were possible to put into words our appre- 
ciation of him as a man, as a philanthropist, and as a 
Christian gentleman, we should endeavor to do so. He 
will live for many years in the hearts and lives of those 
whom he has helped to uplift and to inspire in lower 
Jersey City. 

In behalf of the Board of Directors of the Whittier 
House, Amory H. Bradford. 

American Tract Society. 

January 26, 1910. 

" I am constrained to express our great sorrow over 
the death of your beloved pastor. Rev. Dr. Richards. I 
knew him well enough to realize how true and great a 
heart he possessed. He was one of God's noblemen, and 
lived so devout and sincere a life that he was sainted 
prior to his translation. I suppose after all we should 
not sorrow, as he is now enjoying the glorious reward 
that awaits the faithful. You have my deepest sympathy, 
each and all of you, elders and people." 

JuDSON Swift, Secretary. 
61 



Minute of the Presbytery of Elisabeth. 

Whereas, the Rev. William R. Richards, D.D., who, 
while minister of the Brick Presbyterian Church of 
New York City, has recently been summoned into the 
glorified life, was for eighteen years prior to 1902 the 
minister of the Crescent Avenue Church of Plainfield, 
and an honored member of this Presbytery ; therefore, 

Resolved, that we hereby give expression to our sense 
of the loss sustained by our entire denomination and by 
the cause of Christianity generally throughout our land 
by his apparently too early death. In our judgment, the 
church has lost in his departure a preacher of marked 
distinction, a leader of men of extraordinary strength, 
and above all a Christian gentleman of rare refinement, 
purity of soul and consecration to the cause and spirit 
of Jesus Christ. We record our appreciation of his no- 
bility and loveliness of character, as we came to know 
him during his long period of membership in this body. 

Resolved, that a copy of these resolutions be sent by 
our stated clerk to Mrs. Richards, with the loving sym- 
pathy of all our members. 

A true copy, 
Attest: Samuel Parry, Stated Clerk. 

Somerville, N. ]., 

January 19, 1910. 



62 



Crescent Avenue Church. 

The Session of the Crescent Avenue 
Presbyterian Church of Plainfield, N. J. 

To the Session of the Brick Presbyterian Church of New 
York: 

On Friday, January 7th, the congregation of this church 
received the tidings of the death of Dr. WilHam R. 
Richards, the minister of your church. For eighteen years 
preceding his ministry to you he was the beloved min- 
ister of this church and the strength of the attachment 
which bound this congregation to him, with the deep affec- 
tion and honor in which he was held by them, have made 
us sharers with you in the great loss which you have 
sustained. 

With the desire to express in some degree the lasting 
regard in which he is, and will be, held by this people and 
this community a service in memory of him was appointed 
for the evening of Sunday, January i6th, in this church, 
where the greater part of his ministry was rendered. Other 
churches desired to unite with us and add their tribute of 
love toward him and gratitude for the years of his work 
here, which always remain one of the most deeply cherished 
memories of the Christian life of this city. 

At that service addresses were made by the Rev. Dr. 
Zelie and by Dr. Richards' colleagues in the work of this 
church, the Rev. F. D. Tildon and Rev. G. Kennedy Newell, 
formerly of Hope Chapel, who gave expression to the love 
in which Dr. Richards had been held by all his assistants. 
Mr. George A. Strong for the congregation gave a faith- 
ful appreciation of his life as a preacher and pastor, and 
Mr. Leander N. Lovell, for the eighteen years of Dr. Rich- 
ards' pastorate a member of the Session with him, recalled 
the experience of that fellowship. The Rev. Charles L. 
Goodrich of the Congregational Church and the Rev. Dr. 
Charles E. Herring of the First Presbyterian Church, fel- 
low-workers with Dr. Richards in the ministry in this city 
for many years, bore testimony to the regard and honor 
ever felt toward him by those working in other fields, who 

63 



ever found his ministry an inspiration and incentive to 
them. 

In acquainting you with the fact of these tributes which 
were spoken, and the silent one rendered by the great con- 
gregation which gathered for this service of love and 
memory, we desire to add our gratitude to yours for the 
years in which both our churches have been enriched by 
the same gracious ministry and to unite with your sorrow 
our own deep experience of loss. 

John Sheridan Zelie, 

Minister, 
Leander N. Lovell, 
John Leal, 
William D. Murray, 
Andrew J. Gavett, 
Ellis W. Hedges, 
Alfred W. Duxbury, 
Emerson E. Parvin, 
G. Herbert Condict, 
John F. Harman, 

Elders. 



