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Priest of the Society of Jesus 

st. louis, mo., 1913 

Published by B. Herder 

17 South Broadway 


6^,. QisKVi; Russell Str. 


Anthony J. Maas, S. J. 


Sti. Ludovici, die 11. Aprilis, 1913 

F. O. Holweck, 
Censor Librorum. 


Sli. Ludovici, die 12. Aprilis, 1913 

J, Joannes J. Qlenncn, 
Sti. Ludovici 

Copyright, 1913, 


Joseph Oummersbach 


ST. LOUIS, Aip. . . , 



List of Authokities . i 

Introduction iii 

I Boyhood: 1814-1829 1 

II First Experience of College; Kenyon College 

AND Bishop Chase: 1829-1830 24 > >** 

III Early Life in Ohio; the Village Store; the ^ 

Temperance Movement: 1830-1832 . ... 36 

IV College; Graduation; Engagement: 1832-1839 68 


VI Seminary; Ordination; Marriage: 1839-1840 . Ill 

VII The Ministry; High Churcu Tendencies: 1840- 

1848 139 

VIII Conversion: 1848-1852 195 

IX Early Catholic Life 241 

X New Friendships and Labors 264 

XI Boston: 1868-1878 302 

XII Winchester; Last Illness and Death: 1878- 

1903 342 

Appendix. Sermon on the Organic Nature of 
Christianity 377 


The History of Granville, Licking County, Ohio. By Rev. 
Henry Bushnell, A.M. Columbus, Ohio, Press of Hann 
and Adair, 1889. 

The Plan of Union, or a History of the Presbyterian and 
Congregational Churches of the Western Reserve. By 
WiUiara S. Kennedy, Hudson, Ohio, Pentagon Steam 
Press, 1856. 

The Creeds and Platforms of Congregationalism. By Willis- 
ton Walker, Ph.D. N. Y., Charles Scribner's Sons, 1893. 

The Congregationalists. Bv Leonard Woolsey Bacon. New 
York, The Baker & Taylor Co., 1904. 

A History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United 
States. By Charles C. Tiffanj-, D.D. N. Y. The Chris- 
tian Literature Co., 1895. 

Bishop Chase's Reminiscences. 2 vols. Boston, James B, 
Dow, 1848. 

Life of Philander Chase, First Bishop of Ohio and Illinois, 
Founder of Kenyon and Jubilee Colleges. By his grand- 
daughter, Laura' Chase Smith. New York, E. P. Dutton 
& Co., 1903. 

Memoirs of the Life of Mrs. Sarah Peter. By Margaret R. 
King. 2 vols. Cincinnati, Robert Clark & Co., 1889. ^ 

The Oxford Movement in America, or Glimpses of Life in 
an Anglican Seminary. By the Rev. Clarence E. Wal- 
worth. New York, Catholic Book Exchange, 1895. 

The Road to Rome, and How Two Brothers Got There. By 
William Richards. New York, Benziger Bros., 1895. 

Orestes A. Brownson's Early Life, from 1803 to 1844. By 
Henry F. Brownson. Detroit, Michigan. Henry F. 
Brownson, Publisher, 1898. 

Orestes A. Brownson's Middle Life, from 1845 to 1855. Ibid. 

Life of Father Hecker. By Rev. Walter Elliott, C.S.P. New 

History of the Catholic Church in the United States. By 
John Gilmary Shea. 4 vols. New York, John G. Shea, 
Publisher, 1890. 


A Genealogical Register of the Descendants of Several Ancient 

Puritans. Vol. 3 (The Richards Family). By the Rev. 

Abner Morse, A.M. Boston, Press of H. "W. Button & 

Son, 1861. 
A Genealogical Register of the Felton Family. By Cyrus 

Felton. Marlborough, Pratt Brothers, 1886. 
The Oxford Movement. By R. W. Church, M.A., D.C.L., 

Sometime Dean of St. Paul's, and Fellow of Oriel College, 

Oxford. London, Macmillan & Co., 1900. 
Hurrell Froude, Memoranda and Appreciations. By Louise 

Imogen Guiney. N. Y., E. P. Dutton & Co., 1906. 
William George Ward and the Oxford Movement. By Wilfrid 

Ward. London and New York, Macmillan & Co. 
William George Ward and the Catholic Revival. By 

Wilfrid Ward. London. Macmillan & Co., 1893. 
The Life and Times of Cardinal Wiseman. By Wilfrid Ward. 

2 vols. London, Longmans Green & Co., 1897. 
Memorials of Charles Pettit Mcllvaine, Late Bishop of Ohio. 

Rev. William Cams, M.A., New York, Thomas Whittaker, 

The Anglican Revival. J. H. Overton, D.D. London, Blackie, 

American Catholic Historical Researches. Martin I. J. Griffin, 

Catholics in the American Revolution. Martin I. J. Griffin. 

3 vols. Philadclpliia, Published by the Author. 

The Kenyon Book. Rev. William B. Bodine, D.D., President. 

Published by the College. 
La Renaissance Catholique en Angleterre au XIX siecle. Par 

Paul Thureau-Dangin. Paris, E. Plon et Cie. 1899. 
"The House, When It Was In Building." By Rev. John 

Hewett, Columbus, Ohio, 1903. 
Distinguished Converts to Rome in America. D. J. Scannell- 

O'Neill. Benziger Bros., New York. 
The History of New London. Frances Mainwaring Caulkins, 

New London, H. D. Utley, 1895. 


The subject of the following biography was 
not a man of world-wide, nor even, in any com- 
plete sense, of national reputation. The his- 
tory of his life is, therefore, not put forth in 
response to any imperious demand or general 
desire on the part of the public. 

Nevertheless, it is hoped that such a work 
will not be without a certain measure of inter- 
est to more than one class of readers in the 
United States, and possibly beyond the limits 
of our country. Mr. Richards filled a place in 
the public eye at a critical period in the reli- 
gious history of America. He was a factor, 
even if not one of the most important, in that 
great movement of return to the Catholic 
Church, which formed so notable a feature of 
the nineteenth century. 

While this current attained its greatest vol- 
ume in England under the guidance of John 
Henry Newman and his associates, it did not 
fail to make its presence felt simultaneously in 
many parts of the world. Wherever the Eng- 
lish language was read and spoken, the printed 
utterances of the Oxford Tractarians could 



not fail to arouse intense interest and vehe- 
ment discussion. In the Protestant Episcopal 
Church of America, every step of the Cathol- 
icizing party in England was followed closely 
by disciples as ardent as any to be found in 
the ancient university of the Mother Country. 

Moreover the movement in America was not 
merely an imitation and a following in the foot- 
steps of foreign guides. It had features of its 
own ; and its leaders worked out their own sal- 
vation in ways, which, though in many cases 
similar to the methods of thought and argu- 
ment employed by their brethren in England, 
were yet often strongly marked with their own 
individual and national characteristics. Their 
paths, though in the main parallel and leading 
to the same goal, were by no means identical, 
nor even in all cases similar. Hence a close 
study of the soul-history of a single one of the 
protagonists in this great religious struggle can 
scarcely fail to arouse interest and furnish in- 

Moreover, the scene of Mr. Richards' career 
prior to his conversion lay in a region of pecul- 
iar interest. Ohio was then still the West. 
It had been in his youth the Far West. All 
the energy and rude vigor characteristic of the 
region and the time were fully shared by 
the Protestant Episcopal body, tempered in the 
latter by traditional refinement and the educa- 


tion received by its Divines in the East or 
abroad. Of the early Catholic movement in 
this environment no adequate account, so far as 
the writer knows, has hitherto been given. The 
Eev. Clarence A. Walworth, late Pastor of St. 
Mary's Church, Albany, published in 1895 a 
most important and admirable history of the 
'' Oxford Movement in America"; but as indi- 
cated in the sub-title, ''Glimpses of Life in An 
Anglican Seminary," the scope of the work is 
to some extent restricted, and it deals almost 
exclusively with New York and the Eastern 
States. In the same year was printed under 
the title "The Road to Rome, and How Two 
Brothers Got There," the substance of two lec- 
tures delivered by Mr. William Richards of 
Washington, D. C, the younger brother of the 
subject of this memoir. This document is also 
extremely valuable, especially as illustrating 
the divergency of the various paths leading dis- 
similar minds to the unchangeable Unity and 
Truth of the Catholic Church. But it is neces- 
sarily brief and is even more strictly personal 
in its reminiscences than Father Walworth's 

After Mr. Henry L. Richards' conversion 
and removal to the East, his earnest activity 
in all Church affairs brought him into frequent 
contact w^ith the leaders of religious thought 
and work. While his extraordinary humility 


and spirit of lowly self -depreciation impelled 
him always to keep in the backgroimd and to 
consider himself unable and unworthy to as- 
sume any leading part, yet this inclination was 
frequently counteracted to some extent by his 
natural ardor of character, his burning zeal, 
and his love of God and the Church, for all of 
which he was no less remarkable than for his 
humility. A very large proportion of the con- 
verts from Protestantism were reckoned among 
his personal friends, some were brought into 
the Church by his efforts, many more were at 
least cheered and encouraged in their trials 
by his warm friendship or sympathetic letters. 
All this makes his life, during the exceptionally 
long period over which it extended, a com- 
pendium, so to speak, of Catholic Church his- 
tory in the United States. 

Finally, it is an added element of interest, 
impelling to the publication of this biography, 
that Mr. Richards, always remaining, by the 
necessity of his position, a layman, gave from 
the time of his conversion a notable example 
of enthusiastic fulfilment of the duties of an 
educated layman in the Church, not only by his 
intense personal piety and devotion, but also in 
active labors for the good of souls and the ex- 
tension of the true religion. In the Society of 
St. Vincent de Paul and in every form of or- 
ganized charity, in the teaching and superin- 


tending of Sunday schools, in public lectures 
and in regular editorial contributions to the 
Catholic press, his zeal was actively employed. 

More remarkable than all these perhaps was 
his personal influence in private life, both by 
word and example, which, joined to his inde- 
fatigable zeal, enabled him to dissipate many 
prejudices and attract earnest souls like him- 
self from darkness to the light of the true 
Faith. Such laymen are as important to the 
Church in modern times (perhaps at all times) 
as good priests. 

A word remains to be said as to the materials 
drawn upon in preparing this life. The most 
important document is a manuscript autobio- 
graphical sketch. This was begun by Mr. Rich- 
ards in 1874 in consequence of the repeated and 
urgent solicitations of the present writer, sec- 
onded by other members of the family. It is 
of a very intimate personal character, intended 
chiefly to give to his children the interior his- 
tory of his conversion and to illustrate the 
goodness of God to one who, in his lowliness 
of self -appreciation, considered himself one of 
the greatest of sinners. To print in full for 
public perusal a paper of this kind would be 
manifestly a proceeding of at least doubtful 
propriety. It has been judged best to make 
numerous extracts from this document and to 
incorporate the substance of the remainder in 


the text. Unfortunately, this paper does not 
bring the narrative beyond the year mentioned 
as the date of its inception. 

Mr. Richards left a considerable number of 
private papers, including the manuscripts of 
most of his lectures and lists of the very numer- 
ous articles contributed by him to the Sacred 
Heart Review of Cambridge and the Catholic 
Review of New York ; togetlier with a few let- 
ters, particularly those received by him at the 
period of his conversion. Of letters written by 
Mr. Richards to others, a vast number are ex- 
tant, as it was the habit of many of his corre- 
spondents to preserve carefully, even rever- 
entially, everything received from him. Only 
a very limited use of this mass of material has 
been feasible in the present work, without swell- 
ing the dimensions of the latter beyond due 

A list of the most important works consulted 
will be found on a preceding page. Perhaps 
the most valuable source of all has been the 
recollections of the members of his family and 
his intimate friends and disciples. The great 
age at which he died has left him without the 
testimony of contemporaries of his youth and 
middle age, almost all of whom he outlived. 
But enough remains to give a vivid impression 
of his natural character, wholesome, cheery, 
zealous and thoroughly loyal to man, to con- 


science and to God, and of the exalted super- 
natural virtues by which that character was 
gradually chastened, elevated and spiritualized, 
until his very aspect became to those who knew 
him an attraction to the higher life, and his 
every word and action a commentary on the 
beauty of virtue. 

The writer desires to express his cordial 
thanks to the Rev. William Foster Pierce, 
L.H.D., President of Kenyon College, for re- 
searches made by his direction in the archives 
of the College, and to the Rev. John Hewitt, 
present Rector of St. Paul's Church, Columbus, 
Ohio, for similar services most kindly rendered. 
He is also indebted to the Very Rev. C. Lecoq, 
S.S., D.D., President of St. Mary's Seminary of 
Montreal, to the Rev. Benedict Guldner, S.J., 
Mrs. A. Newton Wliiting of Columbus, Ohio, 
Mr. D. J. Scannell O'Neil and many other 
friends for information, loan of letters and as- 
sistance of various kinds. 





Henry Livingston Ricliarcls was born on tlie 
twenty-second day of July, 1814, in the little 
village of Granville, Licking County, Ohio. 
He was the oldest of four children, two boys 
and two girls, born to his father, Dr. William 
Samuel Eichards, from his first marriage, all 
of whom lived to maturity and married. A 
second marriage increased the family by three 
boys, of whom one died in childhood. The only 
one of all these who followed Henry into the 
Church was his brother William, who came into 
the world some five years later than the first- 

Dr. Eichards was sprung from the early Pil- 
grim and Puritan stock of Massachusetts. 
The names appears frequently in the earliest 
records of both the Pl^Tiiouth and the Massa- 
chusetts Bay colonies. No less than twelve 

men bearing the name of Eichards came from 



England, mostly, it would seem, from Dorset- 
shire, in the first days of New England col- 
onization, and settled in various places, giving 
rise to as many different branches of the fam- 
ily. There seems to have been a strong re- 
ligious tendency in the family character, for 
among those who inherited it are found many 

The first American progenitor of the subject 
of this work was John Richards of Eele River 
in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He is first men- 
tioned on July 12th, 1637, in the records of the 
General Court of Plymouth, which put him un- 
der bonds to keep the peace, especially with re- 
gard to one Mark Mendall. In spite of this 
somewhat questionable introduction to the light 
of history, John Richards seems to have been 
a very respectable citizen. Removing about 
1658 to New London, Connecticut, he built a 
house at the comer of State and Huntington 
Streets which remained the seat of the family 
for more than a centuiy, and became quite a 
center of what social life existed in the austere 
colonial town. But all the consideration he en- 
joyed could not shield his family from the Blue 
Laws, for in 1693 his second son, Israel, was 
sentenced to pay a fine of ten shillings, and to 
stand in the stock for two hours, as a penalty 
for walking abroad and otherwise misbehaving 
himself on the Sabbath evening. His oldest 


son, also named John, figures in the military 
history of New London. He was a lieutenant 
in the local forces, and in 1711, when the town 
was menaced by French privateers, he com- 
manded the troops who kept watch of the coast 
and harbor. 

But the chief glory of the family from a mili- 
tary point of view was Colonel William Rich- 
ards, of the fourth generation, our Henry's 
grandfather. As Captain in the Revolutionary 
forces, he fought with distinction at Bunker 
Hill, and later, during the British occupation 
of Long Island, New York, he headed a for- 
lorn hope at night, and made a desperate at- 
tack on an entrenched body of the British, in 
which daring enterprise he was comjjletely suc- 
cessful. He was made Colonel, and after the 
close of the war, High Sheriff of New London, 
which post he held for twenty-five years, dying 
in 1825. His sword remains as an heirloom 
in the family, and during the Civil War was 
in the possession of Captain William Richards 
Hillyer of the Union Army. 

In Mr. Richards ' manuscript notes of his life 
prepared for his children, he discourses at 
some length of his Puritan ancestors, for whom 
his respect had not been diminished, but if 
anything increased, by his secession from their 
faith to one higher and more ancient. He 
says : * ' I remember the time when I attached 


not the slightest consequence to the matter of 
lineage and family pedigree. As I have grown 
older, I have changed in that respect. . . . 
That there were some things in our good old 
Puritan ancestors that we have no reason to 
be proud of, I readih^ admit. I have even seen 
the time, when I looked at things through 
Protestant Episcopal spectacles, when I af- 
fected to despise the Puritans. The Catholic 
standpoint, being the very center of all truth, 
enables me to judge my Puritan ancestors more 
justly, and to give them credit for great virtues, 
which they undoubtedly inherited from their 
Catholic ancestors, or rather perhaps derived 
from the remains of Catholic principles and 
Catholic traditions which they had preserved, 
notwithstanding their apostasy from the old 
Faith. Their honesty and truthfulness, their 
directness and manly independence are worthy 
of imitation by all. What the descendants of 
the Puritans want in these days is the Old 
Faith. Grafted again into the original vine of 
Christ's Church, with all its aids and graces, 
its authority, its fkedness of faith, its beauti- 
ful models of sanctity and wonderful incentives 
to virtue, I really think they would make a 
nation of saints." 

Of the seven children of the Eevolutionary 
hero, the oldest, William Samuel, was brought 
up as a boy on his father's farm. His early 


education was, no doubt, received at the New 
London Latin School, of which his grand- 
father, John, had been one of the earliest trus- 
tees. He afterward studied medicine, and, 
having arrived at the age of twenty-four years, 
and being qualified to practice, he set his face 
toward the great West to begin his profes- 
sional career amid new surroundings. It may 
be well here to endeavor to gain some idea of 
these surroundings and of the state of that 
new yet not altogether crude society of which 
he and his future family were to form a part. 

At that period, when Europe was busy, with 
allied armies and combined statecraft, in re- 
pressing the schemes of the still formidable 
Napoleon to resuscitate his empire, a vaster 
and richer empire was peacefully but rapidly 
growing up on the western continent. The 
American Colonies, having succeeded in shak- 
ing off the yoke of Great Britain, and estab- 
lishing a Eepublic of Confederated States, 
offering freedom and land to all comers, had be- 
gun to attract that unexampled tide of immigra- 
tion which later became one of the wonders of 
historv, and which continues, in undiminished 
volume but with varying components, in our 
own day. 

While much of this inflowing current re- 
mained stagnated in the cities and towns of 
the eastern seaboard, much also found its way. 


either immediately or by degrees, to the forests 
and plains of the still imdeveloped West. 

Another feature of this western colonizing 
movement, more important, perhaps, than even 
the foreign immigration, was found in the rest- 
less energy and ambition of the descendants 
of the eastern settlers, notably in New England. 
The same spirit of sturdy independence that 
brought the Pilgrims and Puritans to the New 
World urged their sons to penetrate still fur- 
ther into its wilds and fastnesses. They were 
no passive, stay-at-home race. Moreover, to 
the rural population, conditions of soil and cli- 
mate in New England made of life a hard and 
wearisome struggle. To their ears the stories 
brought by explorers and returning settlers of 
level and fertile lands, free from rocks, stones 
and gravel, of mild winters and fruitful 
harvests, all to be had almost without money 
and without price, must have sounded like the 
Biblical account with which they were so fa- 
miliar, of a promised land flowing with milk 
and honey. Hence, for some years before the 
time of which we write, a great stream of im- 
migration of native American pioneers had been 
flowing steadily into the western and north- 
western territories adjacent to the more thickly 
settled regions of the original colonies. They 
pushed back the Indian tribes to new seats, 
at times ruthlessly exterminating the bands 


that opposed their progress; they felled the 
forests, cleared the land, opened up roads, and 
founded villages which in many cases grew 
with amazing rapidity into towns and cities. 
As early as the year 1788, the columns of 
organized emigration had crossed the Ohio 
Eiver. In that year was made, at Marietta, 
on the northerly bank of the great waterway 
where it is joined by the Musking-um, the first 
permanent settlement in what is now the State 
of Ohio. Then it was a part of the great 
Northwestern Territory, constituted by Con- 
gress only a year before by the famous ordi- 
nance in which slavery was forever excluded 
from the region. This settlement was carried 
out by the Ohio Land Company, an association 
formed in Boston, which had purchased a mil- 
lion and a half of acres on the Ohio and in 
the Muskingum valley, between the last named 
stream and the Scioto. To the influence of this 
great company is generally attributed, in great 
part, the drafting and enactment of the Con- 
gressional ordinance. But the colonization was 
greatly retarded by frequently recurring 
strifes with the Indian tribes, provoked most 
commonly, no doubt, by the rapacity and ex- 
cesses of the white settlers themselves, until, 
in 1794, the complete victory of General Wayne, 
''Mad Anthony," over the confederated tribes 
at Maumee Rapids broke the spirit of the red- 


men, and resulted in tlie treaty of Greenville. 
By this convention the Indians were limited to 
a reservation lying to the northward of the 
Greenville Treaty Line, which, extending from 
east to west, divided the state into two unequal 
portions. To the southern and larger division, 
immigration then poured in unchecked. One 
great stream crossed the Ohio near Wheeling, 
and thence rolled westward, meeting the Ohio 
Company's settlements, which were rapidly ex- 
tending northward and westward from Mari- 
etta among the hills and valleys of the 
Muskingum, and coalescing with other similar 
currents from the south and southwest. 

One quite typical instance of the hardy 
energy of New England agricultural settlers 
of the period was the settlement of the little 
village of Granville, Ohio. It lies near the 
center of the state, twenty-eight miles E. N. E. 
of Columbus and some few miles west of 
Newark, the county seat of Licking County. 
Up to the year 1805, it was an unbroken forest, 
traversed by wandering bands of Indians and 
by the bears, wolves and deer which together 
with smaller game roamed its thickets and 
glades in abundance, and haunted by number- 
less flocks of wild turkeys. Even at the time 
of Mr. Eichards' birth, nine years later, it was 
a backwoods settlement of rude surroundings 
and primitive conditions, yet with smiling 


farms that attested as well the remarkable fer- 
tility of the soil as the thrift of its inhabitants. 
The first settlement was effected by a company 
of emigrants from Granville, Massachusetts, 
and the adjoining township of Granby in Con- 

Some details of the history of this settlement 
may be of interest here, not only as illustrating 
the influences surrounding Mr. Richards' early 
years, but as affording a vivid picture of events 
and conditions that were repeated many times 
and in numberless places, with some varia- 
tion of circumstances, during that formative 

The motives of the emigration, so far as any 
are needed beyond the spirit of enterprise and 
restless vigor native to the New England char- 
acter, may be summed up in the desire for more 
fertile land and a milder climate. The former 
is illustrated by a story told of Alfred Avery, 
one of the original settlers, afterward con- 
nected by marriage with the family of Mr. 
Richards. ''When he was a mere child (in 
Massachusetts)," we are told in the History 
of Granville by the Eev. Henry Bushnell, "his 
father went out to plant corn, and (Alfred) 
himself, ambitious to help, took his hoe and 
went out also, tugging and sweating to do what 
a little boy could. At length his father noticed 
that Alfred was crying, and asked him what was 


the matter. The child's reply was a turning 
point in the history of the family: *I can't 
get dirt enough to cover the corn.' Then the 
father thought it was time to go where the world 
had more dirt. Soon afterward he became a 
member of the Licking Company." 

Another source of the migratory spirit which 
seems not to have attracted so much attention as 
it would deserve, is that New England families 
at that period were uniformly large, and con- 
tinued so to a comparatively recent period. 
Genealogical tables reveal the fact that the 
numl)er of children varied from five or six to 
twelve, thirteen and even higher figures, and 
this numerous offspring had to be provided 

A company was organized among the far- 
mers with regular articles of incorporation, 
known, after some changes of name, as the 
Licking Land Company, and Levi Buttles was 
made President. This organization suffered at 
first to some extent from the perfidy of land 
speculators, who abounded at the period; but 
finally it secured some twenty-nine thousand 
acres of excellent land at the average price of 
one dollar and sixty-seven cents an acre. The 
number of families taking part in the actual 
colonization was about one hundred. They set 
out in successive parties, during the autumn 
of 1805, and traveled the seven hundred miles, 


in great part through a wild country, in wagons 
drawn by oxen. 

A feature of the emigration which is well 
worth noting is the strong devotion shown by 
the colonists to the allied interests of religion 
and education. Most of the farmers professed 
the Congregational form of Calvinism, which 
had been established by law in both the 
Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth colonies, and 
which even at the present day is commonly 
known throughout the state as the Orthodox 
Religion. Before leaving their Massachusetts 
homes, they organized themselves into a sepa- 
rate church, though only twenty-five persons 
were formally admitted as members. On the 
arrival of the chief party in the depth of the 
forest which was to be their future home, their 
first act, after loosing the oxen from their 
yokes, was to assemble for divine worship and 
to listen to a sermon. They then established 
a little camp between two enormous trees that 
they had felled, and set to work to subdue the 

The log schoolhouse seems to have been the 
first building erected for the ser^dce of the 
community in general, being used also on Sun- 
days for religious services. Although the 
main body of the settlers did not arrive before 
November, and had to face the speedy coming 
of winter, yet their first thought was not for 


the comforts and conveniences necessary for 
existence, but for the establishment of school 
and meeting house. 

Zeal for education and what we should now 
call general culture was evidenced by the ap- 
pointment of a committee, even before the de- 
parture from their homes, "to receive sub- 
scriptions for the encouragement of a library, 
and to draw up and form a constitution for 
the said Library Company." This plan was 
faithfully carried out, a charter was obtained 
early in 1807, and books were purchased and 
put in use the same year. It would be inter- 
esting to know how many pul)lic libraries were 
in existence at that early period. 

Such facts throw a strong light on the char- 
acter of these sturdy pioneers and give the 
key, no doubt, to much of their subsequent his- 

When the little settlement had progressed 
somewhat and the colonists had made clearings 
in the thick forest, erected log cabins and sown 
their first crops, they found it necessary to 
make a regulation obliging every inhabitant to 
spend at least one day every week in hunting 
snakes. The reptiles killed were gathered into 
heaps and burned. "Wolves and bears were so 
close neighbors that it was felt to be dangerous 
to wander from home at night, and occasionally 
roaming bands of Indians looked in upon the 


busy settlers, but always with peaceful inten- 

Into this little world of primitive conditions, 
plain living and high thoughts came the young 
Dr. Eichards on Friday, July 19, 1811. He 
had traveled the whole distance from his home 
in New London on horseback, coming by way 
of Marietta. On December 16th, Dr. Richards 
began to teach school in the house of Elias Gil- 
man, one of the earliest settlers, indeed the head 
of the first party of emigrants to arrive upon 
the ground. But this occupation was given 
over by the next spring or summer, no doubt 
in consequence of the growth of his medical 
practice; and some time later, after his mar- 
riage. Dr. Richards erected for himself a house, 
almost in the center of the village. From that 
time to the end of his life in 1852, Dr. Richards 
was the beloved physician of the whole country 
for many miles about Granville, universally re- 
spected for his sterling character, and loved 
for his untiring, unselfish care of the poor and 
his even too great leniency toward his debt- 

In the year 1813, the young physician mar- 
ried Isabella Mower, oldest daughter of Samuel 
Parish Mower and Jane Felton. Mr. Mower 
had moved from Barre, Massachusetts, to the 
outskirts of Granville, where he owned a large 
farm. His wife, Jane Felton, was the daughter 


of Captain Benjamin Felton, of Brookfield, 
Massacliusetts. This noted man served in the 
French and Indian War of 1756, and afterward 
in the Eevohition, taking part in the battles of 
Bunker Hill, Long Island, White Plains, Tren- 
ton, Monmouth, etc. After this war, he was 
made Captain of Militia, and commanded a 
body of cavaliy in the putting down of Shays 's 
Insurrection in Massachusetts in the winter of 
1786. He died in 1820, at the age of eighty- 
one, after rearing a family of thirteen chil- 
dren, all of whom lived to be married. 

Mr. Richards was thus of sound Revolution- 
ary ancestry on his mother's side, as well as 
his father's. But what caused him perhaps 
quite as much satisfaction as this distinction, 
after he became a Catholic, was that a marked 
strain of Irish blood seemed to come to him 
from the same source. The name Mower is, 
very prol)ably, a modification of Moore, and 
the tradition of the family pointed to an Irish 
origin. Moreover, the name of Benjamin Fel- 
ton 's wife, Jennie Dorrity, would seem to point 
with equal probability to the Green Isle. He 
entertained a hearty admiration for several 
traits of character found in the Irish race, par- 
ticularly their strong faith and unconquerable 
loyalty to the Church; and he jDleased himself 
with the conjecture that his own return to the 
religion of his fathers was the effect in part 


of liis Irisli blood, coming to the surface after 
many generations. 

Henry's mother was a capable and industri- 
ous woman, with a strongly religious bent of 
mind. The only relic of her in existence, a 
fragment of a letter, is entirely taken up with 
religious considerations and news of revivals 
and conversions. Though couched in the 
phraseology of the Calvinistic system in which 
she was educated, which now appears to us 
stilted and unnatural, it reveals vigor of mind 
and depth of sincere religious feeling. It con- 
cludes : ' ' My husband and all his family have 
been prof est Christians this ten years, and oh ! 
that I were a Christian indeed and that this 
stony heart of mine was transformed into flesh 
that I might be susceptible of ardent love to 
the immaculate Savior." Mrs. Richards died 
in 1821 at the age of thirty, after the birth of 
her fourth child, Isabella, Henry being then 
seven years old. Her place was taken after an 
interval of two years by a second wife, who 
proved to be an excellent mother to her step- 

Henry was born in the house of *' Gaffer'* 
Gilman, hard by the old town spring. In later 
years, " 'Grandma Gilman' used to amuse us," 
he writes, "with wonderful stories of her fav- 
orite child. She insisted that I was the smart- 
est child she had ever seen. Among other 


things, she said I used to pound up brick to a 
powder, do it up in doses, and start off on an 
imaginary visit to the sick. 

"I began to go to school when I was very 
small. I have a dim recollection of wading 
through the snow when my little legs were 
scarcely long enough to measure its depth. As 
I advanced in years, I fear I did not increase 
in industry or wisdom. I remember being 
punished once fearfully by 'Paddy McMillan,' 
who had been employed to teach the public 
school. He was a Reverend. I fear I must 
have tried his patience, for liis Irish blood rose 
to fever heat, and he used up a good-sized 
switch upon my back. I remember when about 
ten or twelve years old, having a contest in 
writing with a boy about my own age, 'Vet' Ly- 
man, for a premium. We both worked hard, 
and the result was a tie. We each had our 
backers. I do not think my competitor bore 
his disappointment well, — and one day we 
somehow came into collision on the streets and 
had a regular pitched battle. I fought like 
a tiger, crying all the time. It was a drawn 
battle. I was never pugnaciously inclined, 
and I do not think I could have been drawn or 
even goaded into a fight without being imposed 
upon or treated unjustly in some way. 

''Now I must confess that I was not entirely 
truthful during my boyhood's days. I was 


thoughtless, fond of fun, extremely enterpris- 
ing, and easily influenced by bad companions. 
I would sometimes play truant and tell a lie 
to excuse mvself when I went home. But some- 
how my sin would almost always find me out, 
and then. Ah me ! what punishment would fol- 
low. The scene is vividly before my mind's 
eye to-day. The old parlor, with closed door 
and blinds drawn, the very chair I sat in while 
my venerable father, with grave and sorrow- 
ful face, expostulated with me and tried to show 
me the heinousness of my sin, and to lead me 
to repentance and amendment. ' I am sorry, my 
son, that you have been guilty of this fault. 
You were guilty of an act of disobedience, and 
then committed another sin to hide it. It 
pains me to have to punish you, but it must be 
done. He that spareth the rod, hateth the 
child.' Then he took me bv the collar with 
firm grip and applied the birch vigorously to my 
nether extremities, while I commenced a series 
of gyrations, keeping time meanwhile at the 
top of my voice with the measured stroke of 
the baton. How hard it is to beat sin out of 
a child! But it seems to be the divinely ap- 
pointed way for expelling the devil ; and I fear 
the multiplied cases of 'possession' in our time 
and day are to be accounted for by the gen- 
eral disuse of the wholesome Scriptural mode 
of exorcism. 


''After the death of my own mother, when 
I was seven years old, my father married Miss 
Tryphena Bushuell, the youngest of a family 
of five, two brothers and three sisters, origi- 
nally from Norwich, Connecticut, all remarkable 
for the excellence of their character and es- 
pecially for their strict adherence to the tradi- 
tions of the fathers. The two brothers were 
deacons in the Congregational Church and had 
the reputation of saints. My stepmother was 
intelligent, refined and very pious. She was 
just, too, and kind to us children, and proved 
an exception to the alleged rule of stepmothers. 
She was a good mother to us and made no dis- 
tinction between us and our half-brothers. 
She, of course, had the principal care of our 
domestic education, and she strove to discharge 
her duty with conscientious fidelity." 

This would seem to be the best place to inter- 
polate into Mr. Eichards' narrative the names 
of his brothers and sisters. The second child, 
Mary Ann, was born two years after Henry, 
in 1816. AVilliam, of whom we shall hear much 
in the course of this biography, saw the light 
in 1819, and Isabella in 1821. By his second 
wife. Dr. Eichards had three children, Peter, 
George and Ebenezer, of whom the last named 
died at the age of six years, while Peter still 
lives at the writing of this account, the sole 
survivor of the family of seven. All the chil- 


dren were united in the closest bonds of affec- 
tion. Isabella in particular seems to have 
been cherished with exceptional tenderness by 
her oldest brother, Henry, and all the other 
members of the family, 

Mr. Eichards goes on to describe the educa- 
tion to which this double but united family of 
children was subjected. ^' There were some pe- 
culiarities of that education which are now fast 
passing away among the descendants of the 
Puritans, but which were curious and interest- 
ing. How different the habits of those times 
from the luxurious customs of later days! 
Then we went to meeting in an old frame meet- 
ing house, with high-backed square pews, and 
without any fire. To keep from freezing in 
the extremely cold winter weather, the ladies 
took 'foot stoves' to church. These were 
square tin boxes with wooden frames and 
perforated with small holes through which the 
welcome heat from the hot coals within escaped 
under the enveloping drapery of the ladies, 
diffusing a genial, albeit a somewhat selfish and 
exclusive warmth over the whole person. Ah ! 
if we children could but get the loan of the 
thing for a few moments, how happy we were ! 
And when meeting was out, how we did 
scamper home to the great fire in the fireplace, 
made with backlog, forestick and middle sticks, 
piled high in the chimney! 


"The 'Assembly's Shorter Catechism' was, 
next to the Bible, the textbook of our instruc- 
tion — 'What is the chief end of man?' and so 
on. That same catechism is a wonderful pro- 
duction. It must be confessed it was rather 
long for a 'Shorter' catechism, and its theo- 
logical depths are rather beyond the plummets 
of most young persons. There are many excel- 
lent things in it, but it is of course marred by 
the strong infusion of Calvinism. It was 
heavy work for us children, and I shall never 
forget the relief with which the end of our les- 
sons was reached, and the joy with which we 
closed our books and bounded away to our 
play. My father also had Bible lessons on 
Sunday evenings, before the sun went down, in 
which we read considerable portions of Holy 
Scripture, and were asked questions and re- 
ceived explanations of what we read. We were 
encouraged to read the Bible through in course 
by the time we were fourteen years old, when 
we each received a copy of a pocket Bible in 
reward for our industry. The encouragement 
for us children to read the Bible through was 
no doubt injudicious, but I have always been 
thankful that my mind was so well stored and 
so thoroughly familiarized with Holy Scripture, 
especially the New Testament. In that respect 
it might be said of us children as of Timothv, 
that from childhood we had known the Holy 


Scriptures which were able to make us wise 
unto salvation. I am afraid however that in 
the thoughtlessness of youth, even the Bible 
lessons were not relished as they should have 
been; for I remember well with what longing 
eyes we watched the slowly declining sun. You 
must know that our good stepmother was a 
strict observer of that curious old custom of 
the Puritans which commenced the 'Sabbath' 
on the Saturday at the going down of the sun 
and closed it at the same point on the day it- 
self. Saturday evening at sundown all work 
was laid aside, even to the sewing and the in- 
evitable knitting work. The joy with which, 
on the succeeding clay, we young folks, who had 
been reined in and restrained from every, even 
the least, appearance of play, and kept diligently 
at work with our Bibles, Catechisms and re- 
ligious duties, watched the decline of the king 
of day, was an indication that at that hour the 
sacred time had passed and we were free. 
Then the knitting work was resumed, the wash 
tubs were brought out and preparations com- 
menced for the hebdomadal cleansing, and all 
things indicated that the 'Sabbath,' with its 
gloomy strictness, its prim propriety and its 
forced reserve, had passed. I have a distinct 
remembrance of having been chided for look- 
ing out of the window on the Sabbath, when a 
wagon was passing by. 'Henry! Henry! 


my child! I am surprised to see you looking 
out of the window on the Sabbath, allowing 
your mind to be diverted by every noise, in- 
stead of looking on your book and studying 
your lesson in the catechism!' Oh, if those 
good souls, with all their strfctness and zeal, 
and especially their faithfulness in instructing 
their children, had only had the true Catholic 
faith and the benefit of the grace of the sacra- 
ments of Holy Church, what saints many of 
them would have been!" 

Mr. Richards' account of his early youth 
and domestic education may be said to end here. 
There are in his manuscript allusions to a 
period spent with his grandfather on the farm, 
which was no doubt a very happy phase of his 
boyhood, and which certainly left in him a 
permanent love for the country and a desire, 
to which he perpetually recurred throughout 
his professional and mercantile life, to spend 
his leisure hours in the rural delights of farm- 
ing or horticulture. The boy was now to be- 
gin studies of a somewhat less elementary 
nature than those afforded by the country dis- 
trict school, and was soon to engage in those 
mental conflicts and moral decisions which pre- 
sent themselves imperiously to every develop- 
ing human soul, and which, according to the 
answer made and the victory gained or lost, 
mold one's character and settle, with virtual 


certainty, one's future line of conduct for good 
or evil. It can hardly be denied that with a 
character like that of Henry Livingston Eich- 
ards, the stern Calvinistic home training was 
in many respects an excellent preparation for 
the trials that awaited him. The system, if 
it did not crush or permanently sour the youth- 
ful character, or drive it into hypocrisy, would 
no doubt tend to impart to it a firm sense of 
duty and a determination to prefer the right 
to the pleasant or profitable under all circum- 
stances. This was its effect certainly in Mr. 
Eichards' case. He was naturally very docile, 
conscientious, high-minded and thoroughly un- 
selfish, but ardent and sympathetic, and there- 
fore perhaps inclined to follow where others 
led. This weaker trait, if it existed, was thor- 
oughly corrected by the strictness of his home 
training, mingled as this was with the tender 
affection of his excellent parents and thus re- 
lieved of much of its harshness. 




It "^as in the year 1829, when he was between 
fifteen and sixteen years of age, that Henry 
L. Richards entered college for the first time. 
One of his uncles on his mother's side, Lucius 
D. Mower, was the most prosperous merchant 
in the little village. Having no children of his 
own, he had taken Henry's younger brother, 
"William, with the intention of providing for 
him and bringing him up as his own son. lie 
now proposed that Henry also should enter his 
store as a clerk. But Dr. Richards was anx- 
ious that all of his sons should have the bene- 
fit of a liberal education, and he refused to con- 
sent to Mr. Mower's plan unless on condition 
that Henry should first spend some time at 
college. It was finally agreed that he should 
go to Kenyon. This institution had been 
opened only a year before this time, at Gam- 
bier, in Knox County, the neighboring county 
to Licking, in which Granville is situated, and 



therefore for the young boy it was not far from 
home. As it was here that the first seeds of 
his future faith were sown in Henry's mind, 
though not apparently during his first stay, a 
somewhat detailed account of the college and 
the remarkable man who founded it may not 
be out of place. We give it from Mr. Richards ' 
notes, only slightly supplemented from other 

The institution was entirely the creation of 
the venerable Philander Chase, first Protestant 
Episcopal Bishop of Ohio. This prelate was 
a man of immense stature and rugged strength, 
and of executive ability in a measure corre- 
sponding to his size. Though his energy of 
character seems to have been somewhat want- 
ing in balance and control and he was some- 
times judged to be imperious and capricious, 
yet he was withal condescending and affable 
to those who confided in him. His ambition, 
though unbounded, was not selfish. As was 
remarked by one who knew him well. Bishop 
Chase embraced, in his immense physique, two 
separate and distinct individualities, the little 
child and the stern and vigorous man. Feeling 
deeply the necessity for a college and seminary 
where candidates for the ministry could be 
trained under his own eye and in a manner that 
would fit them for their future work under the 
hard conditions of his young and poor diocese. 


the Bishop undertook a journey to England 
for the purpose of raising the necessary funds. 
To his surprise and grief, he met with bitter 
opposition on the part of some of his brother 
clergj'men, particularly Bishop Hobart of New 
York. This prelate feared the effect of the new 
project on the fortunes of the General Seminary 
of New York, which had been established by 
authority of tlie General Convention with the 
explicit purpose of serving the needs of the 
Episcopal Church throughout the United 
States. Notwitlistanding this opposition, 
which followed him even to England, Bishop 
Chase met with entire success in his mission. 
Gaining access to aristocratic circles in the 
mother country, he impressed them deeply by 
his strength and sincerity of purpose, and by 
his accounts of the vast field of the AYest, with 
its rapidly increasing population, rude condi- 
tions and spiritual destitution. The result 
was that he received encouragement and sub- 
stantial aid, especially from Lord Kenyon, 
Admiral Lord Gambler, Lady Harcourt, Lord 
Bexley, Lady Rosse, George W. Marriott and 
others, whose names he was afterward careful 
to affix to the various buildings and other fea- 
tures of his college. Returning to Ohio with 
some thirty thousand dollars, a large sum for 
those days, Bishop Chase purchased from a 
citizen of Pennsylvania, familiarly known as 


"Old Nat Hogg," a tract of eight thousand 
acres of land near the centre of the state, some 
five miles from Mt. Vernon. Here he began 
the erection of a college and theological semi- 
nary, and laid out the site of a town. The 
whole was destined in his magnificent plans 
to rival the universities of the old world; but 
it was as yet only a dense and almost unbroken 
forest. Into this forest the Bishop went al- 
most alone, camping out, living in a log cabin, 
in which his family was also sheltered for a 
time, working with his own hands and enduring 
hardships that would soon have disheartened 
men of weaker temperament. With stone 
quarried on the premises he erected the main 
building of his college, making the foundations 
and walls of amazing thickness. In 1828 the 
school was opened with some sixty-five stu- 
dents brought from the preexisting school at 
Worthington ; and when young Henry Richards 
arrived in the following year, conditions were 
still most primitive. One building sheltered 
the Bishop and his family, the professors and 
the students. A large stone kitchen stood at a 
short distance south of the college; but the 
kitchen girls were not the daintiest or most 
skillful cooks, and the college commons were 
often anything but inviting. Mr. Richards re- 
cords one incident of this nature. As the 
waiter poured out a cup of coffee from an old- 


fashioned tin coffee pot, a considerable length 
of candle wick came with the liquid, indica- 
ting plainly that the spout had been employed 
as a substitute for a candle-stick. The beds 
of the students, at least in some of the dormi- 
tories, were arranged in three tiers about the 
walls, like berths on a steamboat, and the straw 
beds were not without numerous and unwel- 
come inhabitants. It is little to be wondered 
at that when Dr. Eichards, who had accom- 
panied his son and spent the first night on 
Gambier Hill, took leave of him, the usual 
homesickness of the new college student closed 
in upon the boy's soul with a sense of utter 
loneliness and desolation. This was not re- 
lieved by the fact that he was immediately 
introduced to the study of Euclid, which at 
first was hard and distasteful work for him. 
The ''Pons Asinorum," as he declares, was 
a bridge of sighs to him, and some time and 
effort were required to turn the wayward cur- 
rent of his thoughts into the fixed channels of 
mathematical science. But he was naturally 
a verj^ intelligent and earnest student, and he 
soon entered with zest into the labor and play 
of college life. Many of his recreation hours 
were spent in singing, for which he had great 
natural talent and of which he was very fond 
throughout life, retaining his clear, sweet and 
smooth voice even to very advanced age. He 


thus describes the amusement afforded him by 
this resource at college. ''My friend, Forshey, 
(who "Was very ambitious and afterward grad- 
uated from West Point) was very fond of 
music. He had a pretty good voice and plenty 
of assurance, but his efforts were disfigured 
by a nasal Yankee twang. But he was an en- 
thusiast and so was I, and we took to each 
other. ... I commenced singing when I was 
very young. I had a clear, shrill, high soprano 
voice at first, and took a leading part at the 
singing schools, which were fashionable in 
those days. I remember very well the myste- 
rious longing with which I first began to con- 
template the cabalistic signs of music, and how 
I pored over them, determined if possible to 
find the secret clew by which the initiated could 
read the tunes from the book. And I did study 
over it until I found and learned the secret. . . . 
Forshey and I did have the most glorious sings. 
He had an old-fashioned singing book, full of 
the good old tunes and anthems, and every 
Sunday evening we would have a regular 
set-to. Our grand piece was the anthem called 
the 'Resurrection,' commencing, 'The Lord is 
risen indeed, hallelujah!' You, my dear chil- 
dren, have often heard me sing snatches of the 
old favorite almost every year since you were 
born, especially on Easter morning. It was a 
rattling, rumbling, noisy thing, and I shall 


never forget the enthusiasm with which my 
musical friend and I would execute the 'Eesur- 
rection.' 'Coronation' was another favorite." 
As to religious and moral influences, Mr. 
Richards* recollections of this first year at 
Kenyon were not particularly favorable. He 
writes that their church was the dining-room. 
Daily prayers were said while all the students 
were in their places at table. But on Sundays, 
the tables were all cleared away, the folding 
doors between the Bishop's room and the din- 
ing-room were throAMi open, and the Bishop, 
or **Pop" Williams, as he was lovingly but ir- 
reverently called, or some other cleric offici- 
ated, preaching generally, it is to be feared, 
to unwilling and impatient ears. Mr. Rich- 
ards retained very little recollection of any 
marked religious influence exerted over him, 
but instead a painful impression that the year 
had been more damaging to his moral and 
spiritual l)eing than any other in his whole life. 
His room-mate, during at least a portion of the 
term, was a profane and reckless fellow, who 
apparently had never enjoyed any religious 
training whatever. It was from this companion 
that Henrv received the nickname of Dick Fid, 
the name Dick continuing to be his common 
designation among the students throughout the 
year. He accuses himself with great contri- 
tion of falling into profanity, under the force 


of example, and of constant neglect of his 
prayers, although he had been so strictly 
brought up and had recited his prayers regu- 
larly for many years. 

"What a terrible ordeal," continues Mr. 
Eichards, "is that period of life when the 
young boy is just budding into adolescence! 
How many souls then lay the foundation of 
their eternal ruin! How wonderful are the 
provisions of Holy Church for that season! 
Since I have become a Catholic, I see how much 
I suffered and what awful risks I ran by not 
having a director. The only wonder is that 
any Protestants grow up pure and free from 
vice. True, there are plenty of bad boys in the 
Church, but it is not the fault of our Holy 
Mother. It is the fault of careless, vicious 
parents, who do not realize their responsibility, 
and allow their children to run at loose ends." 

Some anecdotes given by Mr. Richards as il- 
lustrating the character of Bishop Chase are 
not without interest. "One evening, about 
nine o 'clock, I had mounted my berth, the upper- 
most tier, for the night, when some noisy fel- 
lows came in. There were three of us in the 
room and my two companions had not yet re- 
tired. Amid the noise which they were mak- 
ing, there came a vigorous knock at the door, 
and in answer to the summons to enter, the door 
flew open and what should appear but the im- 


mense form of the Bishop with his big cane in 
hand, darkening the door like a threatening 
thunder cloud, while with stentorian voice he 

thundered : ' 'Apov rbv Kpd(3aTT6v aov koL TTepnrdTei 

(Take up thy bed and walk!)'. How I did 
slink back into my berth! 'What are you do- 
ing here, you young rowdies!' 'Nothing, 
Sir!' 'Nothing! 'Who rooms here?' The 
names are given. ' Every one of you appear at 
my room to-morrow morning and give an ac- 
count of yourselves and receive the punishment 
due to your offenses ! ' In the morning we were 
summoned before 'Pop' Williams, Professor of 
Languages, a good easy soul, who let us off 

"Among the visitors Avho frequently came 
from the East to view the wonderful works of 
which they had hoard was a gentleman from 
New York, who took a deep interest in the in- 
stitution, and to whom the Bishop paid very 
special attention. The Bishop generally rode 
on horseback. He had a favorite bobtailed 
horse, which, I think, had some intelligent ap- 
preciation of the distingiiished character of 
his master. He certainly had an abundant op- 
portunity for learning, sometimes perhaps to 
his cost, that the Bishop was a man of great 
weight in the community (he must have 
weighed over three hundred pounds), yet I am 
sure old 'Bob' was always proud of his burden. 


The way he would prance up and down the 
avenue, with the episcopal cloak floating in the 
wind and the tricornered university hat, 
brought from England, nodding to the meas- 
ured time of the canter, was beautiful to be- 
hold. On the occasion of which I am speaking, 
the Bishop had taken his New York friend over 
the plantation. ... As they ascended the hill 
leading into the main street of the town from 
the west, the Bishop, inspired by the mag- 
nificence of his schemes and the greatness of 
the w^ork in which he was engaged and upon 
which he had been descanting with his usual 
eloquence, rose proudly in his stirrups, and 
with a lordly sweep of his hand, indicating the 
extent of the domain over which he presided, 
exclaimed: ^They call me King of Gambler — 
and so I am ! ' Yet that same King of Gambler 
I have seen, when prancing in right royal style 
along the avenue between the town and college, 
and meeting one of the little boys from the lat- 
ter, raise his tricornered hat with a lordly 
grace, and with a most condescending inclina- 
tion, sweep on as though he had saluted a 
prince of the blood royal." 

We may add here another anecdote of Bishop 
Chase, derived from another source and not 
given in his published life. "When the Bishop, 
then occupying the see of Illinois, returned to 
the East to preside, as senior Bishop, over the 


General Convention, lie met in the company a 
minister whom he had not seen for several 
years. In the meantime, the Reverend gentle- 
man had published a book in which he advo- 
cated the opinion that the Virgin Mary had 
given birth to other sons after our Lord Jesus 
Christ. Bishop Chase refused to notice in any 
way his former friend, and when the latter 
pressed forward, offering his hand, the Bishop, 
drawing himself up to his full height, uttered 
with intense scorn, the words, ''You beast!" 

It is interesting to note in this connection that 
one of Bishop Chase's descendants became in 
after vears a Catholic and a nun, Sister 
Mary F. de Sales of the Visitation order. Un- 
der the signature of Edselas, her contributions 
to various Catholic periodicals have been fre- 
quent up to the time of her death in recent 

When the lad Henry Richards returned in 
the summer of 1830 to his home in Granville, 
he little imagined that the King of Gambler, 
whose greatness had so deeply impressed his 
boyish imagination, was soon to be ignomini- 
ously dethroned and to retire in discomfiture 
from his college and even his diocese. This 
was the result, in part at least, of those dissen- 
sions between High and Low Church parties, 
which were already beginning to tear asunder 
the Protestant Episcopal body, but of which 


the future Ritualist and convert was still in 
happy ignorance. The history of this change, 
so far as it bore on Mr. Richards ' future career, 
belongs to another chapter. 




On his return from college in the autumn of 
1830, Henry Richards entered the store of 
his Uncle, Lucius D. Mower, as a clerk. As 
usual in country districts, all kinds of goods 
were sold in one establishment, a custom which 
curiously enough has recently been adopted by 
the largest city merchants, both wholesale and 
retail, in the enonnous agglomerations now 
called in America department stores. But in 
those days, before the advent of railroads and 
the invention of the telegraph and the tele- 
phone, the methods of inland commerce were 
far more primitive, and perhaps more pictur- 
esque, than now. Twice a year, as Mr. Rich- 
ards records, his Uncle made the journey, 
''over the mountains," to visit the eastern 
cities in order to lay in his summer or winter 
stock of goods. Traveling nvas usually per- 
formed in the stage coach, and the entire trip 



consumed about six weeks. Sometimes, how- 
ever, the merchants went on horseback, with 
a drove of cattle or hogs, animals which served 
not uncommonly as a circulating medium for 
the transaction of business. For this western 
traffic, the great hig'hway was the National Mili- 
tary Road, authorized by Congress in 1796, and 
intended to extend from Baltimore to St. Louis, 
passing through the states of Maryland, 
Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois. The great 
event in the village was the arrival of these 
goods in the spring or autumn. They were 
transported in immense Pennsylvania wagons, 
each drawn by six powerful horses. The wag- 
ons often went in caravans, those destined for 
towns or villages off the main highway drop- 
ping out of the line as they reached the cross- 
roads leading to their respective destinations. 
The collar of every horse was surmounted by a 
chime of bells, suspended in a bow and jingling 
as he walked. Sweet and cheering was the 
sound of the bells to the ears of the expectant 
village folk. "The new goods have come! 
There are the bells! The new goods have 
come!" ''Talk about your fashionable open- 
ings in modern times," writes Mr. Richards in 
high scorn, "where fastidious ladies in elabo- 
rate toilets visit some fashionable display of 
the latest styles, partly to indulge an idle cu- 
riosity, but partly also p-erhaps to display them- 


selves! We sat up all night. Such a hammer- 
ing and opening of boxes and piling up of goods 
on the counter! Cottons, dimities, calicos, 
broadcloths, silks and satins, ribbons and laces, 
hats and caps, boots and shoes, hardware, 
crockery, tea and coffee and spices, sugar and 
molasses, and last though by no means least in 
the estimation of the 'boys,' vines, brandies 
and liquors of every description." Those 
opening niglits saw some jolly times. Accord- 
ing to the ideas of the period, for such arduous 
labors the workers needed to be fortified and 
stimulated; so, as the weary watches of the 
night approached the small hours, casks were 
placed in position, faucets were inserted and 
the sparkling streams flowed freely. We shall 
see hereafter that this part of the proceedings 
possessed few, if any, chaiTns for the young 

This sketch of life amid the primitive condi- 
tions prevailing in the early settlements of 
Ohio would be incomplete without some refer- 
ence to the great flocks of wild pigeons which 
then came periodically to that region as a feed- 
ing ground. Their numbers were so great as 
sometimes to extend in a compact mass for 
many miles, shutting out the sunlight like a 
dense cloud, while the noise of their wings re- 
sembled thunder. Wlien they were observed to 
be about to settle in the woods in the neighbor- 


hood of some village or town all the inhabitants 
went out, armed with guns, pistols and clubs, 
and slaughtered them in thousands. So great 
was the noise and confusion that the reports of 
the fire-arms were often inaudible amid the 
general clamor, and yet the pigeons continued 
to take their position on the branches, which 
sometimes broke beneath their weight. 

Some years later, the annual migration of 
the pigeons ceased and nothing more was seen 
of them. The change occurred so suddenly as 
to preclude the hypothesis of a gradual exter- 
mination. The matter remained a mystery 
until a few years ago, when a traveler in South 
America gave accounts of immense flocks of 
the birds in South America, precisely resem- 
bling the wild pigeons of Ohio and the West. 
No doubt they discovered better feeding 
grounds and less dangerous conditions in the 
great Southern forests, and, as by a concerted 
arrangement, directed their annual x^ourse 

About two years of Mr. Eichards' youth had 
passed in the ordinary routine of business. 
"While the lad of eighteen was most conscien- 
tious in the discharge of his duties, mnning the 
high respect of all who came to know him, and 
the strong affection as well as confidence of 
his employer, he yet remained unaffected by 
any strong religious feeling or purpose in life. 


He had given up the habit of daily prayers, did 
not entirely eschew profane expressions, and 
while never an unbeliever or a scoffer, while 
indeed attending the Sunday services regularly 
in the old-fashioned Congregational meeting 
house and singing in the choir, he nevertheless 
took little interest in the more intense mani- 
festations of religious feeling, and did not 
hesitate to joke the young men who had taken 
part in the meetings, asking them whether they 
had yet got religion. But at this time, he was 
himself caught up on one of those waves of re- 
ligious excitement which swept periodically 
over the community. His conversion to God 
was sincere and profound, and however mis- 
taken in some of its features, it implanted in 
his soul an intense religious fervor and deter- 
mination of will which never failed or slackened 
tliroughout his future life and which ultimately 
brought him into the Catholic Church. The 
course and circumstances of this change are 
not only necessary to the full understanding of 
Mr. Eichards' character and life, but they are 
in themselves so interesting and valuable as a 
study of religious experience and of mental 
and moral processes of a kind now less frequent 
and popular than formerly, that we think it 
right to give them at length and for the most 
part in Mr. Richards' own words. 

