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Full text of "The peasant preacher : memorials of Mr. Charles Richardson, a Wesleyan evangelist, commonly known as the "Lincolnshire Thrasher""

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Commonly known as the Lincolnshire Thrasher. 




How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of 
him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace ; 
that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth 
salvation ; that saith unto Zion, Thy God rcigueth. 
ISAIAH lii. 7. 

iLanboit : 




























THIS Fourth Edition of the Peasant Preacher, 
now issued, is the same in all respects as the First 
Edition, excepting that it is less loaded with cor 
respondence, and is minus the Itinerary : reduc 
tions which many will regard as no detriment to 
the work. 


October ttli, 1877. 


THE gallery of Biographical Portraits possessed 
by the YVesleyan Church is already wealthy ; and 
yet its treasures are continually increasing, a fact 
which cannot be recognised without gratitude to 
God, and great satisfaction on the part of all who 
pray for the prosperity and perpetuation of a living 
Christianity; for no better proof can be supplied 
that God is still in the midst of His people, than 
that when a standard-bearer fainteth other holy, 
zealous, self-denying men are raised up to grasp 
the falling banner, and bear it on to further victories. 
Wealth of this sort is wealth indeed, and the more 
of it the better. And may there ever be such 
accessions to it as those which have been supplied 
during the last five and twenty years. 

That the unpretending peasant-preacher of 
Tetford should be proposed for a place in this 
gallery of renown will not be objected to by those 
who admit the claims of great personal merit, and 
who earnestly desire to promote entire personal 
consecration to the service of God, and to witness 
the conversion of multitudes of sinners. The crying 
want of the times is men of Charles Kichardson s 
stamp ; they are wanted everywhere, in towns and 
villages, schools and pulpits, in philanthropic enter 
prises, and in all aggressive religious movements. 
Many things requisite for the accomplishment of a 
great spiritual work in the world are undoubtedly 
possessed by the Wesleyan and other Churches in 


the present day ; and only let men of much personal 
sanctity and power with God go forth to speak 
with the enemies in the gate, and the battle is the 
Lord s ! Jehovah-nissi will speedily lead His hosts 
to the conquest of the world for Christ. And this 
volume is sent forth with the hope and prayer that 
some may be stirred up, while they gaze upon the 
portraiture it contains, to emulate the piety and 
devotedness of the fallen soldier of the Cross, the 
story of whose life it tells. 

The labour of preparing these Memoirs has been 
considerable, but it has been a means of grace ; and 
if those who read are only spiritually refreshed, 
and stimulated to the maintenance of a holy life, 
the toils and risks of publication will be sufficiently 

Respecting the form in which Mr. Hichardson s 
labours are presented to the public, it may just be 
said, that the simplest has been deemed the best, and 
the most likely to inspire confidence ; his own free 
and artless communications to her who shared so 
/argely in all his sympathies and aspirations, furnish 
a more condensed and accurate representation of his 
achievements than could be otherwise supplied, 
and serve to reveal the man, his motives, manner of 
life, and extraordinary usefulness, better than if 
they had been melted down and cast into some 
other shape. 

Many friends have afforded valuable assistance, 
and a few of them are respectfully mentioned in the 
body of the Memoirs : to these, and others whose 
names do not appear, and particularly to the Rev. 
Rob ert Bond, the Rev. Henry Richardson, Mr. 


Gough, and Mr. Coates, the most sincere thanks are 
here presented for their kindness. 

In conclusion, it is due to Mrs. Eichardson and 
her family to say, that they have laid all who may 
read this book with profit under personal obliga 
tions, by the readiness with which they have co 
operated with the writer, and the cheerfulness with 
which they have supplied everything in their 
possession likely to contribute to the interest and 
completeness of the volume. 

J. E. C. 


December 15th, 1865. 



Goodness and greatness Great and gracious men 
Good men great benefactors British peasants 
"Where God finds great men The Lincoln 
shire peasantry Methodism in the Fen country 

]V[ r . Richardson s birthplace Parentage and 

family connections An unjust tradesman- 
Filial piety and its rewards The stuff a boy is 
made of Different kinds of schools Education 
with or without schools Self-education and 
the home school What household religion can 
do Consequences of neglecting it A pair of 
northern farmers Tennyson the poet God s 
providence at the statutes Rustic youth at 
a fair Tetford A Methodist Tetf ord farmer 
The fear of the Lord in youth The Rev. Zach. 
Taft Mrs. Taft A Tetford revival Matthew 
Cunningham, of Scartho Mr. Fox A plough- 
boy seeking God s pardon A Bethel in a bed 
room Class-meetings the place for new converts 
A well-disposed youth improved Talking of 
Jesus by the way Not all gold that glitters- 
Married, and mended or marred for life Ann 
Smith s conversion Charles and his Bible 
Lines on marriage, by Massinger . . . 17 4 i 



A man worthy of honour Something better than 
genius How a man s fortune is of his own 
making Seventeen years of silence Mr. 
Bourne, of Ashby Puerorum Good manners of 
a Methodist peasant Methodism amongst 
cottagers A virtuous peasantry a nation s joy 
The last of the Lincolnshire thrashers Mr. 
Andrew Meikle, of 1785 Hood s labouring men 
A jack of all trades A clergyman s testimony 
Mr. Barton, of Sutton A working man seek 
ing knowledge Eeligion and mental culture 
Dr. Adam Clarke A Christmas pentecost Mr. 
Austin, of Louth A midnight prayer-meeting 
Mr. Eichardson attains entire sanctification 
Eesults of being filled with the Spirit How to 
mend old Methodists Was made a class-leader 
Why class-meetings are unpopular First 
thoughts about preaching Zeal for the salva 
tion of sinners A clergyman holding prayer- 
meetingsMethodism and Sunday-schools A 
well-spent Sabbath at home Value of a chapel 
near home Many ways of usefulness First 
appearance in the pulpit Mr. Appleyard, of 
Tetford Success of Mr. Eichardson s first 
sermon A Methodist preacher s credentials 
Becomes an accredited local preacher Happy 
death of a young master Thrashing exchanged 
for wool-winding Good servants and good 
masters Lines by Pollok .... 45 73 


Ministers working for their living Methodism and 
laymen Usefulness of local preachers Pay for 
preaching Love for Wesleyan ministers The 
physical labours of local preachers Thrashing 



and thinking Mr. Good, of Great Grimsby 
Working overtime for God A slop surplice for 
barn preaching Never tired A preacher for 
peasants His first black coat A peasant God s 
ambassador A farmhouse midnight meeting 
A Tetford love-feast A prophet honoured at 
home Rising popularity as a preacher Notes 
of an awakening sermon Preaching toils and 
illness Care of Providence ia time of sickness 
A sceptical doctor s good advice A visit to 
Gayton-le-wolds How to leave a blessing behind 
you How to deal with boys Religion connected 
with business Wool-winding and winter labours 
None of the best potatoes The value of a 
good name Aiming at a high mark Lines by 
Beaumont and Fletcher .... 74 Co 


Enthusiasm First labours of an itinerant evangelist 
Instances of usefulness Some striking con 
versions Ecclesiastical irregularities Prudent 
administration of discipline Exceptional cases, 
and what they mean Anxious for Divine guid 
ance Personal qualifications for usefulness 
How to grow in knowledge The Rev. George 
Cubitt Mr. Wesley s round preachers Early 
characteristics of an evangelist Dr. Bunting 
Natural and artistic rhetoric Becomes a 
speaker at missionary-meetings Lincolnshire 
missionary contributions An honourable fel 
lowship Increasing popularity Opens many 
new chapels The way to get a good collection 
Sermons for special occasions Prayer the 
source of pulpit power Cowper s praying 
preacher 96113 



First labours as an evangelist at Grimsby in 1836 
Flourishing state of the Grimsby circuit subse 
quently Its material and financial progress 
Good news for a Methodist wife An old friend s 
testimony A voyage on the Huruber Waltham 
chapel opened Great prosperity in the Spilsby 
circuit Large accession of members in 1839 
Binbrook in the Market-Rasen circuit Begins 
to labour in the Boston circuit Large in 
crease in the societies there Formation of the 
Waiufleet circuit Details of good done at 
Boston Sermons for the relief of the starving 
Irish Mr. Eobert Hubbert Estimate of Mr. 
Richardson What a preacher ought to be 
A Pauline preacher, by Cowper . . 114 123 


True soldiers of the Cross always victorious- 
Success in the Barton-upon-Humber circuit 
Conversions at East Halton Prayer-meeting 
scenes A farmer and Noah s ark A widow 
and her three children Over a hundred at the 
penitents bench The praying gardener 
Labours in Cambridgeshire Mr. Coates, of 
Laceby The haunted house Opening of New 
port chapel, Lincoln Revival at Harby Lin 
coln circuit in 1842 Evangelists baptized with 
fire Labours in 1843 Report of his sudden 
death A ten weeks tour A minister and his 
wife in tears A visit to London The Queen s 
procession Service at Vauxhall Chapel The 
anointed unlettered preacher Pollok s wise 
man 124143 

A ministry full of Christ Widespread work, and 



always at it Irregular preachers Goes into 
the West of England Early railway travelling 
Tiverton and its people Death of Mrs. Bond 
Letter to Eev. E. Bond Souls saved at Tet- 
ford A living sacrifice Home attractions 
Hessle near Hull A blacksmith and his wife 
converted Permanent results of his labours- 
Seventy sound conversions Strong in the Lord 
in 1847 Long-Sutton A Gedney farmer s 
daughter Eedditch needle-makers saved 
Preaching and wool-winding At Nottingham- 
Medical man converted Mr. Carter s criticism 
The unpretending countryman . . 144 165 


The political earthquake of 1848 The Horncastle 
New Year s services Visits twenty -five circuits 
in a year Taken unwell at Eotherham Very 
happy in affliction Ashby-de-la-Zouch Asiatic 
cholera in 1849 People poisoned with bad water 
Connexioiial dissensions of 18i9 The peasant 
preacher a peace-maker Eesisting tempting 
offers Derby Methodism blighted A Christian 
Caleb at Leicester A Wesleyan local preacher s 
influence Thompson s Pastor s Prayer 166173 


Cornwall in 1851 Crowds at Eedruth An aged 
sinner saved The Tinners in broadcloth 
Overmuch noise in public worship Eeturns 
home with joy Sick at sea Excessive toils 
Is taken ill at Mirfield Mr. and Mrs. Wilson 
A vision in the bedroom Abounding consola 
tionsWorking himself well in Bedfordshire 
Happy work in Leeds Eeturns to Cornwall 
Camborne School anniversary Cornish pecu- 



liarities Work worth a shilling a day St. 
Just, and shouts of joy Accident at Bodmin 
Eeligious susceptibility The Evangelist s 
Song, by Gough 179195 


Ministerial success accounted for A wider field of 
usefulness in 1852 South Wales The Reverend 
Charles Richardson Fruits across the Atlantic 
The Eev. Thomas Williams Bullarook Forest, 
Australia Mr. J. Buckley, of Ohio Sermon at 
Staley bridge Starting the year 185i Journey 
in a carrier s cart Religion on the road Sud 
den illness at Laceby Sudden death of Dr. 
Beaumont Collections for Missions at Hum- 
berstone Beelsby and Hatcliffe A prisoner for 
two months Visits Epworth The Lancaster 
Gazette Work at Worksop Souls saved at Bin- 
brook Conversions at Biddings Preaches to 
two thousand at Boston A fortnight in Cum 
berland Nenthead lead miners Large increase 
in the Alston circuit Another newspaper tes 
timonyWorking off illness Rev. T. O. Key- 
sell Success at Market Rasen in 1856 Blessed 
work at Ringley, and round about Congleton 
A Roman Catholic and his wife saved 
Jerusalem the Holy, by Gough . . 196215 


Effects of Wesley s preaching Worn down but 
working hard Labours in Hull in 1857 A ship 
wrecked captain Six hundred saved in three 
months Family prayer at Ratcliffe Bridge- 
Numbers saved at Dunstable An annuity se 
cured for him Reasons for providing it In 
crease of physical infirmities Second visit to 
Hull Kingston chapel crowded Rotherham 



Eight fine young men saved Testimony Ly the 
Rotherham, &c., Advertiser Uninjured by lauda 
tionA fulsome chapel-keeper s rebuff Mas- 
silon and Louis XIV. Sheffield Extraordinary 
times at Stockport Unwell again at Laceby in 
1858 Bronchitis, but happy in God The glean 
ings at Dunstable Deeply interesting chapel 
scene Hundreds brought to God Christ s 
Ambassador, by Cowper . . . 216239 


Wesley s way of preaching Fishing for men at 
Stockport Stability of the converts Five 
thousand in one Sunday-school Altar-rail filled 
with anxious seekers A leading infidel affected 
Big, stout men weeping The great want of 
the Church Gems for a crown London again 
Southwark quarterly meeting testimony- 
Death of Eev. T. Dove A Kensworth ghost 
A clergyman s hostility overruled Visits Brigg, 
Bourne, Boston, and Bingham Success at Shef 
field and Buxton Lime-pit men broken down 

The first time in Rochdale Shut up at home 

unwell Woman s tears of gratitude Scores 
saved at Stockport Preaches for Eev. W. J. 
Tweddle Fruit-gathering at Armley North 
ampton recollections by Mr. Berry An ancient 
Spartan ceremony A backslider recovered- 
Five weeks labours in London Preaches for 
Eev. J. Lomas in City-road Spitalfields chapel 
An actress converted Twenty penitents at 
Eadnor-street school London Sunday markets 
The Christian Herald, by C. Wesley 240-2G4 


Tha Methodist way the right way Winter illness 
in 1860 At other work than preaching- 




Obedient to his marching orders The county 
of Kent Fig trees and tap roots Divine pro 
videnceFirst visit to Sittingbourue Prayer 
answered for a hop-planter Dr. Bunting on his 
death-bed A surprise at Great Terrington In 
Southwark chapel again Dr. Jobson Saved 
just in time Scores saved at Eadnor-street 
Shouts of glory at Spitalfields His seventieth 
birthday Following the Lord wholly Sinners 
broken down at Barking The Eev. G. Whit- 
field s Elegy/ by C. Wesley . . . 265280 

Eipening like autumnal fruit The former times 

not the best A great grief never unveiled The 

trial of faith precious His natural force abated 
The Bible very precious Wednesbury society 
in a good state A bad cold caught at Boston 
The opening of Sittingbourne chapel His only 
travelling breakdown Mode of peasant travel 
lingDeath of a young rake His last winter s 
retreat Louth aggregate meeting Avidity for 
reading in old age Jubilee of the missionary 
society His first missionary speech at Huttoft, 
in 1835 His last at Saltfleetby, in 1864 The 
thirteenth time at Teasley Old converts at 
Scamblesby The Eev. H. Eichardson-The 
last sermons he preached Prepared for sudden 
death Eminent ministers who were taken like 
Moses Fatally struck in the morning watch 
His last words Pilgrims crossing the river 
His funeral Widespread expressions of sorrow 
Longfellow 281304 


!Tr. Richardson a local preacher Estimation in 
which he was held His character by the Eev. 


Eobert Bond Devotedness to his work Why 
so successful Peculiarities of his preaching 
His energetic faithfulness His passion for 
saving souls His constant and single aim 
Diligence and power in prayer Was an 
eminently good man An Israelite indeed 
Sketch by the Eev. P. Fowler How he was 
taught of God Adorned with many graces 
The Eev. M. Jubb s estimate The Eev. James 
Grose s testimony The Eev. J. H. Walker s 
A genuine revivalist The Eev. Joseph Midgley s 
The Eev. James Findlay s One of the great 
hearts Edward Corderoy, Esq. Dr. Smith- 
Benjamin Gough, Esq. A man of one book- 
How to preach Christ Two talents well used 
A staunch Methodist What the present times 
require ....... 305-322 


Notes of one of the earliest sermons by Mr. 
Eichardson ....... 323328 


Notes of a sermon by Mr. Eichardson a fortnight 
before his death ...... 328337 

Epitaph in Tetf ord chapel ..... 337 
In Meinoriam, by Benjamin Gough . . 338310 





Nothing can make a man truly great but being truly 
good, and partaking of God s Holiness. Henry. 

WHICH is the best Goodness or Greatness ? better 
or worse, greatness is almost universally wor 
shipped ; and multitudes care nothing about good 
ness, if they may only secure greatness for them 
selves and their friends. The ambitious and 
worldly-minded mother of Zebedee s children 
brought her two sons to Christ and said : Grant 
that these may sit, the one on Thy right hand, and 
the other on the left, in Thy kingdom. But the 
Saviour sharply reproved her blind ambition, say 
ing : Ye know not what ye ask. Nor do they 
evho follow her example. The people who crave 
liter greatness, regardless of goodness, know 
nothing of the import of their wishes. Give them 
fvhat they want, and the gift is their ruin. Which 
.s the best ? is a question we all do well to ponder 


before we grasp at greatness. Mind not high 
things. Pride goeth before destruction, and a 
haughty spirit before a fall. The wings of Icarus 
are but the instruments of self-destruction to the 
simpletons who try to soar away upon them. And 
many a one has found, That better it is to be of an 
humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the 
spoil with the proud. Greatness is not goodness ; 
and is too often found hostile and destructive to 
virtue. I will exalt my throne above the stars of 
God, said a great man j but the saying was like 
the sealing of his doom. Greatness may dazzle and 
triumph for the hour, but goodness shall survive it, 
and shine forth as the brightness of the firmament, 
and as the stars for ever and ever. True greatness 
is always sustained by moral goodness, and where 
goodness is wanting the greatness is factitious and 
ruinous. Great goodness is true greatness in the 
sight of the Lord. And the more matured in moral 
virtue and personal holiness men become, the more 
they resemble the humanity of the Son of God. 
Charles Wesley was unquestionably right when he 
sung : 

The Christian he alone is wise, 
The Christian he alone is great 

The men who have always been honoured by God 
were chiefly distinguished for their great goodness. 
The giants in the church of the olden time were 
eminently holy men ; and their greatness and use 
fulness arose altogether out of their godliness. 
When unfaithful to grace, they were shorn of their 
strength ; but prevailing with God, they prevailed 
also with men, Their inspiration nerc-r made them 


scientific j and although innocent of the philoso 
phies of modern times, yet being filled with great 
goodness and the Spirit of God, they were the 
mighty leaders of human thought and action ; 
controlled the destinies of empires, and proved 
themselves to be the greatest benefactors, patriots, 
and philanthropists the world has ever seen. Great 
personal goodness, nourished and sustained by a 
close walk with God and a living faith in Christ, 
is itself a sori of inspiration, giving a vigorous, 
healthful action to man s entire nature, repressing 
inward evil, stimulating wholesome activity, 
guiding judgment, enlarging useful information, 
supplying the best of motives, and thoroughly 
furnishing unto all good works. Men of God 
have been raised up in modern times and in our 
own days, who have seemed to tread upon the 
heels of the noble army of prophets and apostles, 
saints and martyrs, who laid the foundations of 
that glorious structure of which Jesus Christ is 
Himself the chief Corner Stone. And both suc 
cessors and forerunners have been alike distin 
guished in many cases, by the absence of some of 
those qualifications deemed most essential by men 
of the world. But, strong in the Lord and in the 
power of His might, they have achieved glorious 
results ; conferred immortal benefits upon mankind ; 
and heroically won for themselves a niche and a 
name in the annals of the church, which will excite 
the admiration of posterity and their gratitude to 
God, when pyramids exist no more. 

The subject of this Memoir was an honest, 
working man, born to toil, of the peasant class a 

B 2 


class of which Great Britain may be justly proud. 
To the end of his life he bore the stamp of the class 
to which he belonged ; and even guarded its dis 
tinctive marks with jealousy, as though he gloried 
in the fact that he and his were a race of British 
peasants. The well-merited popularity which for 
many years he enjoyed, and the great and growing 
usefulness of his life and labours, must all be at 
tributed to the grace and blessing of God. He was 
emphatically a good man; and might have said with 
the ancient Hebrew peasant king: Thy gentle 
ness hath made me great. 1 Charles Richardson was 
a God-made man. God found him where He found 
David, and Amos, and the fishermen of Galilee, and 
a host of others ; and where He will ever find men 
to work with while the world stands. There is a 
freshness, originality, vigour and freedom from con 
ventional restraints to be found in the peasantry 
of most countries which, when sanctified by the 
Holy Ghost, render particular individuals specially 
adapted to accomplish great movements for God, 
in the Church and the world. When the Son of 
God appeared upon earth He passed by the upper 
ten thousand, and wrapped Himself in the form of 
a humble, Jewish peasant ; and practically demon 
strated that God employs the weak things of this 
world to confound the things which are mighty, 
and base things of the world; and things which 
are despised, yea, and things which are not, to 
bring to nought things that are, that no flesh 
should glory in His presence. 

Lincolnshire can boast as fine a peasantry as 
the world contains : for the most part robust, well 


formed, muscular, patient, industrious, well-be 
haved, sensible, and we trust becoming increasingly 
moral and religious. The Lincolnshire of the 
present day is altogether a different country to 
what it used to be a hundred years ago. Scientific 
drainage, and other agricultural improvements, 
have converted its fens and marshes into valuable 
estates; and where miasma and ague formerly 
spread their deadly wings for hundreds of square 
miles, there large populations now find happy, 
healthful homes. Villages and well-stocked farm 
steads, schools, and places of worship, show the 
reflecting visitor that these agricultural districts 
have fully kept pace in the march of improvement 
with the manufacturing portions of the empire. A 
few years ago, a stranger travelling outside the 
coach from Spilsby to Boston, said to his friend at 
the end of the journey : Before I go back I must 
see the Fens. But when told that he had come 
right through them, was surprised, and unwilling 
to believe that the beautiful, well-fenced, fruitful 
fields, on both sides of the road he had travelled, 
were all that remained of the old Fens of Lincoln 
shire. The peasantry of the county are thoroughly 
English, and have not been marred to the same ex 
tent as in some other counties by foreign importa 
tions. They are also downright Protestant; and 
possess a large amount of sturdy independence and 
self-reliance ; fostered no doubt by the local cus 
toms and manner of life peculiar to the county. 
Methodism has taken a firm hold upon the people 
of Lincolnshire. Its ministers were the first to 
labour amongst the dwellers in the fen country; 


and not a few of them, and their wives and children, 
died of agues and fevers, contracted during their 
unacclimatized toils. And whilst the country has 
increased in population and gradually become more 
and more healthy, they have laboured with in 
creasing success ; and there is no part of the world 
where lovelier scenes may be witnessed every Sab 
bath than in many parts of Lincolnshire at the 
present day. 

About three miles and a half from Horncastle 
(the ancient Bannovallum of Koman times) is the 
pleasantly situated village of Fulletby. The popu 
lation has never been more than three hundred; 
and is wholly agricultural. Seventy years ago it 
was probably not very different in appearance to 
what it is at present. It is chiefly composed of low, 
thatched cottages ; and in one of these, standing a 
little back from the main road, Charles Richardson 
was born on the llth of December, 1791, the year 
in which the Eev. John Wesley finished his course 
and entered his heavenly reward. Charles s father 
was a steady, industrious, labouring man, a member 
of the Wesleyan Methodist Society. His mother 
died a few months after his birth, leaving two other 
sons and a davighter, all veiy young. Two years 
afterwards his father married again, and found a 
mother for his children who was regarded by 
Charles with affection and respect to the end of 
her days. Two of the children died very soon after 
the marriage ; and the other, when he grew up to 
be a young man, in obstinate disobedience to his 
father s wishes, enlisted for a soldier, served and 
fought in foreign lands during the French war, and 


ultimately ended his days in peace and comfort, not 
far from his birth-place, many years before his dis 
tinguished brother. Old Mr. Kichardson died at 
the advanced age of eighty-two, in the house of his 
affectionate son, where he had resided for many 
years. He never rose higher than the station in 
which he was born; he was a stalwart, healthy, 
skilful, industrious man, and by diligence and fru 
gality not only provided for his family, and lived 
in humble comfort, but managed to save a sum of 
money which he hoped would provide a main 
tenance in the decline of life. In this respect how- 
however he was painfully disappointed ; an un 
righteous tradesman in the village of Tetford 
induced him when far advanced in years to entrust 
him with the amount of his savings, promising 
interest, and giving him the security of his note of 
hand ; but shortly afterwards became a bankrupt, 
leaving him in hopeless poverty, and without a 
friend in the world to help him, except his exem 
plary and only son ; and but for his assistance he 
would probably have been driven to the necessity 
of seeking shelter in the parish workhouse. Pre 
vious to this calamity his second wife had died in 
the Lord, after maintaining a consistent Christian 
character for many years. Charles was married at 
the time and had two children of his own to pro 
vide for ; he had gone to reside at Hagworthing- 
ham, a few miles from Tetford, but as soon as he 
heard of the calamity he hastened to comfort the 
old man ; and proposed to come and reside with 
him, engaging, that as long as he was able to work 
his father should never want ; and for the next 


twelve years, Charles was a father to his father ; 
cherished him in feebleness, and provided every 
comfort for him with cheerful filial tenderness to 
the end of his days. His own means were always 
very limited, and the utmost thrift and caution 
were necessary on his part to make ends meet. 
But Godliness with contentment is great gain. 
With laudable sensitiveness he shrunk from the 
thought of his father becoming in any degree de 
pendent upon public charity, and was thankful to 
God that he had health and opportunity to help 
him in his old age. A retributive providence never 
fails to reward filial piety ; and Charles lost nothing 
by his kind and dutiful conduct. He had a rich 
recompense in his own bosom to the end of life, and 
special tokens of the Divine favour in his own 
worldly circumstances, especially as old age came 
on ; which the writer of this narrative may be 
excused for regarding as another illustration of the 
reliability of the promise connected with the fifth 

Young Charles was taught to make himself use 
ful, and to earn something towards his maintenance 
at a very early age. He was never much expense 
to his father, healthy and strong and willing to 
work, he was soon worth more than his meat for 
the assistance he rendered in farm labour. School 
days he had none ; his were all work days. The 
little education he got was obtained when the work 
of the day was done. During the long dark evenings 
of one winter he attended a night school in Ful- 
letby, for which his father paid five shillings ! And 
this was all the schooling and all it cost, that ever 


fell to his lot during his life ! Will you mark that, 
young reader, and think of what it suggests ! You 
belong to a different class of society, and are amply 
provided for in every respect. Schooling you have 
to repletion ; and school bills from twenty to 
eighty pounds a year are cheerfully met by kind 
parents, anxious for your welfare and advancement. 
But will you ever do as well in the world as the 
Lincolnshire peasant boy ? Great advantages ought 
to lead to great results ; but unhappily they don t 
always. Indeed it altogether depends upon the 
stuff a boy is made of as to whether he gets on or 
not. There is a way, and a tolerably easy one too, 
to secure an honourable position in life, as you may 
see from this narrative, no matter how lowly 
people are born, or however great the difficulties 
they have to encounter. Only let them be good, 
and live in the fear of the Lord, and steadily 
attend to the duties of the passing hour; and 
though they may never rise to wealth and dis 
tinction, they shall be happy and respected all 
their days: shall climb the ladder Jacob saw, and 
ultimately stand upon its topmost rail, and gain a 
station in the skies. 

There are several different kinds of schools: 
there is one at home ; another in the streets ; and 
another in the place of business. Young people are 
always learning something, good or bad. All 
external influences which act upon the mind, are 
continually training and forming habits and ideas 
which show themselves in after-life. If knowledge 
is not communicated by paid preceptors, the 
thirsty mind satiates itself somehow. The foun- 


tains where it drinks are sometimes poisoned ; but 
the providence of God which specially guards the 
children of the pious poor, leads them to fountains 
of living water, and under most unfavourable 
circumstances prepares them for a life of useful 
ness. It is astonishing what eminence some men 
have attained without the help of a schoolmaster. 
John Bunyan was a tinker s son, and was never 
taught anything beyond simple reading and 
writing. Shakespeare s father could not write his 
name, and his own education, by a schoolmaster, 
was as limited as Bunyan s. The celebrated anti 
quarian William Hutton, was sent to work in a 
silk mill at Derby for twelve hours a day, when 
only seven years of age, and never had any school 
ing afterwards. Robert Burns the poet, was 
chiefly indebted to fire-side lessons given by his 
own poor father, when the toils of the day were 
done. William Stone, a celebrated mathematician, 
who died in 1768, when asked by the Duke of 
Argyle how he had come by his knowledge, said : 
A servant of yours taught me to read when I was 
eight years old ; and does any one need to know 
anything more than the twenty-four letters, in 
order to learn anything else that one wishes ! 
Gifford, the cobbler s boy of Ashburton, Devon 
shire, could get neither schooling nor books, nor a 
farthing candle to read by ; but he borrowed a 
copy of Euclid and studied it by fire-light, lying 
upon his back on the hearth-stone so as to catch a 
glimmer from the grate ; and subsequently became 
one of the greatest literary men of his age. Talk 
about the pursuit of knowledge under difficulties ! 


They used to pursue it that way fifty years 
ago ; but the former difficulties are wonderfully 
diminished in the present day. Self-educated men 
are always remarkable men. Some of the best 
preachers the Wesleyan Methodists have ever had, 
have been to a great extent self-educated ; and 
with all the valuable advantages of the excellent 
schools everywhere established now-a-days, self- 
education must still be inculcated upon old and 

The home school in which young Eichardson 
was trained until he was about twelve years of age, 
was just such as Methodist life in a Lincolnshire 
cottage may be supposed to supply. There was a 
Bible and Hymn-book in the house, and both were 
well read. These with the Pilgrim s Progress, 
Wesley s Sermons, two or three choice biographies, 
and a number of religious tracts composed the 
family bookstore. A few homely pictures on the 
walls suggested ideas of the great work of the 
world s redemption. There was daily family 
prayer. The Sabbath was a day of rest and 
worship. Early to bed and early to rise, was a 
rule enforced by a sort of necessity, as well as 
thrift and temperance. Out-of-door toil, and plain 
food, promoted health and hardihood. And the 
mind thrown upon her own resources, and acted 
upon by such surroundings, was educated after a 
fashion. And if the exterior nature was left a little 
rough and unconventional, habits and purposes 
were formed of the greatest importance for after 
life. So young Charles grew up and God blessed 
him. He worked hard by day and slept sound by 


night, loved both play and reading, was not with 
out boyish faults ; but withal, was good and kind 
in a lad-like way, and so the years of his boyhood 
passed. When about thirteen or fourteen years of 
age, he was hired by a respectable farmer in the 
neighbourhood, and went to reside in his house ; 
and during the following five or six years was 
engaged in the service of other employers with 
whom he resided. 

No one can tell the inestimable value of house 
hold religion ; or how abundantly beneficial it is to 
the inmates of courts and cottages alike. Peasants 
and princes are equally blessed and elevated by its 
hallowing influence. Children and servants be 
come an honour and a recompense to those who 
maintain it. Nothing in the world is so likely to 
promote the welfare and improvement of the work 
ing classes as family prayer, the sanctification of 
the Sabbath, and the consistent observance of the 
duties of Christianity within the domestic circle. 
These things are worth all the schools in the 
kingdom, so far as concerns the formation of moral 
character, and a preparation for usefulness in after 
life. Education and public Schools shall have 
their due. Not a word of ours shall disparage 
them. By all means educate the people. Let the 
children of the labouring poor have a sound and 
thorough English education : it will do good to 
both body and soul. No one had more to say in 
praise of education than Charles Richardson, when 
in the vigour of his days he became its popular 
advocate. No one could lament more than he did 
the loss of early school days. But whilst educa- 


tion is very properly cried up, people need to be 
impressed with the superlative importance of house 
hold religion. Thank God ! The schoolmaster is 
abroad. But his labours are damaged and 
thwarted to a greater extent than can be told, by 
the neglect of parents to attend to religion at 
home. Owing to this, a first-class education is 
frequently thrown away upon young people ; 
while the humble offspring of an unpretending 
working man, who faithfully serves God in his 
cottage, turn out an honour to their species and a 
world- wide blessing. 

In the spring of the year 1811, when Charles was 
nearly twenty years of age, he entered the service 
of Mr. William Riggall, of Tetford, and to that 
circumstance may be attributed his conversion to 
God, and all the mercies and blessings which 
sprung out of it. Divine Providence wonderfully 
controls the events of human life, and very fre 
quently brings forth stupendous issues from appa 
rently trifling causes. And it was one of the 
crowning mercies of his life that God sent him to 
reside with the Methodist farmer of Tetford, just 
at this period. Had he been placed in such a god 
less household as that of Tennyson s Northern 
Farmer, * the very type of which was to be found 
in more places than one, not far from Tetford, he 

* The Poet Laureate is a native of Somersby, a small 
village about a mile from Tetford, and the Northern 
Farmer, one of his very striking effusions, must 
have been suggested by some type of character pro 
duced in that neighbourhood. A drive through the 
adjoining wild-looking Wolds, shows many a lonely farm 


might have been utterly undone for time and 
eternity. When a peasant youth enters the market 
place on the annual hiring day in search of an 
engagement for the next year, he has little else 
to guide him than the providence of God. And if 
ever that providence directed and controlled 
Charles Richardson, it was at the Horncastle 
Statutes, in the month of April, 1811, at which 
time, the promise was remarkably fulfilled in his 
case : I will bring the blind by a way that they 
knew not. 
The Statutes, commonly so called, but more 

house, where it is easy to imagine the Poet might find 
the speech, ignorance, and sensual ungodliness 
depicted in the following lines : 

Parson s a bean loikewoise, an* sittin ere o* my bed. 
" The Amoighty s a-taakin o you to issen, my friend," a 

An a towd ma my sins, an s toithe were due, an I gied 

it in bond ; 
I done my duty by un, as I a done by the lond. 

Do Godamoigbty knaw what a s doing a-taakin o mea ? 
I beant wonn as saws ere a bean an yonder a pea ; 
An Squoire ull be sa mad an all a dear a dear ! 
And I a rnonaged for Squoire come Michaelmas thirty 

But summun ull come ater mea mayhap wi is kittle o 

Huzzin an maazin the blessed fealds wi the divil s oan 


Gin I mun doy I mun doy, an loife they says is sweet, 
But gin I mun doy I mun doy, for I couldu abear to 

see it. 


properly the Statute Sessions, is an annual ser 
vants hiring and public fair, held in various 
places in the Northern Counties, in accordance 
with an Act of Parliament passed in the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth. When held in Horncastle, the 
streets are filled with masters and servants the 
greater part of the day ; and the usual accompani 
ments of a country fair fill the town with noise and 
dissipation. Not a little serious mischief is done to 
the morals of young people on these occasions ; and 
it is much to be desired that other and better 
methods of arranging between masters and servants 
should be adopted, so that these annual gatherings 
may be superseded altogether. Within the lasb 
few years laudable efforts have been made in some 
parts of Lincolnshire to accomplish this object, and 
rescue the young servant men and women from the 
excitements and temptations to which they are at 
such times exposed. Imagine the scene if you can, 
and look there : a crowd of young people dressed 
in Sunday clothes are chaffering and bargaining 
with well-to-do looking farmers. Charles Richard 
son is in the midst a young rustic every inch ; 
stout and well-proportioned, with a healthy, 
hearty countenance, his appearance recommends 
him, and it is not long before he is hired. His 
master that is to be. has just put the hiring 
penny (a shilling) into his hand ; and he engages 
to be at Tetford,* bag and baggage, and commence 
work within the space of a few days. 

* In the year 1772, Lang-horne Burton, Esq., of B;ig 
Enderby, near Horncastle, publishei a small poem 


The house and home of Mr. Eiggall presents at 
this time very much the appearance it did sixty 
years ago. It is a comfortable, ancient-looking 
dwelling ; stables, barn, and out-offices forming a 
quadrangle behind. For seventy or eighty years 
it has been in the occupation of the same family, 
and during the whole of that time it has been a 
house of prayer, and a place for the entertainment 
of Methodist ministers visiting the village, and 
continues so to the present day. Mr. William 
Eiggall, the present occupier, sustains for the time 
being the office of circuit steward, and, with the 
members of his family, labours to promote the 
work of God. Charles resided there two years, and 
was not a little indebted to his excellent master for 
the welfare, usefulness, and happiness of his after 
life. Mr. Eiggall was a member of the Wesleyan 
Society, and well knew, Abraham-like, how to 
command his children and his household after 
him to keep the way of the Lord. The domestic 

entitled, The Tetford Club, from which the following 

is an extract : 

Far to the North, where Lindsey props the skies, 
Embosom d in her mountains Tetford lies, 
Whose rustic bowers present secure retreats, 
From Winter s rigours, and from Summer heats, 
Where chaste simplicity through every part, 
Walks unattir d, and unseduc d by art. 
What ! though no proud historic annals trace 
Statesmen or heroes from this humble place, 
What ! though no legendary tales have given 
Martyrs or monk-made saints from hence to heaven, 
Full many a modern merit she displays, 
And white, as aro her hills, now rise her days. 


discipline which he maintained for many years in 
his family had much to do with the formation of 
the virtuous habits and excellent characters which 
distinguished his children and servants. As to his 
worldly position and circumstances, he might have 
been the very person described by Robert Bloom- 
field in his Farmer s Boy, as follows : 

An ample farm his generous master till d, 
"Who with peculiar grace his station fill d ; 
By deeds of hospitality endear d, 
Serv d from affection, for his wrath rever d : 
A happy offspring blest his plenteous board, 
His fields were fruitful, and his barns well stor d ; 
And fourscore ewes he fed, a sturdy team, 
And lowing kine that grazed beside the stream. 
Unceasing industry he kept in view, 
And never lacked a job for Giles to do. 

Charles and his master cherished a mutual 
2steem for each other to the end of their lives. 
A.nd his master s children who still survive, speak 
3f him as being at this time, a kind and genial 
routh, a good servant, upright and obliging, with 

hom it was a pleasure to be connected. 

At this period Charles was not yet a partaker of 
inverting grace, though he was unquestionably 
inder the influence of the fear of the Lord ; and 
*ras thereby preserved from youthful follies, and 
prepared to become better acquainted with the 
Guide of his youth. The fear of the Lord is the 
Beginning of wisdom ; and supplies positive proof 
hat the Holy Spirit is at work upon the heart. 
A.nd whose who look and long for the salvation of 
-oung people, ought gratefully to acknowledge the 


work of grace begun ; and by patient care and kind 
encouragements even as a nurse cherisheth her 
children, should seek to bring them to a know 
ledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. 

In the year 1808, the Eev. Zachariah Taft was 
appointed to the Horncastle Circuit ; and from the 
time he entered upon his work the cause of God 
began to prosper to an unwonted extent. What 
are commonly called Kevivals, have been of fre 
quent occurrence amongst the Wesleyans of 
Lincolnshire. In no part of the Connexion has 
there been greater vitality and success associated 
with the labours of Methodist ministers, than in 
the county where the Wesleys were born. In the 
present day Lincolnshire enjoys an enviable pre 
eminence amongst the counties of England for 
morality, sobriety, intelligence, social comfort, 
freedom from crime and pauperism. How much the 
county owes to Methodism and revivals, it would 
not be easy to calculate ; but the Methodists of the 
present day may well be thankful to God for the 
commanding position they occupy in the towns and 
villages of the county ; and must never be forgetful 
of the religious . activity and earnestness of a 
former generation, which were the means employed 
by God in raising up out of the stones so many 
children unto Abraham. 