Baptist Ministers Conference, 
New York City, 

January ii, 1910. 
At the regular session of the Conference held yesterday 
it was unanimously voted that we convey to the Session 
of the Brick Presbyterian Church our condolences upon 
the sudden death of its pastor, the Rev. William R. Rich- 
ards, D.D. 

In the passing of this noble man we feel that the Chris- 
tian work of New York City has lost a most ardent advo- 
cate of Christian truth and righteousness. Our prayer is 
that the Heavenly Father will raise up as his successor one 
who will forward the policies which were so ably expressed 
in the ministry of the deceased. 

Fraternally yours, 

Arthur T. Brooks, Sec'y. 
64 



New England Society 

The Board of Directors of the New England Society in 
the City of New York desire to express their sense of the 
great loss to the Society and to the community in the death 
of their fellow-director, the Rev. William R. Richards, 
D.D. He was a typical New Englander in birth, instinct 
and education, in his methods, teachings, and examples. 
Born in Boston, educated in New England schools and a 
New England university, he became, from year to year, 
more and more an exponent of all that is best in New 
England. A leader in the life, and later in the policies, of 
his university, a quietly forceful man of sterling ideals, a 
great thinker and a popular preacher, throughout his useful 
life he remained steadfast in his adherence to the principles 
of his ancestors. In his death the New England Society 
has lost one of its most lovable, effective, and influential 
directors, and the community one of its best types of true 
New England manhood. 



65 



FROM NEAR-BY PULPITS 

St. Bartholomew's Rectory, 
342 Madison Avenue, 

January 12, 1910. 
Dear Mr. Davis: 

I have your kind letter of January nth, and in reply beg 
to say that the prayer which was used at St. Bartholomew's 
Church last Sunday is the one " For a Person under Afflic- 
tion," in our Book of Common Prayer. As you will see, it 
was changed to apply to our brothers of the Brick Church : 

" O merciful God, and heavenly Father, who hast taught 
us in Thy holy Word that Thou dost not willingly afflict or 
grieve the children of men; Look with pity, we beseech 
Thee, upon the sorrows of Thy servant, for whom our 
prayers are desired; especially at this time we beseech Thee 
to look with mercy upon the afflicted congregation of the 
Brick Church who are this day as sheep without a 
shepherd." 

In announcing to the congregation the death of Dr. Rich- 
ards I said, as far as I can remember: 

" The Church — the Christian Church at large in this city 
has met with a heavy loss in the death of the Rev. Dr. 
Richards, the pastor of the Brick Church. It was less than 
a week before his death that I had the privilege of hearing 
him speak on the subject of Church Unity. I have heard 
many others speak on this subject — laymen, priests, and 
bishops — but I have heard no man that seemed to me in this 
matter to have more of the mind of Christ than this great 
priest of the universal Church. Our hearts go out to-day in 
sympathy for his afflicted family and his sorrowing congre- 
gation, but our hearts also are cheered by the good example 
of a faithful ministry which, by God's help, we will en- 
deavor to follow." 

66 



It hardly seems to me that such a slight tribute is worthy 
of notice, but I send it to you and beg you will make such 
use of it as you may think best. 

Pray believe me, 

Yours faithfully, 

Leighton Parks. 



In several other churches, on January 9th, the death of 
Dr. Richards was noticed, with special reference in prayers 
or in sermons to his worth and standing in the Church 
universal. Most of these appreciations were not preserved. 
The following have been obtained by Rev. Mr. Davis : 

Madison Square Church. 

At the service on Sunday morning, January 9th, in the 
Madison Square Church, Dr. Parkhurst in his prayer said: 

" We have this morning a sympathetic prayer for a 
Sister Church that has again been sorely afflicted by the loss 
of a strong, wise, faithful, and dearly loved pastor. We 
are devoutly grateful for the service which he has ren- 
dered to his own church and to the churches, as well as 
for the deep and beauteous impress which he has left 
throughout the entire wide range of his influence. Forbid 
that the flock which he has so graciously shepherded should 
be dismayed by the loss of him who has led them in and 
out with so tender care; and may the fruits of his all too 
brief service go on disclosing themselves in years to come 
in the ever-increasing vitality and activity of the church 
to which he had given himself with such unreserve of love 
and devotion." 



Church of the Incarnation. 