The original Congregational Church of Gran- 


ville, to which the great majority of the settlers 
had belonged, had been split in the course of 
time by the dissensions inseparable from Prot- 
estantism into four diverse bodies, the Con- 
gregational, the First Presbyterian, the Second 
Presbyterian, and finally the Episcopalian. 
This last secession had taken place under the 
leadership of Dr. Richards, Henry 's father, un- 
der circumstances which will find a place later 
in our narrative. The three sections still ad- 
hering to Calvinism had consented to reunite 
under a form of compromise known as the Plan 
of Union, devised in the year 1801 by the Con- 
gregational General Association of Connecticut 
and the General Assembly of the Presbyterian 
Church in the United States, and sent forth to 
the missionaries and missionary churches of the 
West. By this agreement, the congregation, 
while retaining substantially its independence 
of all others both in matters of faith and dis- 
cipline, and in the appointment of its own min- 
isters, yet acquired a right of appeal to the 
Presbytery in certain cases, and of representa- 
tion therein. Of the Presbyterio-Congrega- 
tional church thus constituted in the little vil- 
lage, the Reverend Jacob Little was pastor at 
this time and for many years after. Small as 
was his field of labor, Mr. Little was a remark- 
able man. A native of New Hampshire, ed- 
ucated at the noted theological school at An- 


dover and in character and temperament as 
well as by education a Puritan of the Puritans, 
IDlain and nigged, with strongly marked and 
even somewhat eccentric characteristics, a 
shrewd observer of human nature, a good man- 
ager, possessed of enough order, method and 
executive ability to qualify him for the suc- 
cessful government of states. Parson Little 
devoted himself with the utmost diligence, 
fidelity and earnest zeal to the labors of his 
narrow ministry. The children were all care- 
fully taught in Sunday School until they were 
fourteen years of age, when they were trans- 
ferred to the Bible Class conducted by the Pas- 
tor himself. Those who were found suitable 
finally became Sunday School teachers in their 
turn. This Bible Class Avas an interesting 
thing. Its members occupied the front seats 
of the gallery which surrounded on three sides 
the interior of the old-fashioned meeting house. 
Sometimes the class was numerous enough to 
fill some rows of seats besides. The Pastor 
occupied the pulpit, which brought him nearly 
on a level with the galleries, so that he could 
survey the whole class, composed of young and 
old of both sexes, ranged in order around him. 
That pulpit, by the way, with its unusual 
height, stiff double stairway and cushioned 
book stand, deserves especial mention. Once, 
when preaching from it, Dr. Sparrow, a Pro- 


fessor of Kenyon College, a very tall and 
slender man, remarked that lie felt like a spar- 
row on the housetop. In his plain and even 
quaint and homely way, Mr, Little asked ques- 
tions and explained and commented on the pas- 
sages of Holy Writ under discussion. Nearly 
all the members of the class sang well — indeed 
the little village has been notable throughout 
its histoiy for the universal interest taken in 
music of all kinds by its inhabitants — and it 
was not a little impressive to see and hear sev- 
eral hundred persons, old and young, joining 
heartily in some favorite hymn and then en- 
gaging with pleased interest in the study of 
God's word. There can be little doubt that the 
old-fashioned Bible Class, as carried on before 
the advent of the Higher Criticism and of that 
mania for purely exterior and archaeological 
details which now permeates so much of Prot- 
estant teaching of the Scriptures, almost, it 
would seem, to the exclusion of the spiritual 
significance, was a great cause of sturdy and 
conservative religious faith among those sub- 
jected to its training. Then this faithful pas- 
tor had a series of methodically organized 
weekly gatherings, prayer meetings for men 
and women separately, conferences, inquiry 
meetings, and a weekly lecture by himself, pre- 
pared and written out with much care. *^I 
have often thought," writes Mr. Richards, 


**what an admirable Catholic priest he would 
have made." Eveiy two or three years, he had 
a Protestant mission — Protracted Meetings or 
Revivals, as they were and are still called in 
Presbyterian j^hraseology. These were times 
of harvest, at which were reaped all the fruits 
of the labors bestowed on the working of his 
system. The young people who had reached a 
suitable age and who had been in the meantime 
so carefully instructed were now stirred up in 
these meetings and were "brought out," "ob- 
tained hopes," and were converted and "be- 
came Christians." Two or three of the most 
earnest, zealous and popular preachers avail- 
able were invited to come and hold the exer- 
cises, for which in the meantime the jieople 
had been carefully prepared. As a large pro- 
portion of the congregation were farmers, a 
season of the year w^as chosen when they were 
most at leisure, and they were exhorted to make 
ready for the period of revival with as much 
care as they bestowed on the plowing and 
the sowing of their fields for the future crop. 
Sometimes the effect of these meetings was 
startling. The people gave themselves up to 
the work with entire abandon, and the whole 
community became affected with the most pro- 
found seriousness and solemnity. The preach- 
ing generally was very effective. The farmers 
came in from every direction in long proces- 


sions of wagons and carriages, the mercliant 
left his counter, the artisan his shop, business 
of all kinds was almost wholly suspended, and 
scarcely any matter was thought or talked of 
but religion, the concerns of the soul, the in- 
terests of eternity. Then particularly the in- 
quiry meetings were brought into play. Any- 
one who had begun to be seriously impressed 
with the importance of the affair of salvation, 
was set down as an inquirer, and if he could 
be induced to commit himself so far as to at- 
tend one of these meetings, his case was con- 
sidered pretty safe. "How like our Confes- 
sional," says Mr. Richards, ''yet how diifer- 
ent!" Like the Confessional in the purpose of 
relieving the overburdened heart and leading 
it to an assurance of forgiveness and to en- 
couragement and guidance for the future, yet 
very unlike in method of procedure, and of 
course destitute of the saving grace of the sac- 
rament. These spiritual conferences, as they 
might have been called, were generally held in 
a room of the Pastor's house, though sometimes 
more ample space was required, as the school- 
room or the "Session Room." Here the in- 
quirers came to lay open their hearts to the 
Pastor, or to the revival preacher, or sometimes 
even to a grave, pious and well-tried deacon of 
the church, and to receive such counsel and en- 
couragement as their cases might require. 


Generally the inquirers would "find peace" in 
the course of a few days. But there were al- 
most always some very difficult cases ; and these 
seemed generally to be the most thoughtful and 
least sentimental and excitable of the candi- 
dates. It took them a long time to "get reli- 
gion," and sometimes they sought and sought, 
but never found. At times such candidates 
were encouraged to go forward and do their 
duty, even though they had not gone through 
the stereotyped process and could not say that 
they had "experienced a hope." Sometimes 
they became discouraged, gave up the pursuit 
of what seemed always to elude their grasp, 
and went back to the "weak and beggarly ele- 
ments of the world." 

Henry's first impulse toward the process of 
conversion seems to have arisen from a boyish 
attachment, which illustrates the powerful and 
silent influence exerted by woman in matters 
of religion, an influence undoubtedly designed 
by Providence and felt at this day in the Catho- 
lic Church in America as one of the strongest 
elements of her stability and progress. 

He had fallen deeply in love with one of the 
village maidens, Martha Munson, with the sole 
result that when she appeared in the store, the 
young clerk became speechless with embarrass- 
ment and was almost incapable of waiting on 
her or any other customer. Martha died in her 


sixteenth year, but not before her example had 
exercised an unconscious influence over the 
future life of her boyish admirer. During one 
of the revivals, when Martha, who was a very 
good and pious girl, was singing with the choir 
one of the most solemn hymns, "Oh, there will 
be Mourning at the Judgment Seat of Christ," 
she was completely overcome and had to sit 
down. In a word, she was converted and in 
due time joined the church. Henry immedi- 
ately became serious and thought of following 
her example. Meantime his relatives were anx- 
iously praying for his conversion. His step- 
mother particularly, whom he loved tenderly, 
''agonized" for him and wrote him a letter, 
still preserved in his papers, in which she begs 
him to attend now to the concerns of his never- 
dying soul, and in which the most earnest love 
and anxiety shine through the envelope of 
somewhat conventional Calvinistic phrases. 
''My dear stepmother's brother, Uncle Thomas 
Bushnell," goes on Mr. Richards, "was a man 
of great good sense and judgment, and very 
active and energetic in these meetings. There 
is no mistake about it, some of those descend- 
ants of the old Puritans, who had been strictly 
brought up and were content to walk in the 
traditions of the fathers, were very sincere, 
earnest and devoted men. Uncle Thomas was 
one of the best. He met me on the street and 


gave me an earnest word of warning and ex- 
hortation. I became an inquirer. I believe I 
was already a general favorite with the leading 
members of the Church. I taught in the Sun- 
day School, I sang in the choir, I was on in- 
timate terms with Deacon Bancroft, Mr. Brace, 
a leading musician, and others. They all be- 
came deeply interested in me. I was em- 
phatically a seeker. I made up my mind to 
try to get religion. ... I remember distinctly 
going into the meeting house one evening when 
the revival services were going on, taking my 
seat in the corner of one of the square high- 
backed pews, and there making a positive effort 
to get religion on the spot. In answer to my 
anxious inquiries what I should do, I was told 
to 'give myself uji,' to 4rust in Christ,^ to 'sur- 
render myself without reserve to Him,' to 'be 
willing to give up all for Christ,' to 'throw my- 
self into His anns,' to 'yield myself without re- 
serve to His guidance and direction.' All this 
I was willing, nay, anxious to do. But in an- 
swer to the question, 'How shall I do it!' the 
answers were vague, indefinite and unsatisfac- 
tory. The most that they could say was 'Don't 
be discouraged, but go on seeking and it will 
come bye and bye in God's own good time.' 
My good father saw the condition of mind I 
was in, and breaking through his ordinary re- 
serve on such subjects, took me aside one Sun- 


day when I had returned home from meeting 
evidently in great distress of mind, and told 
me frankly that he feared I was making too 
much account of feeling, that for his part he 
did not believe in the necessity of these ex- 
traordinary experiences which apparently at- 
tended the conversion of some people. He 
thought it enough for me to go on and do my 
duty as a Christian. But the tyranny of the 
system in which I had been so carefully ed- 
ucated weakened my confidence in my father's 
opinion. I thought I must 'find peace,' I must 
'obtain a hope,' and so I went on from day to 
day and from week to week, seeking and striv- 
ing after something I could not find. I do not 
remember clearly how long this state of things 
continued ; it must have been some weeks, when 
one Sunday morning, I went up to the gallery 
of the church and sat down in a pew by the 
window which looked out upon the town and 
the surrounding hills. It was a lovely day and 
answered well to the beautiful though perhaps 
somewhat hackneyed description of George 
Herbert : 

'Sweet day, so calm, so cool, so bright, 
The bridal of tlie earth and sky!' 

A hymn was given out and the choir commenced 
to sing. All this had a soothing effect. A 
calm and peaceful feeling stole over me. The 


thought flashed upon my mind, perhaps this is 
what I have been seeking. The very thought 
gave me happiness. The burden was gone. 
After meeting I told my friends how I felt. 
They said the work was done, I was converted 
at last, and they rejoiced with me. I had ob- 
tained a hope, I had found peace, thenceforth 
I was on the Lord's side. Certainly God was 
good to me. I have always looked upon it as 
a most kind providence ; for I might have gone 
on in my blindness, seeking an ignis fatuus un- 
til I had become discouraged and had fallen into 
despair or become disgusted. Of course it is 
easy to see the defects of this miserable Calvin- 
istic system, which insists upon a stereotyped 
process of conversion for every one. I was 
converted the day I made up my mind to be a 
Christian and to do mv dutv. I commenced 
praying. I am sorry to say that for some time 
past I had become so careless that I had given 
up my prayers. Now I resumed that duty with 
others; and I remember wtII how I sought the 
garret of the old store during the day, and 
there, among boxes and barrels and the rubbish 
there stowed away, kneeling down and agoniz- 
ing in prayer, begging God to have mercy on 
me and forgive me and show me what He would 
have me to do. I was very serious, very much 
in earnest. 
"The experience of the Protestant sects 


proves that the great danger of these extraor- 
dinary conversions, even under the most 
favorable circumstances, lies in the fact that the 
subjects of them almost invariably err in mis- 
taking feeling for true religion. If a happy 
state of feeling is the evidence of true conver- 
sion, why should not a continuance of pleasur- 
able emotion be sought as evidence of continu- 
ing in a state of acceptance with God? And 
when that pleasurable emotion subsides, as it 
must subside at times even in the most happily 
constituted, since a state of constant exaltation 
is incompatible with our condition in this world, 
what is to prevent the mistaken devotee from 
falling into despondency and perhaps into de- 
spair? Such, in fact, is oftentimes the case- 
I saw enough while I was a Protestant to con- 
vince me that the safety and reputation of the 
so-called Evangelical sects lay in the fact that 
by a happy, practical inconsistency they felt 
obliged to receive a fair proportion of members 
who could not say that they had ever gone 
through the approved process of conversion, 
but to use a common and favorite expression of 
such persons, all they could say was that 'where- 
as once I was blind, now I think I see.' They 
were the sober, steady, thoughtful, well-bal- 
anced characters who acted from principle and 
conscience, and who never would have thought 
much about feeling, had it not constituted so 


important an element in the popular theory, 
and been so constantly harped upon by the over- 
zealous. It was this sober, conservative ele- 
ment, after all, that constituted the most trust- 
worthy church members and did most credit to 
the various societies, whereas the sticklers for 
extraordinary conversions, the enthusiasts who 
had been converted upon the high pressure 
principle, were generally erratic, unreliable, 
unstable as water. Alas ! how many thousands 
of souls have been brought in at the floodtime 
of revival, who have subsequently been left 
high and dry, like the riff-raff on the banks of a 
stream after a freshet. Hardened they were 
too, often times, like the nether millstone, with 
a strong disposition to revenge themselves upon 
all religion for the imposition which they felt 
had been practiced upon them. 'You need not 
talk to us about your religious experiences, 
your obtaining hopes, your finding peace, and 
all that. We have been through it all and have 
found out by experience that it is all humbug. 
It is a delusion, mere animal feeling and ex- 
citement.' However, the cases were by no 
means uncommon of persons who became 'Re- 
vival Christians,' just as there are some men 
among Catholics who become 'Mission Chris- 
tians,' and as these latter always make it a 
point to attend the mission and go to Confes- 
sion and Communion and pledge themselves to 


a new life, so tliese poor Protestants, whenever 
there was a religious excitement, would always 
make it a point to be on hand, apparently wide 
awake, with all the old earnestness, enquiring 
what they must do to be saved. Sometimes, no 
doubt, there was a motive for this far removed 
from anxiety for the salvation of the soul. 
This was more particularly the case among the 
Methodist brethren, who were perfectly au fait 
in this work of religious excitement, and to 
whom regular seasons of dissipation seemed 
to be as spiritually necessary as a good spree 
to the man of cups. Methodist meetings in 
time of revival, and often times without the 
machinery of the revival, were a curiosity, in 
fact, a study for the philosopher. I remember 
the impression made on my own mind at a 
meeting when I was a boy. There was an al- 
ternation of prayers and excited exhortations 
and thrilling music. I felt a strong unearthly 
feeling stealing over me, and if I had not had 
the presence of mind to retire from the room, 
I think very likely I should have become ex- 
cited, perhaps should have swooned and gone 
into hysterics, as many were in the habit of 
doing. . . . The scenes enacted by the enthu- 
siastic people were sometimes disgusting. How 
often have I seen boys and girls, nay, young 
men and women, gathered into a promiscuous 
crowd, and as the excitement increased, sway- 


ing from side to side, embracing one another, 
sighing, groaning, singing, langhing, shouting 
Glory! Glory! throwing themselves upon the 
floor, while the elder brethren and sisters stood 
around encouraging them and joining in the 
melee at the top of their voices. Beelzebub let 
loose was the only adequate description of the 
scene. Yet in the West the class of religionists 
who tolerated and encouraged these strange 
and unnatural eccentricities under the sacred 
name of religion constituted an overwhelming 
majority of the professedly religious com- 
munity. Latterly our Methodist brethren, here 
in the East at least, seem to have taken to com- 
bining religion with the world by making their 
camp meeting grounds fashionable places of 
summer resort. In some respects this is no 
doubt an improvement upon the old practice, 
though I fear the result will be disastrous to 
the cause of true Methodism, whose prestige 
has heretofore lain in the fact that it was sup- 
posed to be the advocate par excellence of 
spiritual religion, that which appeals to the 
feelings and affects the heart. 

"There are two grand tendencies in Protes- 
tantism, the one to a cold, worldly, philosoph- 
ical skepticism, the other to a vague, wild, 
unreasoning, blind fanaticism. "Worldly pros- 
perity, wealth, luxury, tend to the former. 
Fanaticism finds its victims more frequently 


among* the comparatively ignorant masses. 
From both these classes, however, God chooses 
His own and calls them to Himself. When they 
hear His voice and follow the Good Shepherd 
into the fold, the first great lesson they have 
to learn is that religion does not consist in 
feeling. Faith is a firm and undoubting belief 
of all truth that God has revealed, and it neces- 
sarily implies a life corresponding with the pre- 
cepts which it enjoins. It is the intention that 
God looks at. I have known this ever since I 
have been a Catholic, but it has been about the 
hardest lesson to learn practically that I ever 
undertook. It is so hard to get rid of the leaven 
of Calvinistic theology in which I was raised. 
"After my conversion, as heretofore related, 
I became entirely changed. I was now a man 
of prayer, a 'professing' Christian. The first 
important question that arose was to what 
church should I belong. Think of it ! To what 
church? as if there could be more than one true 
Christian church! My father had been orig- 
inally a Connecticut Congregationalist, accord- 
ing to the Saybrook platform of 1708, I be- 
lieve, but had become disgusted with the society 
in Granville on account of a scandal arising out 
of a quarrel of the congregation with their min- 
ister, Eev. Mr. Jinks." The history of this 
disagreement throws too much light upon re- 
ligious conditions and sentiments of the time 


to be passed over in silence. The Rev. Aliab 
Jinks, born of a Quaker family, followed suc- 
cessively the avocations of farmer, merchant, 
preacher, justice of the peace, and judge. As 
preacher, he is said to have been Methodist, 
Presbyterian, Congregational and Episcopal, 
finally returning to the jurisdiction of the Pres- 
bytery, but al)andoning the ministry for the 
judicial post to which he was elected by the 
people. In the autumn of 1823, his pastoral 
residence, the contract for the erection of which 
had been taken by Mr. Richards' uncle, Lucius 
D. Mower, was approaching completion. As 
the masons were anxious to begin work on an- 
other contract before the coming of severe 
frost, they proposed to lay on Sunday the few 
courses of brick still wanting. To this, as a 
violation of the Sabbath, there was decided op- 
position ; but Mr. Jinks, being appealed to, gave 
it as his opinion that as a matter of necessity, 
the labor was justifiable on that day. When 
the congregation gathered for service, they 
were horrified to see the work going busily on. 
Warm protests were immediately made, parties 
were formed, and although the offending min- 
ister was dismissed by an almost unanimous 
vote, the ensuing troubles rent the little church 
into four distinct parts. Dr. Richards, who 
was constitutionally a conservative, having no 
sympathy with radicalism in any form, was 


repelled by what seemed to him fanaticism and 
the spectacle of helpless disorder in these dis- 
sensions. He had already become acqnainted 
with the writings of some Church of England 
divines, and the result of his alienation from 
his Congregational brethren was that he sought 
association with the Episcopalian body. The 
influence of his upright and thoroughly unself- 
ish character and his many modest good deeds, 
served to gather about him a small number of 
the best members of the community, who looked 
upon him, in a measure, as a religious guide. 
Dr. Richards became a lay-reader. Episcopalian 
services were held regularly on Sunday even- 
ings in his own house, or at the homes of others, 
and the nucleus of a church organization was 
finally formed, with Dr. Richards as Senior 
Warden. For a time, the redoubtable Mr. 
Jinks consented to officiate for his Episcopalian 
brethren, and visiting clerg^^Ilen aided at inter- 
vals in fanning the nascent flame. 

''I generally went with Father," says Mr. 
Richards, continuing his narrative, "but on ac- 
count of my conversion in the old church, there 
being no immediate prospect of the creation of 
a regular Episcopal organization in the town, 
I concluded to join the established church. 
The scene at the time of the reception made a 
strong impression on my mind. We sat in the 
old high-backed pews, and Parson Little, sitting 


in the chancel, asked us questions, to which we 
gave answers acx2ording to our knowledge. Of 
course we were obliged to profess cordial ac- 
ceptance of the Westminster platform, election, 
reprobation and all. One of the questions of 
the astute Parson I shall never forget. It was, 
I think, a kind of test question with him. * Sup- 
pose it should be made known to you that it 
was the will of God that you should go to hell, 
do you think you would be willing to go?' Of 
course we were expected to answer that we 
would, else it would argue a want of confidence 
in the infinite wisdom and goodness of God, 
whose holy will must be supreme in all things. 
I believe I replied that I hoped I should. . . . 
"Having joined the churcli, I became very ac- 
tive in all the works and duties required of the 
most zealous. I led in prayer at the meetings, 
exhorted, taught Sunday School, belonged to 
the choir and Bible Class, took the N. Y. Ob- 
server and the Missionary Herald, and was 
generally reckoned one of the fervent, zealous 
young Christians. Some half dozen of the 
saints of the church, if I may so designate them, 
including Uncle Leonard Bushnoll, old Uncle 
Sereno Wright, and his son, Dudley, who had 
been converted from a very wild, reckless 
young scapegrace to a most devout, conscien- 
tious, earnest Christian, Deacon Gerard Ban- 
croft and perhaps one or two others whose 


names I do not now recall, invited me to join 
them in a Aveekly Sunday evening meeting to 
offer special prayers for the conversion of Mr. 
Elias Fassett, one of the most upright and re- 
spected citizens, who for some reason unknown 
to me had been selected as a fit and imj)ortant 
subject for prayer. How long and patiently 
and earnestly we prayed! And the answer 
never came ! He died as he had lived ; but long 
before that event, I had become a Catholic, and 
by his personal kindness to me, I found employ- 
ment in his bank in New York when I had been 
thro^vn out of business and did not know which 
way to turn. Who can say that this was not 
in some measure a recompense for sincere and 
good intentions in praying for him, brought 
about by God without his knowledge?" 

Not long after his formal admission to mem- 
bership in the church, Henry Richards' sin- 
cerity was put to a severe test in an incident 
which finally became the occasion of a complete 
change in his career, sending him back to col- 
lege in preparation for the ministry. This oc- 
curred in connection with the great movement 
for Temperance and Total Abstinence from in- 
toxicating drinks, which at that time began to 
take definite shape in the country. Through- 
out the eighteenth century and in earlier years 
of the nineteenth, the vice of drunkenness 
had certainly attained overwhelming pro- 


portions in English speaking and indeed all 
northern countries. All classes of people in- 
dulged freely and very often to excess, appar- 
ently with little sense of impropriety. The 
stories with which English literature of the 
period abounds indicate that conduct which 
would now meet no toleration in decent society 
was then looked upon without serious disap- 
proval. It has been asserted that for the first 
half century after the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, the United States were hardly equaled in 
the prevalence of intoxication even by the Brit- 
ish and Scandinavian kingdoms, and were un- 
approached by any other nation. Mr. Richards 
says simply that every])ody drank. It was said 
that clerg^^nen not infrequently took liquor into 
the pulpit, with which to refresh themselves at 
intervals from the exhausting labors of preach- 
ing. According to the History of Granville, the 
little township of seventeen hundred inhabit- 
ants, supported, at the beginning of the year 
1827, no less than six distilleries, and consumed 
an estimated amount of ten thousand gallons 
of whisky annually. The morals of the people 
in other respects were no doubt what might 
have been expected from these facts and from 
the general neglect of religion which had super- 
seded the first fervor of the colonists. There 
were in existence four separate and opposed 
congregations, each claiming a right to the 


meeting house, in addition to the Methodist and 
Baptists, the latter body meeting in the Masonic 
hall. Meantime, attendance at religious wor- 
ship was generally neglected, and the boys of 
the village had in sport broken a great propor- 
tion of the glass in the meeting house windows. 
If this were the state of things in the little vil- 
lage which from its inception had been such a 
stronghold of Puritan doctrine and practice, it 
may easily be imagined to what a level piety 
and morals had fallen in other regions of the 
West, nearer to the principal highways of 
travel, into which a promiscuous multitude of 
adventurers was daily pouring. Some few 
years previously to this date, it was commonly 
said in New England that west of the Ohio 
River the Sabbath had no existence. A com- 
mittee of Congregationalists, sent to report 
upon the religious conditions and needs of the 
West, gave a mournful account of the preva- 
lence of irreligion, drunkenness, blasphemy, 
lewdness and every disorder. It was at this 
time that the Rev. Mr. Little appeared at Gran- 
ville, and began the laborious career described 
above. One of his earliest steps was to take 
up with great zeal the Temperance Movement 
which had recently been inaugurated. His 
Total Abstinence Society, begun in 1828, was 
the first organized west of the Alleghany Moun- 
tains. When Henry Richards underwent his 


religious conversion, about the year 1832, the 
reform movement was in full swing. A public 
sentiment was created which for a time seemed 
to bear down all before it. Yet there were 
always some who held aloof. Not only the hard 
drinkers, who refused to be divorced from their 
vicious habits, but many persons of high char- 
acter deprecated what they thought to be the 
excesses of the movement. One of these was 
Plenry's father. Dr. Richards, and with him 
stood a number of leading citizens who looked 
up to him and over whom he exerted great in- 
fluence. Doctor Eichards would never sanction 
the principle of ''total abstinence from all that 
can intoxicate," as of universal and necessary 
application. He was willing to forego and con- 
demn the use of distilled liquors as a beverage. 
But wine he would not banish, and he cited the 
example of our Lord, who not only made use of 
the juice of the grape, but performed a miracle 
to remedy its deficiency at a wedding party. 
Henry however, as a zealous member of the 
Church, joined with the Pastor in the extrem- 
est view. ''Touch not, taste not, handle not!" 
was the motto upon which the changes were 
rung so constantly that the very thought of hav- 
ing anything to do with the "vile thing" became 
distasteful and even terrifying. Yet in his 
capacity as clerk in his uncle's store, he was 
expected to sell liquors of all kinds and in any 


quantity to all comers. Naturally his con- 
science took alarm. At tirst lie justified him- 
self on the ground that his employer was re- 
sponsible, not himself. But this was too weak 
a defense. He was finally decided by a course 
of reasoning- substantially as follows: "To sell 
butcher knives, for instance, is not in itself a 
sin. But if people should get into the habit of 
cutting and killing themselves with butcher 
knives, and if you had good reason to believe 
that to be the use to which they intended to put 
them when they purchased them of you, it would 
be wrong for you to sell them or to be in any 
way instrumental in furnishing them." The 
conviction took strong hold of his mind that he 
could not conscientiously have anything to do 
with the liquor department of the store. From 
that time, when he saw customers approaching 
who would presumably desire to be served with 
the obnoxious article, he would slip out of the 
way and leave the unwelcome office to others. 
Curious and amusing were the shifts to which 
he was sometimes obliged to resort. But this 
could not last forever, and the day finally came 
for an open declaration of principles. One 
winter evening, when his uncle, Lucius Mower, 
was sitting comfortably by the stove, and Henry 
was at the counter, a customer well known for 
his bibulous propensities entered and demanded 
a quart of whisky. ''Wait a moment," was 


the answer, ' ' and I will go and call Uncle Sher- 
lock (who was in the back room) to draw it 
for you. ' ' Lucins Mower, who was a stern man 
on occasion and a hearty hater of Presbyte- 
rianism, tunied a look of surprise on his nephew 
and thundered "Draw it yourself!" "I can- 
not," replied the youth. "I have made up my 
mind that it is wrong for me to have anything 
to do with it. " ' ' Ha ! ' ' rejoined his Uncle, with 
an oath, ''those Presbyterians have been tam- 
pering with you, I suppose! Well, Sir, you 
may as well understand that if you cannot do 
as I wish in this store, you and I must dissolve 
partnership!" ''Very well," was the firm re- 
ply; "if the handling of liquors is an indispen- 
sable part of my duty here, then I must leave ! ' ' 
After a time, the Mower brothers gave Henry 
to understand that they were anxious that he 
should not leave them and that he might remain 
on his own conditions. But Dr. Richards had 
always desired a liberal education for his sons, 
and the thought of a vocation to the Ministry 
had already taken root in Henry's mind. He 
therefore persisted in cutting loose from his 
uncle's employ, and after serious consultation 
with his father and friends, recommenced his 
classical studies. 

But before following him in this new period 
of his career, we must say a word as to the 
effect of his example on his uncle's mind. 


Shortly after the incident detailed above, Lucius 
Mower was advised by his physician to seek a 
warmer climate, in the hope of reestablishing* 
his health, seriously impaired by consumption. 
He accordingly made the journey to St. Augus- 
tine, Florida. Thoroughly worldly as he was, 
he had hitherto given his whole mind and atten- 
tion to business affairs. In these he was highly 
successful, and throughout life was looked upon 
as the leading business man of the little com- 
munity. Almost every considerable enterprise 
in the village was either initiated or brought to 
a successful completion by his energy and 
sagacity. The fortune that he acquired was so 
large for those days that the historian of Gran- 
ville records the settlement of his estate after 
his death as one of the disturbing elements 
bringing on a period of financial embarrassment 
in the village. But now, away from home and 
free from the distractions of commerce, with 
death staring him in the face, he was led to re- 
flect seriously on the weighty problems of ex- 
istence. Meeting at St. Augustine an excellent 
Episcopalian clergyman, also an invalid, he was 
helped by their long conversations on religious 
subjects to an entire change of conviction and 
of heart. From an unbeliever, he now pro- 
fessed faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and 
sincere repentance for his sins, and finally died 
in the hope of salvation through Christ, the Re- 


deemer. During his illness, Mr. Mower spoke 
frequently to those about him of a nephew who 
had lived with him and whom he esteemed very 
highly. He spoke of this youth as very con- 
scientious, and regretted deeply having at- 
tempted to influence him to act against his con- 
scientious convictions. He expressed a great 
desire to see him, to ask his forgiveness and to 
express to him his respect and affection. 
Doubtless the consistent obedience to the dic- 
tates of conscience on the part of the boy of 
eighteen had proved, in the hands of Provi- 
dence, one means of recalling the hardened man 
of the world to faith and repentance. Nor did 
the effect stop with him. Tlie conversion and 
Christian death of Lucius Mower produced a 
profound sensation upon his friends at home. 
His letters written after the change evinced 
great good sense and entire sincerity. In them 
he spoke particularly of the danger of a death- 
bed repentance, of which he seemed very sen- 
sible, and expressed the deepest sorrow for the 
sins of his former life and his entire reliance on 
the infinite mercy of God through Jesus Christ. 
Mr. Mower's companions and business associ- 
ates were generally godless men. Many of 
them had become disgusted with the quarrels 
alluded to above in connection with the Eev. 
Mr. Jinks, which had driven Dr. Richards from 
the Congregational church ; but instead of going 


higher as he did, they took refuge in irreligion. 
Though few of them eared enough for the sub- 
ject to give it careful study and reflection, or 
even to seek arguments in the writings of un- 
believers to justif}^ their course, yet practically 
they were godless and in some cases positive 
scotf ers. In this class of indifferentists and un- 
believers were the three younger brothers of 
Lucius Mower, who succeeded to his business 
and died successively, like him, of consumption. 
Without exception, they followed the example 
of their eldest brother and died in the Chris- 
tian faith. Lucius Mower's biography was 
written and published by Dr. Richards in 
pamphlet form. 




It was probably in the autumn of 1832, after 
the incident related in the last chapter, that 
Henry Richards, while continuing, for a time 
at least, to live at his uncle's house, became 
a student of the *' Granville Literary and 
Theological Institution." This ambitious title 
designated an academy founded in the preced- 
ing year by the Baptist denomination of Ohio. 
It has since passed through the successive 
stages of evolution indicated by the titles of 
"Granville College" and "Denison Univer- 
sity," under which last name it remains the 
chief pride of the little village. Henry's 
younger brother William had preceded him in 
the Academy, entering with the first class and 
beginning immediately, with about a dozen 
other lads, mostly intimate friends or relatives, 
his preparation for college. Here the boys en- 
joyed the advantage of excellent drilling, espe- 
cially in languages. The Reverend John Pratt, 
first President of the Institution, was a thor- 
ough and systematic teacher of the old school. 



When after two years of diligent study Henry 
was ready to make a new trial of Kenyon Col- 
lege, he received from Mr. Pratt a most flat- 
tering testimonial to his estimable character 
and manners, tine talents and praiseworthy in- 
dustry. He was guaranteed as well qualified 
for the standing of Freshman in the best col- 

In the autumn of 1834, being then about 
twenty years of age, Henry Richards again 
presented himself at the doors of Kenyon Col- 
lege and claimed admission to the Freshman 
class. It was characteristic of the young man 
that he did not present the very favorable tes- 
timonial received from President Pratt of the 
Granville Institution, which still remains among 
his papers, preferring instead to submit him- 
self to an examination. He was confident of 
passing with credit and was proud of his 
teachers, believing with reason that there were 
few professors more thorough in drilling their 
pupils in first principles, especially in the gram- 
mars of the languages, than those in the village 
academy under Mr. Pratt. His confidence was 
not disappointed, and he was informed after 
the examination that his perfect familiarity 
with the Latin and Greek grammars was con- 
sidered remarkable. 

On his return to Kenyon, Henry found great 
changes effected in the interval of four years.- 


The venerable Bishop Chase, founder of the 
college, had resigned not only the Presidency, 
but his see as well, and his place had been taken 
by Bishop Mcllvaine, a young clergyman of 
jfine address, attractive style of preaching and 
thoroughly evangelical views. New buildings 
had been erected, Commons had been abol- 
ished, the slovenly and disedifying maid serv- 
ants had been dismissed, and a general improve- 
ment was visible on all sides in the external 
appearance and internal arrangements and 
government of the college. 

The four years of study that followed were 
naturally not very eventful. Henry was fond 
of his books and studied scarcely more from 
his profound sense of duty and conscience, his 
characteristic trait throughout life, than from 
a genuine pleasure in intellectual work. He 
liked Latin better than Greek, and Mathematics 
better than either. Geometry, as exercising 
the reasoning powers, seems to have had an 
especial attraction for him. He complains of 
the limitations of his memory and tells how 
his room mate and most intimate friend, Mun- 
son of Connecticut, would come in from Greek 
recitation, lean up against the window casing, 
look over the lesson for the following day for 
some fifteen or twenty minutes, then close his 
book with a bang and throw it on the table, ex- 
claiming: "There, that lesson is got!" and 


forthwith run out of doors to take part in 
sports, while Richards w^as painfully thumbing 
his dictionary. Yet in spite of this difference, 
which was chiefly in memory, Henry took the 
honors of his class. Towards the end of his 
first year he writes to his father: ''We are 
getting along finely in our studies. Have read 
one book (180 odd chapters) in Herodotus and 
commenced Homer, which is assigned in the 
regular course to the Sophomore year. To the 
36th chapter of the 3d book of Livy and about 
half through the 8th book of Legendre. ... I 
assure you it keeps me very busy. We are 
required to write compo. every other week, be- 
sides Society duties." In conduct he was ex- 
emplary, as became a "professor of religion" 
and one who even contemplated the ministry, 
and his name was never connected with any 
students' scrape or boyish disorder. On the 
other hand, he was a leader in amusements of 
a higher kind, as well as in the serious religious 
life of the student body. His old love of music 
had not deserted him. During his stay in his 
uncle's employ, he had purchased a flute, and 
learned, without a teacher, to play upon it with 
taste and some degree of skill. Once while he 
was thus engaged, his uncle impatiently ex- 
claimed: "Put up that flute and don't let me 
hear you play it any more. I never knew a 
musician who was good for anything else!" 


"With his usual persistence in what he thought 
to be right and good, Henry declined to discon- 
tinue his musical efforts or to adopt his uncle's 
sweeping proposition as universally true, 
though he admits in his notes that when applied 
to musical geniuses, it is confirmed by his own 
lifelong observation. Such persons, he be- 
lieved, are endowed with so overpowering a 
development of the musical faculty that it 
throws the mind out of balance and unfits the 
man for the sober, every-day duties of life. 
Some time after his entrance to Kenvon, the 
college band was organized, and Henry proved 
a useful member, playing, at successive periods, 
upon the flute, the bassoon, the trombone and 
the bass viol, and occasionally trying the flag- 
eolet. Somewliat later, when his theological 
course had begun, the ecclesiastical students 
were assigned rooms in one of the professors' 
houses, pending the completion of the new 
seminary buihling, Bexley Hall. Here Mr. 
Odiorne, the ** Agent" of the institution, lived 
in bachelorliood, and to amuse himself had pur- 
chased a parlor organ. Mr. Kichards, popular 
and beloved of the professors as of all others, 
was permitted to practice on it at will. 

In all the religious societies, devotional meet- 
ings and active works of zeal carried on in the 
college, Henry took an earnest part from the 
very beginning. His remarks on one of these 


works are, if we mistake not, worth copying 
in full: "There was one work in which I 
was engaged during the whole time of my stay 
in Gambler that I look back upon with pleasure, 
as it really involved considerable self-denial, 
though I do not think I was conscious of this 
at the time. I went about it as a matter of 
course and followed it up in the most natural 
manner as the appropriate work of a Christian, 
whether he contemplated the ministry or not. I 
allude to the work of Sunday School instruc- 
tion in the neighborhood of the college. The 
whole countrv, for from six to ten miles about 
the college, was looked upon as missionary 
ground. In every direction, Sunday Schools 
were established . . . generally in the school 
districts where there were (public) school- 
houses, though sometimes they were held in 
private houses, and log-cabins at that. In fact, 
the school-houses were generally built of logs 
in primitive fashion, with thatched walls, shake 
roofs and puncheon floors. . . . One end of the 
cabin was appropriated to the fireplace. Ah, 
those fireplaces were something to remember! 
. . . Sometimes they had chimneys built of 
stones gathered from the surface and laid up 
with more or less regularity and artistic skill, 
and extending above the roof, sometimes with 
and sometimes without the adhesive aid of 
mortar. In some cases, I am compelled to say, 


these expansive fireplaces, so suggestive of 
broad philanthropy and open-hearted warroth of 
loving charity, were by the shiftlessness of the 
proprietors changed to symbols of the very op- 
posite of these virtues. The smoke was left, 
without a flue, to wander at its own sweet will 
wherever it listed, to find egress through the 
interstices of the walls and ceiling. In these 
cabins, thus variously constructed and equipped, 
we held our Sunday Schools and often our 
meetings also, at which the young aspirants to 
the ministry used to exercise their gifts to the 
great edification of the simple country folk. 
Sometimes, however, we succeeded in persuad- 
ing the regular clerg>^ of the college to come 
out with us and hold service and preach. It 
occurs to me as I write, with what pleasure Dr. 
Sparrow, in particular, was always received by 
these country congregations. He was a real 
Irishman, full of the true Irish eloquence, re- 
fined and cultivated. Though so great, as we 
all esteemed him, he was yet so humble and 
bashful that in addressing a country congrega- 
tion in a log cabin he would commence his ser- 
mon sitting, on the plea that he did not feel very 
well, which was always true, and then, as he 
warmed with his subject, he became emboldened 
and would rise from his seat and pour forth a 
stream of impressive, thrilling eloquence that 
carried his hearers away. ... I was a great 


favorite with liim and used to accompany liim 
frequently on his preaching expeditions. On 
one occasion, as Ave journeyed, the subject of 
the inconvenience of excessive modesty came 
up, and the importance of courage and self- 
reliance, — in a word, of 'push,' in order to 
succeed in life. 'Mr. Eichards,' said the Doc- 
tor, 'I have learned one very important lesson 
as the result of my experience in life. Gold 
is precious and silver is precious, but there is 
nothing like brass!' 

"Summer and winter we went regularly, 
faithfully and punctually to our work. Cold 
or hot, wet or dry, blow high, blow low, under 
the burning sun of summer, and the piercing 
blasts of winter, through snow and slush and 
sleet, we trudged our four, five and six miles, 
to impart instruction to these poor children 
and to preach to these, in many instances, be- 
nighted souls. There Avas some little jealousy 
among the people of our Prayer Books and our 
Episcopal notions and customs. But we gen- 
erally managed to avoid offense in these par- 
ticulars. In fact, the task was not a difficult 
one, as we were generally, as our High Church 
brethren used to say, only Presbyterians and 
other sectaries, plus the Prayer Book. 

''Sometimes, I confess, this work became 
tedious ; but it was really wonderful with what 
unflagging zeal, upon the whole, we persevered 


in it. In summer it was not so bad ; it mattered 
not how open and airy our log cabins were. 
But in winter it made a difference. Not always 
did the capacious fireplaces, extending from 
side to side of the cabin, glow with fervent 
heat . . . not always were the intrusive winds 
excluded. Insufficient thatch and a super- 
abundance of green wood, smoldering on the 
hearth, made our reception decidedly cool. 
But I think the warmth of our zeal generally 
made up for all deficiencies of this kind. We 
were sometimes rewarded by witnessing some 
fruits of our labors. The children were gen- 
erally a lioterogeueous agglomeration of all 
sorts, good, bad and indifferent; but there were 
some of extraordinary talent and precocious 
moral development. Sometimes I would be 
astonished by some child who had been given 
for lesson a few verses of the Bible going on 
and reciting the whole chapter. There were 
some children who would commit chapter after 
chapter with the greatest ease, giving evidence 
of the most wonderful memory. But I must 
not dwell too long upon this subject, though it 
calls up associations which will never cease 
to be invested with the charm of highest in- 
terest to me. Several of my companions be- 
came clergymen and missionaries, and two at 
least, Lyle and Graham, went to China. If 
they had been Catholics, I do not doubt they 


would have accomplished great good among 
the heathen. As it was, being connected with 
a mere human society calling itself the Church, 
but not having the grace of the Sacraments 
or tbe divine authority of Christ's Holy 
Church, they spent a few laborious but in- 
effectual years in that great and wonderful 
field for Christian effort and then returned, a 
complete failure, much as the celebrated Bishop 
Southgate returned from Constantinople, to 
which he had gone with a great flourish of 
trumpets and loud professions of the grand 
work of conversion and reconciliation he was 
to effect among the Greek and Oriental Chris- 
tians and the heretics, Turks and infidels. 
How weak and puny are the efforts of all the 
Protestant denominations to convert the 
heathen ! ' ' 

In a letter addressed to his ''Dear Brother 
and Sisters" at Utica, Ohio, dated Aug. 27th, 
1837, therefore toward the close of his Junior 
year, Henry writes as follows: 

"This has been a day of uncommon interest 
with us. We have had a Sunday School jubi- 
lee. The several schools under the care of our 
S. S. Association, thirteen in number, assembled 
to hear a sermon from the Bishop. The result 
altogether surpassed our most sanguine expec- 
tations. There was a very large congregation, 


parents and scholars both, and we trust an im- 
pression was made which will not soon be lost, 
— that an impulse was given to the cause of S. 
Schools in our vicinity not easily estimated. 
The Bishop was delighted — talks of the twelve 
tribes coming up to the temple to worship. 
There are about eight hundred scholars in our 
school, and tlie prejudice which has formerly 
been manifested — and frequently in a most vio- 
lent degree — is fast vanishing away, if not al- 
most entirely disappeared. Our congregation 
was a heterogeneous collection of all denomi- 
nations. I shall expect to see you at Com- 
mencement. Good night. 

"Your affectionate, 


At the close of his college course, in Septem- 
ber, 1838, Henry received the degree of Bache- 
lor of Arts, with the liighest standing in a class 
of only five. His graduation speech was on 
the somewhat arid subject of Metaphysics. He 
advocated with great ardor the claims of this 
science of all sciences to study and considera- 
tion. But considering how very jejune must 
have been his acquaintance with any branch of 
philosophy, a subject most imperfectly treated 
in non-Catholic American colleges even at the 
present day, it may be doubted whether his en- 
thusiasm was to any extent founded on personal 


knowledge. Another incident of a more inter- 
esting- kind marked this commencement clay. 
This was the first meeting with his future wife, 
Cj'nthia Cowles. The commencement w^as al- 
ways a time of excitement and bustle on the 
Hill of Gambler. The elite of Western society 
from the surrounding towns, Mt. Vernon, 
Worthiugton, and even as far as Columbus, 
graced the scene with their presence and 
crowded the chapel, while numberless carriages 
and conveyances of all kinds thronged the ap- 
proaches. Among these came Miss Cynthia 
from her home at Worthiugton, escorted by her 
brother Havens Cowles and her cousin Douglas 
Case who intended to take home their cousin, 
Fitch James Matthews, a student. The young 
couple were introduced; and although Mr. 
Eichards declares that he did not fall in love 
at first sight, having now gotten pretty well 
beyond that stage and having acquired some 
discretion, still an impression was made on 
his somewhat susceptible heart. 

William Eichards, though five years younger 
than his brother, was graduated in the same 
class. He remained another year at college, 
devoting himself to the study of philosophy, 
history and political science, under the direc- 
tion principally of Dr. Sparrow, and took the 
degree of Master of Arts in course before go- 
ing East to study law at Yale University. 


Henry determined to spend the year at home, 
with the purpose of taking some rest and rec- 
reation and of traveling to some extent out 
of the very i)rovincial atmosphere and some- 
what raw civilization of a new western state 
before commencing his theological studies. 
In September of this year, he began a trip to 
the East, making the journey over the moun- 
tains by stage as usual, but at Ellicott City, 
Md., meeting the Baltimore and Ohio railway, 
the first built in the United States and just 
completed as far as that point. In after life, 
Mr. Richards often spoke of the trepidation, 
almost amounting to terror, with which the 
travelers looked on the puffing engine and took 
their seats reluctantly in the cars. Both 
engine and train were of course trifling affairs, 
almost toys, when compared witli our modern 
railway equipment. At several places in the 
road, where the grades were steep, the engine 
was replaced by mules. In the course of this 
journey, Henry visited all the principal cities, 
Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, 
&c., and paid a visit to his father's relatives at 
New London. 

Returning to Granville with a mind presum- 
ably widened by contact with the great world, 
Henry Richards accepted an engagement to 
teach vocal music during the winter to the 
young ladies of the Seminary, which had just 


passed under control of the Episcopal Clmrcli 
and had been placed in cliarge of a Mr. Mans- 
field French. In his notes, Mr. Richards mar- 
vels at his own temerity. He bids us imagine 
a young gentleman, modest even to bashful- 
ness, and just out of college, standing before 
a roomful of young ladies, the mark for a 
shower of darts from glancing eyes, while with 
chalk, blackboard and voice, he makes desper- 
ate efforts to conduct them through the mys- 
teries of the gamut. One pair of these bright 
eyes had begun, he confesses, to shed upon his 
heart a mild, sweet radiance as attractive as it 
was dangerous to his peace of mind. They be- 
longed to the same young lady whom he had met 
at commencement and who had come to the new 
Episcopal Seminary at Granville to continue 
her education. But Henry, who had learned 
prudence, was not going to allow his heart to 
carry him away rashly. With businesslike 
deliberation, he made diligent inquiries about 
the young lady from those who knew her well 
at home. They testified that she had every 
good and estimable quality, that she was a sec- 
ond mother to her younger brothers and sis- 
ters, who in the frequent illnesses of their 
mother looked to Cynthia as the eldest daughter 
for guidance and control, that she was good, 
kind, amiable, sensible, and in every way cal- 
culated to make an exemplary clergyman's 


wife. His chief confidant and counselor seems 
to have been his younger sister, Belle, who 
happened to be CjTithia 's most intimate friend 
at school. She confirmed fully all that had 
been said in commendation of her companion, 
and cheerily bade her brother ''Go ahead!" 
And go ahead he did without delay, though he 
declares that to be a rough way of expressing 
the modest, deliberate manner in which he car- 
ried on the siege. When the girls of the Sem- 
inary attended a party, he invariably saw her 
home. When they were taken for a sleigh-ride 
or a drive on some holidav, he was at her side. 
He put up a swing in the grove on the hill, and 
took no interest in swinging anyone but his 
sister or her friend. School closed in the 
spring and Cynthia departed for her home at 
Worthington, only to receive very shortly a 
letter which took her by surprise. It contained 
a declaration of love and a proposition of mar- 
riage when circumstances should permit. That 
letter was a remarkable specimen of composi- 
tion, costing its writer much thought and labor, 
but it brought only a refusal. The girl's par- 
ents were not willing. The mother particularly 
was not satisfied to see her favorite daughter 
exposed to the inconveniences, discomforts 
and comparative poverty to which the wife of 
a young and struggling clergyman would prob- 
ably be subject. But the young lover, though 


disappointed, was not discouraged. He saw 
plainly, reading between the lines of the re- 
fusal, that the daughter's affections were his, 
while through obedience and submissiveness 
she wrote according to the decision of her 
more worldly-minded parents. He refused 
to give up, and was finally rewarded by a 
reversal of the unfavorable decision. From 
that time he corresponded regularly with Miss 
Cowles, and awaited only the completion of his 
studies to make her his wife. 



Before attempting to trace the path on which 
his unflinching loyalty to truth and reason led 
our young seminarian until it ultimately 
brought him home to the great Dwelling Place 
of all religious truth, we must go back to give 
some idea of the state of religious belief in his 
day and the intellectual forces that were at 
work around him. 

There exists a popular impression that the 
great movement of return to the Catholic 
Church which has been so marked a feature of 
the nineteenth century began Avitli the Trac- 
tarians in England and owed to them almost 
exclusively its origin and development, not only 
in England, but in all English-speaking coun- 
tries, and even throughout the world. But a 
very slight degree of reading and study, espe- 
cially now that the first impetus of the move- 
ment has spent itself, will suffice to show that 
this view is quite erroneous. The Oxford Move- 
ment is now seen to have been only an incident, 
though a most important incident, in a far more 
widespread drama; it was only one current, 



though a very powerful current, in the great 
stream which was slowly but surely setting 
back toward the sea from which it had come. 
The reaction was evident in several countries 
of Europe, particularly Germany and France, 
even before the French Revolution had fairly 
exhausted itself. The first movers in the re- 
action were not always Catholics, nor scarcely 
even Christians. In Germany, much may be 
attributed to Herder and Goethe, and a little 
later, Schiller. They were poets, lovers of 
beauty. True religion is always poetical; for 
poetry is the language of emotion and of the 
ideal clothed in concrete forms. In Protestant- 
ism these men found neither poetry nor beauty ; 
they discovered them in the Catholic Church. 
They expressed their admiration freely, and 
made use in their works of the noble and ele- 
vated ideas thus gained, and so contributed to 
the spread of Catholic sentiments while them- 
selves remaining Eationalists or Pantheists. 
The study of mediaeval art — poetry, sculpture 
and painting, but above all, of the Gothic archi- 
tecture, with the monuments of which Germany 
is so abundantly supplied — led minds insensi- 
bly to the great Church which had been the in- 
spiration and the guardian of these master- 
pieces. Added to these elements, was a more 
impartial study of the history of the middle 
ages. The distinguished historian, Leopold 


Friedrich, Count Stolberg, came into the 
Church in 1800 and by his History of the Reli- 
gion of Jesus Christ was mainly instrumental in 
the conversion of Prince Adolphus of Mecklen- 
berg. In 1805 came the conversion of Fried- 
rich von Schlegel and his gifted wife. Schle- 
gel's influence was veiy great, and he has been 
called the Messiah of the German Eomantic 
School of literature. His works on the History 
of Literature and the Philosophy of History 
are still of great value. Overbeck the artist, 
with a number of friends, came in about 1814 
and founded a new Cliristian school of painting. 
The two brothers Veit (painters) were con- 
verted Jews. Klinkowstrone, Wilhelm and Ru- 
dolf Schadow (the latter a sculptor), Vogelstein, 
Schnorr, Platner, and Miiller, were members of 
this remarkable aggregation. Joseph Gorres 
and Clemens Brentano, though born and bap- 
tized Catholics, were practically converts to 
the Faith, as was also the Princess Gallit- 
zin, a German lady married in Russia. The 
poet Werner, the poetess Luise Hensel, many 
members of sovereign houses and of the nobil- 
ity and aristocracy, jurists and historians, 
swelled the ranks and even ministers of reli- 
gion were not wanting. In the Protestant 
cantons of Switzerland, the conversion in 1820 
of Karl Ludwig von Haller, a Councilor of 
State of Berne, and a political writer of Euro- 


pean fame, followed by the publication of his 
letter to his family giving an account of his 
step, caused a great sensation, though it did 
not give rise to any definite local movement of 
return. Mohler's Symholik, one of the great- 
est works of the nineteenth century, though 
rather a fruit than a cause of the movement, 
yet contributed most powerfully after its ap- 
pearance to sustaining and spreading the truth. 
The conversion of the historians Hurter, 
Gfrorer, Onno Klopp and others, was also one 
of the later fruits of the reaction. 

In France, the Faith had never been extin- 
guished. It only remained quiescent under the 
ashes heaped upon it by the Revolution and the 
Terror. As soon as partial freedom was re- 
stored under Napoleon, it flamed forth again. 
Churches were opened, seminaries reestab- 
lished, religious congregations founded, and — ■ 
best sign of all of the presence of an ardent 
faith — colleges for the training of priests for 
foreign missions were put in operation. Al- 
though compelled to struggle with revolutionary 
hate on one side and bureaucratic oppression, 
scarcely less atheistic and fatal, on the other, 
the Church showed wonderful vitality, and the 
result was a powerful reaction in favor of re- 
ligion. To give anything like a list of* the 
converts would be impossible. Rendered at- 
tractive to the i^opular mind by the genius of 


Chateaubriand (himself a returned wanderer 
from the fold) in the graceful and fervid imag- 
ery of his Geiiiiis of Christianiti/, The Martyrs, 
and Atala, the movement was also commended 
to the philosophic and doctrinaire spirit of the 
times by the scholarly discussions of Joseph de 
Maistre and Bonald, while it was carried into 
the field of sociology' and politics by Lamennais, 
Montalembert, Lacordaire, and their brilliant 
associates in the founding and conducting of 
L'Avenir. Frederick Ozanam, in his eloquent 
lectures at the Sorbonne, replete with Catholic 
views of history, philosophy and art, and still 
more in his charitable Society of St. Vincent de 
Paul, which soon spread throughout the world,, 
exercised an influence which hitherto perhaps 
has not been sufficiently appreciated. The re- 
establishment of the Jesuits and the return of 
other religious orders, with their enormous 
labors in missions and Catholic education, were 
of course a most powerful factor. 

In England, the great reaction was less felt. 
Still, the way was prepared. Thoreau-Dangin, 
in his recent work, La Renaissance Catholique 
en Angleterre au XIX Siecle, describes the vari- 
ous phases of religious thought in England 
after Waterloo. ''Some," he says, "felt the 
need of a return to Christianity; a certain num- 
ber of writers seconded this reaction or felt its 
influence and accomplished in England a task 


analogous to that of Chateaubriand in France, 
and Gorres in Germany. Such under different 
aspects were Walter Scott, Coleridge, Words- 
worth, Southey. " 

The American Colonies, settled as they were 
so largely by Presbyterians, Independents, and 
representatives of all the Dissenting bodies that 
had waged such violent wars in England, were 
slow to be aifected by the new tendency. Up 
to the time of the Revolutionary War, a spirit 
of fierce bigotry and hatred of the Church seems 
to have been almost universal. Even in Mary- 
land, originally settled by Catholics imder royal 
protection and designed as a refuge for Chris- 
tians of every denomination, the Mother Church 
had been reduced to a state of permanent legal 
persecution. No sooner, in fact, had the Puri- 
tans of New England accepted the brotherly in- 
vitation of the Lord Proprietor to settle in the 
regions subject to his government, under the 
segis of civil and religious liberty, than they 
seized the first opportunity to arrogate to them- 
selves supreme power and to place their late 
generous hosts under the ban of oppression. 
Priests were unable to remain in the colony, 
and the missionaries of the Society of Jesus 
were compelled to take refuge on the further 
side of the Potomac, in Virginia, where they 
remained in close hiding, making only stealthy 


visits to their flocks to sustain them in the 
faith. At a later date, after the Restoration 
in England, the Anglican authorities in the 
colony showed themselves almost as full of 
hatred as the Puritans, and exercised continual 
acts of repression and persecution. Shortly 
prior to the American Revolution, the letters of 
the elder Charles Carroll to his son, the Signer 
of the Declaration of Independence, are full of 
complaints of the double taxation and other 
disabilities to which Catholics were subject in 
their own home. This injustice, with the abso- 
lute prohibition of separate public churches or 
chapels for Catholics, persisted to the end of 
the Colonial era. 

In the other colonies, with the exception of 
Pennsylvania, the state of popular feeling was 
in general no better. Prejudice against the 
Church was so bitter that it extended to every- 
thing remotely connected with her doctrines or 
ceremonial. So general, for instance, was the 
Puritan hatred of Prelacy, that even the Angli- 
cans were fain to yield to it. Dr. Tiffany, in 
his History of the Protestant Eplscoiml 
Church in the United States, says (p. 274) : 
''The intense dread of Puritans and Presby- 
terians (in regard to the introduction of Bishops 
in the Anglican Church in America) we learn 
from their own statements. In 1768, the Massa- 
chusetts House of Representatives, addressing 


its London agent, wrote by tlie hand of Samuel 
Adams as follows: 'The establishment of a 
Protestant episcopate in America is very zeal- 
ously contended for. . . . We hope in God such 
an establishment may never take place in Amer- 
ica ; we desire you would strenuously oppose it. 
The revenue raised in America, for aught wo 
can tell, may be as constitutionally applied to- 
ward the sujDport of prelacy as of soldiers or 
pensioners.' " 

It was only in 1784, after the revolution, that 
the first Anglican Bishop, Dr. Samuel Seabury 
of Connecticut, was consecrated for the United 
States, and this irregularly by the nonjuring 
Bishops of Scotland. "White and Provoost, 
more regailarly presented, received their orders 
from the English church in 1787. In spite of 
the two centuries of Anglican domination in 
Virginia, the first Bishop of that diocese, Dr. 
Madison, received his office simultaneously with 
the Catholic Bishop, John Carroll, in 1790, both 
going to England for consecration and return- 
ing in the same ship. 

The resolution of Congress in 1774, protesting 
against the Quebec Act (or the continuance by 
the British government of the existing condition 
of the Catholic Church in French Canada) and 
its two addresses on the subject, one to the In- 
habitants of the Colonies and the other to The 


People of Great Britain, undoubtedly had a 
powerful effect in alienating the inhabitants of 
that colony from the cause of the American 
Eevolution. But that war effected a great 
change. The French nation, then at least nom- 
inally Catholic, gave to the revolted colonies 
most effective aid, without which it is douljtful 
whether thev would ever have achieved their in- 
dependence. Catholic officers of French origin 
volunteered for service in the Continental 
Army, like the lamented and skillful artillery 
Captain, Dohickey Arundel, who was killed in 
his first battle. A considerable number of Irish 
Catholics were also enrolled and were found, 
as always and everj^where, to be heroic fighters. 
This phase of Revolutionary histoiy has been 
carefully chronicled by Martin J. Griffin, in his 
three volumes on Catholics and the American 
Revolution. Among the most prominent of 
these heroes was Stephen Moylan, of Philadel- 
phia, brother of the Catholic Bishop of Cork, 
who became Commissary General of the Ameri- 
can forces and was an intimate friend of Wash- 

The old Catholic families of Maryland were 
all, it would seem, heartily in accord with the 
other colonists in their struggle for freedom. 
One of the most conspicuous of their members, 
Charles Carroll of Carrollton, signed the Dec- 
laration of Independence, thereby risking, as 


was said, the most ample estates owned by 
any one proprietor in the colony. His relative, 
John Carroll, a member of the Society of Jesus 
until its suppression and destined in after years 
to be the first Catholic Bishop in the United 
States, accompanied Charles Carroll and the 
other two Commissioners, Samuel Chase and 
Benjamin Franklin, to Canada, for the purpose 
of doing away with the unfavorable effect of the 
Congressional protests of 1774 and inducing the 
Canadian people to join with the revolted 

In the Northwest, a Catholic priest of French 
descent, the Rev. Peter Gibault, by his prompt 
and bold action and commanding personal in- 
fluence, won to the American cause, almost sin- 
gle handed, an extensive and important terri- 
tory, populated in great part by Catholics. 

All these facts dictated to the new Eepublic, 
both from policy and gratitude, a laying aside 
of the old prejudice and hatred. Washington's 
reproof to his soldiers, near Boston in 1775, for- 
bidding the usual insulting celebration of Guy 
Fawkes ' day, and his gracious reply to the Ad- 
dress of his Roman Catholic fellow citizens in 
1790, were the keynote of the new policy of fair- 
ness and friendliness. At the close of the war, 
the few and scattered professors of the Catholic 
religion found their situation vastly improved. 
On the adoption of the constitution, they were 


guaranteed equal rights, so far as concerned the 
central government, though long and persistent 
efforts, not ended until our own day, were 
needed in order to remove the disabilities im- 
posed by individual States. 