Mr. Taft was a holy, zealous, Methodist preacher, 
much owned of God wherever he went. His wife 
was an extraordinary woman, equally zealous and 
devoted as her husband ; wherever he ministered 
in holy things she was a most efficient fellow- 
labourer. Priscilla and Aquila were St. Paul s 


1 helpers in Christ Jesus. And Mr. and Mrs. Taft 
were fellow-helpers in Gospel-work for many years, 
in various parts of Great Britain. And the hand 
of the Lord was with them, and a great number 
believed and turned unto the Lord. A most 
blessed revival of religion commenced soon after 
they went to reside in Horncastle, and gradually 
spread throughout the circuit. The Rev. John 
Barrett, brother to Mrs. Taft, had been been one 
of the ministers six years previously, and during 
the period of his residence there, Mrs. Taft had 
visited Tetford and the neighbouring villages, and 
had been the instrument of much good, so that 
when her husband was appointed to the circuit, 
they found a people prepared for them of the Lord. 
The house of Mr. Riggall, with whom Charles 
resided, was at that time the head-quarters of 
Methodism in Tetford, and has continued such ever 
since. His family consisted of three sons and five 
daughters, with four servants, and several of them 
were stirred up to seek salvation while the 
showers of blessing were falling around. Five of 
the sons and daughters still remain adorning their 
Christian profession. At this time Charles was 
brought to full decision and gave his heart to God. 
It does not appear that his conversion was to be 
attributed to any particular instrumentality; in 
deed, he used to say that so far as he could recollect, 
it was entirely the result of the secret work of the 
Holy Spirit upon his soul. An unusual religious 
influence pervaded the minds of the people around 
him. Sermons were preached Sunday and week 
day calculated to alarm the careless, and recommend 


the acceptance of a present salvation. The unction 
of the Holy Spirit attended all the services of the 
sanctuary, and many of the inhabitants of Tetf ord 
and other villages became obedient to the faith ; 
and it would have been somewhat strange, if, with 
his previous training and preparation, Charles had 
not yielded in this day of gracious visitation. He 
was not converted suddenly, although in after-life 
he was a firm believer in the genuineness of sudden 
conversions, and was the means under God of 
bringing hundreds to cry out with the jailor of 
Philippi, What must I do to be saved ? 

He once related to his friend Mr. Carter, of 
Nottingham, the following circumstances connected 
with his conversion : 

Mr. Matthew Cunningham, a zealous, local 
preacher, who resided at Scartho in the Great 
Grimsby circuit, was in the habit of travelling 
about at certain seasons of the year preaching the 
Gospel in the villages around him, and sometimes 
going to a considerable distance from home. On 
one occasion he was made a great blessing to a 
Miss Fox, a young lady of property, who after a 
long affliction died happy in the Lord. Before her 
death she requested her father to settle a small 
annuity upon Mr. Cunningham, as an expression of 
her gratitude for leading her to the Saviour, and to 
j,enable him to devote his time more freely to the 
work in which he delighted. This was done, and 
ten shillings a week were secured to him for life. 
After this. Mr. Fox frequently went forth with the 
pensioner of his bounty, on his evangelical tours, 
taking him in his own conveyance. During one 


of their rounds they visited Tetford. A very graci 
ous influence was connected with the sermon Mr. 
Cunningham preached ; several persons were con 
verted j and Charles Richardson was present, a 
thoughtful, serious observer of all that transpired 
around him. After the service he was led to re 
flect and feel that with all his morality he needed 
conversion as much as any one. Light broke in 
upon his soul, and his sins became a burden in 
sufferable to be borne ; for many days he went 
about like one under sentence of death, carrying in. 
his breast day and night an appalling sense of the 
wrath of God ; his joyousness and natural buoy 
ancy of spirit fled, and the light-hearted youth, who 
usually went about his duties whistling or singing 
for very glee, was bowed down with unutterable 
distress ; and as he afterwards said, used to follow 
the plough day after day with many tears, crying 
to God for pardon as he walked over the furrows of 
the field. During these weeks of distress he-was a 
diligent attendant at chapel, saw many around him 
step into the liberty of the Gospel, and was much 
encouraged by the ministry of Mr. and Mrs. Taft, 
but was unable to lay hold upon the Saviour. His 
disposition was very diffident and retiring, and he 
concealed the secret workings of his heart ; but he 
did that which no one does in vain he often read 
his Bible and wrestled much in private prayer. 
Jacob-like he wept and made supplication at the 
throne of grace. One of Mr. Riggall s daughters 
well remembers how he used to retire to his bed 
room at night, much sooner than his fellow-servant 
who slept with him, that he might pour oufc his 


soul in pleading with God. Not long before he 
died, speaking of those days, he said: There is 
not a building in all Mr. Riggall s yard but I have 
prayed in it again and again. None who seek the 
Lord with all the heart can fail to find, and Charles 
at last found the pearl of great price in his own 
bedroom. Soon after his funeral the present Mrs. 
Eiggall led one of his sorrowing daughters to the 
apartment he used to occupy, and said : It was 
in this room that your father found peace with 
God. Charles Wesley s chains fell off in his bed 
room on Whit-Sunday, 1735, and a few days after 
wards he gave permanent expression to the ecstacy 
of soul he experienced on the occasion by com 
posing the beautiful hj mn containing these 

I rode on the sky, so happy was I, 

Nor envied Elijah his seat; 
My soul mounted higher in a chariot of fire, 
And the moon it was under my feet. 

And the Tetford plough-boy rode in that same 
chariot for many weeks after he had obtained a 
sense of the pardoning love of God. Using the 
language of his well-read Bible, he could say with 
the Psalmist Thou hast turned for me my 
mourning into dancing; Thou hast put off my 
sackcloth and girded me with gladness, to the end 
that my glory may sing praise to Thee and not be 
silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto 
Thee for ever. The bed-room has been a Bethel 
to many a seeker of salvation. It is a good place 
for communion with God. When a young man, 
shut out from all human excitements, retires to the 


seclusion of his bed-room to weep and pray for the 
pardon of sin, you may be sure he is not far from 
the kingdom of God. It was soon noised abroad 
that Charles was set at liberty, and many of the 
pious people around him rejoiced, and did all they 
could to encourage him and strengthen his hand 
in God. 

He was about twenty-one years of age at the 
time when he obtained like precious faith, and 
from that period to the end of his long pilgrimage 
he continued to adorn the doctrine of God our 
Saviour in all things. Like the youthful Josiah, 
he did that which was right in the sight of the 
Lord, and declined neither to the right hand nor to 
the left. His first step was to unite himself to the 
Methodist Society by going to class. And in con 
sequence of doing so, he was watched over, cared 
for, and instructed ; formed friendships and found 
companions amongst persons like-minded with 
himself, so that his heart became established with 
grace, and he went on his way rejoicing. To 
confess Christ by joining His people was no cross to 
him. His duty was a delight ; he was thoroughly 
in earnest, and commenced his religious course like 
one who intended to win the crown of life. Forty 
new members joined class in the village at the same 
time, or within a week or two. Most of them stood 
fast, a few subsequently wearied in well doing, 
some have died in the Lord, and some remain until 
this day and bear testimony as to the decision and 
diligence which distinguished Charles from the 
first. So far as moral conduct was concerned, there 
was not much difference to be seen in him, he had 


always been steady, upright, faithful, and obliging. 
One who knew him well, made the remark at the 
time of his conversion Grace had not much to 
do for him. And when relating his early history 
to a friend on one occasion, he said I never 
needed a deal doing at. Meaning that he had 
never needed much in the way of outward reforma 
tion. Inwardly he needed a great deal doing at, 
and felt it ; and mourned greatly over his own 
depravity of heart ; he had no confidence in the 
flesh, and cast himself upon Christ as a guilty, 
ruined sinner, saying : 

* Other refuge have I none, 
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee. 

Prom the time he received the peace of God 
into his heart, he continued diligently working 
out his own salvation, daily searching the Scrip 
tures, carefully avoiding all appearance of evil, 
faithfully discharging the duties of his station, and 
constant in the use of public means of grace ; but 
without any sort of pretentious display, and appa 
rently without exciting in others any particular 
expectation as to future usefulness in the church. 
He took his place in the village Society as a good 
young man, whom everybody liked for his amiable 
aad obliging manners, distinguished for strong 
common sense, and little beyond. 

About nine months after his conversion he left 
the service of Mr. Riggall, and engaged himself to 
Mr. Mager, of Greetham, who also was a member 
of the Wesleyan Society, and a respectable farmer 
ia that place. There he had the same religious 


I privileges as with his former employer, and was 
I esteemed and confided in as an excellent servant, 
I and a godly young man. Mr. Joseph Bell, of 
i Boston, a local preacher of many years standing 
and great personal worth, well remembers these 
I days ; he was then a farm servant at West Ashby, 
i and had obtained his master s permission one 
I Sabbath-day, to attend a lovefeast in the village of 
1 Fulletby. On his way there he overtook Charles 
Richardson going to the same place. Young Bell 
was just then under deep convictions for sin, and 
1 had been seeking the Lord for some weeks, in great 
i distress of mind. As they walked on together he 
| freely opened his heart to his acquaintance, and 
| told him all his doubts and fears. Charles heard 
him with great interest and sympathy, and told 
him in return his own experience, and how he had 
sought, and at length found a sense of the pardon 
ing love of God, and encouraged him to persevere, 
and lay hold by simple faith on the atonement of 
the Saviour. Bell was very much relieved and 
I strengthened by this conversation, and soon after 
I was enabled with the heart to believe unto 
| righteousness. 

Lovef easts and class-meetings are the delight of 

I newly-converted people. The new nature in- 

I stinc Lively cries out, Come all ye that fear God 

1 and I will tell you what He hath done for my soul. 

I Ar.d these means of grace admirably meet the 

I Asinings and demands of a believer in his first 

I love ; and indeed, the sympathies and necessities 

of a believer at any stage of his Christian progress. 

Charles attended many lovef easts in his youthful 


days ; but. strange to say, lie never found courage 
to speak in any of them until many years had past. 
His young acquaintances would rise and speak with 
confidence, but he remained in silence, held back 
by his diffidence ; and that, notwithstanding the 
urgency and remonstrances of his friends. It is 
not all gold that glitters ; and the history of this 
peasant youth, and others, supply striking illus 
trations of the correctness of the proverb. 

How it came to pass that he changed the service 
of Mr. Eiggall for that of Mr. Mager it is difficult 
to say ; but his doing so led to results of the 
greatest importance ; and whatever may have been 
the cause, the step was no doubt controlled by the 
providence of God for his good. In Mr. Mager s 
house he became acquainted with Ann Smith, one 
of the servants of the family ; and at the end of 
the year was united to her in wedlock. A more 
suitable person to become his wife could not have 
been found. A man is marred or mended for life 
when he is married ; but had any one possessing a 
prophet s ken been sent forth, as Abraham sent 
his confidential steward Eliezer to find a wife for 
Isaac, he could not have made a more judicious 
selection than what Charles was led, by the provi 
dence of God, to make for himself. How easy it 
would have been at "this time, to have given a 
totally different direction to his life. How many 
promising young ministers are crippled and spoiled 
by an ill-assorted marriage. Satan well knows how 
to extinguish a flaming zeal, and to silence a 
thundering eloquence. And alas ! how frequently 
he succeeds in reducing the ^ost gifted sons of the 


church to the position of a mere locum tenens. 
With such a life as Charles Richardson led for a 
quarter of a century after he began to preach, 
unless he had been blessed with a wife specially 
prepared for him, he must have been heavily 
burdened, and his Gospel labours seriously cramped 
and curtailed. But when people pray and patiently 
seek Divine guidance, Marriages are made in 
heaven. Charles did nothing without much 
prayer, and God heard him, and overruled his pur 
poses and projects for the accomplishment of His 
own will, and His youthful servant s future welfare. 
Ann Smith was awakened to feel her need of 
salvation, and was converted to God about the 
same time as Charles himself, and by the same 
instrumentalities, excepting that Mrs. Taft was 
more prominent in leading her to the Saviour. 
From her hands she received a note upon trial, 
admitting her as a probationer into the Methodist 
Society ; and from that time held on her way, 
with uniform steadfastness and consistency, until 
at length, full of years, ripe in grace and highly 
respected, she passed away to join her beloved 
companion in the skies. In her Charles Richard 
son ever found a loving, prudent, thrifty, pious 
wife ; sympathising with his objects, rejoicing in 
his successes, and ready to endure personal priva 
tions in order to promote his usefulness in the 
church. They were well mated and knew each 
other s worth ; Charles ever thought that no wife 
surpassed his own ; and she exulted in her husband, 
regarding him as her greatest earthly gift from 
God. As they stood before the hymeneal altar on 


their bridal day, they personally presented as fine a 
specimen of England s youthful peasantry, as is 
any where to be seen. They were married by the 
Rev. John Chislett, in the Parish Church of Hag- 
worthingharn, on the 14th June, 1814, and imme 
diately started housekeeping on their own account 
in the same village. 

I know the sum of all that makes a man a just man- 

Consists in the well choosing of his wife ; 
And then well to discharge it, does require 
Equality of years, of birth, of fortune : 
For beauty being poor, and not cried up 
By birth or wealth, can truly mix with neither. 




By humility and the fear of the Lord, are riches, 
honour, and life. Solomon. 

THE man who is the most worthy of honour and 
advancement is he who is faithful, contented, and 
diligent, whilst occupying an inferior position. 
The road to that kind of elevation which a good 
man may desire, lies through patient, persevering 
diligence, moral integrity, and a common-sense 
way of dealing with present circumstances. Look 
around, and you will soon see what a number of 
those whose names figure the foremost in the his 
tory of the past and present generation, arose from 
obscurity as deep as that in which Charles Richard 
son was born ; and yet became distinguished and 
celebrated in connection with religion, commerce, 
literature, politics, arts, and arms. Dr. Chalmers, 
who had much to do with young men, is reported 
to have said : I have seen enough of your geniuses 
and I don t want them ; give me a patient pains 
taking, plodding youth, that s the man to get on in 
the world. And those who are best acquainted 
with human nature know well that there is much 
more hope of a young man, gifted with strong com 
mon sense, good health, and habits of cheerful 
diligence, succeeding in any line of activity into 
which he may be providentially led, than of one 
who has the reputation of being a born geuius, or 


who supposes himself to be such. Young men. 
who start life with many advantages are in no 
small danger from self-indulgence, want of stimulus. 
to activity, and a disparaging estimate of their 
social inferiors ; and it often happens that long be 
fore the race of life is finished, the most unlikely 
competitors at the starting, far away out-distance 
the more favoured runners. Besides, Divine Provi 
dence always takes the part of the humble and 
pious youth, who perseveres in well-doing. God 
helps them who help themselves. His providence 
opens out their path, assists their endeavours, and 
crowns their exertions with success. In a sense, it is 
true enough to say, that a man s fortune is of his 
own making. Only that sense must recognize the 
special providence of God which orders the steps 
of a good man. He raiseth up the poor out of 
the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dung 
hill, to set him among princes, and to make them 
inherit the throne of glory. Humble, praying, 
hard-working young men, like Chaiies Richardson 
at the period of his marriage, are just the sort of 
men to make their way in the world, and secure for 
themselves all that was contained and shadowed 
forth in the marriage dowry which Achsah craved 
and got from her father Caleb, as the book of 
Joshua thus records : Give me a blessing, for 
thou hast given me a south land ; give me also 
springs of water. And he gave her the upper 
springs, and the nether springs. The advancement 
sometimes comes slowly. A period of discipline 
and preparation has to intervene, during which 
merit is tested and character is formed ; but come 


it will, and in the right time too ; God will magnify 
His word. But He will do it in such a manner as 
to stimulate the exercise of faith and patience. The 
fourteen years of servitude which Jacob spent in 
Padan-aram were years of wholesome discipline and 
preparation. The years of Joseph s captivity ia 
Egypt were the same. In both cases a noble 
destiny was held in reversion by Providence until 
the respective heirs were ripe enough, and ready 
for it ; and as soon as the right time came they 
were lifted into it, and continued there to the end 
of their days to glorify God. 

After Charles Richardson entered upon his 
married life, a period of seventeen years passed 
away before he began to manifest any particular 
aptitude for usefulness as a public speaker in the 
Christian church. Such a circumstance is of rare 
occurrence amongst Wesleyans ; nearly all the men 
who have risen to distinction as preachers in 
Methodism began to exercise their gifts in early 
youth. And the remark is often made, that if a 
man arrives at the meridian of life without mani 
festing those gifts peculiarly necessary for a public 
speaker, not much is ever to be expected from him. 
And there is not a little in connection with the 
church polity of the denomination, and the usual 
mode of working it, to warrant the observation. 
Methodism finds a place of usefulness for all within 
its pale ; it sets every one to work as soon as they 
are fit, and, in its zeal, sometimes before they are 
quite fit. A great number of lay-preachers are 
needed to supply the six or seven thousand pulpits 
it commands, and wherever pious and gifted young 


men can be found, they are sought up and en 
couraged to exercise their abilities. But although 
Charles was a most consistent member of Society 
for seventeen years, and distinguished all the time 
for deep and intelligent piety, a successful class- 
leader, and useful in various ways, yet he never 
could be induced to attempt to preach. He once 
informed a friend that he was twelve years meeting 
in Class before ever he opened his lips in public 
prayer. On the brother to whom this statement 
was made expressing surprise, and enquiring why 
it was so, he quietly replied, Why, no one thought 
me fit to do so, and I was of the same opinion, so I 
kept still. His natural diffidence was extreme, he 
was neither slothful nor reticent ; but was very 
modest and lowly, and entertained a mean opinion 
of his own abilities, with a high conception of the 
qualifications needed by those who appear in public 
as exponents of the mind and will of God. He was 
never wanting in zeal, but was always ready for 
every good work in a humble sphere ; from the 
first he desired to promote the salvation of those 
around him, and laboured to save souls in his own 
way, and not in vain. But he did not feel it his 
duty to begin to preach ; and yet when at length 
he did begin, he was honoured of God in a most 
extraordinary manner. 

From the year 1815 until 183i, Charles Richard- 
eon was in the service of one master: Mr. Stephen 
Bourne, of Ashby Puerorum,* a small hamlet about 

* A shby Puerorum, so called from an estate in the 
parish, which was bequeathed to tlie singing boys in 
Linco.n Cathedral. 


two and a half miles from Tetford. Mr. Bourne 
was the occupier of a large farm, and had a large 
family: he was a religious man, and having found 
a servant quite to his mind, he retained him in his 
service for nineteen years. During the greater 
part of that time Charles resided in Tetford, and 
walked the distance night and morning. 

His manner of life during this long period was 
entirely that of a sturdy, industrious, Lincolnshire 
peasant ; in nothing different from hundreds around 
him, except in those respects and features of 
character which a deep and earnest piety stamped 
upon him and his family. He became the father of 
a son and three daughters, was blessed with very 
good health, worked hard, lived frugally, and 
sought to glorify God by a diligent discharge of 
the duties connected with his station in life. The 
years flowed on with little or no change as to ex 
ternal circumstances. But he was happy and con 
futed, and proved that godliness is profitable unto 
ill things; and by being faithful in that which 
.3 least, he became gradually improved in character 
md qualifications for the great usefulness by which 
le was afterwards distinguished. 

On the garden gates of New College, Oxford, you 
nay read the motto in cast-iron letters: Manners 
nakyth man. And so they do, whether the man 
esides within the college gates, or elsewhere. 
3 rince or peasant, all the world over, Manners 
nakyth man. The manners of Charles Richardson 
vhile he was Mr. Bourne s servant, his personal 
>ehaviour, and how he conducted the affairs of his 
amily, present an interesting picture of peasant 



life. Mr. Bell, of Boston, who has been already 
mentioned, was present at the first missionary- 
meeting at which Mr. Eichardson ever spoke, and 
states that when he arose at the call of the chair 
man, he apologized for his appearance, and began 
by relating a little of his own personal history: 
stating that he was a plain, working man, who 
wished to do good to every one, so far as he was 
able ; that his usual mode of life for many years 
had been to rise about five o clock in the morning, 
spend a little time in reading the Bible and family 
prayer, and then proceed forth to his daily toil at 
Ashby : that in passing the houses on the road 
side, he seldom neglected to pray for the welfare of 
the families who resided in them, and sometimes for 
each individual of a particular family ; that from 
six to six, or from daylight to dark, he thrashed 
corn with the hand flail for Mr. Bourne ; and on 
his return journey at night, prayed for the people a 
salvation again whilst passing their dwellings, if 
walking alone. On arriving at his own cottage n 
Tetford, his wife was commonly waiting for him in 
the doorway with a cheerful greeting; and seldom 
failed to have a glowing fire with a boiling kettle, 
and in a few minutes a comfortable cup of tea. 
Attending some cottage prayer-meeting, or preach 
ing in the chapel, filled up part of the evening ; 
otherwise it was spent in reading-chiefly the 
Bible. Family prayer closed the day, and prepared 
for early rest. , 

What poets have sung about the 
Saturday Night it was his to realise, though 
probably he knew nothing of Robert Burns at the 


time. Thank God, such scenes as those which the 
Scottish bard so well described, are no mere fancy 
sketches or inappropriate representations of do 
mestic life in our own country. Similar scenes may 
still be met with in many an English cottage all 
over the land. Methodism has carried pure and 
undenled religion into many humble homes, both 
in large towns and rural districts,- and created 
under God scenes of social comfort and domestic 
purity and happiness, which the philanthropist may 
contemplate with encouragement and joy. May 
thsse be greatly multiplied. ! who that loves 
his country, will not join in the cotter poet s 
prayer, and cry to God for England, that she in all 
her counties, may possess the blessings which he 
asked for Scotland, when he said : 

Scotia ! my dear, my native soil ! 

For whom my warmest wish, to heaven is sent ! 
Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil, 
Be blest with health and peace and sweet content ! 

And ! may heaven their simple lives prevent 
From luxury s contagion, weak and vile ! 

Then howe er crown and coronets be rent, 
A virtuous populace may rise the while, 

And stand a wall of fire, around their much-loved Isle ! 

?or nineteen years Charles Richardson was Mr. 
Bourne s principal thrasher, and worked at that 
aborious employment with the hand flail six days 
t week for six months during the year. The desig- 
lation by which he was extensively known, The 
Lincolnshire Thrasher, arose from this, and he was 
lever ashamed of it. In public meetings in after- 



life he often acknowledged the goodness of God in 
raising him from the thrashing floor of the Ashby 
barn, to employ, like the prophet of old, a new 
sharp thrashing instrument having teeth, and work 
with it for a heavenly Master. In those days 
agricultural science was not developed as at present. 
Thrashing corn by machinery was very little known. 
That mighty revolutionize!-, the steam engine, was 
not yet heard snorting and puffing in the farm 
yard. The thrashing machine was invented by 
Mr. Andrew Meikle, an ingenious millwright of 
East Lothian, in Scotland, about the year 1785. 
Subsequent improvements, and the employment of 
steam as the working power, have made it during 
late years a great boon to agriculturalists; but 
strong prejudices delayed for a long time its general 
adoption, and both master and man were decidedly 
in favour of separating the chaff from the wheat 
by the use of the hand flail. A mighty change, 
however, has lately come over almost every one 
engaged in the cultivation of the soil ; steam is 
triumph ant > and floats its white banners in every 
hamlet in the land. There never will be another 
Lincolnshire thrasher ; Charles was one of the last 
of the race of thrashers. Henceforward steam will 
be almost omnipotent upon the farm, as elsewhere, 
and peasants will have to become skilled labourers 
to direct and control its energies. 

During one half the year, the flail was resigned 
for labours of a general and diversified nature ; and 
Charles was ever ready for whatever wanted doing; 
nothing came wrong to him ; he was skilful and 
.prudent, had a dexterous hand and a willing mind, 


and his master confided in him and made him ser 
vant of all work. 

A spade ! a rake ! a hoe ! 
A pickaxe, or a bill ! 

A hook to reap, or a scythe to mow, 
A flail, or what ye will 

The corn to thrash, or the hedge to plash. 
The market-team to drive, 

Or mend the fence by the cover-side, 

And leave the game alive. Hood. 
By turns he was thatcher, as well as thrasher, 
hedger and ditcher, whitewasher and woolwinder, 
shepherd and sheepshearer, butcher, gardener, and 
carpenter ; he ploughed the soil, sowed the corn, 
mowed the grass, toiled in the harvest field ; and 
finally was his master s counsellor and friend. For 
years he was chaplain to the family, and conducted 
household worship, morning and evening ; was 
greatly beloved by his fellow-servants and the 
junior members of the family ; and always con 
ducted himself with such gentleness and propriety 
towards every one, equals and superiors, as to rise 
in their estimation the longer they were acquainted 
with him. 

A clergyman of the Established Church, writing 
to a friend shortly after his death, bore the follow 
ing testimony to his personal worth, and the 
excellency of his character ; and in doing so sup 
plies an interesting picture of this period of his 
life : I remember him well, when more than forty 
years ago I used to visit as a boy of ten or eleven 
years of age, at Ashby Puerorum. I liked nothing 
better than to go into the old barn when he was 
thrashing and have some talk with him, for he 


always seemed to have pleasure in trying to in 
terest and profit young people. Though only a 
labouring and uneducated man, he had so amiable 
and winning a way with him, as to induce me, boy 
as I was, to seek his company and listen to his con 
versation. He used to ask me about the school I 
went to, and what I learned ; and was anxious to 
obtain knowledge even from a child. He inquired 
w r hether we had prayer in the school, and when I 
told him that the head master prayed every morn 
ing and evening without a book, he seemed to think 
he was one of the right sort. These and other 
things in him made a lasting impression on my 
mind. I can remember, too, how much he seemed 
to be respected by his employers ; and that he had 
an influence for good over the youthful portion of 
the family, for they respected him and looked up 
to him as they did not to any others in their em 
ploy. I also remember that nothing rejoiced him 
more than to hear of good going on everywhere, 
and in being an instrument of good to others 

Mr. Barton, a well-known local preacher in the 
Alford circuit, now residing at Great G-rimsby, 
lived for three years almost next door to him, 
during the earlier part of the time spent in Mr. 
Bourne s service, and writes thus of his early 
friend : His life and conversation were most ex 
emplary and worthy of imitation. He was one of 
the most punctual men I have ever known. In the 
winter season he sometimes attended four or five 
prayer-meetings a week ; some of them a mile dis 
tant, and was seldom ever too late. He might be 


said to be a man of prayer. It was the element in 
which his soul delighted to live. He walked in 
communion with God. I once heard him say, he 
never met a poor sinner on the road but he lifted 
up his heart to God in prayer for his salvation. 

There is no reason to think that Charles had any 
anticipation at this time of the public usefulness 
and popularity as a preacher which awaited him. 
But whether he had or not, he was evidently pre 
paring for the future, and was led by the grace 
and providence of God to maintain such habits of 
reading and reflection, as contributed to furnish his 
mind with a large amount of biblical and general 
knowledge. He perseveringiy sought for knowledge 
everywhere; he was always thinking and never 
trifling ; every one, and every thing that came in 
his way, were laid under contribution ; and he 
knew how to draw from an intelligent school-boy, 
in a barn-door conversation, whilst sweating at his 
hard work, valuable information. He had that sort 
of intuitive perception of truth which is peculiar 
to minds of a certain order ; and amidst the multi 
tude of ideas and suggestions constantly passing 
before his mental vision, he knew how to retain 
the good and cast the bad away. He was a great 
reader : his reading was without system and mis 
cellaneous ; but it was copious and permanently 
appropriated by a retentive memory. How much 
a man may learn in the space of twenty years who 
diligently employs his leisure hours and half-hours 
in the pursuit of knowledge, praying incessantly 
for Divine assistance and light to enable him to 
understand the truth, it is not for any one to say. 


But it is highly probable, that if his life be spared, 
such a person will become, a scribe well instructed 
unto the kingdom of heaven. And though he may 
never shine in the paths of literature and science, 
he is not unlikely to appear, like another Apollos, 
mighty in the Scriptures, and better able to 
teach the things of the Lord than many who re 
ceive a professional training, and occupy the seat 
of authority in the church. The late Dr. Adam 
Clarke, himself of Irish peasant origin, though 
favoured with education in early life, placed upon 
record the following important statement : After 
I found the peace of God, I can safely assert that I 
learnt as much in one day as I had learnt in a 
month before. And no marvel, for my soul was 
now rising out of the ruins of the fall, by the power 
of the eternal Spirit. Nor does the experience of 
Dr. Clarke stand by itself. Not a few have proved 
to their joy the profitableness of godliness in re 
lation to mental culture. The highest authority 
has said : With the lowly is wisdom. And those 
who sit most at Jesus feet are of all men the most 
likely to be led into all truth connected with the 
salvation of the soul. Charles Wesley expressed a 
fine conception of the objects and process of Chris 
tian education in the following stanza : 

Learning s redundant part and vain, 

Be here cut off, and cast aside ; 
But let them Lord, the substance gain, 

In every solid truth abide ; 
Swiftly acquire, and ne er forego, 
The knowledge fit for man to know. 

This was Charles Richardson s prayer and guiding 


desire; he hungered after the knowledge fit for 
man to know; and by hearing sermons, personal 
intercourse with ministers and others, reading, 
meditation, and observation, he was always ob 
taining accessions to his store; and becoming better 
prepared for a higher station in the church. 

In the commencement of the year 1827 the 
village of Tetford was favoured with another time 
of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. May 
such visitations ever be continued! They are 
greatly needed both in large towns and villages. 
And if right means are employed, they shall cer 
tainly be vouchsafed. Dr. Bunting once said: 
* You may have a revival of religion when you will : 
only use the right means, and God will fulfil His 
promise. And a higher authority has said : Bring 
ye all the tithes into the store-house, that there 
may be meat in mine house, and prove me now 
herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open 
you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a 
1 blessing, that there shall not be room enough to 
receive it. 

The gracious quickening at Tetford in 1827 was 
introduced under the following circumstances. Mr. 
Biggall, Charles s former employer, invited a party 
of excellent men from Louth to assist Mr. Austin, a 
zealous local preacher, to hold religious services in 
the chapel, on Christmas day, 182G. A lovefeast 
was held in the afternoon, when an extraordinary 
outpouring of the influences of the Holy Spirit 
was realised. The congregation was overwhelmed 
with emotion. All were bathed in tears, and many 
present cried aloud for mercy. When the time 


came to conclude, the people refused to go away ; 
and prayer and praise were continued until the 
time for commencing the evening service. The 
sermon that evening was attended with unusual 
power ; many were pricked in their hearts, and 
cried What must we do to be saved ? It was 
like a little Pentecost, and the service could not bo 
brought to a conclusion until three o clock the next 
morning. Many found peace with G-od, and there 
was great joy in many a house and many a heart in 
Tetford. When the meeting concluded in the 
chapel, the praying band from Louth retired to 
Mr. BiggaH s house, and spent the remainder of the 
night in prayer and praise: re-enacting the scenes 
in the jailor s house at Philippi, when at the hour 
of early morn, he set meat before them, and re 
joiced, believing in God with all his house, and 
when it was day, though sleepless, yet refreshed 
in body and soul, they set out on foot for home, a 
distance of nine miles, praising God for all the 
things they had heard and seen. 

This occasion was another turning point in Charles 
Richardson s life. He was in the midst of all that 
transpired, not as an idle spectator, but as one 
whose whole soul was filled with desire after a 
greater salvation. The place was his < Peniel, 
where he prevailed with God. And of him it 
might be said, as it was of the princely patriarch, 
And He blessed him there. Such a baptism of 
the Holy Spirit was bestowed upon him as he had 
never received before. He firmly held the old 
Wesleyan doctrine of Entire Sanctification. Many 
about him prominent in carrying on the work of 


God, and most successful in winning souls to Christ, 
were beautiful examples of it, and living testimonies 
to the power of Divine grace to cleanse from all 
sin and fill the soul with the perfect love of God. 
He had long desired this great salvation for him 
self, but had never been able to lay hold upon it. 
On this memorable Christmas-day, however, it 
pleased God to anoint him with power from on 
high. Ho was enabled to cast himself entirely upon 
the Saviour as he had never done previously, and 
henceforward realised a closer fellowship with God, 
a greater deadness to the world, and such a degree 
of spirituality, purity, and holy love, as far ex 
ceeded all he had ever experienced. It is much to 
be regretted that there is no record of his inward 
life forthcoming, to reveal the secret workings of 
his mind at this period. It must have greatly ad 
ministered to the instruction and encouragement of 
the people of God, as it would doubtless have set 
forth in his own peculiarly simple, lucid style, the 
process through which a believer may pass into the 
1 wealthy place, and attain to the higher walks of 
* the life which is hid with Christ in God. But the 
above brief statement is all that can be gathered 
respecting his reception of this great blessing. He 
frequently referred to it in conversation with his 
friends, or when speaking in public of the way in 
which the Lord had led him and dealt with his 
soul, and always seemed to regard it as the com 
mencement of a new era in his religious progress ; 
and he seldom or ever failed, when opportunity 
offered, to bear his personal testimony to the truth 
that c the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from 


all sin. And in his case the verbal testimony was 
sustained by a corresponding walk with God, and a 
bringing forth of the rich, ripe fruits of righteous 
ness. A zeal for the glory of God and the salvation 
of men was kindled like fire in his soul. Courage 
and energy, which triumphed over his constitutional 
timidity and backwardness, were all at once im 
parted. He shook off his reserve, came forth from 
retirement, found a voice to speak in the chui-ch, an 
ability to glorify God in active service, and began 
to take a prominent position in leading penitents and 
inquirers to the Redeemer. He had been a happy, 
consistent, retiring Christian ; but he now felt it to 
be his duty to work for God, and employ his 
talents for the salvation of mankind. A devout 
and zealous man, who is now with God, used many 
years ago to pray Lord, revive Thy work! 
O Lord, revive Thy work ! Mend the old Method 
ists and make new ones ! And that terse and pithy 
prayer contains the true philosophy of church 
prosperity. "When the members of a church are 
mended, there is sure to be progress and numerical 
increase. Nor is there any means of mending those 
who are already in the Christian fold, so effectually as 
to lead them into the enjoyment of holiness of heart. 
It has often been remarked amongst the Method 
ists, that when ministers or members have been 
stirred up to seek for that great blessing, the finding 
of it has almost been like life from the dead. The 
timid become bold ; the apathetic, full of energy ; 
the feeble, strong ; and the tongue of the stam 
merer is unloosed, when the soul is fully sanctified. 
So it was with Charles Richardson at this Christ- 


mas Pentecost, he was < filled with the Holy Ghost, 
and began to speak with another tongue, as the 
spirit gave him utterance. 

The revival which commenced under the above 
circumstances, continued for a length of time. 
For ten successive nights the chapel was opened 
for religious worship, and crowded with people 
every time. Very many professed repentance to 
ward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Charles was always present, and took a prominent 
part in leading the inquirers to the Lamb of God, 
and remained encouraging and directing seekers of 
salvation until midnight, although he had to be 
away next morning to resume his daily task as a 
thrasher by the first break of day. But the Lord s 
work was his delight, and he had strength of body 
and soul to do it. 

There was a considerable increase of new mem 
bers in the Wesleyan Society at Tetford at this 
time, and additional class-leaders were wanted. 
The Rev. George Wilson, superintendent of the 
circuit, appointed Charles to take charge of a class j 
which very soon became one of great importance. 
It met in his own house every Sabbath afternoon. 
His wife and father both met in it. Mr. Barton, 
before mentioned, was one of the new converts who 
joined it, and states that it soon contained forty 
persons, and that very frequently thirty were pre 
sent at one time. Charles was admirably fitted for 
the duties of a class-leader. He was rigidly faithful, 
and yet lived in the affections of his people. He 
had great tact, and there was a charm about his 
manner which made the meetings singularly inter- 


esting and attractive. Class-meetings are very 
much what the leader makes them. When he is 
earnest, simple, faithful, affectionate, the class is 
sure to prosper. But when the leader is dull, 
languid, common-place in his communications, late 
in coming, late in ending, sometimes absent, no 
wonder that the class should fall to pieces in his 
hands. In the present day suitable class-leaders 
are greatly wanted. The supply does not meet the 
demand. And is there not a cause ? In many 
classes there are individuals who from position and 
education seem just the parties to sustain the 
office ; but they are deficient in spirituality, and 
have no power with God. ! for another Pente 
cost ! like that which came down upon Tetford at 
Christmas, 1826 ! that Thou wouldest rend 
the heavens, that Thou wouldest come down, that 
the mountains might flow down at Thy presence, aa 
when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the 
waters to boil, to make Thy name known to Thino 
adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Thy 
presence 1 The Holy Spirit makes ministers, 
class-leaders, preachers, stewards, and all other 
officers needed in the Methodist church ; and when 
you have to ask in doubt Where is the Lord 
God of Elijah ? well may class-meetings languish, 
and other departments of the church look cheer 
less. Old Methodism cannot live without revivals. 
It never has done well without them yet, most 
certainly. And who would undertake the responsi 
bility of trying to do without them in times to 
come ? We must have them again ; and keep 
them when they come. 


After Mr. Richardson became a class-leader it 
appeared to many that he had gifts for preaching, 
and he was urged from time to time to make a 
beginning. A friend once said to him : Charles, 
I am sure that you can preach if you will only 
make the attempt ; and you ought. His reply 
showed how he regarded a preacher s responsibility. 
It was Well ! if ever I do preach to the people, 
depend upon it I will not spare them. When he 
did at length break through his scruples, and begin 
to preach, it was at once plain to all that he was an 
able workman, whose great object ever was to 
declare all the counsel of God. 

About this time he heard a sermon from a Wes 
ley an minister which made a great impression upon 
his mind, and probably led him to think about the 
composition of discourses for the pulpit. It was 
from the text in Jeremiah xii. 5 : If thouhas run 
with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, 
then how canst thou contend with horses ? and if in 
the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they 
weary thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling 
of Jordan ? A few days afterwards he met with a 
friend who was unconverted, but who he well knew 
had good desires after religion, and referred in con 
versation to the sermon he had heard, and pro 
ceeded in his own very impressive manner to recite 
a good part of it, and particularly what the preacher 
said in commenting on the words: How wilt 
thou do in the swelling of Jordan ? His friend 
was impressed and listened with serious atten 
tion, which Charles observing, looked him hard 
in the face, arid said solemnly : How wilt 


thou do ? It pleased God to send that question 
like a barbed arrow, to the heart of his friend, 
and the effect it produced resulted in his sound 
conversion. A word spoken in due season, how 
good is it ? The friend referred to, is still a 
living member of the Wesleyan Societj^ and an 
ornament to his profession. God has greatly pros 
pered him in business, and his house is a comfort 
able home for Wesleyan ministers when they visit 
that part of the Horncastle circuit in which ho 

This was a great encouragement to Charles. 
Nothing in the world gave him anything like the 
same amount of satisfaction as that which he ex 
perienced, when made the means of doing good to 
souls. He had a passion for saving souls, and 
rejoiced in the salvation of his friends and neigh 
bours more than in the increase of his own worldly 
goods. It is always thus with Christians who are 
thoroughly alive to God. Genuine Christian zeal 
is nothing but the love of God and man, stimu 
lating holy and Christ-like endeavours, 

To save poor souls out of the fire, 
To snatch them from the verge of hell, 
And turn them to a pardoning God, 
And quench the brands in Jesu s Blood. 

A close walk with God is sure to show itself in 
ceaseless self-denying efforts to bring about the 
conversion of sinners, and extend the triumphs of 
the cross of Christ. 