At the morning service. Dr. Grosvenor said: 
" It is impossible for me in this brief moment at my 
disposal adequately to speak of my friend, Dr. Richards. 
His death is all so sudden, so overwhelming in its unex- 
pectedness that we have not had time to realize it. His 

67 



was a beautiful life, lived close to God, and full of loving 
service for all God's children. He was a scholar, a broad- 
minded, large-hearted, wise, sane man, whose preaching was 
most uplifting and whose ministry to all who knew him 
was a perpetual benediction. To his family, and to the 
church so sorely afiflicted we ofifer our deep and loving 
sympathy and our earnest prayers." 

Old First Church. 

In the Sunday morning service of the Old First Church, 
on January 9th, Dr. Duffield gave expression to his " deep 
and irrepressible emotion," alluding to " the shadow which 
had fallen so suddenly on all who were interested in the 
work of Christ in the city," and outlining those qualities 
" which gave to Dr. Richards such commanding and influ- 
ential leadership in public affairs, and which attached to 
him so warmly and closely those who came into personal 
contact with him — his breadth of vision; his strength of 
purpose; his mental poise; his high ideals; his marked in- 
tellectuality; his deep spirituality; his untiring energy, and 
his broad and gentle sympathy." 

Chi Alpha. 

Chi Alpha records the death of its brother, Dr. Wm. 
R. Richards, with a great sense of sorrow and of irrepar- 
able loss. While he stood out before this circle of brethren 
as a great preacher he was far greater as a man — and it 
was as a man of brotherly heart and noble impulses and 
most unerring judgment that he made his impression upon 
this circle. His strength of mind and purpose was mani- 
fest to all. All that he did and said revealed the extreme 
orderliness and clearness of his thinking. He was masterly 
in his handling of complicated questions and unfailingly 
wise in his conclusions. His power as a preacher was not 
in his great originality or the sweep of his imagination, but 
in the closeness of his reasoning and the clear-cut incisive- 
ness of his logic. His power among men came from his 

68 



unusually noble character, seemingly untouched by ambi- 
tion and always unspotted from the world. 

Every member of this circle mourns the loss of a tried 
and true friend, who had an unusual capacity of enduring 
friendship. The sense of loss is overwhelming and this 
circle records its heartbroken sorrow in the passing on of 
one who was most loved and honored among us. It desires 
also to express heart-deep sympathy with the members of 
the sorrowing family. 

Century Association. 

Extract from the Report of the Board of 

Management. 

William Rogers Richards was born in Boston, educated 
at Yale and Andover, was a clergyman first in Maine, then 
in New Jersey and finally in New York, where he fell like 
a soldier suddenly stricken on the field of battle. For no 
man was more thoroughly enlisted for his warfare than he 
was, and no man threw himself more entirely into the con- 
flict, and no man, conscious of the right, was less indifferent 
to the consequences. Throughout his ministry he was a 
keen combatant in the pulpit; a scholar thoroughly versed 
in the polemics of his age, social and theological, and a 
just man, ever ready to hear, and fearless to present the 
other side to prejudiced audiences. Men heard him gladly, 
however poignant their disagreement, because of his blame- 
les life, his fine character, and especially because of the 
work he was doing so untiringly for the regeneration of 
man on earth as well as beyond. In the faith committed to 
him by his Puritan fathers he never wavered, but he was 
ever ready to modify and to adapt it to new conditions. 
So he walked serene and confident amid the strife and bab- 
ble of tongues, managing a great institutional church, a 
councillor in the affairs of New York University and of 
Yale, carrying welcome messages to many colleges; a pro- 
found student of education in its bearing upon character, 
a man of God — in the world but not of it. For six years 
he had enjoyed — thoroughly enjoyed and cultivated — this 

69 



fellowship, being regular in his attendance here and keen 
in his appreciation of his Century friendships. He was but 
fifty-seven when he fell exhausted, suddenly and without 
warning, a sacrifice on the altar of the high duty which 
he struggled so manfully and so successfully to perform. 



70 



NOTICES FROM THE PRESS 

The secular and religious press of New York and else- 
where has given space to many appreciations of Dr. Rich- 
ards, and several newspapers have editorially commented 
upon his great usefulness, his charming personality, and 
upon the severity of the blow that has fallen upon our 
church and city, in his death. The remarkable similarity 
in the estimates shows a just and widespread appreciation 
of Dr. Richards' qualities of soul and mind, but the re- 
printing of many in this memorial volume would be super- 
fluous. The following will serve as examples of all: 

The Outlook. 