But the process of enlightenment and soften- 
ing was necessarily very slow. Here and there 
throughout the States, a few noble and faithful 
souls were led by some special grace of God to 
break througli tlie crust of ignorance and inborn 
prejudice and to emerge into the full light of 
Faith and Truth. Lionel Brittain, a church 
warden of Philadelphia, was received into the 
Church, with his son and several other persons, 
as early as 1707. The Eev. John Thayer, a 
minister of Boston, was converted and received 
into the Church in Rome in the year 1783. Be- 
coming a priest, he served efficiently in his 
native city and elsewhere. Early in the eight- 
eenth century, Thomas Willcox, a manufac- 
turer of paper at Ivy Mills, Pennsylvania, came 
into the Church. His descendants, and espe- 
cially his son, Mark Willcox, and the latter 's 
saintly convert wife, exercised a powerful and 
almost patriarchal influence in building up 
Catholicity in Philadelphia and the surrounding 
region. Judge James Twyman of Kentucky 
yielded to the zeal of Father Badin about the 
year 1800. Mrs. Elizabeth A. Seton, who made 
her submission in 1805, became the Foundress 


of tlie Sisters of Charity in the United States. 
The famous Barber family of New Hampshire, 
which included two ministers, father and son, 
made their way to the Truth in 1816 and 1818, in 
spite of the complete isolation from every Cath- 
olic influence in which they lived. This family 
gave to the Church prelates, priests and nuns, 
including the Et. Eev. John Tyler, first Bishop 
of Hartford, and Samuel Barber, S. J., Rector 
of Georgetown College, both of whom were 
grandsons of Daniel Barber. In 1807, the Rev. 
John Richards of Alexandria, Virginia, prob- 
ably a distant relative of the subject of this 
memoir, made a journey to Canada, with the 
purpose, as tradition asserts, of attempting to 
convert to Protestantism the Sulpitian Fathers 
of Montreal. But matters fell out contrariwise 
to his intention. He was converted by them and 
received into the Church on October 31st of the 
same year. Entering the Sulpitian community, 
he was ordained priest in 1813 and was ap- 
pointed Econome (bursar) of the establishment. 
In 1817, he gathered together the few and scat- 
tered Irish Catholics in Montreal and estab- 
lished the first English-speaking congregation 
in that city. His death occurred July 23d, 1847, 
and was due to typhus fever contracted in at- 
tending the sick among the famine-stricken Irish 
emigrants. He was the fourth victim among 
the Sulpitians engaged in the same heroic work 


of charity. It may be stated here that accord- 
ing to Shea, another priest of the same family 
name, the Very Rev. B. Richards, presumably 
a convert, was one of the two Vicars General 
of New Orleans in 1832, and died of cholera in 
the same year. Major Noble, of Brownsville, 
Pa., with his wife and family (1807), Dr. Henry 
Clarke Bowen Greene, of Saco, Me. (1824), and 
the Rev. Calvin White, of Derby, Conn, (about 
1828), are among the most noted of these early 
converts. Col. Dodge, of Pompey, N. Y., was 
received, together with his wife, in 1836, and 
by the year 1839 there were no less than nine- 
teen converts at that point brought in by his 
influence and example. James Frederick 
Wood, a banker, destined to be the Catholic 
Archbishop of Philadelphia, made his submis- 
sion in 1836. The Rev. Maximiliam Oertel, a 
Lutheran Minister sent to this country to in- 
vestigate the sjjiritual condition of the German 
inunigrants, found here the gift of Catholic 
Faith and was received March 15th, 1840, in 
St. Marv's Church, New York Citv. These 
conversions, and many more like them, were 
mostly isolated and could not be said to consti- 
tute any movement. 

But meantime many forces were beginning 
to operate to bring to the American people in 
general a clearer knowledge of that Mother 
Church whom they so blindly hated. The 


exiled French priests who came to our shores 
contributed largely by their exalted virtues, 
learning and refinement of manners to modify 
the views of those who had been brought up to 
believe all priests monsters. Matignon, Chev- 
erus, Brute, Flaget, Dubois, the Sulpitians of 
Baltimore, and many others won not only the 
devoted affection of their Catholic flocks, but 
the profound respect and esteem of reputable 
Protestants. ImmigTation, especially from 
Catholic Ireland, increased rapidly; and the 
victims of English injustice, poor in all else, 
brought with them a profound knowledge of 
their faith and a devoted zeal for its defense 
and propagation. Moreover, the general 
European movement toward Catholic ideas 
could not be without its effect and its counter- 
part in America. As yet this was scarcely 
more than a groping or a blind yearning for 
something higher and more in conformity with 
human feelings than the stern and narrow 
severity of Calvinistic Protestantism. As the 
furious fanaticism of their fathers began to be 
forgotten, sectaries were pleased with the 
fuller and statelier service of the Episcopalian 
Prayer Book, and accepted readily the frag- 
ments of Catholic Truth preserved in the An- 
glican system. Even to the present day, this 
influx from Presbyterianism and other Evan- 
gelical sects to the Episcopalian body has not 


ceased but seems to be steadily increasing; and 
it doubtless constitutes one step in the general 
progress toward Catholicity. Instances were 
Mr. Eichards' own father and his associates in 
Granville, Bishop Chase, and hosts of others. 
Meantime, the Episcopalians themselves were 
obe^dng the same impulse and were almost in- 
sensibly moving upward. No doubt in many 
cases this tendency was more a matter of senti- 
ment than of positive doctrine. The great 
Catholic system corresponds closely in its de- 
votional practices to the needs of the human 
heart and fulfills the spiritual demands of man's 
whole nature. Hence, when the centrifugal 
force of prejudice is removed, religious-minded 
souls tend naturally, by a sort of spiritual 
gravitation, to this center of Truth and Holi- 
ness. It is a remarkal)le fact that this tendency 
toward the resumption of Catholic ideas and 
feelings is now very general among those most 
widely separated from the Church in doctrine. 
Lights and flowers and stained glass windows 
are found in Presbyterian and Congregational 
churches, while Unitarians are among the read- 
iest to appreciate the aesthetic and to some ex- 
tent even the devotional side of Catholicity. 
Presbyterians, as the writer knows from ob- 
servation, will attend the service of the Way 
of the Cross and find nothing but what is touch- 
ing and attractive in that which their ancestors 


would have pursued Avitli savage scorn. 
Prayers for the dead appeal to their tenderest 
feelings, and even the Invocation of the Saints 
and the honor rendered to the Blessed Aargin 
are losing their terrors, thanks in part no 
donht to the revival of popular interest in Art, 
which was frozen and stifled by the Reforma- 

But almost all of this amelioration was as 
yet in the future. Indeed even at the present 
day this process is by no means complete, and 
Catholics are still often disheartened, in public 
and social life, by the load of unreasoning and 
bitter dislike which they are compelled to bear. 
Particularly is this the case in smaller towns 
and villages, where Protestantism still main- 
tains something of its old positiveness and 
vigor. Decadent religions are at all times 
found to retain most persistently their vigor and 
characteristics in localities far from the great 
centers of life and discussion, just as the pagani, 
in early Christian centuries, were the last 
survivors, in the pagi or villages, of the 
worshipers of these heathen gods who had 
been driven with laughter and scorn from the 
cities. That this principle is verified in the 
present history of Protestantism in the United 
States must be plain to anyone who has had 
experience of both city and country life. 

Naturally therefore the atmosphere of the 


country districts of Ohio in the early days was 
not favorable to the acquirement of truth con- 
cerning the Church. Ignorance more dense or 
prejudice more fanatical it would probably be 
difficult to find. As in most agricultural dis- 
tricts, the influx of Catholic immigrants and 
the consequent spread of Catholic ideas were 
comparatively slow. When the saintly Domin- 
ican Father, Edward Fenwick, afterward 
Bishop of Cincinnati, established the missions 
of his order in Ohio and built the first perma- 
nent Catholic church in that State in 1818, the 
number of Catholics was so insignificant as to 
be almost unnoticeable. The first church in 
Columbus was not erected until 1838, the very 
year of Mr. Eichards' graduation from Ken- 
yon, and even then was not supplied with a 
resident i^astor. Mass was said occasionally 
by a priest who came from a distance, probably 
from Chillicothe. But the congregation was 
too few in number, too poor and despised, to 
attract any great attention; and the Protestant 
public continued to be weighed down by the 
inherited ignorance and prejudice in regard to 
the Church, which later broke out in the famous 
"Know Nothing" movement. 

About the year 1826, began in England that 
remarkable ferment of minds and consciences, 
afterward known as the Tractarian Movement. 


It commenced no one knew how and came no 
one knew whence. It was as though the Crea- 
tive Spirit again brooded over the face of the 
deep, bringing order and beauty into what was 
formless and void, and quickening into germi- 
nation the seeds of life there latent. As an in- 
tellectual and spiritual agitation, it cannot be 
said to have originated with those who became 
its leading champions, Hurrell Froude, Keble, 
Ward, Newman and Pusey, nor was it confined 
to their immediate associates and followers. 
Dean Church, in his Oxford Movement, has the 
following remarks on the general movement 
for reform of the Church of England at this 
period: ''Doubtless many thought and felt 
like them about the perils which beset the 
Church and religion. . . . Others besides Keble 
and Froude and Newman were seriously con- 
sidering what could best be done to arrest the 
current which was running strong against the 
Church, and discussing schemes of resistance 
and defense. Others were stirring up them-, 
selves and their brethren to meet new emer- 
gencies, to respond to the new call. Some of 
these were in communication with the Oriel 
men and ultimately took part with them in or- 
ganizing vigorous measures. But it was not 
until Mr. Newman made up his mind to force 
on the public mind, in a way which could not be 


evaded, the great article of the Creed — 'I be- 
lieve in one Catholic and Apostolic Church' — 
that the movement began." ^ 

The Rev. J. H. Overton, D. D., in his work, 
The Anglican Revival, points out that Dean 
Hook "was firmly established in his theologi- 
cal position, which was in the main the same 
as that of the early Tractarians, long before 
and quite independently of, the Oxford Move- 
ment, and when all the prime movers except 
Keble were either yet in a state of flux or be- 
longed to quite a different school of thought." 
Newman himself, writing to Froude, says: 
"I do verily believe a spirit is abroad at pres- 
ent, and we are but blind tools, not knowing 
whither we are going. I mean a flame seems 
arising in so many places at once as to show 
no mortal incendiary is at work, though this 
man or that may have more influence in shaping 
the course or modifying the nature of the 
flame. "2 Li another place, he speaks of the 
"Unseen Agitator" who is at work. 

The movement took on definite shape and 
plan in the famous meeting or "congress" of 
its half-dozen foremost leaders in the Hadleigh 
Eectory in the year 1833. It culminated in the 
reception into the Catholic Church of John 
Henry Newman and several of his companions 

1 Church. — The Oxford Movement, pp. 32, 33. 

^ Hurrell Froude, by Louise Imogen Guiney, p. 115. 


in 1845. In the submission to Rome of Dr. 
Newman, the Anglican establishment received 
a blow from which, by the confession of its 
friends, it has never entirely recovered. The 
stream of conversions due directly or indirectly 
to his influence has not even now ceased. Yet 
almost numberless as are the individuals 
brought to the Church in this way, it may per- 
haps be doubted if the fruit of the movement 
in advancing the whole body of Protestantism 
may not result, in the long run, in still greater 
good. No man of sense and upright judgment 
can indeed approve of the recent course of 
those highest of high "Anglo-Catholics" who, 
while admitting the power and jurisdiction 
of the Roman Pontiff over the whole Church, 
as the successor of St. Peter, yet refuse to sub- 
mit to that jurisdiction, and while proclaiming 
his supreme teaching authority, yet decline to 
receive his decisions, persistently remaining in 
schism and rebellion in the hope of ultimately 
bringing back the whole body to the unity of 
faith and government. Yet the gradual famil- 
iarizing of the Protestant mind with Catholic 
ideas and the leavening of society in general 
with the Catholic spirit, a process which is go- 
ing on very generally and rapidly in conse- 
quence of the movement, must ultimately re- 
sult, it would seem, in wholesale conversions to 
which those we have already seen are trifling. 


In America, tlie publications of the Tracta- 
rians were eagerly read, and those who here 
and there, by their own reading and reflection, 
had been attracted to a greater or less extent 
toward the Catholic ideal, were now canght up 
by the advancing flood. John Henry Hobart, 
Bishop of New York from 1811 to 1830, was a 
leader in High Churchmanship of the old 
school, and maintained its principles with great 
vigor in his published addresses and charges. 
Bishop Whittingham of Maryland, Doane of 
New Jersey, Ives of North Carolina, and 
others, not only followed his lead but went far 
beyond him. His successor in the see of New 
York, Benjamin T. Onderdoiik, though only 
moderately high in his own views, afforded pro- 
tection to the Catholicizing students at the 
General Theological Seminary, of which he was 
ex officio the head, and he came to be looked 
111)011 as a champion of the party. 

Bishop Ives established in his diocese of 
North Carolina, at a spot called Valle Crucis, a 
monastic society named the Brothers of the 
Holy Cross, the first organization of the kind 
in the Episcopal Church of America. So 
marked were Bishop Ives' Catholic tendencies 
that his own clergj^ were alarmed and he was 
arraigned before the Convention. Although 
his statement of faith and explanations were 
judged satisfactory, the brotherhood was dis- 


solved. Another effort in the same direction 
was made at Nashotah, in the lake district of 
Wisconsin, by James Lloyd Breck, a graduate 
of the General Theological Seminary of New 
York in 1841. Associated with him were two 
of his classmates, John Henry Hobart (a son 
of the former bishop) and William Adams. 
Their purpose was to practice celibacy and 
community of goods, to teach Catholic princi- 
ples and to preach from place to place — in a 
word, to found a religious order on explicitly 
Catholic lines. The institution grew and pros- 
pered, but was gradually diverted from its 
monastic purpose. Hobart, a very admirable 
young man, soon left to take a wife. Adams 
married the daughter of his own bishop. 
Bishop Kemper favored the scheme as a valu- 
able accession to his diocese in the shape of an 
ecclesiastical seminary and college; but play- 
ing at monk lost its interest for most of the 
participants. Breck left in disappointment 
and founded another similar institution in 
Faribault, Michigan ; but finally he also married 
and ended his career, as a highly respected mis- 
sionary and pioneer, in California. George 
Richards, a half-brother of Henry, studied for 
the ministry at Nashotah, but was not in sym- 
pathy with the ardent Catholic spirit of the 
founders. The seminary has in later years fur- 
nished many distinguished converts to the Cath- 


olic Church; but it is said at present to have 
sunk in doctrinal matters to a decidedly Low 
Church level. 

But Kenyon College and Seminary, as may 
be inferred from what has already been said, 
were not the place in which the seeds of Catho- 
lic doctrine and practice could find congenial 
soil. Indeed, the troubles that drove Bishop 
Chase from the Presidency and the diocese 
seem to have arisen in part from the aversion 
of his Low Church faculty to what appeared to 
them his ultra-Catholic tendencies, mild and 
restricted as these were. A brief allusion to 
these discussions finds a more logical place 
here than if it had been introduced in strict 
chronological order. The complexion of the 
Convention is described by the Eev. Henry 
Caswall, a young Englishman who was a stu- 
dent with Mr. Richards in 1829 and who in after 
years returned to his native land and became 
Vicar of Figheldean in Wiltshire. In his 
''America and the Americans," Dr. Caswall 
writes: ''Once a year the General Convention 
of the diocese assembled at Gambier, on which 
occasions the thirty or forty congregations 
then existing in the diocese were represented 
by their lay delegates ; and most of the clergy, 
then twenty in number, attended in person. . . . 
It was easy to see that even in that little band 
opposite principles were at work which could 


hardly fail to produce a disastrous result. The 
Bishop, for example, like the other American 
prelates, rested his prerogative on Apostolic 
succession and firmly believed in the efiQcacy of 
the Sacraments as means by which grace is 
conveyed. The professors generally were good 
men, but inclined to low views of the Church, 
and were disposed to show great deference to 
the spirit of the age. . . . Their desire was to 
render the college popular among all classes of 
the community, and this object could only be 
affected by sinking in some measure its distinc- 
tive features as a Church institution. In these 
and similar plans, a large portion of the clergy 
and laity in the Diocesan Convention were 
ready to support them, believing that Episco- 
pacy in Ohio was practicable only in the mildest 
and most liberal form." 

Bishop Chase himself, in his "Eeminis- 
cences," speaks on this head even more 
strongly. ^ 

When Charles Pettit Mcllvaine, a brilliant 
young minister of Brooklyn, N. Y., was elected 
in 1832 to take the place of Bishop Chase, his 
theological principles were low enough to 
satisfy even the Faculty and Trustees of Ken- 
yon. What these principles were may perhaps 
be inferred from the fact that he was educated 
at Princeton, the stronghold of thoroughgoing 

3 Vol. II, p. 89. 


Presbyterianism, not only graduating at the 
college but also attending the theological 
school for two years, as there was then no 
ecclesiastical seminary of the Episcopal Church 
in the United States. In later life he wrote 
that during the two years spent in this Presby- 
terian theological course, he heard nothing 
taught which was distinctive of that church ! 

But in regard to Episcopal authority, the re- 
calcitrant Faculty found that it had made little 
improvement upon Bishop Chase, perhaps 
rather the reverse. The new prelate was no 
less positive than his predecessor as to the 
prerogatives of his office and the necessity of 
keeping supreme power in his own hands; and 
his methods of enforcing his claims were more 
systematic and effective. By his energy^ and 
ability, as well as his commanding personal 
character, he soon brought order and prosper- 
ity to the affairs of the college. After a time, 
some of the Professors ventured to oppose him. 
He writes to his mother in 1839: '*I caused 
certain matters at the college, which have given 
me trouble for three years, somewhat of the 
kind that drove Bishop Chase away, to be 
brought before the Convention, and had them 
well settled by the diocese, who have no idea 
of letting two or three men disturb the peace of 
their Bishop." 

The following appreciation of Bishop Mc- 


Ilvaine's character and religious attitude is 
taken from Father Walworth 's ' ' Oxford Move- 
ment in America": ''In his whole life and 
doctrine, I can find nothing characteristic of 
Episcopalianism except that he used the Book 
of Common Prayer and attached some impor- 
tance to Apostolical Succession. Baptismal re- 
generation he scouted, while he was in no re- 
spect behind Calvin in maintaining the doctrine 
of 'total depravity' or behind Luther in his ex- 
travagant presentation of the great Protestant 
heresy of 'justification by faith only.' 

"While a student in the seminary, I went 
one Sunday morning to hear him preach on 
this last doctrine, which was his favorite 
theme. I think it was at St. Mark's on Eighth 
Street. It made the blood fairly creep in my 
veins to listen to him. . . . Amongst all evan- 
gelical enthusiasts, especially ladies. Bishop 
Mcllvaine was a hero, a sort of apostolic divin- 
ity. I remember well the worshipful words of 
an excellent Presbyterian lady of New York 
City. . . . Anything clerical was to her some- 
thing angelic ; even I, boy that I was, stood in 
her regard as something like Raphael's round- 
cheeked cherubs, with very little wings put on 
to atone for cheeks and eyes extraordinarily 
human. But Bishop Mcllvaine, though most 
violently and bitterly evangelical, with his high 
talents and fine elocution, was something super- 


human. 'Isn't lie perfectly wonderful!' slie 
would say to me. 'Isn't he lovely T I could 
not enter into her enthusiasm at all, though I 
would willingly have done so, for she was very 
dear to me and I was always glad to please her. 
I acknowledged that he was wonderful enough. 
I wondered at him myself, but I thought him 
altogether unlovely. I could very well have 
used the terms applied by the celebrated Rufus 
Choate in praise of a Massachusetts judge: 
'We look upon him as a heathen looks upon 
his idol. We know that he is ugly, but we 
feel that he is great.' " 




In the autumn of 1839, under the circum- 
stances imperfectly outlined in the preceding 
chapter, Henry Richards returned to Kenyon 
and began his theological studies in prepara- 
tion for the ministry. We have purposely left 
to this place all account of his transition from 
Presbyterianism to the Episcopalian faith. 
This change had been gradual. Before en- 
tering college the second time in 1834, he 
had been somewhat indoctrinated with Epis- 
copal views. The fact that his venerated 
father had embraced that faith and was 
the leading spirit in organizing its congre- 
gation in Granville, naturally had its weight 
with the son. The services held in his father's 
house, the books that came under his notice, the 
intercourse with Episcopal clergj^men who offi- 
ciated occasionally in the village, all these as- 
sociations molded his opinions and prepared 
his mind gradually and almost insensibly for 

the full acceptance of the new faith. More- 



over, the transition was by no means violent; 
for the prevalent character of Episcopalianism 
differed very little in matters of belief from the 
most decided Calvinism. The precise date of 
his confirmation and formal reception into the 
Episcopal Church cannot now be ascertained; 
but he was an adherent of that body in heart 
before he returned to Kenyon, and every day 
of his four years of college life strengthened 
him in his devotion to it. 

Mr. Richards' ''style of churchmanship" (a 
phrase which he considers allowable without 
discourtesy toward his old associates) was 
naturally the ''Extreme Low." If Episcopa- 
lian churchmen may be divided (we should not 
venture to use the classification were it not 
for the example of a respected minister among 
their own number), into "Low and lazy, Broad 
and hazy, High and crazy," Mr. Richards 
would fall into the first class, except for the 
laziness. He was always most energetic, ac- 
tive, and intensely in earnest in carrying his 
principles into practice, and most zealous in 
every religious work that came within his 
reach. Nor can it be said, we think, that in 
this spirit he was altogether exceptional among 
his Episcopalian brethren. No doubt many 
pastors and parishes in the East and South 
may have shared in the apathy and stagnation 
which in the Anglican body roused the in- 


dignation of Froucle, Ward and Newman. 
But such men as Bishops Chase and Mcllvaine, 
however fundamentally mistaken in their be- 
liefs, were overflowing with zeal and energy, 
and were always ready to undertake heroic 
labors for the service of God, while at the same 
time striving to keep up habits of intense 
prayer. The new President of Kenyon had 
already acquired much of that distinction 
wliich made him not long afterward the ac- 
knowledged leader of the Low Church party 
in the United States, a position which he filled 
with vigor and distinction to the day of his 
death. Low churchmen, such as he, professed 
to hold strictly evangelical views and were 
ardent advocates of the doctrines of the Ref- 
ormation. In other words, they held Calvin- 
istic principles of total depravity, conversion, 
justification by faith only, «fec. That which dis- 
tinguished them from their brethren of other 
denominations was their belief in the Apostolic 
Succession and the threefold Order of the 
Ministry, Bishops, Priests and Deacons. If it 
be asked how even Low Churchmen could hold 
to the Apostolic constitution of the Anglican 
Ministry, and yet recognize the validity and 
lawfulness of the ministrations of clergymen 
of other denominations, Mr. Richards attributes 
it to the same practical inconsistency with 
which the numerous sects into which Protes- 


tantism is divided hold to essentially contra- 
dictory beliefs in the most fundamentally im- 
portant matters and at the same time recognize 
one another as brethren in the household of 
faith. He remarks it as a curious fact, throw- 
ing a strong light upon the thoroughly illogical 
and confused state of the Protestant mind, that 
these Low Church Evangelical members of the 
Episcopalian body, while claiming brotherhood 
with the other Protestant sects of the Refor- 
mation and insisting upon the privilege of 
fraternizing with them even to the extent of 
joining in the same religious worship and some- 
times exchanging pulpits, yet advocated most 
strenuously the distinguishing principles al- 
luded to, the Apostolic constitution and suc- 
cession of the threefold order of the ministry. 
This, as was very natural, gave them a double 
character in the eyes of those outside their own 
pale. So long as they confined themselves to 
the more common doctrines of the Reforma- 
tion, there was no objection; but the moment 
they began to insist upon the authority of their 
bishops and the Apostolic Succession, they 
were classed with the Romanizing party in the 
church. "I remember" goes on Mr. Rich- 
ards, ''that not long after our new Bishop came 
into the diocese, he felt constrained by the wild 
vagaries and religious excesses of the revival- 
ists who at that time, as he said, were sweep- 


ing over the fair face of God's heritage as a 
desolating fire, destroying all true spiritual 
life and verdure in its way, to preach a sermon 
on the 'Order' of the Church and the necessity 
of keeping uip the fences and adhering to the 
old landmarks. It was a very well written dis- 
course, presenting his subject in a strong and 
attractive light. It made a powerful impres- 
sion and was extensively quoted on the one 
hand with approval by the High Churchmen, 
who maintained that he had become one of 
themselves without knowing it, and on the other 
with condemnation by his brethren of other de- 
nominations, who accused him of abandoning 
his Low Church ground. There is really noth- 
ing more astonishing and unaccountable than 
the fact that so many otherwise sensible and 
good men remain all their lives in a position so 
thoroughly illogical and contradictory as that, 
I may well say, not merely of Low Churchmen, 
but of Protestants of every name. They all 
hold to some truths, some more, some less, but 
they are all compelled, by the very necessity of 
their position, to hold other views entirely in- 
consistent and contradictory to the former. I 
think I may say with truth that I was never 
satisfied with an illogical position. I always 
had a decided tendency to develop principles 
to their legitimate consequences." 

■TheologjM" writes he with some feeling, 



''"What do Protestants know of the wonderful 
science of TheologjM Dr. Sparrow was the 
only man who in a theological point of view 
redeemed our institution from contempt. He 
was really an able man and had given the sub- 
ject of systematic theology considerable atten- 
tion. That is, he had read most of the Prot- 
estant writers on the subject and constructed 
a system for himself. This was contained in 
a manuscript book of questions, with refer- 
ences, which we all copied and thought very 
wonderful. Of course he was his own final au- 
tliority in the decision of important theological 
questions, though he referred to the leading 
Protestant writers, taking the German Dr. 
Dick's work for his principal gniide and text- 
book. What else can any Protestant professor 
do! And what can theological students among 
Protestants do but take their professor for a 
guide (if he inspire confidence enough), and 
pin their faith to his sleeve, or else assume to 
judge for themselves between the various 
opinions of conflicting autliorities, each man 
thus becoming his own guide, his own supreme 
authority? True, in matters of opinion, Catho- 
lics do the same, except that generally, in points 
where differences of opinion are tolerated, they 
decide according to the weight of authorities. 
But the grand difference between Catholics and 
Protestants is this, that the former have an 


infallible guide, who decides matters of faith 
and morals, so that they possess a body of 
fixed law, a system composed of ruled cases, 
which all are obliged to accept. To the Protes- 
tant, on the other hand, everything is a matter 
of opinion; there is no dogma in the proper 
sense of that word. The consequence is that 
the theological student who undertakes to think 
for himself, who is not content to remain in 
leading strings, is necessarily cast loose on a 
wild sea of doubt and uncertainty. 

''But we were quite content to jog along in 
humble obedience to our teacher, reserving any 
cases upon which we were not quite satisfied 
for future more thorough investigation. As 
for the rest of our course, I must confess to the 
greatest astonishment in looking back at the 
entirely unsatisfactory, imperfect and even 
ephemeral nature of our instruction ! The Rev. 
Dr. Joseph Muenscher was Professor of 
Hebrew and Hermeneutics. He was hauled up, 
as we used to say, for German rationalistic 
views. Professor Marcus Tullius Cicero Wing 
had the chair of Ecclesiastical History. I do 
not remember that he ever gave a fact or a 
comment outside of the text of Mosheim. The 
Bishop — I forget the title of his chair, but I 
remember very well the nature of his instruc- 
tions. He had w^ritten two books called forth 
by the Oxford Controversy, one large, the other 


small. The former was a large octavo entitled 
Oxford Divinity, and designed to show that 
that Divinity tended to Eome. The latter, a 
small duodecimo, was on the subject of Justi- 
fication hy Faith Only. These two ephemeral 
controversial works were made our textbooks 
in our recitations to the Bisho])! 

"I must not neglect to state that there were 
two textbooks referred to in our course from 
which I got some Catliolic ideas, though I am 
not sure that I saw them in that light until after 
I had finished my theological course. I mean 
Pierson on the Creed and Barrow on the Pope's 
Supremacy. Pierson has a considerable 
amount of sound divinity in his treatise. 
Among other things, he uses very strong lan- 
guage in regard to the degree of honor proper 
to bo paid to the Blessed Virgin — 'Only less 
than that which is paid to Almighty God,' or 
words to that effect. Barrow first gave me the 
idea that St. Peter was the head of the College 
of the Apostles and the numerous evidences 
from Scripture of his being first and foremost, 
in fact that he had a primacy, if not a suprem- 
acy, in the government of the early Church. 
Yet, strange to say, that very author tries to 
prove, what has so often been attempted since 
his day, that it is not at all certain that Peter 
ever was in Eome! 

*'The fact is, our professors all, from the 


Bishop down, seemed to attach more impor- 
tance to 'views,' or what may be called the 'com- 
plexion' of our theological teaching, than to any- 
consistent, compact, unique system of dogma. 
So that we were all right on justification by 
faith and generally on the so-called evangelical 
views of depravity, conversion and religious 
experience, we were considered quite safe, and 
they seemed to think all other things necessary 
would be added to us. I had adopted the views 
thoroughly. I had learned them not only the- 
oretically, but experimentally and practically. 
I was consequently a great favorite with the 
Bishop. I think he was delighted with the first 
sermon I ever wrote. It was on the text (such 
a favorite with the evangelicals), 'God forbid 
that I should glory save in the cross of our 
Lord Jesus Christ.' It was so thoroughly — I 
might perhaps say so hyper-evangelical that 
even the good Bishop had to modify and tone 
it down a little, at least in some few expres- 

After Mr. Richards had continued his studies 
for some time, he was licensed by Bishop Mc- 
Ilvaine as a lay reader to officiate in neighbor- 
ing parishes. Instead, however, of indicating 
to him some book of sermons to be read to the 
congregation, as was and is still the custom in 
the Episcopalian Church, lay readers being pro- 
hibited from venturing on sermons of their 


own, tlie Bishop read over Mr. Richards' com- 
positions, approved of them and recommended 
him to read them to the people. This excep- 
tional proof of confidence was supplemented by 
every other mark of favor, which continued 
until Mr. Richards, as an ordained minister 
and pastor, began thinking for himself and 
showed a leaning toward High Church doctrines 
and practices. 

As often happens, Mr. Richards' mind was 
quickened in its interest in living religious 
questions and its grasp of the principles in- 
volved more by discussions among the students 
themselves than by the instruction of his pro- 

He records that among the theological stu- 
dents there were two of decidedly High Church 
proclivities. One, whose name has not been re- 
called, came from New York. He was a very 
excellent young man, very intelligent, very sin- 
cere, quiet and retiring in his habits. He al- 
ways insisted, in opposition to his Low Church 
friends, that no incompatibility existed between 
High Church principles and truly evangelical 
views of religious life and experience. He was 
himself in fact, as Mr. Richards testifies, a good 
example of his own principles, for he was truly 
devout and conscientious. He was looked upon, 
however, with a certain degree of pity that so 
good a man should be deluded with false prin- 


ciples. He was accustomed to read the New 
York Churchman, at that time conducted by 
Dr. Seabury, the coryphaeus of the High Church 
party. By the body of the students and the 
professors the Churchman was looked upon as 
only the more dangerous for being so ably con- 
ducted. This young man died at Gambler be- 
fore finishing his course. As an evidence that 
his principles would not stand the test of the 
deathbed, it was whispered about that some 
days before his end he requested a file of the 
obnoxious paper, which hung at the foot of his 
bed, to be removed out of his sight. The other 
student who was sufficiently advanced to ad- 
vocate Tractarian doctrines in this stronghold 
of old-fashioned Protestantism was Joseph S. 
Large, a young man of fine talents, and an able 
disputant. He found a foeman though not al- 
together worthy of his steel, yet able enough 
to worry him with the inconsistencies of the 
High Church system, in Robert Elder, a par- 
ticular friend of Henry Richards, and after- 
ward Rector of the church in Worthington. 
The discussions between Large and Elder were 
frequent, prolonged and animated, sometimes to 
great heat. Large was the more learned and 
more acute of the two and often got the better 
of his opponent. But the latter learned by ex- 
perience the weak points in his antagonist's 
armor, and in answer to the charge that his 


principles tended to sectarianism, and finally 
to scepticism and infidelity, he threw back upon 
him the no less terrible accusation of a tendency 
to Eomanism. 

These two were one year in advance of their 
friend Eichards in the course. It was impos- 
sible for him to listen to such discussions with- 
out acquiring new points of view and receiving 
seeds of thought which in later years and under 
favorable circumstances would be sure to ger- 
minate and bring forth fruit. 

The point most fiercely contested by the 
theological athletes was Baptismal Regenera- 
tion. Henry Richards soon came to recognize 
this as a fundamental question, on the answer 
to which one's whole theory of Christianity 
must rest. It will therefore be worth while to 
copy his acute and solid remarks on it. "That 
is undoubtedly a test principle," he says, ''as 
the question lies between a 'Corporate Chris- 
tianity,' involving a settled, fixed, authorita- 
tive organization, designed to impart the new 
life of Faith to those who shall be incorporated 
into the system, and, on the other hand, the 
idea of a voluntary agglomeration of separate 
individuals who have received their life from 
previous direct contact with the Spirit inde- 
pendently of church organization, and to whom 
church organization is rather a matter of con- 
venient arrangement than of imjoerative obliga- 


tion. In this view, the life of the organization, 
instead of being the fountain and source from 
which individuals derive their life, ... is 
rather the aggregate of the life contributed by 
the individuals composing the voluntary as- 
sociation, and possessed by them independently 
of it. Here the individual is everything, the 
organization nothing, or at least of secondary 
importance. The right of (unlimited) private 
judgment is a cardinal principle in the system, 
and it makes a man his own guide, his own law, 
and finally his own God and Master. 

''Baptismal regeneration implies a divine 
ejfficacy attached to a sacrament instituted by 
Almighty God for the special purpose of im- 
parting the divine life which was lost by the 
fall. It implies a system, an organization, a 
divine arrangement for nourishing and carry- 
ing on this divine life to its completion. 
It implies a hierarchy, a teaching and 
governing body, a settled, fixed body of dogma, 
in short all that is included in the Catholic sys- 
tem. These ideas began to dawn upon me as 
the result of these discussions in the Seminary ; 
the seeds were planted, though I fear the soil 
was too unpropitious, too preoccupied, to allow 
of any sudden or very rapid growth. ' ' 

The first article published to the world from 
Mr. Richards' pen was an essay on preaching, 
written during his theological course. It was 


an exercise in the class of Sacred Eloquence, 
presided over by tlie Rev. Dr. C. Colton, 
brother-in-law of Bishop Mcllvaine. This 
professor was also editor of the Gambler Ob- 
server, and he complimented the young stu- 
dent by requesting permission to print so ex- 
cellent a production in his paper. 

During his seminary course, Mr. Richards 
kept up a correspondence with his brother 
William, who had entered the Law School of 
Yale University. AVilliam Richards was a man 
of great ability, with a strong taste for philo- 
sophical and political speculation. The letters 
between the two continued to be frequent in 
later life, covering a period of fifty years. In 
them, besides personal and family matters, cur- 
rent questions of j^olitics, philosophy, and re- 
ligion are discussed with great interest. As 
the brothers came to be on opposite sides in 
politics while closely united in religion and in 
the bonds of a most tender affection, the corre- 
spondence becomes at times animated. Could 
it be published in full, it would afford a cu- 
rious panorama of the progress of events in the 
United States as seen day by day by actual ob- 

Another correspondence, certainly no less in- 
teresting and encouraging to the young semi- 
narian at this period, was that which he carried 
on with the young lady to whom he was en- 


gaged. A passage in one of her letters has a 
curious interest in reference to clerical 
celibacy : 

''Last Sunday, Mr. Lacock, assistant minister 
of Bishop Otey, preached for us. ... I was 
somewhat amused with some of his remarks. 
He and Mr. Helfenstein were speaking of the 
hardships of ministers in the West. Mr. L. 
said : ' Oh, it is nothing for them ! It is their 
families. Indeed it is a very great inconven- 
ience for a Western clergyman to have a wife. 
I believe we shall be obliged to adopt the creed 
of the Roman Priests and live in a state of 

"I think all would not agree with him. 
Think you they would? I am half inclined to 
think we should find fewer willing to endure 
the privations of the West, if they were obliged 
to go alone. Would not their situation be far 
more unpleasant without the company, the as- 
sistance and the attention of an affectionate 
companion? So it seems to me." 

In looking forward to matrimony at no dis- 
tant date after ordination, Mr. Richards was 
not alone among his fellow-students. There 
was a favorite saying current in those days 
among Episcopalians, attributed to the vener- 
able Bishop Moore of New York, to the effect 
that the first thing a young clergj^man does 
after getting his go^vn is to secure a petti- 


coat. ''Truth compels me to acknowledge 
that there was no subject in the whole range 
of theology that was discussed with so 
much zest by our seminarians as that same 
petticoat, involving, as it usually did, vis- 
ions of 'love in a cottage,' that cottage a 
parsonage, with a beautiful church, a nice con- 
gregation, a comfortable salary and all the et 
ceteras of a respectable position." To the 
anxiety for a respectable and comfortable 
position, Mr. Richards was not subject. He 
understood far better the true ecclesiastical 
spirit, and he was already anxious to spend 
himself and be spent for his brethren in Christ. 
Mr. Richards is of course far from blaming 
his companions or himself for matrimonial as- 
pirations, considering the circumstances of 
their position and that of every Protestant min- 
ister. But he remarks that his purpose is to 
point out to his children the contrast between 
theological education, as it exists in the semi- 
naries of the Catholic Church and the novitiates 
of her religious orders, and that of theological 
schools of the Protestant sects. The latter are 
on a lower spiritual plane. The Reformation, 
he declares, originated in an uxorious disposi- 
tion. Luther married a nun and set an example 
to all his followers. Henry TOI apostatized 
and caused the Church in England to cut itself 
off from the Head, because that Head w^ould not 


allow him full liberty to marry as many wives 
as lie liked. The fittest tools he called around 
him to aid in his nefarious work were such men 
as the "illustrious" Cranmer, who married 
secretly (if indeed he married at all) and lived 
in constant violation of his vow of chastity, 
while continuing to officiate as a priest of the 
Catholic Church. The priests who apostatize 
and become the weeds which are ''thrown over 
the walls of the Pope's garden," are generally 
those who through temptation have fallen from 
virtue. It is a remarkable fact, he adds, that 
when a young Episcopal clergjanan is dis- 
covered to have a decided leaning towards 
Rome, the knowing ones among the older clergy 
make haste to get him married, knowing there 
is no more effectual way of extinguishing all 
such dangerous aspirations. 

Mr. Richards' manuscript notes contain an 
account of that most extraordinary political 
agitation preceding the Presidential election of 
1840, which placed General William Henry 
Harrison in the executive chair of the United 
States. Although not connected in any way 
with his religious history, his graphic descrip- 
tions are no doubt of sufficient interest, as pic- 
tures of the times, to find a place here. It is 
said that then for the first time in this country 
political processions and mass meetings came 
into vogue as part of the machinery of the can- 


vass. This was called the "Log Cabin and 
Hard Cider Campaign," and its war cry was 
"Tippecanoe, and Tyler too!" As it had been 
said of General Harrison in depreciation that 
he had lived in a log cabin with nothing to drink 
but hard cider, his friends turned these features 
to his advantage. The General's brilliant vic- 
tory at Tippecanoe, Indiana, over the Indian 
tribes under the famous chieftain Tecumseh, 
and his successes against the British in Canada 
in the war of 1812, had given him an immense 
popularity with his countrjinen, a popularity 
which his affable manners and his simplicity in 
retiring, like Cincinnatus, to his farm had done 
much to strengthen. Dissatisfaction with the 
administration of President Van Buren ran 
high, and the result was a wave of popular ex- 
citement and enthusiasm until then unknown 
in the country. Mr. Eichards descril^es a 
great meeting at Chillicothe in which he 
took part. The Hero of Tippecanoe was 
to appear and make a speech to the as- 
sembled thousands of his countrjTQen. The 
houses of the citizens were thrown open, 
long tables were set and kept constantly sup- 
plied with provisions. Although the campaign 
was then, according to Mr. Richards' recollec- 
tion, just beginning, some fifty thousand non- 
residents must have been in the little city that 
day. As time went on, the excitement grew 


until the whole community seemed to be seized 
with an extraordinary rage for demonstrating 
in favor of the military hero and plain farmer. 
Log cabins abounded and became a prominent 
feature of the contest. They were built for 
halls and clubrooms, they were made in minia- 
ture and worn as ornaments. They were drawn 
in procession by endless trains of oxen to mass 
meetings and conventions. The procession of 
the Granville voters who attended the conven- 
tion at Newark made a particularly vivid im- 
pression on the young clergyman's imagina- 
tion. They had a cabin large enough for a 
small family, with all its furnishings. This 
was drawn by a long procession of oxen, driven 
by the venerable deacons and the most sober, 
conservative sages of the town, all in smocks 
and frocks, wielding long whips and shouting 
excitedly at the top of their voices, while hard 
cider was lavishly dispensed from barrels in the 
cabin. During that campaign, two noted char- 
acters, Tom Corwin, the Wagon Boy, as he was 
familiarly called, and Tow Ewing, the Salt 
Boiler, were at the zenith of their power and 
popularity as public speakers. They were pres- 
ent on the occasion alluded to. It is sometimes 
difficult for us to judge of the merit of orators 
of former times. Would the estimate of their 
contemporaries be ratified by that of our own 
more cultivated taste? After many years of 


experience and observation, Mr. Eichards gives 
it as his judgment that these two men were 
really speakers of exceptional power, each in 
his own way. Corwin he describes as a com- 
bination of Cicero and Chrysostom. His 
eloquence was truly golden-mouthed. His style 
was polished and sparkling with wit and humor, 
his figure was commanding and his action 
graceful, while the power of expression in his 
mobile face was wonderful. Altogether Mr. 
Richards declares that he has never listened to 
any other who impressed him so strongly as 
an orator. 

The eloquence of Ewing was of a different 
order, but very effective. It was not so ornate 
and pleasing, but more labored, more logical, 
with more of sledge hammer strength. The 
speaker was by no means so graceful as Cor- 
win ; indeed he was rather awkward in manner, 
of large frame and rather fleshy. In his de- 
livery he labored like a man mauling rails. 
But his logic and earnestness carried all before 
them. Mr. Richards remarks reflectively upon 
the widely different end of these two eminent 
Americans. Corwin, from the time he accepted 
the post of Secretary of the Treasury, for 
which he was not at all fitted and in which he 
was charged, whether truly or falsely, with 
transactions which would not bear the light, 


seemed to go down in public estimation until he 
died almost unlionored and unsung. 

''Thomas Ewing was always the high-toned, 
honorable man. He had the inestimable ad- 
vantage of having a good Catholic wife and 
Catholic children trained by her in the old 
paths, who prayed for their father and husband. 
He lived to an advanced age. . . . God gave 
him time for reflection, and at last he sent for 
his good friend, the Archbishop of Cincinnati, 
(Purcell) and made his submission to Holy 
Church. ' ' It may be remarked here of General 
Ewing 's numerous descendants, that they have 
proved the champions of Catholicity, not only 
in word but by their devout lives, in many 
States of the Union. Foremost among these 
have been his daughter, wife of General Wil- 
liam Tecumseh Sherman, and her children. 

Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay, two other 
leading politicians of the period, are spoken of 
with great respect by Mr. Richards as 
thoroughly honorable men who served their 
country faithfully and well. Though by no 
means distinguished for piety during the active 
portion of their careers, they both had the 
grace to make a professedly Christian death. 

This is no doubt as good a place as any to 
introduce Mr. Richards' recollections of another 
distinguished public man, with whom he was 


for a number of years on terms of friendship, 
Justice Salmon P. Chase. As a young student, 
Mr. Chase lived for some time in the family of 
Mrs. Cowles at Worthington. When Mr. Rich- 
ards was officiating as Pastor of St. Paul's 
Church in Columbus, Mr. Chase was living in 
Cincinnati and gradually acquiring there the 
reputation that afterwards carried him into the 
Governor's chair of the State and later into 
the Cabinet of President Lincoln during the 
Civil War, resulting ultimately in his promotion 
to the position of Chief Justice on the Supreme 
Bench. Whenever he came to Columbus, as 
not infrequently happened, Mr. Chase attended 
the church of his old friend, for whom he pro- 
fessed a warm personal regard, and whose 
preaching seemed to be entirely to his taste. 
The two men were in many respects opposed to 
each other. Chase being very Low Church in reli- 
gion and radical in politics, while Richards, at 
all times very conservative in his political con- 
victions, had at this time become High Church 
in religion. Still they found points of contact 
and sjTupathy which brought them together on 
terms of mutual admiration. "He was in some 
respects," writes Mr. Richards, ''a truly great 
man ; but he had his weak points. He was too 
ambitious to be satisfied with simply doing his 
duty to his country for duty and for conscience' 
sake. He is thought by those who knew him 


intimately to have early fixed his eye on the 
Presidency and he never ceased to strive for 
the goal to the day of his death. . . . Like most 
of our distinguished men, he either never gave 
his special attention to the great questions of 
religion, or if he did bestow on them more or 
less attention, it was of a superficial, desultory 
character, which resulted in the adoption of 
crude and unsatisfactory views. He professed 
to be a member of the Episcopal Church, but I 
think he had more sympathy with some of the 
denominations which showed more life and zeal 
and more sympathy with the masses. He saw 
some of the good points of the Catholic 
Church; and if he had given his attention to 
the subject would no doubt have adopted Catho- 
lic principles, as furnishing just what he was 
longing for, a reconciliation of order and 
liberty, a sympathy with the masses and a ten- 
der care for the poor, the oppressed and the 
downtrodden on the part of the rich and pros- 
perous. It is melancholy to observe how 
slightly the great men of the country, especially 
the politicians, pass over the greatest of all 
questions, those which pertain to the life to 
come. ' ' 

The ordination of Mr. Richards as a Minis- 
ter of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
America, took place sometime in the spring of 


1842. He was dispensed from a portion of the 
theological course, which then embraced three 
years. Had he gained any idea of the true 
science of theology, as he remarks, he would 
have been unwilling to accept any such dispensa- 
tion. But his excellence as a student, together 
with his high jDersonal character, active zeal 
and profound piety, made his Superiors quite 
ready to advance him to orders before the ex- 
piration of the regular period. Moreover, they 
considered his ''views" eminently sound, some- 
thing which in their estimation was of more im- 
portance than profound attainments in the "dry 
technicalities of dogmatic theology." He con- 
jectures too that a kindly desire to hasten his 
marriage and thus contribute to the happiness 
of two congenial souls had some share in limit- 
ing the duration of his studies. The ceremony 
of ordination was performed by Bishop Mc- 
Ilvaine in the little Episcopal church at Gran- 
ville, of which Henry's father was the founder 
and Senior Warden. His first sermon in public 
was preached inmiediately after ordination. 
He was disappointed in his own effort and be- 
lieved he would have done much better to de- 
liver the first sermon he had ever written, which 
had been so highly recommended by his Bishop. 
This he did give, some time after, in Trinity 
Church, Columbus, with great effect. The 
Trinity congregation was very Low Church, and 


exiat particular sermon suited their views per- 

The new clergj^man had his work already 
marked out for him. As soon as his engage- 
ment to Miss Cowles had become known, friends 
of both families living in Columbus had deter- 
mined that he should go to that capital and take 
charge of the new missionary church of St. 
Paul which had been commenced in the lower 
part of the city. This was an offshoot from the 
older parish of the Holy Trinity, and was 
situated on the corner of Third and Mound 
Streets. While still in Deacon's orders, Mr. 
Richards was elected its first Rector. 

Preparations were on foot for an elaborate 
wedding, an object no doubt of very special in- 
terest not only to the numerous relatives and 
friends, but also to all devout adherents of the 
church, when an event occurred that disar- 
ranged all plans and led to a marriage more 
hasty and far less joyous than had been con- 
templated. Mr. Cowles, the father of Miss 
Cynthia, fell dangerously ill at his home in Wor- 
thingtou, and as it became plain to himself as 
well as others that his end was at hand, he de- 
sired to see his oldest and favorite daughter 
married before his death. The wedding was 
performed on the first day of May, at the bed- 
side of the dying man. Robert Elder, the warm 
college friend of Mr. Richards, and then Rector 


of the church in Worthington, officiated. It was 
a sad and solemn scene, attended rather by sobs 
and tears than rejoicing. But it was not 
ominous of a sad future ; for no marriage was 
ever blessed in after life with greater happiness 
and more perfect unity of minds and hearts. 
"When it was over, Mr. Cowles fell back upon his 
pillow with an expression of great satisfaction, 
and not long after breathed his last. 

Mrs. Eichards was the second of twelve 
children of Rensselaer Watson Cowles and his 
wife, Laura Kilbourne. The Cowles family, 
identical originally with the branch spelling the 
name Coles, are first found in this country at 
New Britain, Conn., where several members 
were active in the cause of the Colonies during 
the Revolutionary War. The grandfather of 
Cynthia, the Rev. Whitfield Cowles, was a Pres- 
byterian Minister of East Granby, Connecticut. 
He married Gloriana Havens of Shelter Island, 
a marriage which brought him into relationship 
with the Nicoll and Van Rensselaer families. 
His son, Rensselaer Watson Cowles, emigrated 
to Worthington, Ohio, in 1814 and there mar- 
ried Laura Kilbourne. On the mother's side, 
Cynthia was the granddaughter of James Kil- 
bourne, one of the most active, successful and 
universally respected men in the early history 
of the West. He was successively or simul- 
taneously, farmer, merchant and mill-owner, 


cloth manufacturer, minister of the Episcopal 
Church, explorer, United States surveyor, 
founder of the town of Worthington and of 
Sandusky City, Civil Magistrate, Colonel of 
Militia, member of the Legislature and of Con- 
gress, and President of the Corporation of 
Worthington College. 

The compiler of the Kilbourne genealogy 
gives the following incident in the life of James 
Kilbourne, throwing a curious light on the early 
history of that protective policy in regard to 
the customs tariff which has been so important 
a feature of American politics in recent years : 

^' About the commencement of the last war 
with Great Britain (1812), it being extensively 
known that he had a knowledge of manufactur- 
ing and some spare capital, he was requested by 
his friends in New York, and urged by the 
President and his Cabinet and members of 
Congress, to embark in the manufacture of 
woolen goods for clothing the Army and Navy. 
He well remembered the total ruin of all who 
were engaged in similar enterprises during the 
war of the Revolution ; still the promises were 
now so fair, and the non-protectionists admit- 
ting their errors and agreeing to change their 
policy, he was induced to join a company for 
that purpose, in which he invested ten thousand 
dollars, and incurred liabilities to the amount 
of fifty-seven thousand more. He prosecuted 


his new enterprise with his accustomed energy, 
and during the continuance of the war accom- 
plished much. Peace came in 1815, but with 
it no protection of woolens. He sustained the 
whole establishment with immense losses, until 
1820, when, all hope from government failing, 
the factories at Worthington and Steubenville 
were crushed." 

Colonel Kilbourne's first wife, the grand- 
mother of Cynthia Cowles, was Lucy Fitch, the 
only daughter of John Fitch, inventor and 
builder of the first steamboat in America. 




Arriving in Columbus to take charge of the 
new parish that he was expected to build up, 
the Reverend Mr. Richards found only the base- 
ment of the little church in existence ; but it was 
roofed over, and equipped for services. On 
the first day of December, 1842, the parish was 
formally organized according to the rules of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in America, with 
twenty-one communicants. The Sunday School 
numbered fifty scholars. Mr. Richards held the 
first full and regular services on the first Sun- 
day of Advent of that year. 

The young couple took up their quarters for 
a time at the house of an aunt of the bride, 
named Harriet Buttles. The two families to 
which the organization of the new mission was 
chiefly due were those of Aurora Buttles and 
Isaac N. Whiting, two gentlemen who had 
married sisters, Harriet and Orrel Kilbourne. 
They were grave, conscientious men, each after 
his own manner, highly respectable and of great 



weight in the community. ' ' Aunt Buttles ' ' was 
a woman of remarkable ability, very sound in 
her views, as soundness was then estimated, and 
with an unusual facility of explaining and ad- 
vocating her convictions. She possessed a mas- 
culine mind with feminine tenderness ; she was 
well balanced and very wise and prudent. 
*'Aunt AMiiting" was equally large hearted, 
but not so staid and conservative as her elder 
sister. She was enthusiastic, excitable, and 
impulsive, but capable of great and sustained 
labor in any good cause. She entered heartily 
into all plans of parish effort and enterprise, 
was fertile in expedients, and supplied abun- 
dant enthusiasm to inspire the most languid 
workers and to surmount the most formidable 
obstacles. So great was her ascendancy that 
the church was sometimes facetiously known as 
St. Orrell's. The two families were influential, 
and around them gathered a few other people 
of standing. Tliey gave tone to the congrega- 
tion and settled the shade of teaching and 
ritual which would prove acceptable. As it 
happened, the preference of these families, in 
contrast with the great majority of the Trinity 
congregation, was for the High Church variety, 
though it was too early as yet for the extremely 
advanced practices that afterward became com- 
mon. One chief motive for the foundation of 
the new mission was to preach the gospel ac- 


cording to the Episcopal doctrine as understood 
by high churchmen to the poor of the lower dis- 
trict of the city. It was no doubt due in part to 
this intention that from the beginning it was 
stipulated by the founders that the church 
should be free, i, e., that no charge should be 
made for sittings. 

To spiritual work for the poor, Mr. Richards 
was by nature particularly well adapted. Him- 
self endowed with an unaffected dignity and 
refinement of manner and a bright, kindly, good 
humor that made him the centre of every 
gathering at which he was present, he was yet 
extremely democratic in his views and sym- 
pathies. Never throughout life did he show 
the slightest trace of social ambition or of that 
esteem for mere wealth that infests so much of 
modern society. Not only did he sympathize 
keenly with the poor in their sufferings and 
trials, but in his dealings with them there was 
no element of condescension or patronage. 
They were his equals, his suffering brothers in 
Christ, and he felt it to be a privilege as well 
as his plain duty to spend himself and be spent 
in their service. With his active, energetic 
nature and his intense piety, born of his strict 
religious training and his practice of frequent 
and fervent prayer, it may easily be imagined 
that he threw himself into the duties of his new 
position with the most ardent zeal and enthusi- 


asm. In one instance, liis zeal in the service 
of the poor may perhaps be judged to have 
been excessive. There were a few respectable 
persons of this class in the limits of the parish, 
among whom, as Mr. Eichards remarks, a cer- 
tain Mrs. Morningstar shone resplendent. 
Her memory constituted a bright spot in his 
recollections throughout life. She was a widow 
with one son, a mere boy, and quite without 
means of support. To this dear and gentle 
old lady someone had given a load of slabs, 
the refuse of the sawmill, to be used as fire- 
wood. But there was no one to saw them to 
proper lengths for use; so the minister shoul- 
dered his saw and buck, marched to her little 
house, and performed the laborious task. In 
this there was not only no ostentation, but he 
was not even conscious of making an act of ex- 
traordinary mortification or self-conquest. He 
simply saw that the poor woman needed the 
work done and that there was no one to do it 
but himself, and to him it seemed natural and 
proper that he should undertake it. This was 
by no means the only occasion on which he 
showed himself singularly free from human 
respect. But the same view of their minister's 
action seems not to have been taken by all 
his parishioners. Unfavorable remarks were 
made; and Mr. Eichards was led to think that 
it might perhaps have been wiser, on the whole. 


to hire a man, even from his scanty salary, to 
do the work. He soon learned a discouraging 
lesson as to the adaptability of the Episcopa- 
lian system to the needs of the poor. 

In his work among the humbler classes, Mr. 
Richards met with a number of Catholic fami- 
lies, and in the first fervor of his zeal, en- 
deavored to pervert them. But he met only 
cold rebuffs. Not only did his reasonings fail 
to convince any of them that they should attend 
his church, but he soon found that even the 
children, particularly some of those of German 
parentage, with their knowledge of the Catholic 
catechism, were better theologians than he, 
though he had spent several years in the study 
of what was ostensibly theology and in prepa- 
ration for the work of the ministry. 

The task of building up the new parish met 
with many discouragements, and progress was 
slower than the ardent young Rector had hoped. 
By the aid of fairs, subscriptions, and strenuous 
etforts of various kinds, he succeeded, by the 
year 1845, in completing the upper portion of 
the church, a fact which he reported to the Con- 
vention of that year with the expression of a 
hope that it might soon be consecrated as a 
free church to the worship of Almighty God. 
The structure was of brick, in a simple but 
dignified Gothic style, and was capable of ac- 
commodating some two hundred and fifty per- 


sous. The congregation, though made up of 
very heterogeneous elements, was singularly 
united and harmonious, owing no doubt in 
great measure to the enthusiasm and unselfish 
devotion of their young Rector. He visited 
both rich and i)Oor at their houses ; talked with 
them earnestly on religious subjects, explained 
to them his views and endeavored in every way 
to influence their minds and hearts. In return, 
they loved and respected him sincerely. In 
spite of the gradual change that took place from 
this time forward in his views, the members of 
his flock in general placed the utmost confidence 
in their pastor and pinned their faith very much 
to liis sleeve, at least for the time. "And 
here," he writes, " I cannot refrain from an 
expression of astonishment at the temerity 
with which I undertook the serious and awful 
responsibility of directing souls and educating 
them for eternity with the crude, half-fledged 
notions in which I had been educated. I was 
zealous, earnest, and in a manner pious. I had 
what were called clear views and positive no- 
tions, such as were prevalent and as constituted 
the shibboleths of the school of churchman ship 
in which I had been trained. But as to any 
comprehensive knowledge of theology, as a 
beautiful and glorious system, unique, harmoni- 
ous, consistent with itself, especially of what is 
called Moral Theologj^ including Casuistry, 


such as I have since discovered in the Catholic 
Church, I really had no conception." In an- 
other place he writes: ^'I felt very sensibly, 
as a result of my parish labors among the peo- 
ple, the necessity of something like Confession 
in order to complete success in the work of my 
ministry. There were members of my flock 
whom I knew to have peculiar trials ; there were 
conscientious women who were trying to lead 
good and pious lives in the midst of obstacles, 
temptations and peculiar difficulties. These I 
felt certain I could relieve, if I could only get 
them to open their hearts to me. The questions 
involved were often of a delicate nature, and 
such as the persons shrank from making known. 
I saw that they were worried, that they longed 
for advice and comfort and direction ; but there 
was an impassable barrier between us. They 
had to bear their burden alone and weep in 
silence and in solitude over evils for which they 
could find no cure. What a merciful provision 
is Confession in Holy Church! How utterly 
impossible it is for Christian people to direct 
themselves, to enjoy spiritual comfort and con- 
solation, and to attain to any degree of real 
sanctity without the spiritual direction which 
the Church so beautifully and so compassion- 
ately furnishes in the holy tribunal of Pen- 
ance ! ' ' 
Among the duties of the young minister, that 


of preaching held of course an important, per- 
haps the most important, place. In this Mr. 
Richards had excelled from his student days. 
It was then an almost universal custom for 
preachers not only to write their sermons care- 
fully but to read them from the manuscript. 
The effect was oftentimes most dreary. Mr. 
Richards followed the custom so far as the care- 
ful preparation was concerned; but he made 
himself so familiar with his composition that 
his delivery was free and unrestrained. Some 
of his sermons were left purposely unfinished, 
in order that he might add extempore exhorta- 
tions and applications. His great earnestness 
and ardor of character, with his intense realiza- 
tion of spiritual truths and needs, gave vigor 
and effectiveness to all that he said; while his 
pleasant and flexible voice, endowed with a 
peculiar sweetness and sympathy and a consid- 
erable range of tone, and his action, which, if 
not always entirely graceful, was natural and 
earnest, combined to produce a deep impression 
and to stir the hearts of his audience and sway 
their wills as he pleased. Mr. Richards' repu- 
tation as a preacher increased steadily; and 
even at the time of his conversion, when he be- 
came the mark for much hostile criticism and 
some abuse from his old friends and associates, 
all his critics seem to have borne testimony 
to his remarkable talents in this direction. It 


was intimated to him that the church of St. Paul 
in Cincinnati, then very flourishing and aristo- 
cratic and of High Church complexion, was pre- 
pared to give him a call. But any such change, 
had he contemplated it, was effectually pre- 
vented by a cause that had already proved a 
serious drawback to many of his undertakings 
and which was destined to exercise a still more 
important influence on his life. This was an 
obstinate chronic dyspepsia from which he had 
suffered more or less continuously from youth, 
and which at times produced a very depressing 
effect upon his mind and feelings. His ill 
health ultimately led, as we shall see in the 
sequel, to his resigning his charge and seeking 
restoration in a more favorable climate, and 
thus was indirectly a powerful agent in leading 
him to the Catholic Church. 