After this richer baptism of the Holy Spirit 
which he received, Charles was indefatigable in his 


endeavours to do good in every possible way ; and 
was ready for every good work either in connection 
with Methodism, or wherever else a door of useful 
ness opened out before him. A pious clergyman of 
the Church of England, who was curate in one of 
ae parishes adjacent to Tetford, held meetings for 
exhortation and prayer in private dwellings, about 
this t ime , and invited the co-operation of Charles 
ie was only too glad to render all the assfct- 
ance in his power ; for he knew nothing of a 
arrow sectarian spirit, either at this, or any other 
period of his life. For a considerable time he con- 
tinned to attend these meetings, and took an active 
: m making them interesting and profitable, 
til at length the curate was removed, and they 
*ere discontinued. It is stated by a friend who 
is present on one occasion, that whilst Charles 
was engaged in prayer, the influence of the Holy 
t was remarkably experienced. The clergy- 
nan and all present seemed completely bowed 
town before the Lord. Charles was drawn on to 
d particularly for the clergyman, that God 
Mid fill him with the Spirit, and sanctify him 
/holly and so fit him for greater usefulness j and 
B he was doing so, the excellent man, under 
i influence of strong feeling, cried out- He 
a*, my brother, He has ! and when prayer was 
ided he arose and addressed the people, declaring 
ow the Lord had blessed him there 
Wherever the Methodists have a chapel, they 
ve a Sunday-school,-with very few exceptions 
* been so from the beginning. Mr. Wesley 
d a Sunday-school in the Old Orphan House 



in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the fourth place of wor 
ship he erected in Great Britain. And from the 
time he did so, the Wesleyan church has derived 
great advantages from these invaluable institu 
tions. There was a Sunday-school at Tetford, and 
Charles connected himself with it as a teacher soon 
after his conversion, and continued diligently to 
attend to his duties as such, up to the time he was 
called away to preach the Gospel. After he became 
a class-leader his Sabbaths were usually spent in 
the following manner: At seven o clock in the 
morning he attended a prayer-meeting in the 
chapel ; breakfast and family prayer consumed the 
next hour ; public worship began at nine o clock 
in the chapel ; and the Sunday-school filled up the 
time from its close until twelve ; at two in the 
afternoon, his class-meeting was held in his own 
house, and after it was done he read the Scriptures 
with his own children ; then, after the evening meal 
there was worship in the chapel again, and family 
prayer closed the day. And a Sabbath thus spent 
was a day of holy joy. His children reflect upon 
those days with pleasure, and thank God for such 
a father as taught them from infancy to regard 
His Sabbaths as a delight. His own cheerful, 
happy tones and manners prevented anything like 
gloom or puritanic harshness, and gave every one 
near him to feel that religion s ways are ways of 
pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. It was 
chiefly to enjoy these Sabbath-days that he resided 
in Tetford. There was no chapel in Ashby where 
his employment lay, and he once said to a friend : 
I have walked five miles a day for twenty 


years together, just because there was a chapel in 
Tetford and the means of grace ! A lesson this 
for professors of religion not a few, who fix then- 
residences in the distant outskirts of towns, and 
rural localities, regardless of the sanctuary, and as 
to how the Sabbath is to be spent by their families. 

Besides his activity as a class-leader, prayer- 
leader, and Sunday-school teacher, he was also a 
tract distributer, and steward of the chapel whose 
business it was to manage its finances and all be 
longing to it; and in all these offices he was 
acceptable, efficient, and faithful. 

The first time Charles spoke in public was in the 
chapel at Tetford ; and he was induced to do so 
under the following unusual circumstances : Every 
one wondered that he kept silent so long, and felt 
that very likely he would have to be placed in some 
position which would render it necessary that he 
should break the snare which kept him back from 
greater usefulness ; and probably several of his 
friends connived at the unwarrantable contrivance 
Which was resorted to in order to draw him forth. 
Mr. Appleyard, a local preacher of the Horncastle 
circuit, was appointed to preach in Tetford, morn 
ing and evening on the Sabbath. In the evening a 
large congregation assembled, and Mr. Appleyard 
appeared in the pulpit and commenced the service 
in the usual way. In due time the text was 
announced, but the sermon was very soon done ; 
and the preacher called out in bold and authorita 
tive tones: Brother Charles Richardson must 
come into the pulpit and deliver an address! 
Every eye was instantly fixed upon poor Charles j 


his seat was not far from the pulpit stair?, and 
what could he do ? He had not the slightest ex 
pectation of such a summons : but to leave the 
chapel was out of the question. Relating the 
matter to a friend he said : I was fairly in a fix ; 
to flee I could not ; to speak out and refuse I dared 
not ; and therefore go into the pulpit I must. He 
did go, in the name of the Lord, though with fear 
and trembling ; but when he began to speak his 
fears fled, and he lacked neither matter nor utter 
ance : Grace was poured upon his lips. The 
people were highly pleased ; he spoke for a con 
siderable time with fluency and effect ; and all pre 
sent seemed to know and feel that their friend and 
brother was established to be a prophet of the 

But although he had made an effort to speak in 
public he had not preached a sermon. He was not 
allowed to rest, however, until he had done this ; 
and at the urgent solicitations of the people, he 
went shortly after the above occurrence to the 
village of Greetham, where he had resided with 
Mr. Mager, and took a full service. He went with 
great reluctance and many misgivings, but resolved, 
as he said Whether he broke down or not he 
woxild have a good text. The Scripture he spoke 
from on the occasion, was Ezekiel xviii. 27 : 
When the wicked man turneth away from his 
wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth 
that which is lawful and right, he shall save his 
soul alive. The first sounds of his trumpet were 
those of salvation. He lived long to proclaim the 
grace of God, and from first to last was wondrously 


successful. God gave him seals to his ministry 
under this first sermon ; he spoke with great power, 
and several of the people of the village were 
awakened and turned to the Lord. The popula 
tion was only about a hundred and seventy ; but 
such was the holy influence that spread amongst 
the people after this his first sermon, that in a 
short time all the adults in the village were con 
verted to God, except three individuals ! two very 
aged persons, and a military pensioner, who said 
He would go no more to hear the Methodists, 
for if he did they would be sure to catch him ! A 
fortnight afterwards Mr. Richardson preached a 
second sermon, at Sutterby, in the Spilsby circuit, 
from How shall we escape if we neglect so great 
salvation ? It was a memorable time ; he spoke 
with great power ; the chapel was crowded ; many 
of the people were much affected, and some rushed 
out trembling and saying If we remain inside 
any longer we shall be converted. Felix like; 
though arrested by the power of God, they deter 
mined to be rebels still 1 

And thus his public life began. He was a 
preacher of righteousness for thirty-six years, and 
from first to last he was successful. The people 
always heard him gladly. He was no novice. His 
reputation as a man of God went before him ; and 
wherever he stood up to preach the hand of the 
Lord was with him : and a great number believed, 
and turned unto the Lord. His soul was filled 
with the love of God and the love of souls. Ho 
spoke with a tongue of fire, thoughts that 
breathe and words that burn. What was said of 


Apollos might be said of him. in a smaller degree : 
This man was instructed in the way of the 
Lord; and being fervent in the Spirit, he spake 
and taught diligently the things of the Lord. 
His name appeared upon the plan of the Horn- 
castle circuit in 1828, and he was duly accredited 
and authorised to exercise his gifts. Forthwith he 
laboured freely and successfully, almost every 
Sabbath-day, in villages far and near ; pursuing 
his daily toil during the week, and chiefly employed 
in thrashing corn for Mr. Bourne, at Ashby. 

About this time the eldest son of his master fell 
dangerously ill; the malady was lingering and 
obstinate, until at length it became apparent to all 
that he was sick unto death. The young man, 
though brought up under a religious domestic dis 
cipline, had resisted the grace of God, and for a 
time had been somewhat gay and worldly. When 
this serious illness laid him prostrate, the whole 
family became deeply concerned about his spiritual 
state. Charles was requested to show him all the 
attention in his power, and he did so with zeal and 
goodwill. The sick youth regarded him with 
great affection, so that he had no difficulty in con 
versing freely with him respecting his salvation ; 
and by the blessing of God he was enabled to make 
a salutary impression upon his mind. He awoke 
up to a clear perception of his condition as a sinner 
in the sight of God, and became truly penitent. 
Charles was in constant attendance upon him and 
was almost his nurse ; he lost no opportunity of 
striving to help his patient to comprehend the 
plan of a sinner s reconciliation with God ; and 


was abundantly rewarded for his pious pains. His 
young master was enabled to lay hold upon Christ, 
found peace to his soul, and became very happy 
for some time before his death. He triumphed by 
faith over the last enemy, and departed, leaving a 
blessed testimony that he was going to join the 
blood-washed worshippers before the throne. Mr. 
Bourne and his family became more than ever 
attached to their valued servant. They requested 
him to preach the funeral sermon of the departed 
youth. And he did so in the large kitchen of the 
farm house where he had lived. Crowds of people 
were present on the occasion, and many of the 
relatives of the family came from a distance. The 
peasant preacher had great liberty on the occasion, 
his speech and preaching was not with enticing 
words of man s wisdom, but in demonstration of 
the Spirit and of power. Several persons were 
deeply convinced of sin, and from that time be 
came earnest seekers of salvation. 

About a year and a half after this, Charles 
retired from the service of Mr. Bourne, for the pur 
pose of commencing business on his own account 
as a licensed woolwiuder.* He was well qualified 
by knowledge and integrity for all that pertained 

* Wool-winder, i.e., a person employed to wind or 
make up wool into bundles, to be packed for sale. Imp. 
Diet. The business is confined to the sheep- shearing 
season of the year, and continued occupation can only 
be obtained by the person passing from one farm to 
another whilst the season lasts ; and unless the winder 
is both careful and honourable, the tods or bundles ofteu 
contain much worthless stuff. 


to the occupation, and was encouraged by several 
influential gentlemen and friends, to make a com 
mencement. Providence appeared to open out his 
way. His family circumstances rendered ampler 
means very desirable ; and after making it a mat 
ter of prayer for some time, he decided upon the 
step in the name of the Lord, and never had any 
cause subsequently to doubt its propriety. The 
engagements of a woolwinder are chiefly confined 
to one season of the year, and that the least likely 
to interfere with those duties and operations, in 
connection with the church, for which he was 
particularly prepared, and soon after called to 

An instance of the high esteem in which he was 
held by Mr. Bourne, a few years after he had left 
his service, is mentioned by the Rev. Martin Jubb, 
who knew both parties well. Mr. Bourne had 
removed his residence to Claxby Pluckacre, and a 
missionary meeting was to be held in a neighbour 
ing chapel. Mr. Richardson was one of the 
speakers engaged to attend. Several ministers 
were to be present, and Mr. Bourne invited the 
whole party to a sumptuous dinner on the day of 
the meeting, and in other ways, promoted the suc 
cess of the anniversary, in order, as he said, to 
show his respect for his former friend and servant. 
When religious servants stand right with their 
employers, Christianity is honoured, and is acknow 
ledged to be a living power in the earth, equally 
beneficial to master and man, elevating the one, 
sustaining the other, securing to personal merit its 
just reward, and operating infinitely better for 


society at large, than any of the wild, political, 
levelling systems which have been advocated in 
modern times. Servants, be obedient to them 
that are your masters according to the flesh, with 
fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as 
unto Christ ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers ; 
but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God 
from the heart ; with goodwill doing service, as to 
the Lord, and not to men : knowing that whatso 
ever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he 
receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. 
And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, 
forbearing threatening ; knowing that your master 
also is in heaven ; neither is there respect of per 
sons with Him. 

He was humble, kind, forgiving, meek, 
Easy to be entreated, gracious, mild ; 
And, with all patience and affection, taught, 
Rebuked, persuaded, solaced, counsell d, warn d, 
In fervent style and manner. All 
Saw in his face contentment, in his life 
The path to glory and perpetual joy. PoZZo/c. 



It is the heart and not the brain, 
That to the highest doth attain. Longfellow. 

THERE was a good reason why St. Paul worked as 
a tent maker, with Aquila at Corinth : it was 
necessary. He had no other means of getting an 
honest living. For even he was not to subsist by 
miracle, and rather than that the Gospel should 
not be preached, he nobly sustained himself and 
wrought with labour and travail, night and day, 
that he might not be chargeable to any. And 
neither was his apostolic office soiled, nor his minis 
terial efficiency diminished by his manual toil. 
And if similar circumstances were to press upon 
those who preach the Gospel in our own day, there 
are men to be found, who would bravely strip to 
their task, and earn their daily bread by the sweat 
of their brows, rather than be prevented, testify 
ing the Gospel of the grace of God. No man 
that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of 
this life ; that he may please him who hath chosen 
him to be a soldier. And it is not meet, that 
those who are separated unto the Gospel of God, 
and bound by solemn vows to devote both soul and 
body, with all the powers of each, to the holy work 
of saving souls, should be burdened with labour for 
the bread that perisheth. But the Wesleyan- 


Methodists have never been very squeamish, about 
allowing laymen to exercise their gifts and graces 
as auxiliary teachers in the church. And no small 
proportion of the vast success which their system 
has achieved, is attributable to this circumstance. 

Local preachers have sustained a noble position 
in Methodist history and evangelic toils, and have 
greatly contributed to bring about those blessed 
results which have gladdened the Christian world. 
Thousands of village pulpits are mainly dependent 
upon these self-denying servants of the Saviour ; 
who oftentimes toiling all the week in their worldly 
occupations, distribute the bread of life to thou 
sands on the Sabbath-day. Methodism rejoices in 
such a staff of willing labourers in the vineyard of 
the Lord. A finer training-school for the fully 
ordained ministry cannot be found ; nor a healthier 
outlet for the energies of the church ; nor an easier 
method of carrying out the missionary principle of 
aggressive action upon the home heathenism of the 
land. Methodism will never be without its local 
preachers any more than its class-meetings, itine 
rant ministers, and other peculiarities. Altering 
circumstances may call for an elevation of the 
standard by which personal qualifications are 
tested, on the part of those who preach, as they do 
at the present time ; and it is greatly to be desired, 
that those who have the advantages of education 
and worldly position, should feel it to be their duty 
and privilege to employ their gifts in calling sin 
ners to repentance ; and that all those who are 
already in the harness, should be afresh baptized 
with the Spirit which came down upon Eldad and 


Medad, and constrained them to prophesy in the 
camp. That Spirit abundantly rested upon Charles 
Kichardson, and like the Elders of Israel he pro 
phesied and did not cease. He was a genuine 
local preacher ; and his well-balanced mind enabled 
him, accurately to grasp the meaning of his posi 
tion in the church, and his fine principles sustained 
him in it. Once upon the circuit plan, there, he 
would have gladly remained, and been content, in 
simply doing the work appointed by his superin 
tendent, had not other and extraordinary labours 
been fairly forced upon him. In the height of his 
subsequent popularity, he was ever most careful to 
abstain from every appearance of trespassing upon 
the functions of the regular ministers, and was so 
wishful that the crowds who came to hear him 
preach should regard him as a plain, local preacher, 
that for many years he refused to appear in the 
pulpit in a white neck-tie and to the end of his life 
used to dress in drab small-clothes and gaiters, in 
order that there might be no mistake. 

In regard to remuneration for his labours, when, 
at length he consented to visit distant places, he 
was exceedingly conscientious and scrupulous. His 
family had to be supported, whilst business was 
suspended ; but if he received about twenty shillings 
per week and travelling expenses, which were always 
on the lowest scale, he regarded himself as sufficiently 
repaid. The first time he went from his own circuit 
to a distance, to hold protracted services, after 
labouring hard on the Sabbath, and five week- 
nights following, he was presented with a sum to 
which it was thought he was entitled; but finding 


that it was more than he could have earned at his 
usual employment, he refused to accept the whole, 
protesting that he had no right to take it. His objec 
tions, however, were overruled, and his friends con 
strained him to accept their gifts. Throughout 
life he was exceedingly sensitive on this subject, 
and afraid lest any one should suspect the purity of 
his motives. He was one of the most unselfish of 
men, and never coveted any man s silver or gold. 
Agur s prayer was his : Give me neither poverty 
nor riches. And God heard him. He never was 
rich, but he never pleaded poverty. Personal and 
family afflictions, on a few occasions, brought him 
into temporary straits, but Providence brought 
him out again shortly, and he went on his way full 
of content and cheerful hope. 

He was sincerely attached to Methodist ministers, 
and regarded their office with great deference and 
respect : any one who spoke disparagingly of them 
in his presence was sure to be stopped and rebuked. 
He knew them well no man better, and they were 
his joy and pride. He regarded them as the best of 
men, and the best of preachers : one of his greatest 
delights was to mix with them in the social circle ; 
and many of them felt it to be their pleasure, to 
spend a friendly hour in his company. He was ever 
anxious to succeed in the objects which called him 
to various parts of the country ; but whenever he 
found that his own operations were likely to clash 
with those of the regular ministers, he at once sus 
pended action. His letters often inform his wife, that 
Dr. Newton, Dr. Beaumont, Dr.Waddy, Mr. Ratten - 
bury, Dr. Punshon, or some other popular minister 


was in the same neighbourhood as himself, and 
therefore he was silent for a day, lest he should 
draw off any of the people from their ministry. 
"When visiting the poorer circuits of the connexion, 
as he frequently did, where the ministers to this 
day, have both hard work and poor fare, he seldom 
failed to remonstrate with the authorities, and often 
spoke out manfully in favour of better ministerial 
support and relief from excessive labours. Narrow- 
minded, penurious persons were sometimes ready to 
institute an invidious comparison between them 
and himself, but if present, he was sure to put a 
blister upon their censoriousness and expose them 
to shame. The position of local preachers is always 
associated with much influence, which may be used 
for good or evil. Yisiting distant places and 
mingling freely with the people, their words are 
like sharp arrows of the mighty, and if at all 
given to detraction, they may veiy easily scatter 
firebrands, arrows, and death. On account of 
these considerations ; the personal character, as 
well as the gifts, of those who sustain this honour 
able and desirable office, has much to do with their 
usefulness. No one could be more alive to this 
than Mr. Richardson, and no man could be more 
guarded and prudent than he, in all his communi 

After he began to preach, he remained in the 
service of Mr. Bourne about three years ; and 
during that time had to work hard all the week, 
chiefly at thrashing corn, and when Sunday came 
it was commonly the hardest day of the seven. 
Many times he had to rise early in the morning, 


bare breakfast and be off soon enough to walk six 
or seven miles to an appointment to preach at half- 
past ten o clock ; then after dinner walk two or 
three miles more to an afternoon or evening service; 
and finish up by walking home, making perhaps 
fourteen or fifteen miles in tiie course of the day. 
Local preachers are not always provided with the 
means of travelling when they ought to be ; and 
the amount of physical labour which they occa 
sionally perform, in connection with preaching, is 
too much for the strength of any man. This is 
greatly to be deplored. Provision ought to be 
made somehow, to enable those who preach, to 
reach the place of appointment and home again, 
without the physical exhaustion consequent upon 
long walks. Mr. Richardson had a good constitu 
tion, was strong, and lithe of limb in those days ; 
his work was his delight, and he cheerfully 
laboured on at God s command, and offered all his 
works to Him. One who knew him well, and 
understands the labour of a Lincolnshire farm ser 
vant says : While he was an agricultural labourer, 
tie travelled more miles to preach the Gospel, and 
lid more work for his earthly master, than any 
)ther man I ever knew. When thrashing corn, he 
paid by the quantity of work performed, and 
ie frequently carried home for his family eighteen 
shillings per week ; while another man, younger 
;han himself, and working under the same circum 
stances, obtained only eleven shillings and six 
pence ! And yet, when working at the top of his 
strength, he could study sermons at the same time, 
tie once said to a friend who called to see him at 


work in the barn You see I can think and thrash. 
Many of the sermons he preached were thought out 
whilst thus employed. The same person just re 
ferred to, went in one day when he was very hard 
at work, stripped and sweating away, and expressed 
his surprise that he should labour so hard, when 
he replied : You see I was thinking over a pas 
sage of Scripture, and when I do so, and it goes 
well, I am a little carried away, and then I work 
over hard as I have been doing just now. The 
ideas and plans of sermons, which his mind got 
hold of in this way, were almost invariably com 
mitted to writing at the first opportunity, with 
such additions and corrections as subsequently pre 
sented themselves from time to time. 

Mr. Isaac Good, of Great Grimsby, one of his 
earliest friends, states, that at this period he was 
greatly pressed to preach on week-nights as well as 
Sundays, and that very frequently at the close of 
his day s work, instead of returning home, he 
walked to a village in an opposite direction, five 
or six miles from Tetford, and after preaching and 
holding a prayer-meeting, would get home as well 
as he could, but frequentty had to walk. On several 
occasions Mr. Good took a conveyance to bring him 
home after these evening labours, and well re 
members one of his expeditions. The village was 
several miles away, and the only place it contained 
sufficient to accommodate the crowds which came 
together to hear him preach was a large barn. It 
was filled to overflowing. The sermon was founded 
upon the text, Matthew xxiv. 44: Therefore be 
ye also ready j for in such an hour as ye think not 


he Son of man cometh. The people were deeply 
ffected while he spoke, weeping and sobbing pre- 
ailed all over the barn. Charles stood upon an 
levation raised at one end of the building, attired 
n a clean white slop, such as is commonly worn by 
arm servants in that part of the country. A 
Drayer-meeting followed, and many persons ap 
peared to be earnestly seeking salvation. As they 
rove home, very late in the night, his friend made 
he remark You must be very tired; but his 
eply was No, thank God, I seldom feel 

Such labours and efforts as the above, to bring 
inners to God, will no doubt, excite the admiration 
f many who read this record; but others of a 
ifferent school will probably feel their prejudices 
hocked, and will strongly condemn them. What- 
ver apology might be offered, such persons would 
nost likely persist in their hostility, and it would 
e of little use to reason with them. It is however 
ratifying to the admirers of the peasant preacher, 
o know that his homely and uncanonical costume 
id not prevent the Word of the Lord being glorified. 
le was a preacher for peasants, and well adapted 
usefulness amongst the class of persons to 
horn he proclaimed the glad tidings of salva- 
on ; and was amazingly successful in winning 
)uls where others would have failed. And be- 
.des, his clean white slop was not more objection- 
ble in reality, than the fisher s coat of the Galilean 
reachers, or the shepherd s plaid of the old 
cotch covenanters. The slop, like a surplice, 
3vered the coat beneath, and on the whole his use 


of it, was an expedient as suitable and harmless as 
could be adopted. 

Plain peasant as he was, Charles was not wholly 
indifferent as to his appearance before a public 
audience, even of peasants like himself; and it is 
not improbable that the rustic garb in which he 
often preached in those days was assumed as the 
most appropriate he could procure. A poor labour 
ing man with four children, a wife, and an aged 
parent, all to maintain out of his sixteen or at 
most eighteen shillings a week, is under the neces 
sity of practising a very rigid economy in the 
matter of clothes. Charles was not the man to 
go into debt. Broad cloth was not so cheap in 
those days as at present. He once told a friend 
that in his early life he had made his best coat 
serve him nearly twenty years ! His common, 
working dress was humble enough ; and when he ^ 
had to preach in the evening, his wife provided him 
with a clean slop, which he carried with him when 
lie went forth in the morning of the day, and put it 
on when he arrived at the place where he was to 
preach in the evening. The first good, black coat 
he ever had, was presented to him by a few friends 
in Tetford sometime after he began to preach. He 
had preached in the chapel at that place one Sun 
day morning, and his words fell with great sweet 
ness and power upon his hearers, many of whom 
were affected to tears ; he was dressed in a blue 
coat with covered buttons which had seen long 
service, and was much the worse for wear. The 
next morning a person who had been at the chapel, 
proposed tosome others that they should present 


him with an entire suit of new clothes as a token 
of regard; and thus make their own village 
preacher, of whom they were proud, as respectable 
in appearance in the pulpit as others. The money 
was easily raised, a tailor was sent to measure him, 
and he was fitted out with black coat and waist 
coat, drab small clothes and gaiters, and a new hat. 
The outfit was well used, and taken care of ; and it 
lasted a long time, for the old predecessors were 
still sometimes called into requisition on humbler 

At another time, Mr. Good went with him on the 
Sabbath to a village about six miles away, to 
preach at two and six : the chapel was crowded in 
the evening, and the text he spoke from was 
2 Cor. v. 20 : Now then we are ambassadors for 
Christ, as though God did beseech you by us : we 
Jray you in Christ s stead, be ye reconciled to 
3-od. As he proceeded to discourse upon the subject 
vith his usual fluency and impressiveness, the 
)eople hung upon his every utterance with breath- 
ess attention, and after a while unable to control 
heir feelings, began to sob and weep aloud in every 
lirection. At the prayer-meeting which followed, 
everal were in distress and loudly called upon God 
or the pardon of their sins. Many found peace ; 
nd after a protracted service Mr. Richardson went 
o the house of a friend for a little refreshment 
efore returning home. After supper he conducted 
amily worship, and while doing so, an extra- 
rdinary influence rested upon every one present. 
L young lady who was visiting at the house, and 
ho had come from a distance to hoar him preach, 

F 2 


was greatly affected and afterwards professed to 
have received at that time the blessing of entire 
sanctification. A respectable young person who 
resided with the family, in the capacity of house 
keeper, was completely broken down, and began 
with loud cries to call upon God for mercy. Master, 
servants, and visitors, were all upon their knees, 
pleading with the Lord in behalf of the newly- 
awakened penitent. After a long struggle she waa 
enabled to lay hold upon the Saviour by faith, and 
was made exceedingly happy. She continued for 
several weeks rejoicing with joy unspeakable, 
and was then taken with a fatal illness, and died in 
the full triumph of faith. Whilst the company was 
pleading at the midnight hour for the housekeeper, 
two of the men servants, who had been previously 
strangers to Christ, became much affected about 
their own salvation ; and after she was set at 
liberty, they continued wrestling in prayer for a 
considerable time longer, when one of the men ob 
tained spiritual comfort, and joined with the rest in 
rejoicing before God. Both of them became from 
that night decidedly pious, and held on their way 
subsequently. While all this was going on several 
hours passed away ; and that family gathering at 
the throne of grace, did not break up until three 
wo clock in the morning. The conveyance was then 
brought to the door, and Charles and his friend set 
off for home ; he having to be at his thrashing 
again by the break of day. A few months after 
wards a lovefeast was held at Tetford, at which a 
number of people from the village referred to were 
present ; several of them spoke, and thanked God 


that they were permitted to hear Charles Kichard- 
son on that occasion ; and stated that his preaching 
that Sabbath was followed by remarkable results ; 
that the religious feelings of nearly all the in 
habitants of the village had been so stirred up, that 
there was scarcely a house in the place where 
prayer was not heard ; nor a family where some 
one had not been brought under religious influence ; 
and that in several cases whole families had been 
converted and were then rejoicing in the Lord. 

This one Sabbath-day may be taken as an aver 
age specimen of the manner in which most of his 
Sabbaths were employed, after his name was placed 
upon the circuit plan. He became at once in 
labours more abundant. Before going forth into a 
wider circle as an evangelist, he assayed the temper 
of his weapons at home. A prophet hath no 
honour in his own country, said the Jews ; but like 
many other proverbs, this has exceptions in its 
personal application. There was no place in all 
England where he was more sincerely beloved, and 
where his labours were more highly appreciated 
than in his own village and in his home circuit, 
and that not only at the commencement of his 
career, but up to the close of his long life. They 
who knew him best, loved him most. The people 
with whom he was the most intimate and familiar 
had the most confidence in him. His daily walk 
and private conduct were a recommendation of the 
Gospel he preached; and a large amount of his 
usefulness in his own locality is to be attributed to 
his beautiful and practical Christian consistency. 
At the same time, the character of his preaching 


was such as fully to account for the effects it pro 
duced. He had a natural eloquence ; was exceed 
ingly earnest and impressive in his delivery ; was 
manifestly accompanied with the unction of the 
Holy Ghost ; and it is not at all surprising that 
he was very popular and had many seals to his 
ministry. Very copious notes of the sermon which 
Mr. Good heard him preach on the occasion men 
tioned, exist amongst the papers he has left. 
They show the man, and the matter, which he pro 
duced in the pulpit at this early period of his 
public life ; and that his marked success in winning 
souls was only what might be expected, especially 
if it be borne in mind that whatever he said in the 

He spoke as dying, unto dying men. 

The notes which are referred to may not be so per 
fect in a literary point of view, as to endure a severe 
criticism ; but considering that they are the 
earliest production of a hard working Lincolnshire 
thrasher, they may be regarded as highly creditable, 
and Mill bear comparison with many a written 
discourse delivered by more pretentious preachers. 
Would to God that in all the village chapels and 
churches of the land, the pure Gospel of the Saviour 
might be proclaimed with the same efficiency ! 

From this time his popularity as a preacher 
rapidly increased. His services became in much 
demand for chapel and Sunday-school anniversaries. 
Everywhere he was sure of a good congregation, 
and his ministry seldom failed to be owned of God. 
He was of great servir-e to Methodism in the Hon> 


castle circuit; and his labours there were alto 
gether unremunerated. He sought no reward but 
his Master s approval ; and with that he was 
abundantly cheered in his work of faith and 
labour of love. His friend Mr. Good, with his 
horse and conveyance, was a great help to him ; 
and many a long and perilous journey they had 
together; frequently travelling near the noon of 
night in winter time, through rain and cold. On 
one occasion they were nearly lost ; it was past 
midnight when they started for home; the cold 
wind brought the drifting snow in their faces, the 
road became almost impassable, and the horse was 
nearly knocked up ; but through the kindness of 
Providence, they arrived safe in Tetford about 
three o clock in the morning. Strong and robust 
as his constitution was, these exposures sometimes 
told upon him. After labouring hard one Sab 
bath, and returning home at a late hour on a severe 
winter s night, he took a bad cold, which ultimately 
ran into a low fever, and he was laid up with sick 
ness for eighteen or nineteen weeks. His life was 
almost despaired of, and both friends and medical 
attendant thought and said that he never would 
preach again. On that occasion God was very 
gracious to him. Many years afterwards, when 
preaching in Nottingham from the text I will 
not let thee go, except thou bless me (Gen. xxxii. 
26), he referred in affecting terms to his personal 
experience of the goodness of God during this long 
affliction, and spoke of the wonderful manner in 
which Providence supplied the wants of himself 
and his household whilst it continued. He said he 


was never permitted to want any good tiling, and 
that at the conclusion of the affliction he was in 
a better financial condition than when it began. 
His mind was blessedly sustained in peace and con 
fidence throughout that trying season; and his 
neighbours and friends observed, that his piety 
stood the test to which it was subjected, and that 
through grace he could rejoice in tribulation. 
The medical man who attended him is said to have 
been an avowed sceptic, but he was most favourably 
impressed with the joy and resignation which he 
witnessed in Mr. Richardson. Another man, very 
ill of the fever at the same time and attended by 
the same doctor, was greatly terrified at the 
prospect of death, and made no secret of his fears. 
The doctor became aware of the state of his mind, 
and asked him one day, why he was so much afraid 
to die ? told him that Charles Richardson was 
calm and resigned, and rejoicing in the hope of 
heaven, and said : If you get better you must try 
to live as he does, and then you will get quit of 
your fears. Yes; mark that. Their rock is not 
as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being 
judges. That truth stands as firm to-day as when 
first uttered by the prophet Moses. And God was 
glorified by His servant whether actively employed 
in His church, or laid aside upon a sick bed. 
Through much mercy his health was at length 
fully restored, and he was permitted to resume his 
beloved work, and again laboured with undiminished 
zeal and success in the vineyard of the Lord. 

After commencing business on his own account 
as a licensed woolwinder, he was a great deal from 


home. During the early part of the summer his 
time was chiefly spent in going from one farm to 
another, in the performance of the duties of his 
calling. Many opportunities of usefulness were 
thus thrown in his way, and he cheerfully availed 
himself of them, and sought to do business for 
Christ in connection with his own. Many of the 
farmers who employed him were religious men, and 
looked forward to his business visits, as to those of 
a Christian friend and brother, whose society was 
likely to be a great blessing to their families. The 
following instances show how well he could con 
nect the interests of another life with the duties 
of the present. Mr. J. K. Eiggall, of Grimsby, 
states : From 1835 to 1844, Mr. Eichardson came 
once a year to my father s house at Gayton, and 
spent a few days with us to wind our yearly clip of 
wool, and I was generally his companion while he 
remained. The first thing we did on his arrival 
was to ask him to preach in our kitchen in the 
evening, to which he generally assented. I was 
then, at once, despatched upon a pony to inform 
the neighbours, and was always successful in ob 
taining a congregation, as every one thought him 
a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost. I 
afterwards spent as much time as possible in his 
company, and was always impressed with his cheer 
fulness, happiness, and even temper. He commonly 
went about his business humming snatches of 
hymns, unless talking to me about something good, 
and though I was then quite a boy, I greatly loved 
and revered him as a servant of God. Another 
friend, who knew him intimately for many yejvj-s 


Mr. Fletcher, of Scamblesby, a valuable local 
preacher in the Horncastle circuit, says: Once a 
year he came to my mother s house to wind wool, 
and on these annual visits I was with him as much 
as possible. On one occasion he asked me in a 
very impressive manner how I was getting on in 
religion. I told him I feared very slowly. He 
said, " I thought so." I asked why he thought so. 
He replied: Because you are doing nothing for 
God ; and he went on to admonish and exhort me 
to start afresh for heaven. And by the grace of 
God, I resolved to do so there and then. I felt 
that what he said was true. I knew he was my 
friend, and I resolved to act upon his advice, and 
give myself body and soul, time and talents to 
God, if He would graciously accept me ; and I have 
been trying ever since to glorify Him in public and 
private, and to this day I feel I owe a debt of love 
to Mr. Richardson, for his kind reproof and ex 

And what was done at Gayton-le- Wolds, and 
Scamblesby, was frequently repeated elsewhere. 
Wherever he went he was the zealous preacher of 
a present and full salvation, as well as the wool- 
winder of the annual clip; and of many of these 
week-evening services which he held, it will be said 
in the day of the Lord : This man was born 
there. When he was not invited to preach, he 
usually requested permission to do so. And many 
a time the village chapel was suddenly lighted up, 
and the inhabitants called together by a few hours 
warning, for there was no difficulty in getting him 
a congregation. If the family with which he had 


to spend a few days were not religious, he did his 
best to leave a blessing behind him ; and that in 
a manner so pleasant, and free from all sancti 
monious self-assertion as to prepare almost any 
one to look favourably upon the things of God. 
In many families outside the pale of Methodism 
his name is fragrant to this day, and impressions 
were produced by his instrumentality which led to 
results, the value of which will never be known 
until the day of eternity shall dawn. On these 
visits it was his endeavour to make himself specially 
agreeable to the younger members of the household. 
There was a charm about his manners which 
seemed to fascinate the young. Like the boy at 
the Ashby barn door, who afterwards became a 
clergyman, and like young Riggall and Fletcher, 
intelligent, well-disposed young people were drawn 
to him, and felt at home in his company. And 
from the purest motives he encouraged their at 
tachments. To instil religion into the heart of a 
boy, he knew full well, was like planting another 
young < palm tree in the house of the Lord. And 
there was nothing in the world, in which he took 
such delight as to do that. Whilst talking to a 
hild, he would lift up his heart to God, in silent 
prayer for grace, to enable him to say something 
that might be the means of leading the little one to 
; the Saviour. 

And surely no one will find fault with these 
endeavours to connect religion with the ordinary 
rluties of life. It is what we are all too prone to 
forget, but what is particularly needed everywhere. 
Let yaur light so shine before men, that they may 


see your good works, and glorify your Father which 
is in heaven. And how is this to be done ? but by 
doing as Charles Richardson did. To conceal re 
ligion is to dishonour Christ, and run the risk of 
suffocating it to death. There is a way of obtruding 
it upon others, most objectionable and repulsive ; 
but in Charles s case there was such manifest sim 
plicity of purpose and transparent purity, that 
people who knew him were led to expect some 
thing about Christ and personal religion, before he 
left their company. When he was invited to a 
farmhouse as a woolwinder, it was taken for 
granted that while he was a visitor, there must be 
family prayer, and plenty of talk about religion 
amongst the servants ; and people who could not 
do with prayer took good care not to invite him. 
"When Moses was requested to exercise his authority 
and silence the preaching laymen, he exclaimed: 
Would God that all the Lord s people were pro 
phets, and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon 
them ! As much as to say that he cherished the 
hope that a time would come, when all who know 
the Lord shall show forth His praise with lip and 
life. And that time shall come. It shall come to 
pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of 
My Spirit upon all flesh ; and your sons and your 
daughters shall prophesy. These are the last 
days ; we are in the very midst of them. The 
Holy Spirit is even now given to them that believe. 
And when the heart becomes His living temple, all 
Christians feel what Charles Wesley expressed 
when he sang : 


My heart is full of Christ, and longs 

Its glorious matter to declare ! 
Of Him I make my loftier songs, 

I cannot from His praise forbear ; 
My ready tongue makes haste to sing 
The glories of my heavenly King. 

Oharles Richardson had received the baptism of 
;he Spirit ; and the consequence was, he carried 
Uhrist with him wherever he went; and was always 
>n the look-out for an opportunity to offer salvation 
;o master and man, to old and young. 

The business of a woolwinder is confined, as has 
seen said, to one season of the year, and left Mr. 
Richardson at liberty for other occupations from 
;he autumn until the following spring. And the 
.mportant religious service in which he was 
jmployed for the last five-and-twenty years of his 
ife warrants the inference that the special Provi- 
lence of the Great Head of the Church directed 
aim to that worldly calling. In winter he found 
Dy far the best opportunities for gathering large 
JOngregations on week-day evenings ; and his new 
>usiness left him quite free to accept the numerous 
nvitations which began to come in from various 
md distant places, to preach occasional sermons 
ind hold protracted services, with a view to the 
evival of the work of God. Nor did this alternate 
imployment in the work of the church and the 
vorld, operate at all injuriously upon himself or 
mpair his usefulness. After being entirely sepa- 
ated from worldly business six or seven months at 
i time, preaching and travelling all over the 
Country, he could return to his woolwindiug and 


other duties with alacrity and satisfaction ; and 
was ready again when the season came round to 
set off on his long tours of Gospel toil, with 
renewed freshness and spirit of enterprise. The 
constitution of his mind was singularly elastic, and 
he knew how to be diligent in business, fervent in 
spirit, serving the Lord. 

Before he began going from home as an evan 
gelist, he filled up the year, when woolwinding was 
over, with various agricultural labours. About an 
acre of land was attached to the cottage in which 
he lived, and was cultivated after the fashion of 
market gardeners. Horncastle market frequently 
found him present with something to sell. An in 
stance is related connected with his marketings 
illustrative of his character : He was there on one 
occasion standing by a heap of potatoes which he 
offered for sale. A buyer came up and asked, 
What sort of potatoes are these ? His honest 
reply was: None of the best! Other salesmen 
standing near, said one to another : What sort of a 
man is this who won t praise his own potatoes ! 
But the truth is he was just that sort of man. True 
to his Methodist rule, he did not use many words 
in buying and selling. His tempations to say 
Some of the best, instead of None of the best, 
were probably as strong to him in his small way of 
business, as those which are presented to the large 
dealer and wealthy merchant, who turns over thou 
sands of pounds in a single transaction, and makes 
no scruple about a false representation. But it waw 
of more consequence to him to keep a conscience 
void of offence, than to make a good bargain. 


I A nd in the long run it was none the worse for him. 
j People got to know him and could trust his word, 
I and did business with him in preference to others. 
I Indeed such were the connections he acquired, and 
I such the esteem in which he was held in his own 
I country, that had he confined himself to the 
I ordinary work of a local preacher, and pursued 
I worldly business like others his equals, with his 
[natural shrewdness and well regulated habits, it 
I is highly probable that he would have been equally 
I successful as the most favoured of his contempo- 
I varies, some of whom acquired considerable property. 
jiBut he had nobler work to do. 