It requires no mean ability to maintain for any great 
length of time a successful pastorate in New York City. A 
brilliant preacher may attract a crowd and fill a church, 
but he cannot by his brilliance build up a church into a 
strong and effective organization. A skillful captain of 
spiritual industry may organize into an effective working 
organization the forces which already exist but he cannot 
by his mere organizing ability create the forces that are 
necessary, and the momentum furnished by his predecessor 
gradually grows less and less. An effective church must 
therefore have either in the one pastor, or in a combination 
of pastors, both a preacher and an organizer, both a creator 
and a director of spiritual forces. It was in this combina- 
tion of qualities that Dr. Richards, the pastor of the Brick 
Church of New York City, excelled; and it was because of 
this combination that his death, recently, leaves so large a 
gap in the spiritual ranks of the great metropolis. He was 
not a brilliant preacher; but he was what is better, both a 
luminous and a warm preacher. Neither emotional nor 
scintillating, he gave both light and warmth to every topic 
he discussed, for he preached not only on topics but dis- 
tinctly to men and women. He was emphatically a human 
preacher, interested in and therefore interesting to the 
average man. At the same time he gathered about him co- 

71 



workers, both official and unofficial, paid and voluntary, of 
executive and administrative ability, on whom he devolved 
large responsibilities and to whom he gave wise guidance. 
Alike as a personal friend and as an executive head he 
was a wise counselor, guiding with efficient methods to 
well-considered ends with a wisdom always tempered by 
a fine but uncombative courage. In his death the Presby- 
terian Church has lost a wise and courageous counselor, the 
city a quiet and effective spiritual leader, and one of its 
most useful and influential churches a much loved teacher, 
friend, and pastor. The Outlook is glad to print on another 
page a poetic tribute to the memory of this upright citizen 
and loyal friend by President Finley, of the College of the 
City of New York. 



Editorial New York Tribune. 

"A LIVING EXAMPLE." 

The death of the pastor of the Brick Presbyterian 
Church, yesterday, ended a life of much sweetness and 
beauty and a public career of more than ordinary usefulness 
to the community. There are probably other ministers in 
this city who are better known to the general public, but 
it may be doubted if there is one who has labored more 
earnestly or more efficiently to do the real work of the pas- 
tor of a numerous, needful and exacting congregation. The 
church which was his is one of the historic churches of 
New York, and it is one which has not declined with age 
but rather has continued to increase in numbers and in- 
fluence, in the variety and scope of its activities, and there- 
fore in the demands which it makes upon its pastor's time 
and strength. How well Dr. Richards served it, as spir- 
itual exhorter and guide, as intellectual instructor, as ad- 
ministrator of practical affairs and in the tender and 
intimate personal relationships of sympathy and consolation, 
cannot be told but must be deeply realized by those who 
had the privilege of association with him. 

The example of his life affords what should be a con- 
vincing answer to those who are quaveringly inquiring how 
the churches are to be filled and how the people are to be 
interested in them. Here was a preacher who sought no 
adventitious aids to attract attention, yet who never lacked 
a great and deeply interested congregation. Here was a 
pastor who never indulged in exploits outside the limits of 
pastoral duty, yet who never was distressed by desertions 
from his parish. Here was a religious teacher who sought 

72 



no new fantasies of faith and who discarded none of the 
vital and robust doctrines of his belief, and yet who never 
had occasion to lament the decline of faith or the failure 
of Christianity to lay hold upon the hearts and lives of men 
and women. His was a living example of the way in which 
to make the churches prosperous and Christianity a trium- 
phant force in the world; and it will remain a living and 
potent example in his death as it was in his life. 



Christian at Work and Evangelist. 

The Brick Presbyterian Church has been unfortunate 
to a marked degree in losing two such pastors after short 
terms of service, in the prime of life, as Dr. Babcock and 
Dr. William R. Richards. When Dr. Babcock died a few 
years ago in Naples, in the very meridian of his powers, the 
church felt that in Dr. Richards it had found a man who 
would not only carry on the superb work, the foundation 
of which had been laid by Dr. van Dyke and Dr. Babcock, 
but would bring to it the new contribution of his own rich 
and peculiar personality. And now, after only a few short 
years, Dr. Richards was suddenly taken away. He died 
with no warning of any kind, laying down his work at 
evening here and taking it up in the heavenly world the 
next morning. It came as a great blow to the church, as 
he had been at his place of service just before he passed 
away. The following Sunday, two days after his death, 
Dr. van Dyke occupied the pulpit and read the sermon Dr. 
Richards had written for the day, and which lay upon his 
table ready for delivery. So the pastor, in a very real 
sense, being dead, yet spoke. But Dr. Richards will speak 
in the Brick Church for many years. 