Mr. Richards' estimate of his own powers as 
a preacher was very modest, and his account 
of his methods and difficulties in the composition 
of his discourses is interesting enough to jus- 
tify transcription: ''I never could force my- 
self to write, and I had not the gift of extempore 
speaking sufficiently to enable me to preach ac- 
ceptably without writing. I never had the 
faculty which some men have of sitting down 
and deliberately planning a discourse and then 
going to work and elaborating the various 
heads, like the poor Israelites, who had to pro- 


duce their tale of brick whether they had straw 
or not. I wrote rather from impulse and under 
an afflatus. When I was in good spirits, my 
mind was free and active, and I wrote with 
facility and with considerable vigor. My ideas 
flowed freel}^, indeed faster than I could record 
them, I threw my whole soul into the task, and 
generally my only safety was to write while the 
inspiration was on and finish up the work in 
hand. But dyspepsia and consequent depres- 
sion, stagnation and aridity were the general 
nile, and the consequence was my sermons were 
unequal, and generally, I fear, poor specimens 
of either literary or theological culture. I think 
they were only redeemed from unmitigated 
mediocrity by the zeal and earnestness with 
which they were delivered and the extempore 
exhortations and personal applications with 
which they were sometimes finished. I some- 
times laugh now to think how as Sunday 
approached without the favor of that happy 
concurrence of circumstances necessary to the 
inspiration, I used to tremble at the prospect of 
being compelled to appear before my congrega- 
tion with a crude preparation as unsatisfactory 
and even mortifying to myself as it would be 
unwelcome to them. It was 'pump or drown,' 
as Brother Elder used to say; and so I would 
sit down with pen in hand and paper before me. 
I would write my text in clear and bold lines, 


and tlien I would dip my pen in ink and wait 
and think, and again dip my pen and keep up 
the thinking, waiting for the inspiration, till 
perhaps in desperation I would make the begin- 
ning with some conmionplace observation, and 
then stick fast in the slough of despond. It 
was no laughing matter then! But when the 
inspiration came, oh, how swimmingly we did 
get on! We were wafted before the gentle 
breeze, the mind expanded, thought flowed 
freely, I became identified with my subject, apt 
illustrations flashed upon my mind, new and 
curious phases of thought were suggested, the 
whole theme seemed so mapped out and com- 
pletely at command that I was surprised at 
myself, and wondered why it should ever be a 
task to write." 

Shortly after the commencement of his labors 
in Columbus, began that change and upward 
tendency in Mr. Richards' convictions which 
ultimately led him into the bosom of the Catho- 
lic Church. At first he found himself in the 
embarrassing position of a Low Church minis- 
ter called upon to officiate for a High Church 
congregation. Moreover, he soon found that 
his sheep, or at least the bellwethers of the 
flock, were rather better informed on the intri- 
cate questions of sheepfolds and pathways than 
their young shepherd. Mr. Whiting was a 
bookseller, and kept for many years the largest 


and best supplied establishment of this kind in 
Columbus. He was a constant reader and a 
very thoughtful and religious man. He there- 
fore naturally kept pace very closely with the 
progress of the Oxford Movement, and he 
placed in his pastor's hands every publication 
of interest and importance as it appeared. 
"My intellectual history from this time on," 
writes Mr. Richards, **is curious and interest- 
ing. I did not change my ^iews at once, but 
there was a silent and very effective influence, 
arising out of my new circumstances, always 
present and operating upon me. The effect 
was what might have been expected in a reflect- 
ing mind. No matter what phase of Protes- 
tantism you assume as a basis or starting pomt, 
there are always two tendencies operating upon 
different minds according to circumstances — 
one conservative, leading back to the old paths 
of the Catholic Cliurch, the other radical, lead- 
ing forward in the direction of scepticism and 
infidelity. There is no consistent half-way 
house, no logical standpoint between Catholicity 
and absolute infidelity. The good Providence 
of Almighty God (for which I shall ever 
have cause to j^raise and adore Him) placed 
me in a position where the bias of circum- 
stances led me in the back track to the 
good old paths. The process was the most 
gradual possible ; and it is deeply interesting 


to me now, from my higli post of observa- 
tion, to contemplate, in the retrospection of 
the past, the clear and distinct manifesta- 
tions of the goodness of God in opening my 
mind to the truth, and gradually revealing to 
me the lineaments of that beautiful and glorious 
system, which, as time went on, became more 
and more clearly and distinctly mirrored to my 
consciousness in all its simple and consistent 
beauty and grandeur. I recall with wondering 
pleasure the peculiar sweetness with which I 
oftentimes sat down to write sermons upon cer- 
tain subjects which naturally suggested the 
sacramental system, and how, as I reflected and 
wrote, the dim shadow of the mighty figure 
seemed to float before my mind, prophetically 
revealing itself, lineament by lineament, until 
in time, with the opportunities of reading and 
reflection which naturally came in my way, I 
came to comprehend the system in its entirety 
as a unique and comprehensive and consistent 
whole. I commenced reading The Churchman, 
still under the editorial conduct of Dr. Seabury. 
This divine developed, to a certain point, strong 
and decided Catholic tendencies, following, as 
he did, the Oxford movement in England, and 
reproducing on this side of the ocean the 
reasonings and discussions which then agitated 
the established church." 

Having attained to a conviction of the super- 


natural character of the Church, as an organ- 
ized body founded by Christ on the Apostles, 
commissioned by Him to teach all nations to 
the end of time and to fulfill His mission to men, 
possessing too in the sacraments the means of 
conferring grace, it was natural that Mr. Rich- 
ards' mind should advert to the necessity for 
Unity and Authority in the Church of Christ. 
"Starting," he writes, "with the doctrines of 
Apostolic Succession, Baptismal Regeneration, 
and generally the principles which characterized 
the sacramental system, the Tractarian leaders, 
about the time I am speaking of, had come to 
realize the importance of having some consistent 
and satisfactory theory of Unity. The prin- 
ciples of the Catholic Church are so simple, so 
natural, so easily proved both by reason and 
Scripture, and so evidently the doctrine of the 
Fathers of the Church, that when one is started 
on the road of sincere and honest investigation, 
progress is not only easy but deeply interesting 
and delightful. On the supposition that you are 
really a Catholic (though in a Protestant sect), 
with no difficulties ab extra to be reconciled, a 
man with any logic at all, to say nothing of 
aesthetic taste or pious inclination, will naturally 
drink in the system as a thirsty man drinks in 
water. I remember with what satisfaction I 
wrote a sermon on Unity. "What strong 
ground I took! There could in the nature of 


things be but one true Cliurcli; it would be an 
absurd contradiction to assert that our Lord 
established more than one body. And then 
how easily it was proved from Scripture and 
reason! There is 'one body and one Spirit,' 
&c. 'Be ye perfectly joined together in the 
same mind and the same judgment,' &c. 'Mark 
those who cause schisms among you and avoid 
them,' &c. I illustrated the absurdity of 
schismatics calling themselves the true Church 
by the case of the Masonic Fraternity, who con- 
stitute a compact body throughout the world, 
but who would not be likely to recognize a 
schism from their body, however respectable 
it might be, and however much of the spirit and 
teaching and ceremonial of the order it might 
retain. The schism might spread into all coun- 
tries and in some places it might almost super- 
sede the regular order, the mass of the people 
might be more acquainted with the schism than 
with the parent body. Their prejudices against 
the parent body might be so strong and they 
might be so accustomed to the assertion that it 
was corrupt and unworthy of confidence and 
that the schismatical body was the only true 
representative, the only real Masonic Frater- 
nity, that they would have no doubt of its genu- 
ineness. Yet it would be schismatical still. 
The old original Fraternity of Masons would 
not recognize the separatists, and they never 


could have a legitimate title to be called Masons 
without abandoning their schism and connect- 
ing themselves formally with the original 

The only fair inference from this reasoning, 
in one occupying Mr. Richards' position, was 
that the Episcopal Church was the original and 
only Catholic Church. This, however, he did 
not venture to assert. He did what others at 
the time did and are still doing, he avoided the 
difficulty and slurred it over with some general 
remarks as to the misery and sin of schism and 
the duty and desirability of unity among all 
who call themselves Christians. Mr. Eichards' 
account of the mental process by which he and 
his fellow seekers after Catholic truth in the 
Protestant Episcopal haystack reconciled them- 
selves to their anomalous position is not unin- 
teresting. ''The Via Media theory, in its day, 
was very popular. Truth, they said, lay in a 
middle way between Romanism on the one hand 
and Sectarianism on the other. Indeed, I know 
of nothing in the whole histor}^ of literature 
more wonderful than the pertinacity with which 
the very able leaders of the Oxford Movement 
both in England and this country adhered to 
their illogical position, and the extraordinary 
ingenuity displayed in trjdng to reconcile them- 
selves to that position. The Thirty Nine 
Articles were the greatest difficulty. They, 


if anything, must be taken as the true exponent 
of the (English) Reformation, that great move- 
ment by which the Anglican branch of the 
Church Catholic was severed from the Head 
and Centre of Unity. Strange to say, these 
men now advocated every doctrine that the Ar- 
ticles denounced. Tract Number Ninety, writ- 
ten by Dr. Newman, took the ground that the 
Articles were not a confession of faith, but 
articles of peace, drawn up for the special pur- 
pose of compromise between contending parties, 
and hence worded in an ambiguous way which 
admitted of an interpretation wide enough to 
embrace all parties. A striking illustration of 
this feature of the Articles is furnished by the 
twentieth of the series, on the Authority of the 
Church: 'The Church hath power to decree 
rites and ceremonies and authority in contro- 
versies of faith. And yet it is not lawful for 
the Church to ordain anything that is contrary 
to God's written word, neither may it so ex- 
plain one place of Scripture that it be repug- 
nant to another. Wherefore, though the 
Church be a witness and keeper of Holy Writ, 
yet as it ought not to decree anything against 
the same, so besides the same ought it not to 
enforce anything to be believed for necessity 
of salvation. ' Here you see the first declaration 
is quite Catholic : ' The Church hath authority 
in controversies of faith. ' . . . But then it goes 


on: 'It is not lawful for the Church to ordain 
anything contrary to God's word written,' &c. 
Here the question naturally suggests itself, who 
is to decide whether what the Church ordains 
is contrary to God's word written. There must 
be an authority somewhere, a final court of ap- 
peal. If the Church is that court, then why 
say the court must not decide, &c.'? If the 
Church is not that final authority, then it be- 
comes a very grave question who or what is. 
This question the article notoriously leaves en- 
tirely in the dark. It is vague, uncertain, am- 
biguous. So of the twenty-second Article, 'Of 
Purgatory, ' which says : * The Romish doctrine 
of Purgatory Pardons, worshiping and adora- 
tion as well of images as of relics and also of 
invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly in- 
vented and grounded upon no warranty of 
Scripture, but rather repugnant to the word of 
God.' Now how could Dr. Newman and his 
advanced confreres reconcile their advocacy of 
the doctrine of Purgatory, Invocation of Saints, 
&c., with what seems to be the plain declaration 
of the Article? Nothing easier! It is the 
Romish doctrine against which the Article is 
aimed, not the true doctrine. Possibly the Ar- 
ticle may err in charging the Eomish Church 
with teaching error in regard to these doctrines. 
That is not our lookout. It is however gener- 
ally admitted that superstition was encour- 


aged by the Church of Rome. That is what the 
Article is aimed at. We can still hold con- 
sistently to the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory, 
Invocation of Saints, &c. 

*'I mention these as specimens of the reason- 
ings of learned and able men to justify them- 
selves in holding Catholic doctrine while re- 
maining in a professedly Protestant church. 
Of course, one of the first discoveries that these 
men made was that the true Church was prop- 
erly and necessarily Catholic, that the Anglican 
establishment had made a great mistake in pro- 
fessing to be Protestant. They hastened to re- 
pair that evil by insisting that they were the 
true Catholics, that the Romanists were not 
the true Catholics and should not be permitted 
to monopolize the name. I learned at a pretty 
early period of my ministry to repeat this lan- 
guage and tried heartily to adopt the theory. 
I rang the changes on the theme. It was a 
favorite idea. There was a charm, a sort of fas- 
cination in boldly assuming that high vantage 
ground, in spite of the apparent inconsistency 
involved in it. Rather an amusing incident oc- 
curred, illustrating the absurdity of maintain- 
ing a false position. I had been preaching in 
Trinity Church for 'Brother' Tyng, who was 
absent from town. After the close of service, 
as I was passing out through the vestibule of 
the church, two or three Irishmen, evidently 


greenliorns just landed and seeking employ- 
ment in the West, came np the steps and meet- 
ing me in the vestibule tipped their hats re- 
spectfully. 'Please yer honor,' said one, 'is 
this the Catholic Church?' In the unso- 
phisticated simplicity of my nature, I re- 
plied: 'No, this is not the Catholic Church. 
It is over there, where you see the big cross,' at 
the same time pointing in the direction of the 
Catholic Church on Fifth Street. Think of my 
chagrin and mortification, when I became con- 
scious of this sudden and spontaneous betrayal 
of my new principles! The power of self- 
delusion in human nature is simply wonderful." 
This was a literal verification in modern times 
of an assertion of St. Augustme in the fourth 
century, that a stranger going into any town 
and inquiring for the Catholic Church would 
never be directed to a schismatical conventicle 
but to the place of worship of the real old Cath- 
olic Church, universally recognized as such and 
existing throughout the world. 

At this stage of our young minister's mental 
development, it was most providential that, in 
the year 1844, he happened to become ac- 
quainted with Brownson's Review. Orestes A. 
Brownson, perhaps the most vigorous thinker 
and powerful writer that has yet adorned the 
Catholic Church in America, had begun life, 
like Mr. Eichards himself, under the strictest 


Calvinistic training. Eepelled by the doctrines 
of unconditional election and reprobation, of 
predestination to sin and damnation, and the 
other unlovely features of that system, he had 
at first taken refuge in unbelief and a warfare 
on the most sacred institutions of society, mar- 
riage, property and religion. But seeing the 
absolute necessity, both logically and ethically 
of some religion, he worked his way by the 
sheer force of his own vigorous reasoning 
powers, through Humanitarianism, Universal- 
ism and Unitarianism, and finally, after con- 
sidering seriously the claims and professions 
of Anglicanism, up to the Catholic Church, into 
which he was received by Bishop Fitzpatrick 
of Boston in 1844. Throughout his whole 
career, he had been a prolific and most powerful 
writer on all social, religious and political sub- 
jects. Many of his articles had appeared in a 
publication of his own, the Boston Quarterly 
Revietv. Shortly before his conversion, this 
was revived under the title of Broivnson's 
Quarterly Revieiv, and almost to the time of 
his death in 1876 it was the means of immense 
benefit to the Church, particularly in giving to 
his old co-religionists outside of her fold a 
statement and defense of her doctrines which 
they would with difficulty have attained from 
any other source. With a mind as fearless and 
logical, if not so penetrating, as Brownson's 


own and with the same nnfaltering love for 
truth above all, the young minister read the first 
numbers with the deepest interest. The topics 
at first discussed indicated the transitional state 
of the Doctor's mind. They had reference 
principally to the nature of the Church itself 
as an organized Society, the Body of Christ, 
with the notes of Unity, Sanctity, Catholicity 
and Apostolicity. The ability and freshness 
with which the subjects were handled, the lumi- 
nous and exhaustive character of the discus- 
sions, had a powerful influence on the reader's 
mind, just then struggling with the same prob- 
lems. This was particularly true of a dispute 
between Dr. Brownson in his Review and the 
celebrated Dr. Samuel Seabury in the columns 
of The Churchman. Brownson had reviewed 
the letters of Bishop Hopkins of Vermont ''On 
the Novelties which Disturb our Peace/' and 
in doing so had advanced serious objections to 
Anglicanism. Dr. Seabury, in the hope of in- 
ducing Brownson to join the Episcopal Church, 
attempted to reply. He admitted, with the Ox- 
ford divines, that the Church was truly a cor- 
poration. But to escape from the obvious con- 
sequences of this admission, Seabury seemed 
to think he had raised an effectual guard by as- 
serting that a visible centre and a visible head 
were not essential to the existence of a corpo- 
rate body. He even seemed to hold that the cor- 


poration as such is invisible. To this Brown- 
son answered in substance that while the right 
of a number of persons to act collectively as a 
corporation is invisible, yet the corporation 
itself is as visible a body as an army. In like 
manner, the authoritv of the Church is invis- 
ible; for it is the authority of Christ, who is 
its invisible head. But the Church itself is vis- 
ible, like any other corporation, and it must be 
possessed of visible organs, and chiefly a visible 
head, through which it can act officially. He 
went on to show that, admitting the Church to be 
a corporation, it must needs be one in the unity 
of the corporation and one in its corporate 
authority, as well as one in the unity of faith 
and charity. "Now if the Church be a single 
corporation, that is, a single body corporate or 
politic, as it must be if it is one corporation 
and not an assembly of corporations, the Angli- 
cans, in breaking the unity of the corporation 
and declaring their church an independent cor- 
poration, as we all know they did, were guilty 
of schism." At the end of his article. Brown- 
son makes that profession of faith in Catholic- 
ity which came probably as a surprise to many 
even of those who had followed his career. 
'*We confess that the more closely we examine 
the claims of the Church of England, the more 
untenable we find them. We had almost worked 
ourselves into the desire to connect ourselves 


with that cliurcli; and we are not certain but 
we should have done so, had it not been for 
the Letters of Bishop Hopkins, which we found 
ourselves unable to refute on Anglican princi- 
ples. We confess that Bishop Hopkins appears 
to us to be true to his church and to interpret 
her constitution and doctrines according to 
the genuine principles of its founders. His 
brethren who differ from him have more with 
which we sympathize than he has ; but they are, 
in our judgment, less faithful to Anglicanism. 
They would fain have us receive tlieir church 
as Catholic, and disingenuously, in their publi- 
cations, call it Catholic; but it is a Protestant 
church, Protestant in spirit, in doctrine, in 
position, and in name, and we cannot reconcile 
it to our sense of honesty and frankness to call 
it by any other name. It seems to us ridiculous 
to call it Catholic. 

"Even The Churchman itself calls its church 
'the reformed Catholic Church,' which admits 
its fallibility ; for if it had not been fallible, it 
could never have needed reforming; and being 
fallible, who shall assure us that it may not 
need reforming again? This is enough for us. 
"We have been forced by our own errors, mis- 
takes, misapprehensions, self-contradictions 
and frequent changes of opinion on all subjects, 
even the most vital, to admit that our own rea- 
son alone is not adequate to settle the great 


questions which concern our peace and salva- 
tion. We must have a guide, but do not mock 
us with a fallible guide. Talk not to us of a 
church, unless you have an infallible church to 
offer us. We have followed a fallible guide 
long enough. We believe Christ did found an 
infallible church, rendered infallible by his per- 
petual presence and supervision. To that 
church we willingly yield obedience. But your 
church is not it, for yours, by your confession, 
is fallible. We have therefore been obliged to 
look beyond Anglicanism, to a church which at 
least claims to be infallible and which demands 
our obedience only on the ground that it is in- 

' ' Nor have we any sympathy with the war of 
The Churchman against the Papacy. . . . We 
find Anglicanism more objectionable in its re- 
jection of the papacy than in anything else. 
This was its primal sin, its mother error, from 
which has come, as a natural progeny, its whole 
brood of errors. Had it not been for the 
Papacy, the Church, humanly speaking, had 
failed long ere this. In the institution and 
preservation of the Papacy, we see the especial 
providence of God. We shrink not from the 
abused name of Papist ; and we only regret that 
the ambition and wickedness of civil rulers have 
been able to prevent the Papacy from doing all 
the good it has attempted. No man must think 


to frighten us by the cry of 'Popery.' Happy 
are we to acknowledge the authority of the Holy 
Father; more happy shall we be, if we can so 
live as to secure his blessing." 

To Brownson's arraig-nment, Seabury made 
no reply, in spite of the explicit request and 
demand for an answer contained in the article. 
His Pligh Church partisans waited long and 
anxiously for their champion's response; but it 
never came, and the subject was not alluded to 
again in the columns of The Churchman. 

This incident had a powerful effect in clarify- 
ing Mr. Richards' mind. He had become 
heartily sick of the endless divisions of Protes- 
tantism and the uncertainty and confusion of 
doctrine in the Episcopal Church. He longed 
for unity and for certainty of faith. He found 
himself, by this time, possessed, on his own 
judgment, of a certain number of Catholic doc- 
trines, or rather opinions; but he saw around 
him every conceivable variety of belief, the 
Bishops themselves hopelessly at variance, and 
no authority competent, or even claiming to be 
competent, to settle these disputes with final 
and unerring certainty. He was rapidly com- 
ing to realize that the Roman Catholic Church 
possessed not only a definite, fixed system of 
doctrine, Unity of Faith, but also an organ for 
the preservation of that unity. 

The Branch Theory, that spurious makeshift 


devised to retain anxious souls in heresy and 
schism, and actually to this day retaining so 
many hundreds who would otherwise find refuge 
in the true Fold, had no attractions for his frank 
and straightforward mind. He thus writes con- 
cerning it: ''I shall never forget the surprise 
with which I first read a full and able statement 
of the Branch Theory. The true Church is 
composed of all w^ho retain the Apostolic Suc- 
cession, and is divided into three great 
branches, the Eastern or Greek, the Western or 
Roman, and the Anglican. 'Anglo-Catholic' 
was a favorite designation at this time. These 
great branches had become 'temporarily alien- 
ated' from one another. It was a useless task 
to undertake to determine where the principal 
fault of the alienation lay. There was undoubt- 
edly fault on all sides. The true policy now 
was to cease quarreling, to let by-gones be by- 
gones, and all unite in a grand etfort for union. 
The tone of controversialists in the 'Anglo- 
Catholic' party toward the Catholic Church was 
entirely changed. The Romanists were no 
longer the horrible monsters they had uniformly 
been represented to be by the old Iconoclasts 
and Fathers of the Reformation. The Roman 
was a true branch, a Sister Church, having law- 
ful jurisdiction in her own territory. Some- 
times they even spoke of wooing their Ro- 
man Sister to a more fraternal intercourse. 


Said Keble, the sweet singer, the poet of the 
party : 

" 'And oh ! by all the pangs and fears 

Fraternal spirits know, 
\\'hen for an elder's shame the tears 

Of wakeful anguish flow, 
Speak gently of our Sister's fall; 

Who knows but gentle love 
May win her at our patient call 

The surer way to prove!' 

"The question naturally arose, admitting the 
Branch Theory, when was it probable that the 
alienation would cease! The Greek Schism 
occurred about one thousand years ago, the 
Anglican three hundred. What new ground of 
hope had they that the obstacles which had so 
long stood in the way of reconciliation would 
be removed? The greatest obstacle of all was 
the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Supremacy 
of the Pope and the essential headship of the 
See of Peter. The Anglicans were ready to 
admit the Primacy of Peter, but denied the 
Supremacy, or in other words, the divine in- 
stitution of the Papacy and its consequent 
necessity to the very constitution of the Church. 
"What reason had they to suppose Catholics 
would yield this principle, which they have held 
from the very beginning and which is to them 
the very bulwark of orthodoxy? They made 
very earnest attempts at fraternizing with the 
Greek Church, but were given the cold shoulder 


by the Greek ecclesiastics. Still with wonder- 
ful pertinacity they adhered to their favorite 
theory and displayed the most remarkable in- 
genuity in sustaining it. It did not satisfy me. 
I had at a quite early period of my upward 
progress got a glimpse of the Catholic idea of 
the Unity of the Church, with a Head and Cen- 
tre of Unity in the Papacy, and of the argu- 
ments from reason and scripture in support of 
it, and it made a permanent lodgment in my 
mind. I could not get rid of it. It staid with 
me. It haunted me. I could see no satisfac- 
tory answer to it, and the more I reflected on 
the subject, the more I was convinced that that 
was just what Protestantism lacked, just what 
we all needed and must have in order to attain 
to Unity of Faith or Unity of Organization. I 
came to despise Protestantism as such and to 
deplore the so-called Reformation. I was 
haunted by the idea that the See of Peter was 
the Rock on which the Church was built and 
which had the promise of our Lord that the 
gates of hell should never prevail against it. 
For a wonder, I had never been much of an 
Anti-Popery man. With my antecedents and 
surroundings, I should have been a good Popery 
hater and should have had much to say against 
the abominations of Sodom and all that. But 
I am thankful that the mercy of God preserved 
me from that species of fanaticism, so that I 


seldom made allusion to the doctrines of 

In the autumn of 1844, Mr. Eicliards attended 
the Convention of the Episcopal Church which 
was held in Philadelphia. The occasion was 
made memorable for him by his rebaptism. 
The controversies concerning the nature of this 
sacrament and its effect upon the soul had 
aroused in the minds of many members of the 
advancing High Church party, particularly 
clergymen, doubts and scruples as to the valid- 
ity of their own baptism. They did not see how 
a minister who had no faith in the spiritual re- 
generation effected by baptism could in fact 
be the channel or instrument of that grace. 
They would seem, so far as is known to the 
writer of these pages, not to have been familiar 
with the doctrine of Catholic theologians as to 
the intention of the minister of the sacrament, 
viz., that any one, even a pagan, who has the 
intention of doing what the Church does, really 
confers the sacrament, provided the proper 
form and matter are employed. Mr. Eichards, 
who had been baptized in infancy as a Presbj^- 
terian, had esjoecial reason for doubt. In meet- 
ing with large numbers of his fellow clerg^Tnen 
during the time of the Convention, the subject 
was fully discussed. The result is told in the 
following passage from a letter to his wife 
under date of October 9, 1844 : 


''Bishop "Whittingham is a noble man. And 
what will you say if I tell you that yesterday 
morning at Matins he baptized your humble 
servant! Oh, what a blessed privilege! That 
one thing is worth my whole journey. That 
great question is settled. My mind is relieved. 
I am now a member of Christ's Holy Church. 
God be praised. Mr. Giles, formerly a Kenyon 
student, now at Alexandria Seminary, was re- 
baptized on Sunday by Bishop Otey. . . . Re- 
baptization is becoming quite common. Messrs. 
Davis and Bonner have both relieved their 
minds in that way and Bishop Whitting- 
ham tells me he has rebaptized some seven- 
teen. ..." 

But rebaptism was probably not the chief 
reason for Mr. Richards' attendance at the 
Convention. This was rather the expectation 
of a strenuous conflict on the general question 
of Catholic doctrines and practices in the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church in the United States. 
We have described in an earlier chapter the 
progress of these tendencies, in general accord 
with the Tractarian movement in England. It 
was not to be expected that the innovators 
should meet with no opposition. They were 
in fact opposed and denounced as Romanizers, 
and the church was divided into factions show- 
ing at times bitter hostility. ''Church news- 
papers" says Dr. Tiffany, "multiplied. The 


Churchman, the Protestant Churchman, the 
Banner of the Cross, the Episcopal Reader, 
and many more evinced growth of church in- 
terest, but also increase of church strife, which 
they did nothing to allay but everything to 
inflame. . . . Even in its missionary depart- 
ment, the Church seemed to rise against itself 
(pp. 458, 459)." 

*'The publication of Tract 90 produced a 
ferment in America, as in England. . . . The 
Roman Catholic Bishop, Dr. Kenrick, jiub- 
licly appealed to the bishops to sul)mit to the 
Church of Rome, on the ground that the Ox- 
ford tracts had yielded almost every ground 
of dispute between the two communions; and 
Bishop Hopkins of Vermont, always ready for 
controversy and delighting in it, made an in- 
dignant reply, and in American fashion chal- 
lenged Bishop Kenrick to an oral discussion. 
But it was the Carey ordination in New York 
which sounded a note of alarm, which sent a 
shudder through the church and stirred Bishop 
PTopkins to write his celebrated 'Letters on the 
Novelties which Disturb our Peace,' which pub- 
lication later on somewhat disturbed his own. 
The ordination of Arthur Carev, involving as 
it did the ofiacial recognition of the views of 
Tract 90 as legitimate in the (American) 
Church, created an impression altogether out 
of keeping with the importance of the candi- 


date. He was indeed a j^oung man of marked 
ability and singular sanctity of character, a 
graduate of the General Theological Seminary, 
forced into premature notice ; for he graduated 
in 1842, too young for ordination. When he 
came up for examination in 1843, it was found 
that he accepted the teaching of Tract 90, and 
believed in the reconciliation of the Decrees of 
the Council of Trent with the Thirty-nine 
Articles, though it is said that he suggested 
that it was the Decrees which required explana- 
tion and not the Articles (pp. 473, 474)." 

Father Walworth, who spent a year with 
Carey at the New York General Seminary, pre- 
ceding the latter 's ordination, speaks of his 
fellow student with the greatest reverence and 
affection. It is somewhat remarkable that both 
in New York and at Kenyon, the first prophet 
of the Catholic movement was a young student 
of extremely gentle and devout character, 
tenderly beloved by his companions, and sim- 
ilar in many respects to Hurrell Froude of Ox- 
ford, and that all three died before their work 
seemed to be in any considerable degree accom- 
plished. "His life was holy and lovely. For 
one year, during which our chamber doors 
faced each other, I saw him constantly and 
closely, but for all that sight or sound could 
tell, to me his character was faultless. ... It 
could not be difficult for such a young man to 


secure permission from the faculty of the 
seminary to keep his room there for yet another 
year after his graduation, when he would arrive 
at the canonical age for ordination. This en- 
abled him to use the library of the institution 
while he pursued his studies in private. Dur- 
ing this time, apparently so quiet for him, that 
great storm was brewing which broke upon his 
solitary habits and gentle heart like a 
thunderbolt (p. 59)." Carey's ordination was 
objected to on the ground of Eomanizing tend- 
encies. He was subjected to a special ex- 
amination by a board which was to have tried 
J. B. McMaster also on the same charge. The 
faculty decided that McMaster should remain 
in the seminary another year, and the Board, 
composed of Doctors Berrian, McVickar, Sea- 
bury, Anthon and Smith, and the Rev. Messrs. 
Haight, Higbee and Price, and presided over 
by Bishop Benjamin T. Onderdonk, devoted 
their entire attention to Carey. "It was well 
understood by all parties present at this trial 
that Drs. Smith and Anthon appeared not only 
as judges but as accusers." All the examiners 
but these two were satisfied" by the cautious and 
well considered, but perfectly frank answers of 
Carey, though these revealed that he either ac- 
cepted or inclined to Catholic doctrine in re- 
gard to the Holy Eucharist, Purgatory, the In- 
vocation of the Saints, &c. At his ordination 


in St. Stephen's Church on the following Sun- 
day, the Rev. Hugh Smith and the Rev. Dr. 
Antlion, habited in their canonicals, arose suc- 
cessively from a pew in the middle aisle and 
read their solemn protests against the ordina- 
tion, on the ground that the candidate held doc- 
trines adverse to those of his church and too 
nearly bordering on Popery, and referring for 
proof to statements and circumstances within 
the Bishop's knowledge. Bishop Onderdonk 
rose and made a dignified and emphatic reply 
and went on with the ordination, while the pro- 
testing divines left the church. 

The immediate effect of these events was 
a storm of controversy and recrimination 
throughout the country. Every one of the ex- 
amining committee was obliged by public ex- 
citement to account for himself by some pub- 
lished statement. Pamphlets and editorials 
abounded, and a new publication, The Protes- 
tant Churchman, was founded to counteract the 
influence of Dr. Seabury's Churchman. At 
the Diocesan Convention of Ohio in October of 
the same year. Bishop Mcllvaine, in his charge 
to the clergy, uttered a solemn protest against 
the ordination of candidates entertaining 
Carey's beliefs. As the General Convention of 
1844 approached, it was generally understood 
that the Ohio delegation would introduce a 
resolution condemning the Catholic movement 


and that a vigorous contest would result. Mr. 
Richards, standing almost alone among the 
Ohio clergy in his sympathy with the Tracta- 
rians, could not expect to be elected a delegate ; 
but he went as a spectator. **As was antici- 
pated," he writes in the letter above quoted, 
"the Ohio delegation have lugged in the Ox- 
ford hobby. Several resolutions, substitutes 
and amendments have been offered and dis- 
cussed with much courtesy and dignity and 
Christian feeling. There are some few rad- 
icals besides the 'lesser lights' which revolve 
around the 'lone star' of the West." 

The following letter, dated Oct. 15th, gives 
some personal details of interest concerning 
some of the leading churchmen of the day: — 

"Phil.u)elphia, Oct. 15, 1844. 
"My dear Cynthia: 

"If there ever was a poor home-sick fellow, 
I am he. . . . The convention is right in the 
midst of its most important business, and ap- 
parently of its session. Not one single great 
question has yet been decided. The consecra- 
tion will not take place till no one knows when. 
But I can not wait longer. I must go home and 
see my wife and little one and attend to the 
duties of my parish. 

"On Sunday last we had a most delightful 
time in St. Peter's. And here let me say how 


exceedingly fortunate I have been in getting a 
berth at Mr. Davis's. It has brought me in 
contact with a large circle of the very cream of 
the Church. I have had the pleasure of an in- 
troduction and frequent meetings in the vestry 
with Bishops Whittingham, Onderdonk, Otey, 
De San, Ives, as well as many D.D.s and clergy 
of inferior grade though of high standing in 
the Church. St. Peter's is a kind of focus of 
Church influence, and the daily prayers as well 
as . the Sunday services bring together num- 
bers of the very best, the most substantial and 
thoroughgoing churchmen in the country. 
Last Sunday was indeed a 'high day,' a feast 
of fat things. There w^ere fourteen surpliced 
clergy; not a black gown appeared on the oc- 
casion; four or five Bishops were present. In 
the morning Bishop Onderdonk preached an ad- 
mirable, sound, thorough Church sermon on 
Church Education. He is very much such a 
man as I had imagined him, short, thick, rather 
corpulent in personal appearance, a real Dutch- 
man, — full of vigor and energy, prompt and 
decided, kind, gentlemanly and rather playful, 
a word for everyone. 

*'In the afternoon. Bishop Ives preached. I 
have spoken of him before ; he is a noble man, 
a beautiful writer and a very attractive 
preacher. But the lion of the day was Bishop 
Whittingham. He preached in the evening, and 


such a sermon! He is a tall, graceful figure, 
large bead, long face, good looking but not 
handsome, a man of great energy, what we 
call a go-ahead man, of enlarged and compre- 
hensive views, great learning and most pro- 
foundly respected by all who know him. The 
subject of his sermon was the contrast between 
the piety of the present age and that which the 
scriptures enjoin and which was developed in 
the life of primitive Christians. 'I beseech 
you that ye walk not as other Gentiles walk.' 
It was a noble effort, a most powerful thrilling 
discourse and fearless, faithful protest against 
modern worldliness. His eloquence is not that 
of graceful gesture, musical voice and melting 
persuasion, but the eloquence of a great mind, 
laboring intensely with great thoughts. It is 
commanding, like the rushing of a mighty tor- 
rent; he soars above this world and seems to 
live and breathe in a higher, purer atmosphere 
and long to strive to draw up others to the same 
high dignity and privilege. Would to God we 
had such a man at the head of the Church in 
Ohio; surely then the Church would arise and 
shine, and become a glory and a blessing in the 
land. . . . 

'*My rebaptism is attracting some attention 
here. I presume the news will precede me, and 
beat me home. I care not; I have done my 
duty. I leave the result in the hands of God. 


* ' I long to be in the midst of my little parish 
at work. Do remember me most affectionately 
to every member of the little flock and may God 
bless them all — with all spiritual blessings in 
heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and may He 
bring me to you again in the fullness of the 
blessings of the gospel of peace. 

''Hoping soon to see you, I remain as ever, 

"Your affectionate, 


On the following day, he writes as follows: 
''I have just returned from the Convention. 
After considerable debate, the house proceeded 
at half past nine o'clock to vote upon the Ox- 
ford subject. I cannot stop to describe the 
process. There were so many resolutions, 
amendments and substitutes. . . . Suffice it 
now that the Church is safe, sound to the core. 
Praised be God! The enemies of her peace (I 
say not the willful, intentional enemies) have 
met with a signal defeat. . . . Oh, if you could 
have seen the Ohio delegation! . . . Poor Bro. 

D hung on to Dr. Brooks' tail to the last. 

Indeed the whole delegation just followed his 
beck. They were, or seemed to be, a perfect 
nose of wax which the Dr. twisted to suit him- 
self. . . . Good night! God bless you and the 
little one!" 

The long debates on the Oxford Movement 


had resulted in no definite action, save a resolu- 
tion declaring "the liturgy, offices and articles 
of the church sufficient exponents of her sense 
of the essential doctrines of Holy Scripture; 
and that the canons of the church aiford ample 
means of discipline and correction for all who 
depart from her standards; and further that 
the General Convention is not a suitable tribu- 
nal for the trial and censure of, and that the 
church is not responsible for, the errors of in- 
dividuals, whether they are members of the 
church or otherwise." 

The storm passed with less violence than had 
been anticipated. It was soon to gather in 
condensed form in the trial of Bishop B. T. 
Onderdonk of New York. Already before the 
Convention assembled, Bishop Henry U. On- 
derdonk of Pennsylvania had been charged in 
his own diocese with habits of intemperance, 
with a view to bringing him to trial before his 
peers, and on resigning his office and asking 
for sentence from the House of Bishops, he 
was suspended from all public exercise of the 
functions of the ministry. He had explained 
his delinquencies as due in the first place to ill- 
ness and great pain. * * This sentence, excelling 
in severity and declared by the distinguished 
legal authority of Horace Binney to be not 
only unjust, but uncanonical and illegal, was 
submitted to without protest by the Bishop, 


who, if he had shown frailty, had displayed a 
noble manliness of acknowledgment and sin- 
cere repentance. He forthwith gave up all 
use of stimulants ; and such was the subsequent 
unsullied sanctity of his life that in 1856 his 
sentence was revoked. It is unpossible to 
avoid the conclusion that the heated state of 
party feeling had unconsciously much to do 
with the whole course of the affair, ' ' ^ But 
this was unimportant compared with the trial 
and condemnation of Bishop Benjamin T. On- 
derdonk of New York. "With great ability and 
success, this prelate had withstood attacks 
made in the Convention of his own diocese up- 
on his course in favoring Tractarianism and 
ordaining Carey. In the General Convention, 
as we have seen, his success and that of his 
supporters had been equally complete. His 
opponents now had recourse to other tactics. 
Charges of immorality were brought against 
him by four ministers and a layman, and the 
Bishops were forced to take them up. He was 
brought to trial, on December 10th, 1844, be- 
fore a court of seventeen bishops, and after a 
trial of three weeks, found guilty by a majority 
of eleven to six. The accused never flinched 
from the assertion of his innocence, which he 
maintained to the day of his death. ''No at- 
tempt to commit any criminal act," says Wal- 

1 Tiffany, p. 476. 


worth, "was either proved or alleged. . . . 
None of the instances (of indiscreet and im- 
proper conduct) alleged against him had oc- 
curred within two years and a half of the 
trial." ''It has been surmised," writes Tif- 
fany, "that had there been an acknowledgment 
by the accused, before the trial, of indiscretions 
which had been misinterpreted as improprie- 
ties, no trial would have occurred. The treat- 
ment of his brother of Pennsylvania does not 
seem to warrant such a conclusion. There was 
generally a stern determination to vindicate 
the moral status of the episcopate in the face 
of high ecclesiastical claims, and the rumors of 
gross fault were such as to furnish an oppor- 
tunity which seemed to involve an obliga- 
tion. . . . Bishop Onderdonk was in conse- 
quence suspended and never restored, though 
efforts in that direction were made by the New 
York diocese. ... It is as impossible here as 
in tlie case of his brother of Pennsylvania to 
avoid the conclusion that the court could not 
escape the influence of theological and ecclesias- 
tical discussions. "2 Though it belongs to a 
somewhat later date, we may mention here the 
third of the series of trials of bishops which 
marked this epoch. Bishop G. W. Doane of 
New Jersey, a prelate of exalted character, 
"had been forced into bankruptcy in his at- 

2 Tiffany, pp. 478, 479. 


tempt to found Burlington College for the sons 
and St. Mary's School for the daughters of the 
church. Like many a man of noble ideas, he 
lacked the financial skill to embody them in a 
isuccessful institution." In the preceding 
trials, Bishop Mcllvaine had apparently taken 
no part ; but he was now one of three bishops 
who presented Doane for investigation for 
financial irregularities. The trial was insisted 
on, in spite of the fact that the bishop's own 
diocese had exonerated and sustained him in 
two conventions. The court dismissed the 
charges on this ground in October, 1852. On 
a third presentment, a court of twenty-one 
bishops was assembled in Camden, in Septem- 
ber, 1853; but such legal points were raised 
that the presentment was dismissed and the 
respondent discharged without a formal trial. 
''The trial of Bishop Smith of Kentucky, in his 
own diocese, on a charge of inveracity, resulted 
yet more grotesquely than the fiasco in New 
Jersey. The court, chosen by the diocese, re- 
turned the verdict, 'Guilty, but without the 
least criminality.' "^ 

The disgrace of Bishop Onderdonk was a 
substantial victory for the Evangelical party 
in the Protestant Episcopal Church. His sup- 
porters felt humiliated. The students of the 
General Seminary were deprived of their prin- 

3 Tiffany, p. 481, note. 


cipal protector. The result was a temporary 
cheek to Tractarianism as a general movement 
in that church. Some of its adherents made 
their submission very shortly to the Catholic 
Church, as Walworth in 1845 and McMaster 
shortly after. These two, in company with 
Isaac Hecker, who, like Brownson, had made 
his way into the Church on independent lines, 
sailed for Belgium on August 2nd, 1845, to 
enter the Redemptorist novitiate at St. Trond. 
Another of this set of students was Edgar P. 
Wadhams, afterward the first Catholic Bishop 
of Ogdensburg. He was received in June, 
1846. This year saw also the submission of 
the Rev. Nathaniel Augustine liewit, afterward 
Superior General of the Paulists and one of 
the greatest priests that this countiy has pro- 
duced ; of Sylvester H. Eosecrans, afterward 
first Bishop of Columbus, whose brother, the 
famous General W. S. Rosecrans, a graduate 
of Kenyon, had preceded him into the Church 
by a year; the Rev. Wm. H. Iloyt, of St. Al- 
bans, Vermont, with his wife, three sons and 
two daughters; and Peter H. Burnett, who 
afterward became the first American Governor 
of California and Justice of the Supreme Court 
of that State. James Roosevelt Bayley, a 
nephew of Mrs. Seton, destined in after life to 
be Bishop of Newark and Archbishop of Balti- 
more, had been received in 1842. The stream 


of conversions set np at tliis time went on 
rapidly increasing, helped by the submission of 
Newman in England in 1845 and tlie uneasiness 
caused by the famous Hampden case in 1847 
and the Gorham case in 1849 and 1850. Not- 
able instances were those of Robert Armytage 
Bakewell (1848), a student of the General 
Seminary of New York, who attained high dis- 
tinction as a Judge in St. Louis ; the Rev. John 
Engelbert Snyder, a Lutheran Minister of Col- 
umbus (1848) ; the Rev. Doctor Porter of Mt. 
Vernon, Ohio (1849), who for twenty years 
had been a minister of the Reformed Church; 
Rev. George Lamb Roberts, an Episcopal min- 
ister of Vincennes, Indiana (1850) ; William 
Everett, afterward the saintly pastor of the 
Church of the Nativity, New York; and many 
others. Commodore Benjamin Franklin Bache, 
M.D., U. S. N., who was for a time Pro- 
fessor of Chemistry at Kenyon, became a 
Catholic in 1849. During the Civil War, he 
rendered great service to the Union cause by 
maintaining at his own expense a laboratory 
in connection with the Department of the Navy. 
Jedediah V. Huntington, one of the most 
highly cultivated of Anglican clergymen in 
America, was received, together with his wife, 
in 1849. He was afterward a prominent figure 
in Catholic literary circles. Finally, in the 
year 1852, Levi Silliman Ives, Bishop of North 


Carolina, one of the most universally respected 
prelates of the Anglican commnnion, made his 
submission. Sailing for Europe with his wife, 
ostensibly for a vacation of six toionths, he 
placed his abjuration in the hands of Arch- 
bishop Hughes of New York. His resignation 
of his office and coming reception into the 
Catholic Church were made known to his 
diocesans in a letter from Eome, dated Dec. 
22nd, 1852. This was the culminating point of 
the Tractarian Movement in America. From 
that time, the two parties in the Episcopal 
Church seemed to moderate gradually their 
bitterness of feeling and to be more inclined to 
tolerate differences of belief and practice, 
fundamental and mutually destructive as these 
differences plainly were. At this period, Dr. 
Tiffany estimates the number of Episcopal 
clergymen received into the Catholic Church 
in the United States, as ''hardly more than 
fifty." In the year 1846, Bishop Mcllvaine, 
in an address made to his diocesan con- 
vention in explanation of his refusal to 
consecrate Mr. Eichards' new church so 
long as it had an altar (an episode which 
we must recount later), spoke with horror of 
the fact that ''nearly one hundred clergymen 
of our Mother Church in Great Britain and 
several from our own church" had gone over 
to Rome in the space of five or six years. 


Hence it would appear that almost all of the 
fifty mentioned by Tiffany made their submis- 
sion between the years 18-1:6 and 1852, — a rate 
of progress not at all inferior, probably, to 
that of the movement in England, if we take 
note of the comparative fewness of the mem- 
bers and clergy of the Anglican Church in the 
United States. 

But this is to anticipate the course of our 
history. In the midst of these exciting events, 
Henry Richards found himself unexpectedly 
forced into a position of prominence in the pre- 
vailing controversies and compelled to feel the 
weight of Bishop Mcllvaine's opposition to 
Catholicizing tendencies. In 1815, his new 
church, St. Paul's, was completed and ready 
for consecration. Mr. Richards had been a 
great favorite with the Bishop, and his wife 
enjoyed the same distinction. When a young 
lady, she had nursed back to health the Bish- 
op's son, who had been taken seriously ill at 
Mrs. Whiting's. The Bishop, who was really a 
large hearted man, never forgot it, and his 
esteem for the fair nurse was not lessened by 
her becoming the wife of his favorite pupil. 
But after it became understood that Mr. Rich- 
ards had taken the upward track, the Bishop, 
who was most keen sighted in detecting tend- 
encies to Rome, took the alarm and became 
very suspicious. Now it happened that the 


architect, in designing the interior fittings of 
the church, had provided as communion table 
an altar with Gothic panels, corresponding 
with the style of the building, and covered with 
a marble slab. There was no intention on Mr. 
Richards' part to conform in this to any theory 
of sacrifice and priesthood; indeed the design 
seems to have originated with the architect 
without suggestion. Other altars of the same 
kind in several churches of the diocese had 
never attracted condemnation or even remark. 
Nevertheless, to his great surprise, the Pastor 
received a letter from the Bishop saying that 
he understood there was a Romish altar in the 
church, and unless it were removed and a good 
honest table substituted for it, he could not per- 
form the consecration. On enquiry, it was 
learned that it was not the fact that the altar 
was a fixture against the wall, nor that it was 
covered mth a marble slab, that constituted 
the obnoxious feature, but simply that it was 
an enclosed structure, a box with panels. The 
Minister, his Wardens and Vestry and the con- 
gregation, or at least a large portion of it, felt 
deeply aggrieved. They entertained not the 
slightest doubt that the position taken by the 
Bishop was entirely arbitrary, inconsistent, and 
even ridiculous, and that the principle laid down 
by him would not be sustained by the general 
sentiment of the church. This placed Mr. 


Richards in a difficult position and one painful 
to his conscience. The whole question of the 
extent and limitations of episcopal authority 
and of the true doctrine of the Christian 
Church on sacrifice and priesthood pressed 
upon him for immediate and practical solution. 
Neither he nor his supporters desired a con- 
flict with their Bishop. In this situation, Mr. 
Richards wrote for advice to Hugh Davey 
Evans, a lajmian then conducting, with great 
ability, as was thought, The True CatJiolic of 
Baltimore, Mr. Evans wrote a sympathetic 
letter, under date of January 19th, 1846, in 
which he deplores the misfortune of the Min- 
ister and Vestry in being under an un-Catholic 
bishop, but says that it is by the appointment 
of the Divine Head of the Church. He coun- 
sels entire submission, not only for the sake 
of peace, but as a matter of religious obedience, 
declaring the shape and material of the altar 
to be, in his opinion, entirely a matter of taste, 
indifferent in itself so far as its relation 
to the sacrifice is concerned. Incidentally, he 
gives a definition of the sacrifice which excludes 
altogether the Real Presence and reduces it to 
an offering of bread and wine, as mere symbols 
of the Body and Blood of Christ, ^Ho be re- 
turned to the worshipers in a spiritual and 
mysterious manner, to the strengthening and 
refreshing of their souls thereby, as their 


bodies are by the bread and wine. ' ' Referring 
to a decision by the Court of Arches in Eng- 
land, he says : "Nor should I attach any great 
importance to any decision of an English Ec- 
clesiastical Court in any matter connected with 
our church (in the United States). I consider 
them Erastian institutions, blots on the Eng- 
lish Church, and know that they administer 
rather the secular laws of England than the 
true ecclesiastical law." It was determined 
by the Rector and Vestry to submit entirely 
in fact, but to enter a protest against the right 
of the Bishop to impose his will in a matter 
not forbidden by any rubric or custom, thus 
leaving the question of principle open for 
future determination. On March 15th, 1846, 
the Vestry met and passed the following Reso- 
lutions, kindly copied for the present work by 
Mrs. A. Newton Whiting, daughter-in-law of 
the Senior Warden, with permission of the Rev. 
John Hewitt, the present Rector of St. Paul's 
Church : — 

**Wliereas the Right Revd. the Bishop of the 
Diocese has addressed a communication to the 
AYardens and Vestrymen of this Parish in 
which he maintains that the structure erected 
in St. Paul's Church for the administration of 
the Lord's Supper is a 'Romish Altar,' and 
whereas he requests that that structure be re- 


moved and a 'table with legs' substituted in 
its place — and Whereas he has intimated that 
he will make the substitution a condition of the 
consecration of the church, and that he will 
make it a rule of conduct in the consecration 
of all churches in the diocese for the future — 
Therefore: Resolved that in causing the said 
structure to be erected the Wardens and Ves- 
trjTiien of St. Paul's Church have not adopted 
anything new or contrary to the custom of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church — Resolved 2dly 
— That so far from having any intention or 
desire to bring into our church the errours and 
corruptions of the Church of Rome, either in 
doctrine or practice, whether covertly or openly, 
we do most heartily detest those errours and 
corruptions and do most cordially assent to and 
maintain the Protest of our Church against 
them — Resolved 3dly — That as the Church of 
Rome has, by the confession of all candid men, 
retained many things truly Catholic both in 
doctrine and practice, we cannot sympathize 
with those who profess to see danger in every, 
even the minutest, conformity to that Church, 
knowing full well that such a sentiment would 
deprive us, not only of everything that identi- 
fies us with the Holy Catholic Church, but also, 
as a consequence, of every peculiarity that dis- 
tinguishes us from the various sects by which 
we are surrounded — Resolved 4thly, that with 


reference to the 'Altar' or 'Holy Table' in par- 
ticular we esteem it as simply a matter indiffer- 
ent what its form shall be, so that it be not 
inappropriate to the sacred use for which it is 
designed, and therefore we cannot but deem it 
inexpedient, to say the least, that the minds 
of the members of our churches should be dis- 
turbed by any question in relation to it. Re- 
solved 5thly, That although we do not recog- 
nize the right of the Bishop of the Diocese to 
interfere in the matter under consideration and 
although we feel deeply aggrieved by the reso- 
lution he has adopted, yet, as he has intimated 
that he has conscientious scruples about the 
consecration of a church which has such a struc- 
ture as ours for the administration of the 
Lord's Supper, and as we feel disposed at all 
times duly to respect the conscientious scruples 
of our Bishop — when they do not involve any 
sacrifice of principle — and as we believe that it 
will conduce most to the peace of the Church 
and the glory of God to jdeld to the wishes of 
the Bishop in this case, we do therefore hereby 
direct the building committee to make the 
change requested." 

Another letter from Hugh Davey Evans, 
written April 6th, seems to show that Bishop 
Mcllvaine, as was natural, was not disposed to 
accept this submission under protest as entirely 


satisfactory and that he insisted upon uncon- 
ditional surrender. Meantime the recalci- 
trants, to show their sincerity, sawed out the 
Gothic panels on three sides of their altar 
(someone suggested so that the Bishop could 
see whether there were any Eomish relics or 
not) and finished up the two corners as pillars, 
thus transforming it into a massive table, and 
the Bishop concluded not to push his authority 
further. The church was duly consecrated on 
Augiist 11th, 1846. 

The second letter of Mr. Evans throws some 
interesting sidelights on the relations of Bish- 
ops and clergy in the High and Low sections 
of the Episcopal Church. He says : "You will 
oblige me by sending me a copy of the instru- 
ment which the Bp. requires your Vestry to 
sign, if you can conscientiously do so. The 
words 'spiritual jurisdiction' are regarded as 
a great bugbear by our Low Church friends in 
this diocese. A church in this city remains un- 
consecrated although ready for that solemnity 
two or three years ago, because the vestry re- 
fuse to sign an instrument containing these 
words. The same words constituted a topic of 
attack upon a canon proposed at our last 
diocesan convention. The orthodox doctrine 
among our said friends here is that a bishop 
has no authority except what he can prove by 
a canon of the American Church, construed 


with all the strictness which we lawyers apply 
to the construction of a penal law. In Ohio, it 
seems that a very dilferent doctrine prevails." 
Again: "It is clear that his present claim is 
one of absolute and unlimited power in every- 
thing connected with the church, and that based 
upon infallibility. It is as much contrary to the 
principles of the Church to attribute infalli- 
bility to the Bp. of Ohio as to the Bp. of Rome." 
The Reverend Pastor of St. Paul's Church and 
his vestry were again on friendly terms of cere- 
mony with the Episcopal authority of the 
diocese. But in the next Diocesan Convention, 
Bishop Mcllvaine devoted a large portion of 
his annual address to a defense of his action 
in the matter of the altar and of the new posi- 
tion he had taken up. He proved with great 
clearness that Altar, Sacrifice and Priesthood 
were strictly correlative terms, and that, as 
there was neither sacrifice nor priesthood in 
the Protestant Episcopal Church nor its pro- 
genitor, the Church of England, so there ought 
to be no altar. He brought a formidable array 
of authorities from the early iVnglican divines, 
Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley and numerous others, 
showing with what zeal the ancient altars had 
been pulled down for this precise reason, and 
an "honest table with legs" substituted. "As 
it was only a supper," Mr. Richards writes, 
" (albeit the Supper of the Lord), they only re- 


quired a table. To be thoroughly consistent, 
they insisted that an Altar, though it might in 
one sense be called and serve the purpose of a 
table, was a dangerous thing because it tended 
to keep up the idea of sacrifice. Altar is the 
correlative of Sacrifice, therefore do away with 
your altars and substitute honest tables with 
legs. Table is the correlative of Supper. Of 
course, if I had chosen to contest the point with 
the Bishop, I could have proved my view of the 
case as clearly as he did his, and could have 
fortified it with a Catena Patrum quite as 
voluminous and respectable as his. That is 
really what is the matter with the Episcopal 
Church, not to say Protestantism generally, 
and at the time I am speaking of I was 
making the discovery. You can prove she 
teaches almost anything you like. I also 
began to realize in a most convincing 
way that the power of the Bishops of that 
church was extremely arbitrary, and that 
those very men who were most bitter against 
what they characterized as the tyranny of the 
hierarchy of Rome, were those who were ever 
ready, when occasion seemed to offer, to come 
down with a heavy hand upon those who op- 
posed them." 

That portion of the Bishop's address refer- 
ring to the controversy was ordered by the Con- 
vention to be printed in five hundred copies. 


The pamphlet is still extant under the title: 
^'Eeasons for Refusing to Consecrate a Chnrcli 
with an Altar." 

It is an interesting and somewhat amusing 
commentary on Bishop Mcllvaine's zealous 
crusade that, in the second St. Paul's Church, 
on the corner of Broad St. and Monroe Ave., 
which in 1889 replaced (without improving 
upon) the structure erected by Mr. Richards, 
an uncompromising altar occupied the chancel. 
In the present or third church, beg-un in 1903 
under the direction of the present energetic 
Rector, Rev. John Hewitt, the altar is made the 
central and dominating idea of the whole struc- 
ture, is called the Altar of the Divine Presence, 
and is in every respect as elaborate and 
thoroughly Catholic in design, except for the 
apparent absence of a tabernacle, as the altar 
of anv Catholic Church in the world. 