Know, that the wings 

On which my soul is mounted, have long since 
Borne her ton high to stoop to any prey 
That soars not upwards ; sordid and dunghill 
Jlinds, composed of earth, in that gross element 
Fix all their happiness ; hut purer spirits, 
Purged and refined, shake off that clog of 
Human frailty. I>eau,,nont and Fletcher. 



Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm ; it is the real 
allegory of the tale of Orpheus : it moves stones, it 
charms brutes. Enthusiasm is the genius of sincerity, 
and truth accomplishes no victories without it. 


MR. RICHARDSON commenced his labours as an 
itinerant evangelist in consequence of the pressing 
and persevering solicitations of his friends. Mr. 
Barton gives the following narrative of the cir 
cumstances of his first efforts in the way in which 
he was so long distinguished : In the year 1833, 
I removed from Tetford to a farm at Hagnaby, a 
small hamlet in the Alford circuit. The Rev. 
Robert Bryant was at that time the superintendent 
minister, and laboured with much success. "With 
his consent I sent many and urgent invitations to 
brother Richardson to come and help us ; feeling 
assured that the people were prepared of the Lord 
for his labours. He declined compliance however, 
again and again ; not seeing his way clear to come 
and stay a couple of weeks as I wished him. At 
length in the month of December, 1835, he con 
sented to come for a week. At that time Mr. 
William Coates, now of Laceby, near Grimsby, 
resided at Hagnaby ; and invited Mr. Richardson 
to his house during his stay. He preached at 
Hagnaby on the Sunday with blessed results ; and 


was engaged for five nights during the following 
week, at Button, Huttoft, Trusthorpe, and Alford : 
Breaching and attending missionary-meetings, and 
witnessing the conversion of sinners in each place. 
A few weeks afterwards he was greatly urged by 
friends in other villages in the neighbourhood, 
where a gracious work was going on, to visit them ; 
and in January, 1836, he spent a fortnight amongst 
;hem, preaching three times on the Sunday and 
Sve nights during the week, holding prayer-meet- 
ngs, and visiting the people in their dwellings. It 
oleased God to crown his labours with marked suc- 
ess. Very many were converted, and for long after 
wards it was quite common to find persons rise up in 
he lovef easts and refer to those blessed times, and 
ell of their having received the blessing of entire 
anctification in those days of grace. At the end of 
he fortnight he returned home, but was not long 
Q coming back again at the earnest request of both 
reachers and people ; and wherever he went the 
hapels were crowded to overflowing, and sinners 
ere crying for mercy on every hand. The people 
eld meetings for prayer in each other s houses 
t all hours of the day and night ; and it was no 
-range thing in those days to hear and see men in 
ie fields calling upon the name of the Lord Orby 
as one of the villages he visited. Previous to his 
g there Methodism had nearly died away 
it pleased the Lord to bless Brother Richardson s 
>ours in that place in a wonderful manner. The 
oly Spirit was poured out upon the people, and 
it-hearted sinners were constrained to roar 
for the disquietness of their hearts. Many 


found pardon, and were filled with joy and peace 
in believing. One man who had been some time 
under deep convictions, and had sought the Lord in 
agonies of prayer, was so overwhelmed with joy 
when he laid hold upon Christ, that he walked 
upon his knees from one end of the chapel to 
the other, and back again, shouting, " Glory ! 
glory ! glory ! " This man s wife and three daugh 
ters were all soundly converted at the same time, 
and steadfastly held on their way for a few years, 
when both father and daughters all died ex 
ceedingly happy in God. On the same occasion 
another woman was seeking the Lord in much 
distress of soul, with a baby in her arms. Her 
case greatly excited Brother Eichardson s sympathy, 
and he encouraged her and prayed with her until 
she was enabled to cast her burden upon the 
Saviour. That woman and the daughter she was 
then nursing are both living and serving God at the 
present time. Several other places which he visited 
were blessed as largely as Orby, and some of the 
gracious results are still forthcoming. Since these 
visits in 1835, brother Eichardson has frequently 
been with us, preaching for chapels, missions, or 
Sunday-schools, and has always had large con 
gregations and good collections ; and better than 
all, has always had conversions, and left the Societies j 
benefited and revived by his visits. In the year 
1854, he preached at Sutton, in Mr. Guy s granary, | 
when the heavenly influence which came down > 
upon the congregations was astonishing. Very 
many persons now living date their conversion from | 
that time, 


The mode of labour thus commenced and sig 
nally blessed by God, is no doubt to be regarded as 
irregular, so far as the discipline and church order 
of the Wesleyan Societies are concerned. And yet 
I who would be willing to discourage such a la- 
j bourer as Charles Richardson ? Eather, who would 
j not be ready to bid him God speed? Irregu- 
! larities, simply affecting the methods employed by 
j good men in order to bring the Gospel home to the 
1 hearts of sinners, are not always to be suppressed. 
|j Some of our Lord s disciples would have summarily 
|:| and rashly stopped certain proceedings which were 
| not quite to their taste ; but He forbad them to 
jj interfere, and enunciated a principle to which they 
I were strangers at the time, saying : For he that 
jj is not against us is on our part. There were 
EJ irregularities at Philippi on the part of some who 
; preached Christ, but the apostle Paul would not 
h have them suppressed. The entire economy and 
, history of Methodism, present many points not 
t; much in harmony with ecclesiastical canons and 
! j ancient usages, but they are not considered any the 
I worse on that account. Methodists regard the au 
thority of the Holy Scriptures as supreme in the 
settlement of all disputed questions. Mr. Wesley 
ihad much difficulty in breaking loose from the 
trammels of the iron ecclesiasticism, in which he 
was trained from boyhood ; but as he advanced 
along his shining path and yielded to the clearer 
light which the Holy Spirit conveyed to his mind, 
he gave his sanction to many things which high 
churchmen denoui ce to this day as intolerable 
irregularities ; the plain fact that they were owned 


of God, and in nothing contraiy to the spirit or 
letter of Holy Scripture was enough for him. From 
the beginning, the system of Church polity which 
Mr. Wesley bequeathed to his successors has been 
administered with much wisdom and moderation. 
Certain irregularities or deviations from the or 
dinary discipline of the connexion have occasionally 
shown themselves, like exceptions to a rule ; but if 
the hand of God has been visible in connection 
with them, they have been wisely allowed to take 
their course, until results have fully demonstrated 
their propriety and value. Mr. Wesley allowed 
females in a few instances to exercise their gifts in 
public speaking, on the assumption that they had 
an extraordinary call of God : and on the same 
ground the Conference has prudently abstained 
from interfering with the labours of several holy 
women, wives of ministers and others who have 
been fellow-helpers with their husbands in the 
work of saving souls. The late Mr. William 
Dawson, of blessed memory, occupied an irregular 
position as a preacher, but he was plainly called of 
God to maintain it, and every one felt that he waa 
the right man in the right place ; and both min 
isters and people, with Conferential sanction, pro 
vided a special fund to sustain him where God had 
placed him, and where he rendered invaluable 
service up to the end of his life. Mr. Eichardson s 
position became similar to Mr. Dawson s, and the 
various superintendent ministers, who were suc 
cessively placed in charge of the Horncastle 
circuit, judged themselves at liberty to treat hi3 
as a special and peculiar rase ; and very properly 


1 abstained from a rigid enforcement of the rules 
| relating to the work and office of a local preacher. 
| His name always appeared upon the circuit plan, 
| and with almost every issue he was appointed to 
I a certain amount of work in his own circuit, which 
I he was ever careful to perform. The Methodist 
I church polity does not contemplate such an order 
I of preachers as itinerant evangelists, other than 
I the regular ministers appointed by the conference 
I: to circuits. But then, ministerial orders are not 

difficult to obtain by properly qualified candidates. 
1 For the sake of godly order, local preachers are re- 

quired to confine their labours to the circuit in 
1 which they reside, save under exceptional cir- 
j cumstances which are duly provided for : but in 
1 Mr. Richardson s case this rule was not put in force, 
[ and he was cheerfully allowed to labour in any 
|; circuit into which the resident authorities invited 
p him. And he had such an honourable sense of his 
jl personal obligations to the discipline of the con- 
fi nexion, that he never would go into any circuit 
j: unless invited by the ministers as well as the 
: people. 

The question, no doubt, may be very properly 
| raised, how far it is wise and safe to allow of such 
| exceptional cases ; but the precedents are so weighty, 
[ and the beneficial results of past practice are so un- 
i questionable, that it is greatly to be desired that 

the action of connexional authority in relation to 
these cases should continue the same as hitherto. 
; The great Head of the church has not bound Him- 
: self up by certain canon laws. The wisdom of men 
I is sometimes foolishness with God. Exceptional 


cases which bear the Divine stamp upon them, may 
be regarded as special tokens of the continued 
presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the 
church. In the absence of plain and unmistakable 
indications of the will of God to the contrary, it is 
a solemn duty to carry out the established discipline 
of the Christian church in a spirit of meekness, 
wisdom, and love ; but to say that certain regula- 
lations respecting the mode of teaching and 
preaching are never in any instance to be relaxed, 
is to say what Methodism has never yet said, and 
it is to be hoped never will. 

Mr. Richardson s career as a Wesleyan evangel 
ist, commenced under circumstances which marked 
him out as a man called of God, to a life of exten 
sive usefulness ; and he felt it laid upon his heart 
and conscience to preach the gospel everywhere. 
And yet he withstood his own impressions as long 
as he dared. For a time he endured much distress 
of mind while casting about within himself how to 
act, in reference to the invitations and wishes of his 
friends. His natural modesty led him to shrink 
from the position he was urged to occupy, and yet 
at the same time he seemed to hear voices both 
within and without, saying This is the way, 
walk ye in it. He prayed much for Divine guid 
ance ; took time before he decided ; and at length 
being fully persuaded in his own mind that he was 
in his providential path, felt free to act in reference 
to the various open doors of usefulness before him, 
according to the best of his judgment, exercised in 
the fear of the Lord. This he did, and persevered 
to the end in doing it ; nor had he at any time 


reason to suspect that he had been misled. His 
experience was another illustration of the promise : 
In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall 
direct thy paths. 

The personal qualifications of Mr. Eichardson for 
the larger sphere of usefulness he now entered, were 
highly creditable to himself, and such as with the 
blessing of God were likely to ensure success. 
During the long period in which he held back from 
preaching, he had diligently sought after self-im 
provement, and was so far successful as to make up 
in a great measure for the lack of early education. 
He was blessed to as large an extent as most men 
with that enviable conception of the old classic 
A healthy mind in a healthy body. He had a 
strong will, a retentive memory, a fair amount of 
imagination, a sound understanding, was capable of 
persevering application, and had a keen intuitive 
insight into the nature of things ; his mind was 
always at work, making observations and drawing 
inferences, and his knowledge was continually in 
creasing ; he sought it everywhere, and like a miser 
greedy of treasure, the more he obtained the more 
he desired ; he gathered scraps from school-boys, or 
anybody, in daily conversation ; and what he 
gathered he knew how to store away and prepare 
for use. He was a diligent reader of good books: 
theology, history, and biography, were his delight. 
The Bible was his daily study, and almost every 
thing else which he read was made to contribute to 
its elucidation. Mental activity, associated with 
constant prayer to God, is sure to be most salutary 
and beneficial. When a man who is diligently 


pursuing useful knowledge is continually praying 
to God to help him, he is sure to be an apt scholar, 
and may be expected to become a blessing to his 
fellow-mortals. For a long time before Mr. Rich 
ardson began to preach he had many opportunities 
of personal intercourse with the ministers of the 
Horncastle circuit, and others who moved in a circle 
superior to his own ; and was not a little assisted 
by them in his reading and the supply of books. 
He was too poor to purchase what he wanted to 
read, and there was no village library to which he 
had access ; but his friends were always ready to 
lend what he wanted, and he freely availed himself of 
their kindness. The late Eev. George Cubitt, who for 
several years presided with great ability, as Editor 
over the Wesleyan literature published at City Eoad, 
London, once said in a large gathering of ministers : 
When I was a young man I had not many books 
of my own, but wherever I could, I borrowed one, 
and did not care to walk a mile or two for that 
purpose ; and when I became a preacher, I had 
always a book with me, whether at home or walk 
ing to a country appointment ; I was always read 
ing. And many of the early Methodist preachers 
were men of similar habits ; they were hard readers, 
close thinkers, keen observers, praying much withal ; 
and not a few of them persevered in the pursuit of 
knowledge, until they became men of extraordinary 
power and valuable attainments. Some of them 
might be wanting in French polish, but they had 
an abundance of power; and, like first-rate pioneers, 
knew how to split the rocks, and fell the forests, 
and lay the foundations deep and strong, and build 


tip the fair walls of Zion even in troublous times. 
And it will be well for mankind, if their more 
privileged successors, who possess greater superficial 
refinement, retain the manly energies of those upon 
whose labours they have entered. 

Mr. Richardson s character as a man and a 
preacher, was formed and fashioned very much in 
the same way as many of the early coadjutors of 
Mr. Wesley, who were sometimes designated round 
preachers, from the extensive circuits they occupied. 
In many respects he resembled them, and, had 
he lived in their day, very likely he would have 
been one of them. They were the heroes of our 
church, whose example stimulated his admiration 
and ambition ; he longed to be like them, prayed 
for their mantle, and did his best to emulate 
their devotedness, and achieve their success. As 
a preacher he was comparatively ripe at the com 
mencement of his career. His age was ripe, so also 
were his religious attainments ; and his gifts were 
not those of a novice. His labours were productive 
of fruit from the first. Some of the manuscripts of 
his earliest sermons are still forthcoming, and how 
he found time in those days to compose them it is 
difficult to say. Some of them are written out at 
full length, and do credit to both head and heart. 
He never was a memoriter preacher, but from the 
beginning his sermon-notes were very copious. And 
many of them which were prepared in after years, 
are so complete as to be almost fit for the press. He 
was a believer in the aphorism of Lord Bacon: 
Reading maketh a full man ; conference a ready 
man ; writing an exact man. Men like Mr. Rich- 


ardsou, have need to study correctness, especially 
in proclaiming the will of God to large audiences j 
and he felt it, and for the sake of correctness, was 
laborious in the work of preparing for the pulpit. 
When he began to preach, all his reading and 
thinking converged upon this one point. This was 
a work which he felt that God had given him to do, 
and he was anxious to do it in a workman-like 
style, and spared neither pains nor prayer in order 
to succeed. The consequence was, in the estima 
tion of the friends around him, he came forth to 
fight the good fight like one who had been pre 
viously trained, and had learned well the heavenly 

Some preachers seem never to have to pass a 
period of professional boyhood, they are men from 
the first. The ]ate Dr. Bunting is said, by some 
who knew him well in early life, to have preached 
sermons when a young man on probation in the 
Oldham circuit, as full of power and ability as any 
in after-life. There was a wide difference between 
Dr. Bunting and Mr. Richardson. The one was 
superbly gifted, rarely equalled, and qualified to 
sustain a first-class position in either church or 
state ; his name amongst Wesleyans will long stand 
only inferior to that of the illustrious founder 
himself. The other was simply an earnest, sensible, 
humble, energetic, successful evangelist ; and there 
is no intention to institute a comparison by placing 
their names side by side. Mr. Richardson however, 
was an efficient preacher from the first. As soon 
as he entered the harvest field he showed himself 
a workman that needed not to be ashamed, and 


brought home such burdens of sheaves as have 
been seldom seen. His fine mellow voice, possess 
ing considerable compass and flexibility ; his 
earnestness, unaffected simplicity, and occasional 
outbursts of vehemence, his unquestionable personal 
piety, and his genuine Saxon countenance, all 
tended to throw a sort of charm over the congre 
gations to whom he ministered in holy things, which 
constrained them to listen with pleasure to every 
sentence that dropped from his lips. He was 
innocent of the so-called art of public speaking, 
and had never studied the rules of rhetoric, but he 
had the gifts of a true preacher. The rules of 
genuine art are all founded upon nature, and come 
the nearest to perfection when they are the most 
natural, and it is easy to see how a person largely 
favoured with natural gifts, may approach the 
standard of true art without the previous study of 
its rules, and how certain it is that such a person 
will be much more effective and successful than 
one who is chiefly dependent upon the instructions 
of artists and professors. Mr. Richardson was not 
an artist, but he had fine natural parts sanctified 
by the word of God and prayer, and became a 
preacher whom the king delighted to honour. 

At the same time that this excellent man com 
menced doing the work of an evangelist, he came 
forth as a zealous advocate of the Wesleyan 
Missionary Society. The first public meeting which 
he attended as a speaker was at Huttoft on 
December 9th, 1835 ; and he took an active part in 
numberless meetings of the same kind afterwards. 
The Society lay very near his heart ; he loved it 


with a pure and strong affection which many 
waters could not quench. The Lincolnshire Metho 
dists have ever been staunch supporters of the 
Missionary Society; and the large sums of money 
raised every year in the hamlets and villages of the 
county for Foreign Missions, shame many of the 
large town congregations throughout the land, 
which put forth great pretensions and claim a very 
superior position. It is no uncommon thing for 
missionary anniversaries in Lincolnshire hamlets, 
where the chapel contains not more than two 
hundred sittings, and the whole population is not 
above three hundred, to produce from 30 to 50 and 
sometimes more. The marvellous operations and 
success of Methodist Missions to the Heathen, are 
not a little indebted to the generous manner in 
which they have been sustained by the rural popu 
lation of several counties, and Lincolnshire in 
particular. The year before the Huttoft meeting, 
forty English districts, as arranged in the Minutes 
of Conference, produced 40,488 ; and the same 
year the Lincoln district contributed 1,651 ; while 
the whole of the Lincolnshire circuits put together 
raised 2,571. Since that period some of these 
circuits have raised as much as seven and eight 
hundred pounds a year. In Mr. Kichardson the 
Society found an advocate who, taken altogether, 
was as devoted and effective as any that ever 
pleaded upon its platforms. It has had many more 
highly-gifted speakers, but few who have attended 
so many public meetings, or travelled so many 
miles in its behalf, or assisted in raising larger sums 
of money, during the quarter of a century which 


his public life lasted. The names of many invalu 
able men will readily occur men of renown, famous 
amongst their brethren in this and other times, 
who have gone forth in the exercise of much self- 
denial, through the length and breadth of the land 
to plead for means to carry on the work of God in 
the ends of the earth ; and the name of the peasant- 
preacher is not unworthy of a place in their honour 
able fellowship. During many years of his public 
life he frequently attended three or four missionary 
anniversaries in one week, preaching in the after 
noon, attending a tea-meeting at the close of public 
worship, and speaking at the meeting in the evening 
for three quarters of an hour. His manuscripts 
show with what care and diligence he sought for 
information suitable for these occasions. His 
speeches abounded with pertinent, appropriate 
anecdotes ; and wherever he was advertised as one 
of the speakers, the congregation was sure to be 
good, and the collection commonly better than the 
preceding year. 

Mr. Richardson s services as a preacher, and 
speaker at public meetings of various kinds, became 
in such extensive demand in a few years, that had 
he accepted all the invitations which came to hand, 
he might have been continually from home. He 
felt it right however to decline many of these until 
about the year 1850, when he was induced to with 
draw almost entirely from worldly business, in order 
to order to devote himself more fully to the work 
of God. For many years after he began to preach 
there was scai-cely a single new chapel erected by 
the Wesleyans iu Lincolnshire, but he was requested 


to take part in the opening services ; and there 
perhaps never was a man not in the regular ministry, 
who preached as many anniversary and occasional 
sermons, made as many collections for public 
charities, and raised as large an amount of money 
as he did. 

The following list has been formed from jottings 
which his papers contain, but yet supplies only a 
portion, of that kind, of service which he had the 
honour to perform : 





Wainfleet . 

Firsby . . . June, 10, 1838. 

Market Basen . 
Spilsby . . 

Keal Cotes . 

August 19, 1838. 
October 14, 1838. 


Thornton-le-Fen . 

September 6, 1839. 

Market Rasen . 
"Wainfleet . 

Legsby . 

October 13, 1839. 
December 15, 1839. 

Wainfleet . 

( OldLeake(New) 
\ School) . f 

December 22, 1839. 

Spalding . 
Market Easen . 

Moorby . 

March 4, 1840. 
September 13, 1840. 
September27, 1810. 
October 25, 1840. 

Sleaford . 

Leadenham . 

October 10, 1841. 

Spalding . i 

Dowsdalo . 

November 4, 1841. 

Boston . 


March 10, 1842. 
September 16,1842. 

Oundle . . 

Ound e . . . ! October 2, 18-42. 

Lincoln . 

Newport . . i November 16, 1842. 

Spalding . 

( Holbeach (re-) 
i opening) . > 

Christmas-day 1842 

Wainfleet . 


June 25, 1843. 

Ijoutli . 

Ludborough . . July 14, 1843. 

Spalding . 

MoultonWasliWay : August 20, 1843. 

Great Grimsby . 

Waltbam . . January 11, 1844. 






Downliain . 
Peterborough . 

Downham (School) 
Yaxley . 

May 13, 1814. 
October 13, 1844. 

Barton-upon- ) 
Huniber . f 

Habrough . 

March 2, 1845. 

Grantham . 

Salt by . 

August 22, 1845. 

Melton Mow- ^ 
bray . . J 


October 17, 1845. 

Coiiiim-sby . 
Bpalding . 

Tattershall Bridge 
Whaplode . 

August 25, 184G. 
October 1, 1846. 



Boston . 
Man by . 

September 19, 1847. 
November 21, 1847. 


( Belper Pottery > 
(. (re-opening) .) 


Grantham . 


October 1,1848. 


f Stapleford (reO 
(. opening) J 

December 10, 1848. 

Peterborough . 
Coningsby . 

Farcet . 
New York . 

September 27, 1849. 
February 11, 1850. 


J Kuddington ") 
} (School). J 

April 28, 1850. 

Boston . 

fButterwick (reO 
1 opening) . j 

October 3, 1850. 


Boston (Organ; 

December 22, 1850. 

One thing specially worthy of notice, and much 
to the credit of Mr. Richardson, was, that when he 
preached on these or similar occasions and had to 
appeal to the people on behalf of financial objects, 
he never seemed to lose sight of the fact that he 
was Christ s ambassador, sent to preach in order to 
bring lost sinners to God. And whether he was 
opening chapels or preaching anniversary sermons 
on week-days or Sundays, he always looked for 
conversions there and then, and he was generally 
permitted to see them : sometimes he saw them in 
considerable number. The late Dr. Newton who 
had large experience in such matters once said : 



The way to induce people to give their money for 
religious objects is to get at their hearts by preach 
ing the pure Gospel. Mr. Richardson many times 
in the course of his long life proved this opinion to 
be unquestionably correct j his earnest evangelical 
ministry seldom failed to secure encouraging 
financial results, and he had souls for his hire at the 
same time. He usually prepared sermons for these 
occasions suitable to the circumstances, whether 
connected with Sunday-schools, Foreign Missions, 
or ought else, but they were all full of evangelical 
doctrines and sentiments. Some of the subjects he 
prepared were the following : 

On Loving the House of God. Psalm xxvi. 8. 

The City by a Eiver. Psalm xlvi. 4. 

Beautiful Feet on Mountain tops. Isaiah lii. 7. 

The Virtues of Holy Waters. Ezekiel xlvii. 9. 

The Walls of Ziou built. Psalm cii. 1C. 

The Burning Bush. Exodus iii. 26. 

Peace and Security of the Church. Isaiah xxxiii 

20, 21. 

* Weeping Sowers and Happy Reapers. PsaZm cxxvi G. 
The Chief Pursuit. Proverbs iv. 7. 
The Two Sons. .Matthew? xxi. 28. 
The Queen of Sheba. 1 Kings x. 6, 7. 

A large bundle of manuscript sermons and 
sermon notes affords ample proof that he was very 
diligent in his pulpit preparations, and that he 
sought to obtain well beaten oil for the lamps of 
the sanctuary. He did not expect Divine assistance 
without doing all in his power to help himself. And 
in addition to his other preparations he always 
desired to go directly from his knees in secret, to 


appear before the public congregation. And coming 
thus fresh from the presence of God, he often seemed 
to bring with him something of that heavenly 
radiance, which beamed so brightly from the 
prophet s countenance when he came down from 
communing with God on the top of Sinai. Indeed, 
this was the lock of his strength the secret of 
ais power. He had never been the man he was, but 
for much secret intercourse with God. And ! 
may not all who preach the glorious Gospel 
attain the same distinction ? Why not ? What 
hinders ? ! how formal, tame, and feeble in the 
way of converting sinners, all preachers are who 
have no power with God ! Is it not indispensable 
that God s ambassadors should renew their commis 
sion each time they deliver their message ? Cowper 
has well said : 

When one that holds communion with the skies, 
Has filled his urn where these pure waters rise, 
And once more mingles with us meaner things,. 
Tis even as if an angel shook his wings ; 
Immortal fragrance fills the circuit wide, 
That tells us whence his treasures are supplied. 1 



Surely that preaching which comes from the soul, 
most works on the soul. .Fuller. 

The inward sighs of humble penitence 
Rise to the ear of heaven, when pealed hymns 
Are scattered with the sounds of common air. 
Joanna Baillie. 

IN the latter end of 1836, Mr. Richardson was 
urged to spend some time as an evangelist in the 
Great Grimsby circuit. He went in the early part 
of November and remained until January, 1837 ; 
preaching at the rate of four or five days a week, 
sometimes twice a day, and two or three times on 
the Sundays ; besides holding many prayer-meetings, 
band-meetings and other religious services j often 
continuing them until late in the evening. The 
formal record of these labours is lost, and all that 
remains to tell of them are the cherished reminis 
cences of individuals who witnessed them, and 
were brought to God at that time. Not a few of 
these testify to the wonderful displays of Divine 
power which then took place, resulting in the con 
version of many sinners and the general quickening 
of the Societies throughout the circuit. Wherever 
he went he was received as the messenger of God, 
the chapels were crowded, and the word he pro- 
claimed had free course, and was mighty through 


God to the pulling down of strongholds. Many 
persons of different ages and conditions were power 
fully awakened and added to the church, both in 
the Grimsby and neighbouring circuits. Prom this 
period, Methodism in that part of Lincolnshire has 
proceeded onwards, prospering more and more. 
The Grimsby circuit for several years past has 
occupied a most honourable position in Methodism, 
contributing from GOO to 800 a year to the 
support of Missions to the Heathen, increasing the 
staff and stipends of its own ministers, multiplying 
commodious chapels, and erecting and maintaining 
six day-schools now in successful operation. During 
three years, viz : from 1856 to 1859, the voluntary 
contributions of the Wesleyan Methodists of that 
single circuit, for various religious objects, amounted 
to the noble sum of upwards of 13,000. 

Of course it is not intended to attribute these 
results to Mr. Richardson s labours, but it does 
seem proper to mark the circumstance, that after 
the season of grace which the circuit experienced 
during his visit in 1836-7, a steady flow of pros 
perity set in, which had not been known previously. 
For some years before this date the number of 
members in Society had stood a little over 1,000; 
but in March, 1840, they were returned at 1,230, and 
they have continued increasing (with small fluctua 
tions) up to the present time. Many devoted and 
talented ministers have occupied the ground, and 
have had much success in their labours, and to their 
instrumentality the prosperity of the circuit is 
mainly to be attributed ; but there is no doubt that 
Mr. Richardson s numerous visits largely contra 
il 2 


buted to promote it. In no part of England was he 
more highly appreciated and beloved than in the 
Grimsby circuit. At any time of the year, on any 
day of the week, if it was only announced a few 
hours beforehand by the cry of the bellman or other 
means, that he was to preach in George Street 
chapel, there was sure to be a large congregation at 
the appointed hour. Some of the most respectable 
inhabitants of the borough glorified G od in him. 
by becoming obedient to the faith which he 
preached. And not a few both rich and poor, stand 
fast in the Lord to this day, who will thank God 
for ever and ever for his ministry. 

The following letter to his wife is an interesting 
memento of the time. It is dated Laceby, February 
8th, 1844 : 

{ MY DEAR ANN. I have good news to send you. 
I am very well in health and happy in soul. The 
Lord is with us in a very powerful manner. I have 
preached five times in Grimsby to large congrega 
tions, and many souls have been saved. At Lacebv, 
on Monday night, we had a most happy time, and 
seven or eight found peace. At Hatcliffe, on 
Tuesday, we had a chapel full of people and six or 
seven found peace ; and at Keelby, on Wednesday 
night, which is a village much like Tetford, we had 
a crowded chapel and a breaking down among the 
people. About twenty came forward in distress, 
and twelve obtained pardon ; while many went 
home deeply wounded. Yesterday afternoon I went 
to Hull with Mr. and Mrs. Coates, to hear Mr. 
Caughey from America. We took the packet at 


Grimsby and had a pleasant voyage. At six o clock 
"Waltham-street chapel was full of people, we had a 
good sermon, and a great number of mourners came 
forward, and many were made happy. I met with my 
old friend Mr. Field, who was glad to see me again, 
and spent a comfortable night at his house. This 
morning at eight o clock we set sail for Grimsby. 
but the sea was very rough, the waves rolled high, 
and the packet tossed about so much that the people 
were thrown down upon the deck. I thought I 
should have been sick. The scene was awfully 
grand ; I never saw the like before ; but I should 
not like to be a sailor, and was thankful when we 
got safe home. We are just going to Waltham to 
hear the Kev. F. J. Jobson from Leeds, at two and 
six. It is the opening of the new chapel. I am to 
continue the services on Sunday afternoon and night, 
and shall preach again at Laceby on Monday, and 
hope to get home at the end of the week. I hope 
you are well. I do not forget you upon my knees, 
and have no doubt our prayers meet at the throne 
of grace. 

I am, yours most faithfully, 


Mr. Charles Watmough, a respected local preacher 
in the Louth circuit, writes with reference to his 
early labours as an evangelist: I first became 
acquainted with Mr. Richardson during his visit to 
the Grimsby circuit in the year 1836. He preached 
in the town of Caistor, where I then resided, and 
was the means of doing much good. My heart was 
just then opening itself to the Lord s teaching, and 


he was just such a preacher as suited my young and 
buoyant soul and rivetted my attention to the word 
of the Lord. He was in behaviour out of the pulpit 
modest, gentlemanly, sincere, kind and affable, 
plain in dress, as indeed he always was up to the end 
of his course, for I never saw any difference in him. 
Fiom Grimsby he proceeded in January, 1837, to 
the Spilsby and Market-Rasen circuits, where he 
laboured three months with uninterrupted accepta 
bility and success ; pursuing much the same course as 
at Grimsby, preaching as frequently, and often able 
to rejoice in the triumphs of truth and grace which 
he was permitted to witness in connection with his 
visits to various places. In the Spilsby circuit he 
had many spiritual children, and had great satisfac 
tion in their consistency and steadfastness. Xn 
October, 1838, he returned to that circuit and con 
tinued labouring with indefatigable zeal up to the 
end of January, 1839. Durin g that visit he preached 
frequently on behalf of missions, chapels, and 
Sunday-schools, but was ever intent upon saving 
souls, and was almost always and everywhere 
successful. It was a fruitful season of gracious 
visitation to the whole neighbourhood. The 
windows of heaven were opened, and showers of 
blessing came down upon ministers and people, all 
worked harmoniously together, Mr. Eichardson was 
in his element, and hundreds of people were 
gathered into the Wesleyan fold. In the March 
quarter of 1839, the numbers in the circuit, after 
making up for the usual wear and tear, shewed a 
clear increase of two hundred and seventy-nine 
members over the preceding year. 


At Binbrook, in the Market-Easen circuit, he was 
made a great blessing. Mr. Chapman, who for 
many years was the pillar of the Society in that 
place, and whose funeral sermon he preached in 
1851, formed a strong attachment to him. Tor a 
long period afterwards, he regularly preached the 
annual sermons for the Sunday-school and took part 
in the missionary anniversary, and always had 
crowded audiences, and saw more or less of good 
done. Many persons in that neighbourhood were 
brought to God by his instrumentality, some of 
whom remain to this day. 

The latter part of 1837 was spent chiefly in the 
Alford circuit, and in January, 1838, he went to 
Boston at the urgent solicitation of ministers and 
friends. The circuit connected with that town was 
at the time in question of considerable extent, 
embracing the whole of what is now the Wainfleet 
circuit, and stretching from the sea coast to a con 
siderable distance inland. In this district Mr. 
Richardson had a fine field of labour, he had access 
to the entire population, and wherever he appeared 
the people flocked together to hear him preach. 
The writer was superintendent minister of the 
Boston circuit after its division, for three years, 
commencing about eight years after Mr. Richardson s 
first visit, and had ample opportunities of judging 
as to the value and effects of his labours, and he is 
free to say, that so far as his knowledge is concerned, 
never was any individual, lay or clerical, in any 
part of Methodism, held in greater regard, or more 
extensively useful. Never was any one s name 
mentioned so frequently in lovefeasts and class- 


meetings with gratitude to God as was his. Many 
of the best members of society, class-leaders, and 
local preachers, attributed their conversion to his 
instrumentality. The Boston circuit received a 
spring and impulse at that period which it has 
never lost up to the present time. The converts 
gathered into the fold during that visit, and 
immediately afterwards, appeared as members in the 
annual returns of March, 1839, when there was a 
clear net increase of three hundred and twenty- 
nine on the year, one of the largest ingatherings 
the circuit has ever known. This great accession 
was sustained the following year by a further in 
crease of fifty-five, when the circuit, containing at 
the time about nineteen hundred members scattered 
over a wide extent of country, was divided at the 
Conference of 1841, and the Wainfleet circuit formed 
out of it, with an additional minister stationed 
upon the ground. After his first visit a year seldom 
passed but he was invited to return, and many 
times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord 
he brought with him. His services were always in 
demand both in town and country. He took part 
in the opening services of the noble Centenary 
chapel in 1840 j and the chapel at Stickney which 
he opened the same year becoming too small, he 
was honoured by preaching at the opening of its 
more spacious and handsome successor in 1857. 

During a visit in 1847 he wrote home, saying : I 

preached last Sunday night in the Centenary chapel 
to more than two thousand people from the text 
" His mouth is most sweet : yea, he is altogether 
lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, 


3 daughters of Jerusalem." Cant. v. 16. I had a 
a very happy time, and in the prayer-meeting eight 
sinners obtained pardon. On Monday night I 
preached again and five more found peace with God ; 
and on Wednesday night again, when we had a 
very large congregation, several were in deep 
distress crying aloud for mercy, and a few were 
saved. I am to preach in Boston again next Sunday 
morning, and make a collection for the poor starving 
Irish who are dying of famine, and then go to 
Mount Pleasant for "afternoon and evening. The 
writer had an opportunity of hearing him preach 
that Sunday morning when the collection was made 
for the Irish. Great power attended the word. 
The congregation was large, and seemed to be 
pervaded with a sense of the presence of God. The 
sermon was remarkably earnest and practical, every 
utterance was solid, scriptural, and to the point ; he 
spoke like one who had come from communion with 
God, and felt himself answerable to God for every 
thing he advanced ; and what he said was just what 
his hearers might call to mind with benefit upon 
a death-bed. As he proceeded with beautiful 
simplicity and fluency to enlarge upon his text and 
to apply the subject as he went along, the excla 
mation arose in the heart again and again, Well 
done Charles ! Nobly did he plead the cause of the 
poor Irish, and generously did the congregation 
respond. That S;ibbath in Boston was a type of 
many others which he spent there. 

Mr. Robert Hubbert, one of the magistrates of 
the borough, and the father of Methodism in the 
circuit, who knew him intimately from first to last, 


writes thug : He was a good and blessed man and 
very useful here, his like is seldom to be found. He 
was exemplary in all his movements. You were 
never afraid of introducing him into any society. 
He was constitutionally retiring, but very affable, 
and always ready to join in general conversation, but 
mostly soon gave it a religious turn. When with the 
sorrowful he would try to cheer and comfort them ; 
and when with those who were happy in God he 
could always rejoice. He was uniformly good, was 
most unselfish and circumspect in his proceedings 
in the church, never acting without the ministers 
and leading friends going along with him. 

It would require a volume twice the size of the 
present to follow him through all the places he 
visited, and to mention the instances of usefulness 
which came to his knowledge from time to time. 
A large amount of interesting matter is passed over 
from necessity, and only the most important and 
authentic placed upon record. In towns and villages 
his ministry was equally acceptable. There was a 
raciness, power, and strong common-sense in his 
sermons, associated with much simplicity and 
unction, which made them attractive to the educated 
as well as to the illiterate ; so that, like the Hebrew 
shepherd of old, He went on, and grew great, and 
the Lord God of hosts was with him. Preachers 
of his stamp are always successful. Would to God 
they were greatly multiplied in the land we live in. 
As much human learning and polish for preachers 
as you please, but they must have in addition, the 
other and nobler qualties which distinguished 
Charles Eichardson. What a preacher ought to 


>e, and what in a good degree the Lincolnshire 
Thrasher really was, is admirably described in the 
ollowing lines : 

Would I describe a preacher, such as Paul, 
"Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and own, 
Paul should himself direct me. I would trace, 
His master-strokes, and draw from his design, 
I would express him simple, grave, sincere ; 
In doctrine uncorrupt ; in language plain, 
And plain in manner ; decent, solemn, chaste, 
And natural in gesture ; much impress d 
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge, 
And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds 
May feel it too ; affectionate in look, 
And tender in address, as well becomes 
A messenger of grace to guilty men. Cowper. 



lie was mighty as a preacher, and he preached with 
the expectation of immediate and individual results. 
The distinct demonstrative reformation and salvation 
of individual souls were the only satisfactory proofs to 
him of the success of his ministry, and he sought for such 
proofs in every place he visited, and after every sermon 
he delivered. Senj. Abbott, in Stevens Amer. Moth. 

MR. WESLEY observes in one of his journals, after 
mentioning the circumstance that he had met with 
a plain man remarkably full of the Holy Ghost, and 
singularly useful Only give me fifty such men and 
I will undertake to shake the three kingdoms ! The 
founder of Methodism had such a knowledge of 
human nature and of the philosophy of Christianity, 
that he had strong confidence in a Divinely prepared 
agency. He felt what we feel, that the greatest 
desideratum of the church is a supply of right 
hearted men, clothed with apostolic zeal and spiritual 
power, to go forth into the world at large as the 
heralds of salvation. Only let these be forthcoming 
in sufficient numbers, and the most sanguine 
expectations respecting the spread of the Gospel 
shall be realized. Christianity was made and sent 
into the world in order to conquer all mankind ; 
and it only waits until the true soldiers appear, 
fully to accomplish its mission. There is a certain 


kind of preaching which, even in the present day, 
rarely fails to accomplish the ends for which the 
gospel was sent, and there is another kind which as 
seldom succeeds. Paul planted, Apollos watered j 
but God gave the increase. As it was, so it is. 
Can any one doubt that if St. Paul, or his sanctified 
band of fellow-labourers were to occupy our pulpits 
in the present day, that their ministry would be 
less successful than it was in their own age ? 
Apostolic successes did not depend upon human 
[earning, eloquence, or the peculiar circumstances 
distinguishing the age ; no ! but upon the power of 
;he Holy Ghost a power which blessed be God, 
remains in the church still, and is ever connected 
with ministers of great personal sanctity, who 
closely walk with God. Wherever such men go, 
bhe Master is with them, enabling them to testify 
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth 
us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the 
savour of His knowledge by us in every place. 
3 ! for a host of such ministers ! churches 
anguish for want of them. 