There is not much of outward incident to relate in Dr. 
Richards' career. It was not dramatic, as was that of Dr. 
Hunger's, full of attacks and crises and spent in the thick 
of great controversies, producing epoch-making books, but 
it was, in a marked degree, the helpful life of a parish min- 
ister, whose chief concern was to be the real shepherd of a 
flock. For many years pastor of the large Presbyterian 
church at Plainfield, N. J., he came to the Brick Church 
with the same thought of being to its people what he had 
been to the people of Plainfield: the pastor, the friend, the 
" father," as the Church has used that word of its spiritual 
shepherds through the ages. Dr. van Dyke had crowded 
the Brick Church with his brilliance and oratory; Dr. Bab- 
cock had filled it with young men, drawn by the peculiar 
charm of his personality and his practical teaching; Dr. 

73 



Richards maintained his hold upon the great congregation 
by his power of friendship and the helpfulness of all his 
preaching. He was not a great preacher, but he was a 
helpful preacher, which is perhaps better in the average 
church. He always took some one truth needful to us all 
for happy, serviceable, heroic daily living, and developed it 
and applied it to every phase of life. The sermons seemed 
very simple, sometimes, but sunlight is simple, as are all great 
things. He did not write great books; he was not very 
actively identified with the great reform and social move- 
ments of the day; but in ministering helpfully to indi- 
viduals, he inspired them to the larger tasks of social re- 
demption. Above all, he was friendly, and the friendship 
of a large-hearted, chivalric character, quick to discern and 
minister to human needs, is a great boon to any parish. 



The New York Observer. 

The Rev. William Rogers Richards, D.D., pastor of the 

Brick Presbyterian Church of New York, died suddenly, 

from apoplexy, early on Friday, January 7th, at his home, 

14 East Thirty-seventh Street. His death was a great 

shock to his family, friends, and the members of his church, 

for he had been apparently in excellent health during the 

autumn, devoting himself to the varied duties of his own 

pastorate and of the Church at large, with the indefatigable 

earnestness and punctuality which were characteristic of 

the man. 

* * * * * 

Striking evidence was given of the love and honor in 
which his brethren held Dr. Richards in the action of the 
Ministers' Association of Plainfield, N. J., after Dr. Rich- 
ards had been called to New York. On October 18, 1902, 
the association met at his home and presented him with a 
beautiful inkstand as a testimonial of their regard. Rev. 
D. J. Yerkes, in making the presentation, said: 

" Dr. Richards, you have stood in very close relations to 
the members of the noble church which you have served for 
many years. You have held relations of a peculiar kind to 
this community as a public-spirited citizen; but your con- 
nection with the Ministers' Association of Plainfield has 
brought you into somewhat peculiar relations with the pas- 
tors and ministers of Plainfield, and in this narrower circle, 
pervaded as it is by a spirit of congenial friendship, one 
marked by the intimacies of brotherly intercourse, we have 
learned to love you as a man, as a Christian and as a min- 
ister of Jesus Christ. We wish to bear witness to your 

74 



Christian courtesy and brotherliness to every member of 
our body, to your wisdom in counsel, your readiness to 
cooperate in every work done in the name of the Master 
wherever and by whomsoever performed, and to your spirit 
of Christian fraternity." 

:jc H^ :fc :]< :^ 

The Brick Church is one of the largest, richest and most 
important churches in New York. It has affiliated with it 
the Church of the Covenant and Christ Church. Among 
the charitable activities of these churches are free kinder- 
garten and sewing schools, sick children's aid societies, 
women's employment societies, and Christ Church Memo- 
rial House, the headquarters of boys' and girls' classes and 
clubs. With all of these activities and duties. Dr. Rich- 
ards made himself personally familiar. His crisp and vital 
discourses drew large congregations to the services on Mur- 
ray Hill. His genial and attractive social powers won him 
friends throughout the city. Soon after he was installed, 
he was asked to raise two hundred thousand dollars to build 
Christ Church and its group of dependencies and though it 
was new and distasteful work he did it promptly and thor- 
oughly. He was content to give himself for the benefit 
and the credit of others. He had a strong character, a 
powerful will, and great influence over men, but his strength 
was tempered by Christian courtesy, and in action his self- 
control and gentleness made him great. 