Mr. Ricliards' continued ill health had given 
cause for serious solicitude to himself and his 
friends. From youth he had been subject to a 
severe and obstinate dyspepsia, which was in- 
creased by any prolonged mental application. 
During the year 1847, his sister Isabella, to 
whom he was deeply attached and who had mar- 
ried Mr. James Howell of Keokuk, Iowa, died at 
her home there and Henry went on with the in- 
tention of bringing her children to their grand- 
parents in Granville. This journey of a few 
weeks made with the primitive means of travel- 
ing then available, the saddle and the stage- 
coach, had the effect of restoring his vigor to 
such an extent that it was hoped he might be 
able to go on with his work. But he soon fell 
back and felt it necessary to insist that his 
resignation should be accepted by the Vestry 
and congregation, in spite of their great un- 
willingness to let him go. This persistent ill- 
ness, breaking up a career that had begun so 
favorably, seemed a great misfortune; but as 



the event proved, it was in truth the greatest 
of blessings. By it, the pilgrim on the road to 
Catholic Truth was led to scenes where he could 
observe that Faith in practical operation, and 
this just at the time when his mind had been 
prepared by a long course of reading, thought 
and discussion to understand and appreciate 
its supernatural efficacy. By the month of 
November, 1848, he had decided upon a jour- 
ney to New Orleans and a somewhat extended 
stay in that city, with a view to transferring his 
family thither later and taking up his perma- 
nent residence in the South in case circum- 
stances should seem to justify the step. His 
prospects were not indeed very bright, but his 
courage did not fail. He was naturally of- a 
very cheery disposition, in spite of the fits of 
depression due to illness, and it was particularly 
characteristic of him not to worry over tem- 
poral needs or worldly interests. His simple 
confidence in God's tender providence never de- 
serted him throughout life, and the words 
^'Deus providehit, God wUl provide," were 
frequently on his lips. Two relatives, Levi 
Buttles and Hamilton Smith, entrusted to him 
the task of introducing into New Orleans an 
invention which they confidently expected to 
prove a commercial success. Hamilton Smith 
was afterward for many years Professor of 
Physics at Hobart College, where he gained a 


higli reputation in the scientific world, especially 
for his discoveries and inventions in photog- 
raphy. Another friend, Charles Scott, pro- 
prietor of the Ohio State Journal, desired Mr. 
Eichards to look np a section of land in Arkan- 
sas, to which Scott held an original patent, and 
if possible sell it for him. 

Arrived at Cincinnati, where he was to take 
the steamboat that was to convey him down 
the Ohio River to the Mississippi, Mr. Richards 
found that the diocesan Synod of the Catholic 
Clergy was in session under Bishop Purcell, 
and that on the following day, which was Sun- 
day, strangers would be admitted as usual to 
the services in the Cathedral. He had made 
such progress in Catholic principles, in spite 
of his stout disclaimers of Romeward tend- 
encies, that a strong curiosity had been 
awakened in him to know something of the 
Catholic Church. He therefore attended the 
Solemn Vespers. The gathering of Bishops 
and priests was large for those days, for the 
clergy had just finished their annual retreat, 
under Bishop Whelan of Richmond, followed 
by a synod of the diocese. According to Mr. 
Richards' notes, the venerable Archbishop of 
Baltimore was also present; but this is prob- 
ably a mistake. The general impression made 
upon his mind by this, his first experience of 
a Catholic service, was, as he records, very 


favorable, tliongli lie could not help remarking, 
in his letter to his wife, on the "mummery" 
and "the idolatrous action of the adoration of 
the host." 

In those days, the great means of travel 
southward was the sternwheel steamboats on 
the Mississippi River. Rivalry ran very high 
between the various lines and individual boats, 
the most reckless racing was incessantly in- 
dulged in, and frequent disasters occurred from 
fires, explosions and contact with hidden snags 
in the river bed. But the voyage seems at least 
to have been full of incident and interest. Mr. 
Richards notes with gratitude that the kindly 
Captain of the Moro Castle gave him passage 
at half rates, as a clergyman. Coming to Mem- 
phis, Tenn., our traveler landed and made prep- 
arations for a journey of fifty miles into the 
interior of Arkansas, in search of the land of 
his friend Scott. His account illustrates so 
well the difficulties of travel at the time, that 
it is perhaps worth transcribing. "I went on 
horseback, as there was no public conveyance 
of any kind. Having crossed the Mississippi 
on a flat ferry boat, I struck into what was called 
the old military road, which had been projected 
and partly built across the lowlands west of the 
river by' an appropriation of the general gov- 
ernment. For a few miles the 'pike' was 
completed. That is, the trees had been cut 


away and the earth thrown np to the depth of 
two or three feet. It was then midwmter, and 
what a mudhole it did make! As I journeyed 
on, I found this road in all stages of completion, 
gradually tapering otf, if I may use the ex- 
pression, till there was actually no road at 
all. The reason lay in the fact that the ap- 
propriation of Congress had given out and no 
more could be got. I at last found myself in 
the midst of a swampy forest, with scarcely a 
'blazed' tree to show where the road had 
been surveyed. There was nothing to guide 
the uncertain way of the stranger but the tracks 
of wagons and horses which had been over the 
ground before and which seemed spread out for 
miles in width. In answer to an anxious en- 
quiry put to a stranger whom I fortunately 
met on the road, I was told to go ahead and 
follow the tracks and I would be sure to come 
out right in the end. I waded for miles 
through water knee-deep to my horse and 
finally came plump up against a large lake. 
Then I observed that some had taken the right, 
some the left, around the lake. I took the right, 
and after riding some distance crossed a stream 
leading into the lake, almost swimming the 
horse, and so passing around and picking my 
way as well as I could, I finally emerged into 
the open country with something like a road. 
... I came to a little settlement towards even- 


ing, and asked for entertainment for man and 
beast at a tolerably respectable log cabin. Of 
course the accommodations were not the best, 
but I was glad to avail myself of such as were 
to be had. The next day, I reached the high- 
lauds and had the pleasure of enjoying the hos- 
pitality of Col. Cross (I think his name was), 
who was a planter living in a large frame house, 
built after the southern fashion with piazza all 
round and very open. The next day was Sun- 
day, and I preached to his negroes. The family 
were present at the services, which took place 
in one of the large rooms of the house. I do 
not think I was very happy in my address to 
the darkies. I fear I said too much about the 
duties of their position. If I were to perform 
that duty now, I should take a different line 
and I have no doubt I should make a much more 
favorable impression. But I was 'green' then 
in my knowledge of darkey nature. 

''The next day was Christmas and it snowed 
until the ground was white. I started on my 
journey, and with such directions as Col. Cross 
gave me, I was enabled to pick my way through 
field and wood until I found the farm I was 
looking for. Lo, there was a squatter on it! 
He was surprised to see me. He was sick too, 
and I undertook the negotiation of the sale of 
the farm under rather unfavorable circum- 
stances. However, I finally arranged that he 


was to pay a certain amount to our lawyer in 
Memphis by a certain time and we would then 
give him a good deed of the property. I for- 
get how many miles I rode through the woods 
to find a lawyer and notary to draw the neces- 
sary instrument. But I found what I wanted 
at a small village of quite recent date in the 
woods on the Black Eiver, composed of log 
cabins and built mostly on a steep hill-side run- 
ning down to the river. Having fulfilled my 
mission satisfactorily, I returned to Memphis 
by the same road by which I had come, happy 
in having escaped the Bowie knife and the pis- 
tol of the reputed fire-eating, jaw breaking Ar- 
kansian. ... I carried then, as I have always 
done, no arms of defense but such as nature 
had provided me with, I hope I may never 
need them more than I did then." 

A letter from Memphis to his wife has a num- 
ber of details illustrating vividly not only the 
state of his mind at that period, but also the 
impressions made upon him by the conditions 
of society in the first town that he had visited 
in the South. 

"Memphis, Tenn., Sunday, p. m. 
"Dec. 17, 1848. 
"My Dear Wife: 

"The first thing that occurred to me after I 
landed at this place, found my quarters and 


started out for a little stroll, was the darkey 
song which I had recently heard sung under 
very pleasant circumstances: 

'"Ula, Ala, Ola— ee, 

Courting down in Tennessee!' 

' ' Though I hope you will not suppose I have 
got along to the courting part yet, here I am 
in Tennessee. . . . xVrrived here about twelve 
o'clock to-day. I thought at first it was too 
late to go to church and started out for a little 
walk about town, and finally strayed (very 
naturally to be sure) in the direction of the 
church, till I found myself quite unintention- 
ally at the door. ... I thought I might as well 
drop in, if for nothing more than to gratify 
curiositv. I did so, when I found before me 
a good full congregation of very nice respect- 
able looking people, and up in the pulpit, half 
way between the floor and the top of the house, 
jutting from the end wall over the chancel, like 
an ancient prisoner hung up in a box to be de- 
voured by the birds, stood a tall, thin, gray- 
headed man, with his surplice on, declaiming 
with much energy and animation on the Passion 
of our Lord, I heard about half his sermon, 
pronounced it pretty good, and concluded to 
enter the Revd. Dr. Page on my list of approved 
priests of the true Catholic Church. . . . 

**I imagine myself with you in our own snug 


little cottage, enjoying a pleasant Sunday even- 
ing. You are just about at tea now, you at the 
head of the table, Sister Nett on your right — or 
does Harry occupy that place now and Sister 
the seat of honor in that old arm-chair? — and 
Laura Belle on your left. Oh, my dear, sweet 
ones! all enjoying yourselves, while little 
Willie, the rogue, lies in the cradle and kicks 
and paddles and complains that he is not fairly 
dealt with. And what does Harry say? Does 
he ask for Pa, and does Laura say, 'I wish he 
would come home,' and does Mother think in 
silence, 'He is absent, but not forgotten,' and 
does even Sister say, ' 'Twere pleasant were he 
here?' . . . God bless you and keep you! The 
Father of Mercies watch over us all and in due 
time bring us together again in health and 
safety, with a thankful remembrance of his 
goodness! How pleasant the thought! He is 
there, he is here. He watches over us with a 
Father's love. 'He doeth all things well.' In 
Him we are one. In Him we are not separated 
but joined in a holy communion. And what- 
ever betide us, all things, if we love Him, shall 
work together for our good. . . . 

"Mr. Gallagher was not at home. . . . His 
church (St. Paul's) is about as pretty a speci- 
men of Gothic architecture as I have seen in the 
Western country. To my great astonishment, 
I found the tall spire was surmounted by a bona 


fide cross, large, bold, prominent, and pic- 
turesque. I was so pleased that I could almost 
have crossed myself and made obeisance to it. 
Oh, when will the ultra-Protestant feeling get 
its eyes open to the beauty and impressive sig- 
nificance of that glorious symbol of our faith 
and realize the absurdity and injustice of al- 
lowing it to remain a symbol of Romish errour 
and superstition! . . . 

"You would be astonished to see the slaves 
here. Why, they are the very aristocracy of 
the colored race! The colored ladies flourish 
in their silks and satins, their cardinals and 
visites, wliile the colored 'gemmen,' with sleek 
hat, well-fitted broadcloth, tight boots well 
tipped and turned up, vie with the 'brighter' 
race. . . . There are no free blacks here. I 
asked Mr. Massey if the masters clothed their 
slaves in the manner I have described. He 
says they give them holiday money and little 
patches of ground to cultivate for themselves 
and other perquisites which they lay iip and 
then lay out in gratifying their taste for the 
fine arts, <S:c. They are happy and yet not su- 
percilious and haughty. I had congratulated 
myself a good deal on these indications, so con- 
firmative of the sentiments I had begun to 
cherish . . . before I left home, when suddenly 
as I passed down the street my attention was 
arrested by a sign, suspended over an old house 


with a yard and a high board fence, bearing 
this inscription: 'Slave Market. Henderson 
& Co., Proprietors.' That made me sick. I 
looked through the gate which stood partly 
open, and saw the poor wretches lying about, 
old and young, large and small, male and 
female, waiting for purchasers. I pitied them 
and said, 'Alas ! what extremes meet us at every 
turn in this miserable and naughty world!' I 
quite had to reason with myself and philoso- 
phize to keep my pleasant dreams of the charms 
of slavery from being dissipated. Oh, if it 
were not for the bujdng and selling and the 
whipping! Ah, yes! true enough! And so 
it is all around. If it were not for the cruelty 
and perversity of man, how much happiness 
there would be! Never mind! When we get 
established at the South, we'll decide the im- 
portant question involved in this serious and 
grave discussion." 

Resuming his voyage down the Mississippi 
from Memphis, and approaching to within two 
or three hundred miles of New Orleans, the 
traveler was struck with the singular aspect 
of the great river flowing between high banks, 
called levees, thrown up so as to constitute an 
artificial channel and raising the stream con- 
siderably above the level of the surrounding 
country. He was also impressed with the 


beauty of the scenery as the boat glided along 
through the fields and meadows. Though 
midwinter, the season was as mild as spring. 
The homes of the planters whose great jDlanta- 
tions bordered the river were often aristocratic 
and magnificent mansions, surrounded by trees 
and shrubbery, and in some instances by flowers 
in full bloom. He does not tell us what impres- 
sion was made on him by the bands of negro 
slaves at work in the fields, but it was probably 
not painful, as the worst evils of that system 
were usually hidden from the passing traveler, 
and the contest for and against the abolition 
of slavery, though already acute in the States, 
had not yet reached that stage of furious bitter- 
ness that it was afterward to assume. 

Arrived in New Orleans, Mr. Richards soon 
made the acquaintance of the Rev. Dr. Hawks, 
whose wonderfully eloquent address he had 
heard in the Convention of 1844. The Rev. 
Doctor was then President of Louisiana Uni- 
versity and Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal 
Church. He also met Dr. Nicholson, then re- 
cently converted from Methodism to the Epis- 
copal faith and a very popular preacher. For 
the latter, Mr. Richards preached several times 
and also in other churches. But he was not 
satisfied to confine himself to Protestant asso- 
ciations. It is a curious fact that he was not 
conscious at any time of making up his mind de- 


liberately to investigate the great question of 
the claims of the Catholic Church, and yet from 
the time of leaving home he found himself in- 
clined to make use of every favorable oppor- 
tunity to learn anything new, either in theory 
or practice, in regard to it. Fortunately, soon 
after arriving in the city he stumbled upon a 
Catholic bookshop. He told the proprietor, a 
Mr. O'Donnell, that he was much interested in 
Catholic questions, and was immediately in- 
vested with the ' ' freedom of the store. " " Take 
anything you want," said the warm-hearted 
bookseller, "take it to your room and return it 
when you have read it." He purchased a copy 
of Keenan's Catechism, and going soon after 
to Mobile, Ala., to visit the Rev. Mr. Massey, 
he read that work while on the boat crossing 
Lake Ponchartrain. This, as he remarks, was 
the first Catholic book he ever read. It made a 
strong impression on his mind, for therein for 
the first time he saw a clear, concise statement 
of Catholic doctrines with their grounds, and 
a bird's-eye view of the character of Martin 
Luther and his ''glorious Reformation." The 
harmonious, consistent character of the whole 
system appealed to him strongly. In after life 
he frequently remarked that in controversy a 
presentation of the positive truth in its com- 
pleteness and harmony, is often better than a 
laborious refutation of numberless difficulties 


and objections. Once the truth is understood in 
its own native force and beauty, objections fade 
away and disappear of themselves. 

During this visit to Mobile, an incident oc- 
curred that showed the bent of his mind at the 
time. A clerical tea party was given in his 
honor. Several clergymen were present, and, 
as usual, they soon became deep in the discus- 
sion of some disputed jDoiut in theology. There 
were as many opinions as men, every disputant 
insisting upon his view as the only right one, 
witli no prospect of an agreement. Mr. Eich- 
ards listened, taking no part in the discussion. 
When a lull occurred, he remarked quietly: 
*'Well, brethren, after all, would it not be a 
very nice arrangement if we had some tribunal, 
some final Court of Appeal, to determine these 
knotty questions and set our controversies at 
rest!" This came upon the company like a 
thunderbolt from a cloudless sky. It put a 
stop to all discussion for the time ; but no doubt 
from that moment his fellow-clergj^men looked 
upon him with suspicion, and each one, on 
hearing a few years later of his conversion 
to the Church of his Fathers, exclaimed: ''I 
am not surprised. I knew long ago, from un- 
mistakable indications, that he was tending 
Eomeward. " 

On returning to New Orleans, Mr. Eichards 
borrowed the work of Archbishop Kenrick on 


''The Primacy of the Apostolic See." The 
very first chapters interested him strongly. He 
was particularly struck by the testimony of 
St. Cyprian there quoted. The great treatise 
on the "Unity of the Church," written by this 
Father who lived from the year 200 to 258, was 
then new to Mr. Richards and came upon him 
as a revelation. The language, he remarks, is 
so clear, so positive, so unmistakable, that the 
only wonder is that any candid man can read 
it without being convinced of the truth itself as 
well as of the fact that it was the doctrine of 
the Church at the time in which he wrote. 
Moreover, as St. Cyprian is famous in ecclesias- 
tical annals for his controversy with Pope St. 
Stephen in regard to rebaptizing heretics, he 
cannot be suspected of undue bias in favor of 
Rome. He was so near the first age that the 
inference is quite inevitable that the doctrine 
was derived from the Apostolic period. After 
quoting the passages in which Our Lord con- 
fers upon Peter the power of the keys, of feed- 
ing the flock, &c., St. Cyprian goes on to say: 
"Upon that one individual he builds his church, 
and to him he commits his sheep to be fed. 
And although after his resurrection, he gives to 
all the Apostles equal power . . . yet, to mani- 
fest unity, he disposed by his authority the 
origin of the same authority, which begins from 
one. Even the other Apostles were certainly 


wliat Peter was, being endowed with equal par- 
ticipation of honor and power, but the begin- 
ning proceeds from Unity, and the Primacy is 
given to Peter, that the Church of Christ may 
be shown to be one and the Chair one."^ 

Pondering over these and similar quotations, 
Mr. Richards had a happy thought. There was 
the noted Dr. Hawks, "Historiographer of the 
Church," a learned and able man, no doubt 
thoroughly familiar with all points of Ecclesi- 
astical History. Why not call upon him, and 
ask him to verify and explain the citations? 
Mr. Richards called in fact upon the learned 
Doctor, who received him in his library. The 
visitor told his host frankly that he had been 
reading Kenrick on the Primacy and that he 
was anxious to know whether the quotations 
from Cyprian were authentic and how far they 
were borne out, in their obvious sense, by the 
context. The Doctor, after long search, found 
a copy of the Father in question and turned the 
leaves over and over, but seemed unable to find 
what he sought. Finally he closed the book and 
remarked that there was one consideration 
which he had always looked upon as conclusive 
against the doctrine of the Supremacy of the 

1 The text of this famous passage, as quoted by Mr. Rich- 
ards, is apparenth' a translation of one of that family of 
manuscripts which combine two alternative versions. As the 
sense of the two is equivalent and both are now attributed to 
St. Cyprian himself, the value of his argument is not im- 


Pope. It was that the successor of St. Peter, 
who was not an Apostle, lived when the Apostle 
St. John was still alive, and the idea that an 
Apostle should be subject to one who was not 
an Apostle seemed to him so absurd that he 
could not accept the doctrine of the Supremacy 
of the Bishop of Eome ! 

The impression made on the enquirer's 
mind by this manifest shuffling, as he could 
not but consider it, may be imagined. The 
authority to whom he had referred with so 
much confidence had plainly avoided making 
the simple reference desired, and had taken 
refuge in an extraordinary specimen of logical 
argumentation. He withdrew with the very un- 
favorable impression that a man of the Rever- 
end Doctor's reputed learning must have been 
perfectly familiar with the argument from the 
testimony of St. Cyprian, and that his reason 
for not giving more satisfaction to the enquiries 
was that he had no adequate explanation to 

While in New Orleans, Mr. Richards took oc- 
casion to make frequent visits to Catholic 
churches. The season of Lent afforded him 
opportunities of gratifying his curiosity. On 
Sundays, he generally preached in some Epis- 
copal pulpit and then strayed into some Catho- 
lic church where he became an interested 
observer of both the services and the congrega- 


tion. He had alwavs told ''dissenters" that 
the only way to appreciate the Episcopal serv- 
ice was to join in it and conform to the ritual, 
and he now found himself unconsciously putting 
his principles in practice in regard to Catholic 

As a result, he was deeply impressed, more 
particularly with the manifest reverence and 
devotion of the people in the house of God. 
He noticed that the ladies in the French 
churches came generally dressed in sober black, 
which seemed to him appropriate. He con- 
fesses that he was touched with the devotion 
of some of the beautiful young Creoles, who ap- 
peared to have left the world for a time and to 
have given themselves to the pensive work of 
penance and prayer with true French abandon. 
The scene at the old French cathedral, dedicated 
to St. Louis, made an indelible impression on 
his memory. Before visiting the city, he had 
heard it remarked by Protestant friends who 
had been there that if he wished to see Catholi- 
cism in all its vulgar and disgusting features, 
he should go to the old French cathedral. 
What repelled and disgusted them, edified and 
attracted his more spiritual and unworldly 
nature. He beheld a crowded congregation, the 
aisles as well as the seats being fairly packed 
with whites and blacks of all shades, all de- 
voutly bent upon the great business of worship- 


ing God in His holy temple. He noticed that 
in some instances the slaves sat in the same 
benches with their masters and all received 
Hol-y Communion at the same altar rail. Gray- 
headed negroes, bowed with age, knelt in the 
aisles and recited their beads with an air of the 
most absorbed devotion. ''Here," he said to 
himself, "is the realization of my dream of 
what the Church ought to be, the Church of the 
poor as well as of the rich. Here indeed, 'the 
rich and the poor meet together, for the Lord is 
the maker of them all!' " "I had been con- 
tending for years," he writes, "that the Epis- 
copal Church was not necessarily the church of 
the rich and prosperous, as was generally 
charged. But the results of my efforts to dis- 
prove the charge practically by bringing the 
poor into my own church had not been of a very 
encouraging nature. But here in the Catholic 
Church (it was the same in all their churches) 
was the realization of all that I had hoped and 
longed for, but never yet found. It made a 
great impression upon me. I felt that that was 
the place for me, that there I would like to be. 
It was entirely in accordance with my ideas of 
the true spirit of Christianity, and I was con- 
scious of a strong impulse to cast in my lot 
amongst them." 

Another feature of the Catholic Church— if 
it can be called a mere feature, and not the 


very essence — that appealed to Mr. Eichards* 
religious nature most powerfully, was the prac- 
tical operation of the Sacramental System. 
His first steps toward the ancient historic 
Christianity had been prompted by the doc- 
trine of baptismal regeneration. As we have 
set forth from his own notes in another place, 
he had early come to look upon this as a funda- 
mental question, upon which the very idea and 
nature of the Christian Church and the whole 
supernatural system, the entire economy of 
God's dealings with redeemed human nature, 
must depend. He now saw the sacramental 
system in its entirety in daily operation upon 
the souls of men. He saw the Church, as a ten- 
der Mother, solicitously attending the steps of 
her children from the cradle to the grave, and 
at every juncture of their lives opening to them 
stores of special graces and assistance. He saw 
the numerous babies brought by their god- 
parents and relatives for baptism; he saw the 
people, young and old, crowding to the con- 
fessional with serious and downcast air and 
coming from it with a look of peace and solemn 
happiness on their faces. At every early mass 
on Sundays (he does not record that he made 
observations on weekdays) the communion rails 
were thronged bv devout crowds of black and 
white, poor and rich, and here again their rapt 
expression as they approached and came from 


the Holy Table made the Real and Tremendous 
Presence almost sensible. He saw the funerals, 
with their somber vestments and strange 
solemn chants; and although he could not see 
the conferring of Extreme Unction and the 
Viaticum upon the dying, still he probably 
formed some idea of their efficacy from his 
reading and could guess at the consolation and 
tranquillity that they would impart in the last 
terrible hour. In all of these sacred functions, 
it was plain that both clergj^ and people did 
not regard themselves as engaged in mere out- 
ward ceremonies, however holy, but as dis- 
pensing and receiving the grace of God itself, 
and as coming in direct contact with Christ the 
Redeemer, who pours out the merits of His pas- 
sion and precious blood through the channels 
that He has Himself appointed. The careful 
observer, prepared by his own labors and 
discouragements in the help of souls, could 
not but recognize the vast power and actual 
efficiency of this sacramental system for 
maintaining and increasing holiness of life 
and elevated union with God. Here again 
he saw his dreams realized, and the mighty 
figaire whose vague lineaments had some- 
times floated before his interior vision, was 
here revealed in all her majesty and super- 
natural vigor. 

'It is a little curious, perhaps," writes Mr. 



Richards, ''that with the progress I had made 
in the direction of the Catholic Church since 
leaving home, I did not take pains to make the 
acquaintance of some priest or at least some 
intelligent Catholic layman. I can scarcely 
tell why I did not. But after I reached home 
and was charged with having fallen into the 
hands of some of those wily Jesuit priests, who 
had perverted my mind and drawn me away 
from loyalty to my own church, I was very glad 
that I could say that I had not spoken to a sin- 
gle priest since my departure." 

As the spring of 1849 wore on, Mr. Richards 
decided to give up his husiness engagements in 
New Orleans and return to Columbus. He 
saw no sufficient prospects to justify the re- 
moval of his family to the South and he could 
not bear to be longer away from them. By this 
time he was fairly well convinced of the truth 
of the claims of the Catholic Church to be the 
true and only Church of Christ, founded by 
Him and entrusted with the perpetuation of 
His mission to teach all nations with infallible 
and unfailing certainty. Before leaving the 
city, he provided himself with a copy of Milner's 
End of Controversy, while Mr. O'Donnell, the 
zealous and kindly bookseller, presented him 
with a copy of The Spirit of Ligouri, both of 
which works he read with the greatest interest 
on the way. In the Spirit of Ligouri, the little 


treatises of the Saint on the Practice of Per- 
fection, On Conversing Familiarly with God, 
On Divine Love and the Means of Acquiring It, 
On Confornaity to the Will of God, On the Prac- 
tice of Meditation and on Examen of Conscience 
with a dissertation on Sorrow, Confession, 
&c., giving, with theological exactness, state- 
ments of the doctrines of the Church on these 
subjects, were a new revelation to a mind long- 
ing no less for solid devotion than for certainty 
of faith. They opened up a new world full of 
charming views, and were read with the great- 
est avidity and delight. 

On this northward journey, an unexpected 
incident occurred at Louisville, Kentucky. At 
that point, owing to the falls in the river, the 
boats passed through a canal, and Mr. Richards, 
with several other passengers, got out and 
walked on the towpath. AMiat was his surprise 
to meet a member of his family, John Adair 
McDowell, with a company traveling in the 
opposite direction. Mr. McDowell had married 
Mrs. Richards' younger sister, Geraldine 
Cowles. He was a tall and very handsome 
man, very like his brother, General Irwin Mc- 
Dowell, who was afterward in command of the 
Union forces at the ill-fated battle of Bull Run. 
John was full of courage and ability. He was 
now with his companions on the way to Cali- 
fornia, being infected with the gold fever which 


was just then throwing the whole country into 
excitement. Stopping on the tow]:)ath, the two 
men talked hurriedly as the boats dragged their 
slow way through the canal. Henry told the 
story of his change of conviction and sentiment 
in religious matters. It was uppermost in his 
thoughts, the one all-important thing, and he 
could not refrain from speaking of it at once 
and most earnestly. But Jolm listened rather 
coldly. His first question was: ''What will 
those at home think! AVhat will Aunt Orrell 
say?" Henry thought he did not care what 
they thought or said, his convictions were not 
to be shaken. But in the simplicity of his 
sincere and earnest nature, he imagined that 
he had only to tell the story of his change, 
with the circumstances that led up to it and the 
arguments that compelled it, to bring them all 
to look upon the matter in the same light. He 
was to discover to his disappointment and 
chagrin that however ready Protestants may 
be to follow their clergj^man in his changes of 
belief and practice even to the very door of the 
Catholic Church, the moment they find to what 
end those advances logically lead him, they 
generally recoil in dread, with no further argu- 
ment or investigation. Reason and history 
would seem to have very little weight, in the 
majority of cases, against the inborn and ob- 
stinate prejudice which is aroused by the very 


name of the Clmrch. Henry was obliged to 
content himself with telling John frankly and 
emphatically that he ought to be a Catholic 
and that if he would take the pains to examine 
the subject impartially, he would surely become 
one. He thrust into his hands the copy of 
Milner's End of Controversy and the two men 

On Mr. Richards' arrival at his home in 
Columbus, he met a furious storm of opposition. 
At the announcement to his relatives and inti- 
mate friends of his change of religious con- 
victions, they were all greatly shocked. His 
wife's mother, Mrs. Laura Kilboume Cowles, 
was seized forthwith with hysterical spasms, 
screaming and frothing at the mouth, so that it 
was necessary to send in haste for a physician. 
His wife was too gentle and too absolutely de- 
voted to her husband to indulge in any re- 
proaches. But she was deeply disturbed and 
grieved; and her air of anxiety and profound 
sorrow caused him keener suffering than any 
violent outbreak. Cynthia's elder brother. 
Havens, expostulated with him earnestly on the 
folly and madness of his course. "See," he 
exclaimed, "what you are doing. You are 
killing Mother and mortifying and disgracing 
us all ! " When Henry declared that in matters 
of religion a man must follow the dictates of 
his judgment and conscience without regard to 


material interests, he replied that Henry had 
plainl}" been seized with a fit of enthusiasm on 
the subject of the Catholic Church, without be- 
ing sufficiently informed. ' ' Wait awhile, ' ' said 
he, ''don't be in such a hurry. This is too im- 
portant a matter to be decided without the most 
patient, careful study." He suggested that 
Henry should read over their own standard au- 
thors more carefully, and should try to fortify 
himself against the ''plausible reasonings of 
the insidious Jesuits, &c." Mr. Richards re- 
marks that he had been studying these standard 
authors for years, and had found that one of 
the greatest difficulties of the Episcopal Church 
lay in the very fact that the standard authors 
did not agree among themselves, but repre- 
sented all phases of doctrine from the lowest 
Arminian Semi-Pelagianism to the highest 
Catholic teaching, with the exception perhaps 
of the Pope's supremacy. Mr. Richards had a 
strong respect and affection for his brother-in- 
law, Havens Cowles, who was a man of unselfish 
character and of sound judgment on every sub- 
ject but the Catholic Church. After Henry 
had been a Catholic some time. Havens told 
him on one occasion that he did not wish to be 
talked to on that subject; he did not intend to 
speak or read about it. He did not wish to 
have his mind disturbed. The writer of these 
lines remembers that once after the removal 


of the family to the East, ''Uncle Havens" 
came on a visit from the West. The conversa- 
tion could not be kept from turning on religion 
and Havens declared that he did not believe 
that Henry read his Bible and studied it so 
well as a Catholic as he had been accustomed 
to do in former times when an Episcopalian, an 
imputation that was stoutly denied. Shortly 
after, the discussion getting to the subject of 
the Real Presence of our Lord in the Blessed 
Eucharist, Mr. Richards quoted the famous 
sixth chapter of St. John, and finally, taking 
his Bible from the shelf, read the whole chapter 
to his brother-in-law, pointing out its obvious 
application, especially in the latter portions, to 
the doctrine. So clear did his comments make 
the interpretation, that Havens was completely 
discomfited, only murmuring, in a shamefaced 
way, that although he had explained that very 
chapter to his Bible Class a few Sundays be- 
fore, he had never seen its meaning in that light. 
We children, who were accustomed to hear our 
Father read us a passage from the Bible every 
morning at family prayers, considered this a 
victorious refutation of his charge of neglect 
of the scripture. 

The expostulations of relatives and the diffi- 
culties of his position were not without their 
effect on the new convert's resolution. Im- 
mediately upon returning to Columbus, he had 


called upon the Rev. Caspar Borgess, then pas- 
tor of the Catholic church of the Holy Cross in 
that city, afterward first Bishop of Detroit. 
To him Mr. Richards made known the state of 
his mind, which then certainly foreshadowed a 
speedy entrance into the Church. Yet more 
than two years elapsed before this event ac- 
tually took place. For this hesitation and 
delay, Mr. Richards condemned himself most 
bitterly throughout the remainder of his life. 
He looked upon it as a great disloyalty to God's 
grace and an offense against the Truth suffi- 
ciently made known to him ; and he attributed to 
the infinite mercy, long suffering and forbear- 
ance of Almighty God the fact that he did 
finally gain strength to take the stop. ''While 
I was South," he writes of this time, in his 
notes to his children, "I of course kept your 
mother informed of the progress of my intel- 
lectual convictions, so that she was not at all 
surprised to know my determination, or rather 
my desire, to become a Catholic. . . . Sister 
Antoinette had also read my letters, and I think 
she must have been favorably impressed, espe- 
cially as a young friend of hers, a Mr. Robert 
Murphy, who was particularly attentive to her 
and to whom she was evidently quite partial, 
spoke with respect and approval of some things 
in the Catholic Church. I have often thought 
that perhaps if I had had the courage at that 


time to declare myself a Catholic and go for- 
ward and do my duty, slie and your mother 
would have followed me. As it was, I delayed, 
and she died an Episcopalian and your mother 
did not join me until three years after my con- 
version. ... It was soon after that event that 
I stood by the dying bed of that poor child. 
. . . She was gay and lighthearted and fond of 
attention and company, but very correct and 
precise in her notions of propriety. She was 
not naturally much inclined to piety, though a 
good, conscientious girl. She was always 
rather delicate and frail, and the seeds of con- 
sumption early developed themselves in her 
constitution. She and I were very ill in the 
same house at the same time. Through the in- 
finite mercy of God, I recovered, and the grace 
and the opportunity to repent and do my duty 
were vouchsafed to me. She died, and as I 
stood by her deathbed, to which I had been 
summoned in haste, she seemed to be not 
entirely satisfied. She was anxious and 
troubled, as though looking for something cer- 
tain to rely upon. What could I say? I was 
a Catholic, she a Protestant, or rather a non- 
Catholic, and trembling on the verge of eter- 
nity. I said: "Remember Our Blessed Lord 
says, 'Come unto Me, all you that labor and are 
heavy laden, and I will give you rest!' Trust 
in the infinite mercy of God through Jesus 


Christ, who has suffered and died for us." 
'*0h," said she, "is that all?" It seemed to 
soothe her, and so she died. Let us hope that 
she and other dear friends who have gone be- 
fore us to the eternal world belonged to the 
soul of the Church. Eternal rest give unto all 
our friends, Lord, and let perpetual light 
shine upon them. May they rest in peace, 

But this is an anticipation. On his return 
from the South, his health being still in a very 
precarious condition, Mr. Richards engaged in 
commercial occupations which would keep him 
traveling and much in the open air, while enab- 
ling him to earn a modest subsistence for him- 
self and his little family. He collected for a 
large manufacturing firm, then canvassed for 
an insurance company, and for a few months 
even solicited subscriptions for books. He had 
no intention of preaching or officiating further 
in the Episcopal Church. But his old congre- 
gation were not satisfied to let him go so easily. 
They had vigorously opposed his resignation 
before his southern journey, and their experi- 
ence with his successors had not been satisfac- 
tory. One of these became involved in a 
scandal in which a young widow figured, and 
finally had a trial and was dismissed. Another 
of the reverend gentlemen had a wife who 
seems to have made matters extremely dis- 


agreeable not only for her husband but for the 
congregation, and apparently under pressure 
from her, he resigned. The petitions of the 
congregation to Mr. Richards were so frequent 
and urgent that while continuing his secular 
employments on week days, he officiated from 
time to time on Sundays, and frequently at 
weddings and funerals, in which he had always 
been a great favorite on account of his digni- 
fied and devotional rendering of the beautiful 
Episcopalian office and his graceful and happy 
addresses. At last, while the arrangement was 
understood to be only temporary, he came to 
officiate and to be looked upon again as vir- 
tually the Rector of the Parish. 

"I tremble," he writes, "when I think of it! 
The delusions of Satan are as fearful as the 
mercy of God is infinite! How little do the 
great mass of mankind realize the danger of 
trifling with the grace of God! When your 
mind is made up, act! Don't dally with con- 
science! Act promptly, decidedly, — if neces- 
sary, heroically! Delay is dangerous. Oh, 
how many souls are ruined by failing to take 
the first step at the right time ! ' ' 

It should be noted that Mr. Richards' self- 
condemnation is based throughout on the sup- 
position that he was at this time fully and 
firmly convinced of the truth of the claims of 
the Catholic Church. Fault is often found 


with converted ministers for having continued 
to officiate for some time after they have be- 
gun to entertain doubts and in fact up to the 
time, or within a short j^eriod, of their public 
recantation. But sucli blame is not entirely 
just. Were they to cease preaching as soon as 
they begin to be troul)led with doubts, they 
would attract pu])lic attention and create ex- 
citement to a degree most unpropitious to a 
calm and candid investigation. In case the 
man assailed by intellectual difficulties should 
succeed in solving them satisfactorily and 
should decide to remain in his old faith, his 
prospects would be ruined to no purpose. 
Moreover, would it not be seriously wrong to 
reduce one's family to distress before being 
quite sure of the obligation of taking the step 
which would entail such a result? Have not 
even those friends and followers whose belief 
depends to some extent upon that of their pas- 
tor a right to be considered, at least to the 
extent that he should do nothing rash and in- 
considerate that would disturb and endanger 
their faith needlessly? The line between mere 
difficulties and serious and settled doubts is, in 
many cases, obscure and uncertain. It is no 
doubt true that when once positive and settled 
doubts concerning the truth of his religion, 
have taken possession of a minister's mind and 
on serious investigation retain their force, he 


is no longer free to give public approval to such 
doctrines by continuing to officiate. But, if 
every man must pause in the work of life until 
all difficulties and objections that may arise in 
his mind are clearly solved, everything, it 
would seem, would come to a standstill and 
nothing would be accomplished. It was by 
such a course of reasoning as this that Mr. 
Eichards, during this painful period of waiting, 
justified himself to his own conscience in con- 
tinuing to preach though a Catholic at heart. 
Of course he was careful to say nothing against 
his conscience or in conflict with true Catholic 
doctrine. What formed the subject of his 
deep contrition, and self-condemnation in after 
years was, as we have said, the supposed fact 
that he was really convinced all this time ; that 
he had seen the light and had not followed. 
He notes too as one of the worst dangers of 
such a condition that even while the mind is 
becoming more and more strengthened in its 
intellectual convictions, the moral nature may 
be deteriorating and becoming weaker by fail- 
ing to correspond with those convictions. 
Such he humbly declares to have been his case 
during the period from his return from the 
South in the spring of 1849 to November, 1851. 
"During that time, I took the New York Free- 
man's Journal and read with the greatest in- 
terest and delight the republication of one of 


Dr. Newman's best works, Anglican Difficulties. 
. . . How beautiful ! liow eloquent ! how power- 
ful ! how perfectly exhaustive the discussion of 
every subject he undertook! Who could read 
that work and vet remain unconvinced ! I cer- 
tainly was most thoroughly convinced, and I 
sometimes used to astonish my friends by the 
most outspoken and startling expressions of 
opinion. And yet I fear that all that time I 
was undergoing a process of moral deteriora- 
tion which rendered it less and less probable 
that I should ever follow out my convictions 
and openly declare myself a Catholic." 

At the opening of term in September, 1849, 
Mr. Richards was invited to j^reach at Kenyon 
before the professors, theological students and 
literati of the College and Bexley Hall. He 
chose as his subject the Organic Nature of 
Cliristianity. His chief thesis was that the 
Christian Church is the mvstical body of Christ 
and that justification and sanctification come 
to the individual members through union in 
her with Christ the Head. This union is 
effected primarily by spiritual regeneration in 
Baptism. The sermon, which still exists, was 
a remarkable production, profound and logical 
in thought, clear, terse and vigorous in ex- 
pression, and illustrated by many striking pas- 
sages from the New Testament. It was de- 
livered with impassioned eloquence, for the 


speaker's whole heart and soul, and the results 
of his thoughts and mental conflicts for years, 
were in his words. In his mind, during the 
composition of this sermon, was the argument; 
*' Every visible organic body has a visible 
head ; therefore the Church must also have her 
visible head on earth." But of this he gave 
no hint in the address itself; neither did he 
go on to show with Brownson that the An- 
glican Church, having broken the unity of the 
visible organic body, was in deadly schism. 
His contention therefore was only what at the 
present day would be considered ordinary 
High Church doctrine and which would excite 
no particular remark. But at that time, his 
bold words were heard in the Low Church 
camp as nothing short of a declaration of 
war. They stirred up his dignified hearers to 
unwonted excitement, and his opponents con- 
tinued for some time afterward to attack his 
*' heretical position" in their sermons. This 
was true especially of the Rev. Mr. Dobb, who 
had been the Low Church contemporary of Mr. 
Richards in Columbus. 

He writes to his brother William, under date 
of September 9, 1849 : 

''The sermon, I am confident, is nothing but 
what every good churchman would subscribe 
to, and yet I don't know after all but our left- 


handed brethren are more penetrating than 
we in tracing its legitimate consequences. At 
any rate, it requires some labor and argu- 
mentation to reconcile such principles with our 
position. I do not say we are wrong ab- 
solutely. If we are right in our position, we 
have a herculean task to perform in making our 
'Anglo-American' branch of the Holy Catho- 
lic Church truly Catholic. Perhaps, however, 
this is our mission. If so, God give us patience 
to labor in its accomplishment! We proph- 
esy in the midst of a disobedient and gain- 
saying people. I confess I have been made to 
waver. But I have not decided to give up the 

"Of this much, however, I am sure — that I 
would much ratlier l)e a Romanist than an in- 
fidel. I never could be an infidel. The days of 
my temptation on that score are over. Chris- 
tianity is true, or the past is a lie and the voice 
of humanity a false witness. So, too, Catholi- 
cism is the true exponent of Christianity. If 
the Catholic System is not true, Christianity is 
not true. They rise or fall together. Hence 
I never can be anything but a Catholic. If I 
can be a true Catholic by remaining where I 
am, I stay. If not, I go towards Rome. There 
are some important historical questions which 
I have not the means nor the leisure now of 


deciding. But in any case our great work is a 
work of restoration, restoration of Catholic 
truth and practice in order to the restoration 
of Catholic Unity. Oh, for the restoration of 
Unity! Oh, that we might all be one, — that 
the Savior's prayer might be answered, — 
'that they all might be one, as Thou, Father, 
art in Me and I in Thee — that they also might 
be one in Us — that the world may know that 
Thou has sent Me!' For this let us ever la- 
bor and pray and God will guide us into all 

The time had now come for the grace of 
God to give the final stroke to the work of con- 
version that had been so long preparing. It 
was to come through suffering and danger and 
almost as suddenly as the supernatural light 
from heaven that struck down St. Paul on the 
way to Damascus. In November, 1851, he was 
taken with a severe illness and for some weeks 
was in danger of death. After the crisis had 
passed, convalescence was slow, and he had 
time to think seriously of his state. In the 
light of eternity, he saw clearly that the knowl- 
edge which he had obtained of the Catholic 
Church and of the proofs of her divine origin 
and authority were abundantly sufficient to 
produce certainty and to demand from him as- 


sent and submission. lie was appalled at the 
thought of the unreasonable delay of which he 
now judged himself guilty and of the account 
that he would have to render to God of His 
illuminations and graces. All his life was 
spread out before his internal vision like a 
map. He saw clearly the steps by which God's 
loving Providence had led him on, giving him 
an ever increasing light of Truth, and urging 
him, with fatherly and persistent love, to seek 
Him in His Holy Church. Earnestly did he 
beg of his attendants that a priest might be 
sent for; but he was put off with various ex- 
cuses. Calling to his bedside a cousin and old 
college mate, he appealed to him in the most 
pathetic manner to bring Father Borgess. His 
friend promised blandh", but only to deceive 
him. Afterward he learned that his devoted 
wife had resolved that if death were to become 
really imminent, his desire should be gratified. 
But as he had yielded once, after what ap- 
peared to her a period of excitement, she con- 
soled herself with the hope that if the decisive 
step could only be postponed until health and 
strength returned, he might still be induced to 
lay aside his scruples and again to become con- 
tent to remain an Episcopalian. Little did she 
realize what was passing in her husband's soul, 
as he lay, white and still, on the bed before her. 
He writes: 



The quickening of perception and elevation 
of mind I have spoken of during my illness was 
manifested in an extraordinary intuitive per- 
ception of the wonderful beauty, propriety and 
reasonableness of the teaching and practice of 
the Catholic Church. It seemed almost like a 
revelation to me. It was deeply impressed on 
my mind that that wonderful system was not 
a cold, dry, incoherent and confused mass of 
uninteresting speculations and antiquated 
superstitious practices, but a beautiful, unique, 
harmonious system, instinct with life and love, 
and glowing Avith the divine forms of beauty 
and loveliness. In the language of the Psalm- 
ist: 'The King's Daughter' was indeed 'all glo- 
rious within; her clothing is of wrought gold 
Avith beautiful embroidery.' 'Thou art beauti- 
ful above the sons of men; grace is poured 
forth on thy lips; therefore hath God blessed 
thee forever. ' Even the most insignificant part 
of her ceremonial seemed to be not only im- 
pressively significant but also instinct with the 
Adtality of the truths represented. I saw and 
was deeply impressed Avith the beauty and 
significance of the use of holy water, the sign 
of the Cross, and all the varied ceremonial 
which to an unaccustomed eye is apt to appear 
puerile and superstitious. If I had ever had 
any doubt, I then had not the slightest mis- 
giving in regard to the divinity of the Catholic 


Churcli. I was only too impatient, if possible, 
to throw myself into her compassionate arms, 
to be embraced by her and nursed upon her 
divine bosom. I longed to return as a poor 
prodigal to my Father's house after years of 
wandering and vain pursuit of the worthless 
and unsatisfying husks of Time." 

In fact, the invalid went in search of a priest 
while lie was still so weak that he was obliged 
to sit down and rest on the way. When he ap- 
peared, pale and emaciated, before Father 
Borgess, begging to be received at once into 
the Church, tliat wise ecclesiastic counseled 
a little further delay. No doubt he wished the 
important step to be taken by the neophyte 
with all deli])eration and tranquillity. Mean- 
time, the news of his approaching submission 
to Eome was widely circulated. A violent 
commotion ensued and the storm of reproba- 
tion broke out again. Articles appeared in the 
newspapers declaring the conversion to be the 
result of mental derangement, asserting that 
the former minister had separated, or was 
about to separate, from his wife and children 
in order to become a Romish priest and in- 
timating that he was attempting to inveigle his 
wife to the East in order to place her in a con- 
vent. Similar charges were made in public by 
a fellow minister, and letters were received 


from old friends, full of impassioned remon- 
strances and abuse of the Church. An answer 
to the most odious of the newspaper attacks 
was made by the Rev. Mr. Randall, a Baptist 
minister, who protested in vigorous and manly 
fashion against such violations of Christian 

But this time the storm was met by the new 
convert with a serene courage that knew no 

During the month of January, 1852, Mr. 
Richards wrote on the same day to his father 
and to Bishop Mcllvaine, notifying them of 
his approaching reception and tendering to the 
Bishop his resignation as a Minister of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church. In his answer, 
Bishop Mcllvaine expresses his deep pain and 
regret, and indulges in a sharp attack on the 
Catholic Church as "the very Mother of 
Abominations. . . . Never did the Church of 
Rome more openly avow her spiritual adultery 
in the bold declaration of her idolatrous wor- 
ship of the creature, especially Mary. Never 
more than at present did she exhibit the fea- 
tures of Antichrist." However, he commends 
Mr. Richards for not remaining in the Episco- 
pal Church with such views as he now holds. 

In the midst of the excitement, Henry's 
brother William, then a lawyer and editor at 
Newark, Ohio, came to visit him. Acting as a 


peacemaker, lie endeavored to allay the angry 
prejudice aroused. He proposed that the con- 
valescent should visit him at his quiet home in 
Newark as soon as he should be able to travel 
with safety. His expectation was that in the 
peace and quietness of his brother's house, 
Henry's excitement would pass away and that 
by calmly reasoning together they would end 
by harmonizing, as they had always done in 
the past, and would meet again on the good old 
via media. To the family and connections he 
said: ** Henry is evidently a little disturbed 
in mind by his recent illness. I will take him 
to my house in Newark, where he can rest and 
we can talk quietly, and I am confident that in 
a couple of weeks he will be as good a Protes- 
tant as ever." The programme was carried 
out, but with precisely a contrary result to that 
predicted. At the end of the specified time, 
William was virtually a Catholic, though he 
did not make his formal submission for more 
than a year later, that event occurring in the 
summer of 1853. "Little did I anticipate," 
says William Richards in his little book, On 
the Road to Rome and How Tivo Brothers Got 
There, "the unanswerable arguments for the 
Catholic Church which he had already mas- 
tered and with which he unexpectedly but 
effectually posed me." 

The visit was brought to an abrupt con- 

A.W Elso-n &,Cd.,JBosvcn 

/^i^-yic^ ^ 


elusion by somewhat startling news from Co- 
lumbus. Some of the zealous Protestant rela- 
tives or friends had taken advantage of Mr. 
Richards' absence to attempt to effect a sep- 
aration between his wife and himself. A min- 
ister of Cleveland, a man of some learning and 
still greater assurance, proved to his own sat- 
isfaction, quoting the decrees of Trent, that the 
Catholic Church could never recognize the 
validity of their marriage. Matters had gone 
so far that a written declaration had been ob- 
tained by these officious friends from Cynthia, 
to the effect that if it were true, as had been 
represented to her, that the Catholic Church 
would not recognize their marriage, she would 
not continue to live with her husband. Henry 
saw at once the scheme that was on foot. He 
hurried home and needed only a few moments 
to convince his wife that she had been deceived 
and to restore all her confidence. 

All the necessary and becoming prelimina- 
ries having been duly and tranquilly settled, 
Henry Livingston Richards made his publio 
submission and was received into the Holy 
Catholic Church in the Church of the Holy 
Cross, Columbus, by the Rev. Caspar Borgess, 
Pastor, on Sunday,* January 25, 1852. There 
was no baptism, even conditional, as Mr. Rich- 
ards' second baptism, conferred by Bishop 
Whittingham in 1844, was judged by Father 


Borgess certainly valid. The Profession of 
Faith was made, the absolution from heresy 
received, and the ceremonies alone of the bap- 
tism were supplied. 

'*A somewhat curious and interesting coin- 
cidence," writes Mr. Richards, ''occurred at 
the time. St. Paul had always been a favorite 
saint with mo. If I had been a Catholic, I 
should have said I had a special devotion to 
him. I admired his character, our new church 
was named for him, and one of my favorite 
sermons was on the character of St. Paul. 
"When I came to be received. Father Borgess 
asked what patron Saint I would take. I 
told him I had not thought of that. I did not 
know much about the Catholic practice of tak- 
ing patron Saints, but I would leave it en- 
tirely to him. 'Well,' said he, 'as this is the 
festival of the Conversion of St. Paul, I will 
give you the name of Paul!' Another coin- 
cidence pleased me very much. If there is a 
character in Holy Scripture that I have a 
special admiration for, it is that of Blessed 
Mary Magdalene. When I ascertained that 
Catholics made account of the Saint whose 
commemoration occurred on their birthday, I 
was surprised and delighted on consulting the 
calendar to find that my birthday was the 
festival of St. Mary Magdalene." 

At the time of Mr. Eichards' reception, his 


cliilclren were four in number, Laura Isabelle, 
Plenry Livingston, Jr., William Douglas, and 
Havens Cowles, who had seen the light scarcely 
more than two months before. The last named 
had not yet been baptized. With all Mr. Rich- 
ards ' tender love for his wife and his sympathy 
for her suffering and anxiety at this time, he did 
not propose to let any question arise as to the 
child's Catholic baptism. He therefore one 
day took the baby quietly in his arms and 
slipping unobserved out of the back door, 
carried it to Father Borgess at the church of 
the Holy Cross and had it baptized. On the 
way, bethinking himself of the necessity of 
godparents, he called upon Mrs. Mary Going, a 
relative by marriage and at that time his only 
Catholic acquaintance in Columbus. Mr. Rich- 
ards, in his notes, pleases himself with the con- 
jecture that this resolute act of faith on his 
own part may have had some connection, by 
God's grace, with his son's vocation in after 
life to the priesthood and the religious state. 
Shortly after his reception into the Church, 
Mr. Richards put into execution his plan of re- 
moving to New York. In Columbus, his situa- 
tion had become anything but pleasant. Some 
of his warmest friends renounced his acquaint- 
ance entirely. His mother-in-law said solemnly 
to her daughter: "You know, Cynthia, I can 
never visit you again!" In time this spirit 


died away; and in after years there was no 
place where the aged Mrs. Cowles delighted 
more to visit and to spend the winters happily 
than in the pleasant home in Jersey City. But 
in the beginning, the feeling was very bitter. 
The position offered the former clergyman by 
his old Ohio friends and relatives by marriage, 
the Averys, in the drygoods house of Avery, 
Hilliard & Co. on Broadway, held out only very 
modest inducements at the start; but it gave 
hope of advancement. 

His wife and children were therefore 
entrusted to the care of his father in the old 
home at Granville. The opening of spring 
found the new convert in a cheerless upper room 
(sky-parlor, he calls it) of a boarding house 
in Liberty St., New York, ready to begin life 
anew at the age of thirty-eight, amid strange 
surroundings, separated from his family, cast 
off by friends and with only his cheerful con- 
fidence and trust in God's providence and his 
ardent devotion to his new faith to sustain and 
comfort him. 



Many anxieties and trials were to be en- 
dured by the new convert during the first three 
years of his Catholic life. Not the least of 
these was the comparative isolation to which 
every convert is more or less condemned. It 
must be confessed that Catholic lay people, at 
least in our country, are not in general suffi- 
ciently ready to make advances and to mani- 
fest kindness to those who enter the fold. In 
this particular they contrast perhaps rather 
unfavorably with the adherents of heresy. No 
doubt it is often through a certain timidity 
that those who have always been Catholics hold 
back from obtruding their acquaintance upon 
the newcomers; but the effect is as injurious 
as though it were due to indifference. The new 
convert must first fight, as it were, to get in; 
he must make, in many cases, heroic sacrifices ; 
he incurs the displeasure of relatives, is cut off 
from old friends, and is apt to find himself for 
a long time without new ones, at least outside 
the ranks of the clergy. He sees around him 
multitudes of Catholics intent upon their own 



duties and devotions, but apparently with little 
thouglit or sjTapatby for him. 

In Mr. Eichards' case, this isolation was in- 
creased and aggravated tenfold by the separa- 
tion from his family. He was a devoted hus- 
band and loving father; and to be compelled 
to live away from wife and children for an 
indefinite period, inflicted upon him a suffering 
like death. Intensely desirous of the conver- 
sion of his familv to the faith which he had em- 
braced and which he loved more ardently every 
dav as its beauties were revealed to him, he 
was in a position to do scarcely anything to 
hasten that conversion. The stings of poverty 
and anxieties as to success in business were 
aggravated by ill health, which soon began to 
assume at times an alarming aspect. But all 
such difficulties and sufferings were lightened 
by the tender devotion and intense happiness 
which he experienced in the practice of re- 
ligion. His letters at this time give a vivid idea 
of the enthusiasm with which their writer, with 
intellect and heart now at rest in the Truth, 
entered upon the fields of Catholic devo- 

Scarcely had Mr. Richards become settled in 
his new surroundings, when he was summoned 
to Granville to the deathbed of his father. The 
old Doctor had fallen from the loft of the stable 
on a heap of stones below and suffered a con- 


cussion of the brain that led to his death after 
a few days. In the interval, he was in constant 
delirium, but as the end approached, full con- 
sciousness returned. Calling to his bedside 
those of his children and grandchildren who 
were present, he said: ''My children, I die in 
the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ," and so 
sank into unconsciousness and death. He had 
always been a very religious and most conscien- 
tious man. It was his custom to take his Bible 
every day and retire to his inner study, where 
no one was allowed to disturb him for half an 
hour or more. His son looked upon his dying 
declaration of faith as an indication that doubts 
as to his position had perhaps arisen in his 
mind, and that he desired to express an implicit 
belief of all that Christ taught, whatever that 
might be in detail. In spite of the ever in- 
creasing divergence in their religious convic- 
tions, Henry had always remained devotedly at- 
tached to his father, and the death of the latter 
at this time was an added weight in the burden 
of sorrow and trial that he was called upon in 
God's providence to bear. 

As a business man, Mr. Richards proved to 
be successful, his early experiences in that field 
no doubt having afforded him a better prepara- 
tion than falls to the lot of most clergymen. 
The cheery, sincere and hearty manner which 
was natural to him and was an index of his 


character, and which, moreover, was strength- 
ened daily by the religious influences to which 
he opened his whole soul, ensured him a favor- 
able reception from all classes. His principals 
increased his salary and desired him to make 
a prolonged journey in the "West during the 
autumn of 1852. Then occurred the first of a 
series of attacks of illness, of a painful and 
peculiar nature, which formed one of the most 
distressing trials of his life. Four times, at 
intervals of some ten years, did these attacks 
disable him for periods of some months from 
the ordinary duties of life and even of religion, 
wrapping his soul in the deepest gloom. Pain- 
ful and terrible as the trial was, he himself 
recognized it as a powerful instrument in the 
hand of God to tear away his heart from all 
attachment to created and transient goods and 
to fix it upon God alone. Describing this at- 
tack, he says: *'I remember very distinctly 
praying in heart with intense earnestness to St. 
Peter that my faith might never fail. I have 
sometimes thought that it may have been in 
answer to that petition of intense desire and 
impassioned earnestness that I am indebted 
for the happy exemption from doubt in regard 
to the truth of the Catholic religion with which 
I have been blessed. I have never, thank God, 
had any serious doubt in regard to any doctrine 


of the Church. ... I said my prayers regularly 
rather froui a sense of duty than from inclina- 
tion, crying for mercy and deprecating the 
judgments of God, but without hope or con- 
solation. There was one exception to this. 
One day I experienced some relief, a momentary 
unction and freedom and pleasure in prayer. 
I afterwards found it was the anniversary of 
my reception into the Church, the festival of 
the Conversion of St. Paul, whom I had chosen, 
or rather who had been given to me, as my 
patron saint!" 

It was Mr. Richards' conviction that God in- 
tended him to remain poor. He had absolutely 
no desire for riches. He worked only for a sub- 
sistence for himself and his family and aimed 
at nothing beyond, unless the power of doing 
good and giving to others. It is a fact worthy 
of notice that whenever by his ability and in- 
dustry he began to get ahead and to be in a 
position to lay up resources for the future, one 
of these attacks of illness, or some other unex- 
pected and unavoidable circumstance, came to 
throw him back into his favorite condition of 
absolute trust in God's providence. When, on 
the other hand, his resources were exhausted 
and poverty stared him in the face, some new 
opening of even more favorable character than 
before came to justify his confidence. 


Upon his recovery, returning from the old 
home at Granville to New York, the convert 
found his business position, which he had un- 
ceremoniously abandoned under pressure of 
his illness, already filled by another. His em- 
ployers recommended him to a -wholesale gro- 
cery house of standing, where, however, the 
religious minded convert found his principles 
of integrity and fair dealing regarded as some- 
what out of place. The end of the season found 
him again witliout employment or resource. 
** Again," he writes, ''was my frail bark 
launched on the wild open sea without chart or 
compass, at the mercy of the winds and waves. 
These changes were of course a great trial to 
me, but I tried to profit by them. I looked upon 
them as sent by Providence for the trial of my 
faith and patience, and tried to practice abso- 
lute submission to the Holy Will of God." Re- 
turning to Ohio with a commission from his 
brother-in-law, Virgil Hillyer, Mr. Richards 
visited Cincinnati, and there was the guest of 
the venerable Bishop Purcell. In the Bishop's 
house, he had the gratification of meeting the 
Papal Ablegate, Archbishop Bedini. The letter 
to his wife in which he describes this visit 
carries us back with the utmost vividness to the 
time, and his impressions of the churchmen are 
full of interest. 