Mr. Richardson s labours as an evangelist began 
to extend to a greater distance from home at the 
commencement of the year 1840. He was invited 
>y the ministers of Barton-upon-Humber to assist 
n holding various anniversaries ; and was engaged 
n that work under the direction of the superin- 
iendent for a month or five weeks ; filling up every 
spare evening with extra preaching and prayer- 
meetings. Many were awakened and converted 
under his ministry ; and he was ever afterwards 
held in the greatest esteem by the Wesleyans of 


that important circuit. The family of Mr. Bygott, 
of East Halton, in particular, formed a strong 
attachment to him, and in after years he frequently 
visited their hospitable home when his excessive 
labours rendered a little repose and refreshment 
necessary. An invalid daughter was greatly blessed 
and comforted by his conversation and prayers, and 
sometime after one of his earliest visits, wrote in 
the following terms j showing the estimation in 
which he was held, and the savour he had left 
behind him : 

1 DEAR MR. KICHARDSON, I am glad to embrace 
another opportunity of addressing you. Since you 
left us we have often talked about you and asked 
each other where you are, without being able to 
answer the question. If it has been after seven 
o clock in the evening, the reply has generally 
been" ! preaching somewhere." So you see 
we have you always employed in the great and good 
work of winning souls to Christ. I hope you still 
continue to enjoy the same liberty as when here. 
All who sat under your ministry agree that they 
never before enjoyed such blessings, for so many 
times together. Do you still remember the Monday 
evening in our room? Surely it was a time never 
to be forgotten. When father was at Barton he 
was accosted by some of the friends who were with 
us, who said they never before experienced such a 
time of heavenly influence. You will rejoice to 
know there are seven who have joined our Society 
since you left, and several others who attend the 
means of grace more regularly. The members of 


Society also have become much more alive. Mrs. B. 
has not yet joined the class, but we hope soon to 
have both her and her husband. I will give you the 
aames of those who have joined. Father and 
mother unite in kindest regards to yourself and 

Mr. Richardson was frequently in the Barton 
circuit and was always welcome. In the commence 
ment of 1844 he spent a month there, chiefly in 
holding special religious services, and at the close, 
sent the following interesting letter to his friend 
the Eev. Robert Bond, describing the remarkable 
results which he witnessed, and which lead us 
to cry while we read, Haste again, ye days of 

Tetford, March 28, 1844. MY VERY DEAR 
BROTHER, I have received your kind letter and am 
sorry to find that you are so unwell. I have just got 
home from a five weeks tour in the Barton and Gains 
borough circuits. I spent four weeks in four different 
places, preaching twice on the Sunday and four nights 
in the week, holding a fellowship-meeting on the 
fifth. We have had some of the most glorious times. 
In the first village we had forty persons who gave 
in their names to begin meeting in class, and all had 
found peace except two or three. In the next 
village we had thirty ; and in the next, I never saw 
such an out-pouring of the Spirit of God in all my 
life. We began the week well, and the congrega 
tions increased night after night, until at the end, 
numbers could not get into the chapel. There was 


a large school-room connected with it, in which we 
held our prayer-meetings, and you would have been 
delighted with the scenes which I witnessed there. 
Both praying men and praying women laboured 
with all their might, and seemed as if inspired from 
on high, while numbers of broken-hearted sinners 
were sighing and groaning and crying aloud for 
mercy, twenty together ; and six or seven persons 
praying aloud at the same time. We did our best 
to keep order, and had three rows of benches set, 
the penitents on one side and the praying people 
on the other ; but it was difficult to keep all right, 
and at twelve o clock at night we had almost to 
force the people to go home. We had all classes of 
the inhabitants. There was a farmer who pleased 
me very much, he presented himself as a penitent 
on the second night, but did not find peace; he 
came again the third night, and during the prayer- 
meeting I asked him how he was getting on ? He 
said : " I do not get on very well, but I hope I 
shall do better, Satan must give way, I am sure he 
must ; God s word is true ; I am sincere, and the 
Lord will save me." He came again the night after, 
when I preached from " Noah s Ark," and when 
speaking about the Lord calling Noah into the ark, 
I shewed them how he ascended the steps to go in, 
and while doing so how he stopped and turned to 
entreat his neighbours to come in with him, and 
then went up another step and renewed his exhorta 
tions until his work was finished, and he entered the 
ark " and the Lord shut him in." I closed the Bible 
with a quick impressive action to suggest how it was 
done. And when the prayer-meeting began, I went 


to the farmer and said : Well, have you found 
the Lord ? " he replied, " yes ! just as Noah 
entered the ark, I entered with him and ve ntured 
on Christ." A respectable widow woman was there 
whose husband died happy four years since. She 
enjoyed religion and one of her children also, but 
she had three others who did not, two sons and a 
daughter. All three came forward as penitents 
seeking mercy. The two sons were fine young 
farmers and were in deep distress of soul. The 
mother s feelings overwhelmed her, but they all 
found peace ; and then to have seen the mother and 
her four children all rejoicing in God together, was 
most affecting and delightful. The people crowded 
the penitent bench till we were obliged to tell them 
they must wait, and when some found pardon, we 
took them away to make room for others ; and 
when their names were taken down, there were 
more than a hundred, besides others who came from 
surrounding villages of whom we took no account. 
I left the place all on fire. In several families 
little business was done all the week. Eeligion was 
the great topic of conversation. Meetings for 
prayer were held in private houses, where several 
found peace, and then went to tell their neighbours 
what the Lord had done for them. They would 
have done anything for me to have stayed longer; 
and if I could have remained a month, it looked as 
if the whole village would have been converted, 
but I was obliged to leave. I have also been at 
Barton, the circuit town, and numbers were brought 
to God there. I could not get to know how many; 
we had twenty the first night. The blessed influence 


seemed to spread from place to place in variovis 
ways. I was told of a labouring gardener, a pray 
Tag man, who was sent for to a neighbouring village 
to do up the garden of a farm-house. There were 
nine persons in the family, all of them ungodly; 
the mistress of the house said :-The gardener is 
coming to-day and he is a Methodist, we shall have 
some fine fun with him to-night." So when the 
good man came in to supper, she began to rally and 
banter him about his Methodism, and said :- 1 on 
must preach to us to-night." He saw that they 
were all trifling and making sport of him, but 
Replied :-- Well, I am no preacher, but I can pray 
with you," and down he went upon his knees im 
mediately, and they all knelt down with him. He 
be-an to pour out his soul in powerful prayer and 
aftTer he had pleaded with God in beh ali : o the 
family for some time, the servant girl, who was a 
backslider, began to weep and sob aloud, and .to 
others became very serious. The gardener, who 
was full of the Holy Ghost, talked to her and 
prayed with her until she was comforted ; and s 
was the effect produced upon the others, that one 
of them cried aloud for mercy, and then another 
and another, until the whole nine were all praying 
together, with all their might, for the salvation o 
their souls; and every one of them that night 
became deckled for religion, and set out for heaven. 
Trnust now conclude. I often think of you when 
upon my knees. I hope your souls prosper. ] 
God bless you with health of body to labour and 
much peace and joy in your soul. My wife 3 oms in 
kind love to Mrs. Bond and yourself. 


In the year 1841 he laboured extensively in Cam 
bridgeshire, visiting nearly all the circuits in that 
county and others elsewhere. He preached on 
behalf of public objects almost every Sabbath and 
frequently on week-days besides. His fame as a 
speaker on the missionary platform had gone forth, 
and he often had to attend several meetings in the 
same week, and preach or speak in public some ten 
or twelve times in seven days. But while doing 
this, and working at full stretch, wherever it was 
possible he held a prayer-meeting at the close of 
the service with a view to bring waverers to decision, 
and restore lost sheep to the Shepherd and Bishop 
of souls. His work was exceedingly laborious; 
but he was in the prime of manhood, and delighted 
in having fully as much employment in the work of 
God as his bodily strength could sustain. It was 
the saying of a fine old Methodist preacher* of a 
former day, That he never felt so happy as when 
on a Sunday night he was worn out with work, and 
had just enough strength left to tumble into bed 
and exclaim " Praise the Lord ! " Mr. Richardson 
was a workman of the same stamp. He often 
speaks of his exhausting toils in his letters home, but 
rarely complains, and usually seems to have been 
quite recruited by a good night s rest ; and was as 
ready as ever the next day to employ his limbs and 
lungs in his beloved employment. 

Mr. Richardson was now pressed almost out of 

measure, to visit many circuits, and had to refuse 

more invitations than those he was able to accept. 

His earliest and latest friend, Mr. William Coates, 

* The Ecv. Hodgson Casson. 


of the Manor-house, near Grimsby, was very wishful 
that he should visit that circuit again, but previous 
engagements prevented him. A letter from a 
member of the family, dated Laceby, Oct. 28th, 
1842, is worthy of record : 

1 At the request of Mr. Coates, I beg to acknow 
ledge your last, and to say that we really must have 
you" for two or three weeks at least. Mr. Stephen- 
son, our kind superintendent, was anxious for you 
to come some time ago to assist in holding missionary- 
meetings, but Mr. Coates persuaded him to leave 
you to hold revival services as soon as you can 
come. We often think and speak of your last 
prayer amongst us that our house at Laceby 
might be sanctified, walls, floor, and all about it. 
I suppose you have heard that the house was said 
to be haunted ; and many have enquired if we have 
ever seen the ghost. But praise the Lord we have 
seen nothing beyond what is human. It is true 
however that about a fortnight ago, just after twelve 
o clock at night, we were aroused from slumber by 
strange and startling cries in one part of the house. 
We arose to see what was the matter, and found 
that the noise proceeded from the room occupied 
by the groom. For some time previously he had 
been under deep convictions for sin, and that night 
upon retiring to his room had resolved not to sleep 
until he could cast himself upon the Saviour. He 
had been upon his knees four hours in succession 
and in silence all the time, and when at length God 
spoke peace to his heart, he was so overwhelmed 
with joy, that he gave a loud expression to his 


happy feelings, and cried out with all his might. 
He is still happy and meets with us in class. Praise 
God for this haunted home ! We care not how often 
we are thus aroused at midnight. The prayer of 
our hearts is, ! that God would visit us from on 
high, and sanctify us wholly to Himself. 

Such were Mr. Richardson s friends, such their 
sympathies and joys, and such the domestic episodes 
which occasionally transpired in their dwellings. 

Part of the months of November and December 
was spent in labouring in the Lincoln circuit, and 
during that time he preached in the city and most 
of the villages surrounding it. The Newport chapel 
was opened, he assisted in preaching at the dedica 
tory services, and the blessing of God came down 
upon the people wherever he proclaimed the word 
of life. On the second of December, 1842, he wrote 
home as follows : 

I have been out in the circuit all the week, and 
have just come into Lincoln, or I would have written 
sooner. I have been preaching and holding prayer- 
meetings every night, and the Lord has been with 
us, and good has been done in every place. I was 
at Bassingham last night, and about ten persons 
found peace with God. My coining has produced 
much excitement, and the people run after me from 
place to place and many souls are saved. All being 
well, I preach in Lincoln on Sunday morning, and 
at Fiskerton at two and six ; at Branston on Monday, 
at Eagle on Tuesday, at Newton on Wednesday, and 
at Thorp on Thursday. 


An interesting circumstance took place in connec 
tion with his visit to Harby, at which place he 
preached on the 80th November. He had not much 
comfort in the service, and saw but little fruit. 
Seven years passed away, and Harby had nearly 
gone from his recollection. He was at Southwell in 
Nottinghamshire, and was attending a tea-meeting, 
when a young man came and sat down beside him, 
and asked if he had any remembrance of him : 
conversation ensued, in which it turned out that the 
young man was from Harby j that he had gone with 
man/ more to hear Mr. E. preach that night m 
November, 1842, and was deeply convinced of sin, 
together with several other young men, under the 
same sermon ; that they all became decided im 
mediately; joined the Society, and that a revival 
followed which spread through the village. Here 
was another illustration of the instruction given to 
those who labour in the Lord s vineyard : In the 
morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold 
not thine hand : for thou knowest not whether shall 
prosper, either this or that, or whether they both 
shall be alike good. 

Mr. Kichardson laboured in the Lincoln circuit 
frequently in after-years, and was there permitted 
to gather much fruit. The people of _ that fine 
circuit knew how to appreciate his sterling worth, 
and rejoiced in his success. 

The number of members in Society at the Con 
ference of 1842 was 1,967, but the following March 
they rose to 2,137, and continued subsequently to 
increase: shewing that wherever proper means are 
employed, and a vigorous, enterprising spirit is 


manifested in aggressive action upon the surround 
ing home heathenism ; the Lord is never behindhand 
with His people, but invariably works with them 
and vouchsafes abundant encouragement. We have 
no right to expect the diffusion of religion without 
the employment of suitable human agency. Christian 
people need to be much more impressed with the 
value and necessity of chosen instruments for God 
to work with, for He does not work without 
them ; and before the land we live in can be evan 
gelized, there must be raised up a supply of 
Evangelists, baptized with fire, carrying the glad 
tidings of salvation into rural retreats, and the 
back slums of large cities, and making the regions 
of spiritual darkness and death to reverberate with 
their cries, Repent ye and believe the Gospel. 
Only let the chosen, divinely-ordained Evangelists 
go forth call them laymen, clerics, or what you 
please and an army of regenerated men and women 
shall arise out of the valley of dry bones, to make 
the land resound with the Redeemer s praise. 

Success and encouragement await the men who 
labour for God, in the spirit of the Lincolnshire 
Thrasher. They are the great want of the times : 
The Lord of the harvest waits to hire as many as 
offer. The whitening fields are almost withering for 
want of them. The supply does not meet the demand ; 
and it will not be until the Church produces a greater 
number of like-minded men, that the extension and 
conquest so much desired can be realized. 

In 1843 Mr. Richardson s labours were of much 
the same character and results as previously. He 
visited many circuits in Cambridgeshire and Lincoln- 


shire, opening new chapels, preaching anniversary 
Sunday-school sermons, holding missionary meet 
ings, and making collections for various religious 
objects ; but always taking care to cast his net on 
the right side of the ship, and as a skilful fisher of 
men to bring sinners to the Saviour. Monetary 
objects with him were always subservient to higher 
and nobler aims. He took it for granted that 
wherever he was wanted it was to assist in saving 
souls and in promoting the spiritual work of God, 
and while he laboured chiefly to accomplish these 
objects, the other and inferior ends which were 
desired, were secured, and indeed were all the more 
encouragingly realized. 

In the latter part of the year he was very hard 
at work, and was continually passing from place to 
place for about three months, not having an oppor 
tunity of looking in upon his family for an hour, 
but he managed to secure Christmas-day for the 
sweets of home. He had a keen relish for social 
and domestic enjoyments, and dearly loved to be in 
the midst of his children at Christmastide. On this 
occasion he had only a few days rest, and as these 
passed he preached some three or four times at 
Tetford, and then with the first clays of January, 
1844, he was on the wing again, and went into the 
Market-Rasen circuit, where he continued labouring 
and gathering fruit for a fortnight. Then he went 
to G-rimsby for a month, and thence to other placef. 
About six weeks after he left home some one origin 
ated a most mischievous report, to the effect that he 
had suddenly dropped down dead. And true to the old 
adage, Rumour is both false and fleet, it flew fast 


and far. Many of his friends were in much concern, 
and Mrs. Eichardson and his children were in great 
distress for some days. As soon, however, as he 
became aware of their anxiety he wrote home and 
put all to rights by the following letter : 

Ulceby, near Barton, March llth, 1844. Monday 
afternoon, 5 o clock. I have just got the letter you 
sent me, and am sorry to find you have heard the 
report that I dropped down dead. The same is 
circulated here. How it arose I do not know ; per 
haps it originated with some wicked man. However, 
I have been very well, except a little cold. The 
Lord is carrying on a glorious work in this circuit. 
I think there has not been one night since I left 
home but the Lord has saved souls. I preached 
here for the first time last night, and many were 
saved and testified to the power of God to pardon 
sin ; and there appear to be many more under con 
viction. I am to be at Gainsborough next Sunday, 
and spend the whole week with them, but hope 
to be at home on Saturday week. I have been a 
long time away, but the Lord is very good to me, 
and helps me in my labours. I never forget you at 
the throne of grace, and hope Christ is very precious 
to you. I shall be happy to see you all again, and 
spend a week at home. 

The above is all that remains to report the results 
of a ten weeks tour, which appears to have been 
exceedingly successful. Incidents and circum 
stances of the deepest interest must have transpired 
in connection with the many conversions, and 


seasons of gracious power to which he refers in 
saying, there has not been one night since I left 
home but the Lord has saved souls. How many 
families were made happy how many hearts were 
comforted how many Societies were refreshed and 
strengthened, will never be known until the day 
shall declare it. It is much to be regretted that no 
memorial is left, and that he kept no regular journal 
of what transpired. But his record is on high, 
and many already do, and hereafter shall arise to 
call him blessed. 

The greatest part of this year was spent upon the 
same ground he had visited the year before, but he 
everywhere gathered fruit. At Button-on-Trent, 
six persons found peace with God. At Tuxford, 
twenty people were in the penitents pew and 
many of them obtained pardon. There also, a 
pious farmer s wife wept for joy over two of her 
daughters who were earnestly seeking salvation. 
At Wisbeach there were five or six penitents, and 
better collections than for seventeen years pre 
viously. At Huntingdon, six persons professed 
to find salvation, where such a thing had not been 
heard of for a long time. At St. Neots, there 
was a mighty shaking amongst the "dry bones," 
and one of the circuit Ministers with his wife were 
bathed in tears while their daughter, a fine young 
lady of eighteen years, was directed to the " Lamb 
of God" for pardon; and many brothers and 
sisters, husbands and wives, were weeping over 
each other and rejoicing in God. 

The latter part of the year found this zealous 
man in a very different sphere of labour to any he 


had previously occupied. He had many friends in 
London, who for some time had been very wishful 
to introduce him to the Societies and congregations 
of the great city. But he instinctively shrank 
from the formidable task of appearing before a 
metropolitan audience. A plain, simple country 
man, as he knew himself to be, of rustic manners 
and provincial speech, he felt afraid that he would 
be out of his place in such a sphere, and that it was 
not to be expected, he could be made as useful in 
London, as in the villages and small towns to which 
his labours had as yet been chiefly confined. His 
friends, however, thought otherwise. They knew 
what we know, that there are hosts of people living 
in heathenish darkness and depravity within a very 
short distance of the places where the gospel is 
proclaimed ; and that many who attend these sanc 
tuaries, belong to the same classes of persons as 
those to whom his ministry had been such an abun 
dant blessing in the country. Ultimately, he was 
induced to overcome his scruples, and after much 
prayer for Divine guidance, he ventured in the 
name of the Lord to go and spend a fortnight in 
holding special religious services. The spiritual 
results, however, were not such as to satisfy his own 
mind. Had fame and popularity been the object of 
his ambition, he might have been well enough 
pleased with his visit ; but it was otherwise ; his 
insatiable desire was for the salvation of sinners, 
and unless this object was accomplished every time 
he preached, he retired to his closet, to weep and ex 
amine himself, as to whether he was doing the will 
of God, and in his right place. He was permitted 


to gather some fruit in London, but the quantity 
did not satisfy him. In after years, however, he 
frequently visited the metropolis, laboured with 
great joy and returned home counting his spoils 
with gratitude to God. In the latter part of his 
life, he was commonly in London once or twice 
every year, for three or four weeks at a time, and 
on these occasions many were brought to God by 
his instrumentality. At Walworth, Vauxhall, 
Spitalfields, and other places, he was of great 
service to Sunday-schools and chapels in embar 
rassed circumstances ; and was held in the greatest 
esteem by many of the ministers and leading 
friends ; while several of the Societies were greatly 
refreshed from time to time by his thoroughly 
evangelical preaching and the heavenly influence 
which attended all his labours. 

To a person brought up in the plain and homely 
life of a Lincolnshire village, a first visit to the 
< great metropolis is to this day an event of some 
importance, and was much more so thirty or forty 
years ago. Mr. Eichardson was no stoic, and he 
evidently felt the excitement of the novel circum 
stances in which he was placed during his first 
visit. The following communications to Mrs. Kich- 
ardson tell their own tale : 

London, Oct. ZStli, 1844. When I got to Mr. 
Harrison s, on Saturday, they gave me a hearty 
welcome. Yesterday, I preached two Sunday- 
school sermons to very good congregations. We 
had an excellent prayer-meeting at night, and an 
awakenino- influence among some of the slumberers. 


There are some smart people here, and plenty of 
tine bonnets and ribbons and flowers, and they al 
most made me tremble, but I was enabled to cast 
myself with all my helplessness upon Christ, and we 
had a blessed day. 

Mr. Harrison is going to take me to see the 
Queen s procession, from her palace to the Eoyal Ex 
change. Her majesty will appear in all her glory, 
attended with dukes and lords and tens of thousands 
of people. In one street through which the pro 
cession will pass, they are letting a chamber window 
for twenty pounds to sight-seers. I expect the 
pocket-pickers will be very busy, but I shall leave 
my watch and money at home. 

* I^ondon, Oct. 31st. I think you will be more con 
cerned about me now that I am here than if I were 
in any other place, so I write again to tell you that 
I am comfortable and happy. I have been preaching 
every night to respectable congregations, but not 
very large. Here are not many poor people who 
come to chapel, but still the Lord has given me a 
few souls in London. We saw the Queen s pro 
cession on Monday ; it was a grand sight. We saw 
the state carriages, the Queen and Prince Albert ; 
a regiment of horse soldiers went before, and the 
Life Guards followed after. They went very slow, 
no faster than we could walk. The Queen kept 
bowing to the people as she went on, and the mul 
titude, with hats off and hands up, saluted her with 
loud huzzas. I am to preach in Vauxhall chapel 
to-night, Friday night, and twice on Sunday for the 
schools, and next week shall turn homewards. 


" London, Nov. 6th, I have now finished 013* work, 
in London, and am in the house of Mr. James Gill, 
thinking and talking about the providence of God. 
We have been saying, " Who could ever have thought 
twenty years since that I should have to come to 
London to preach, and that James Gill and Eliza 
Bray would be here to entertain me, so many miles 
away from our native place." But so it is. They 
got better collections on Sunday than they have 
had before. They say the chapel will hold about 
seven hundred, but it was packed full, and hundreds 
went away that could not get in. We have had a 
few souls saved. I was preaching on Saturday 
night, and a woman fell down, and cried aloud for 
mercy and continued in distress until I was done. 
We then prayed with her, and she was made happy. 
She said she was at the chapel the night before, 
and went home so miserable she could not sleep. I 
must leave London on Friday morning, and come 
to Huntingdon, if all be well ready for Sunday. 

Thus in London as elsewhere, the peasant 
preacher was owned of God and made an abundant 
blessing to His church. He had one all-absorbing 
end and aim before his mind, whether walking the 
London streets, or the quiet lanes of his native 
village, and that was, the glory of God and the 
salvation of men. Neither the attractions nor the 
distractions of London life made much difference 
with him. He had one thing to do ; and he did 
it with earnestness and prayer for Divine help; 
and the help he sought was forthcoming when 
wanted, enabling him to accomplish what some of 
the brilliant and ten-talented men fail to do. 


If, therefore, thine eye be single thy whole 
body shall be full of light. Mark that ! There is a 
promise of spiritual power given to a heart right 
in the sight of God. And Avith that promised 
power, a rustic shepherd-youth, with simple sling 
and stone, brings down a trained Goliath, and leads 
the hosts of Israel on to conquest. The unction of 
the Holy Ghost invests an unlettered countryman 
with an influence, which, notwithstanding his broad 
provincial speech and homely manners, draws the 
educated and polished citizen to his feet, and makes 
him the messenger of salvation to thousands of his 
social superiors. 

The wise man, says the Bible, walks with God, 
Surveys far on the endless line of life 
Values his soul, thinks of eternity ; 
Both worlds considers, and provides for both 
With reason s eye his passions guards; abstains 
From evil, lives on hope : on hope the fruit 
Of faith ; looks upwards, purifies his soul, 
Expands his wings, and mounts into the sky ; 
Passes the sun, and gains his Father s house, 
And drinks with angels from the fount of bliss. 




* The Gospel comes to the sinner at once with nothing 
short of complete forgiveness, as the starting point 
of all his efforts to be holy ; it does not say : " Go and 
sin no more and I will not condemn thee." It says 
at once : " Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no 
more." Horatius Bonar. 

MR. EICHARDSON S ministry was full of Christ and 
the offers of a present salvation ; wherever he went, 
arid to whomsoever he preached he had little else 
to speak about ; he gloried in the Cross, and held it 
forth with the boldness and confidence of an enthu 
siast, to the rich and the poor, to the learned and the 
unlearned, and expected immediate manifestations 
of the power of God. He cherished a strong and 
undoubting conviction that the Gospel is equally 
able to produce direct and visible results when 
offered to mankind in our own day, as in apostolic 
times, and was always ready to direct enquirers 
after salvation, in the language of St. Paul and to 
say : Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou 
shalt be saved. His earnest cry, in the pulpit and 
the prayer meeting, at the family altar and in the 
social circle was: Behold, now is the accepted 
time ; behold, now is the day of salvation. He 
offered to every penitent sinner he could find, 
present pardon through faith in Christ; and to 


every believer groaning for full salvation, present 
sanctification through the influences of the Holy 
Ghost. All his arguments, illustrations, exhorta 
tions converged upon the necessity of at once 
closing in with Christ and His offers; and the 
dangers of delay, and hence his success. A 
Christless ministry is never successful ; it may be 
accomplished, eloquent, attractive, but it is not 
productive of conversions. On the other hand, 
though the preacher may be homely and unedu 
cated, yet if he goes forth set on fire with the love 
of God and the souls of men, to offer a present 
salvation in the name of Christ crucified, he is sure 
to leave his mark behind him ; a spiritual progeny 
will be raised up by his instrumentality ; and the 
people shall know that there hath been a prophet 
among them. 

From January to October, 1845, Mr. Richardson 
laboured at Boston, Terrington, Laceby, Wrangle, 
Holbeach, Bourne, Biggleswade, Chatteris, Tetf ord, 
Melton Mowbray, etc. He was never unemployed. 
When not in harness as a preacher, he was visiting 
from house to house, making new sermons, or at 
tending to his extensive correspondence. In one 
way or other he was continually scattering seeds of 
truth and living for the glory of God. He was 
inured to hardness, he never claimed seasons of 
relaxation or self-indulgence, his excellent consti 
tution enabled him to endure toil without much 
fatigue, and he gave himself no rest. It was not so 
much from a sense of duty that he lived so, as from 
the pleasure he found in holy toil, that his daily life 


seemed to say : I must work the works of Him 
that sent me while it is day, for the night cometh 
when no man can work. He had the spirit of a 
true minister of Jesus Christ, and gave full proof 
that although no ordaining hands ever touched 
his head, he held a ministerial vocation from God. 
Men may talk and dictate as they please about 
Apostolical Succession, and Episcopal Ordination, 
but Godwill show from time to time as the years roll 
on, as He ever has done in time past, that He is not 
to be bound tip by human inventions, and that when 
gifted and sanctified messengers of righteousness 
are wanted He will not hesitate to bring them forth 
from the vineyards of Tekoa, the fishing boats of 
Gennesareth, or the sheep-folds of Lincolnshire, 
or somewhere else. 

Towards the close of the year Mr. Eichardson 
entered upon a still wider sphere of labour than 
previously. He was strongly urged to visit circuits 
in Somersetshire and Devonshire. The distance was 
great, and to a person like himself, who had never 
travelled at all, until the middle period of life had set 
in, long journeys must have seemed very formidable. 
In the old coaching days of the four-wheeled High 
flyers and Telegraphs from the north up to 
London, it was not at all uncommon for prudent 
men to make their wills before starting from home. 
But railways were by this time rapidly bringing 
about a wonderful change in people s ideas about 
travelling. The Great Western, had made the 
counties of Devon and Somerset so easy of access, 
that northern peasants, brought up in places as 
sequestered as Tetford, could look upon very long 


journeys without alarm. Mr. Richardson had sel 
dom been farther from home than Horncastle, until 
he was turned forty years of age j and as he passed 
to and fro between his home and Ashby, day by 
day for nineteen long years, the high hills around 
him, not a mile distant, shut out the busy world, 
and probably suggested thoughts about travelling 
very different to those with which everybody is so 
familiar in these days of < cheap trips and excur 
sion trains. And it was not without much con 
cern that he brought himself to adventure forth 
upon such a formidable undertaking as a journey 
to Tiverton. However, as his way seemed clear, he 
made up his mind to go, and set off on the last day 
of October for a two months tour. He visited 
Wisbeach, Upwell, Wimbotsham, and other places 
on the way, and at the end of a fortnight wrote 
home for the second time as follows : 

Bedford, Nov. Utk, 1845. I left Stow last 
Friday, and stayed in Cambridge all night. Oil 
Saturday I arrived at Bedford about one o clock, 
after travelling seventy miles, and found a very 
kind respectable people. I preached threo times 
last Sunday, and have held four missionary meet 
ings during the week, the congregations have been 
large and the collections good; three times as 
much in one place, and in another doubled. This 
afternoon I preach again, and hold a missionary- 
meeting at night about three miles out of Bedford. 
I am to preach next Sunday twice, about three 
miles away on another side of the town, and shall 
leave on Monday morning for Bow-Brickhill, in 

K 2 


Buckinghamshire, about eighteen miles from Bed 
ford ; and on Tuesday morning they will carry me 
to a railway station about forty-six miles from 
London. I think of staying a day or two in 
London, and shall then go on to Tiverton. I hope 
the Lord will preserve both you and me, and that 
souls will be saved, and then if so, when all our 
labours and troubles are over, great will be " our 
rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus ! " Thank 
God I have almost always some good to record. 
When I was at Wereham in Norfolk last week, 
they told me of a young man that found peace with 
God when I was there four years ago, who has 
since died happy in the Lord and is gone to glory. 
I came here by railway from Ely to Cambridge, 
about sixteen miles, and see no danger. I think 
there are great improvements in the railways, and 
that they act with much more caution than they 
did at first. I got into the train at Ely, and we 
seemed only to have been going a few minutes 
when we came to a station ; I said to a gentle 
man : " How far have we got ? " he said " Nearly 
nine miles 1" I was astonished, for we did not 
appear to go very fast. 

Tiverton, Nov. 22nd. It is with pleasure I write 
to say I am very well ; praise the Lord ! I have 
got safe to my journey s end, and have never seen 
any danger all the way. On Friday morning I 
left London by the Great Western Railway, and 
got here at night. We were travelling all day, for 
the train stopped several times on the way. Tiver 
ton is a larger town than Louth ; the chapel will 
seat about eight hundred people. I am to preach 


in it twice to-morrow, and once in the country. I 
have not yet seen more than two or three of the 
friends, but they seem strange and peculiar. Well, 
I must look to the Lord for help ; He has been 
with me in every place yet, and I am not afraid 
that He will forsake me here if I trust in Him. I 
hope I shall soon have the privilege of telling you, 
from here as from other places, of the conversion of 
sinners to God. And you also must trust in the 
Lord, and remember that I am as safe here as 
though I were but twenty miles from home. 

Tiverton, Nov. 28th, 1845. I am thankful to say 
that though labouring very hard, I am as well as I 
ever was in my life. I preached at Tiverton twice 
on Sunday, the congregations were good, and we 
had a blessed prayer-meeting; there were about 
eight came to the altar-rail, and three found peace. 
During the week I have been out into the circuit. 
The chapels are small, religion low, and the mem 
bers few. In one town where I was on Monday 
there are four thousand inhabitants, but we have 
only eighty members ; on Tuesday I was at another 
town with eighteen hundred inhabitants, and we 
have only a little chapel and five members. I had 
a small company, but small as it was a poor woman 
got salvation, and as I have since been told, when 
she went home her husband began to beat her be 
cause she had been at the chapel. I preached in 
Tiverton last night to a good congregation, there 
were twelve penitents at the prayer-meeting, and 
seven obtained pardon. I am to pi each again to 
night and believe we shall have a gracious work, 
there is a good prospect. The part of the country 


I have seen is very beautiful and pleasant. It is 
almost all hills and dales, small pastures, woods 
and groves, fine springs and rivers running amongst 
the hills. In summer the scenery must be most 
beautiful. The people talk very different to the 
people of Tetford ; and it would amuse you not a 
little to hear some of them pray, their manner is so 
singular, and not being used to revivals they can 
not enter into the prayer-meetings, so that we want 
help very much. I never was in so large a place 
with so little praying talent. I should like to have 
half a dozen of my neighbours at Tetford here to 
assist me for a few nights. 

His plans and operations during the remainder 
of his visit to Devonshire were very much deranged 
by the sudden and fatal illness of the wife of the 
Kev. Robert Bond, who was at that time the super 
intendent minister of the Tiverton circuit. Both 
Mrs. Bond and her husband were much attached to 
Mr. Richardson, and were the means of introducing 
him to the Societies in that part of the kingdom. 
They rejoiced in his success, and promoted his use 
fulness in various ways. It had been arranged for 
them to go with him on a visit to the Dunster cir 
cuit, and they were upon the eve of starting when 
Mrs. Bond was seized with a serious illness, which 
in the space of a fortnight terminated in death. 
Mr. Bond was almost overwhelmed for a time by 
the painful visitation, and the Society in Tiverton 
was greatly distressed. She was a deeply pious 
and useful lady, in the prime of life, and greatly 
beloved. Her death was beautifully triumphant, 


and during the whole of her affliction she was sus 
tained in an extraordinary manner with the com 
forts of the Holy Ghost. Mr. Richardson was 
much affected with the dispensation which took 
away at a stroke the wife of his friend ; and his 
letters home were rilled with accounts of the pain 
ful details arising out of it, and with expressions of 
his own deep sorrow and sympathy. But little in 
formation can be gathered from his correspondence 
at this time respecting the results of his labours, 
excepting the simple fact, that they were not in 
vain in the Lord. On the 9th of December he 
preached in the Dunster circuit, and continued 
labouring there until the 20th ; and then returned 
home in order to be ready for the Christmas and 
the new-year s services at Tetford and Horncastle, 
at which he was always expected to be present, 
and which for many years in succession were greatly 
promoted by his assistance. 

In the early part of January, 1 846, he addressed 
a letter to Mr. Bond, which is too characteristic 
and interesting to be omitted. He was assisting 
the Rev. J. H. Norton at the time, having com 
menced the new year as he had ended the old one, 
diligently working in the vineyard of the Lord : 

Coningsby, January 15th. MY DEAR BROTHER, 
Again I take up my pen to address you, but I no 
sooner begin to write than my tears begin to flow, 
and the whole scene of your dear companion s 
affliction crowds upon my mind ; and yet, although 
I feel deep sorrow, and sympathize with you in 
your loss, how blessedly your cup is mingled with 


the best of consolations. You have no pangs of 
grief arising from the thought of a soul lost. No 1 
You have the consolations arising from the recollec 
tion that supporting grace was given, that a 
triumphant victory crowned the final conflict, that 
another saint has gone to glory, that another gem 
is added to the Redeemer s crown, and another soul 
added to the shining ranks before the heavenly 
throne to swell the songs of the redeemed, who 
like herself, were saved by grace. I shall never 
forget the morning I left your house, and the last 
look of your dear wife which I caught when 
coming out of her chamber. To my astonishment, 
she was singing with uplifted hands and eyes, and 
a countenance lighted up with heavenly love, 
" Part of the host have crossed the flood, and part 
are crossing now." The scene has frequently been 
the subject of my conversation and remark, in the 
places which I have lately visited. In the great 
meeting at Horncastle at the new year, I spoke of 
my visit to Tiverton and Mrs. Bond s death, and 
the whole congregation was in tears while I spoke. 
I can assure you that I pray for you, that God may 
bless and give you health and long life to labour in 
His good cause and win many souls to Christ. You 
will please to give my kind regards to all the 
friends at Tiverton. I should like to hear how the 
Lord s work prospers, and whether you have many 
souls saved. I have preached to my neighbours at 
Tetford five times this Christmas and have seen 
twelve souls saved, and many more powerfully 
convicted. I have not forgotten the exhortation 
which Mrs. Bond gave me along with Mr. West, 


when she looked at us both for the last time and 
said "Live to God and labour for souls, it will 
only be for a moment." Through grace I intend to 
remember and do that. 

Mr. Richardson did remember to do that. He 
survived Mrs. Bond eighteen years, and throughout 
the whole of that period, his earthly business was 
to live to God and labour for souls. And well 
and wisely did he labour. An American writer has 
observed, that most religious people awake up to 
a perception of how they ought to live, just when 
they come to die ; and the remark is too true ; not 
a few of those who might otherwise pass the 
bounds of time with songs of joy like Mrs. B., 
have to mourn at the last, on account of time and 
opportunities misspent and lost for ever. Mr. 
Richardson learnt the necessary lesson betimes, and 
cheerfully presented himself as a living sacrifice, 
holy, acceptable unto God. It is good to see a 
genuine Christian die. Invaluable impressions are 
often made by death-bed scenes. Ministers of the 
Gospel do well to themselves to witness as many 
as they can. The holy purposes of their youth and 
the convictions of their maturer years are wonder 
fully refreshed by standing awhile at the passages 
of Jordan. 

The extracts supplied from Mr. Richardson s 
correspondence are not intended to represent the 
aggregate of his labours and success, but simply to 
serve as a sample. A large portion of his letters 
have been unfortunately lost or destroyed ; and it 
is known by the members of hia family that the 


portion which has perished was equally interesting 
with what remains. Other extracts, as numerous 
and copious, might easily be given, but are purposely 
withheld to avoid undue extension ; whilst it is 
hoped that those placed upon record will give a fair 
average representation of the manner in which his 
labours redounded to the glory of God. During the 
year 184G he was almost continually from home. 
No man living was more attached to home, wife, 
and children than Mr. Eichardson : and although he 
was in obedience to a sense of duty in journeyings 
often, his home yearnings were always strong, and 
when the time came for his return, he could always 
sing : 

And lilce a bounding hart, fly home. 
The year opened out with sermons at Tetford, and 
assisting at the great New-year s meeting at Horn- 
castle, of which more shall be said by-and-bye. He 
visited the Spilsby, Boston, Market-Rasen, Wain- 
fleet, and Spalding circuits during the first three 
months, and went to London in April, from whence 
he proceeded into Kent, and went on into various 
parts of Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, Lincoln 
shire, Nottinghamshire. 