Dr. Richards was sought as a member of the Moderator's 
Council of Presbytery and he served two years as Mod- 
erator. He was also a member of the Church Extension 
Committee of Presbytery, a member of the Council of New 
York University, a director of the Union Theological Sem- 
inary, of the Yale Corporation and the Presbyterian Board 
of Foreign Missions. He was a member of several clubs, 
including the Century, Yale, Quill, Chi Alpha and Presby- 
terian clubs. He was also a member of the Sons of the 
Revolution and of the New England Society, and fre- 
quently was called upon as a speaker at the meetings and 
dinners of these associations. 

His was the best type of the New England man, true as 
steel to faith and duty, and full of noble ambitions to bene- 
fit his fellowmen ; intelligent and cultured, but also self- 
reliant and fearless. Some persons who had never seen Dr. 
Richards aroused, nor heard him upon any important issue, 
spoke of his sweetness and serenity, his lack of emotion 
and temper; but they did not know his wonderful self- 
control and reserve power. He planned to accomplish 
things and did them. He went into battle to conquer, and 
he won, and he always acted so naturally, gracefully and 

75 



modestly, that many could not understand his success. 
Straightforward and honorable in thought and act, he had 
none of the arts of the politician and none of the tricks of 
the demagogue. He had no time nor taste for ecclesias- 
tical manceuvres and subterfuges, and no need for apologies 
and explanations. Once, when he was called upon as vice- 
moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian 
Church to take the chair, he astonished his associates by 
his correct judgment and executive ability, bringing imme- 
diate order out of confusion and driving forward business 
with the system and force of a great leader. He had studied 
law, and could state a case with brevity and clearness, and 
had a ready command of all his powers, which made him 
equal to any emergency. Faithfulness was in his very 
being. Men and women instinctively trusted him, not be- 
cause of any emotional impulse, but simply because he 
seemed to be what he really was, an upright, sincere, and 
friendly man. The universal testimony of those who speak 
of the death of Dr. Richards is that the Presbyterian 
Church has lost one of its strongest, best beloved and most 
useful clergymen. 



Plainfield Daily Press. 

By A. V. D. HONEYMAN. 

The exceedingly beautiful private life of Dr. Richards, 
and his strong dominant personality in the upbuilding of 
this community while he lived and walked among us, cannot 
be brought out too strongly in any review of his career that 

is likely to appear in the public press. 

* * * * * 

The general characteristics of Dr. Richards as he ap- 
peared to others we well know; his self-poised, dignified 
bearing, his sound learning, his remarkedly well-chiseled 
and classic face when Hghting up in conversation, his in- 
terest in all things for the common good, etc. I prefer now 
to write of certain other traits, however, and of his pulpit 
ability. 

His was a singularly buoyant and lovable nature to such 
as entered into its inner portals. Not everybody could be- 
come his confidant, because his outward disposition was 
that of great reserve, born of that rare and gentle flower 
of character which we call " modesty." You had to know 
him before he would open up to you the richness and rarity 
of his charming regality. He never obtruded either his 
personality or his opinions upon others. He could listen to 

76 



that which did not meet his views without reply; or, if 
occasion required, he could strongly enough oppose opin- 
ions which differed from his own, but in the latter case it 
was always with such quietude of manner that there was 
a potential influence behind it, which was well-nigh irre- 
sistible. I never knew a man, whether preacher or other- 
wise, so unobtrusive in his methods of dealing with others, 
who could accomplish so much even by way of rebuke, and 
certainly always by way of intentional moral uplift. For 
this reason hundreds of persons in Plainfield and in New 
York City, within and without his congregations, who did 
not pretend to real intimacy with him, have long kept in 
their hearts a peculiar reverence for this preacher and his 
work. They have admired his public stand for the right 
things; they have felt the restraint of his private influence 
and been benefited by it, even when the man himself was 
unseen. Of few ministers it can be said that after seven 
years of entire separation from his flock — barring a few 
return visits, generally of condolence, which on the whole 
were too few to satisfy his old parishioners — the bonds 
which united them to him have strengthened and deepened 
until at last, when he has been called home to his reward, it 
could be truly said that there is grief in every family and 
sadness at every hearthstone where his presence, when he 
was among us, was ever known. 