'^Cincinnati, Dec. 24tli, 1853. 

' ' Saturday. 

''Mif dear Wife: 

"I cannot find words to express the extreme 
pleasure I have experienced in my reception 
by our good Archbishop. With my usual timid- 
ity, by the time I arrived here I had pretty well 
convinced myself that I was on a wild goose 
chase. The Archbishop would have his hands 
full of other business and an obscure individual 
like myself after all was not very likely to ex- 
cite much interest in the heart of a high digni- 
tary of the church. 

''However, I mustered courage and called at 
the Episcopal residence and was shown to Dr. 
Eosecrans' room, who received me like an old 
friend, and as he was about to go up to the 
seminary (a splendid building on one of the 
high hills, overlooking the city) to hear his 
class, he invited me to go along. So I got into 
the buggy and we had a pleasant ride, chatting 
about old times, &c. On our return, the Arch- 
bishop (who had been out) had returned and I 
was ushered into his august presence. Never 
was I taken by a more agreeable surprise. 
Such cordiality— such familiar, friendly inter- 
est—such paternal sympathy— such sprightli- 
ness and vivacity in conversation, and mthal 
such perfect refinement of manner, I think I 


never before witnessed in any man. He entered 
at once into my feelings and interests, inquired 
about my family, my brother, &c., and insisted 
that I should stay with him. . . . The character 
of his conduct is very childlike. He is animated 
and quick-motioned as a Frenchman and he 
waits upon you, placing the chair, pouring out 
your tea, as at breakfast this morning, and 
showing an hundred little attentions as agree- 
able as they are unexpected. But this is only 
half my pleasure. Think of it ! His Eminence 
Archbishop Bedini, the Nuncio of His Holiness, 
is here with his suite, and last evening I had the 
very great privilege and gratification of kneel- 
ing for the Apostolic benediction, kissing the 
Episcopal ring, and having his hands laid upon 
my head. More than this — the Archbishop 
very kindly informed me that they were to take 
tea at Mr. Springer's, a prominent Catholic 
family, and invited me to go with them, which 
I did, and then to add another link to the chain 
of sweetness long drawn out, I met Mr. Ander- 
son and his lady from Chillicothe. 

"Mr. and Mrs. Springer are both very excel- 
lent — indeed quite delightful people — and their 
large parlors are filled with works of art which 
they have picked up during their travels in 
Europe. You should have seen the two high 
dignitaries of the church in their familiar, un- 
reserved intercourse on this evening to have a 


true idea of the Catholic gentleman and ecclesi- 
astic. What would I not have given to have 
you present, and Brother William and Sister 
Helen, too. 

''During the evening Mrs. S. made known to 
the Nuncio the desire of her servants to receive 
his blessing. They were thereupon invited in 
— six Irish girls in all — and kneeled before him 
w^hile he pronounced the benediction and gave 
them his ring to kiss. It was a beautiful sight 
and I venture to say would touch the heart of 
any but a bigoted Evangelical Protestant. The 
Nuncio speaks the English language very im- 
perfectly, generally conversing in French and 
the Archbishop interprets, but last night he 
made several very fair attempts to converse 
with the ladies in English, and during the even- 
ing he called the young daughter of Mr. S. to 
him and had quite a familiar chat with her. 
She is about the age of Laura and I am happy 
to be able to say I believe Laura would have 
conducted herself under the circumstances as 
well as she did. She was rather overawed at 
first and did not seem to know what to say, but 
he succeeded by great familiarity at last in 
drawing her out. ... I have always been struck 
with the great affection which prevails gener- 
ally among Catholics, old and young, towards 
their clergy." 


While Mr, Eicliarcls was a guest of Arch- 
bishop Purcell's at Cincinnati, the famous 
I^ow Nothing movement came to a crisis in 
that city, and the new convert was actually 
asleep in the house on the night of the chief 
outbreak, when the mob of Popery haters 
threatened \dolence to the Pope's representa- 
tive. Their attack was foiled by the ingenuity 
and presence of mind of Father Edward Pur- 
cell, brother of the Archbishop, together with 
the vigilance of the city authorities, but not 
without rioting in which several of the assail- 
ants lost their lives. The mob was composed 
largely of German infidels and revolutionists, 
but in cooperation with these were the members 
of the Native American or Know Nothing party. 
These narrow-minded and violent fanatics had 
organized as early as 1843 a political party 
whose main objects were the restriction of im- 
migration and of the naturalization of foreign- 
ers and the repression of the Catholic Church. 
Bloody riots marked their advent in Philadel- 
phia, where a number of Catholic churches were 
burned, lives were lost, and the city was kept 
in a state of terror for weeks. The same scenes 
were about to be enacted in New York, where 
the anti-Catholic element had succeeded in 
electing their candidate, one of the publishers 
of Maria Monk's infamous book, as Mayor 
in 1844; but they were cowed by the bold atti- 


tude of Bishop Hughes, who encouraged the 
Catholics to defend themselves. When Arch- 
bishop Bedini, in 1853, was appointed Nuncio 
to Brazil, he was commissioned by the Holy 
Father, Pius IX, to make an informal visita- 
tion of the Church in the United States, to re- 
port on the state of ecclesiastical affairs here 
and to attempt the reconciliation of two schis- 
matical parishes which had obstinately stood out 
against their bishops. Incidentally, he brought 
a friendly letter from the Pope to President 
Pierce. The arrival of the Nuncio was the 
signal for a most violent outbreak of anti-Cath- 
olic hatred, which unfortunately seemed to be 
shared to some extent by the majority of Con- 
gress and by high officials of the government. 
In New York, the Ita*lian and German revolu- 
tionists who had taken refuge there, urged on 
by the apostate priest Gavazzi, circulated the 
most monstrous calumnies against the Pope's 
representative. A plot was formed to assas- 
sinate him. The plan was revealed to its in- 
tended victim by an Italian named Sassi, who 
was himself murdered on the street the very 
next day. In spite of the dangers that threat- 
ened him at every step, the prelate went on 
courageously with the fulfilment of his mission, 
visiting in succession many of the larger cities 
of the United States and Canada, celebrating 
public functions everywhere and making care- 


ful observations. His subsequent reports to 
Pius IX evinced great good judgment, breadth 
of mind and sincere admiration and sympathy 
for the growing Church in America. Hostile 
demonstrations were met in Pittsburg. But 
even the organized attempt to attack him in 
Cincinnati, to hang him and burn the Cathedral, 
did not shake his courage. By the vigor of the 
public authorities, who here acted in good faith 
and promptly, the conspirators w^ere captured 
with their arms, gallows and banner. The 
Nuncio officiated not only in the Cathedral but 
in several other churches, preaching in German ; 
and we have seen from Mr. Richards' letter 
with what apparent unconcern he bore himself 
in the turbulent city. No doubt had the con- 
spiracy succeeded, the fervent convert who 
slept soundly in the Archbishop 's house through 
the disturbance, would willingly have given his 
life in such good company for his new faith. 

Very shortly after this visit, Mr. Eichards' 
financial difficulties were put an end to for the 
time, just as he was almost in despair, by the 
simultaneous offer of three positions. The 
most favorable of these was from his old friend, 
Elias Fassett, for whom he had prayed so 
earnestly in youthful days and who was now 
the head of the banking house of Atwood, Dun- 
levy & Co., in Wall Street. ''I said to myself," 
he writes, ''How good God is! And how won- 


derfully does He arrange things in this world 
so as to show us our dependence on Him ! ' ' 

Some time later, Mr. Richards was made 
managing clerk in the newly established bank- 
ing house of Eugene Kelly and Co. Here he 
might have remained, with the brightest pros- 
pects for the future. As he remarks himself, 
the house of Eugene Kelly and Co. seemed to 
have no infancy but to spring at once into the 
most vigorous life. But for reasons chiefly of 
health, Mr. Richards chose a more modest 
position in the Sheffield steel house of Sander- 
son Brothers & Co., under their New York 
agent, Mr. Edward Frith. For this estimable 
Catholic gentleman, Mr. Richards felt a regard 
that was truly brotherly. He long kept up a 
correspondence with more than one member of 
the family ; and during the last illness of Mrs. 
Frith, she would sometimes call for Mr. Rich- 
ards' letters and have them read to her again, 
so great was the spiritual consolation that she 
derived from them. 

Now that solicitude for the means of sub- 
sistence had been removed, Mr. Richards made 
arrangements to bring from Ohio his family, 
from whom he had been separated, with the ex- 
ception of occasional visits to Granville, for 
three years. At this time he had lodgings in 
Jersey City, whither he had been led by the 
presence of old Ohio friends and connections, 


particularly his sister Mary and her husband, 
Virgil Hillyer. The spirit of faith which he 
had already imbibed is indicated by his making 
a novena in union with the Sisters of Charity 
of St. Peter's Church, before setting out on his 
search for a house to shelter his family. Need- 
less to say his hunt was highly successful. 

A letter written to Mrs. Richards at this time, 
taken from a great number of similar ones, 
will give an idea of his intimate correspondence : 

''Jersey City, Dec. 25, 1854. 
"Christmas Morning. 
''My dear Wife: 

*'I have just returaed from Mass — Christ 
Mas — and a glorious time we have had of it. 
At half past five the church was brilliantly 
lighted, the altar splendidly decorated, and 
with fine music, a thronging and eager, and I 
trust a devout congregation to assist in offering 
the great sacrifice, it was really very delightful 
— quite thrilling indeed, and I enjoyed it much. 
I wish you could have been here and the dear 
children. I know you would have enjoyed it. 


''Well, the day is passed and such a day! 
Immediately after breakfast I started up town 
(New York). I thought I would start early so 
as to visit some of the churches. The first one 


I visited was the Church of the Advent in 2nd 
Avenue of which Eev. Mr. McChisky is pastor, 
one of the finest priests in the city, — a man of 
fine talent in ecclesiastical arrangement. I 
never saw anything more beautifully and 
chastely decorated than his altar. It was 
really quite magnificent. But the crowning 
object of attraction was the representation of 
the Nativity. Inside the chancel on one side 
of the altar, was a miniature representation of 
the stable at Bethlehem, with the Infant Jesus 
lying in his little bed of straw in the manger, 
with Joseph and Maiy and everything in per- 
fection even to the green hay in the manger and 
the oxen in their stalls — ^little angels hovering 
over the Infant Jesus, and the shepherds clad 
in their sheepskin garments and with crooks in 
their hands adoring Him whom the angel had 
taught them to look upon as the Son of the 
Highest. There were rocks and trees and 
grass, and moss-covered banks and over all a 
bright star. It was really very beautiful and 
the people were crowding around to get a look 
at it, and holding up their little children to get 
a peep at the Infant Savior in His lowly bed. 
' ' I went from there to the Church of the Ke- 
demptorists in 3rd Street, of which you know I 
have a picture at home. There they had an- 
other representation of the Nativity on a much 
larger scale. In a large niche of the church all 


surrounded by evergreens so as to look like 
thick woods, there was quite a district of the 
hill country of Judea — with roads running over 
the hills and houses scattered here and there 
and men riding and walking, and then in front 
a patch of level country and a stable and all the 
usual concomitants, which presented upon the 
whole a very unique and impressive scene. I 
crowded up with the rest, got a glimpse of it, 
said my prayers and retired to the Jesuits' 
Church. That was very beautiful. There was 
no representation, but the church was so neatly 
and tastefully trimmed. The church itself is 
magnificent, especially about the altar (though 
they call it only a chapel) and they had more 
evergreens, more wreaths and festoons than I 
saw anywhere else. From there I went to my 
own St. Ann's. Here everything was chaste 
and neat and beautiful, especially the brilliant 
display of lights on the altar, — and the service, 
—what shall I say of it? I cannot describe it. 
I was deeply affected — I was over[50wered. It 
seemed like a foretaste of the worship of 
Heaven and I longed to be there. Father 
Forbes gave us one of the most powerful, im- 
pressive and eloquent sermons I ever listened 
to on the love and condescension of Almighty 
God in visiting this world to redeem and save 
us. I think there were few dry eyes in the 
house. I am not ashamed to say that I wept 


like a child. Oh, that I could always carry with 
me the impression of that delightful season. I 
noticed two Protestant ladies in Dr. Forbes' 
pew, who I presume were some of his old 
friends. They seemed a little puzzled as to 
how to act in conforming to the service but they 
listened very intently and seemed to be much 
affected by the sermon. How I did pray that 
they might be converted to the truth and 
led into the beautiful pastures of Christ's 
Holy Church. And oh, dear wife, how have 
I remembered you and the dear ones at 
home, especially w^hen going to the altar. 
Oh, how I do long then to take you all in 
my arms and lay you in the arms of Jesus that 
we may all be His, united in love to Him and 
to each other in Him. 

"I was struck to-day with the contrast be- 
tween the Catholic Church and the Episcopal. 
Everywhere I went, the Catholic churches were 
crowded with people, or at least were all open 
and people coming and going, offering their 
devotions in private, or the service was going 
on in which they all seemed very devoutly to 
join, and it was so from a very early hour, 
each priest, you know, having the privilege of 
saying three Masses on Christmas, and when 
they have two or three priests they have a num- 
ber of Masses, sufficient to accommodate every 
one. As I passed by Grace Church {'The 


Cliurcli,' you know) I was struck with tlie con- 
trast. AYliile I was jet some distance oft, 
thinks I, I will go in and see how 'The Church' 
looks. I approached and there happened to be 
a darkey sweeping off the snow and ice inside 
the fence, but the doors were all shut and there 
was no ingress. Just then a lady, quite respect- 
able looking and well dressed, came up as if 
desiring to go into the church. She spoke to 
the darkey. I did not hear what was said, but 
she turned away and went off. The time for 
service had not arrived. I was not very much 
disappointed myself, as I did not care particu- 
larly to see the church, but I really did feel 
sorry for the poor lady and I could not but 
think what a blessed privilege we poor be- 
nighted Catholics enjoyed over the refined, in- 
telligent and enlightened members of the Re- 
formed Episcopal Church. Oh, great and holy 
and beautiful is Holy Mother Church, and I felt 
to-day like exclaiming with St. Augustine: 
'Too late have I known thee, oh Ancient and 
Eternal Truth! Too late have I known thee, 
too late have I loved thee ! ' " 

Mrs. Richards and the four children arrived 
in Jersey City in September, 1855. The former 
was baptized conditionally in St. Peter's 
Church, May 4th, 1856, more than four years 
after Mr. Richards' reception. Tenderly de- 


voted as slie was to her husband, and regard- 
ing him throughout life with a profound rever- 
ence for the virtues which she knew better than 
any other, she yet could not follow his footsteps 
in religious matters and accept his new faith, 
unless her mind were fully satisfied of its truth. 
She was possessed of a keen intelligence and a 
profound sense of duty. She felt deeply the 
injustice of the furious outcry raised against 
her husband. But she had not had equal oppor- 
tunities with him of knowing the Catholic 
Church; and the strenuous opposition of all 
those whom she had loved and revered during 
life might well make her pause. The battle 
was long and severe. Very tenderly and pa- 
tiently did her husband strive, in his letters, in 
his occasional visits to the old home, and after 
their reunion in the East, in the daily inter- 
course of life, to smooth away her prejudices 
and to open her mind and heart to the truth and 
beauty of the Catholic Faith, as he knew and 
possessed it. At the close of one long letter, 
he writes: "God bless you, dear wife, and 
open your heart to receive the truth ! I do not 
ask you to try to believe as I do. I only ask 
that you will try to be perfectly candid and un- 
prejudiced and seek for the truth with the spirit 
of a little child. Then God will bless you, what- 
ever conclusion you come to, and it will be well 
with you for time and eternity." 


Cynthia felt very deeply the disadvantages 
and miserv of a familv di^ided in relioion. She 
asked her Protestant friends and advisers 
whether they believed that she could attain 
salvation as a member of the Catholic Church. 
They were compelled to admit that she could. 
"Then," she said, "I am going to study Cath- 
olic teaching, and if I find that I can conscien- 
tiously embrace it, I shall. ' ' At the end of four 
years of study, questioning, reflection and 
prayer, she saw clearly that she not only could, 
iDut must, accept the Catholic Faith in its full- 
ness. From that time she was as loyal and 
devout a Catholic as her husband. The chil- 
dren were received at various dates, some be- 
fore and some after their mother. Laura, the 
eldest, though only a child, showed herself 
a staunch little Protestant and declared loudly 
that no matter who should desert that banner, 
she would remain firm. Her father sent her to 
the Catholic school at St. Peter's Church, and 
there, under the teaching of the Sisters of 
Charity and especially the gentle influence of 
the saintly Sister Editha, she soon became the 
most ardent Catholic of the family. 

These events were the source of unbounded 
consolation to the new convert. "With all his 
family safely gathered into the true fold and 
thoroughly united with him in heart and soul, 
he felt himself strong to face the world and to 


undergo whatever trials might await him. He 
entered joyously upon a life of religious ac- 
tivity and labor, which though of an unpreten- 
tious kind and necessarily -limited to the scanty 
hours of leisure left him by his business en- 
gagements, was nevertheless of astonishing 
proportions and effectiveness. 

From the moment of his reception into the 
Church, the former Minister was completely 
changed. In the words of a more recent con- 
vert, instead of his struggling to hold the Faith, 
the Faith held liun. It penetrated and pos- 
sessed and ruled his whole being. The anxious 
questionings that had disturbed his mind for 
so many years gave place to secure rest and 
inward peace. He was at home at last, and his 
spiritual nature flowered out in a way that 
showed it had found congenial soil and sun- 
shine. Mr. Richards never underwent such a 
period of acclimatization as some converts ex- 
perience after their entrance into the Church. 
He never felt any of their repugnances to Cath- 
olic doctrines, the result, no doubt, of their early 
prejudices. As he said himself, he ''took it 
strong." From the beginning, he was as fer- 
vent and enthusiastic in all the exercises of 
Catholic piety as though he had been reared in 
the faith. The invocation of the saints and 
special devotions to them and imitation of their 
virtues, particularly of the Blessed Mother ; the 


use of pictures and statues, of holy water and 
the sign of the cross, the gaining of indulgences, 
and all such practices of Catholic devotion were 
welcomed by him with a traly childlike simplic- 
ity and manly piety. His rosary was always 
with him, and when traveling on the cars or 
the ferry boat, his favorite occupation was to 
recite the beads unnoticed. The offices of his 
good wife were frequently called into requisition 
to mend the pockets worn through by the con- 
stant handling of the beads. Mr, Richards had 
too much good sense to be subject in any degree 
to that strange and ridiculous fear that haunts 
some timid souls lest the saints should stand 
between them and Christ, the only Mediator. 
He knew, with the instinct of human nature and 
of Faitli, without argument, that it cannot be 
an obstacle to friendship with the Savior to 
love His Mother and His friends, and that He 
cannot repel the soul from His embrace because 
it seeks Him accompanied by His best beloved. 
From the beginning of his Catholic life, he re- 
ceived Holy Communion frequently, on Sun- 
days and all the principal feasts. No one who 
beheld on these occasions his rapt countenance 
and the tears trickling down his cheeks, could 
doubt for a moment the closeness of his union 
with His divine Lord. The practice of mental 
prayer soon became familiar to him, though 
even before he learned any set method of medi- 


tation, his constant preoccupation with Divine 
things, his frequent aspirations during the day 
and the reading of spiritual books, which 
formed one of his chief delights, combined to 
make his life almost a continual prayer and 
direct union with God. 

Another beneficial effect of the Catholic at- 
mosphere was the gradual mellowing of the 
character of the former Puritan and Minister. 
In spite of the acknowledged personal magnet- 
ism and unselfish devotedness which had helped 
to make him so much loved by his people and 
particularly by the poor, he had always retained 
a certain degree of stitfness and preciseness of 
manner, with a slight tendency to too great 
warmth and severity in reprimanding. This 
latter trait was never entirely overcome ; but it 
was rather an ardent and vehement reprobation 
of everj'thing bad, low and faulty than any per- 
sonal harshness. For the rest, a certain joyous 
enthusiasm and a kindly good humor and ready 
sjTnpathy for others, joined to his intense zeal, 
made his piety most attractive and encouraging 
to all who came to know him, Protestants as 
well as Catholics. 



At that early period, St. Peter's was the only 
Catholic church in Jersey City. It was a small 
building of stone, on Grand St., and has long 
since disappeared to make room for the new 
convent and parish school. The Eev. John 
Kelly, the pastor, was a favorable example of 
the parish priest of the old regime. White- 
haired, ruddy-faced, amiable in disposition, 
gentle and fatherly in manner as well as in 
heart, he had the love and intense devotion of 
his people. Most unworldly himself, he had 
learned to know the world and human nature 
by a long and varied experience. Educated in 
part at Mt. St. Mary's College, Emmittsburg, 
he spent a short time with the Jesuit Fathers 
at Frederick, ^Id., where he taught in the 
nascent College of St. John, together with 
James Curley, aftei-ward the distinguished and 
venerable founder and director of the George- 
toAvn College Observ^atory. After ordination 
and some time spent in parish work in Albany, 
the young priest volunteered to take part in the 
mission to the Eepublic of Liberia, on the West 



Coast of Africa, whicli had been detennined 
upon by the second Provincial Council of Balti- 
more in 1833. Catholics had taken a consider- 
able share in the founding of this place of 
refuge for liberated slaves. Charles Carroll of 
Carrollton was at one time president of the 
American Colonization Society, and a number 
of the earliest colonists were Catholic negroes 
from Maryland and the adjoining States. With 
Very Rev. Edward Barron, Vicar General of 
Philadelphia, and Denis Pindar, a lay catechist, 
Father Kelly reached the colony early in 18-12. 
After a year or two. Father Barron was made 
Bishop, and was joined by seven priests of the 
Congregation of the Holy Ghost. Five of these 
Fathers died of the terrible African fever, as 
did also the Catechist. The two American 
priests, themselves wasted by the same disease, 
gave up the mission and returned to the United 
States. Father Kelly brought with him, with 
great pains, the skin of a huge chimpanzee as 
a contribution to the Georgetown College 
Museum of Natural History. This found its 
way later to the United States Museum under 
the care of the Smithsonian Institution, where it 
still remains, constituting probably the only 
existing monument of this early effort in foreign 
missionary labor by Catholics of the United 
States. Father Kelly found at last his true 
missionary field in the ordinary work of the 


secular clergy. The factories and crowded 
garrets of the poorer quarters of Jersey City 
afforded abundant scope for his zeal and 
charity. The waves of Irish emigration which 
had risen to unprecedented heights during the 
black years of the famine still continued to 
break upon the shores of xVmerica. The great 
majority of the Catholic people were poor and 
struggling. Father Kelly devoted himself 
with his whole heart and soul to their assistance, 
not only spiritual but temporal. It was fortu- 
nate for Mr. Richards and his family that their 
first pastor was one whom they could love and 
admire so heartily. He took a kindly and 
fatherlv interest in their welfare. At the same 
time he had the sagacity to discern the new 
convert's capacity for religious work and to 
avail himself of it in the interests of the parish. 
In this he differed from many pastors of that 
day, who rather discouraged and repelled lay 
participation in Church work. Indeed, it can- 
not be said that this spirit has entirely died out 
even yet, although anything more inimical to 
the true spirit of the Catholic Church and de- 
structive of her influence on modem society can 
scarcely be imagined. Mr. Eichards was at 
once enlisted as a teacher in the Sunday School, 
a function which he continued throughout life, 
either as a preceptor or superintendent, in the 
various parishes in which he dwelt. 


Another lifelong work of Mr. Richards which 
began at this period was that of the Conference 
of St. Vincent de Paul. The year 1857 saw the 
first beginnings of one of the greatest commer- 
cial and financial panics that have disturbed 
the business world of America. Widespread 
and acute distress prevailed, affecting of course 
particularly the relatively poor Catholic com- 
munity. To assist in meeting these evils, a 
conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul 
was organized on October 4th, 1857, the first 
in Jersey City, and probably one of the earliest 
in the United States. In this work Mr. Rich- 
ards was the leading spirit. He served as Sec- 
retary of the first meeting and was immediately 
elected President. So energetic were his efforts 
and those of his fellow workers, though they 
were few in number and themselves mostly of 
very limited means, that after six months, when 
the President wrote to Archbishop Bayley to 
ask episcopal approbation for the enterprise, 
he was able to report that through the liberal- 
ity of Father Kelly ' ' and that of his worthy as- 
sistants, who have not only taken up frequent 
collections but also contributed freely from 
their own private means, we have succeeded in 
raising nearly fifteen hundred dollars, which 
has been all expended in the various modes of 
charity peculiar to the Society. We have con- 
tributed relief to some three hundred families, 


embracing nearly one thousand persons, and in 
the discharge of their self-denying duties the 
visiting committees have made over fifteen hun- 
dred visits to the poor and distributed more 
than two thousand tickets of relief. We have 
reason to believe that but for the timely insti- 
tution of our society there must have been a 
large amount of extreme suffering and distress 
among our people, especially as the prejudices 
of our Protestant fellow citizens are in many 
cases so strong as to prevent their contributing 
anvthing to the relief of the Catholic poor." 

In the year 1859, the new parish of St. Mary's 
being cut off from St. Peter's, Mr. Kichards 
found himself under the spiritual direction of 
the new Pastor, Rev. Dominic Senez. For this 
worthy priest, the new convert soon learned to 
feel a profound reverence and tender attach- 
ment. Father Senez was above all a spiritual 
man, devoted to prayer and meditation. But 
he was also most zealous and self-sacrificing in 
his work for his flock, and capalile and energetic 
in the management of the material affairs of 
his parish. His familiar homilies were master- 
pieces of true pastoral eloquence. His viva- 
cious yet fatherly and spiritual conversation in 
private life and in his pastoral visits endeared 
him to every family. They felt that the Holy 
Spirit came with him and that peace and fervor 
lingered after him in the household. The firm 


and enlightened direction in the confessional, 
of ^ which Father Senez was master, was par- 
ticularly valuable to the new convert with his 
scrupulous conscience, ardent devotion, self- 
contempt and desire for penance. 

In April, 1859, Mr. Richards resigned the 
presidency of the St. Peter's Conference of St. 
Vincent de Paul and organized another in St. 
Mary's parish, of which he was as before the 
head and the soul. His devoted service in this 
Conference is described for us by a friend and 
co-laborer. Captain James Conroy, now an 
Adjuster of Marine Insurance but at that 
time a young Captain of a tugboat plying 
in New York harbor.^ Capt. Conroy says: 
*'I was a rather wild young man, allowed 
to grow up with almost no religion. AVlien 
quite young, I had run away to sea and 
since that time I had scarcely entered a church. 
One evening I was on my way with a party of 
young men to the Elysian Fields, Hoboken. 
Passing St. Mary's Church, which was filled 
with people, I caught a glimpse through the 
open door of a large crucifix in the sanctuary. 
Though I was a Catholic, the sight was strange 
to me and I went in. A mission was in progress 
given by the Paulist Fathers. Father Baker was 
preaching. As I listened, he described my life 

1 (Note) — Captain Conroy died shortly after the above ac- 
count was written, but not before having read it and ap- 
proved of this whole chapter aa perfectly accurate. 


exactly. Every word seemed intended for me 
individually, and I wondered how he could 
know my interior so perfectly. From that mo- 
ment I was a changed man. I began the fer- 
vent practice of my religion. Soon I was 
noticed by Mr. Richards, who introduced him- 
self to me, and we became fast friends. The 
example of his fervor, his unwearying zeal and 
his cheerful, genial kindness, exerted a power- 
ful influence over me. At his suggestion, I 
joined the little Conference of St. Alncent de 
Paul. Very often, after the evening rosary in 
the church and visit to the Blessed Sacrament, 
he would say : ' Come, Captain, there are many 
poor families suffering to-night. Let us get a 
handful of tickets from Henry Carroll, the 
baker, and see what we can do to relieve them.' 
Sometimes it was snowing hard or raining, and 
I felt strongly inclined to answer that as I had 
to take my boat out early in the morning, I 
preferred to go home and to bed. But I could 
not resist his infectious zeal. We made our 
rounds among the poor families, of whom there 
were indeed great numbers. Everywhere his 
coming brought not only relief but consolation 
and courage. I used to wonder at the skillful 
way in which, after having relieved their tem- 
poral wants as far as lay in his power, he went 
on to ask them, quite naturally and sympathet- 
ically, about their spiritual affairs, their attend- 


ance at mass, reception of the sacraments, tlie 
Catholic education of their children, et cetera. 
Everyone confided in him at once. Yet he was 
clear sighted in detecting impositions. Once 
we visited the house of a woman undoubtedly 
poor and in need, where we found several neigh- 
bors gathered with her about a table. Mr. 
Richards gave the relief in his usual kind way, 
but when we had gone out he said: 'Captain, 
we must come back here. There is something 
going on. ' After attending to the next case on 
our route, we returned, knocked and entered 
suddenly, and found the women still about the 
table with a huge pail of beer in the center. 
My companion reprimanded them, indeed gave 
them a warm lecture, yet in so gentle a way as 
to leave no sting." 

During the dark days of distress that pre- 
ceded the Civil War, Mr. Richards ' kitchen was 
thronged every evening, and even in the morn- 
ings at the breakfast hour, with poor people 
seeking help in their misery. To all of them 
he attended with unalterable patience and sym- 
pathy. That cold, suspicious spirit that too 
often grows upon charity workers, leading 
them to see in every poor man an impostor and 
to take more satisfaction in detecting a fraud 
than in relieving real distress, was odious to 
his mind. Neither did he ever show a trace of 
that haughty condescension and rudeness which 


too often take from beneficence all its grace and 
force the poor to accept an insult with the alms. 
His charity was supernatural — and therefore 
more exquisitely and perfectly natural, not 
forced or assumed. 

It was probably in connection with his work 
in the Conference that Mr. Richards was led to 
take an active share in improving the condition 
of the public penal and charitable institutions 
of Hudson County. The treatment of prisoners 
and paupers was at that time far from satisfac- 
tory. Dirt and inhumanity wore much too com- 
mon. Still more objectionable was the almost 
total exclusion of the Catholic clerg\" from all 
religious ministrations in many of these places. 
We at the present day can perhaps hardly 
realize to what extent and with what bitter 
jealousy the Church was barred out from this 
most necessary field of her lifegiving labors, 
and what a battle our fathers had to fight in 
order to gain their plain rights in a country 
proud of liberty and boasting of religious free- 
dom. Wlierever the battle was fought and won, 
the officials afterward recognized and acknowl- 
edged that She whom they had opposed as their 
enemy had proved to be really the best friend 
and most efficient helper in their task. But the 
conflict while it lasted was bitter and stubborn. 

Several Catholic gentlemen in Jersey City 
banded themselves together to remedy the bale- 


ful conditions. Mr. Charles H. O'Neill, a pros- 
perous merchant, who was universally respected 
for his sturdy, energetic character and spotless 
integrity, became their leader. He and Captain 
Conroy and others were elected to the Board of 
Freeholders. They visited the institutions 
regularly, pointed out abuses coming under 
their personal notice, and insisted on reform 
and improvement. Mr. Richards aided them 
with his pen, advocating the measures in the 
public press and drawing up protests to the 
authorities. The result was a rapid and per- 
manent improvement in every department. All 
the public institutions were opened to the visits 
of the priest. The new poor house at Snake 
Hill was a vast improvement upon its predeces- 
sor. Mr. 'Neill was repeatedly elected Mayor 
of the city, and fulfilled the duties of that office 
with such integrity and independence as to com- 
mand the profound respect of all good citizens. 
A great victory had been gained by quiet and 
persistent effort, w^ithout any of the spectacular 
features that accompany so many reform move- 
ments in the same field at the present day — fea- 
tures which sometimes lead a much deceived 
public to suspect that the whole agitation is 
intended more for the political advantage of 
the reformers than for the benefit of the poor 
and unfortunate. 

One of the greastest pleasures and encourage- 


ments enjoyed by Mr. Eicliards at this time was 
the friendship of many converts like himself. 
The movement of which he had been one of the 
first fruits in the West had had, as we have seen 
in a preceding chapter, an earlier spring and 
more abundant fruitage in the Eastern States, 
particularly in New York. Hence after the 
first difficulties of his position had been over- 
come and his natural shyness and timidity had 
in some degree worn otf, he found liimself wel- 
comed by a very considerable number of ed- 
ucated and distinguished men, among both 
clergy and laity, who had preceded or followed 
him into the Church. In a single letter written 
from Albany on Easter Sunday, 1858, in which 
he gives an enthusiastic description of a 
Pontifical High Mass at the Cathedral, he 
speaks of meeting Eev. Edgar P. Wadhams, 
afterward Bishop of Ogdensburgh, Mr. and 
Mrs. Norman C. Stoughton ("the veritable Mr. 
Stoughton to whom Havens paid a visit once 
with the intention of giving him a call to St. 
Paul's, Columbus"), Mr. William S. Preston, 
brother of Eev. Thos. S. (afterward Monsignor) 
Preston of New York, and his family, and a 
Mrs. Holt of Washington. Of the Prestons he 
says that Mr. Preston, ''his wife, his wife's 
mother and wife 's grandmother have all by the 
grace of God been brought into the Church. 
Including Mr. Preston's children, there were 


four generations present." Among the cler- 
ical converts with whom he came frequently in 
contact and with several of whom he contracted 
warm and lasting friendships, were, beside 
Fathers Preston and Wadhams mentioned 
above. Doctor William Everett, Pastor of the 
Church of the Nativity, Fathers Hecker, Baker, 
Young and all the band of Founders of the Paul- 
ist Society, and Rev. Edward Dwight Lyman, 
who like Mr. Richards had begun life as a Pres- 
byterian. With Dr. Forbes, then a priest at 
St. Ann's Church, he was slightly acquainted. 
The relapse of this clever convert into Protes- 
tantism was a profound grief to Mr. Richards, 
who found it hard to account for such a step. 
Wliile Dr. Forbes was at St. Ann's, his two 
daughters kept house for him. The good Irish 
Catholics, it is said, could never reconcile them- 
selves to hearing these young ladies speak of 
the joriest as ''Papa." 

Of the converts who like himself had been un- 
able or unwilling to embrace the priesthood, 
the leader was undoubtedly Orestes A. Brown- 
son, whose writings had exerted so powerful an 
influence in Mr. Richards' conversion. Brown- 
son was then writing and lecturing in New 
York. The great reviewer was a man of gigan- 
tic frame and splendid proportions. His broad 
shoulders supported a magnificent, domelike 
head, with a great mane and beard of gray hair. 


He was kindly and almost jovial in manner, but 
careless of bis personal appearance. On or- 
dinary occasions bis sbirt front was soiled witb 
snuff. But wben be appeared in public, be was 
propriety and dignity itself. His leonine as- 
pect and majestic bearing, bis ricb and power- 
ful voice and tbe force and vigor ^^^tll wbicb be 
poured forth argument and criticism, combined 
to produce an ineffaceable impression. Mr. 
Ricbards considered Brownson's style, in its 
mingled strengtb and copiousness, its absolute 
clarity of logic and keenness of pbilosopbic in- 
sigbt, and a certain irresistible rusb and sweep 
of tbougbt and argument, to be unequaled in 
American literature. 

It is mucb to be regretted tbat Brownson's 
immense powers seem to liave been allowed to 
run comparatively to waste after bis conver- 
sion. His Review, incomparably tbe most 
powerful defender of tbe Cburcli at tbat period, 
kept up a struggling existence. Ardent and 
impatient natures may be tempted to question 
wbetber any institution in tbe world allows 
such stores of available energy to go unutilized 
as tbe Catbolic Cburcb. In tliis sbe is no doubt 
like Nature itself wbicb lavishes incalculable 
forces in tbe waterfall, the tides, and tbe play 
of tbe winds, and which sheds a hundred tbou- 
sand seeds for one tbat takes root and comes to 
maturity. But considering the supreme impor- 


tance of the work of the Church, it would per- 
haps be well if some ecclesiastical engineer 
■would investigate the causes of waste and teach 
us how to utilize every available footpound of 
spirtual energy. 

In Brownson's case, it is probable that sus- 
picions as to the entire orthodoxy of his peculiar 
philosophical system had much to do with the 
coldness of many of the clergy and laity to- 
ward his Review. Of late years, Brownson has 
been blamed for abandoning temporarily, under 
the advice of Bishop Fitzpatrick, his own 
philosophy and presenting instead the claims of 
Christianity and the Church on the traditional 
grounds marked out for many centuries by the 
Fathers and Schoolmen. But in his otherwise 
admirable work. The Convert, Brownson pro- 
claims not only the similarity, but the positive 
identity of his system of the origin of human 
ideas with that of the Italian Abbate, Gioberti. 
This latter theory under the name of Ontolo- 
gism, was afterward condemned by the Holy 
See. Brownson strenuously denied that he had 
ever held or taught the propositions cited in the 
papal decree, and made distinctions to uphold 
his own doctrine. There can be no doubt that 
the teaching of the Ontologists to the effect that 
in every act of intellectual perception we know 
God, at least implicitly, as the primary object, 
and that without this no other cognition is pos- 


sible, was very attractive to men of idealistic 
and religious mind. In spite of Brownson's 
protests and distinctions, Catholic scholars gen- 
erally felt that Bishop Fitzpatrick's caution had 
been fully justified. 

Other lay converts with whom Mr. Richards 
came in contact at this period were Dr. Levi 
Silliman Ives, the former Protestant Bishop of 
North Carolina; Col. James Monroe of the U. 
S. Army; John A. McMaster, Editor of the New 
York Freeman's Journal; Benjamin W. 
Whitcher, Chandler Berrian, Dr. Joshua Hunt- 
ington, familiarly known as the Groper, from 
his little work Gropings after Truth; Dr. "Wil- 
liam H. Iloyt, and many others in a constantly 
increasing circle. 

Dr. Ives' dramatic entrance into the Church 
together with his wife, a daughter of Bishop 
Hobart, has been detailed in a preceding chap- 
ter. He was a most dignified and accomplished 
gentleman and did good service as a Catholic 
layman, particularly in connection with the 
Catholic Protectory, of which he was the 
founder and the first President. 

For Mr. Hoyt, a peculiar privilege was re- 
served. After the death of his excellent wife, 
he undertook studies for the priesthood and 
was ordained at the advanced age of sixty-five. 

For James Roosevelt Bayley, then Bishop of 
Newark, Mr. Richards felt a sincere reverence 


and admiration as well as gratitude. The good 
bishop's encouragement and constant kindness 
and the influence which he exerted in the new 
convert's favor, were powerful in smoothing the 
latter 's path. The Rev. George Hobart Doane, 
after his conversion in 1855, also became a fast 
friend of the subject of this memoir. Father 
(afterward Monsig-nor) Doane, was a son of the 
Anglican Bishop of New Jersey, George W. 
Doane, and brother of the present Bishop of 
Albany, William Crosswell Doane. As Vicar 
General and Chancellor of the diocese of New- 
ark, under Bishop Bayley, and as Rector of the 
Cathedral parish, Monsignor Doane had a most 
useful career in the Church of his adoption. 
The rapidity with which many of these early 
converts were advanced to the highest posts in 
the Catholic Church is worthy of note as an in- 
dication that no trace of suspicion or narrow 
jealousy, such as is said to have existed to some 
extent among the old Catholic families of Eng- 
land, was found among American Catholics in 
regard to their new brethren in the faith. In- 
stances were James Roosevelt Bayley, Bishop 
of Newark and later Archbishop of Baltimore, 
who is said to have been offered the Cardinal's 
hat but to have declined it in favor of Arch- 
bishop McCloskey of New York ; Tyler of Hart- 
ford, Wadhams of Ogdensburg, Wood of Phila- 
delphia, and many others. 


The strongest and most intimate of all the 
friendships formed by Mr. Richards with con- 
verts was with Ferdinand Elliott White, the 
former Rector of St. Luke's Protestant Episco- 
pal Church in New York. Mr. "White had come 
into the true fold in 1851, only shortly before 
Mr. Richards. After a similar period of dis- 
tress and anxiety in obtaining a bare subsistence 
for himself and his family, he had settled down 
as bookkeeper for a firm of Catholic merchants 
in New York, and had taken a modest dwelling 
in Jersey City. He was a mild-mannered, 
scholarly man, but of heroic soul. Devotedly 
fond of study and the exercises of a highly 
spiritual religious life, he must have felt the 
drudgery of his office work intensely repulsive. 
But he performed it with a cheerful and serene 
fidelity until advancing age and blindness made 
it impossible for him to guide a pen. His wife, 
a saintly woman, his two sons and his stepson 
had followed him into the Church. The home 
life of this admirable Catholic family was very 
attractive to Mr. Richards, and a strong friend- 
ship sprang up between the two families, 
especially the boys, which was a benefit to both. 

During this period, Mr. Richards was 
privileged to assist in an humble way in a great 
work, the establishment in this country of the 
Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis. These re- 
ligious were brought from Germany to Cin- 


cinnati by Mrs. Sarah Peter, a noted convert of 
the time and a very remarkable person from 
many points of view. Mrs. Peter was a 
daughter of Governor Thomas Worthington of 
Ohio, and during her father's sojourn in Wash- 
ington was distinguished for beauty and bril- 
liancy among the younger women in society. 
Marrying Edward King, and after his death 
William Peter, British Consul at Philadelphia, 
she was left a widow a second time with an 
ample fortune. In Rome, she was converted 
to the Catholic faith and was admitted to fre- 
quent audiences with Pius IX, for whom she 
conceived a profound veneration and enthu- 
siastic devotion. From this time she devoted 
herself with ardor to the service of God and of 
suffering humanity and to the propagation of 
the Catholic religion. Her efforts were en- 
couraged by the fatherly Bishop Purcell, and so 
active did she become in good works for the 
diocese that she was jestingly known as the 
Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati. At the break- 
ing out of the Civil War, Mrs. Peter equipped 
a hospital boat at her own expense and went 
herself to care for the sick and wounded 
soldiers. In addition to other distinctively reli- 
gious and charitable undertakings, she was the 
chief mover in the organization of the Cincin- 
nati Academy of Fine Arts, which developed 
later into the Art Museum of that city. In her 


frequent visits to Rome, slie was received with 
the greatest consideration by Pius IX. On one 
of these occasions, in 1874, when some great re- 
ligious function was going on in St. Peter's, 
Mrs. Peter, then an okl woman leaning on a 
staff, was ushered in somewhat late, looking in 
vain for a seat. The Holy Father paused, said 
with a smile to the Cardinals near him: Ecco 
nostra cara Signora Peter! and beckoned her to 
a place near himself. On another occasion, as 
the procession was lea^4ng the sanctuary, Mrs. 
Peter dropped her cane and tried in vain to 
reach it. The Holy Father stopped, raised the 
staff himself, and handed it to its owner, saying 
gayly : * ' Signora Peter, you have done what all 
Europe has failed to do. You have stopped 
Pius IX in his career I"^ 

In the year 1858, this valiant woman con- 
sulted her Bishop and the Holy Father himself 
as to introducing some community of German 
sisters for the service of the sick poor of Ger- 
man nationality and Irish sisters for the Irish 
poor. With their approbation, she carried out 
both of these designs. The German religious 
chosen were the Sisters of the Poor of St. 
Francis, founded at Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) 
in 1845 by Mother Frances Schervier. In this 
Foundress, wonderful not only for her exalted 
spirituality, her faith and absolute confidence in 

2 Life of Mrs. Sarah Peter, Vol. II, p. 544. 


God, but also for her strong, unalterable com- 
non sense, Mrs. Peter found a ready response 
to her own resistless energy. A first colony, of 
five Sisters and one Postulant, set out for 
America on August 10th, 1858, under Sister 
Augustine as Superior and Sister Felicitas as 
Assistant. The latter was a woman of high 
cultivation, commanding ability and engaging 
manners, united to a profound and tender piety. 
Arriving at Cincinnati, the new foundation met 
many difficulties and discouragements. But 
these were happily overcome, and new colonies 
arrived in the following and subsequent years, 
while vocations began to develop almost im- 
mediately among the good German and Irish 
girls who came into contact with the sisters in 
their work for the poor and suffering. Mrs. 
Peter had learned to know and esteem her fel- 
low convert, Henry Eichards. His house in 
Jersey City was a convenient stopping place in 
her frequent journeys to and from Europe. 
Happening to be there one Christmas when all 
the children of the neighborhood, Protestant as 
well as Catholic, had been gathered for a Christ- 
mas tree, she was enlisted to tell them stories. 
It was no little evidence of the power of her 
personality to see a great crowd of children, 
only a moment ago romping in wild excitement, 
now oblivious of presents, candies, lights and 
games, listening breathlessly, under the spell 


of that leonine countenance and musical voice, 
as she told them of her adventures in the great 
African Desert and her encounters with a re- 
bellious dragoman whom she threatened with an 
enormous whip from the back of a camel. 

Mrs. Peter hastened to enlist the services of 
her friend in favor of her sisters. Of their 
first colonies he was always the steadfast friend 
and devoted assistant. He welcomed them at 
the steamship on their arrival, conducted them 
to his own house, attended to their baggage, 
saw that their goods were passed through the 
customs house, &c. He looked upon the stay 
of these good religious in his house as the visit 
of angels. The eml)roidered scapulars and 
other articles of devotion which the religious 
sent in token of gratitude were treasured with 
veneration by the whole family in spite of the 
fact that the scapulars were of such generous 
dimensions that the children irreverently spoke 
of them as ''chest warmers." 

It was not long before Mr. Richards' admira- 
tion for the Sisters and their work led him to 
desire their presence in Jersey City, where they 
were greatly needed by the poor. As the Pas- 
tor, Father Senez, concurred in this desire, for- 
mal application for a foundation was made to 
Sister Felicitas and her counselors and was 
favorably received. By what seems to have 
been a misunderstanding, a later application 


from the neigliboring city of Hoboken was acted 
upon first. Both foundations, however, were 
happily accomplished and the two hospitals of 
St. Mary and St. Francis have long been centres 
of grace and blessing, both temporal and spirit- 
ual, to the two cities. The following letters will 
give an idea of Mr. Richards' correspondence 
with Sister Felicitas and the religious under 
her charge. The good Sister's command of the 
English langTiage was still somewhat imperfect ; 
but both her ability and piety are evident. 

*'L. J. Ch. 

"Maeia Hilf, Nov. 12th, 1862. 

''To Mr. Richards. 

**My dear Sir: Just now I received your 
dear lines and I hasten to give the desired an- 
swer. We feel ashamed at your and Rev. 
Father Senez's benevolence and most kind in- 
terest for us — as our insignificance renders us 
entirely unworthy of it. 

*'We are ready to follow your kind invitation 
to Jersey City at a seasonable time. We will 
accept with most humble gratitude all arrange- 
ments Rev. Father Senez may make in prepara- 
tion for the foundation, and it would be super- 
fluous to assure you of my agreeing with all this, 
as I am perfectly convinced of your good un- 
derstanding of the spirit of our Order, and as 
I entertain too great a veneration for Rev. 


Father Senez's enlightened piety and wise cir- 
cumspection. On the festival of the Immacu- 
late Conception, five postulants will be admitted 
into the Novitiate, so that their assistance here 
would enable us, by Christmas, to give five sis- 
ters for the new establishment in Jersey. As 
the foundation in Jersey City, when I received 
Eev. F. Couvin's letter, was still appointed to 
be made in spring. His Reverence, however, 
wishing to have the Sisters even during winter, 
and as I consider both the foundations as one 
and the same, according to the opinion I gained 
on the subject during my presence in Jersey 
City, and believing you to be guided in both 
by the same interest, I gave my consent, 
through Mrs. S. Peter, to supply Hoboken, if 
necessary, even in the course of winter, direct- 
ing, however. Rev. F. Couvin to Rev. F. Senez, 
— leaving it to their judgment which of the two 
foundations should be the first one. 

' ' The fact is, that we can make but one foun- 
dation before spring, and can be ready for the 
second towards May, June or July. I concluded 
from Rev. F. Couvin's explanation about Ho- 
boken that there the number of poor was greater 
than in Jersey and therefore perhaps the aid 
of our sisters more necessary for this winter ; — 
however, I directed, as I remarked. Rev. F. 
Couvin to you and Rev. F. Senez. I would now 
most humbly request you to be kind enough to 


see Eev. F. Senez and Eev. F. Couvin about the 
subject, and we are ready to comply with what- 
ever you will then determine. Perhaps Rev. 
F. Couvin has himself deferred the matter and 
besides for both cases the moment is not very re- 
mote, — but as I remarked, we could give sis- 
ters after Christmas for the first colony. 

"I perfectly agree with Rev. F. Senez' ar- 
rangements concerning the old church and en- 
gaging the other house, especially as I would 
like the sisters as near the church as possible. 
As soon as a house shall be acquired, and Rev. 
Father Senez permits our coming, we shall be 
ready to follow, quite willing to undergo the 
little troubles in finding means to provide for 
the little we want. 

"Finally it would be necessary to have the 
written consent of Right Rev. Bishop of Jersey, 
to present this to our Most Rev. Archbishop in 
order to obtain his episcopal blessing for the 
new foundation. A few lines of the approbation 
of the Right Rev. Bishop would be sufficient. 
M. R, Archbishop requested this procedure. 

"It will give me great consolation, my dear 
Sir, to accompany the sisters to Jersey, in order 
to participate, a short time at least, as well in 
the little pains and troubles of the beginning, 
as also in the blessings and merits of the good 
sisters. My unworthiness does not allow me to 
enjoy the favor for a longer time. Fiat vol- 


iintas! I hope confidently that the burning 
siiirit of our holy seraphic Father will accom- 
pany the weak and insignificant efforts of his 
poor children with his heavenly blessings! 
This consuming spirit of our glorious Father, 
overflowing with compassionate clemency, shall 
animate us to labor with redoubled zeal in our 
holy vocation and to consecrate all our faculties 
and strength to the service of the suffering. 
That glorious patriarch of the poor, our holy 
Father himself, will, by poor and weak instru- 
ments, — the more capable, as they are more 
huml)le and low, — to heal with the oil of his holy 
charity the wounds of those poor sufferers, 
and then bring them into the arms of that 
'Good Shepherd' and 'compassionate Samar- 
itan' — into those clement, wide-opened arms, 
into which Plis divine heart invites all those 
that are 'burdened and heavily laden.' May 
the most loving Heart of Jesus replenish you 
with the treasures of His charity and grace, 
my dear Sir, and may the most pure, immaculate 
heart of the virginal mother Mary intercede for 
you in this intention. 

"Sending my most humble respects to our 
Rev. Father Senez, — and praying you to remem- 
ber us to your dear family, I am, dear Sir, in the 
Sacred wounds of our Divine Sa\'ior, 

"Your humble servant, 
S. Felicitas of St. Francis. 


"Mrs. Peter sends her most affectionate re- 
gards to you and your family — " 

**St. Mary's Hospital (Hoboken, N. J.) 

"L.J. Ch.'' 
"Feast of St. John the Evangelist, 1863. 
*'My dear Sir: 

"I received your kind letter of the 21st of 
Dec, in return for which I trust the sweet In- 
fant Jesus will have visited you with the pleni- 
tude of His peace. His love and of all His graces. 
I prayed for you in this intention during this 
holy time, and God grant you may have received 
a copious share in that heavenly peace, which 
the angels promised to those of 'a good will.' 
You ought to have, dear Sir, the most firm con- 
fidence in the exceeding great charity our Lord 
bears to you, for I am convinced that this 
charity is the cause of your internal aflBictions 
and painful struggles, by means of which He 
will humble, purify and sanctify our souls. 
Proceed then in good faith, and with a most 
filial confidence in that road which God's pater- 
nal love has pointed out for you. Never let us 
seek anything else than His holy ivill. If some- 
times, in consequence of our weakness and of the 
blindness of our poor sinful hearts, our eyes are 
held like those of the two disciples who went to 
Emmaus, so that we do not know the Lord, who 
is indeed walking with us, let us notwithstanding 


continue to seek Him and to trust in Him like 
them : ' Stay with us, Lord, because it is to- 
wards evening and the day is now far spent.' 
The ways of this life are rough and dark ; some- 
times the struggle is vehement; but the Divine 
Infant, Who already in the manger begins to 
atone for our guilt by sutferings, teaches us by 
His holy example, courageously to enter the nar- 
row but painful path that leads to a never end- 
ing, blessed life ! Oh, let us manfully strive to 
join one day that blessed multitude, whom our 
dear holy St. John saw 'ascending from the 
desert of this life, as coming out of great tribu- 
lation, and whose robes were washed in the 
blood of the Lamb.' May this sweet Lamb of 
God in the crib of Bethlehem and His immacu- 
late most dear Mother bestow this greatest of 
all graces upon you and upon us all ! 

*'In the sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, 
** Your devoted Sister in Ch. 
**S. Felicitas of St. Francis. 

' ' N. B, In regard to our wishes for the foun- 
dation in Jersey City, I think we have to wait 
patiently till it joleases our Lord lovingly to re- 
move all the obstacles, small and great, in due 
season. Please accept our dear Sister Domin- 
ica's best respects and love and my own to you 
and your dear family. 

"S. F." 


It may be in place here to give an outline of 
Mr. Richards ' method of life at this period. He 
rose before the rest of the family every morning 
and spent some time, generally about half an 
hour, in meditation and mental prayer. He 
then attended mass at the parish church in com- 
pany with his wife. On his return, the family 
having been gathered together, he read aloud 
some passages from the New Testament, at 
times commenting briefly on the sense. Family 
prayers followed, which he recited with great 
devotion, all responding. Other members of 
the family were encouraged, but not obliged, to 
hear daily mass. His communions were fre- 
quent and fervent, and no feast days of any 
solemnity, especially of the Blessed Virgin, were 
allowed to pass without being sanctified in this 
way. The devotion which he felt on these oc- 
casions was plainly evidenced in his rapt coun- 
tenance, closed eyes, and oftentimes the tears 
trickling down his cheeks during his preparation 
and thanksgiving. The journey to his office iii 
New York was always made on foot as far as 
the ferry, and even to old age he would never 
ride when it was possible to walk. He walked 
with a rapid, energetic step and with an alert 
air. Yet no one who saw or accompanied him 
frequently could doubt that his thoughts were 
almost constantly fixed on God and spiritual 


things. The ferry across the Hudson was one 
of his favorite places for saying the beads. 
This he did so quietly, with his hand in his 
pocket, that no one could notice it. His oftice- 
work was efficient and methodical and his busi- 
ness letters were models of clearness and prac- 
tical wisdom. His cheery, hearty manner and 
conversation, which was not without an oc- 
casional dash of humor, endeared him to his 
fellow workers, all of whom, both Protestant 
and Catholic, felt for him a hearty liking, 
mingled with profound respect. He took a 
very modest lunch at his desk. On fast days, 
a couple of graham crackers and a glass of 
water made up his midday collation. On Wed- 
nesdays and Saturdays he abstained from flesh 
meat in honor of the Blessed Virgin. On the 
part of a chronic dyspeptic, these austerities 
were plainly imprudent and they were after- 
ward moderated by his spiritual director. But 
he always retained his love for penance and 
persevered in the practice of little mortifica- 
tions of the senses. In the evening after dinner 
he invariably paid a visit to the Blessed Sacra- 
ment in the church. The remainder of the 
evening was spent in visiting the poor, in read- 
ing of an almost exclusively religious character, 
correspondence, and writing articles of an 
equally religious tone for the public prints. 
Gradually this last work absorbed a greater 


portion of Ms time. The local papers not in- 
frequently contained attacks npon the Church 
in one form or another. This was especially 
the case with one of these sheets, the editor of 
which was noted for bitter prejudice. The 
Know Nothing spirit, though defeated and dis- 
credited, was still vigorous and active up to the 
breaking out of the Civil War. Mr. Richards 
made it his duty to take up all of the more ex- 
plicit and violent of these attacks and answer 
them in a calm but forcible style. The result 
was a change of tone in the journals of the 
town, which became notably more cautious 
and respectful. During this period, Chevalier 
J. V. Hickey, an Irishman of marked ability and 
cultivation, founded the Catholic Review, which 
for many years held its place as the leading 
Catholic weekly in New York. Some chance 
contributions of Mr. Richards proved so ac- 
ceptable that he was encouraged to write regu- 
larly for the editorial columns. Scarcely a 
number appeared without one or more contri- 
butions from his pen. This labor continued 
even after Mr. Richards' removal to Boston in 
1868 and until the death of Mr. Hickey. The 
subjects chosen were generally points of con- 
troversy between the Church and Protestant- 
ism, particularly the need of a final and infal- 
lible authority and the necessity of a visible 
head of the universal Church. He adverted 


frequently also to the necessity and advantage 
of religious education and tlie duty of the State 
to support denominational public schools by a 
pro rata division of the school taxes. Occa- 
sionally he made excursions into purely devo- 
tional fields, writing with a simple fervor and 
unction not usually found even in religious 

He was encouraged from time to time by in- 
dications that his words were not TVithout fruit. 
On one occasion, a Protestant gentleman and 
his wife, finding the Review by chance on a New 
York newstand, were deeply impressed by one 
of Mr. Richards' editorials, which answered 
precisely their intellectual and spiritual needs 
at the moment. They wrote to ascertain the 
author of the article and after some correspond- 
ence entered the Church. 

As may be inferred from what has been said, 
Mr. Richards was a firm believer in regular 
order and strict discipline in the family circle. 
All were obliged to observe a fixed hour for 
rising and to take part in the family devotions. 
Up to the age of twelve or more, the children 
were obliged to go to rest at half past eight in 
the evening, except on extraordinary occasions, 
and no tears or expostulations could gain an 
exemption from the rule. Even when they were 
approaching adult age, they were expected not 
to go out without letting their parents know 


whither they were going and with what com- 
panions. During the period of childhood they 
were subject to corporal punishment for any 
flagrant fault, even of negligence. But he never 
punished without giving a serious lecture 
beforehand, in which the fault was made so 
plain that the culprit rather welcomed the whip- 
ping. Early in his married life, he was some- 
what too exacting with his children and re- 
proved them too severely and minutely. But 
he was taught the unwisdom of this by his own 
observation and the gentle admonitions of his 
devoted wife, who, while she both loved and 
reverenced her partner profoundly, was yet not 
blind to his faults of temperament. He learned 
not to expect absolute perfection. For the rest, 
his exact justice, his control over himself so 
that he never corrected in anger, and the affec- 
tion that shone even in his most earnest repre- 
hensions, relieved his discipline of all bitterness. 
Mr. Richards' advocacy of religious education 
did not stop at theory. He had no sympathy 
with those Catholics, whether converts or not, 
who bring their social ambition and exclusive 
prejudices into the kingdom of God, and who 
always find plausible reasons for depri^dng 
their children of the inestimable benefit of a 
Catholic education. For a time he was himself 
obliged by the pressure of circumstances to 
send several of his children to neutral schools. 


private and public. But this he did only with 
the formal concurrence of his pastor and only 
for such a period as was absolutely necessary. 
Thereafter all were sent to Catholic colleges 
and convents, the two older boys to Seton Hall 
and the youngest to Boston College, while the 
daughters were educated respectively at Man- 
hattanville and Kenwood. Meantime, he took 
the greatest care personally of their religious 
training, in order to make up for any deficiency 
in the school. The boys were in his own class 
in the Sunday School, where they enjoyed no 
privilege, except jierhaps to be held more 
strictly to the standard in lessons and conduct 
than the other pupils. At home, he frequently 
called the cliildren around him on Sunday after- 
noon or evening and gave them instructions and 
exhortations on the virtues and vices, as well 
as the most controverted doctrines of the 
church. In these little gatherings, not only his 
own children took part, but also at times their 
playmates, even of non-Catholic families, and 
all listened with the most intense interest. He 
did not hesitate to speak plainly to the boys 
about the dangers to their morals as well as 
their faith which they were likely to meet in 
their daily lives and associations. 