Late in the year he visited the village of Hessle 
Priory, in the Hull West circuit. Mr. Smith, a 
Wesleyan gentleman from the Market-Rasen circuit, 
who had seen much of his usefulness in that part of 
the country, had gone to reside near Hessle, and was 
very wishful to bring him to labour amongst the 
inhabitants. The Eev. Thomas Stead, then the 
superintendent minister residing in Hull, also sent 
pressing invitations to him ; and so he went, and t 



preached on Friday, the Oth November, on Saturday 
the 10th, and every night the following week. Th 
results are stated in the following extracts : - 

Jlessle Priory, November 15th, 1846. I have been 
preaching every night during the week, and a good 
work is begun in Hessle. It is a fine village with 
about twelve hundred inhabitants, and a good chapel. 
We have had excellent congregations, and already 
a number of persons have found peace with God and 
others are seeking salvation. There was a woman 
who went home on Friday night, the first time I 
preached, and said to her husband : " It will never 
do for us to live in the way we have been doing. I 
am determined to turn to God, and if you will go to 
hell you shall go by yourself." He was a very 
wicked man, a blacksmith by trade. He came to 
hear me on Sunday along with his wife, and on 
Monday she was there again. When she went home 
it was late and she expected him to be very angry 
with her, but he said nothing. When they had 
retired to bed she said to him : " What would you 
eayif I were to go and join the Methodists?" 
"0," said he, "I should say nothing at all; for I 
have been thinking to-night while you were at 
chapel that I would go and join them myself." She 
came forward as a penitent seeker the following 
night, and obtained a very clear sense of the pardon 
ing love of God. He was with her, and appears to 
be sincerely seeking the Lord. I am to preach again 
to-night, and on Sunday, Monday, arid Tuesday, 
and then go to East Halton, near Barton, for three 
days to assist at missionary-meetings. 


ffessle Priory, Nov. 18th. "We have a very good 
work indeed going on here, praise the Lord ! The 
congregations have seemed to grow larger every 
time I have preached. Such a movement has never 
been known in this place before. On Monday night 
last there was a great breaking down ; poor sinners 
were ciying for mercy on every side. One friend 
took down twenty names of persons willing to begin 
meeting in class. I cannot tell how many have been 
saved, and there is likely to be many more. 

The work which was commenced at this time at 
Hessle was genuine, and produced permanent 
results of the most blessed kind. It is sometimes 
intimated that the conversions which result from 
such efforts as those of Mr. Richardson s are not 
reliable, and that after the temporary excitements 
of the occasion have subsided, the parties return to 
their former habits. But such was not the case in 
this instance, and in many others, as the facts 
supplied by this narrative show. Mr. Richardson 
did not rely upon excitement. He did not strive to 
produce it. His object was ever to bring the un 
godly to a knowledge of themselves and the Savioiir, 
and to lead the inquiring sinner to the throne of 
grace, there to cast himself in faith and penitence 
upon the mercy of God as offered to all men in 
Christ Jesus. He was neither a fanatic nor an 
enthusiast, but an earnest, pure-minded believer in 
the Saviour, burning with love for the souls of his 
fellow-men, and fully persuaded that free and full 
salvation is offered in the Gospel, without money or 
price to all the world : and therefore wherever he 


went, he pressed and exhorted the people to accept 
a present salvation. And the Lord greatly honoured 
his faith and zeal. 

A fortnight after he left Hessle, Mr. Smith wrote 
to inform him that meetings for prayer were con 
tinued daily, and that the number of conversions 
increased : that he had commenced a new class, and 
the second time it met twenty-three persons were 
present who had recently obtained a sense of 
pardon. On the following New-year s day he wrote 
again stating that the class had swelled to thirty- 
seven, all professing personal justification by faith, 
and all new members. In the following month of 
March Mr. Richardson returned and preached 
several times. He then found that seventy persona 
had been brought to God during his previous visit, 
and that nearly all held on their way. In March, 
1849, he visited them again and preached several 
times, and found that the seventy saved three years 
before, were still standing fast in the Lord with few 
exceptions ; some had gone to reside elsewhere, but 
had joined the Society and retained their religion. 
The blacksmith had become a steady, useful member, 
and his brother who had been as wicked a man as 
himself, and had continued in sin up to this time, 
was brought under deep convictions, and three 
different nights had been amongst the penitents, 
along with his wife, groaning for redemption. 
These are facts which speak for themselves, and 
ought to intimidate those who discourage and seek 
to suppress such evangelizing efforts as those which 
the peasant preacher so successfully put forth for 
many years. 


During 1847 Mr. Richardson continued Ms labours 
with unremitting zeal, his health was good, and his 
soul abundantly sustained with grace. He was 
strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. 
Preaching a present salvation was his daily delight. 
A rich and powerful unction was upon his spirit 
and wherever he went he was recognized as the 
messenger of the Lord, and seemed as though he 
had come direct from His presence. His gifts for 
public speaking improved as he continued to exercise 
himself therein ; and in other respects he became 
more and more a man of God throughly furnished 
unto all good works. In the course of the year he 
visited the Market-Rasen, Wisbeach, Boston, Louth, 
Hull West, Oakham, Norwich, Rcdditch, Peter 
borough, Spalding, Spilsby, Southwark, Notting 
ham, Bingham, and Belper circuits. Writing home 
he said : 

( Boston, Jan. 23rd, 1847. I have just arrived 
here from Long Button, where I have had a very 
happy week ; such congregations as the people 
never saw at any previous anniversary. We had a 
large tea-meeting and the people crowded in so as to 
eat up all the provisions, and they had to run to the 
shops to get more tea, bread, and butter. At night 
the chapel contained not less than six hundred 
people. On Sunday night we had only two penitents, 
but on Monday four obtained pardon ; and on 
Tuesday about sixteen were made happy. On 
Wednesday night about twelve rejoiced in God 
after long seeking His mercy, and on Thursday 
night about fourteen were saved. My labours at 


Button closed with so much shaking of hands, weep 
ing good byes, with " you must come again," as 
were quite affecting. On the Thursday night there 
was a farmer present who lives in Gedney, he had 
been with us all the week, along with his wife, but 
that night she had stayed at home, and their 
daughter and a servant-girl came with him. After 
the sermon he wished to go home, and got the horse 
put into the trap and started, but the two girls had 
been deeply wounded by the Spirit of the Lord, and 
as soon as they got as far as the toll bar just outside 
the town, both of them burst out into a loud and 
bitter cry on account of the state of mind they 
were in ; and begged of him to turn back and let 
them stay at the prayer-meeting. He did so, and 
when they came into the chapel they came straight 
up to the penitent s pew, where one of the servant- 
men of the same farmer was crying aloud for mercy 
at the very moment, so they all fell down upon their 
knees together, and after a long struggle they all 
found peace, and went home together, rejoicing and 
giving glory to God. On Friday night I preached 
at Holbeach, and it was good to be there. 

Leicester, April 1st. I left Redditch yesterday, 
and am only waiting here until a friend comes to 
fetch me into the Oakham circuit, where I have 
to preach at Knossington to-morrow for the chapel. 
It is the place where the woman set her back against 
the door, when I was there last year, and would not 
let me leave the house until I promised to come 
again this year. \Ve have had a blessed work goino- 
on at Rcdditch, many have got salvation, and many 
more are seeking the Lord. The last night I was 


there, two old men were saved. The grace of God 
is working powerfully amongst the needle makers ; 
there are large establishments in which religion is 
the great subject of conversation, some persecute 
and blaspheme, and others weep and pray. One 
man very ignorant and wicked, who has a wife and 
two children, was persuaded to come to chapel ; 
after he had heard me preach once he would come 
every time while I stayed, but never remained at 
the prayer-meeting, till the last night, when he was 
truly in deep distress of soul, but did not find peace ; 
he said his parents were very wicked, that he could 
not read, and in his own way of talking said " Us 
never has known, us never has cared onything bout 
religion in my life." There are many people in the 
place much alarmed, and many of the young women 
in the factories have got saved: the young people 
earn good wages at the needle trade, but they are 
very fond of fine clothes. Some of them have sent 
you some needles, and I suppose I have as many as 
will serve you all your life. I stood at the chapel 
door the last night to shake hands with the people, 
and it was so affecting to see those who had got 
good with tears in their eyes thanking God, and 
praying for me. I am very well and thankful to 
say that the Lord is with me saving souls. 

The following was addressed to a pious lady, who 
had suggested to him that his friends thought he 
ought to retire from the wool-winding business 
altogether, in order to have the whole of his time 
for labouring in the vineyard of the Lord : 


Tttford, June 7th.-I must beg pardon for not 
writing sooner. I have been much from home, and 
am now very busy preaching and winding wool, and 

the Lord spare me, so it must be. Well, praise 
I am very well, and all my family are 
well. We have had a wedding this week, another 
of my daughters has got married to a pious young 
man. I promised friend Allison that if I gave up my 
wool-winding business I would preach the Keelby 
school sermons ; but some of my friends say I must 
not give it up ; others say do. But if I were to give 
it up and then be stopped from preaching, it would 
be a serious thing for my family, so I am still doing 
a little. Well, praise the Lord ! I am very happy. 
My cause is in the hands of the Lord, and all will 
be right. My dear sister, let us sink into all the 
will of God, and plunge afresh into the purple 
flood. ! what a blessed privilege it is to have the 
victory over all sin, and have Christ in the heart 
making it more and more like Himself, and filling it 
with all the graces of the Spirit, adorning it with 
these, like as the temple of old was adorned with 
gold and tapestry, and cherubim and glory ! O I 
then what visits from heaven. What a sight for 
! For with what delight do they view the 
new man rising and improving, and conquering, and 
labouring, and going forward! Glory be toGod ! 
This is something of my experience. But ! for 
a greater degree of holiness. Well, let us try again, 
pray again, believe again. 

In the month of August Mr. Eichardson preached 
in the town of Nottingham for the first time. On 



that occasion he occupied the New Eadf ord pulpit, 
and made collections for the chapel trust. His visit 
was a decided success. Many conversions filled him 
with gladness, fanned the fire of his zeal, and 
established him in the affections and confidence of 
many of the best and worthiest of the Wealeyans 
of that town. One incident transpired especially 
deserving of a record. A medical gentleman who 
had formerly resided in Boston, and taken an active 
part in the Society in that town for a length of 
time ; but who from some cause or other took 
offence and withdrew, and after ceasing to be a 
member, became actively hostile and sought to 
injure the Connexion, and the influence of the 
ministers of the body, by means of the public press 
and in other ways ; but at length removed out of 
Lincolnshire and settled in Nottingham. He had 
frequently heard Mr. Richardson preach in former 
years, and still retained his regard for him as an 
earnest, pure-minded man, sincerely labouring for 
the good of others ; and finding that he was to 
preach, went to the chapel on the Sunday evening 
where he had never been previously. As he listened 
to the sermon his heart melted, reminiscences of 
former days crowded into his mind, a deep and 
painful consciousness of having departed from God 
filled him with sorrow and alarm, and he went home 
wounded by the Spirit s sword to mourn over his 
backslidings and seek forgiveness. On the Monday 
evening he went to chapel again, and was in deep 
distress the whole of the service, and as if totally 
indifferent to the opinions which might be formed 
by spectators, he professed, in company with several 


other penitents, to be anxiously seeking the mercy 
of God. His old acquaintance knew him well, and 
knew all about the mischief he had formerly done ; 
but rejoiced over him exceedingly when he saw him 
humbled and brought to the feet of Jesus. He 
prayed with him, and encouraged him to come to 
the Saviour, who alone could heal his broken heart, 
and urged him to come at once, just as he was, 
there and then ; and before leaving the chapel he 
had the joy to see him a believer restored to the 
favour of God, and once more enabled to realize his 
personal interest in Christ. 

Mr. Carter, of Nottingham, whose exact and 
educated mind well qualifies him to judge, and 
whose estimate of Mr. Eichardson is entitled to 
most respectful consideration, furnishes the follow 
ing remarks, extracted from a manuscript journal 
which he has kept for many years. They are given 
just as they were entered at the time : 

October, Sunday 17th, 1847. In the evening I 
went up to New Radford and heard a sermon for our 
trust funds, on Isaiah liv. 6, 7, by Charles Eichard- 
son, the Lincolnshire thrasher. I was exceedingly 
delighted. He is a plain and unpretending country 
man, using a strongly vernacular speech, or rather, 
the good old Saxon-English of two or three centuries 
ago, pronouncing the word beam, and all of a similar 
formation in two syllabes, by separating the vowels 
e and a ; and the word day, as if written da-d, and 
go, ffo-d, &c. Some few of his words were uttered 
in what seemed to the ear a slovenly style ; but 
generally his utterance was clear, distinct, euphoni- 



cms, and with a rising inflection of the voice, such 
as wonderfully enlivens a man s delivery, and keeps 
up the attention of an audience. He abounds in 
figurative language, and striking illustrations, all of 
which are distinguished by appropriateness and 
vividness. He has moreover, a rare combination of 
ingenuity and good sense ; a well disciplined imagi 
nation and fine taste. His good sense charmed me 
however beyond anything else. I know not that I 
ever met with a person who so impressed me with 
that valuable and scarce commodity. 

1847, October IMh, Tuesday, This evening I 
attended a tea-meeting held in the school-room of 
New Eadford chapel. The room was crowdingly 
full of guests. I and a large number more had to 
wait for a second course. After tea a large audience 
entered the chapel, where several addresses were 
delivered. Mr. Charles Kichardson stated his own 
interesting history at considerable length. I am 
struck with several things about this excellent man: 
his finely-constituted and well-balanced mind : his 
long connection with the Wesleyan body (seventeen 
years) before attempting anything in the way of 
public usefulness : his apparent freedom from self- 
esteem, and from everything resembling sophistica 
tion ; notwithstanding his great popularity, and the 
applause that everywhere greets him. 

Mr. Carter and many other leading Wesleyans of 
the two Nottingham circuits, became very much 
attached to the unpretending countryman, and he 
was frequently invited to that town afterwards ; for 
many years in succession he preached in behalf of 


the Town Mission either in Wesley Chapel or 
Halifax-place, some of his ablest and most powerful 
sermons ; several of these were taken down verbatim 
as they fell from his lips, and one of them has been 
kindly transcribed by Mr. Carter, for the use of the 
writer. It is a production of considerable merit, 
and deserves to be printed as a specimen of his 
style. Notices of subsequent visits to Nottingham 
will be found in the following pages. It was one of 
the latest places he visited ; and the beautiful testi 
monial and tribute of respect which was sent to his 
widow by the managers and teachers of the De 
Ligne Street Sunday-school, as soon as they heard 
of his death, shows the affectionate regard in which 
he was there held to the last. 

His preaching ranch, but more his practice wrought 
(A living sermon of the truths he taught) ; 
For this by rules severo las life he squared, 
That all might see the doctrine which they heard. 
For priests, he said, are patterns for the rest 
(The gold of heaven, who bear the God impresp d) ; 
Bat when the precious coin is kept unclean, 
The Sovereign s image is no longer seen. 
If they be foul, in whom the people trust, 
Well may the baser coins contract a rust. Dryden. 



Be anxious then for success; to this be all your 
efforts and prayers directed so to run in this race, that 
you may bear away the prize of many a rescued soul; 
so to preach Christ, that men may look unto Him 
and be saved. Rev. E. Watson s Charge. 

THE year 1848 will ever be memorable in European 
history. In the early part of it, a great political 
earthquake overthrew mighty kingdoms and ancient 
dynasties ; and in the space of a few short weeks 
the Pope and his confederate princes were fugitives, 
and driven into exile. In this country, which alone 
stood firm, men s minds were all excitement, won 
dering whereunto these things would grow. But 
the peasant preacher went on his way undis 
turbed, labouring with all his might to establish 
<a kingdom which cannot be moved, and singing 
as he travelled to and fro, in Wesley s cheerful 
strains : 

Whatever ills the world befall, 
A pledge of endless good we cal] ; 

A sign of Jesus near, 
His chariot will not long delay, 
We hear the rumbling wheels, and pray, 

Triumphant Lord, appear ! 

On the day after New-year s day Mr. Richardson 


was present at the far-famed Horncastle meeting 
and preached in the evening. For a great number 
of years that day has been held as a high holiday, 
or day of holy convocation by the Wesleyans of 
the Horncastle circuit ; and up to the present time 
continues to be very popular, and attended by great 
numbers of people from the adjacent parts. No 
monetary object whatever is connected with it ; the 
gathering is purely for spiritual purposes. A love- 
feast is held in the afternoon ; and in the evening 
some minister of distinction occupies the pulpit, 
and the service runs into the form of a watch-night ; 
at which addresses are delivered by several speakers, 
lay and ministerial, bearing upon a personal and 
present salvation. Remarkable effusions of the 
Holy Spirit have often taken place at these services. 
The village churches have frequently been greatly 
refreshed by them ; and hundreds of people have 
dated their conversion from such times. A well- 
written history of these solemn assemblies, would 
be a record of thrilling interest ; but the materials 
are not to be had. The memories however of many 
still living, cherish impressions of the glorious 
scenes they have witnessed at these annual Pente- 
costs, which often constrain them to say : God, 
Thou art my God : early will I seek Thee : my soul 
thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a 
dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see 
Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen Thee in 
the sanctuary. Were similar meetings held in other 
parts of the country it would probably be to the 
great advantage of the work of God. Ancient 
Methodism had its quarterly watch-nights, and 


glorious love-feasts, and fully recognised the pro 
priety and desirableness of now and then holding 
special religious services ; and modern Methodism 
needs them. The bustling and distracting times in 
which we live need special correctives ; and it would 
surely be for the advancement of the spirituality 
and the holy power of the church, if occasional 
gatherings could be secured, like those at Horn- 
castle; where financial and economical objects are 
lost sight of, and where everyone is directed ex 
clusively to considerations connected with personal 
salvation. The Church of Scotland has her effective 
and impressive quarterly or half-yearly sacramental 
services, and derives not a little power and refresh 
ment from them. The dignity which properly be 
longs to religion need not be in the least impaired 
by such special gatherings ; ordinary public wor 
ship would be greatly invigorated by them ; and 
both ministers and people would be strengthened 
and rendered much better able to act upon the 
home heathenism by which they are surrounded. 
After 1848, Mr. Richardson was seldom absent from 
the Horncastle New-year s meeting; the regular 
ministers of the circuit were usually careful to 
secure his services, and he was nothing loath to 
travel any distance in order to be present; his 
ministry was exactly what was wanted for such 
occasions, and he rarely appeared upon the scene 
without being able to count his spoils. Not a few 
will appear in the day of the Lord as stars in his 
crown, who were first brought to the knowledge of 
the truth at these holy reunions. 
In the course of this year the unwearying evan- 


gelist visited twenty-five circuits, and in every one 
of them was more or less successful. In nearly 
every case he went by invitation to preach anni 
versary sermons for some public object, and usually 
remained to preach or hold meetings for promoting 
the work of God. He felt no difficulty about making 
collections when requested, and found them no 
hindrance in his way of saving souls. The records 
of the year resemble those already given. He 
was specially successful in winning souls, and had 
to rejoice over scores of conversions at Market- 
Easen, Boston, Caistor, Spilsby, Ilkeston, Tetford, 
London. Southville, Nottingham, Spalding, War- 
rington, Derby, Belper, Filey, Grimsby, and 

Mr. Hichardson was not in good health during 
this first visit to Eotherham. A bad cold had 
fastened upon him, but he was unwilling to yield 
and thought to work it off. In this however he 
failed, and on the 27th of March he was obliged to 
return home, where he arrived late at night very 
unwell. A serious indisposition followed, by which 
he was laid up for seven or eight weeks. This was 
a somewhat new and painful ordeal for him to pass 
through. He had known little of sickness pre 
viously ; his constitution was robust, and he had 
performed labours and endured physical hardships 
which would have prostrated most men ; but he 
was now fifty-seven years of age, and it is not im 
probable that his previous exertions began to tell 
upon him. After this attack he was frequently 
crippled with catarrhal affections of the chest, 
11 itil at length he became subject to chronic asthma, 


with which he had to struggle at repeated intervals 
during many years before his death. 

During this affliction, much kind sympathy was 
excited amongst his friends, and prayer was offered 
in his behalf in many places. He was not a little 
comforted by the affectionate letters he received 
from places far and near. One of them stated: 
Thousands of prayers have been offered in your 
behalf. You were not forgotten in our chapel. In 
every meeting we held might be heard the prayers 
of the people for your recovery. The state of his 
mind and the manner in which he endured the 
chastening of the Lord may be gathered from the 
following letter to a friend : 

Tetford, April 21st. For more than three weeks 
I have been confined to my bed and house ; quite 
new experience with me. But Christ and religion 
have been my refuge and comfort in this the day of 
affliction. It has been a severe attack. The doctor 
says he is astonished that I am so far restored, but 
I know that thousands of prayers have been offered 
up to God by faith, from hearts most sincere, for 
my recovery ; and the Lord has heard and answered. 
I never experienced religion to be so sweet and so 
sufficient to make me happy, as now. I feel so 
safe; the rock so firm; my confidence so strong; 
Christ and heaven and the crown of glory, so surely 
mine. I took a bad cold, fever set in, with in 
flammation of my chest and lungs. I coughed a 
deal of blood; but when suffering the most, I 
thought it was nothing when compared with what 
my Saviour suffered for me. My chest and lungs 


are still so weak, that I feel unstrung from head to 
foot ; and I am afraid it will be a long time before 
I shall be able to preach again. This is no small 
part of the trial. I am disappointing the people 
in different places almost every day, and I want to 
be at my work again. O ! what a happy day it will 
be if I am spared to preach again. 

As soon as he was convalescent he prepared to 
gird on the armour for another campaign, and 
wrote to a friend in the following terms : 

Tc ford, May llth. I am happy to inform you 
that after I have been the prisoner of the Lord for 
seven weeks, I am so much improved that I am 
going again to labour in my old, but delightful 
work of calling sinners into the fold of Christ. I 
hope the good Lord will give me strength and 
enable me to preach more successfully than ever, 
and to see many more sinners brought from the 
pit to be enlightened with the light of the living. 
Just before I was taken ill I had made many en 
gagements, and so have had to disappoint many of 
my friends ; and as many of them were to preach 
for chapels arid schools and missions, I had hoped 
that other preachers would have taken the places 
I was to occupy ; but it has not been so, I suppose 
they thought they would wait to see whether I 
should live or die ; and now they are writing to 
say : We have put off, and we hope you will be 
able to fulfil your engagement. So I am going to 
make a trial. I shall feel more for the afflicted 
than I have ever done. My own experience in the 


furnace has taught me more than I ever knew 
before of the nature of affliction. 

On the 13th of May he preached at Ashby-de-la- 
Zouch on behalf of the Missionary Society, and 
after labouring three or four days in the neigh 
bourhood, went to Long Sutton, and from thence 
to Nottingham, returning home to preach at Horn- 
castle and Wragby on the 10th and 17th of June. 
From that time to the end of July he was busy 
during the week at his wool-winding, on the Sun 
days he was preaching and making collections in 
various places in his own and neighbouring circuits, 
and in the commencement of August started upon 
his annual visit to London. 

The summer of 1819 was a sickly season, Asiatic 
cholera spread in ravages like a plague in many 
parts of the kingdom. In Hull five hundred per 
sons died in one week of that fearful malady, and 
nearly two thousand a week perished in London 
for several weeks in succession. In the month of 
August the pestilence was at the height of its 
ravages ; and knowing the anxieties of his family, 
he wrote home as follows : 

London, Aug. 6th. I know you will be glad to 
hear from me as the cholera is so bad, but I do not 
hear much of it in the part of London where I am 
staying, and I am thankful to say that I am very 
well. It is the general opinion that Mr. H. and 
family were poisoned with bad water ; the over 
flowing of a filthy tank into their cistern corrupted 
the water they used, so that the servants could not 


drink it at times, and they told master and mistress 
but they would not hear it. After their death the 
cistern was examined, and found to contain mud 
and dirt some feet deep. There have been six 
deaths, Mr. and Mrs. H., their aunt, two servants 
and the nurse. I had a long and tedious ride on 
Saturday, but we had a good day yesterday. We 
have a tea-meeting to-night and preaching. Barnet 
to-morrow, Norwood on "Wednesday, on Thursday I 
start for Spalding. 

After leaving London he was incessantly at work 
in various parts of the country, making collections 
for various objects almost every Sabbath, and often 
on week days also. These were commonly satis 
factory, but in his notes and memoranda he often 
complains of the desolation which the spirit of 
strife and discord had produced in various parts of 
the connexion. The year 1849 will ever be as 
memorable in the history of Methodism, as will 1848 
in the political history of Europe. Towards the 
close of the eighteenth century soon after those 
political convulsions broke out, which shook every 
throne in Europe a period of lamentable agitation 
and division distracted the Methodist Societies. 
And a similar but full more distressing and wide 
spread devastation speedily followed the political 
agitations of 1818. The Missionary Society was 
recklessly assailed ; the ministers generally were 
calumniated; the people were exhorted to with 
hold their contributions and some of the worst 
passions of fallen human nature were invoked in 
order to sustain the cause of the leaders of the 


secession. The consequences were most deplorable ; 
families were divided, brethren estranged, lovely 
and prosperous Societies rent in pieces, thousands 
and tens of thousands of members were scattered 
and sent into the world ; and not a few both 
amongst the laity and the ministers were brought 
to a premature grave. God grant that a similar 
period of distress and desolation may never return 
to blight the Christian church ! In the latter part 
of 1849 this great mischief began to be developed, 
and the progress of the work of God, for the time, 
was effectually arrested ; many of the most devoted 
servants of the Redeemer were sent to weep be 
tween the porch and the altar, and cry Spare 
Thy people, Lord, and give not Thine heritage to 
reproach. Mr. Richardson was one of these 
weepers. The Reform agitation was a great 
affliction to him ; he had no sympathy with those 
who are given to change. Had he not been a 
Christian, he would most likely have been a quiet 
and peaceful man, for he was constitutionally in 
clined to the things which make for peace ; and 
as a servant of the great Peace-maker, he thoroughly 
comprehended the intimate connection subsisting 
between the peace and prosperity of a Christian 
church. Moreover, wherever he went he found his 
usefulness more or less prevented by the existing 
state of the Societies. Parties who had previously 
co-operated with him became hostile ; friends were 
turned into foes ; houses where he had often been 
hospitably entertained were closed against him ; 
and the minds of many were so prejudiced, by the 
calumnies and misrepresentations which were in- 


dustriously and impudently circulated, that they 
were no longer accessible and open to the truth. 
So far as his personal sentiments and feelings were 
concerned, he was as loyal and devoted to the old 
Methodist banner as any disciple of John Wesley 
could be. His confidence in it was never shaken 
for a moment. He knew the Methodist ministers 
too well to doubt their sincerity and devotedness 
to the cause of the Redeemer; and wherever he 
went he avowed his convictions, not in the spirit of 

partizan, but with a simplicity and earnestness 
which carried conviction to the heart. Some of the 
seceders expected to gain him over to their views 
and proceedings. Had they succeeded no doubt 
his name and influence would have rendered them 
great service. Some tempting offers were made to 
him. A popular preacher was their great want. 
But they little knew their man, who thought to 
turn Charles Richardson aside from old Methodism. 
He was intensely attached to the church of his 
choice, and was just the sort of man to have become 
a martyr in her defence if called thereto. 

In the latter end of 1848 he visited the Derby 
circuit as has been seen, with much success ; he 
returned by invitation in December 1849, but found 
a sad change : the blight was there ; the congrega 
tions were as large as before, but he found what he 
called a lowncss and a coldness in the state of 
the Society, which operated as a l damper to his 
own spirit, and greatly prevented the success of his 
labours. What he found at Derby he found else 
where ; for wherever the agitators appeared upon 
the scene they left a blight behind them. From 


Derby he was strongly urged to proceed to 
Leicester, by the superintendent of that circuit. The 
expelled ministers had been there, and serious mis 
chief was apprehended as the result ; and it was 
hoped that he might act the part of a Christian 
Caleb, and be able to still and tranquillize the 
people. He was engaged at the time as in former 
years to preach in his own circuit at Christmas, 
but a correspondence between the two superin 
tendents arranged his release for the service of 
Leicester ; and there he was on Christmas-day and 
for a few days after, attending important gather 
ings of the Society in that town, by whom he was 
recognised as a consistent peace-maker. The words 
of peace were on his lips ; the peace of God was 
in his heart ; he avoided all hard words, and sought 
to allay the spirit of strife by leading to a closer 
union Avith Christ ; he declined public discussion on 
the points at issue ; endeavouring wherever he was 
to promote gentleness and brotherly love, and a 
higher tone of spirituality of mind. Nor did he 
labour in vain. How much Methodism is indebted 
to him for the effective service he rendered at this 
period as a pacificator will never be told. Yery 
many village Societies were mercifully preserved 
from the venom and distraction which were every 
where so rife, by the happy influence of his example 
and exhortations ; and not a few of the large 
towns, Avhich he began to visit more frequently 
about this time, derived great benefit in this 
respect from his labours. 

What special wisdom is needed by a TVesleyan 
evangelist at such times as those in question. His 


random words fly like sparks from an anvil amono- 
unprotected kegs of gunpowder. When men s 
minds are all excitement and suspicion, he has need 
to be guarded and prudent in his communications 
private as well as public. Alas I how often the 
Christian church has been rent with disputes about 
disciplinary questions ; and yet there is no deny in- 
that < a godly discipline belongs to Christianity as 
much as either doctrinal, experimental, or practical 
truth ; and they are no real friends to Christ, who 
to disparage either the one or the other 
directly or indirectly. Wise master-builders, 
labouring for God, must be careful to keep up the 
fences while they raise the < precious stones upon 
the true foundation ; and with the meekness gentle 
ness and purity of their Master, stand up valiant 
for the truth upon the earth, - the truth as it is 
in Jesus. The local preachers of Methodism have 
ihar and frequent opportunities to still the 
waters of strife, and promote the wholesome opera 
tion of godly discipline ; and when irritation has 
been produced by the use of the pruning knife a 
few prudent words from their lips have a special 
power to soothe a fretful resistance into healthy 
submission and acquiescence. And whilst thus 
labouring and, may be, suffering, for the conserva 
tion of the faith which was once delivered unto 
the saints; all such ministers are entitled to 
the sympathy of all good men ? O I how desir 
able it is that those, who with laudable zeal demand 
immediate and visible results from the preaching 
of the Gospel, should rightly estimate the value 
and importance of < Church order, and seek to 



accomplish their legitimate objects in a 7*^ 

ramparts of Christianity should possess the qnalifi 
cations set forth in the following linea- 
Great Brier of the various hearts of men I 
Since Thou hast raised me to build up Thy churcn 
Beyond my wish, my thought ; give me the lights, 
S virtues, which that sacred trust reomres : 
A loving loved, unterrifying power, 
Such as becomes a father ; humble wisdom , 
Plain primitive sincerity ; kind zeal 
Forlruth and virtue rather than opinions ; 

11 i 1- _ ^-Urt-n^nWlo or*Tll 

For truth ana virt 

And above all, the charitable soul 

Of healing peace and Christian moderation 




Great irmltitudes crowded to hear him, and a vast 
number in different places owned him for their spiritual 
father. His ministry was plain but remarkably power 
ful ; he was truly a Boanerges, and often made the 
stout-hearted tremble. CAPTAIN WEBB, in Atmore s 

IN the commencement of 1851 Mr. Richardson 
visited Cornwall, at the pressing solicitations of 
many friends ; and after staying six weeks, and 
labouring with his usual diligence, zeal, and much 
success, he returned home ; but was induced to pay a 
second visit at the end of the year, employing in 
both journeys nearly four months. Cornwall, the 
land of revivals and Methodist triumphs, had special 
charms and attractions for him. He had long heard 
and read of the glorious outpourings of the Holy 
Spirit vouchsafed in that far away country ; and 
when he was invited to exercise his ministry there, 
all the better feelings and sympathies of his nature 
prompted him to go at once ; though at the same 
time a deep sense of his own insufficiency led him 
to hesitate. 

The period was not the most favourable. An 
extraordinary ingathering and accession of members 
to the Cornish Societies had taken place during the 
preceding year. Asiatic cholera had extended its 


desolations far and wide, and under the excitements 
of the visitation multitudes of people moved by 
fear flocked to places of worship ; and in that 
single year four thousand new members in the 
Wesleyan churches were reported from Cornwall. 
Unhappily, however, as is too often the case after 
seasons of religious awakening, there followed a 
serious falling away. And it was just when the 
reaction had commenced and like a strong ebb tide 
be-an to flow outwards that Mr. E. entered upon 
his labours. Moreover, the Reform agitation was 
passing through its most virulent phase at the same 
time, and many hundreds of the young and inex 
perienced were turned aside from the paths of 
peace, by the misrepresentations of the leaders of 
that unhallowed movement. But notwithstanding 
these opposing forces, his ministry was both popu 
lar and extensively useful. How far he was instru 
mental in stemming the out-flowing stream cannot 
be estimated ; but in addition to this negative ser 
vice which he certainly rendered, he was known to 
be the means of awakening to many sinners, and of 
restoration to backsliders not a few. And by the 
grace of God he was able in Cornwall, as in other 
parts of the kingdom, to take up the words of 
Charles Wesley, and sing: 

Our conquering Lord, 

Hath prospered His Word, 

Hath made it prevail, 
And mightily shaken the kingdom of hell. 

His arm He hath bared, 

And a people prepared 

His glory to show, 
And witness the power of His passion below. 


The superintendent minister of one of the largest 
circuits in Cornwall at this time, who saw much of 
him, writes thus : 

On his first visit to Kedruth in 1851, he was 
received by the people as " an angel of God ; " and 
it was remarked by some of the older Methodists, 
that no preacher had drawn together such crowds 
to hear him in that neighbourhood since the days 
of the venerable Joseph Benson ; whose extra 
ordinary power and success in ministering the 
truth during his occasional visits to Cornwall will 
live in the pages of Methodist history. One remark 
able instance of his usefulness, amongst numerous 
others which might be given, came under my own 
notice ; an aged woman who for many years had 
led an immoral life was attracted by the fame of 
his preaching, and came to hear him in the chapel 
at Eedruth. His text on the occasion was John 
xi. 43, " Lazarus, come forth." During the sermon 
the aged sinner was seized with the most agonizing 
convictions for sin, and fell into such deep distress 
as to be constrained to cry aloud for the disquietude 
of her soul. Several of the pious men in the chapel 
prayed with her after service, during the greater 
part of the following night. She seemed like one 
in despair while the terrors of the Lord were upon 
her. At length she obtained a ray of comfort, and 
went home to lead a new life. It was not, however, 
until several days had passed that she obtained a 
sense of the pardoning love of God, but when she 
was enabled to lay hold upon Christ, her joy was 
in proportion to her previous distress; she was 


filled with ecstacy and proclaimed the goodness of 
God to every one around her. She lived only a 
few months in this state, and was then removed 
beyond the possibility of relapsing into her former 
habits. She survived long enough, however, to 
prove the reality of the change wrought in her by 
the Holy Spirit. Having had " much forgiven " 
she " loved much," and received rich accessions of 
grace and consolation ; and her conversion led to 
that of several members of her family, who were up 
to this time living in ignorance and vice, and who 
subsequently exemplified the power of Divine grace 
in life and in death. She anticipated Mr. R. s 
second visit in the latter part of the year with 
great pleasure, but was taken shortly before his 
arrival, to join the great multitude before the 
throne, who have washed their robes and made 
them white in the blood of the Lamb. Her death 
was one of extraordinary exultation and triumph. 
Not a cloud dimmed her prospects : her confidence 
was unshaken, and she walked through "the valley 
of the shadow of death ; " rejoicing " with joy un 
speakable and full of glory." 

Another superintendent minister, in Cornwall at 
the same time, states : He drew very large con 
gregations, thousands night after night hung upon 
his lips for weeks together, and very much good 
was done. Writin g home he gave his own account of 
what he thought and saw in the following terms : 

l RedrutTi, Jan. 20^. I am very well, thank God. 
We had more than two thousand people in the 


chapel last night (Sunday), and a powerful time 
we had. I left at half -past ten, but the praying 
people stayed till after one o clock in the morning. 
There were many crying aloud for mercy, in great 
distress of soul, at the time I retired for I was 
worn out, and many had obtained mercy. The 
agitators are going to hold a meeting here, but say 
they cannot till I am gone. 

Redruth, Jan. 29th. I never saw such a mass of 
people as we had on Sunday night. The chapel on 
the ground-floor contains nothing but benches, 
very narrow, and the people were packed so close 
that there was not much to be seen but men s 
faces ; and I wondered at myself, for though they 
were all strangers, I felt as calm and composed as 
if I had been by my own fireside; and a most 
blessed night it was while I exhorted them to 
"buy the truth and sell it not." "The tinners" 
here get but small wages, yet the men were all 
clothed in broad-cloth. There is not a person 
to be seen who is not well or decently dressed. 
The morals of the people generally I am told, are 
pretty good, and certainly they attend chapel well. 
But there are many backsliders. In the great 
revival they were frightened out of their sins by 
the cholera, but when the fright was over, and the 
agitation came, and spread so wide, many of them 
went back. Still there are a good number who 
remain and stand fast, and many young men who 
are promising for future usefulness. I preached on 
Monday night, and it was a precious time, but the 
people made over much noise. This they commonly 
do iu Cornwall. When a sinner is coi victed, the 


people around him begin to shout ; and it is no use 
talking to them, for they seem to take no notice of 
what you say ; but appear to think that a penitent 
is not soundly converted unless they make a great 

He laboured three weeks in the Redruth circuit, 
visiting Lanner, Skinners-Bottom, Bridge, Wheal- 
Eose, Highway, Blackwater, Voguebeloth, Porth 
Towan, Carnkie, and occupied the pulpit of the 
large chapel in the town of Redruth nine times, 
preaching in all one and twenty times, besides 
taking part in four public meetings, and making 
eleven collections for missions and chapels. After 
visiting other circuits in the district, and toiling 
with the same amount of zeal and success, he 
returned home, rejoicing in spirit, and on the 26 th 
of February wrote to a friend from Spilsby to the 
following effect : 

I arrived safe at home last Friday night, but 
have been away every day since, except Sunday. 
When I left Hayle and got out to sea, I thought I 
should have enjoyed the voyage ; but the sea 
began to swell, and the ship to roll, and I soon 
became very sick. I never more perfectly imitated 
a drunkard than when I went reeling to the ship s 
side to vomit. After a while I called a council 
between myself, the vessel, and the foaming ocean. 
I wanted to shew that it was both unnecessary and 
unreasonable to handle me so roughly but the 
majority was against me, and I lost the trial. I 
soon found that the best friends I had on board 


were a conscience void of offence, a smiling 
Saviour, and a prospect of heaven. It was a stormy 
night, and will be long remembered, but I comforted 
myself by thinking that every stroke of the paddles 
brought me nearer to Bristol ; and that I had been 
doing my Master s Avork as faithfully as I could for 
thirty-eight nights altogether; my conscience 
bearing witness that I had preached the Gospel 
and declared the whole counsel of God to the 
people. I thought I was not like Jonah, running 
away from his Master s work ; and so committed 
myself to Him whom the winds and seas obey. 