That his personal character was unusually pure and lofty 
goes without saying. In this respect none knew him or 
knew of him but to praise him. There are not so many, 
however, who have understood the geniality and bonhomie 
of his frank and childlike nature. His personal friends were 
conversant with, and understood and appreciated this side 
to his character, and to them the remembrance of it is as 
a benediction. He could rejoice with those who rejoiced, 
as well as speak with the tenderness of a father to those 
who mourned, but he best loved to rejoice. Life to him 
was serious, but it was also enrapturing, for it was to be 
everlasting. 

When in the Holy Land, companioning in sweet fellow- 
ship with a number of persons who, to all appearances, be- 
came dear to him as he became to them, treading together 
spots that were sacred because of the erstwhile presence of 
the gentle Nazarene, whom he so adored, the characteristics 
to which I have alluded, of buoyancy and cheerfulness, were 
so interblended with the spirit of helpfulness and tender- 
ness of feeling, that all the large company who were 
thrown daily in his society learned to love the man as be- 
fore some few of us had learned to appreciate the preacher. 

:}c :}e :|e ^ :fe 

77 



When at home in repose his countenance had been some- 
times wearied in its look, as if his shoulders carried a 
great weight, a look which alas ! had been deepening since 
he later took up the burdens of a strenuous pastorate in the 
City of New York. But all this left him under the sunny 
skies of Italy and Greece, and especially amid the flower- 
crowned hills of Galilee. 

Around the camp-fire at evening time he could sing with 
his melodious bass voice, in the truest spirit of tenderness, 
the beautiful " Galilee, sweet Galilee ! " on the banks of that 
holy lake ; he could walk in the rain around the city walls 
of Jerusalem and hum melodies as he passed on ; he could 
give that smile so constantly characteristic of him, which 
fairly transfigured his countenance, as easily when con- 
versing with the aged monk in the Garden of Gethsemane 
as when he climbed the Pyramids and assured us he was 
refreshed by it, when others were complaining of dislocated 
joints; and he could feast with Arabs at an evening wed- 
ding festival (as related by him in the last sermon he pre- 
pared, which Dr. van Dyke read from the Brick Church 
pulpit two days ago). 

* H: * * * 

As a preacher. Dr. Richards' style and logic were force- 
ful in proportion as one heard him week after week. He 
was not an orator and he was the reverse of sensational. 
His language though carefully studied, was always plain 
and direct; in the use of simple words he had the charac- 
teristics of the style of Theodore Roosevelt. He had no 
liking for the complex or abstruse in stating his proposi- 
tions. There is no easier religious reading than his nu- 
merous printed sermons ; a child can understand them. 
The beauty of his style, to my mind, lay in this simplicity 
of diction, and in the cumulative arguments, with which, as 
a rule, his sermons (especially his carefully written out 
morning sermons) were bound to convince the hearer. As 
he advanced in his subject step by step, the argument grew, 
as from the acorn to the oak. No point was dropped out 
by the way, but each one stood by side until the final one 
clinched the whole. He had evidently carefully studied 
Scripture dialectics (in the best sense of the term) and 
knew how first to convince the reason and then to stir into 
life dormant emotions. By the very ingenuity of his felici- 
tously put reasoning he constrained attention and compelled 
adhesion to his own clear-cut views. He would have made 
a grand lawyer, but he well knew that he was practising 
before a higher court than that of a single earthly judge. 
His court was that of many human consciences, and above, 

78 



on the appellate bench, was a Judge whose law was final 
and perfect. 

I doubt if any plainer, healthier, or more robust guide to 
human conduct in all the ordinary relations of life can be 
found, outside of the Bible itself, than is contained in Dr. 
Richards' several published volumes of sermons. 

Perhaps the most commented upon characteristic of Dr. 
Richards' sermons was that one never knew, when he began 
his discourse, how or about what it was going to end. Not 
that he did not stick to his text, because he did this to a 
degree far above that of the average preacher, but one 
could not tell whether the ultimate goal was to be a quiet 
appeal to the unconverted, or the holding up of a high 
Scriptural plane of living for the guidance of church 
members, or the pointing out of some sore in the body pol- 
itic, or an indorsement of some measure of reform, or 
the presentation of a benevolent cause for the outturning 
of the contents of the pocketbooks of his congregation. In 
the latter case he invariably won over the scruples of those 
whose natures were not too liberal toward missions or other 
religious objects needing money; in fact without any direct 
appeals for benevolent contributions he was the most suc- 
cessful collector for such causes whom I have ever heard 
preach. In the former cases his congregations always left 
his church with the feeling that they had heard the pure 
and unadulterated Gospel presented in an original and 
timely form, and with a spur to it distinctly intended to 
reform, and ennoble character and sweeten the graces of 
the Christian life. 