During the latter portion of Mr. Richards' 
residence in Jersey City, the great political 
struggle was going on between the Northern 


and Southern States wliicli finally culminated 
in the Civil War. For him, this was a period 
of anxiety and suffering. He could not sym- 
pathize unreservedly with either side. After 
his conversion, he had become a Democrat in 
politics, thinking the principles of that party 
more in accord with the spirit of the Catholic 
Church than those of its rival, the Republican 
party, though he did not disguise the fact that 
on the dissolution of the Native American or- 
ganization, many of its most bitter adherents 
had taken refuge in the Democratic camp. 
He was an ardent advocate of the rights of the 
individual States and was even inclined to 
State Sovereignty and the theoretical power 
of seceding from the Union in case of irrecon- 
cilable disagreement. He deplored the violence 
of the extreme Abolitionist faction of the North 
and their heated advocacy of the immediate 
and forcible freeing of the slaves, likely to re- 
sult in such sanguinary uprisings as that which 
accompanied John Brown's invasion of Vir- 
ginia. With all good men, he condemned the 
evils of slavery and longed not only for their 
abatement but for the complete extirpation of 
that unchristian institution. But he was 
strongly of opinion that this end could best be 
gained by gradual means and with due com- 
pensation by the States to slaveholders. He 
maintained that the best interests of the colored 


race itself would be subserved by such a gradual 
emancipation, with an accompanying education 
for the duties of life and the responsibilities of 
citizenship. He dreaded the effects of suddenly 
setting adrift three millions of grown children, 
entirely illiterate and accustomed to depend- 
ence. Moreover, his residence in the South, 
and particularly in New Orleans, had taught 
him that large numbers of the slaves were well 
treated and apparently happy, and that their 
physical welfare at least was in most cases 
ke])t in view by their masters, if only through 
self-interest. "While in itself slavery undoubt- 
edlv does tend stronglv to the destruction of all 
morality, still in an immense number of cases, 
especially in Catholic families, this tendency 
was checked by careful religious and moral in- 
struction. He had seen masters and slaves 
living in the most kindly and even affectionate 
relations, as members of one family. He real- 
ized by actual observation that the gi'oss abuses 
depicted in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and other 
lurid Abolition literature were not the rule, and 
that there were other masters and overseers 
beside those who plied the whip and tore hus- 
band from wife and children from parents. 

On the other hand, he was far from condon- 
ing these abuses. The arrogant vaporing of 
the fire-eating orators of the South was no less 
odious to him than the fanatical appeals of the 


extreme Abolitionists of the North. He saw 
in secession the prelude to disintegration and 
anarchy. He believed and did not hesitate to 
express his belief, that the nation was being 
hurried into the horrors of civil war by reckless 
demagogues and selfish politicians on both sides. 
These views did not tend to make Mr. Richards 
and those who thought with him more popular 
among their fellow citizens of more violent, or 
as they considered, more patriotic sentiments. 
The Democrats who sympathized to a greater 
or less extent with the South had, in the begin- 
ning of the troubles, worn a badge consisting 
of the head of the goddess of Liberty, cut from 
the large copper cents then in use and fitted 
with a pin. This gained them the nickname of 
''Copperheads," which was soon interpreted by 
their enemies as a reference to the copperhead 
snake, one of the most venomous of American 
reptiles. When actual hostilities broke out 
with the bombardment of Fort Sumter in 
Charleston harbor in April, 1861, the North 
burst into a flame of indignation and patriotic 
fervor, and those suspected rightly or wrongly 
of undue sympathy for the enemies of the Union 
became the objects of that odium which falls 
upon moderate and prudent men at times of 
great excitement. But Mr. Richards stood his 
ground firmly. His two elder boys, especially 
William, were anxious to accompany their 


cousins, the Hillyers, to the field of battle. But 
their father refused positively to allow them to 
enlist, and his will prevailed. 

Henry's brother, William, who had followed 
him into the Church, was of precisely opposite 
opinions in political matters. He was as sure 
that the Eepublican was the only party for a 
Catholic as his elder brother was of the con- 
trary. On the accession of Lincoln's adminis- 
tration, William had given up his law and 
journalism in Iowa and had taken a government 
position in the Internal Revenue department. 
Naturally of a somewhat more vehement dis- 
position than Henry, he advocated the entire 
Nortliem position with great vigor and ability. 
During his occasional visits to Jersey City, dis- 
putes became very warm, and this was still 
more the case when William's side was re- 
enforced by John Adair McDowell, brother-in- 
law of Mrs. Richards, to whom allusion has been 
made in a preceding chapter. Mr. McDowell 
had organized a regiment of volunteers in Iowa, 
of which he was given command as Colonel. 
The three men argued often and long, sometimes 
far into the night. Yet the warmth of their 
contention never affected for a moment the cor- 
diality and affectionate character of their or- 
dinary intercourse. 

When some of the Confederate raids into 
Maryland and Pennsylvania seemed to portend 


a coming invasion of the North, a military com- 
pany, composed of gentlemen who were exempt 
from the conscription or had escaped it, was 
organized in Mr. Richards' neighborhood in 
Jersey City, nnder the name of the Pavonia 
Home Guards. His partial sympathy with the 
South did not lorevent his enrolling himself, 
under the leadership of his friend, Capt. Charles 
H. O'Neill, in this organization for the protec- 
tion of home and country. The existence of 
the company was shortlived, as the battle of 
Gettysburg put an end to all danger of invasion. 
Its chief utility, besides a sense of security 
which it may have produced, was to amuse the 
small boys of the neighborhood, who looked on 
with intense delight at the middle-aged and 
elderly gentlemen marching and countermarch- 
ing and discharging furious volleys from an- 
tique muskets at imaginary foes. 




Toward the end of the year 1868, a change 
occurred which resulted in the removal of Mr. 
Eichards to Boston and affected in various 
ways the future of himself and his family. The 
English firm of steel manufacturers, in whose 
New York oflice he was employed, appointed 
Mr. Richards their New England agent. He 
went on immediately and hegan energetically 
the reorganization of the business. After a 
few months he was joined by the members of 
his family, except his second son William, who 
remained for some time longer in New York. 
During the short period of separation, Mr. 
Richards' loneliness was relieved by the kind- 
ness of a warm-hearted Catholic family, that of 
Mr. Arthur McAvoy, his first Catholic acquaint- 
ance in Boston. He took up his quarters not 
far from the Immaculate Conception Church in 
the South End. His delight in the stately and 
complete services in this great church of the 
Society of Jesus and his ardor in availing him- 



self of the religious advantages it offered were 
almost childlike. Every morning saw him at 
Mass and every evening at Benediction. His 
feelings for this new home of his soul are ex- 
pressed in his letters to his wife : 

'' Gloria in Excelsis Deo! 

''Boston, Dec. 25th, 1868. 
"My dear Wife: 

"Another Christmas has come and gone and 
we have been compelled to celebrate it apart 
from each other. That has been the only draw- 
back on the pleasure of the day. We have had 
a magnificent celebration here to-day; equal, I 
think in some ways superior, to anything I have 
ever witnessed. I thought of friend White's 
question in his last letter: 'When are you 
going to make your pilgrimage to the other 
churches?' In fact, the services at our church 
are so attractive that I have no disposition to 
go anywhere else. Of course I shall find my 
way gradually to the other churches, but merely 
to gratify (not, I hope, an idle) curiosity, not 
to find a Jiome. And my greatest desire now 
is to have you all with me in this exceedingly 
interesting and pleasant home. What a mag- 
nificent day we have had ! (By the way, I used 
that expression once before, but no matter. I 
think the subject will justify the repetition.) 


Everything was absolutely superb, except per- 
haps the decorations which were good but in 
point of taste hardly superb. But the music 
and the ceremonies ! Well, if they did not ele- 
vate the hearts of the people to-day, those 
hearts must have been very heavy, very gross, 
very worldly. 


The newcomer soon became an intimate 
friend of the Fathers then constituting the staff 
of the church. Father John Bapst, who some 
years before had been tarred and feathered for 
the Faith bv a fanatical mob at Elsworth, 
Maine, was then Rector of Boston College and 
''The Immaculate," as the church was, and is 
familiarly called. He was a big, simple-minded 
Swiss, whose robust frame and noble counte- 
nance made his extreme gentleness and fatherly 
kindness more remarkable. In charge of the 
College, with the title of Prefect of Studies, 
but virtually in supreme control, was Father 
Robert Fulton, a ^'irginian, a genius, an in- 
fatuated lover of the classics, a witty and bril- 
liant conversationalist, and yet an energetic and 
powerful administrator. Under his guidance, 
Boston College, oi^ened only a few years before, 
in 18C-1:, and destitute of means, was already be- 
ginning to make itself felt in the educational 
world and to confer on the Catholic community 
of Boston those benefits of cultivation and re- 

BOSTON. 305 

finement wMcli it has continued in subsequent 
years to bestow and which have made it prob- 
ably the most important single agency in 
elevating the mind and manners of that com- 
munity. Father Fulton used to say that the 
advent of Boston College was marked, in many 
of the Catholic families of the city, by a line 
as visible as a geological stratum. The boys 
who were too old to enter the new institution 
were in many cases comparatively rude and un- 
cultured and engaged in more or less menial 
occupations, while their younger brothers were 
polished and ambitious of professional educa- 
tion and success. In Father Fulton's room, 
some of the Catholic gentlemen of Boston were 
accustomed to gather on Sunday afternoons or 
evenings to enjoy his talk, sparkling with wit, 
epigram and literary allusion, yet permeated 
with a kindly humor and a sincere though in- 
formal piety. Into this charmed circle, Mr. 
Eichards and his eldest son, Harry, after the 
latter 's advent, were at once received. Harry, 
who himself possessed many of Father Fulton's 
qualities, among them a no less keen sense of 
humor and an even greater power of saying 
amusing things without a sting, was an espe- 
cially welcome and devoted attendant. 

The other Fathers were Edward Holker 
Welch, a convert of an old Boston family and 
a bosom friend of the angelic Henry Coolidge 


Shaw, who preceded him into the Society; 
Father Alexander Hitzelberger, a Virginian, 
most amiable, fatherly and spiritual in his ways, 
who had suffered imprisonment for fidelity to 
the seal of confession; and Father Alphonse 
Charlier, a Belgian, who still survives as the 
patriarch of *'The Immaculate," surrounded 
by the intense veneration and affection of the 
people, particularly of the poor. A more 
worthy, distinguished, and altogether lovable 
community of priests and religious it would be 
difTicult to imagine. On their part, the Fathers 
were not slow to appreciate the good qualities 
of their new friend and they soon employed his 
leisure hours in the various religious activities 
of a great church. In the Sunday School, of 
which Mr. William S. Pelletier was the devoted 
Superintendent, Mr. Richards was given the 
Perseverance Class of boys, comprising some 
forty or fifty members, ranging from fifteen to 
eighteen years of age. In this work, he found 
it necessary to amplify to some extent his 
methods of instruction. He was a firm believer 
in the catechetical method, the ^'form of sound 
words" to be committed to memory, the "line 
upon line and precept upon precept." But he 
explained carefully and exacted an account of 
his explanations in the pupil's own words; he 
illustrated with anecdote and example, pro- 
posed difficulties, and used every means to make 


the class bright, interesting and practical. The 
Perseverance Class, as he received it, was diffi- 
cult to interest and control, and for a time he 
was discouraged. But he hit upon the plan of 
writing out at home upon strips of paper ques- 
tions relating to various subjects occurring in 
the day's lesson. Each of these was given to 
some particular pupil, who was expected to read 
up the subject from any available source and to 
give an account or explanation at the next Sun- 
day's class. The success of this device was 
very marked. Moreover it afforded the teacher 
many opportunities to discuss objections 
against faith which the boys were sure to meet 
in after life and to introduce instruction on 
moral conduct. Here, as in his own family, he 
did not hesitate to speak to the boys plainly and 
earnestly of dangers to their morals and of the 
snares of bad companions, subjects which are 
too often passed over in silence by instructors. 
His students entertained throughout life un- 
bounded veneration and affection for their 
teacher, and the writer of these lines has been 
told by more than one now in the priesthood 
that they attributed their vocation and above 
all the preservation of their chastity unspotted 
amid the temptations of youth in a large city 
to his timely warnings and wholesome counsels 
in the Class of Perseverance. 

It was not long before the Catholics of Bos- 


ton began to realize that a new force had been 
added to their commimity. Modest and retir- 
ing as the new arrival was, his zeal and enthusi- 
asm were so ardent that he conld not resist 
undertaking any work for God and religion 
which presented itself. This was seen for in- 
stance in his controversial paragraphs in the 
secular press. At that time the newspapers of 
Boston still indulged in frequent slurs and at- 
tacks upon the Catholic Church, a relic of the 
old Puritan prejudice and bitterness which has 
not yet entirely disappeared. These attacks 
generally wont unanswered. Mr. Richards be- 
gan to reply to them in a courteous but vigor- 
ous fashion, denianding from the editors the 
fairness of a hearing. One of the leading even- 
ing papers had been a frequent offender, but 
when Mr. Kicliards sent it a brief reply, printed 
the letter without comment. Some time after, 
another slur upon the Church from some cor- 
respondent having appeared in its columns, Mr. 
Samuel Tuckerman, an ardent convert, encour- 
aged by his friend's exami)le, wrote a rejoinder. 
But he waited in vain for his communication to 
be printed, and finally called upon the editor 
in person. ''Mr. Tuckerman," said the latter, 
'*I regret deeply the appearance of that attack 
in our columns. It slipped in without my 
knowledge. Had it come to my attention, I cer- 
tainly would have excluded it. But as to print- 


ing an answer, let me show you the result of 
Mr. Richards ' paragraph some little time ago, ' ' 
Here he took from a pigeonhole a great bundle 
of letters, all written in a violent tone, directing 
the editor to drop the writers' subscription, 
asking how long it was since his paper had be- 
come a papistical sheet, &c. 

In spite of such difficulties, the war was kept 
up until in the course of a few months a very 
decided change of tone in regard to the Church 
became evident in the leading papers of the city. 

It was not merely in controversy that Mr. 
Richards' pen found employment. One little 
article in the Pilot on ''Our Model Organist" 
made quite a stir among the musically inclined 
members of the congregation of the Immaculate. 
Dr. John H. Willcox was then Choirmaster and 
Organist of that church. The volunteer choir 
had been brought by him to a high state of per- 
fection, and the eldest daughter and son of Mr. 
Richards had joined its ranks soon after coming 
to Boston. Dr. Willcox was a convert, person- 
ally a most lovable though somewhat nervous 
and erratic man, and musically a genius of a 
very high order. His improvisations, espe- 
cially, were most extraordinary and delightful, 
seeming to introduce one to a higher world of 
angelic melody and heavenly harmony. Yet 
he would occasionally admit into his accompani- 
ments or interludes characteristics which to 


Mr. Richards' more severe and liturgical taste 
seemed not altogether suited to the house of 
God and the tremendous sacrifice. He there- 
fore ventured to write the little article above 
alluded to, in which he sketched an ideal Cath- 
olic organist, praising him particularly for the 
absence of those faults which were really pres- 
ent in Dr. Willcox. No names were mentioned, 
but everyone saw the application. The Doctor 
himself seemed to doubt whether the article 
were bona fide praise of himself or a satire. 
Others were not so much in the dark and while 
enjoying the delicate irony of the criticism, 
speculated as to its author. Many attributed it 
to Mr. Patrick Powers, the bass soloist, later in 
life the President of the Emerson Piano Com- 
pany. But the real authorship was never 

Shortly after Mr. Richards' arrival in Bos- 
ton, an event occurred that gave him unbounded 
consolation and cemented a most tender friend- 
ship that was to endure for life. This was the 
reception into the Church of Dr. James Kent 
Stone. Mr. Richards had known Dr. Stone for 
a few years and had exercised great influence in 
his conversion. During one of his business 
tours in the West, he had taken the opportunity 
to visit his old college, Kenyon, at Gambler, 
Ohio. There he found Stone as President, a 
handsome young clergj^man of athletic frame, 


spiritual aspect and charming, buoyant man- 
ner. The two men, much alike in character, in 
spite of the disparity of age, took to each other 
at once. The young President had advanced 
far on the road to Catholicity and was having 
difficulty with the Trustees on account of his 
High Church tendencies, as Bishop Chase had 
so many years before. At this time. Dr. Stone 
seemed to hold to the theory of an ancient Brit- 
ish Church, independent of Rome, of which he 
made the Established Church of England and 
her daughter, the Protestant Episcopal Church 
of America, legitimate heirs. On returning 
home, Mr. Richards sent his new friend Father 
Waterw^orth's England and Rome, and sug- 
gested to Father Hecker to send the Catholic 
World regularly to Bexley Hall, the Kenyon 
divinity school. Stone's convictions, already 
no doubt somewhat disturbed, were still further 
shaken by the light thus received. The opposi- 
tion of the Trustees became so acute that he was 
compelled to resign his position. Although the 
Board finally relented, on account apparently 
of his great personal popularity, and urged him 
to stay, he insisted on carrying out his intention 
and accepted an invitation to assume the presi- 
dency of Hobart College, Geneva, N. Y., where 
the traditions from the time of the High Church 
Bishop Hobart of New York had been much 
more in accord with his views than those of 


Low Church Kenvon. Here Dr. Stone devoted 
all his leisure hours for a year to the study of 
the early Fathers of the Church. Meantime 
Mr. Eichards watched his progress closely, 
sending him from time to time such books as 
he thought suited to his stage of development, 
Newman's Loss and Gain among the number. 
He not only prayed himself incessantly but 
enlisted his family and friends and various 
religious communities in besieging Heaven for 
the favorable outcome of the struggle. At the 
close of the year, Dr. Stone was thoroughly con- 
vinced that the Roman Catholic Church of the 
present day, and she alone, was absolutely iden- 
tical with the Church of the Gospels and the 
early centuries. This conclusion reached, he 
promptly severed his connection with Hobart 
and retired to Madison, New Jersey, there, like 
St. Paul in Arabia, to be alone with God. The 
result is told in the following letter: 

''Madison, N. J., Dec. 12, 1869. 
*'My dear Mr. Richards: 

"You who from the first have so faithfully 
watched my slow progress into the Catholic 
Church, will, I know, be glad to learn that I 
am safe home at last. Deo gratias! On Wed- 
nesday last, the blessed Feast of the Immacu- 
late Conception, I was received into the Church 
by Father Wigger. Immediately after my re- 


ception I went to tlie Passionist Monastery in 
West Hoboken for a short retreat, made my 
first Confession and also received Holy Com- 
munion yesterday morning'. I hope to spend 
Christmas Day in Brookline. ... If I find time, 
I will attend High Mass at the Church of the 
Immaculate Conception and have a shake of the 
hand afterwards if I am so fortunate as to find 
you there. Can you drop me a line to let me 
know at what hour they will say High Mass on 
Christmas Day — and also the number of your 

*^I shall probably remain in Madison until 
Spring. Since you were here I have done 
scarcely anything at all upon the unfortunate 
book about which you are doubtless tired of 
hearing. Moreover, I have quite remodeled 
my plan in regard to its composition. So that 
in order to publish (which I have now pretty 
much determined to do) I shall have to keep 
hard at work through the winter. Do not think 
I have forgotten you because I have been so 
silent, for I have remembered you daily in the 
way you could most desire. 

''Yours ever faithfully in the church — (oh! 
blessed thought!) 

''James Kent Stone." 

The "unfortunate book" is, of course, The 
Invitation Heeded, an incomparable work which 


has led to the Church in America almost as 
many souls as it contains words. 

The friendship thus happily hegun between 
the two men grew even more close and devoted, 
and, on Mr. Eichards' part, reverential, when 
Dr. Stone was ordained priest in the Congre- 
gation of St. Paul and afterward became a 
religious of the Passionist Order. 

Dr. Stone's career as Father Fidelis of the 
Cross and the immense services he has ren- 
dered, and is at this writing still rendering, to 
his order and the entire Church in both North 
and South .tVmerica, do not enter into the scope 
of this biography, nor does a due respect for 
his modesty allow of their insertion here. But 
we may be permitted to print some letters that 
will illustrate the character of his correspond- 
ence with his loved and venerated Father in 
Christ. The following, addressed to the writer 
of these lines, will serve as an introduction to 
the series: 

**St. Michael's Passionist Monastery, 
"West IIoboken, N. J., Sept. 5, 1906. 
**Rev. Jos. Havens Richards, S. J. 

*'My dear Father Havens: Gladly will I do 
what I can in reply to your kind and touching 
letter of the lith ult. I have already expressed 
to your brother Will my great regret that I 
have not preserved your dear father's beautiful 


letters, that I might present them to you. It 
seems a shame that I did not do so, and the only 
explanation that I can give is that I have not 
kept anything whatever from anybody. The 
first time that I saw your father was at Kenyon 
College, when he came there once for a visit at 
Commencement season. This was in 1867, I 
think. I saw him at my house. I had never 
met an educated Catholic before. ... I was 
greatly attracted by his gracious and winning 
manner. We did not speak on religious sub- 
jects, but I was conscious of that influence of 
personal sanctity which all who knew him must 
have felt. Even in a casual conversation 
one could not help the conviction that his 
heart and mind were filled with the things 
of God. Of course I was greatly interested 
in his being a convert, and in the fact 
of his having been rector of St. Paul 's, Colum- 
bus. After I became a Catholic, I learned from 
him that he had begun at that time to pray for 
me, and that he had then, or not long after, 
sent my name to the Apostleship of Prayer. 
God alone knows how much I owe to him. I 
do not think that I saw him again until I entered 
the Church, some two years and a half later, 
but we did not lose sight of one another. The 
impression — the first impression — made upon 
me was without doubt greater than I at all im- 
agined at the time and was gradually deepening. 


When I was at Hobart College, shortly before 
withdrawing from the ministry of the Episcopal 
Church, we exchanged some letters, and he 
helped me over some of my theological difficul- 
ties. He was a ripe controversialist, certainly 
as regards the Anglican j^osition, and knew his 
ground well, but he always fenced gently, used 
great forebearance and never pressed too hard. 
He also sent me two or three books, Newman's 
Loss and Gam among them. After my recep- 
tion into the Church, one of my first delights 
was to meet him. But I met you all then. 
From that time onward my friendship with your 
father is known to you all. I never knew any- 
one who seemed more constantly occupied with 
divine things. There never was a more ardent 
Catholic. He loved the Church with a really 
passionate affection. And when in after years 
his soul passed into the obscure night, and down 
into the valley of the shadow of death, when 
he suffered untold anguish, and thought himself 
an abandoned wretch, everyone else could see 
that he was only ripening in holiness and pass- 
ing through what the saints pass through. May 
his life be our inspiration and his memory be 
in benediction. 

*'I am always, dear Father Eichards, 
** Faithfully yours in J. Xt. 



The first letter, written shortly after Dr. 
Stone became a priest in the Paulist Congrega- 
tion, gives his enthusiastic appreciation of that 
religious body. 

* ' Chuech of St. Paul the Apostle, 

"59th St. and 9th Ave., N. Y. 

"Feb. 4, 1871. 
"1/?/ clear Mr. Richards: 

* ' I was upon the point of condoling with you 
upon your long and grievous sickness ; but you 
take it in such a good Christian way, and make 
it the occasion of so much grace and merit that 
I really think you ought to be rather congratu- 
lated. For the sake of those who love you, 
however, I cannot repress the hope that when 
this reaches you it will find you once more in 
vigorous health. 

"... I have made mementos for your sister- 
in-law at Holy Mass, and will do what little is 
in my power to help you in interceding for her 
conversion. I wish I could do much more. 
You know I owe you a great debt, which I can 
never pay back. . . . The more familiar I be- 
come with the spirit and working of the Paul- 
ist Congregation, the more convinced I am that 
God designed it to accomplish a special (per- 
haps a great) work in this new and marvelous 
field which has been thrown open to the Church. 


The Community is beginning its work quietly, 
and, it may seem, slowly ; but if in the course of 
ten or twenty years it has not greatly extended 
itself, and is not felt as a power in the land, 
then I shall confess myself to be a sad bungler 
at reading the intentions of Divine Providence. 
There is great elasticity in the organization of 
this little order, and a wonderful capability of 
adaptation (so it seems to me) to all tliose 
manifold phases of tliought and character which 
are to be found among the American people. 
AVe shall have access to the public, and secure 
a hearing which could hardly be obtained by 
any order not American in its origin; and I 
think there is a promise of life, and of free- 
dom of action, and of ability to use the pulpit 
and utilize the press which cannot fail, even 
humanly speaking, to produce great results. 
Besides, this is the only Congregation which 
has had its rise in this country; depend upon 
it, God has not raised it up for nothing. . . . 

'*I would not have it supposed that because 
there is a certain amount of what I have called 
freedom in our Congregation, there is therefore 
any laxity; on the contrary, there is a great 
deal of fervor, and one can be as ascetic as the 
old hermits of the desert, if God gives him such 
grace. . . . 

** Please give my most kind regards to Mrs. 
Richards and all your family. Remember me 


also to the kind Fathers at the Immaculate Con- 
ception. The older Fathers here frequently 
speak of you, and count you among their good 

"Yours ever faithfully, 
*'J. M.M.Stone." 

The following letter reveals a fact not gen- 
erally known, namely that, as early as 1871, 
Father Hecker considered seriously the estab- 
lishment of a great Catholic weekly periodical, 
and even had the preliminary arrangements 

*'St. Paul's Convent, 
"9th Ave. and 59th St. N. Y. 
"April 11, 1871. 
"My dear Friend: 

"I write to you confidentially about a mat- 
ter which Father Hecker has just been discuss- 
ing with me. He has been for a long time 
anxious to start a iveehly paper, which shall at 
once take a stand altogether above any which 
we now have and which may be worthy of the 
Church in this country. Archbishop Mc- 
Closkey (and other bishops) cordially approve 
and promise their support. Archbishop McC. 
offers $20,000 to set it going. Fr. Hecker will 
be proprietor, and it will be published by the 
Catholic Publication Society, as the Catholic. 


World now is; but the Archbishop's wishes will 
be scrupulously followed in all things, so that 
there can be no possibility of a collision. All 
that Fr. Hecker wants is an editor. The 
salary will be a fair one (I think Fr. Hecker 
said $3000). He must be a man with the free- 
dom of a layman, yet the spirit of a priest; 
with the discretion which comes with age, yet 
the fervor of youth : a man whose heart will be 

c 7 

in his work, and who understands the wants of 
the times, and how to deal with that latest 
phenomenon, — 'the American mind'; in short, 
a well-educated, live, Yankee Catholic. Do you 
know snch a man? I think I do, just the man; 
and what's more, I took the liberty of telling 
Fr. Hecker so, much to his edification. I trust 
that you are thoroughly well again. . . . 
"Kindest regards to all, 
"Faithfully yours in Jesus Christ, 

"J. M. M. Stone. 
"H. L. Richards, Esq. 

"St. Paul's Chuech, N. Y. 

"9th Ave. and 59th St. 

"April 17, 1871. 
'*My dear Goose: 

"You were indeed humble not to see that I 
meant you and that what I wanted was to find 
out, in an indirect and informal way, whether 
you would accept the editorship if offered. 


You would not have much of the heavy writing 
to do. There would be a good staff of solid 
contributors. . . . 

''Faithfully yours in Jesus Christ, 

''J. M. M. Stone." 

Mr. Eichards felt compelled to decline the 

''St. Paul's Convent, 
"59th St. and 9th Ave., N. Y., 

"April 19, 1871. 
''My dear Mr. Richards: 

"Fr. Hecker is sorry, and so am I. But it's 
all right; where God's will is plain, we must be 
sure of that. ... If anvone else should occur 
to you, let Fr. Hecker know. 

"Very faithfully, 

"J. M. M. S." 

Father Hecker 's project was finally aban- 
doned, and his ideal of a great Catholic weekly 
has been realized only recently in America con- 
ducted by the Jesuit Fathers. 

"St. Paul's, W. 59th St., 
"Nov. 18, 1871. 
"Ifi/ dear Mr. Richards: 

"I take the liberty of sending you by the 
same mail as this, a rosary which I have been 


making for you in token of gratitude for many 
spiritual favors. AVill you do me another, 
sometime, by saying it once for me? . . . The 
beads are seeds of the 'Indian Shot' or 'Rosary 
Plant' which grew in our convent garden. I 
gathered them, and perforated them with an 
awl and a jackknife, to the no small detriment 
of the ends of my fingers. The making of the 
chain has occupied a good many half hours at 
recreation; for I am but a clumsy apprentice 
at the art. I am sorry about Mrs. K. but I 
can't afford to stop very long to worry over 
her, or any other friend who won't see things 
in the right light. You know our patron is not 
St. Martha, Imt her sister, who was not 
'troubled about many things.' Otium sancUim 
quaerit charitas veritatis, says St. Augustine. 
Like Mary then, let us study Otio sancto vacare 
Deo, in holy quietude to be at leisure for God. 
For but one thing is necessary. 

"Kindest regards to all. 

"J. M. M. S. 
"The Rosary was blessed by Fr. Hecker." 

"St. Paul's, W. 59th St., N. York, 

"11 Dec. 1872. 
"1/?/ dear Mr. Richards: 

"I enter retreat this evening, but I must send 
a good-by word of thanks for your letter. 


You know, I owe more to you tlian to any other 
person, — though your patience has learned by 
this time that I don't show much gratitude, 
either by writing or otherwise. I am sorry to 
hear of your ill health, knowing the spiritual 
trials with which it must be accompanied. But 
then, we shall not be sorry for it in the end. St. 
Teresa, you know, and S. John of the Cross, 
and all the Saints tell us that God leads by the 
way of desolation those to whom he has a 
special favor. Now, if you could see through 
God's plan, if you could be conscious all the 
time that God was only trying you, it would 
be no real dereliction, and consequently no real 
trial. No, — the more weary and prolonged the 
conflict, the brighter will be the issue and the 
more glorious the crown. We admit this ab- 
stractly; but we cannot realize it practically; 
for, if we did, we should be so sustained by it 
that the conflict would cease to be weary and 
doubtful to us. All we can do is to make an 
act of abandonment, and go on into the dark- 
ness. . . . 

"Yours very faithfully, 

"J. M. M. Stone. '» 

The next letter comes after an interval of 
eleven years, during which Dr. Stone had 
quitted the Paulist order for the Passionists, 


and after eminent services in this conntry, had 

been i 


been sent to take charge of the mission in Para 

"Paraguari, Paraguay, 

''July 22, 1883. 
''Henry L. Richards, Esq. 

*'My dear old friend: If I mistake not, this 
is the 69th anniversary of your entrance into 
this miseral)le world, and I congratulate, not 
so much yourself as the world upon the event. 
One of the best things about you is that you 
haven't the least idea how much sweeter and 
better the world is for your being in it. You 
think you are only a bunch of old herbs laid on 
the shelf to dry. Well, dried herbs are often 
the most aromatic, and I can distinctly per- 
ceive down here in the heart of this ruined and 
unhappy paradise, a faint fragrance which I 
know is not that of any plant indigenous to 
Southern soil. It comes from the North. It 
has been wafted across the tropics. It is red- 
olent of green and hale old age, of staunch 
and sturdy faith. Ah! it is a rare and choice 
old jolant that ! Not an exotic, for it can stand 
a Northern winter, and has a right to the soil; 
but it is a marvelous variety for all that — a 
graft of Puritanism on the old Catholic stock. 
I don't know whether you are a Puritan, but 
it's all the same. You breathe of Boston. 


' ' Now see here ; — I 'm not going to write you 
a letter. I haven't written any letters that I 
could help for the last two years, and for many 
months I haven't written any at all. ... I 
know it is too bad to disappoint you, there is 
so much I might write about, which would be 
interesting; about this beautiful, half -tropical 
land of Paraguay; and how it looks now after 
the war, that awful war, in which all the men 
were killed oif, so that now there are only 
women, and young lads who were babies then; 
or we might ride away through the forests to 
visit the remains of one of the old Jesuit mis- 
sion churches, and that would please you most 
of all, and your dear old eyes would fill with 
tears as you gazed on the ancient sanctuary, 
still rich in its ruins. Or I might give you a 
history of our foundation in Buenos Aires, and 
tell you how my last companion in the priest- 
hood laid himself down to die, worn out, a gal- 
lant young soldier, patient and at peace, and 
how I was ready to lie down by his side; and 
how reenforcements came at last ; and how pros- 
perous we are now, with our neat little church 
and convent, and well-shaded grounds. I 
might do all this and other things besides, but 
you see I just won't, and as I said before, this 
is no letter but only a little love-token on your 
69th birthday. 

^'And who can tell when I shall see you? I 


may remain here, it is true, but I may "be 
shipped off to Boston any day, or to New 
Zealand for that matter. 

''Your health, my friend, for many years 
more, — 'ad plures annos!' — which Havens will 
tell you is shocking bad Latin, but what does 
Havens know about South iVmerican Latin? 
And I hope I may read your contribution to 
some periodical not yet in existence, upon the 
fiftieth anniversary of your reception into the 
Catholic Church, — from which epoch, by the bye, 
you seem to date your genuine career, 
which will also exi)lain a phenomenon that ap- 
jiears to puzzle you, viz., that j'ou are growing 
younger when you ought to be growing old. 
So here's three cheers to my grand old friend 
far away, and let the 'penny whistle' pipe the 
sound till it startles the solitudes of this sleepy 
Paraguay, and let the shrill echo fly, past the 
Amazon, over the Gulf, past Cape Hatteras, till 
it faintly reaches the heart of Boston. What 
are time and space anj-way? It's years since 
we met, and it's leagues that we're parted; but 
all that is easily annihilated, or almost an- 
nihilated, and when we get to Heaven (which 
vflvy shouldn't we!) what will have become of 
years and leagues then? 

"Allow me to remark, however, that you 
seem to be growing somewhat reckless in your 
vigorous old age, writing 'about Hell,' and ac- 


cusing your enlightened fellow citizens of 
'bigotry and cupidity.' Well, you may accuse 
me of whatever you like, and if you accuse me 
of ingratitude and stupidity, I shall say it is 
perfectly true. 

"So give my sincerest affectionate remem- 
brances to all at home, and good-by, my dear 
old friend, — I won't say for two years more, 
but for a time. 

"Yours in the love of our Lord, 

"Fidelis of the Cross, 


The summer of 1872 saw Mr. Eichards in 
England, whither he had gone to meet the prin- 
cipals of his firm. In the journey, his attention 
was given, as usual, chiefly to religious 
objects and interests. His impressions were re- 
corded in a series of letters to the Pilot, from 
which we extract the following pen picture of 
Cardinal (then Doctor) Newman, as a specimen 
of his style: "Shall I try to describe the Doc- 
tor's appearance? He is, then, scarcely above 
medium height, quite thin and spare, with that 
same ascetic look which characterizes the illus- 
trious Dr. Manning, whom, in general appear- 
ance, he somewhat resembles; hair quite gray, 
in fact almost white, and lying upon his fore- 
head in a manner indicating either neglect or 
an unusually wayward disposition, prominent 


nose, eye undimmed, a decidedly intellectual 
cast of countenance, a slight stoop indicating 
the approach of age (he is now 71) ; yet the 
moment he begins to speak, you see that he has 
lost none of that clearness and vigor of mind, 
that deep intellectual insight and comprehen- 
siveness of genius, that intuitive perception and 
grasp of philosophic thought, for which he has 
always been distinguished. His voice is soft 
and low, almost feminine, in fact, except in the 
lower register, as in giving expression to some 
pathetic passage, when it is deep and full of 
feeling. His manner is quiet and refined, his 
style conversational, without effort at eloquence, 
and with no action except a slight motion of 
the right hand in giving utterance to an un- 
usually stirring and eloquent thought. Evi- 
dently the Doctor was not cut out for a sensa- 
tional or even for what is ordinarily called a 
popular preacher. He utterly eschews the 
tricks of oratory. Yet there is an eloquence of 
its own even in his modesty and humility, which 
speaks to the hearts of his hearers and pre- 
possesses them in his favor, while any defect 
of manner is more than compensated by the 
eloquence of thought, the strength of reasoning, 
the beauty of language and the chasteness of 
illustration which characterize all his public 
addresses. I ought, in justice to the Doctor, to 
remark before closing, that, though not by any 


means a handsome man, he is not as ugly as 
some of his photographs make him. The first 
that I saw in the States were, I must say, mere 
caricatures. Lately, I am happy to say, they 
have succeeded in securing at least two very 
good photographs, representing him in a sit- 
ting posture, in the act of reading or study- 
ing. ' ' 

Early in the year 1873 was organized the 
Catholic Union of Boston, of which Mr. Eich- 
ards was one of the most prominent members 
from the beginning. This organization, begun 
in compliance with the desire of Pius IX him- 
self, was intended to be a union of educated 
Catholics in all countries for the defense of the 
Church and the advocacy of Catholic interests 
in public life. For some years it exercised con- 
siderable influence both in Europe and in this 
country. Eome having been occupied by the 
troops of United Italy in 1870, one of the first 
works of the Catholic Union after its founda- 
tion was to hold everywhere great popular 
meetings to testify loyalty to the Holy Father 
and to protest against the usurpation of his 
states. The Boston meeting was held in the 
Music Hall on Nov. 13th, 1873, and was at- 
tended by many thousands of people within 
and without the building. The chief speaker 
was the recent convert, Dr. James Kent Stone. 
Among the subsidiary speakers, Mr. Richards 


made a brief and telling address. Very soon 
the Catholic Union undertook a battle for the 
authorization of Catholic worship and other 
religious privileges in the public charitable and 
penal institutions of Boston. In a letter to the 
New York Tablet under date of July 14th, 
1874, Mr. Eichards announces the victory 
gained and expresses the surprise common to 
himself and many others that *'in this en- 
lightened nineteenth century, here in Boston, 
the very centre of 'light and knowledge and 
liberty and progress,' it should have taken so 
many years of unwearied, patient labor to ac- 
complish a simple act of justice, nay, to per- 
suade these liberal descendants of the old Puri- 
tans to be consistent with their own professed 
principles, to grant to Catholics what they 
claimed for themselves and, theoretically at 
least, for the whole world — the right to worship 
God according to the dictates of their own con- 
sciences." He takes pleasure in acknowledg- 
ing that the immediate occasion of the favorable 
decision seemed to have been the speech of a 
Methodist minister, the Eev. Dr. Pierce, editor 
of Zion's Herald, before the Board of Public 
Charities at their annual dinner at Deer 
Island. After the expiration of the term 
of the first President of the Catholic Union, 
Mr. Theodore Metcalf, Mr. Richards, though 
comparatively a newcomer in the city, was 


elected to that position and filled it with 
efficiency and honor for two years. In this 
capacity, he organized a great reception to 
Cardinal McCloskey of New York, to Arch- 
bishop Williams of Boston and to the Papal 
Envoys, when the Cardinal, having received the 
red hat, came to Boston to confer the pallium, 
in the name of the Pope, upon Archbishop 
"Williams. The reception was held on May 4th, 
1875, and Mr. Eichards' address on that occa- 
sion was marked with dignity and good taste 
mingled with respect and enthusiastic loyalty. 
It was received with the warmest applause. 

At the celebration of the twenty-fifth anni- 
versary of the Catholic Union in 1898, he was 
the oldest living ex-President of the Boston 

Loyalty to the Church, even in matters rather 
of counsel than of strict obligation, was Mr. 
Eichards' most prominent characteristic. This 
thoroughly Catholic spirit was put to the test 
when he was called upon to leave the congrega- 
tion of the Immaculate Conception in order to 
devote his time and energies to his parish 
church. As we have seen, he was tenderly and 
enthusiastically attached to the Jesuit Fathers, 
and though living in Eoxbury, he looked upon 
"The Immaculate" as his spiritual home. But 
his Pastor, Father Gallagher, for whose unas- 
suming piety and zeal Mr. Eichards also felt 


deep reverence, bad just finished tlie new 
church of St. Patrick and wished his convert 
friend and parishioner to take charge of the 
Sunday School as Superintendent. He made 
the sacrifice and thenceforth he and all his 
family attended tlieir parish church. A lecture 
which he delivered at this period for Father 
Gallagher on Protestantism, Its History and 
Eccentricities, was well received. Other lec- 
tures, delivered in Jersey City, Boston, and 
Winchester, on Why I Became a Catholic, The 
Experiences of a Convert, Should Catholics he 
Satisfied icith the Public Schools, and The 
Catholic View of the Bible, and several of his 
addresses before the Catholic Union and other 
bodies, are models of clear and forcible com- 
position in popular style. They were delivered 
with a voice of exceptional beauty and with 
great earnestness and effect. But Mr. Rich- 
ards' invincible modesty, always leading him to 
underestimate his own powers and to shrink 
from notoriety, prevented him from gaining 
any great vogue as a popular lecturer. 

The financial panic and depression of busi- 
ness in 1873 and the years immediately succeed- 
ing, brought notable changes in Mr. Richards' 
life. His business affairs had gone on pros- 
perously and some of his friends predicted that 
his conviction that Providence wished him and 
his family always to remain poor and in sen- 


sible dependence npon Him who feedeth the 
young ravens was to be proved mistaken. He 
was in danger of growing rich. However, ad- 
monitions to the contrary were not wanting and 
they always fonnd him faithful in his contempt 
for the goods of this world. On one occasion, 
when he had lost a considerable sum of money 
through what seemed to be plain fraud and 
dishonesty on the part of a business acquaint- 
ance, Mr. Eichards declined to prosecute the 
offender in either the civil or criminal courts, 
refrained from taking any notice of the injury 
and bore the loss with the most perfect 

When the panic came, the importing houses, 
already burdened with an enormous tariff, 
found it very difficult to continue. The Shef- 
field firm represented by Mr. Richards entered 
into combination with American manufacturers, 
and sending skilled workmen to this country, 
essayed to make English steel on American soil. 
The experiment was not at first an unqualified 
success, and resulting disagreements finally 
forced Mr. Richards to resign his post. He 
therefore saw himself at the age of sixty-four 
thrown again upon the world to begin life, in 
a material sense, over again. His sons had not 
yet attained to a position by which they could 
enable him and the other members of his family 
to live at ease. Yet his faith and confidence 


never wavered. ''God will provide!" his 
favorite exclamation, came from his lips in the 
same cheery tones. 

After a short time, his confidence in God's 
loving providence was justified by his appoint- 
ment as Visitor to the Poor for the Board of 
Charities of the City of Boston. It was an 
humble office for one of his experience and for- 
mer standing in the business world. But it 
precisely suited his tastes and afforded him a 
wide field for the exercise of his sympathetic 
charity toward the poor and suffering. The 
provision made for the poor in the city of Bos- 
ton is worthy of admiration and could be prof- 
itably imitated by other municipalities. It is 
based upon the assumption that the city is re- 
sponsible for the maintenance of its honest 
poor. Under the direction of a central Board 
of Overseers, Visitors are assigned to the va- 
rious districts into which the city is divided. 
Every Visitor is expected to know his district 
thorouo-hlv and to render immediate assistance 
to any family found to need it. In this work, 
all the private agencies of benevolence are of 
course enlisted; every effort is made to avoid 
imposture, to find emplojonent for the deserv- 
ing, to aid the destitute in becoming self-sup- 
porting and not to pauperize them unduly. But 
the immediate and final responsibility in every 
case is not on the voluntary agencies, but on 


the city; and an efficient organization, especially 
through the corps of Visitors, renders the sys- 
tem available to the poor, and effective. To 
some ultraconservative minds, this may seem 
socialistic. But a moment's reflection, and still 
more, a short experience, will show that it is 
only Christian. Men are not free to be mem- 
bers of society or not; they are born in it, as 
truly as in the material world. The social or- 
ganism is one body; and as it is natural and 
necessary for the whole body to assist and 
cherish any limb or member that is weak or 
ailing, so is it right that the body politic should 
care for its destitute and suffering members. 
For twenty-three years, first as Visitor, and 
later, as advancing age rendered the long 
tramps and constant climbing of stairs almost 
impossible for him, in the office of the Board, 
did Mr. Eichards exercise a tender and gen- 
erous charity seldom perhaps found in so high 
a degree in the paid agents of official philan- 
thropy. His unassuming kindness and cheery 
manner brought sunshine into darkened lives, 
and his visits were looked for as those of an 
angel. Beside the material relief given and the 
words of comfort and cheer, he tried, in his 
own prudent, but simple and direct way, to 
raise the thoughts of the poor to spiritual 
things. If he found they were Catholics, he 
enquired as to the fulfilment of their religious 


duties, and urged upoii them the reception of 
the sacraments. Many a family has heen re- 
called from vice as well as misery by his timely 
and fatlierly counsels. In this work he became 
even more deeply convinced of the absolute 
necessity of religious education than he had 
previously been. He used to declare that he 
could tell a girl who had been trained in the 
Sisters' school from one who had attended the 
public, irreligious schools as far as he could see 
them on the street. His experience in the work 
of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul was of 
advantage in his official work for the poor. 
Sometimes, if all the municipal and voluntary 
organizations did not suffice to meet the wants 
of the case, he would call on friends to add their 
contributions to his own. An instance of this 
is the case of a blind girl of more than ordi- 
nary intelligence, whom he found in distress. 
The city would no doubt have sent her to an 
asylum for the blind ; but to this she felt an un- 
conquerable aversion, and no available institu- 
tion of the kind seemed to offer a favorable 
environment as to religion. Indeed, the sub- 
ject of one of Mr. Eichards' published articles 
had been: The Tendency of the Perkins In- 
stitute for the Blind to Convert Catholic Pupils 
to the Protestant Faith. He therefore spoke 
to several friends, each of whom contributed a 
small amount monthly, and thus supplied what 


^as wanting to the support of tlie blind woman 
in independence for years. As she was very 
devout and appreciated greatly the high mass 
at the Immaculate, a seat was obtained for her 
exclusive use behind one of the great columns. ^ 
The solicitude of Mr. Richards for his charges 
was not limited to the alleviation of their im- 
mediate ills, whether temporal or spiritual. 
He continued his watchful charity as long as 
he felt there was any good to be done, and 
oftentimes kept up a regular correspondence 
by letter for their encouragement, instruction 
and guidance. What was remarkable about all 
such letters coming from his pen was the ab- 
sence of anything like a patronizing tone. He 
wrote not as a superior or benefactor, but as a 
friend on a perfect equality, and often as an 
affectionate father. Some examples will illus- 
trate this better than description. The follow- 
ing letter to one of his blind protegees evi- 
dences his unfailing interest in the spiritual 
welfare of those whom he befriended, as well 
as his delight at news of conversions : — 

"WiNCHESTEE, Mass., 
"Independence, July 4, 1889. 

''Mp dear M 

''Your enthusiastic letter gave me a great 
deal of pleasure. I was delighted to learn that 
you had had the great privilege of assisting at 

338 A LOYxM. LIFE 

the mission and that you entered into it so 
heartily and enjoyed it with such genuine 
spiritual zest. And you had the great pleasure 
of attending the celebration of Father Barry's 
twenty-fifth anniversary. Well, you have en- 
joyed an abundance of spiritual riches. I am 
almost afraid that you have mounted the ladder 
of perfection so high that I, poor clodhopper, 
will not be able to reach you. . . . Well, I am 
glad of it, for now you will be a constant 
stimulus to us to follow after you and try to 
imitate your example. I am glad now to be 
able to send you some material aid, for I take 
for granted that in your state of happy exalta- 
tion you are not entirely free from the demands 
of our lower nature. You must eat and drink 
and have wherewithal to be clothed, and while 
I rejoice at your spiritual exaltation I cannot 
but express the hope that you will not neglect 
the body, but that you will return to us in due 
time very greatly improved in physical condi- 
tion, mens sana in cor pore sano, — a sound mind 
in a sound body. . . . Did I tell you about the 
young convert, Mr. Power, for whom I stood 
sponsor when received by Father Bodfish? 
Well, he is here now on a visit, and the other 
day he brought another young convert to see 
me, a Mr. Mayo, son of a Unitarian minister 
who is a popular lecturer on the subject of 
public schools. He is a fine young fellow and 


a splendid musician. Another young* man, a 
Methodist, was received at the Immaculate 
Conception the other day. So they come one 
by one. Bye and bye, please God, they will 
come like doves flocking to their windows. Beo 

''Your affectionate friend, 

''H. L. ElCHARDS.'' 

Some of the letters are little theological 
treatises. An example of this is the follow- 
ing, written to the blind girl mentioned above. 
It is evidently intended for the instruction of 
"Mattie," a friend of hers, similarly afflicted, 
who later came into the Church. 

''Winchester, July 20, 1887. 

''My dear M 

"I enclose two Immaculate medals, as they 
are called, one for you and one for Miss Mattie. 
You may tell her it is not a charm, that we do 
not expect it to perform miracles, though there 
are well authenticated cases in which a medal 
worn by a soldier has stopped a bullet and ap- 
parently saved his life, as if by a miracle. Tell 
her it is like the homeopathic medicine, — if it 
does her no good it will do her no harm. The 
medals have been blessed by our dear young 
priest. Father Lee, who is a good, holy and 
zealous soul. You can explain to Miss Mattie 


that the Church acts upon the principle that 
everything devoted to an exchisively religious 
purpose is very properly blessed by the priest. 
God, of course, is the source of all blessing, 
but certain persons have special authority to 
bless in His name so that the blessing is more 
than a mere prayer — it actually conveys God's 
blessing to those who are fit to receive it. Thus 
in the Old Law, God said of the Sons of Aaron, 
— 'They shall invoke My name on the Children 
of Israel and I will bless them,' and our Lord 
said to his disciples, — 'Into whatsoever house 
you enter, say. Peace be to this house, and if the 
son of peace be there your peace shall rest 
upon him.' Hence it is a beautiful Catholic 
custom when the priest visits a house for the 
members of the family to kneel and ask his 
blessing. In blessing material things, the idea 
is that though God created all things good at 
first, vet, bv the fall the world has come under 

7 • 7 » 

the dominion of the devil and the blessing of 
the priest rescues material things from that 
power. It may be asked how medals, or water, 
or candles can possibly help us on the way to 
heaven. In themselves they plainly have no 
such power. But they tend to excite good dis- 
positions in those who use them aright, not only 
iDCcause they remind us of holy things but also 
because they have been blessed for our use by 
the prayers of the Church. There is certainly 


no superstition in believing that if the Church 
prays that the sight or use of pious objects may 
excite good desires in her children, God will 
listen to these prayers and touch in a special 
way the hearts of those who use them aright. 
So I hope Miss Mattie will not have any scruple 
in wearing her medal, but in the light of this 
little dissertation be able to appreciate it at 
its true worth. 

**Did I acknowledge your good, long and very 
interesting and I may add delightful letter in 
my last? If not, I wish to thank you for be- 
stowing so much labor and pains to keep me 
advised of your doings and feelings and to puff 
me up like an inflated bladder. Of course I 
feel proud of your good opinion but you know 
what I think of the puffing process. Tell Miss 
Mattie I'm afraid the propensity is catching. 
She must try and avoid it as much as possible. 
Pray for me, a poor old sinner in the sight of 
God, but don't praise me. . . . 

' ' Your affectionate friend, 

''H. L. Richards." 




At the time of his financial difficulties in 
1878, Mr. Eicliards removed his household to 
the little town of Winchester. He soon found 
that the change, though made from motives of 
economy, had resulted in many other advan- 
tages. He became deeply attached to the beau- 
tiful little town and to the friends whom he 
made there, so that, except for church facilities, 
at that time rather meager, he would have 
looked back to Boston without the least regret. 
His house being near the railway station, he 
would sometimes go by an early train to St. 
Mary's Church in Boston, receive Holy Com- 
munion, return to Winchester for breakfast, and 
go again to Boston, reaching his office in full 
time for business. An indication of his youth- 
ful spirit was his habit of continuing his writ- 
ing or other work at home until the train was 
about to start : then, running through the yard 
and scaling the low wall at the foot of the gar- 
den — from which one or two stones had been 



removed — lie would mount the steps of the cars, 
often already in motion. This he continued, in 
spite of all remonstrances from wife and chil- 
dren, until his removal from that house put an 
end to such hairbreadth escapes, after he was 
seventy years of age. 

Although his energies were now somewhat 
divided between his new home and Boston, he 
was soon engaged, with all his wonted zeal, in 
active work in his new parish. Its compara- 
tively neglected condition at that period tilled 
him with grief. The results of Mr. Richards' 
work in the Sunday School were soon apparent 
in the improved behavior of the boys and in 
their respectful salutations of the priest on the 
streets. He endeavored to implant a habit of 
Catholic reading among both parents and chil- 
dren, giving books and papers himself for the 
purpose. The example of his frequent com- 
munion and intense devotion gave heart to 
those who aspired to better things. But he 
was convinced that Catholicity in Winchester 
would never flourish satisfactorily without a 
parish school. The young people, educated in 
the public grammar schools and high school, 
were too often only half Catholic, almost totally 
wanting in Catholic sentiment and devotion, 
even when not entirely ignorant of the leading 
doctrines of the Church. The very excellence 
of the schools in other particulars was rather a 


source of clanger to the faith and devotion of 
the Catholic children. The Apostolate of the 
Press, which Mr. Richards had exercised dili- 
gently from the early days of his conversion, as- 
sumed greater j^roportions in his life after his 
removal to Winchester. His connection with 
the Sacred Heart Review, as a regular editorial 
contributor, opened to him a new and very con- 
genial field. His eldest son, Harry, had been 
engaged by the founder and director of that 
paper. Father (now Monsignor) John O'Brien, 
as sub-editor, a i:)osition which he filled for sev- 
eral years and until his shattered nerves and 
ill-health compelled him to withdraw, much to 
the disappointment of his chief, who was always 
looking for his return. Harry's crisp and tell- 
ing "Editorial Comments" were extremely 
popular and increased very greatly the in- 
fluence of the paper. Both father and son con- 
ceived an immense admiration and affection for 
Father O'Brien. They looked upon him as a 
very remarkable man, as well as an exemplary 
priest. They considered his ability and energy 
in the founding, systematizing and extending of 
his journal to be equaled only by the clearness 
of sight, sound judgment and thoroughly 
Catholic spirit with which he managed and con- 
trolled it. An instance of this was the fact that 
when the great school controversy was raging 
violently in the Catholic, and even secular, 


press — a controversy in which many of the 
Catholic papers displayed undignified bitter- 
ness and most of them were ranged on what 
proved to be the wrong side— Father O'Brien 
allowed no allusion to the conflict to appear in 
his columns. 

On his part, the priest-editor formed the 
highest regard for his two co-laborers and gave 
them every encouragement in their work for 
God and the Church. Up to the time of his 
death, Mr. Eichards continued to furnish to the 
Sacred Heart Revieiv, from his own pen, one or 
more editorials every week, beside other com- 
munications in the form of letters. At the same 
time, he performed similar service for Hickey's 
CatJiolic Revieiv of New York, and Donalioe's 
Magazine of Boston, as long as the founders of 
these publications lived, and gave occasional 
articles to the Pilot, the Catholic Columbian, 
Truth, and other religious periodicals in va- 
rious parts of the country. 

When it is considered that all this was accom- 
plished by a man already advanced in years, 
whose daily business occupations were laborious 
and exhausting and who at the same time kept 
up an enormous correspondence, a wide reading 
and a leading part in parish activities, the in- 
dustry and vigor displayed in the task seem 
astounding. Mr. Richards was always very 
modest in his appreciation of his own writings. 


He often said that he was blowing only a penny 
whistle, that he was familiar with only two or 
three subjects and that the impossibility of hav- 
ing easy access to any great Catholic library or 
of purchasing all the books he needed kept his 
work confined within very narrow limits. But 
this was by no means true. While he did in- 
sist most frequently upon Catholic education 
and the need of the infallible authority of the 
Pope in the Christian Church, as a Supreme 
Court in matters of doctrine and conduct, he 
ventured also with a firm step into countless 
other fields. Among the papers found after his 
death is a list of some hundreds of articles from 
his pen, treating of almost every conceivable 
religious topic, from the most fundamental to 
the most elevated. In treating of the Existence 
of God, the Argument from Design, and the lat- 
est phases of the contest between Agnosticism 
and the Church, he is as clear and effective as 
in his treatment of the Devotion to the Sacred 
Heart or the Holy Angels, or the Qualities of 
True Mysticism. He also kept a watchful eye 
upon non-Catholic organs, and any especially 
gross blunder or misrepresentation on the part 
of the Independent, the Ontlook or other such 
publications was pretty sure to receive a cour- 
teous but crushing refutation at his hands. 

Some of the titles are suggestive and almost 
arguments in themselves, as for example. Don't 


Unchain the Tiger! in reference to the dangers 
of godless education. The following letter ex- 
presses forcibly the principle on which he al- 
ways acted, of not allowing attacks on the 
Church to pass unchallenged : — 


Boston, Mass., Sept. 24, 1900. 
Editor Review: — 

I was very glad to see the suggestion of the 
Institute Journal, of California, in your issue 
of Sept. 22, in regard to the best means of stop- 
ping the anti-Catholicism of the daily press. 

I have long felt the truth of the suggestion, 
and have even thought of writing to urge it 
upon our people, that the proper and most ef- 
fective way of bringing the editors of the daily 
press to a realizing sense of the inexpediency 
of admitting to their columns articles obnox- 
ious to the Catholic body is for Catholics them- 
selves — clerical and lay — to write to their pa- 
pers letters of protest and expostulation when- 
ever such an article appears. 

Indeed, it has often surprised me to notice 
the apparent apathy and indifference shown 
by our Catholic people even under the most 
shameful attacks upon their faith and their 

Why should we sit still while that which is 


our dearest treasure on earth — our holy faith 
— is attacked and vilified by ignorant and un- 
scrupulous writers! It is a very simple thing 
— it will take but a very few moments — to write 
a brief and earnest protest. It is not necessary 
always to enter into an arg-ument on the subject 
— simply let it be understood that the article 
in question is obnoxious to Catholics; that the 
attack or the insinuation is false, groundless 
and uncalled-for, and likely as not has been an- 
swered a thousand times, and if the publishers 
do not wish to offend their Catholic readers and 
thereby lose their patronage they had better 
be more careful about admitting such articles 
to their columns. 