After his return from Cornwall, he was much 
encouraged by the good news which followed him, 
to the effect, that the quickening in the Societies 
which he was permitted to witness, was continued, 
and that in lledruth, especially, a most blessed 
work of God was carried on for some time. But 
there is no doubt that his health was seriously 
affected by his excessive toils. For six weeks he 
preached two or three times every Sabbath, five 
nights a week, and held band-meetings on the 
Saturdays, and very frequently meetings for 
prayer during the day. He worked beyond his 
strength and complained of exhaustion when he 
returned home. Had he allowed himself to rest 
awhile, probably he wo aid have rallied, but press 
ing engagements were before him, and he hoped to 
work himself well again. On the second of March, 
he preached at Binbrook, a funeral sermon for his 
friend Mr. Chapman, a good and useful man, 
from the text, i. 2 : Moses, my servant, is 


dead. Every night the next week he held services 
at Laceby and Grimsby, though far from being 
well, until Saturday when he went to Mirfield, in 
Yorkshire, in order to preach on the following day, 
the anniversary sermons for the chapel ; but soon 
after his arrival he was taken exceedingly ill, and 
when the Sabbath dawned, he was unable to leave 
his bed stricken down with bilious sickness, bad 
cough, and spitting of blood. He had never been 
in Mirfield before, but the friends in whose care 1: 
was placed, nursed him with tenderness and affec 
tion. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, whose guest he was, 
shewed him every attention in their power, and 
cared for him as much as though they had been his 
own children. After his recovery and return home, 
he related to his family the following singular 
account : He stated that when first taken ill, he 
felt much anxiety, in consequence of being so far 
from home, and in the midst of strangers, and be 
cause the friends who had been looking forward to 
his visit were grievously disappointed ; but that 
while in this state of mind he was completely 
relieved by a strange occurrence. During the 
evening of the first or second day, whilst lying in 
bed, no one having been in the room for some time, 
all at once he became conscious that some one was 
in the apartment. A little man whom he had 
never seen before, with a most benign and pleasant 
countenance, and most graceful manners, approached 
his bed-side, and begged him to consider himsel 
quite at home, and not to think that he was any 
burden to the family of the house, for that the 
gentleman and lady, whose guest he was, were 


most benevolent and kind people, and would feel a 
pleasure in attending to him, and that his sickness 
would not last very long. The person appeared to 
walk up and down the floor several times, repeat 
ing the same things with great kindness of tone 
and looks, and then disappeared as suddenly as he 
had entered. Mr. K. was questioned as to whether 
this was not a dream, but his own persuasion was, 
that it was not ; and he concluded his statement 
by saying : Well ! whether dream or vision, it 
had the effect of supplying instant relief, for all 
my fears fled, and all through the sickness I found 
the kind family to be just as was described. He 
was confined to bed by this illness eleven days, and 
had to be nursed a week longer after he came down 
stairs ; but through the good and kind care of Mr. 
and Mrs. Wilson, and the mercy of God, he was 
quite restored and then returned home for a few 
weeks repose. 

During this attack his soul was filled with com 
fort ; and though cast down at the first, he soon 
rose above all depression and was able to rejoice 
in tribulation, and sing with the psalmist: I 
shall not die, but live ; and declare the works of 
the Lord. Writing home before he got down 
stairs he said: I feel that Christ is precious. 
O ! it is a blessed thing to have religion in time 
of affliction. I feel I am on the rock ; lodged in 
the city of refuge ; at home in Zion ; my title- 
deeds made out for the inheritance above. The 
Bible is my heavenly Father s will, and all its 
promises are mine. All is peace within. Looking 
back, I have been doing the will of God, and work- 


ing out my own salvation ; future prospects are 
clear, with sweet foretastes of joys to come. My 
Saviour said : I will not leave you comfortless ; 
I will come to you. And his promise stands 
good " My grace is "sufficient," and it is so. And 
these promises are for my wife and children also, 
yea for all who will accept salvation through 
Christ. ! be sure and make Christ your 
Saviour, and religion your chief good ; rest on the 
atonement and live to God. and all will be right in 
the end. I hope our prayers will unite at the 
throne of grace, until we meet on earth again. 

He did not remain long at Tetford. He had 
many outstanding engagements and was pressed in 
spirit with the claims of some of them ; at the end 
of April he started for Bedfordshire before he was 
quite well ; and after the first Sabbath reported as 
follows : 

Bedford, April 2Sth, 1851. I got safe to "Bed 
ford, but not on Saturday night as I expected. 
When I arrived at St. Neots there was no convey 
ance forward, so I had to go to Mr. Dennis for the 
night ; they were glad to see me and sent for the 
two preachers to supper Mr. Julian and Mr. Sugden 
but the worst of it was they kept me out of bed 
till twelve o clock. On Sunday morning Mr. D. 
brought me to Bedford, which is twelve miles. I 
had then seven miles more to go to Luddington, 
for my appointment, in the afternoon and evening. 
I felt very feeble in the pulpit for the first twenty 
minutes, but grew stronger afterwards ; preaching 
seemed quite new work. The chapel was very full 


and warm but I got through the day pretty well. 
We had a good number of penitents at night, and 
some of them found peace. I did not do much in 
the prayer-meeting ; there were plenty to labour, 
for the people are in a good state. One of the 
agitators was here last week, but did not make 
much out. 

Bedford, May Ind.l am glad to say that I get 
on with my work in a middling way. I preached 
twice each of the last two days, and yesterday I 
felt stronger and better than I have done before. 
"VVe have had some encouraging times ; indeed good 
has been done in every place where I have been. 
I am now going eight or ten miles into the country, 
and Mr. Samuel Bennett takes me home with him 
after preaching. 

Hardioick (Lincoln), May 6th. I am happy to 
say that I am very well, as well as ever I was in 
my life, my chest and lungs have been getting 
stronger ever since I began to work. We have had 
a good anniversary ; have had the tea-meeting and 
preaching in a barn as the chapel is small, and the 
congregations have been very good. We have had 
one soul saved and others deeply wounded. I am 
now going to Retford. 

1 II agio or thing ham, Sept. llth. (To a friend) I 
have been spending the last fortnight at Leeds and 
TJttoxeter. The week at Leeds was one of the 
ha-ppiest I have had for a long time. We had a 
fair congregation on Sunday, with collections for 
Wesley chapel Sunday-school, and five or six peni 
tents found peace at night ; a very gracious influ 
ence rested upon the people all the day and they 


were much encouraged. We had services all the 
next week. I preached seven tinns in the chapel 
and once in the open air in the midst of a feast. 
We had scores brought to G-od, for preachers and 
people all worked well together. Mr. John Smith, 
of Briggate, wrote me last Monday to say that 
they had a blessed Sabbath after I left them. In 
the Sunday-school they held a prayer-meeting in 
the afternoon, and between thirty and forty of the 
teachers and elder scholars were seeking salvation, 
the friends continued praying with them until 
twenty-three found peace with God. This is good 
news. I have had two or three letters from Dr. 
Smith, of Camborne, asking me to spend a fortnight 
there, and though it is such a long way, and I have 
so much work nearer home, yet if it is the Lord s 
will, I must go, and do His work and hope that He 
will give me many souls. 

Camborne, Oct. 20th, 1851. I got here on Wednes 
day, but did not preach till yesterday. It was the 
Sunday-school anniversary and we had overflowing 
congregations. I very much wish you could have 
seen them, the chapel is large and they were packed 
like bees in a hive, and yet there was deep atten 
tion. The collections were nearly 4 better than 
last year. I am to address the parents and children 
to-night, and we shall have a great gathering. I 
ha veto attend three missionary-meetings and preach 
several times in the town while I am here. 

Redruth, Nov. 7th I have been all round Eed- 
ruth holding missionary-meetings and making 
collections for chapels, and we have had some very 
good times. The people here are very different to 


any I have ever seen elsewhere ; when penitents 
are iu distress they seem to take no notice of what 
you say to them when pointing them, to the 
Saviour ; they toss about and scream and thump 
and make a great noise, so that I am sometimes 
almost distracted. Still a few are getting salvation 
in every place, and I am greatly encouraged. I 
preached here on Monday night and we had a good 
time. You will see from the bill I send that I am 
to preach again to-night and on Sunday, when I 
expect we shall have not less than two thousand 
people in the chapel, and many are looking for a day 
of " power from on high." 

St. Just, Nov. "25th. I am very well and happy 
in God, labouring in His cause with some success. 
Several sinners are getting salvation. It is almost 
fearful to see the distress which penitents are 
thrown into, they seem in such an agony of mind, 
that you never saw the like of it. They make 
themselves ill, and some of them even after they 
are made happy are poorly for several days. When 
they obtain peace they seem as if they were in an 
ecstasy. The other day at Redruth, there were a 
mother and daughter both seeking the Lord ; the 
daughter was about twenty years of age, and when 
they found salvation I think I never saw such 
heavenly countenances. how they did rejoice 
together. I came here on Saturday night, and 
though the weather was very stormy we had good 
congregations on Sunday, and a more happy time I 
think I never had in the pulpit. I am to stay here 
and preach for ten or twelve days longer, and 
expect to see th.3 arm of the Lord made bare. 


There arc tin and copper mines all around here ; 
some of these give work to three hundred people, 
many of whom don t get more than 2 10s. a 
month, but they are remarkably fond of dress. 
Some of the girls that get only a shilling a day, 
turn out on the Sundays almost like ladies. I am 
told that they will pine themselves to get fine 
clothes. Many of these poor girls are the most 
handsome young creatures I ever saw, and I sup 
pose they know it. There are very many excellent 
people in Cornwall, and some of the cleverest men 
I ever came near anywhere, and truly pious as well. 
The miners frequently die young, their underground 
work injures their health ; so that there are a great 
number of widows in the country. Not a few of 
the men are slain by accidents, and many die of 
consumption of the lungs. I am wonderfully 
pleased with the scenery. Here are the finest 
granite rocks, noble hills and beautiful valleys, and 
the great wide sea all around, which looks so pure 
and beautifully green near the shore, that I am 
never tired with looking at it. 

1 St. Just, Dec. 2nd, 1851. Last Sunday was 
another wet day. The rain began at eleven o clock 
on Saturday night and never ceased till Monday 
morning ; and you have no idea how the wind 
blows and the rain comes down here, it seems to 
come in sheets. The congregations were much 
affected in consequence, but we had a few souls 
saved. Several entered into liberty on Saturday 
night, and many more were seeking mercy. I 
preached for the last time last night (Monday), to 
a very large and attentive congregation ; and w r hen 


the prayer-meeting began, in a little time there 
were numbers groaning and crying for mercy. In 
one part of the chapel the cries of distress were 
almost frightful, and then as they got saved and 
were made happy, ! what shouts of joy went up 
to heaven. In the gallery of the chapel sinners 
were weeping, and friends praying around them, 
and encouraging them to believe ; and clown stairs 
on the men s side of the floor the same thing was 
going on. Such a noise of mingled mourning, 
singing, and rejoicing, I have never heard before ; 
about fourteen or fifteen found rest and peace to 
their souls in Christ, and the meeting concluded 
about twelve o clock. Great numbers went away 
in distress, and the next day the preachers and 
leaders had plenty of work to do in visiting the 
people at their houses. While I have been here 
they have had some meetings in the tin mines 
through the day, and some have got saved in the 
bowels of the earth. Several times people have be 
come so much affected while at their work that they 
could not go on with it, and have sent for preachers 
and leaders to pray with them. The friends very 
much wish me to stay longer, but my time is fixed 
and I cannot. 

Sodmin, Dec. 8th. I left the St. Just people all 
in a blaze. Monday night was a wonderful time. 
On Tuesday I went to one of the villages to hold a 
missionary-meeting, and six people were saved at 
St. Just, the same night. I never was amongst 
such a peopK Whilst I have been preaching to 
them, some would break out in loud expressions of 
joy, and others in distressing cries, exclaiming : 


" Lord save me." And I have often had to start 
singing till the noise has abated, and then begin to 
preach again. I have greatly enjoyed my visit, and 
the scenes I have witnessed will never be forgotten. 
I preached here yesterday for the day-school. 
There is great peace, but the people are not pre 
pared for a revival. Mr. Coleman from Holt in 
Norfolk, has just been holding an agitation meet 
ing, and said all he could against the Methodist 
preachers, and told the people that all they want is 
to get their children into their corrupt church to 
uphold their corrupt system j but the people who 
heard him were disgusted. 

The peculiar religious susceptibility of the people 
of West Cornwall has been often observed, and was 
noticed by Mr. Richardson. During the extra 
ordinary visitation of grace in the year 1814,* known 
to this day as the Great Revival, the circuits west 
and north-west of Truro were chiefly affected. This 
susceptibility may be, possibly, partly accounted for 
by the density of the population and the compara 
tive simplicity of their habits. In Wales, Yorkshire, 
the Black Country, and amongst the colliers of 
Northumberland and Durham, it is much the same. 
And in the arrangements of an itinerant ministry 
like the Wesleyans, the fact ought never to be 
ignored, but should be gratefully acknowledged and 
provided for. 

Mr. Richardson attended a public meeting on the 
Monday evening at Bodniin, and was mercifully 
preserved from the consequences of a serious acci- 
* See Methodist Magazine for 1814. 


dent. He had to ascend an elevated platform by a 
ladder, and just as he reached the top, it gave way 
and he fell with it to the ground, but beyond the 
shock which he sustained, he was uninjured, and 
was able to take his part in the meeting as though 
nothing had happened. 

Full of gratitude to God for preservation from 
danger by sea and land, he returned home laden 
with the spoils of his Cornish campaign, to enjoy 
another happy Christmas in the bosom of his 

And therefore my daily employ is to draw, mid conf u- 

sion and strife, 
From wells of salvation, with joy, the beautiful waters 

of life; 
And filled with the spirit of peace, in harmony s 

sweetest accord, 
My raptures shall daily increase, ineffably one with my 

O Zion ! in anthems unite, to Jesus thy glory and 

Who reigns in Omnipotent might, and dwells in the 

midst of His own. 
Thy Holy One, Israel, is great ; and all who in Jesus 

Are safe, while they patiently wait, till the Bridegroom 

shall conio for the Bride. Gouyh. 



In oratory, affectation must be avoided ; it is better 
for a man by a native and clear eloquence to express 
himself, than by those words which may smell either of 
the lamp or the iiikhorn. Lord Herbert. 

As these records are perused, it will be seen how 
abundantly fruitful Mr. Richardson s labours were 
everywhere ; from one end of the kingdom to the 
other he could refer to many sinners saved by 
grace, and say in the words of St. Paul The seal 
of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. And the 
question forces itself into attention : How may his 
success be accounted for? To this there is only 
one reply to be given, the same which the prophet 
supplies when he declares : Not by might, nor by 
power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts ! 
Neither friends nor foes will say it was the result of 
either human learning, art, or artifice. He went 
forth from his village home, from time to time, into 
the busy, crowded haunts of men, to wage a glori 
ous war with the powers of darkness, armed only 
with the armour of righteousness on the right 
hand and on the left: armour, thank God, which 
all good men may both have and use and it was 
sufficient. He rescued the prey from the hands of 
the mighty ; the redeemed among men were multi 
plied j churches were strengthened, and God was 


glorified. Do not the facts which his life and 
labours supply throw light upon the question as to 
which is the best and most successful mode of 
preaching Christ? Let men speak as the Spirit 
gives them utterance ; in a simple, earnest, natural 
elocution, and God will not fail to cheer them with 
indubitable tokens of His presence and power to 
save. It is encouraging to think, that public senti 
ment amongst Christians generally is coming more 
and more to this, and that the church of the 
future will insist upon having a practical ministry, 
productive of visible and tangible results. 

The places visited by Mr. R. in 1852 for the first 
time were, Leek, Stafford, Epworth, Wigan, Liver 
pool, some of the circuits in South Wales, and the 
Staffordshire Potteries. It was one of the most 
laborious years he ever spent. He preached more 
frequently and visited a greater number of places 
than he had done before. 

He continued labouring in South Wales until the 
end of December, preaching in various places, and 
blessed with his usual success. At the quarterly 
meeting of the Merthyr Tydvil circuit, held about 
the time he left, the superintendent returned twenty 
new members and forty on trial, besides which, 
many others were meeting in class, who had been 
brought to God during his visit. Mrs. Bakewell, 
the wife of one of the resident ministers, writing to 
him the following month, said Yon will be 
pleased to hear that the good work which com 
menced during your never-to-be-forgotten visit into 
Wales is still going on. Numbers have joined the 
Society since you left and many more have pro- 


raised. The congregations throughout the circuit 
are much larger, and our prospects are altogether 
encouraging. Our people, in Tredegar especially, 
love to talk of your visit to them, and often say 
they shall never forget you. 

Mr. Richardson s reputation as a preacher con 
tinued to extend ; and invitations poured in from 
all parts of the kingdom, through the quiet little 
post-office of Tetford, giving his humble cottage an 
unwonted importance in the estimation of the 
villagers, as day by day the postman left a whole 
handful of letters at the door. About this time a 
large octavo volume entitled, The Post-Office 
Directory for the County of Lincoln, was published 
in London ; in it his name appears in the list of 
the clergy and gentry of Tetford, and is printed 
thus The Reverend Charles Richardson, Wesleyan 
Minister , and is placed next in order to the resident 
clergyman. This was not done with his knowledge ; 
he is not known ever to have referred to it ; and 
most probably he was never aware of the honour 
able distinction to which he had attained. Pro 
bably he was indebted to some of his kindhearted 
neighbours who were not a little proud of his popu 
larity ; and thought to honour the place of his 
residence, as well as his name, by the st} le and 
status which they assigned him. Nothing could be 
farther from his inclinations than to ape the gentle 
man. He had the nature, generosity, high sense of 
honour, and true refinement of a real gentleman, 
under the plain unsophisticated aspect of an un 
assuming English peasant, and was more likely to 
repudiate than to assert, the slightest pretension 


to the clerical distinction which his neighbours 
attached to his name. 

His widening field of operations in 1853, embraced 
Stockton -upon -Tees, Howclen, Dover, Ashford, 
Mansfield, Bridlington, Bury, Chester, and Ashton- 
under-Lyne, in addition to some other circuits 
which he had previously visited. 

His visit to Lancashire was greatly blessed, and 
not a few, in the clay of the Lord, will doubtless 
appear as the results of his labours. Already the 
fruits are springing up on the other side of the 
Atlantic ; and in how many other distant parts of 
the earth Mr. Bicliardson s converts are to be found, 
making known the glad tidings of salvation, no one 
can tell. The class of persons to whom he was 
most generally useful furnishes a large number of 
emigrants to all parts of the earth; and parties 
who were brought to God by his instrumentality 
are known to be now in Australia,* New Zealand, 
the United States of America, and Canada. 

* The Rev. Thomas Williams, a Wesley an Minister 
in Australia, who in early life was a brother Local- 
preacher in the Horncastle Circuit with Mr. Richardson, 
and intimately acquainted with him, writing to the 
author a spontaneous and gratifying testimony of 
approbation of the first edition of this Memoir, 
observes : 

" You say (page 211), his converts are to be found in 
Australia, &c., &c." I read that paragraph at noon, on 
Friday, June 22nd, and at night having to pass through 
a part of the Bullarook Forest on my return home after 
preaching, I was unwilling to trust myself alone in 
its untracked depths in the dark, and requested the 
guidance of two trusty members of our Society who are 


The following extract from a letter, which was 
sent unsolicited across the Atlantic, while these 
Memoirs were in course of preparation, from Mr. 
Joseph Buckley, now an accredited class leader and 
exhorter in connection with the Methodist Episco 
pal Church in the state of Ohio, will supply another 
instance illustrative of the fact just stated : 

It was with feelings of sadness and regret I read 
of the death of that truly great and good man, Mr. 
Richardson, who could say of me, as St. Paul said 
of the Corinthians Tor in Christ Jesus I have 
begotten you through the Gospel." By his death 
the Church and the world have sustained a great 
loss. It was on Sunday the llth of September, 
1853, that I first heard him preach at Staleybridge, 
on the occasion of the Sunday-school anniversary. 
In the afternoon he preached a most powerful ser 
mon from Numbers xiii. 30 : "And Caleb stilled the 
people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, 
and possess it ; for we are well able to overcome it." 
The whole sermon was remarkable for its spiritual 
ity and vigour of thought. But his sermon in the 
evening who that was present will ever forget it ? 

well acquainted with the path. As we travelled along, I 
spoke of the book I had read that day, and related por 
tions in which I had felt particularly interested ; not 
naming Mr. Kichardson nor anything by which he could 
be identified. After a time, one of my gnides inter 
rupted me by asking " Who is it that you are speaking 
about ?" And no sooner had I mentioned his name, than 
he exclaimed, with much deep feeling " Thank God, 
that I ever heard that man ! It was through him that I 
was brought to God, and led to join the Methodists." 


The text was Ezekiel xxxiii. 11. I had previously 
heard some of the most distinguished and powerful 
preachers in England ; but I thought I had never 
heard anything like that. Never before had I seen 
an audience so taken captive and excited. The 
chapel was densely crowded, but sometimes during 
that sermon you might have heard a pin drop. 
Some of his appeals to the conscience were over 
whelming j his eloquence was at times like thunder 
and earthquake, and produced commotion and alarm 
in the congregation. Never shall I forget his de 
scription of a sinner in his downward course of ruin. 
"Sinner," cried he, "you are going down to hell I 
Yes, you are going to hell over the cross of Jesus ! 
You are going to hell over mountains of prayers, 
and through floods of tears ! You are going to hell 
loaded with sermons, and your memories crowded 
with texts ! " And then with great vehemence and 
impressiveness of voice and manner he cried out 
"Lord, stop the sinner! Lord, stop the sinner!" 
I shall carry the impression of that sermon with 
me to the grave. He preached every night during 
the following week, and a great many were truly 
converted to God. I heard a man say he would 
walk twenty miles to hear Mr. Richardson preach 
again. After his first visit to Staleybridge, he 
became very popular all through that part of the 
country, and was frequently called upon afterwards 
to preach anniversary sermons. I remember his 
coming again the following year. He preached two 
telling sermons on the Sabbath, to crowded congre 
gations. His texts were Hebrews xi. 10, and Isaiah 
xxvii. 13. Again he preached every night during 


the following week, the same as the year before, 
and many were the slain of the Lord. 

The year 1854 was undoubtedly one of the best 
and most successful in Mr. Eichardson s life. His 
health was good, and his labours were incessant. 
Wherever he went the people received him with 
warm affection. He was at the height of his popu 
larity. The chapels were crowded whenever he 
preached, and everywhere he could say The best 
of all is, God is with us. With the opening of the 
rew year he took part in the annual services at 
Horncastle, which were to him as a feast of fat 
things, full of marrow, of wines on the lees well 
refined ! He dedicated himself afresh to the ser 
vice of God at the holy solemnity of the annual 
covenant-renewing on the first Sabbath of the year ; 
and on Saturday the 7th of January set off again 
from home for long and distant travel ; and saw 
very little of his family during the whole of tho 
year, excepting just a day or two at a time. The 
snow was deep upon the ground when he started in 
an open cart ; the cold north wind blew fiercely, 
and before long brought heavy showers of sleet and 
rain. His road lay from Tetford to Louth, a dis 
tance of nine miles across the Wolds ; and must be 
actually travelled in order to know what such a 
journey means in bad weather. In the best season 
of the year to drive up and clown the long steep 
hills, which the road traverses, is all but imprac 
ticable ; and with deep snow upon the ground, long 
distances must of necessity be passed over on foot. 
At Louth he took the carrier s cart on to Goulceby, 


seven miles farther, a journey of three hours, during 
which the winter s storm grew worse and worse. 
Such a conveyance on such a day affords but small 
comfort : a tilt overhead, open in front, and a cur 
tain behind ; the passengers have no want of 
ventilation ; but the peasant preacher knew how 
to rough it, and make the best of such matters with 
out much personal annoyance. The cart was 
crowded with country people returning from market ; 
bags and baskets filling almost every inch of inter 
vening space ; but Charles was familiar with such 
things, and the hours were not tedious to him. Glad 
of an opportunity to do good, his wont was under 
such circumstances to speak a word for God, and 
kindly converse with those around him upon such 
topics as were likely to lead them to love religion, 
and identify themselves with it. He gave himself 
no airs of superiority ; was pleasant and agreeable 
to every one, and generally left impressions upon 
those who were thus casually thrown in his way, 
which prepared them to receive greater good from 
his preaching at the journey s end. Wherever he 
travelled in Lincolnshire he was well known. Many 
a time he was obliged to ride in these carriers carts 5 
and not a few of those who rode with him felt it to 
be a privilege so to do, and talked of it with grati 
fication in their families afterwards. On Sunday 
the 8th of January he preached at Goulceby and 
had the happiness to see several persons in deep 
distress of soul ; and three stout men, placed like 
little children at the feet of the Saviour, testifying 
that He has power on earth to forgive sins. The 
following week he spent in labouring at South 


Willingham, Kelstren, and Grainthorpe ; find at the 
end of the week wrote home, saying We have had 
a pretty good week, about fourteen souls have been 
saved. He then proceeded to the Grimsby circuit, 
to assist the ministers in holding missionary meet 
ings, and afterwards went forwards into Lancashire, 
Cheshire, Yorkshire, Kent, Nottinghamshii e, Man 
chester, and Burton-upon-Trent. After labouring 
in the last place for a week, he proceeded to Laceby 
Manor-house, to fulfil an engagement at Huniber- 
stone, where he was expected to preach the annual 
Missionary sermons on the 21st January, 1855. 

A large barn had been fitted up for the accommo 
dation of the crowds of people who were expected ; 
the Rev. Dr. Beaumont was engaged to preach in 
the same place, and assist at the public meeting on the 
following Tuesday, and many were looking forward 
with great interest to the occasion. But all these 
arrangements were overturned by the providence of 
God : for when Sunday morning came Mr. Richard 
son was ill and unable to leave his bed. Medical aid 
had to be called in, and he was detained for a fort 
night a prisoner of the Lord. And on the same 
day the noble-minded and eloquent Dr. Beaumont 
was suddenly called to his eternal reward. At 
half-past ten o clock he took his place in the 
pulpit of Waltham Street chapel, Hull, apparently 
in his usual health, in the presence of a large con 
gregation ; and commenced public worship by giving 
out with his wonted emphasis and impressiveness, 
the beautiful lines of the 31Cth hymn : 

Thee, while the first Archangel sings, 
He hides his face behind his wings. 


And just as the words were passing from his lips, he 
fell back upon the pulpit-seat, and shortly after 
wards expired ! Humberstone held its missionary- 
anniversary that year in sackcloth ; but the excellent 
people connected with the Wesleyan Society in that 
village did not permit the collections to suffer any 
damage. The proceeds of that anniversary were 
more than had ever been raised before !* and 
amounted altogether to the noble sum of 50 ! 

At Laceby Manor-house, where Mr. Richardson 
was a visitor, he was taken good care of, nor was he 
allowed to depart until quite fit for the journey 
home. Once more at Tetford however, he was 
obliged to remain there for nearly two months ; his 
chest was very much affected; his illness having 
left a bad cough and great difficulty in breathing! 
At one period it was considered doubtful whether 
he would ever be restored so far as to resume his 
labours. But when the severe weather of the winter 
had passed away, he rallied with surprising rapidity, 
and on the 13th of April was again upon the wheels, 
for another tour in Kent, including visits to Tun- 
bridge, Sandhurst, andElham ; and took Nottingham 
and several places in Derbyshire during the summer. 
* The entire population of the Parish of Humber 
stone, in 1851, was only 259 ; so that the sum raised at 
the anniversary of 1855, for the Wesleyan Foreign Mis 
sionary Society was nearly four shillings per head! 
Similar amounts are raised in other localities in the 
same neighbourhood. In the almost adjoining parishes 
of Hatcliffe and Baelsby, the united population of 
which, the same year, was only 323, the sum contributed 
at the missionary anniversary was 61, averaging very 
nearly four shillings for each person, great and small ! 


At Ferry lie preached for the day-schools on the 
19th August, and was cheered with the usual results 
good collections and souls saved. The people 
were very busy getting in the harvest, the weather 
being fickle; he therefore took a day to visit 
Epworth, and gratified himself with a sight of the 
places so very interesting to the followers of John 
Wesley. He stood upon the tombstone from which 
the modern apostle preached his father s funeral 
sermon, when forbidden the use of the church. And 
as he stood upon that memorable spot, he exulted 
in the thought that God had permitted him to go 
up and down the land, treading in the footsteps of 
the illustrious dead, and with them to sing : 

In a rapture of joy My life I employ, 

The God of my life to proclaim ; 
Tis worth, living for this, To administer bliss 
And salvation in Jesus s name. 

His engagements led him again into Derbyshire, 
Nottingham, Manchester, and Doncaster, where he 
continued a fortnight, during which the following 
notice appeared in the Doncaster Gazette, of Dec. 
8th, 1855, and supplies a fair representation of the 
impressions which his public labours produced 
at this period of his life, and of the manner in 
which he was regarded outside Wesleyan circles : 
During the present week, a series of religious 
services have been held in Priory Place chapel, 
in this town, conducted by Mr. Charles Richard 
son. The opening service commenced on Sunday 
morning last, when he preached to a large and 
attentive congregation in his usual powerful and 


effective manner ; so much so that the attendance 
in the evening was immense, there being not less 
than two thousand persons present. The chapel 
was filled to overflowing, and for one hour and 
a quarter he rivetted the attention of his hearers 
with an almost breathless interest. On Monday 
another large congregation assembled. Mr. Richard 
son selected for the basis of his discourse Acts xvi. 
25 to 32, from which he made a most convincing 
appeal as to the necessity of leading a holy and 
virtuous life ; and depicted, with much originality 
of thought and expression, Paul s imprisonment, 
the earthquake, the conversion of the keeper, and 
the glorious example to sinners given in the words 
of his text. Mr. Richardson is evidently a man of no 
mean order; and though, we believe, self-educated, 
whilst following his humble avocation as a 
thrasher in Lincolnshire, and listening to the great 
truths of the Gospel as enforced by his parents j he 
possesses a mind and capabilities of the first-class. 
His graphic pictures of human life, related with such 
simplicity and artlessness, and his thorough know 
ledge of the ups and downs of mankind, their foibles 
and failings, show that his deep penetration and 
remarkable quickness have not been misapplied. 
His apt illustrations remind the hearer of the cele 
brated William Dawson. It is true that he has not 
his brilliancy of language; but he possesses in a 
wonderful degree the same gift of forcible expres 
sion, which rendered his name so distinguished 
amongst the Wesley an community. Services were 
held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday even 
ings, and attended by crowded congregations. 


Prayer-meetings were held at the close of each, and 
from what we can hear, there is every reason to 
believe that the visit of Mr. Richardson has been 
eminently successful. 

From Doncaster he proceeded to Burslem where 
a few precious souls tasted for the first time the 
peace and joy of salvation. And then instead of 
going home to spend Christmas-day with his family, 
yielded to the urgent solicitations of friends, and 
went to East Bridgeford in the Bingham circuit to 
preach for the Sunday-school on the 23rd Dec., and 
attend a public meeting on the 26th. Several 
penitents found peace with God, during his sojourn, 
and he sought to soften the annoyance of his absence 
from the Christmas gathering, by writing to tell his 
children how the Lord had made bare his holy arm. 
by his instrumentality. He then went on toWorksop, 
where he found some famous praying men, and 
where, an old man sixty-five years of age was saved, 
and then went home. He was not there more than a 
day or two, and at the end of the first week in January, 
1856, was at work at Binbrook which was one of the 
first scenes of his success ; many had been converted 
there by his ministry : but the Society had since 
been almost torn to pieces by secession, and was 
in a very depressed state at this time ; many of his 
converts had been led away, yet he had reason to 
know that they still retained a measure of their old 
affection for him, and he visited the place in the 
hope that he might gather fruit unto eternal life in 
a field which had formerly been so productive ; nor 
was he disappointed. He recorded : We had a 
most gracious effusion of the Holy Spirit, and during 


the week there were about twenty souls saved. He 
was at Burton-upon- Trent the next Sabbath, where 
there were seven penitents knocking at the door of 
mercy with all their might, and most of them were 
comforted. The following Sunday he was at Bid 
dings, where at the prayer-meeting, l a man and his 
wife found peace with G-od, i and another young 
man and his wife were under deep convictions 
seeking the Lord ; she had a baby which she put into 
the arms of its grandmother who nursed it while 
the mother was upon her knees. They were all made 
happy, and went away praising God, and many 
others with them. At Boston, in February, he was 
surrounded with thirty penitents, and remained 
with them pointing them to Jesus until half -past 
ten o clock at night. Two thousand people were in 
chapel on the Sunday evening. He preached in 
St. Peter s chapel, Leeds, in the month of March, 
and spent the following fortnight in Cumberland. 
At Haltwistle, on Sunday, the chapel was crowded, 
and there were twenty whose hearts the Lord had 
touched. He spent a week amongst the lead miners 
at Nenthead, and could make no satisfactory impres 
sion until the last night, when ten persons were 
completely broken down, and a great movement fol 
lowed which affected the whole town to some extent. 
After he had returned home sometime, he received the 
gratifying intelligence, that the blessed work which 
commenced during his visit to Cumberland still con 
tinued to make progress ; and that after his departure 
a considerable number of persons were added to the 
Societies. At the June quarterly meeting of tho 
Alston circuit, the superintendent minister reported 



an increase of one hundred and thirteen new mem 
bers, and ninety-nine on trial ; and of the number 
on trial fifty-six resided at Nenthead the place 
where he preached four nights in succession without 
seeing a single conversion, and was not a little dis 
couraged in consequence. The following public 
notice of his labours appeared at the time in one of 
the local newspapers, and supplies another gratify 
ing instance of the friendliness of the public press, 
to the cause of pure and earnest Christianity : The 
Wesleyan Methodists of Nenthead and Garragill 
have recently been favoured with a lengthened visit 
from Mr. Charles Richardson, of Horncastle, popu 
larly known by the name of the "Lincolnshire 
Thrasher," a Wesleyan local preacher, whose labours 
in this locality have been signally owned of God ; 
so that through the Divine blessing, both the 
Church and the world have been greatly benefitted by 
him. His correct expositions of Divine truth ; his 
simple and beautiful illustrations ; his urgent 
entreaties addressed to sinners ; his alarming appeals 
to their consciences ; his holy zeal ; his solemn and 
pathetic eloquence kindled occasionally into vehe 
mence all conspire to make him a startling, an 
attractive, and an edifying preacher. Crowded 
audiences attended every night to listen to him, 
and towards the close of his labours, chapel accom 
modation could not be afforded to hundreds, who 
were obliged to return to their homes greatly dis 
appointed at being unable to gain admittance. 

Mr. Bichardson spent the last week of April rest 
ing at home ; and on the 3rd of May set off for the 
Grantham circuit; subsequently visiting Tipton, 


Nottingham, and other places ; and although his 
health was only indifferent ; he bravely struggled 
with his infirmities. Writing to a friend about this 
time, he said : I have been often very poorly ; 
when I have been well, I have preached myself ill j 
and when I have been ill, I have preached myself 
well again ; and so have never stopped. 

The following letter from the Kev. Thos. Owen 
Keysell, a man of kindred spirit, supplies a further 
illustration of the demands made upon him for 
labour which he could not supply, and of the 
precious and abiding fruits of his ministry: 

London, St. George s East, May 23re?. MY DEAR 
BROTHER, During the last few months we have had 
good work in this circuit, and between one and 
vo hundred have been converted to God. We have 
Deen low, but things are rising. Praise the Lord ! 
The trustees of St. George s chapel wish to have 
;heir anniversary sermons preached ; and desire me 
(as I happen to be acquainted with you) to write 
and ask you to help them. Can you give us a 
Sunday any time before Conference ? If you can 
and will oblige us we shall be glad, and no doubt 
your visit will be a blessing. The Lord honoured you 
when you visited us last in Wesley circuit, Leeds 
and one very touching case of a sweet young lady, 
who is since gone to heaven, who obtained salva 
tion through your labours, I alwaj s remember with 
thanksgiving. If you can come, do. I remain, my 
dear brother, yours affectionately, 

Tiios. 0. KEYSELL. 

The above is a specimen of a vast number of 

O 2 


applications which were made to him month after 
month, from all parts of the connexion ; many of 
which he was utterly unable to comply with, like 
this from Mr. Keysell, simply because of the pres 
sure of pre-engagements. On the first of June he 
started from home for a three months tour, during 
which he laboured in various places, and reported 
progress from time to time as follows : 

< Market-Rasen, June 5th, 1856. I am very well, 
and the weather is most beautiful. We have the 
Lord s blessing and good encouragement here. 
Every night we see many in distress on account of 
their souls, and many of them find salvation. We 
have a meeting for prayer every morning at seven 
o clock, which is well attended and made a great 
blessing to the people. I have much liberty in 
preaching, and feel that God is with me. I meet with 
several persons who got good to their souls when 
I was here before. There is a druggist and his wife, 
who are members of Society ; he was brought in 
under my preaching when he was a lad ; his wife was 
saved when I was here eight years since. One young 
man who used to call me his father in Christ, is 
gone out to Canada as a minister; and several 
others are here still on their way to heaven, and are 
very glad to see me. On Friday next I leave for 
the neighbourhood of Manchester. 

Ringley, June llth. Mine is blessed work, and I 
am happy in it. Last night there were seven people 
under deep convictions the word went with power 
to their hearts. The night before there were twelve 
who became decided for God. A good number of 


young men are getting saved. Mr. and Mrs. Lawn 
are excellent people. Mrs. Lawn leads three classes. 
I am going to meet one for her this afternoon. 

Lawton (Congkton), June 19th. "We have had a 
wonderful work here. I have not seen such effects 
produced by preaching for a long time as I did last 
night. The Lord s arm was indeed made bare. The 
chapel is about the size of Tetford, and it was 
packed full. At the prayer-meeting we almost trod 
one upon another. All the week sinners have been 
saved every night, but last night surpassed all. 
There were ten seeking the Lord on Sunday night, 
twenty on Monday, and nearly as many on Tuesday 
and Wednesday. Last night every one in the chapel 
seemed arrested, and were either already saved or 
seeking to be so. Thirty or forty people at one 
time were asking " What must I do to be saved ? " 
and it was just as much as ever I could do to keep 
them in order. We have invited all who have got 
good to come to the band-meeting to-night, and I 
expect a great crowd. Here are large silk factories, 
and many hundreds of young people work in them. 
They dress very neatly, and sing most beautifully. 
If the old members of Society are only careful and 
diligent there will be a mighty work in this place. 
It has been hard service for me. Last night my 
linen was as wet as if it had just come out of the 
wash-tub. The collections for the school were 18. 

Ecdditch, July 18th. I have not been here for 
several years, but had I known how sorely they have 
wanted me I would not have stayed away. On 
Sunday and every day during the week we have 
seen sinners saved by grace, and some of them are 


like brands plucked out of the fire. A very respect 
able man, who has been a blackslider, is restored ; 
and a man and his wife, who have also been back 
sliders for a long time, are brought again to the fold 
of Christ. Another man and his wife are amongst the 
number of the saved, whose history is most in 
teresting. He was converted about a year since, 
but his wife was a Roman Catholic, and persecuted 
him most dreadfully ; and so also did her mother 
and sister. Week after week they tried to provoke 
him in all sorts of ways, and seemed as if they 
wanted to make him swear or sin in any way, so 
that he might live as he had done before. At last 
he could no longer endure their conduct, and one 
day he struck his wife a blow with his hand ; but 
did not hurt her very much. She went, however, to 
a justice and got a warrant, and had him taken to 
prison. When he was brought up for trial she made 
such representations as led the magistrates to send 
him to confinement for six months, with hard labour. 
He has not been out of jail very long ; when he 
first came out he would not go near his wife ; but 
just before I came here they had got together again, 
and she came with him to chapel on Sunday night ; 
when both of them were deeply wounded with 
convictions for sin. On Monday night they came 
again, and both together came up to the penitent 
bench, and after some time were saved and made 
happy in the pardoning love of God. I spoke to 
him last night, he said they were both happy now, 
and were going to class together. A very many 
more have been saved, but how many I don t 
know. It has been a very busy week, for they 


have had their bazaar open three nights, and have 
raised 206. 

Whitchurch, Aug. 20t7i, 1856. There is a consider 
able stir in this town about my being here. On 
Monday night there was such a congregation as 
astonished everybody, and four fine young men 
sought and found the salvation of God. I preached 
at Market Drayton last night after attendin g a tea- 
meeting. I preach here again to-night, and to 
morrow go to a village near Crewe, and then on 
Saturday go from thence to Leeds. 