What Dr. Richards was in the councils of his ministerial 
brethren and in the boards of the church others better 
know. What he was at the few clubs whose meetings he 
delighted to attend, and at family gatherings, where the 
playfulness of his mind and a quick repartee were always 
in evidence when in place, is a matter which will not soon 
be forgotten. But in the pulpit he will be most sorely 
missed, for there his torch gave forth a light pure, tranquil, 
and strong, too strong to be extinguished by his death. 
Here, just as in the street and home, he was always and 
exactly himself. Without ostentation of learning, he had 
deeply drunk of the wells of knowledge. Without practice 
of unnatural oratory, whose effect would have been mere- 
tricious, he always spoke to the point and quit when he had 
finished. Without show of pride, he was justly sensitive 
to a good name, prizing it above all other riches. Craving 
not fame, he has secured it in the affectionate tribute of 
regard which all who knew him now gladly render. Un- 

79 



ostentatious in his life, his was a knightly soul, and it 
departed from us almost as the spirit of Elisha, by transla- 
tion. Or as Enoch, who in a moment " was not, for God 
took him ! " 



PERSONAL TRIBUTES 

A representative of the Session has had the privilege of 
reading a few of the many private letters received by the 
family of Dr. Richards; letters touching, sympathetic, or 
heartbroken, as each writer was dominated by a sense of 
personal loss or by the desire to comfort those even more 
deeply afflicted; among others were letters from men and 
women whom he had helped, not only by ministering as a 
preacher to their spiritual needs but in a more personal 
way. These letters cannot, of course, be made public, but 
were it possible to print them, it would be seen how often 
Dr. Richards had gone " the second mile " to encourage a 
wayfarer, and how patiently he had followed some sheep 
that had strayed away from the fold of which he was the 
faithful under-shepherd. 

One letter will be given, with the consent of the writer 
and of Mrs. Richards, because it expresses so well what 
many have felt and experienced. It is a fitting close to this 
memorial of a man of God. 

New York City, January 9, 19 10. 

My Dear Mrs. Richards : 

While you are receiving thousands of letters of sym- 
pathy from the great ones of the earth, I wish to send a 
tribute from an humble woman reporter. 

It was not my privilege, in the brief year and a quarter 
I have done religious reporting in New York, to know your 
husband very well, but each of the few times I did have a 
brief interview with him, I went away with higher mo- 
tives. And each of these talks stands out in my life never 
to be forgotten. 

It was Dr. Richards who wrote me the first kind letter 
when I came to this great, cold city. 

It was Dr. Richards that said the first personal word to 
me. I know hundreds of clergymen of all denominations 
and in different parts of the country. It is a rare thing 

80 



for one of them to ask a reporter where he or she goes to 
church, or to show any personal care. But Dr. Richards 
was not that kind. It was at your house. I came to 
ask about the approaching centennial celebration of your 
church. I told him I had been at the Brick Church the day 
before and had enjoyed the service so much. He there- 
upon grasped my hand and asked me if I would not come 
there often, if I would not like to make that my church 
home. I told him I regretted I could not because my duties 
took me all over the city, especially Sundays. But I did 
not forget the kindly smile, the fatherly interest, the Chris- 
tian gentleman. 

I am only one of hundreds to whom he has shown his 
great Christlikeness. If there were more men like your 
sainted husband this world would be a better place in which 
to live. Although I do not know you, my heart goes out 
to you. 

The news was a terrible shock to me as it was to New 
York and the entire country. I have always felt, although 
I could attend service but seldom at the Brick Church, that 
I was under its influence and that of its pastor — he of such 
majestic dignity and tender grace. 

In closing, I would just say that it is a great thing to 
have lived and died with the respect of all who knew him 
and of all that knew of him, as did your husband. No won- 
der people called his face " saintly." 

Praying diligently that God will bless you and yours and 
give you strength to bear, and pointing you to the Only 
Source of Comfort, I am 

Most tenderly yours, 

Rachel Kollock McDowell. 



8i