It is undoubtedly because Catholics so tamely 
submit to the frequent anti-Catholic attacks of 
the daily press that the managers take for 
granted that either their invidious assertions 
can not be contradicted, or, if they can, that 
Catholics do not care enough about it to make 
any protest. 

Where is the very respectable and somewhat 
numerous Catholic Truth Committee of the 
Catholic Union ; or the Committee of the Cath- 
olic Alumni Sodality; or where are the intelli- 
gent professional and business men of Boston 
and vicinity who might well be supposed to take 
sufficient unofficial interest in defending the 
Church of their preference— if not of their af- 


fections — from the aspersions of ignorant and 
bigoted penny-a-liners, to prompt them to take 
their pen in hand for an earnest protest when- 
ever occasion presents itself? Eev. Dr. Tracy 
has set us a very good example in his recent 
letter to the Herald. It is not always neces- 
sary to have his learning and ability, for as a 
general rule it is not so much discussion as 
simple protest and expostulation that is needed. 
Suppose we all resolve to turn over a new leaf 
in this matter and see what will come of it. 

The ''kicker" has a very important place in 
society. Up to this time we Catholics have been 
satisfied with being kicked. Now let us do a 
little kicking ourselves. 

X. Y. Z. 

At one time, when the works of Ernest Kenan 
were attracting renewed attention from the 
public, Mr. Richards conceived it to be his duty, 
as a Catholic writer, to make himself familiar 
with the noted rationalist's works, ad refutan- 
dum. The result of his study was a supreme 
contempt for the methods and arguments of 
that brilliant writer. Stripped of its imagina- 
tive and literary adornments, Mr. Richards con- 
sidered his work puerile in the extreme. 
Renan's theory of the self-deception of the wit- 
nesses to the gospel narrative and his ingenious 
statement of what he considers the illusions of 


Mary Magdalene, the disciples at Emmaus and 
the Apostles, as to the identity of the risen 
Saviour, seemed to him to require far more 
faith than the supernatural facts themselves. 

Allusion has been made above to Mr. Rich- 
ards' correspondence. This constituted one of 
the great works of his life. His letters were a 
powerful instrument in that zealous apostolate 
which he was always quietly carrying on for 
God and the Church. "Whenever he met a non- 
Catholic who seemed to have some glimmerings 
of the truth, he sought occasion to write him and 
to fan the spark of faith. If he thought some 
Catholic to be in danger either to faith or 
morals, from unfavorable surroundings or 
worldly inclinations, his sympathy and zeal 
were at once aroused, and he endeavored by 
frequent and friendly letters to stimulate him 
to love of his holy religion and obedience to its 
precepts. When some conversion, especially of 
a former minister, was announced, he would 
frequently write, without any previous intro- 
duction, to welcome the newcomer into the 
family of the faithful. He knew well the lone- 
liness and desolation that is apt to beset such 
converts while they are cut off from their old 
associates and have as yet made no ties in their 
new home, and he had himself experienced the 
strengthening effect of a kind and brotherly 
word of welcome. These advances were always 


most gratefully received. To those in suffer- 
ing, sorrow and trials, liis letters brought con- 
solation, strength and spiritual instruction. 
Indeed, he seemed endowed with an especial 
power as a consoler, due, perhaps, not only 
to his lively faith and loving trust in God, 
but also to his own experience in severe men- 
tal trials. Among his correspondents were 
persons in all classes of society, rich and poor, 
cultivated and unlearned, old and young; and 
to all without distinction he gave the same 
careful attention and ready sympathy. To 
some poor boy or girl who had come under 
his notice in his charitable work for the 
city, he would write with the same punct- 
uality and fullness of sympathy as to the 
most fashionable lady seeking his spiritual aid. 
His tone to the one was as courteous and free 
from any trace of superiority or patronage as 
to the other. What he saw chiefly in every man 
was the human soul. If any good could be done 
to a soul, no amount of labor or trouble was 
too much or seemed to weigh at all in his con- 
sideration. The following extracts may serve 
to give some idea of this side of his life and 

He writes to his friend, Chevalier J. V. 
Hickey of New York, on the occasion of an ac- 
cident by which a son of Mr. Hickey had lost a 
hand : — 


"AYiNCHESTEK, Nov. 8/84. 
^'Dear Mr. Hickey: 

*'I can not tell you how deeply I sympathize 
with you and yours in the affliction that has so 
suddenly fallen upon you. It is poor consola- 
tion, perhaps, that it might have been worse, 
but it is not poor consolation to the Christian 
to reflect that our kind Heavenly Father per- 
mitted it for His own wise purposes which we 
can not now comprehend. It is not poor con- 
solation to think that perhaps the salvation of 
the child may depend upon that accident and 
that it may be the occasion of his doing more 
good in his generation than he otherwise would 
have done. You do not tell me which arm it 
was that Val will have to dispense with, but it 
may be well for the little fellow to reflect that 
one arm is better than none and that many a 
man has done great things even with a left 
hand. I have known some soldiers who wrote 
a splendid hand with the sinistra manu. He 
can't expect to make a first class baseball 
player, but with my experience with my own 
boys, two of them having been maimed by the 
rough game, I should not consider that a great 
loss. There are compensations in nature and 
in Providence. I should not at all wonder if 
Val should follow in the footsteps of his dis- 
tinguished father, and as the loss of a limb does 
not affect the mind, he may be able to cope even 


single handed with him. Let the young man 
remember that it is the intellect and the moral 
character, especially the latter, that make the 
man. If a blind man conld be an efficient head 
of the Post Office Department of England, and 
another a splendid surveyor, what can not a 
man with one arm and two eyes do ? 

"We have reason to congratulate ourselves 
that such good progress has been made in secur- 
ing our rights in the public institutions of the 
country. Let us take courage from the past 
to fight on till the last vestige of bigotry is ban- 
ished from the last institution in the land. . . . 
In addition to my daily remembrance of you and 
yours in my poor prayers, my o^vn feelings 
prompt me to make special intercession that the 
trial of our dear Val may be blessed to him and 
to his parents. I shall hope to have the pleas- 
ure of seeing him some day and shaking his 
bereaved hand. Give him my sympathy and 
love, and I am, 

''Very truly and sincerely yours, 

''H. L. RiCHAEDS." 

The following is to the sister of the same 
gentleman, on his death. 

''WiNCHESTEE, Feb 24/89. 
"My dear Miss Hickey: 

"I have just learned with great surprise and 
real grief of the death of my dear friend, your 


lorother. I expected lie would write the notice 
of my death; now he has gone before and I am 
left to labor on, for how long is known only to 
Him with whom are the issues of life and death. 
What a mysterious Providence! How incom- 
prehensible ! Yet it is all right. It is all for 
the best, though we can not see how. My deep- 
est sympathies go out for all his dear family. 
I know well what a terrible trial it must be to 
you all. I pray God with all my heart to sus- 
tain, support and comfort you and his dear wife 
and children under this sore bereavement. Let 
us not grieve overmuch. He has fought a good 
fight and has gone to his reward, which will be 
great. We shall in due time follow him, who 
can tell how soon? What a motive to seek 
earnestly to lay up treasures in Heaven, that 
we may be prepared to meet him with joy and 
spend a happy eternity with him in Paradise ! 

''I have been confined to the house for the last 
week with a severe attack of lumbago and some- 
times fear I may be permanently disabled. 
These are providential monitions of the uncer- 
tainty of life, to which I do well to take heed. 

"We shall of course hear in due time what ar- 
rangements have been made for carrying .on 
the work from which your brother has been so 
unexpectedly snatched away. I shall miss him. 
I owe him a debt of gratitude for his encourage- 
ment and the opportunity he has given me of 


doing something for tlie cause of God and Holy 
Church. As in life he had my best wishes and 
prayers, so in death he will not be forgotten by 
me. His name will simply be transferred from 
my list of living 'intentions' to that of the 
faithful departed. God rest his soul ! Amen." 

A lady, a convert much esteemed by Mr. 
Richards, had lost a child : — 

''Winchester, May 19/99. 
"My dear Child: 

"No, God is not 'so far away.' He has come 
very near to you. AVhen you say, 'I can not 
bear it, ' I make allowance for the first outbreak 
of grief. I know it is like tearing the very heart- 
strings, but don't say you can't bear it. That 
seems like complaining of Providence. If in 
our severest afflictions we can not see the hand 
of a kind and tender Father and most merciful 
Saviour, where shall we go for consolation? 
Remember what the Apostle says to the Hebrew 
disciples (12-11) 'Now all chastisement for the 
present seemeth, indeed, not to bring with it 
joy, but sorrow. But afterwards it will yield, 
to them that are exercised by it, the most peace- 
able fruits of justice.' Dear child, can you not 
feel that God knows best what is for the highest 
good of the child ? God made the child and gave 
it to you, and now He has taken it away. Can 


you not bring j'ourself to say with holy Job, — 
'The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, 
blessed be the name of the Lord'? Think that 
j'our dear child has been taken away from the 
evil to come and is forever safe in heaven. 
That, certainly, should be a great consolation 
to you and it will be when the paroxysm of a 
first grief has subsided and you have had time 
for sober, pious reflection. 

*'Need I assure you that you have the sin- 
cerest sympathy and most fervent prayers of 
all my family? God bless you, my dear child, 
and your good husband, and give you patience, 
resignation and consolation under your severe 
affliction, is the prayer of your faithful and de- 
voted friend, 

"H. L. Richards.'' 

Occasionally there is some personal reminis- 
cence of interest, as in the following : 


''Winchester, Dec. 3, 1902. 
My dear M , 

"... I am glad the Transcript ^ is such a 
source of pleasure to you. I can easily imagine 
what a new world it must open up to you. Bel- 
lamy Storer, the father of the present Minister 
to Austria, was a conspicuous figure in Cincin- 
nati when I was an Episcopal clergyman in 

1 A publication for the blind. 


Columbus, 0. He was a magnificent man — a 
great Episcopal Churchman, very handsome 
and high-toned, and we were very proud of him. 
The son seems to be a real chip of the old 
block. . . . 

''Your devoted friend, 

" H. L. Richards.'' 

The even course of Mr. Richards ' life at Win- 
chester was varied by some joyous events which 
may be brought together here, although occur- 
ring at considerable intervals of time. 

The first of these was the ordination to the 
priesthood of his youngest son. His reverence 
for the priestly state was unbounded. Had he 
been unmarried when entering the Church, he 
would undoubtedly have wished to take Orders. 
Before the decision of Leo XIH settled defi- 
nitely the question of the validity of Anglican 
Ordinations, he congratulated himself that he 
might possibly be a true priest. Undoubtedly 
God intended him to remain in the world and 
in family life in order that he might be an ex- 
ample of a thoroughly loyal, supernatural and 
zealous layman. But when his son entered the 
Society of Jesus, he felt that he was to be repre- 
sented in the holy priesthood by one who would 
stand in his place and do the work that was 
denied to himself. During the winter of 1884- 
1885, Mr. Richards, then nearly seventy-one 


years of age, passed through a severe illness. 
Convalescence was slow, and his emaciated 
frame and feeble step gave to his family and 
friends cause to apprehend that he might die 
before the fulfilment of his ardent wish to see 
his son a priest. By the kindness of Father 
Robert Fulton, then Provincial, the ordination 
was advanced a year. Mr. Eichards and his 
wife journeyed to "Washington and thence to 
the Scholasticate at Woodstock, in company 
with his brother AVilliam and the latter 's wife 
Helen, and daughter, Miss Janet E. Richards. 
There they enjoyed the hearty hospitality of 
the Fathers during the period of ordination. 
Mr. Richards' state of joy and consolation dur- 
ing these three davs was intense. Those who 
saw the white-haired veteran, liuml)ly serving 
his son's first mass in the chapel of the Scholas- 
ticate, with his erect figure, noble face and air 
of rapt devotion, felt that he had reached the 
climax of his earthly desires and that he was 
chanting in his heart, "Now Thou dost dismiss 
Thy servant, Lord, in peace !" In fact, how- 
ever, the joy of the ordination seemed to give 
him a new life. From that time, his health im- 
proved rapidly, he became stouter and more 
florid than ever before, and at the time of his 
death, in his ninetieth year, he was actually 
more youthful in appearance than at this period 
eighteen years earlier. Father Fulton used 

-A.WSlson & Co.Boston 



jokingly to say that Mr. Richards had played a 
trick on him ; that he had obtained the advance- 
ment of ordination on the plea of approaching 
death and then had the audacity to get well, in 
violation of the contract. 

Another very joyful occasion was the Golden 
Wedding, the fiftieth anniversary of his mar- 
riage. This fell on May 1, 1892, when Mr. 
Richards was seventy-eight j^ears of age and his 
wife seventy-one. Their plan was to celebrate 
it very quietly, as a purely family festival, and 
chiefly with religious observance. But they 
were both too much loved and revered by all 
who knew them, to be able to carry out entirely 
this modest programme. On the day of the an- 
niversary, Mass was celebrated in the church of 
Winchester by their Jesuit son, who, witli the 
cordial consent of his Superiors, had come on 
from Georgetown University for the purpose. 
From his hands, the aged father and mother and 
the other sons and daughters all received Holy 
Communion. Though the mass was unan- 
nounced, many friends were in the church and 
some joined in the reception of Holy Commun- 
ion. During the joyous breakfast that fol- 
lowed, Dr. Robinson, then Pastor of Chicopee, 
a convert and an old friend of the family, ar- 
rived and kissed the blushing bride on the fore- 
head, a violation of clerical decorum which 
nevertheless was received with enthusiastic ap- 


plause. Mrs. M , one of their dearest non- 
Catholic friends, appeared with fifty exquisite 
roses in her arms, herself more beautiful and 
charming than they. Sprays of orange blos- 

some were brought by Mrs. Edward S from 

her own tree, carefully tended and nurtured in 
anticipation of the event. Visits and congratu- 
lations poured in throughout the day from all 
quarters and all classes, Catholic and non- 
Catholic, rich and poor, clergy and laity. Late 
in the evening, when the reception was over and 
the guests had departed, the venerable bride- 
groom, drawing his bride to a seat beside him, 
and gathering their sons and daughters around, 
essayed to read them an unexpected Sermon 
on the Golden Wedding which he had secretly 
prepared. Its purport was chiefly to thank 
God for the gift of the true Faith, as the great- 
est blessing of the fifty years, to urge his chil- 
dren always to cherish and practice that faith 
in its fullness, and finally to express a tender 
and ardent gratitude to his wife, to whose stead- 
fast affection and holy example and counsel, he 
attributed all that was good in his life and even 
all hope of his own salvation. At this point, 
his voice gave way, and tears and sobs of emo- 
tion prevented his continuance. The eldest 
son, Harry, uttered a few words of tender affec- 
tion and reverence, and with warm filial em- 


braces, all retired and the Golden Wedding was 

In spite of advancing age, Mr. Eichards con- 
tinued to show all the fire and vigor of youth. 
His duties under the Overseers of the Poor 
and his self-imposed tasks of writing, were 
fulfilled with the same fidelity and energy. He 
took part regularly in the Nocturnal Adoration 
at the Cathedral under the direction of his 
friend, Dr. Thomas Dwight, a convert no 
less devout than himself. Wlien the Alumni 
Sodality was established at Boston College 
in 1899, he attended their meetings regularly, 
going in from Winchester escorted by his sec- 
ond son, William, who had proved to be the 
main staff and support of his old age. 

Eight years after the fiftieth anniversary of 
the wedding, the golden bond was rudely broken 
by the death of Mrs. Richards. After a short 
illness from the prevailing epidemic of the 
grippe, she was stricken with apoplexy. The 
family circle had remained unbroken for more 
than forty years; and when the Mother was 
found to be paralyzed and speechless, conster- 
nation ensued. By the aid of a good Catholic 
nurse, the priest was called and all preparations 
made for the sacraments. To the joy of her 
husband and children, the invalid recovered 
consciousness sufficiently to make her confes- 
sion and receive Extreme Unction, when she re- 


lapsed into a semi-comatose condition, in wliich 
she remained until her gentle spirit passed 
away a few hours later. Her life of earnest, 
unobtrusive piety had been a perpetual prepara- 
tion for death, and her frequent and fervent 
communions constituted no doubt a viaticum by 
anticipation for that last journey when, through 
her inability to swallow, the Bread of Angels 
was denied to her. The likeness of her spirit 
to that of her husband was shown in the fact 
that her last conversation, on the evening pre- 
ceding the final stroke, was a consultation with 
her second son William, as she lay on her sick 
bed, concerning the relief of a poor family in 
Winchester, an act of charity which was to re- 
main a secret between them. When morning 
came, she asked, in scarcely articulate tones, 
what was the intention of the Sacred Pleart 
leaflet for that day. AVhen told, she mur- 
mured an aspiration to the Sacred Heart, and 
these were her last words before the great 
change that showed the end was at hand. 

Cvnthia Richards, from the time of her con- 
version, was a most intelligent and devoted 
Catholic. Before coming into the Church, she 
had made a prolonged and careful study of its 
doctrines and practices, and had observed the 
effect of both upon her husband's character. 
Throughout life, in spite of her household 
duties and social engagements, she kept up a 


habit of wide and diligent reading, and very 
little in current Catholic literature escaped her 
eye. She was moreover possessed of a direct, 
feminine logic and a sure Catholic instinct. 
She was as fond of all Catholic devotions and 
as much at home in them as though she had 
never been for a day outside the fold of the 
Church. As she advanced in age, she not only 
increased in wisdom and devotion (more gentle 
and motherly and unselfish she could not pos- 
sibly become), but she also grew strikingly 
beautiful. Her face filled out with more softly 
rounded outlines, a faint flush mantled in her 
cheeks and gave new life to her fine and delicate 
complexion, and through her refined features 
shone more clearly than ever the serious, 
kindly, faithful spirit that ruled her life. The 
spiritual soul, through years of patient and 
loyal striving, had moulded the bodily frame to 
its own likeness. 

Her husband's love for her had never grown 
cold. The tenderness and warmth of his affec- 
tion rivaled that of the most ardent lover. 
When separated by the absence of either from 
home, he wrote her every day, and he could 
scarcely bear her absence from his side for 
even a few days. His letters written in old 
age begin with the most endearing titles, and 
are more replete with expressions of tender 
affection than his love letters before their mar- 


riage. Sometimes, in cliildlike fashion, he 
makes with his pen a circular scroll enclosing 
the word "kiss." No cloud had ever come be- 
tween them. Even those who knew them most 
intimately never heard a sharp or angry word 
from either to the other. Mrs. Eichards' love 
for her husband was mingled with deep rever- 
ence, almost religious veneration, for his char- 
acter and virtues. Yet she was not blind to 
his faults ; and it was her quiet, loving influence 
and wise counsel that moderated his ardor, 
softened his otherwise somewhat rigid and 
rugged character, and helped him greatly to- 
ward that perfection of Catholic manhood to 
which he actually attained. The shock of her 
death was naturally a crushing blow to her hus- 
band's loving heart. His supernatural faith 
and habitual resignation to God's will did not 
desert him; but his physical frame could not 
endure the burden. Four days after his wife's 
death, he was taken with one of those acces- 
sions of nervous depression and desolation of 
soul which had affected him so mysteriously at 
several preceding periods of his life. Those 
around him had only glimpses of the mental 
agony that he endured; but that was sufficient 
to fill them with distress. Yet his faith never 
wavered ; and not only his essential love of God, 
but his zeal for His service and for the spread 
of the Church continued to glow as brightly as 


ever. Unable to read liimself, he had Catholic 
publications read to him by other members of 
the family. He rejoiced intensely, in the midst 
of his own misery, at every evidence of prog- 
ress and success in any part of the universal 
Church. To any one who spoke to him, he an- 
swered briefly, with a kind smile and an effort 
at cheerfulness; but relapsed immediately into 
a sad silence. Once during this period, which 
lasted five months, he was cheered by a visit 
from Father Fidelis (Dr. James Kent Stone) 
whom he loved as a son. When his children 
lamented to Father Fidelis the heavy trial 
which their father was undergoing, he an- 
swered: ''Your father is a saint. This trial 
is only a final purification. It will pass away 
and he will never be troubled in that way 
again." The event proved the good religious 
to be a true prophet. The cloud gradually 
lifted from Mr. Richards' mind, and from that 
time until his death, nearly three years later, 
he enjoyed peace of soul and his accustomed 
fervent devotion. 

The year 1902 brought the fiftieth anniver- 
sary of the former minister's reception into the 
Church. It occurred on the feast of the Con- 
version of St. Paul, January 25, and was cele- 
brated very quietly but with intense gratitude. 
Among the congratulations that poured in on 
that occasion, Mr. Richards appreciated highly 


the two letters sent by the Novices and the 
Junior Scholastics of the Jesuit Novitiate of 
St. Andrew-on-Hudson. The following is his 
answe^r to the Novices through their Manuduc- 
tor, Henry M. Brock: 

"Black Horse Terrace, Winchester, 

''Jan. 27, 1902. 

^'Dear Father Brock: 

''I can hardly find words to express our deep 
sense of gratitude for the wealth of spiritual 
graces procured for me by your admirable com- 
munity, even the novices whom you represent 
offering their congratulations and fervent 
prayers for my health and happiness on the 
occasion of the jubilee of my conversion. I 
count greatly upon the first fervor of the young 
novices who, in their zeal for the glory of God 
and the salvation of souls, are preparing them- 
selves for the blessed work of battling with the 
world and sin and building up Holy Church on 

''You speak of my 'courage in following the 
Star of God's grace.' I deserve no credit on 
that ground. If ever there was a conversion 
through the constraining influence of the grace 
of God, mine was emphatically such. I shall 
never cease to adore the infinite patience and 
long suffering forbearance of our dear good 
Lord and Savior and his constraining grace 


which I may well say dragged me into the 
Church in spite of my lack of courage and self- 
denial, Deo gratias! It is impossible for me to 
conceive why the good Lord chose our dear son 
to serve Him in the holy ministry and in the 
illustrious order of St. Ignatius, except that he 
had the advantage of a saintly mother, who I 
hope is now in heaven. Certainly it was no 
merit of mine. 

''Please present my thanks and assurance of 
deep appreciation of the kindness and charity 
of your confreres and be assured I am most 
truly and sincerely as gratefully, 


''H. L. RiCHAKDS." 

The jubilee was signalized by the publication 
of an article, afterward reprinted in pamphlet 
form, entitled. Fifty Years in the Church. 
Twice before had similar articles issued from 
his pen. When he had completed his thirtieth 
year of Catholic life, he addressed, through the 
Catholic Columhian, a letter to the surviving 
members of his former congregation of St. 
Paul's Church, Columbus. His purpose was to 
counteract the fears that sometimes harass 
those who are drawn toward the Catholic 
Church lest, after entering her fold, they should 
be disappointed and should not find there the 
peace, the certainty of truth, and the spiritual 


assistance and sanctity which they imagined to 
reside in her. He wished to testify to his old 
friends and to the Protestant world in general 
that he had found the Church not only every- 
thing that he had expected, but far more, and 
that every vear only served to increase his love 
for the Holy jMother of the Faithful and his 
gratitude to God for being sheltered within her 
bosom. He made an earnest appeal to his 
readers to consider impartially the claims of 
the Catholic Church to be the true Church of 
Christ and to follow courageously the light re- 
ceived. The article attracted wide attention, 
was copied by Catholic papers even as far as 
India, and was circulated as a pamphlet. At 
the completion of his fortieth year, he issued a 
similar appeal, somewhat varied in outline, and 
the same was done, as is stated above, in his 
jubilee year. The Fifty Years booklet has re- 
cently been reprinted by Herder. At least one 
conversion can be traced directly to the influ- 
ence of one of these little pamphlets. 

Mr. Richards' younger brother, William, to 
whom he was tenderly attached, died in Wash- 
ington on August 5, 1899. He had lived as a 
consistent and devout Catholic and met death 
with constancy and peace. It was evident that 
Henry's long probation was drawing to a close 
and the ties that still bound him to earth were 
being severed. 


At the end of January, 1901, lie resigned his 
position in the Bureau of Charities, the duties 
of which he had faithfully fulfilled up to the 
age of eighty-six and beyond. But the leisure 
thus gained was not spent in inactivity. He 
rejoiced to find himself free to devote his re- 
maining energies unreservedly to his writing 
and other labors for God and the Church. In 
this, his association with his eldest son was a 
great joy and assistance. Harry had never 
recovered from the nervous prostration which 
had forced him to relinquish his work on the 
Sacred Heart Revieiv. Compelled to remain at 
home and unable, as a general rule, to apply 
himself to writing for any considerable time, 
he yet retained all his keenness of intellect and 
brilliancy of wit. Every article was discussed 
between the two gray-haired men with the free- 
dom of companions and the earnestness of 
apostles. Harry's cool judgment moderated 
the ardor of his father's indignation against 
the malicious attacks on the Church which they 
were called upon to refute, while his skill as a 
practiced journalist gave a command of re- 
strained and temperate expression more in- 
cisive and effective in controversy than vehe- 
ment denunciation. The humble docility with 
which the older man finally submitted on all 
occasions to the criticisms of the younger, 
though sometimes not without first contending 


vigorously for his own view, and the profound 
respect and affection of the son, were equally 
beautiful and edifying to all who knew them. 
The following letter written during this period, 
may serve to illustrate this mutual feeling: — 

''AsBURY Park, N. J. 

''July 24/01. 
"My dear Father: 

'*Mary will be surprised and Commie will be 
shocked when I say that my reason for not 
sending you a birthday letter was that I did not 
know your birthday. I Imew it was in July, 
but I didn't know just when. Well, men are 
like that, and I'll wager that you don't know 

But it's not too late to tell you that I love 
you above all earthly things, and that I admire 
and venerate you so greatly that it seems of 
no use at all to try to tell you about it. Your 
humility is so great and I am such a pragmatic, 
know-it-all sort of pedagogue-prig that you are 
in the habit of deferring to me and looking to 
me to settle questions as they come before us, 
when the natural and proper order would be 
just the reverse. However, these things are 
not essential. The real gist of the matter is 
that we love each other with a complete and ab- 
solute confidence that nothing can shake. I'm 
altogether unworthy and undeserving of such 


a father, but I'm not going to qnarrel with 
Providence for giving him to me. 

"Faithfully, your son, 


The three years that were thus passed be- 
fore Mr. Richards' death were like the sun- 
set glow before the close of day. His char- 
acter, chastened by trials and more and more 
transfigTired by love of God and man, revealed 
new depths of beauty and tenderness. He lived 
in heaven, but took a kindly interest in the 
things of earth. To his family and friends, his 
bright, cheerful smile and serene conversation 
were a constant joy. Those who had recourse 
to him for consolation and guidance in their 
troubles found still the same ready sympathy 
and wise counsel. Having been constituted the 
pajTuaster for the family expenditures, he had 
no greater delight than drawing the checks for 
the numerous charities in all parts of the 
country to which he had always contributed. 
To his youngest daughter, who, on account of 
his increasing infirmities, had been constituted 
a kind of general manager and admonitor, he 
showed an obedience quite childlike in its 
simplicity. In addition to his writing for the 
Sacred Heart Revieiv and other Catholic peri- 
odicals, a large share of his time was devoted 
to prayer and religious reading. Formal medi- 


tation was not easy for him ; but his whole day 
was a mental prayer, for his thoughts turned 
naturally to God and heavenly things. Besides 
frequent drives in the beautiful country about 
Winchester, his chief recreation was to pace up 
and down the ample porch of his residence, ros- 
ary in hand. Every afternoon he boarded the 
electric car and went to the church at Medford 
to pay a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. It was 
evident that his interest in everything going on 
around him did not take his mind from the 
constant thought of another world. He had 
always appreciated deeply the shortness of life 
and had often spoken of the necessity of being 
ever prepared. His health, always precarious, 
had led him to exj^ect, from year to year, the 
last great change. Contrary to his expecta- 
tions, he had passed far beyond the allotted 
span ; and he now looked for death without ap- 
prehension, as for the coming of a welcome 
friend. The first positive warning was a slight 
attack of paralysis of the brain and tongue. 
It lasted onlv an hour or two, and left the 
patient apparently as well as before. He made 
light of it and could not understand the alarm 
of the family. But repeated returns of the 
same symptoms during the next few months 
confirmed their fears. At last an attack so 
severe and prolonged occurred that his end 
seemed to be at hand. The pastor was hastily 


summoned and the Jesuit son telegraphed for. 
But when the latter arrived, immediate danger 
had passed and the sick man laughed merrily 
at the unceremonious fashion in which he had 
been compelled to make his confession and re- 
ceive the other sacraments without any of that 
careful loreparation which he had been accus- 
tomed to think necessary. After some days, as 
he was improving steadily, his Jesuit son came 
to take leave and ask his farewell blessing. 
The old man placed both hands on his son's 
head and said, with a simple solemnity: 
^'Benedicat vos omnipotens Dcus, Pater et 
Filins et Spiritus Sanctus!" During the next 
two months, renewed but slight attacks fol- 
lowed. He was surrounded by all the care that 
medical skill, devoted nursing and the most 
tender and solicitous affection could render, 
while he, on his part, kept up with unfailing 
courage and fidelity, not only his religious ex- 
ercises and when possible his labors, but also 
his courteous and unselfish consideration for 
others about him. His eldest daughter, who 
had been devoted in reading to him, having been 
disabled from this office of love by a severe ill- 
ness, a professional reader was employed to 
take her place. The invalid took constant care 
to have such reading selected as would interest 
and benefit the reader as well as himself. 
Peace, serenity and tranquil cheerfulness char- 


acterized his looks and words during this last 
period of his earthly trial. Constant prayer 
and the Holy Viaticum, received as often as 
possible, gave him spiritual strength and joy. 
It is said that those who are scrupulous and 
fearful during life, generally have a peaceful 
and joyous death. This was certainly verified 
in Mr. Eichards' case. On the Thursday be- 
fore the First Friday of November, he had 
suffered a slight accession of paralysis, affect- 
ing to some extent his riglit arm and hand, and 
had expressed his apprehension lest he should 
be unal)le to write again, a deprivation which 
he seemed to dread more than any other. Yet 
he spoke placidly and with entire resignation 
to God's will. The next morning, he recited as 
usual the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin in 
Latin, with the aid of a reading glass, while 
lying in bed. Sometime after dressing, he was 
found by his daughter, lying on the couch, 
speechless but fully conscious. He stretched 
out his arms toward her with a look full of 
sweetness and tenderness that said more plainly 
than words, *'It has come at last!'* The priest 
was hastily summoned, and as the dying man 
received Holy Communion, his face shone like 
that of an angel. Gradually he sank into un- 
consciousness. Wlien his Jesuit son again ar- 
rived, he had given no sign of intelligence for 
nearly twenty-four hours. Yet at the words, 


uttered in a loud voice : ' ' Fatlier, I am Havens ; 
I want to give you absolution ! ", lie opened Ms 
eyes as though the spirit were recalled from 
the confines of another world ; then closed them 
for the last time on earth. An hour or two 
later, he passed quietly away, while his children, 
kneeling about his bed, recited the prayers of 
the Church that he loved so loyally and so well. 
It was Sunday, November 8, 1903. On his 
tombstone are inscribed the w^ords of his patron, 
St. Paul:— ''I have fought a good fight, I have 
finished my course, I have kept the faith." 


The following sermon, preached at Gambler at the 
opening of the fall term in 1849, under circum- 
stances detailed on page 228 of this work, created a 
violent sensation in that stronghold of Low Church 
theology. It reveals so clearly the preacher's con- 
ception of the Church shortly before his actual con- 
version and states so powerfully the grounds of his 
convictions, that it has been judged well to print it 
here in full. Its phraseology is not always that of 
Catholic theologians, and in regard to some points, as 
the power of forgiving sins, he falls definitely short 
of Catholic truth. But in general his teaching, 
though the result of his own independent study of 
the Christian system, seems to agree substantially 
with Catholic doctrine concerning the Church as the 
mystical body of Christ. 


On the Organic Nature of Christianity. 

1st Corinthians xv. 22. 

''For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all he 
made alive." 

This is not, as many seem to suppose, a declara- 
tion of Universal Salvation. It is not said, you see, 
that all shall be in Christ as all are in Adam. Such 



a declaration were in direct conflict with the whole 
tenor of the New Testament. The meaning of the 
passage, evidently, must be, that as all who are 
united with Adam die, so all who are united with 
Christ shall be made alive. That is, as all who are 
united with Adam in the material way die, so all 
who are united with Christ in the supernatural way 
shall be made alive. Adam is represented as the 
head of the natural race of mankind, and Christ as 
the head of the new spiritual race; and the asser- 
tion, it seems to me, is e(iuivalent to this; as all who 
are born of the race of Adam do, by virtue of their 
organic connection with him, die ; so all who are 
new-born of the new spiritual race of Christ are, by 
virtue of their organic connection with him, made 
alive. Observe, if you please, that it is by virtue 
of what I have taken the liberty to term an "Or- 
ganic Connection" in both cases, that the effects pred- 
icated of each are said to follow. We know not 
how it is or trhy it is that God has so constructed us 
that, by virtue of our connection with Adam, as the 
original of our race, we suffer the consequences that 
were inflicted upon him because of his sin. We only 
know that it is so. This is the fact. There is such 
a thing as an organic connection that binds us all to 
our head, and through him binds us together in one. 
We are one race, having one constitution, one origin, 
one destiny. Because Adam our great progenitor 
died, we all die. He died in consequence of his sin. 
And so, death hath passed upon all men, as saith the 
Apostle, "For that all have sinned." And I repeat: 
The assertion of the text is, that there is a corre- 


spending organic connection between Christ and the 
new spiritual race of which he is the Head, by virtue 
of which all who are thus united to Him are made 
alive. This, my beloved brethren, is a very impor- 
tant principle of the gospel — one that, I fear, is too 
much overlooked by many to the great prejudice of 
gospel truth and the detriment of the best interests 
of the Church and of our race. Let me enlarge 
somewhat upon the principle as it is evidently set 
forth in Holy Scripture, that I may if possible give 
you a clear apprehension of it, and that we may all 
be led to appreciate more fully the bearing of the 
principle upon the great scheme of the gospel and 
feel more deeply the importance of realizing and 
acting upon it in the great work of the Christian 

Now I think it will be of some use to us in 
endeavoring to get clear apprehensions of the sub- 
ject to observe that there is a natural life and there 
is a spiritual life. The natural life is that with 
which we are all born into this world. Spiritual 
life is supernatural, — something over and above nat- 
ural, — something added to it. Natural life is that 
which fits us to be inhabitants of this world. Spirit- 
ual life fits us to enjoy an unseen and spiritual 
world. Natural life is that with which Adam was 
first created. But contemporaneous with his crea- 
tion he was endowed also with the spiritual life. 
It is said. "God breathed into him the breath of life 
and man became a living soul." In one sense the 
soul itself is living. It lives by virtue of its own 
inherent nature — that nature with which God en- 


dowed it. The very idea of spirit involves life. 
But when God breathed into Adam, he became a 
living soul in another and higher sense than that of 
mere natural life. He was not merely a man, but a 
man "made in the image and likeness of God." 
God's spirit dwelt in him and imparted to him a 
moral character, — made him another different being 
from what he would have been but for this indwell- 
ing of the spirit. It was this which exalted him 
above the mere brute ; which elevated him in the 
scale of being, — gave him a twofold character, 
sanctified him, made him pure, holy, perfect, — in a 
word, made him like God, and therefore capable of 
enjoying a higher, purer, more perfect state of exist- 
ence here and the full fruition of God in Heaven 
hereafter. "While his natural constitution as a man, 
endowed with all the qualities, the poAvers and facul- 
ties peculiar to a human being, fitted him to live in 
and enjoy this world, the indwelling of the spirit 
of God opened up to him another world, taught him 
to look beyond this visible, tangible scene and to fix 
his thoughts and affections upon the unseen and 
spiritual and to live vriih reference to them. And 
thus he may be said to have lived another and a 
higher life even here, and that life was a spiritual 
life. He lived and moved and had his being and his 
happiness in God. God made him like Himself, and 
to be happy only in Him. And hence, it was the 
union of this twofold life, — this life of nature and 
life of the spirit, — that constituted his perfection and 
his supreme happiness. Now, it was this spiritual 
life that w^as lost by the fall and which "brought 


death into the world and all our woes." Adam 
sinned and the spirit departed from him. The union 
between his soul and God was dissolved and he 
died; — died spiritually, at least, and, as it was the 
indwelling of the spirit that preserved and perpetu- 
ated natural life, so the seeds of death were also 
sown in his body and hence the curse in all its fear- 
fulness and extent embraced death temporal, death 
spiritual and death eternal, and it left him a help- 
less, degenerate, miserable creature. It left him im- 
perfect and, therefore, not sufficient for himself. 
He was, if I may use the expression, deprived of 
his better half, a poor widowed spirit, left all alone 
in weakness, and helplessness, and loneliness, with 
none to comfort him; restless, dissatisfied, — con- 
scious of an aching void within, which nothing 
earthly could fill, and seeking, and longing, and striv- 
ing in endless and vain endeavor to find something, 
yea, even though it were guilty and unlawful pleas- 
ure, to satiate the inordinate craving that was con- 
suming his very life. And now the great question 
arises, what is the remedy for this state of things? 
How shall man be delivered from this dreadful and 
unnatural condition? Blessed be God! He has 
answered the question, and answered it as He alone 
could do. It is obvious at first sight that, to restore 
man to his primitive condition, you must restore his 
spiritual life, and for the restoration of that life you 
must in some way bring about a reunion between 
his soul and God. You must restore to him that 
better half which has been lost by the fall. The 
desecrated Temple must be reenshriued by the in- 


dwelling of the Spirit of God. This is the object of 
the institution of the gospel and the Church. "We 
can very easily conceive how God might have im- 
parted this spiritual life to mankind as individuals — 
unconditionally and without the intervention of any 
means or instrumentalities. Indeed, we can conceive 
the possibility of God's imparting this life to the 
world without the necessity of the mission of his 
Son, Jesus Christ, But He has not done it. God 
acts by means and He determined in redeeming man 
from the thraldom of sin to employ a system of 
means which in His infinite wisdom He saw best 
adapted to accomplish the end. Man is a free and 
accountable being and he must be dealt with accord- 
ing to his character and the circumstances of his 
condition. The problem is to reunite man to God 
and restore to him the spiritual life which he had 
lost. How shall it be done? Why, God sends His 
only begotten Son, the Eternal Word, the Second 
Person of the adorable Trinity, to take upon Him 
our nature and thus to bring Divinity down to 
humanity that humanity might be elevated to the 
Divinity. He was perfect man as well as perfect 
God and hence in iZiw the union is consummated. 
There, in that Person, is humanity restored to its 
primitive purity and perfection. There is the spirit 
of God dwelling in man and restoring to humanity 
the spiritual life which had been lost. But the 
question arises, and it is a very important one, how 
should this be made effectual to the restoration of 
the race? The spirit is given without measure to 
Christ, but how shall it be given to the world at 


large? There, in that illustrious Personage, is a 
man reunited to God and dwelling in Him and 
having life in Himself and having it abundantly, 
yea, sufficient for the whole world. But how shall 
this life be imparted to others? His being human 
does, indeed, adapt Him to the work for which He 
has been sent. He is a man and He knows what is 
in man, and He can come in contact with him, and 
exert an influence over him. But how shall He so 
operate upon the race as to restore that lost spiritual 
life which is to elevate him to his primitive condition 
and enable him to fulfill his high and noble destiny? 
Now is it not clear at this stage of our investigation 
that there must be, as I have said, some organic 
connection between Christ and the race in order to 
the transmission of that life which he has come to 
impart? It is not enough that He is man. It is 
not enough that He is God and man united, and that 
He has, in His own person, brought Divinity down 
to humanity. It is not enough that He mingles with 
men and sympathizes with them and exerts an influ- 
ence over them. It is not enough that He preaches 
to them and delivers a system of ethics superior to 
anything that the world has ever seen before. Nay, 
I go farther, and say that it is not enough that He 
shall die for them, that He shall pour out His 
heart's blood upon the cross and make a vicarious 
atonement for them. All these, undoubtedly, are 
important and essential in their place. But these 
are not all that is necessary. Viewed merely as an 
individual — as a man however perfect, or as the 
God-Man — as a glorious Personage in whom Divin- 


ity and humanity are united — his acts can be of no 
consequence to us unless there is some organic con- 
nection between Him and the race hy which the 
benefits which he came to bestow can be made 
over, — transmitted to us. It is not enough merely 
to proclaim the facts of the gospel. All experience 
confirms the constant and uniform teaching of Holy 
Scripture, that it is folly to rely upon any mere 
history or even philosophy of Christianity. There 
is indeed a philosophy of life as it has been termed, 
and it is certain that the only true philosophy of life 
is embodied in the Christian system. And it is im- 
portant that that philosophy should be studied and 
understood by all. But the philosophy of life is not 
the life itself; nor is the possession of the life neces- 
sarily connected with the possession of the philoso- 
phy of life. That philosophy may be understood 
even in its profound as well as its simple teachings, 
by one who has never, even in its first beginnings, 
experienced the life itself. It is really quite strange 
how much importance is by many attached to the 
mere matter of preaching, as if the proclamation of 
the facts and philosophy of Christianity were all 
that is necessary for imparting spiritual life to the 
world. It is not so! I care not with wiiat zeal or 
eloquence or impassioned earnestness ; — I care not 
wdth what accumulation of impressive accessories 
this proclamation be attended ; — were there nothing 
more, it were a hopeless task. We might well sit 
dowm in despair and hang our harps on the willows. 
Do not misunderstand me. I am not now dispara- 


ging preaching. It has its importance in the Chris- 
tian scheme, as a means to an end. And it is not 
to be overlooked or underrated. What I am saying 
is that by itself and disconnected with any scheme, — 
separated from other accessories, — divorced from a 
visible, tangible system of organized union with 
Clinst, it is a matter of very little consequence. 
There must be something corresponding with the 
organic connection that exists in the natural race and 
by which we all as members of that race receive our 
natural life. There must be a principle of continu- 
ity and reproduction by which we become Christians 
just as there is a principle of continuity and repro- 
duction by which we become men. And this, my 
beloved brethren, lets us somewhat into the secret 
of the profound mystery of the Incarnation. I do 
not mean that it explains the mystery, but it shows 
its connection with the System of Christianity and in 
some measure reveals its meaning — its profound 
significance. "We see it is not merely the knowledge 
of the fact of the union of the human and divine in 
the person of Christ that is of so much importance. 
It is not merely the fact of the death of Christ for 
the sins of the world. It is not any nor all of the 
facts of the gospel history, in themselves considered. 
It is not any inference from those facts, any system 
of teaching grounded upon them that, in themselves, 
are of so much consequence to us. It is something 
deeper than that. This Incarnation brings God 
down to man and brings man in contact with God 
and establishes the organic connection that I have 


been speaking of, by which we can not only learn 
the philosophy of life but become partakers of that 
life itself. 

By the divine appointment, Christ was consti- 
tuted the organic head of a new race, that is, of a 
spiritual race, and in order to become partakers of 
the spiritual life which he imparted we must come 
into organic connection with Him in the way which 
He Himself hath appointed. He is called the 
''Second Adam." There is a force and a meaning in 
the expression which, I fear, is not generally under- 
stood. What else can be inferred from it but that 
Christ stands in a similar relation to those who are 
united with Him that Adam does to those who are 
united with him? That is, as the first man, Adam, 
was the organic head and representative of the nat- 
ural race, through whom by a principle of continuity 
and reproduction, peculiar to itself, we all receive 
our natural life; so Christ, the second Adam, is the 
head and representative of the new spiritual race 
through whom, by a corresponding principle of con- 
tinuity and reproduction, peculiar to itself, we de- 
rive our spiritual life. Natural life is the result of 
natural generation. So spiritual life is the result of 
spiritual regeneration, and as natural generation is 
possible only by virtue of an organic principle which 
unites the race to its head, so spiritual regeneration 
is ordinarily possible only by virtue of an organic 
principle which unites the spiritual race to its spirit- 
ual head. 

But it is a very serious and important question: 
What is this organic connection? In deciding this 


question, we appeal at once to Holy Scripture. "We 
may form plausible theories upon the subject and 
endeavor to maintain them by specious reasoning 
and ingenious argumentation ; but, after all, it must 
be decided as a matter of fact. Let us then go to the 
fountain head. Let us go back to the very origin 
of Christianity and take our stand by the dis- 
tinguished Personage who claims to be its Author. 
His labors on earth are now nearly completed. 
His work is almost done. He has poured out 
His heart's blood upon the Cross for the redemp- 
tion of the world. He has burst the bonds of death 
and triumphed over the grave. For forty days He 
has mingled with His few chosen friends, with 
all the familiarity of the most friendly and endear- 
ing intimacy. He has instructed them in the things 
that pertain to the Kingdom of God. And now the 
time of His departure is at hand. But, before He 
leaves them, there is one more important step to be 
taken. It is a solemn transaction, for it has a most 
important bearing upon the work which He has come 
to accomplish. He calls around Him the eleven 
chosen disciples and after a few words of explana- 
tion, doubtless, adapted to their circumstances. He 
breathes on them and says unto them: ''Receive 
ye the Holy Ghost; Whosesoever sins ye remit, they 
are remitted unto them, and whosesoever sins ye 
retain, they are retained." Now this is a most ex- 
traordinary declaration. "What does it mean? He 
breathed on them and said unto them, ''Receive ye 
the Holy Ghost!" Is it a mere figure or is it 
reality ? Admit, if you please, that it is figure ; still 


it is full of the most important and profoiind spirit- 
ual significance. For the least that can be said of it 
is that it is a striking ceremonial indicating the com- 
munication of power and authority to perform the 
most serious and important acts. But it is not mere 
figure. It is not a mere ceremonial, however strik- 
ing and significant. It is reality. Doubtless, there 
was an actual communication of the Holy Ghost, 
who is the author and source of all power and 
authority and grace. But for what purpose ? Why, 
do you not see? The God-]\Ian is about to leave us 
and lie is now making provision for the communica- 
tion of spiritual life to the world after He has gone. 
And he imparts to them the Spirit, the life which 
he has in Himself that it may be imparted by and 
through them to the world. Hence he adds in the 
most solemn manner, "Whosesoever sins ye remit, 
they are remitted unto them, and whosesoever sins 
ye retain, they are retained." Man in his natural 
state is sinful, and in order to the reception of spirit- 
ual life his sins must be forgiven. Hence He confers 
upon these chosen ones power and authority to 
declare and pronounce to the people, being penitent, 
the absolution and remission of their sins. Here, 
then, we have the first step — the first link in the 
chain that constitutes the organic connection which 
we are endeavoring to ascertain and to trace. 
These eleven chosen disciples are made, if I may so 
express myself, the depositaries of the spirit and 
therefore of the grace and spiritual life of which He 
is the Author, and they are commissioned to com- 
municate this great gift to others, in connection with 


the remission of sins. Hence it is that the Church 
in her office of ordination directs the Bishop to lay 
his hands upon the head of the candidate and say: 
"Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and work of 
a Priest in the Church of God now committed to 
thee, by the imposition of our hands; whose sins 
thou dost forgive they are forgiven and whose sins 
thou dost retain they are retained." In other 
words, she repeats the solemn ceremonial by which 
the Apostles were first set apart for the work to 
which they had been chosen, the ceremonial which 
has been repeated in every age since that time and by 
which a constant, regular and unbroken succession 
of ambassadors has been kept up. And thereby she 
does undoubtedly give her sanction to the solemn 
truth that the gifts and graces of spiritual life which 
flow from the great fountain of the Incarnation 
must he sought in the channel appointed for them 
to flow in. But the transaction of which I am speak- 
ing indicates, as I have said, only the first link in the 
chain. That the Apostles were made the deposita- 
ries of grace with the commission to communicate to 
others, seems clear. But how shall this be done? 
The answer to this question will indicate the second 
link, and that answer is to be found in another trans- 
action which took place not long after that of 
which I am speaking and which was not less solemn, 
impressive and significant. He is now on the point 
of departure, and He calls the disciples — the same 
chosen few — about Him and says unto them: ''All 
power is given unto Me both in heaven and on 
earth. Go ye, therefore, and make disciples of all 


nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father 
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost," and adds: 
"Lo, I am with you ahvays, even unto the end of 
the world." Now every word here is pregnant with 
meaning. "All power is given unto Me both in 
heaven and on earth." "Why this solemn declara- 
tion of His power? "Why, He is about to delegate 
power and authority to them. He is to leave the 
world Himself, but before He goes He must appoint 
agents and ministers to act in His stead; and these 
chosen ones, whom He has prepared by a long course 
of training for the work, are now to be appointed to 
this office. It was as if He had said, "Because I 
have all power in heaven and earth, therefore I dele- 
gate this power to you. I appoint you as my repre- 
sentatives — my vicegerents on earth. You are to 
act in My name and by ]My authority. Whatsoever 
you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven 
and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be 
loosed in heaven. I commission you not only to 
teach in My name but also to constitute a society. 
I do now constitute you into a society and give you 
authority to rule and govern it as well as to make 
disciples by baptizing in the name of the Father 
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and I promise 
to be with you even unto the end of the world." 
Here then is the second link. The grace of forgive- 
ness and spiritual life — that great gift with which 
they have been intrusted, is to be communicated 
through the medium of Baptism. Hence the Catho- 
lic Church in all the world has ever taught her 
children to express their belief in "one baptism for 


the forgiveness of sins." Hence St. Peter, on the 
day of Pentecost, when the multitude were pricked 
in their hearts and said, "Men and brethren, what 
shall we do?" replied, "Repent and be baptized 
every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for 
the remission of sin and ye shall receive the Holy 
Ghost." Hence Ananias who was sent for the in- 
struction of Saul of Tarsus, after enlightening him 
as to the will of God concerning him, adds, "And 
now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and 
wash away thy sins." Hence the Apostle says, "We 
are saved by the washing of regeneration and renew- 
ing of the Holy Ghost." And all this is in perfect 
accordance with the declaration of Our Lord to 
Nicodemus, ' ' Verily, verily, I say unto you, except 
a man be born of water and of the Spirit he can not 
see the Kingdom of God"; and on the occasion 
of which I have before been speaking, "He that 
believeth and is baptized shall be saved and he that 
believeth not shall be damned." True, we must 
"believe." All who have come to years of discre- 
tion must receive the truth of the gospel and receive 
it in the love of it. But it is not belief merely that 
imparts spiritual life. We must come into organic 
connection with Christ the Head. The life of Chris- 
tianity is a corporate life. We can conceive how 
God might have imparted spiritual life to individu- 
als, separately and independently. He might have 
created each individual anew by a sovereign, inde- 
pendent act of creative power. And so He might 
have created the race, each independently of all the 
rest, without any connection with the race, or rather 


without any race at all, properly speaking. But as 
in the latter case He chose to establish a principle 
of continuity and reproduction which, after the first 
act of creative power, should perpetuate the race 
itself, so in the former case He has chosen to provide 
means bj' which children shall be new-born to Him 
by a principle of continuity and reproduction which 
makes them all one, binds them together in one body 
and through that body to the one Head, even Christ. 
This, my beloved brethren, is the design of the 
church. It is, you see, a visible, organized body in 
which the new spiritual life is deposited and through 
which it is to be perpetuated. The God-Man has 
taken it into union with Himself. He has breathed 
upon it the Divine effluence. The Holy Ghost has 
taken up His abode in it, and the God-]\Ian has 
promised to be with it to the end of time. And 
baptism is the door of entrance into this body — the 
divinely appointed instrument through which union 
with the Body is to take place. Sons and daughters 
are to be born to God. The Church is the "Bride" 
— the "Lamb's wife," the mother of us all, and 
baptism is, as the Apostle says, the "Bath of regen- 
eration." It is that through which we are born to 
God. And this explains what the Church means by 
"baptismal regeneration." You see, it is not, as 
many seem to suppose, the same as conversion. She 
does not mean that in baptism an adult person is 
necessarily spiritually renewed, that his heart is 
changed and his affections transformed.^ That 


1 The statement of the effects of baptism would have been 
made clearer if it had been said that in infants who are in- 
capable of placing any obstacle in the way, a principle of 


is not it. But she does teach that baptism effects a 
change of state. That is, it takes a man out of a 
state of nature and places him in a state of grace, — 
out of the world and places him in the Church, that 
spiritual society in which Christ Himself dwells and 
where He vouchsafes all the blessings of His grace to 
every humble, penitent and believing soul. It 
brings him in contact with those channels through 
which the Head of the Body has Himself appointed 
that the quickening streams of spiritual life shall 
flow. Hence it is that the office of Baptism teaches 
us to pray to Almighty God that the child coming 
to his holy baptism ''may receive remission of sins 
by spiritual regeneration," and after it has been 
baptized to thank Him "that it hath pleased Him to 
regenerate this child by His Holy Spirit, to receive 
him as His own child by adoption and to incorporate 
Him into His holy Church." Hence, the catechism 
teaches the child to say that in baptism he was 
''made a member of Christ, a child of God and in- 
heritor of the Kingdom of heaven." And hence, 
too, in the Communion service, after we have 
solemnly offered the great sacrifice and partaken 
of the victim, and thus renewed the life which was 
imparted in baptism, we are taught to render most 
hearty thanks to Almighty God "for that thou dost 
vouchsafe to feed us who have duly received these 
holy mysteries with the spiritual food of the most 
precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Saviour 

new spiritual life is implanted by the grace of God which, if 
properly developed and corresponded with, when the child 
reaches years of discretion, will result in the sanctification 
and salvation of the soul. — (Mr. Richards' note). 


Jesus Christ and dost assure us thereby of thy favor 
and goodness towards us and that we are very mem- 
bers incorporate in the mystical hody of thy Son, 
which is the blessed company of all faithful people 
and are also heirs through hope of thy everlasting 
kingdom by the merits of the most precious death 
and passion of thy dear Son." 

Here, then, my beloved brethren, is the deep spirit- 
ual significance of the Church. Here is the philoso- 
phy of the profound mystery of the Incarnation. 
The Church is the Body of Christ. It is not a mere 
human organization. It is not a ''voluntary society 
for religious purposes." It is not a mere system of 
externalism ; a visible, outside framework, without 
spirit or meaning or life or power. No, it is the 
sacred Body of Chnst. He dwells in it — dwells in it, 
not figuratively, not symbolically, not hypothetically 
nor constructively, but really. He dwells in it in 
the Person of the Holy Ghost. His promise to be 
with it was not figurative. It was a promise of real 
indwelling. "I go away and come again." He did 
go away. He has come again and He has come with 
power. He is really present with His Church. He 
is in it, — He is a part of it. We can not come in 
contact w'ith it without coming in contact with Him. 
That contact may not necessarily impart life. To 
the faithless and unbelieving, the hypocrite and self- 
deceived, the proud and self-dependent, that con- 
tact will minister cursing rather than blessing. The 
streams of life which, to the humble, penitent, be- 
lieving soul, impart health and refreshment, to these 
will be a consuming fire. The "Real Presence," my 


beloved brethren, is an awful and yet a precious 
Truth. Christ is with us. The great fact of the 
Incarnation is thus, as it were, perpetuated. The 
God-Man is still upon earth. "We come in contact 
with His body. The Union of the Human and the 
Divine consummated in the Person of Christ is still 
continued among us, and it is extended to the race. 
''Say not in thy heart who shall ascend into heaven, 
that is, to bring Christ down from above; or who 
shall descend into the deep, that is to bring Christ up 
from beneath. But what saith the Gospel? The 
word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart, 
that is the word of Truth which we preach." The 
*'Word" is nigh thee. There is a form and a meaning 
in the expression not generally appreciated. The 
AVord ! That is not merely the shadow, the shell, the 
husk of Truth. Not the philosophy of Truth. But 
Truth is its Divine essence and living power. Truth 
as it exists and is manifested through Him who has de- 
clared emphatically, ''/ am The Truth." This is 
nigh thee for He Himself is nigh thee. Yea, when 
you come in contact with His body and fulfill the con- 
ditions which He requires ; when you come with an 
humble, worthy, punctual and obedient heart, then 
He visits you with His own precious Presence. He 
imparts to you the streams of life, the waters of 
salvation. He, Himself, is in thee. *'He is in thy 
mouth and in thy heart." He dwells in you and 
becomes your life. You feed upon Him. You eat 
His flesh and drink His blood — "the spiritual food," 
as the Prayer Book has it, "of the most precious 
body and blood of Christ," and you, thereby, live a 


new life. You are transformed into the image and 
likeness of God in wliich Adam was first made. You 
walk forth in newness of life, redeemed from the 
bondage and thraldom of sin to the glorious liberty 
of the children of God. This, my beloved brethren, 
is the profound realism of the Church. // it is not 
this, it is nothing. It is a mere sham, and Christian- 
ity itself an inexplicable enigma. If the Church is 
not this, then they are right who discard it except 
that to be consistent they should discard the whole 
of Christianit}^ and adopt its legitimate opposite, 
absolute individualism, by which every man becomes 
his own Church, his own Priest, his own Pope and in- 
fallible guide, and at last his own Lord and God and 

Now, there is a word or two of caution which, to 
those who are not familiar with these truths, or with 
this mode of presenting the truths of the gospel, it 
may be necessary to allude to. And in the first place, 
remember that it does not follow because the Church 
is the body of Christ and the depositary of spiritual 
life therefore no one can be partaker of this life 
vmlcr any circu^nstanccs without union with this 
body.- This is God's ordinary mode of dealing with 
men. This is what is declared in the gospel. The 
promise of the "Covenant" is contained in the 
Church. But we believe that the mercy of God may 
and does overflow the bounds of His covenant. If a 
man is deprived of the institutions of the Church 
and yet honestly and conscientiously does his duty 

2 The preacher here fails to distinguish clearly between the 
body and the soul of the Church, and thus seems to contra- 
dict the axiom "Extra ecclesiam nulla salus." 


according to his circumstances, we can not believe 
God will be so hard a master as to reject him. Nay, 
the Apostle declares expressly that in every nation 
**he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is 
accepted of him," We are judged according to our 
light and opportunities. God accepts us according 
to that we have and not according to that we have 
not. It is impossible for us in any particular case 
to define the limits of human responsibility. But in 
proclaiming the gospel, it is our duty to proclaim it 
as God has given it. It is not our business to 
preach exceptions. We have to do with great gen- 
eral principles. We must declare the law with the 
same strictness as if there were no exceptions and 
we must declare the promises as if circumscribed by 
indispensjable conditions. 

But in the second place, remark, if you please, 
that it does not follow from the principles laid down 
in this discourse that mere contact with the Body of 
Christ will necessarily impart spiritual life. 

Here follows an extempore exhortation to the hear- 
ers to work out their salvation with fear and trem- 
bling, to avail themselves of all the privileges and 
graces vouchsafed in the Church to make their sal- 
vation sure. 


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