Jerusalem the holy, in light and peace behold ; 
Her glowing altars flaming, her candlesticks of gold. 
The Heavenly Bridegroom s dwelling, the place of 

David s thrones ; 
Her solemn anthems swelling, her pavement precious 


Awake ! Awake ! O Zion ! Thy bridal day draws nigh, 
The day of signs and wonders, and marvels from on 

Thy sun uprises slowly, but keep thou watch and 

ward ; 
Fair Bride, all pure and lowly, go forth to meet thy 

Lord. Gough. 



The extraordinary manner in which some persons 
were frequently affected under Mr. Wesley s preaching, 
as well as that of his coadjutors, created much discus 
sion and gave great offence. Some were seized with 
trembling, others sank down and uttered loud and 
piercing cries ; others fell into a kind of agony. In 
some instances, whilst prayer was offered for them, they 
rose up with a sudden change of feeling, testifying that 
they had redemption through the blood of Christ, even 
the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His 
grace." Watson s Life of Wesley. 

MR. RICHARDSON was fully employed the remainder 
of the year, hi visiting Manchester, Birmingham, 
Halifax, Nottingham, and other places ; but no 
records are forthcoming. His health was not good 
in December, and at the time he came home to 
spend Christmas with his family, he complained 
much of being worn down and -wanting rest for 
his lungs. Notwithstanding this, however, in the 
early part of the January following, he was induced 
to undertake very important service in the town of 
Hull. He was importuned to preach the annual 
Sunday-school Sermons in Kingston chapel, and 
nothing loath, he girded himself for the task; and 
his visit was made a great blessing in that old and 
most important centre of Methodism. His engage 
ment was to terminate at the end of the first week, 


but such a state of excitement was produced by bis 
ministry, and such desires were manifested to hear 
him preach, that, at the request of the superin 
tendent of the circuit, two gentlemen went over to 
Grimsby to obtain his release from engagements in 
that town, so that he might remain in Hull over 
another Sabbath. The following is his own account 
of the visit : 

Hull, Jan. llth, 1857. Here lam safely over the 
great water without being drowned ! Mr. Crookes 
was very kind and glad to see me. He announced 
my name from the pulpit, as that of an old friend 
of his, whom he should be happy to see and hear 
again. Sunday was a rainy day, but we had large 
congregations. It is a beautiful chapel, and was 
well filled, and I had a good time. To look upon 
such a congregation was enough to intimidate any 
one, and if you had seen it, you would have wondered 
how I did to stand before them. At the close of 
the service there were from twelve to fourteen 
earnestly seeking the kingdom of God, and most of 
them obtained peace, and were filled with joy 
through believing. There is a fine set of praying 
men here, and I have not such hard work in the 
after meetings as in most places. We are expecting 
great things this week. 

Hull, Jan. nth. Mr. Field has been to Grimsby, 
and they have consented to give me up, so that I 
am to stay here another Sunday. The congregations 
have increased all the week. The chapel will hold 
two thousand, and on Thursday night it was full. 
The people come running before the time, as if 


afraid of being too late to get in. Every night this 
week the Lord has been in the midst. I suppose 
six hundred stayed the prayer-meeting last night ; 
and there were twenty penitents. I do not know 
how many have got saved, but the number will 
amount to several scores. Amongst the rest a 
captain of a ship found mercy on Tuesday night, and 
on Wednesday morning he came to see me. Hia 
eyes were filled with tears, and he gave me the 
following account of himself : He has been a 
captain eighteen years ; has been shipwrecked twice, 
and with a rope round his body was dragged through 
the raging waves to land ; has been in many a 
storm and scene of danger, and seen many lost 
around him. When he was rescued frc-m drowning, 
he said, " These were great deliverances, but not to 
be compared to the deliverance I have now obtained. 
He said, " I have been an awful blasphemer, and 
one of the wickedest of men, and when I came 
down the aisle of the chapel to go to the communion- 
rail I felt like a condemned criminal under sentence 
of death ; but after I had been there awhile I felt 
the burden lifted from my soul, and I could say 
my God is reconciled, and I went back to my seat 
with a glad heart, and seemed to walk in carpet 
slippers, scarcely feeling the ground I trod upon." 
His wife and daughter have got saved also. I saw 
them all in the same pew the other night, and they 
looked so happy. Mr. Field s son and daughter, and 
two of his servants, have found salvation, and two 
of the girls and a man-servant at his house in the 
town. Praise the Lord ! I am very well in the 
midst of all the stir and work. 


1 Laceby, Jan. 21st, 1857. We had a wonderful 
work in Hull last Sunday. That great chapel was 
crowded all over, every aisle and corner and the 
pulpit stairs were packed ; and it was the same on 
Monday and Tuesday. A great number of souls 
were saved each night, and are now living witnesses 
of the power of Gospel grace and truth. I left the 
circuit all on a stir. A gentleman desired Mr. 
Field to take me to a hatter s shop, and buy one of 
the best hats he could get, so I am now wearing a 
better than I ever had in my life. I am to stay 
here and preach at Laceby, Hatcliffe, and Grimsby 
all the week. 

Laceby, Jan. 29th. We had a large congregation 
at Laceby on Sunday night, and one soul saved. 
Last night three strong young men came to the 
communion-rail, and threw themselves down, and 
began to pray with all their might ; others followed, 
and I think there were ten of them struggling to 
gether in the pangs of the new birth. It was a 
gracious time. They are going to have gas put into 
the Caistor chapel, and I am to make collections 
there for that object next Sunday. 

From the above date until July very little infor 
mation is forthcoming respecting his labours. 
During the interval he visited several circuits, 
travelled much, preached often, and saw the grace 
of God in many places, as Barnabas saw it at 
Antioch. It is much to be regretted that his letters 
during this period have not been preserved, as there 
is reason to believe it was one of the happiest and 
most fruitful of his life. Writing to his friend Mrs. 


Shillito, of Prestonfield, in September, 1857, he 
remarks : This has been a very successful year, 
After I saw you at Grimsby (the end of February), 
I was out six weeks in one round, and we had 
souls saved every night. In three months, where I 
was labouring, we had not less than six hundred 
persons saved, and started in the way to heaven ! 
I was nearly worn out every night, and often thought 
I should have broken down ; but the Lord held me 
up, and I was never more happy in my Master s 
work. what rich seasons we have had ! My cough 
is not cured, and I expect it never will be. If I live 
to see another winter, very likely it will be bad 
again ; but " my heart is fixed " to do the will 
of God, work away for Him, and finally get to 

Six hundred persons saved in three months ! Well 
might he say, what rich seasons we have had ! 
Would to God such seasons came often everywhere I 
What honour does God confer upon his chosen 
instruments ! A simple-minded man, sixty-five 
years of age, goes forth from his humble cottage, 
into the great and busy world, governed by the one 
idea expressed in Wesley s formula, You have 
nothing to do but to save souls, and in three months 
time six hundred sinners are gathered into the fold 
of Christ by his instrumentality ! During these three 
months he laboured in the Birmingham, Sheffield, 
Rotherham, Bolton, Manchester, Sleaford, Alston, 
and Bingham circuits. Thank God for what He has 
done, and for what He will do; for His promise makes 
it certain that He will yet raise up other equally suc 
cessful harvestnien, to gather the wheat into His 


garner, 0! that the Lord s remembrancers may 
never keep silence, but fervently and ceaselessly 
pray the Lord of the harvest that He may send 
forth labourers into His harvest. 

In the month of July he visited the town of Ked- 
ditch, where he recorded : We had no need to ask 
whether the Lord was with us, His voice was heard 
in the sanctuary, and we saw " the lighting down of 
His arm." Nearly twenty souls were saved and gave 
glory to God. He went to Ratcliffe Bridge, near Man 
chester in August, where a young woman had the 
Word applied to her heart and determined to become a 
follower of Jesus. She persuaded her parents to allow 
her to begin family prayer at once, and both father 
and mother were converted and soon after died a very 
happy death. At Northampton he rejoiced over 
* five sinners who confessed themselves on the Lord s 
side, and at North Cave, near Patrington, between 
thirty and forty professed to find an interest in 
Christ. At Dunstable twenty-two persons pro 
fessed to obtain forgiveness and a sense of accept 
ance with God, one night ; and another, there were 
from thirty to forty seekers of salvation. 

A letter which was written to him by Mr. Bennett, 
of Dunstable, January 5th, 1858, states: The good 
work is still going on with us. We have had more 
conversions since you left us. Several of the older 
scholars in the school have become decided. You 
will remember one who broke down on the Wednes 
day night, and spoke at the band-meeting veiy 
beautifully, about the way in which the Holy Spirit 
led her to yield to His grace. It would please you to 
see the three men at the station walking abreast up 


to the class they have joined on the Sunday morn 
ings. We have not been able to count up correctly 
yet, but I hope we shall find fifty meeting in class 
in Dunstable alone ; and I have heard of several at 
Toddington, and some at Leegrave. 

In the course of the year a proposal originated 
with some of the friends of this most excellent man 
in the Grimsby circuit, to raise a sum of money 
sufficient to provide a small annuity, for himself and 
his wife during the remainder of their lives. It was 
apparent to those who knew him, that his physical 
strength was failing, and that he would not be able 
much longer to pursue the evangelistic labours 
which he had now maintained with unabated vigour 
for more than twenty years ; and it was also well 
known that his pecuniary circumstances were such, 
that unless an effort of this kind was made, he 
would certainly be placed in difficulties, in case he 
should be laid aside by illness. Mr. Richardson 
never sought to make money by his religious zeal 
and abundant labours to do good. A man more pure 
and disinterested in his motives cannot easily be 
found. Throughout his career he sensitively shrank 
from the appearance of being at all concerned about 
money. The consequence was, that to make pro 
vision for old age was utterly beyond his ability. 
He had brought up his family in modest comfort, 
and respectability ; and they were satisfied, and so 
was he, with such a decent condition in life, as might 
be maintained by thrift and prudence whilst the 
future he left with confidence to the providence of 
God. Under these circumstances his friends felt 
that he had claims upon the public, and that it was 


most proper to afford an opportunity to his numer 
ous admirers and spiritual children, to give a 
practical expression of their gratitude and affection. 
A meeting was accordingly convened, by circular, 
in the town of Grimsby, and was well attended by 
influential gentlemen from the Barton, Hull East, 
Market-Rasen, Alford, Louth, and Horncastle cir 
cuits. A committee was formed ; William Coates, 
Esq., of Laceby, was appointed treasurer, and 
Messrs. John Coatsworth and J. K. Riggall, secre 
taries. At that meeting the writer was requested 
to preside, and can never forget the abundant 
kindness, profound esteem, and sense of personal 
obligation, expressed by several of the leading 
Wesleyan gentlemen of Lincolnshire ; and their 
great readiness to contribute to the proposed an 
nuity fund. A little diversity of opinion was enter 
tained as to the ultimate appropriation of the 
principal sum to be raised ; a few giving the pre 
ference to the Missionary Society, and others con 
sidering the Methodist Preachers Annuitant Fund 
the most suitable to have the benefit of the appro 
priation. This latter view was finally adopted ; a 
subscription was commenced at the meeting, and 
after the lapse of sufficient time to allow for private 
applications, the following circular was sent out to 
different parts of the country : 

Dear Sir, On the 5th of March last, a meeting 
of the friends of Mr. Charles Ilichardson, of Tet- 
ford, was held in Grimsby, at which a committee 
was appointed, and it was unanimously resolved 

"Forthwith to create a fund for the purpose of 


providing a moderate annuity for the benefit of Mr. 
Richardson, and of Mrs. R., should she be his sur 
vivor, and to make an appeal to his numerous 
friends in various parts of the connexion in behalf 
of the same." 

The considerations which suggest and sustain 
this proposal are the following 

1. Mr. Richardson s long and valuable services 
to Methodism ; his tried loyalty and devotedness to 
the institutions and discipline of the body; and 
his laborious and successful endeavours to promote 
the spiritual prosperity of the connexion. 

1 2. The fact that he and Mrs. Richardson are now 
sixty-five and sixty-two years of age, and almost 
entirely unprovided for ; the occupation of his time 
for many years past in preaching, and the very 
limited remuneration he has generally received, 
having precluded a self-made provision for old 

3. The manifest impropriety of allowing one who 
deserves so well of his Christian brethren, to be in 
danger of becoming subject to poverty and want in 
his declining years, after he has been worn out with 
excessive labours in the Church of God ; and the 
equal impropriety of permitting his excellent wife, 
in case of his removal by death, being thrown upon 
the aids of a precarious charity. 

It was also resolved "That the capital of the 
fund shall be presented, upon the decease of Mr. 
and Mrs. Richardson, to the "Wesleyan Ministers 
Annuitant Society, for the benefit of the worn-out 
ministers and widows of the connexion." 

The total amount at present subscribed is 


291 5s., which is much below the amount required 
for a moderate annuity say 10 or 50 per annum. 

We commend this project to your kind con 
sideration and aid, that the committee may be able 
to prove that the church appreciates the labours 
and successful services rendered by Mr. Richardson 
to the cause of Christ for a long series of years. 

The committee propose to invest the fund, 
immediately after the close of the year. 

W. COATES, Treasurer. 

JOHN COATSWORTH, / cv , . , 

-^ _. J. Secretaries. 


This benevolent proposal had made considerable 
progress before it came to the knowledge of the 
party most interested in it. He had not entertained 
the slightest expectation of any thing of the kind ; 
and when he got to know what his friends were 
doing, his gratitude was intense. He took their 
kindness as another proof of his Heavenly Father s 
love and care for him and his, and devoted himself 
to his work with renewed assiduity and delight. 

The sum of 400 was ultimately contributed and 
vested in trustees, and a deed of settlement was 
drawn out, securing to himself and his wife the 
amount of 20 a year for life, and at their decease 
the appropriation of the principal to the Methodist 
Preachers Annuitant Society. This small annuity 
was further supplemented by a resolution, on the 
part of its promoters, to procure annual subscrip 
tions, if possible, to double the amount during Mr. 
Richardson s own life ; a resolution which was 



.generously carried into effect in a quiet and effectual 
manner, and so as not in the least to annoy the 
sensitiveness of the recipient. 

To return to the narrative of his labours. These 
were continued as indefatigably as before, and were 
as earnest and successful as ever. His physical in 
firmities were plainly upon the increase ; his throat 
and chest were more frequently out of order ; de 
cided symptoms of asthma began to show them 
selves, a disease to which his father was most 
distressingly subject during several years before 
his death ; but he was carried onwards in his course 
of usefulness by the love of souls, and the delight 
which he experienced in publishing the glad tidings 
of salvation. Had he been careful to economise his 
remaining strength, his life might have been pro 
bably prolonged beyond the age at which he died ; 
but forgetful of himself, he went on to fight the 
good fight, and fulfil the ministry which he had 
received of the Lord Jesus ; anxious to live well, 
rather than to live long. And certainly, as he ad 
vanced along his path he had everything to encour 
age him to proceed, If the outward man failed 
the inward man was renewed day by day. He 
walked in the clear sunshine of the divine favour, 
and was filled with all joy and peace in believing. 
His prospects became better and brighter, and with 
increasing confidence he could set to his seal, and 
testify that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth 
from all sin. He never was better qualified, both 
spiritually and intellectually, to feed the Church 
of God, or expostulate with careless shiners, and 
lead them to the fountain of salvation ; nor did he 


ever witness more success attending his ministry. 
Everywhere the best of the Methodist people re 
ceived him with a hearty welcome, and zealous 
co-operation. Open doors of usefulness stood be 
fore him in every direction, and some of them pre 
sented to him peculiar attractions ; and better than 
all, he saw that God was with him making him in 
creasingly the means of turning many from dark 
ness to light wherever he went. In his case there 
was another beautiful illustration of that precious 
word, The path of the just is as the shining light, 
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 
No wonder that he went on, ambitious of further 

Soon after the turn of the year he repeated his 
visit to Hull. His great success in the previous 
January induced the friends to press him to preach 
in behalf of the Sunday-schools again ; and it was 
plainly most agreeable to himself to comply with 
their request. He reported his success in the 
following terms : 

l llull, Jan. llth, 1858. I am happy to say that I 
am pretty well after my labours yesterday. Kings 
ton chapel was full in the morning, but at night the 
songregation was overwhelming. They say there 
svere three thousand people within the sound of my 
roice. It was awfully grand to look upon the mass 
:>f people assembled. There was a good number of 
penitents seeking mercy ; how many I don t know 
perhaps thirty. It was a good beginning. The 
friends are expecting a fine week, and the chapel 
:ull everj night. 

r 2 


Hull, Jan. 21s. My work here is now done, and 
I leave to-morrow for Grainthorp. Last night we 
had an extraordinary congregation; every part of 
the chapel was crowded within the communion 
rail, the aisles, and all about the doors, and not a 
seat was to be had by many who stood all the time. 
I left about ten o clock, and at that time the 
penitents were crowding the communion. Preachers 
and friends were delighted, and I lef b them all hard 
at work. 

Rotherkam, Jan. 25th. Yesterday was a precious 
day ; a very large congregation at night, and four 
teen people seeking salvation as earnestly as any I 
have ever seen. Nearly all of them obtained the 
blessing of pardon, and went to their homes re 
joicing in the Lord. There were eight very fine 
young men in the number. Praise the Lord ! But I 
expect something better before I am done here. I 
slept well last night, and think I shall be better 
here than in Hull. The house where I lodge is 
right upon a hill, and we have plenty of good air. 
I am very comfortable; but the people tease me 
with invitations to go out to dinner and tea, and 
this keeps me talking all day. Well, I must make 
the best of it. 

Rotherham, Jan. 29<A, 1858. I preached last night 
to a chapel full of people with great ease and com 
fort. A very blessed work is going on, and a good 
many are saved every night. We have a band- 
meeting to-night, and to-morrow I go to Sheffield. 

He preached five times in Kotherham ; and then 
at Wickersley, on behalf of the erection of a new 


school-room. On Saturday, January 30th, the 
following notice of his labours appeared in the 
Hotherham and Masborough Advertiser : 

Mr. Richai dson is a distinguished and useful 
preacher of the "Wesleyan denomination, who is 
almost ceaselessly employed in conducting special 
religious services. These are not confined to rural 
districts, or comparatively small congregations, but 
are extended to the Metropolis, Liverpool, Hull, 
Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, &c. The illustrious 
revivalist is advanced in years, but not worn out or 
infirm. His grey head, fine open countenance, 
bright eyes, stout compact figure, and somewhat 
antiquated costume, all conspire to make his ap 
pearance in the pulpit venerable, striking, and 
interesting. As far as we can learn, he has had but 
few scholastic advantages in early life, and he has 
evidently struggled through difficulties ; but though 
uneducated, he is well informed, and evidently a 
person of considerable mental power and vigorous 
thought. But what is far better still, "He is a 
good man, full of the Holy Ghost and of faith." He 
loves the Saviour with supreme and intense love, 
which he demonstrates, by his deep and anxious 
solicitude for the spiritual welfare and security of 
his fellow men. As a preacher, he stands high ; his 
discourses are lucid, well arranged, practical, inter 
woven with Scriptural incidents and anecdotes, and 
to crown and seal the whole, his sermons are 
brought home to the reason and consciences of his 
audience, sometimes applied with terrific power and 
point. He is a natural orator, full of action, but 


perhaps occasionally in danger of being rather too 
gesticulative and exciting; but it is perfectly 
natural, and there is apparent, a solemn sense of 
the divine presence, reliance upon supernatural aid, 
and a predominant desire to do good. He was in 
vited to this town by the ministers and officers of 
the Wesleyan Church, and has preached every even 
ing this week. The congregations have been large 
and attentive ; last Sunday night especially, the 
chapel was crowded to excess. The devotional 
meetings have also been well attended, and we are 
given to understand that a cheering degree of good 
has been accomplished. From the bottom of our 
heart we wish the faithful veteran of the cross God 

Such laudatory remarks in a public newspaper 
made him blush in the presence of his friends ; and 
feel afraid and ashamed before God, lest he should 
yield to vain and sinful thoughts. In one of his 
letters to her who was the most likely to be highly 
gratified, and who gloried in the honour conferred 
upon him, he said You see how they have set off 
your poor old husband ; but they do not know him 
as well as he knows himself, or they never would 
have said such things. 

It must be admitted that such flattering and 
eulogistic statements made in public journals, are 
not unlikely to have a baneful influence upon the 
minds of public men. Had the faithful veteran 
at Eotherham been a younger man, or a Christian 
less established with grace, such excessive laudation 
might have been perilous to him. Even good and 


holy men are not insensible to the charms of 
popular admiration ; and some of his best friends 
were at times concerned to know how he was 
affected by all the honours and respect which were 
shown him wherever he went. Mrs. Coates, of 
Laceby, once said to him, when he was seated in the 
midst of the family circle, conversing freely about 
the success which God was pleased to vouchsafe to 
his labours, and telling of the numerous conversions 
he had witnessed Now Charles, do you never feel 
tempted to pride, in the midst of all this ? His re 
ply was Well ! to be frank, I confess that I have ; 
and proceeded to say : I was preaching at Boston 
once, and that large and beautiful chapel was filled 
all over with people. The Lord gave me great 
liberty in preaching, and every eye seemed fixed 
upon me ; when it came into my mind while I was 
preaching, "You are doing well! what a pitch of 
excitement you have brought the people to ! " 
But, said he, with a sad countenance and a melan 
choly shake of the head, what tears, and sighs, 
and groans that cost me ; as soon as I got into my 
closet, no one knows what distress and shame I 

Mr. Carter, of Nottingham, mentions a similar 
circumstance, and states that he once asked Charles, 
as they sat at the tea-table, whether he had ever 
heard the celebrated Mr. William Dawson preach. 
He said: Yes, I have heard him a few times; and 
went on to mention the texts of Scripture from 
which he had heard him preach ; and stated, that 
many years previously, he was himself engaged to 
preach in George-yard Chapel, Hull, for several 


evenings in succession, except one, when Mr. Daw- 
son was to occupy the pulpit. On that occasion he 
had the great pleasure of hearing him, and was very 
much charmed with both his manner and discourse. 
On the following evening it fell to him to take the 
pulpit; and as he was on his way to it from the 
vestry, the chapel-keeper, who was walking by his 
side, whispered to him: The people say they would 
just as soon hear you preach as Mr. Dawson. He 
said he felt greatly annoyed with the obtrusive re 
mark ; and went up the pulpit stairs saying in an 
energetic undertone, Get thee behind me, Satan, 
for he added, I knew from whence it came. 
Would it not be well always to make similar short 
work with Satan s suggestions? Mr. Richardson 
was never equal to Mr. Dawson as a preacher, and 
he knew it, and was all the more grieved with the 
fulsomeness of the chapel-keeper s observations. 
Honour and usefulness in the church expose min 
isters to peculiar temptations. The higher their 
elevation, the more are they exposed to Satan s 
deadliest shafts. The great Apostle to the Gentiles 
had to carry to the grave his thorn in the flesh, 
lest the distinctions conferred upon him by God 
should exalt him above measure. And the best 
and most useful men have need to walk circum 
spectly and humbly with God, lest that by any 
means when they have preached to others they 
themselves should become castaways. When the 
celebrated French preacher, Massillon, Bishop of 
Clerrnont of whom Louis XIY.used to say, When 
I hear other preachers, I go away much pleased 
with them ; but when I hear him I go away much 


displeased with myself had delivered one of his 
most brilliant and impressive discourses in the 
hearing of the court; the monarch, who was 
present, was so charmed with the bishop s eloquence, 
that he met him at the foot of the pulpit steps, 
when the service was over, and shook him by the 
hand, saying, You have given us an admirable dis 
course to-day. Sire! said the preacher very 
gravely in reply, the devil has told me that, before 
your Majesty. 

The following extracts show, in Mr. Eichardson s 
own language, the results of his continued labours 

Sheffield, Feb. 2nd, 1858. We are doing pretty 
well in the Lord s work; but I had expected to 
find the Society in Sheffield in a much better state. 
On Sunday night the chapel was well rilled; and it 
was nearly full last night. We had a good influence 
on both occasions, and about ten persons were in 
distress, who had been wounded by the sword of 
the Spirit, which is the Word of the Lord. Last 
Friday night we had a band-meeting at Eotherham, 
when we had all the new converts present who pro 
fessed to have got good during the week. There 
were forty-eight at Eotherham and five at Wickers- 
ley We had them all together in the front pews, 
an 1 addressed them on the obligations they were 
u/ider, to walk, "as becometh the Gospel of Christ." 
J. hope a good impression was made upon the minds 
of all of them. Two new class-leaders were ap 
pointed ; and each of the converts was asked which 
they preferred to meet with; their names were 
taken down, and everyone seemed fixed and pleased. 


It was an interesting meeting, and all of us who 
were present were constrained to thank God and 
take courage. 

Stockport, Feb. 9z7t.-^Ty cough is better than it 
has been for weeks past. | left them at Sheffield all 
alive, and sorry that I was obliged to leave them so 
soon. I have promised to return as early as I can. 
Apparently they had not made much effort to get 
the people together before I went ; but we had 
better and better congregations every night, and it 
was a very blessed week. I do not know how many 
were brought in, but there was a good number. A 
powerful work of God commenced at Hollingsend 
just after last harvest, and they have begun to build 
a new chapel : they say I am to open it. A woman 
came to me and said : " You were the means under 
God, of saving my soul when you preached at Hoi-? 
lingsend, and a good many more." Glory be to 
God ! " We had a good beginning here on Sunday ; 
I preached in a large school-room about half-a-mile 
from the chapel, The collection was 28. The 
place was as hot as an oven. About twenty-three 
penitents were seeking the Lord, and the day closed 
well. Last night I preached in the chapel to a 
good congregation, and we had the communion-rail 
crowded with earnest seekers of salvation, Amongst 
them was the daughter of a medical gentleman in 
the town, who is a religious man. I believe before 
the week is over we shall have something very re* 
markable. You must pray for me. I never forget 
to pray for all of you. 

Manchester, Feb. IQtJi. "We had extraordinary 
times at Stockport last week. Towards the end, 


the chapel was crowded in all parts. Thursday 
night was the most remarkable. I continued with 
them till ten o clock, but when I left, both vestries 
were full of penitents, with whom the praying men 
were at work, encouraging them to lay hold on the 
Saviour. The communion-rail in the chapel was 
filled again and again; for those who got liberty 
retired to their seats and other seekers took their 
places. The people came from all parts of the town 
and from many of the villages round about. I have 
not seen such a work for a long time. Since I got 
here a letter has followed me to say that the son of 
the Eev. W. Allen, the superintendent, and Mr. 
Foley s niece and servant-maid, all found peace. 
Bless the Lord ! The people here are not in so good 
a state as they were, but we had plenty to preach 
to on Sunday. The collections for the tracts were 
14. The person who takes down the names of 
those who get good, told me last night that he had 
already twenty-five names. May they all endure 
unto eternal life. I intended to come home next 
Saturday, but they press me so much to stay that I 
shall be like to preach another Sunday before I 

He was at work in March at Prestonfield, near 
Hull, and again in Manchester, Stockport, and Shef 
field in April. Large crowds attended his ministry 
in these towns on week days as well as Sundays. At 
Stockport he preached two evenings and estimated 
that about forty persons each time were deeply 
awakened and seeking the Lord with all the heart. 

In the beginning of June he was taken very un- 


well at the Manor House, Laceby ; and was confined 
to bed for more than a week. Mrs. Eichardson was 
sent for, and remained with him until he was able 
to return home. The writer had an opportunity of 
visiting him a few times in this sickness, and always 
found him sweetly submissive to the Divine will, 
and joyously resting upon the merits of the Saviour. 
It was a means of grace to sit at his bed-side, and 
listen to him speaking of the goodness of God. He 
was much in the spirit of prayer, and spent the 
greater part of his time in reading the Holy Scrip 
tures and pleading with God. The following ex 
tract from a letter to his friend Mr. Wild, of 
Armley, supplies his own account of this affliction. 

Tetford, Aug. 2nd, 1858. I am the Lord s 
prisoner again, and have been very ill for nearly 
nine weeks. About a month since I was getting 
better, but I suppose I got a little cold and broke 
down again, and was as ill as before. The doctor 
says it has been an attack of bronchitis, attended 
with ague and fever, and other complaints. I am 
brought down very low and weak, and am afraid it 
will be a long time before I shall be able to preach 
again. I have given up all my summer s engage 
ments, except one place where I have been once a 
year for seven years, but I am ready to fear I shall 
not be able to go. Many friends are waiting to see 
if I can serve them, so that if I am spared I shall 
have plenty of work. I doubt whether I shall be 
able to come and see the Armley friends so early as 
the beginning of October, but I shall see how I get 
on and will let you know. I am happy to say the 


Lord is with me. I have felt Christ precious, and 
His word sweet. The Gospel I have preached to 
others has been my support in this time of affliction. 
My dear wife has been very unwell also. But 
writing is too much for me, I must conclude. 

His beloved Tansley was the place where he had 
been for seven years in succession, and by the end 
of September he was so far recovered as to be able 
to go and preach in behalf of the chapel again. He 
was greatly refreshed by the sympathy of the kind 
people and the success of his Sabbath labours, and 
remained a week for the benefit of repose, under the 
hospitable roof of his friends the Hacketts. Other 
places, far and near, were visited during the next 
two months, and in December the ubiquitous evan 
gelist went into the Dunstable circuit. God had 
given him the hearts of the people in that neigh 
bourhood, and there was no one more able than 
himself to assist in raising funds, and promoting 
the spiritual interests of the circuit at the same 
time. The friends in the town of Dunstable had 
just expended 1,600 upon the enlargement of the 
chapel. The Rev. W. M. Punshon, the Rev. R. 
Roberts, and other ministers had preached at the 
re-opening, and very liberal sums had been col 
lected; and Mr. Richardson was invited to gather 
up the gleanings. It so happened however that 
these, when they came to be appraised, turned out 
better than the gleanings of some of the regular 
harvest-men. On the first Sabbath morning that 
he preached, a deeply-interesting scene was pre 
sented. Previous to the hour for commencing the 


service, several hundreds of people assembled in the 
chapel ; and as soon as he entered the pulpit the 
whole congregation arose as if by previous concert ; 
and struck up without the aid of the orchestra, a 
beautiful hymn, known to be one of his favourites, 
and sung the whole six verses it contains to a sweet 
and plaintive melody. The first and last of the six 
are these 

In seasons of grief to my God I ll repair, 
When my heart is o erwhelmed with trouble and care ; 
I ll cry to the Saviour, who for me did die, 
Lead me to the Eocfc that is higher than I. 

* And when I behold Thee arrayed on Thy throne, 
I ll fall at Thy feet, and there cast my crown ; 
The malice of Satan and hell I 11 defy, 
When safe on the jRocfc that is higher than I. 

Before the singing was finished Mr. Richardson 
was so deeply affected that he burst into tears, 
which he could not conceal ; and the sight of his 
emotion only intensified that which already existed 
on the part of the audience ; and it was not until a 
few minutes had passed that he was in a fit state 
to commence the service. He preached again in the 
evening of the same day with great power, to an 
overflowing congregation ; and several young men, 
amongst others the son of a Wesleyan minister, 
were given to him as seals to his ministry; who 
subsequently honoured his instrumentality by their 
Christian consistency. He remained a fortnight 
preaching or attending missionary meetings every 
day ; held two services amongst the work-people in 
large bonnet establishments ; and stated at the end 


)f the time, I don t know the number of those who 
lave professed to find salvation, but I believe 
lundreds have been brought to God. 

He stablishes the strong, restores the weak, 
Reclaims the wanderer, binds the broken heart ; 
And, arm d himself in panoply complete 
Of heavenly temper, furnishes the arms 
Bright as his own, and trains, by every rulo 
Of holy discipline, to glorious war, 
The sacramental host of God s elect ! 
Are all such teachers ? would to Heaven all were ! 




The most effectual way of preaching Christ is to 
preach Him in all His offices, and to declare His law 
as well as His gospel, both to believers and unbelievers. 
Let us strongly and closely insist upon inward and out 
ward holiness in all its branches. John Wesley. 

THE year 1859 was as laborious and successful as 
any of Mr. Kichardson s life. His popularity con 
tinued to increase ; and the letters of invitation he 
received from some of the most eminent ministers 
of the connexion must have been highly gratifying 
and encouraging. In January he visited the 
Grimsby circuit and the town of Hull, where his 
labours were followed with the same blessed 
results as on former occasions. Night after night 
for a whole week, the large and beautiful Kingston 
chapel was crowded with hearers ; and a great 
number of people of all ages and conditions some 
of them previously outcasts and reprobates were 
born for a better life ; washed from their sins in 
the cleansing blood of Christ ; took their place 
amongst His people, and remain in church fellow 
ship until the present day. In the beginning of 
February he returned to Stockport, where he had 
been so successful the previous year ; and was 
made to rejoice by finding that many of those who 
had been brought to God at that time, were still in 


the way to heaven, and had begun to make them 
selves useful in connection with the church. Mr. 
Richardson rejoiced very much in his Stockport 
labours ; for just as a fisherman delights to cast 
his net in the midst of the passing shoal, so he 
went to work in that populous town with a special 
zest and assurance of success ; and every time he 
went there, as one of Christ s fishers for men, he 
seemed to bring a larger draught ashore without 
injury to the net. His health was generally in 
good working order in that neighbourhood ; and 
his ministry was well adapted to the multitudes of 
young people who crowded to hear him. He thus 
writes about his labours : 

c Stockport, Feb. Qt7i, 1859. "VVe have a very 
blessed work going on here again. On Sunday we 
collected 38, which is more by 14 than last year. 
The chapel was crowded out on Sunday, and well 
filled the last two nights. I left them a little be 
fore ten o clock, and at that hour the communion- 
rail was filled with penitent seekers of the mercy 
of God, and many were praying in the vestry at 
the same time. The prayers of the friends, 
mingled with the groans and cries of the penitents, 
and the rejoicings of those who were made happy, 
were most delightful to heai*. Thank God, there 
is a great number of those who were saved when I 
was here last year still standing. There are fifty 
of them meeting in class connected with this 
chapel ; and the work which then began has 
spread and a great deal of good has been done in 
the large union Sunday-school where there are 


nearly five thousand children and young people. 
The Lord s work and Holy Spirit got into that 
school when I was here, and I am told that there 
are perhaps hundreds of the young people who 
have been since that time, converted to God. I 
have had a deputation of gentlemen to request me 
to preach in it next Friday night, and have con 
sented. They tell me that I shall have a congre 
gation of from three to four thousand people. The 
friends are pleased that I have had the invitation, 
as it is uncommon for a local preacher to officiate 

Stool-port, February 15th. I am staying now at 
Mr. Nightingale s. "VVe had a glorious day on Sun 
day crowds upon crowds of people ; and crowds 
of penitent seekers of salvation. There has not 
been one night since I have been in Stockport but 
we have had the altar-rail filled with people anxi 
ously seeking the kingdom of God. The leading 
men are much alive, and very useful. All sorts of 
sinners are getting converted. We had a man the 
other night who, some months ago, stole a horse, 
and has not been out of prison very long ; he has 
been a very bad man ; but the Lord has broken his 
hard heart, and he was in deep distress on account 
of his sins ; he wept and prayed and struggled 
long, and at last was made a partaker of pardon 
ing mercy. A great number of fine young men are 
getting salvation ; and indeed there is a general 
movement amongst the people old and yoiing. A 
churchman and his wife, a respectable cotton 
spinner, came to hear me several times last year, 
and they have come again this. Last night they 


sent a carriage to take me to their house to tea 
and then sent me to chapel. We had a very happy 
afternoon together. I have just got a letter from a 
friend saying that a leading infidel was at chapel 
last night a man who has been very actively 
instilling his wicked principles into the minds of 
the young men of the neighbourhood. His little 
daughter was with him, and she begged him to allow 
her to stay at the prayer-meeting, which he did 
and it is thought the Lord has touched his heart 
The friends tell me that a great number of those 
saved last year stand fast : and that some of the 
young men have begun to preach, and others to 
be very useful in various ways. Praise the Lord 
for His goodness ! 

Stockport, Feb. 18th. Last week was all good 
but this has been better. Brunswick chapel is very 
large, and yet was more crowded last night, than I 
ever saw Kingston at Hull on a Sunday and for 
all the people were so packed, there was deep and 
Dlemn attention, and a powerful influence seemed 
to pervade the whole mass. One man was enabled 
to believe in Christ to the saving of his soul while 
I was preaching. Many big, stout men were weep- 
g and sighing all the time. The altar-rail was 
filled with penitents all the night ; as soon as some 
found peace they retired, and others took their 
places ; and so we went on till ten o clock, when I 
left them, but a great number stayed much longer, 
has been a wonderful week for the manifestation 
of the power of God, indeed I might say a fort- 
night, for we have not had one failing time they 
have been all blessed seasons of grace. I cannot 



ecter into particulars, or I could write all day on 
the subject of this visit to Stockport. 

It is very much to be desired that he had 
written all day on such a subject. The paper 
would have contained many fine illustrations of the 
living power of Christianity : illustrations which 
cannot be too largely multiplied. Men want to 
see in the midst of them what a living faith in 
Christ is able to accomplish, and the more we can 
produce striking instances of conversion, the more 
swiftly will the Gospel spread and prevail in the 
world. There is no want of ecclesiastical aesthetics, 
or intellectual achievements, in connection with 
the church of the present day ; and if these were 
sufficient to secure vigour and progress to the 
Christian religion, then might we expect it to 
triumph as it never has done. But it is an undeni 
able fact, that as a mighty soul-renewing system, 
calculated to elevate the condition of mankind, and 
extirpate their vices, the Gospel works but feebly, 
and advances slowly. The grand desideratum of 
the church of Christ, just now, undoubtedly is, 
more of that < power from on high, which brings 
about immediate and visible results, and a vastly 
augmented number of genuine conversions. What 
deeply interesting details must have been con 
nected with the numerous conversions which took 
place at Stockport and elsewhere, by Mr. Kichard- 
son s instrumentality. As we count their number 
we naturally wish to know something more about 
them. How many happy homes were thereby 
created j how many parents mourning over erring 


children, were effectually consoled; how many 
vices were destroyed, virtues engrafted, sorrows 
solaced, and new joys implanted ; bow many young 
people were rescued from impending ruin ; how 
many backsliders, were reclaimed ; how many men 
and women were raised up to be a life-long bless 
ing to their families ; how many benefits such as 
these sprang out of the conversions here set down, 
as taking place from three to thirty in a day, and 
that sometimes for several days in the same month, 
will never be told upon earth, for their memorial 
has perished ; but a forthcoming day will reveal all 
about them ; and the honoured instrument by 
whom they were effected, will have the whole 
to gem the crown of his rejoicing for ever and 

In the early part of the year Mr. Richardson 
visited the Metropolis again, and spent a few weeks 
in the Southwark circuit, where his labours were 
productive of such decidedly good results, and re 
dounded so much to the advancement of Methodism, 
in regard to numbers and finances, as well as a re 
vived spiritual life, that a deep impression in hia 
favour was produced upon tho ministers and prin 
cipal friends. The circuit quarterly-meeting was 
held shortly after he left, over which the Eev. 
James Grose presided ; when a resolution of thanks 
and approbation, was unanimously passed, and for 
warded to him in the following respectful terms : 

London, May "23rd. MY DEAR SIR. At the 
last quarterly-meeting of the Wesleyan ministers, 
trustees, and other officers of the Fourth London 


circuit, held in the vestry of Southwark cliapel, it 
was unanimously resolved That a vote of thanks 
be presented to Mr. Charles Richardson, for his 
most useful and acceptable special services in this 
circuit, and that the same be communicated to him 
by the secretary. 

I have great pleasure in conveying to you this 
expression of our friendship, and remain, dear Sir, 
yours, sincerely, 

1 JOHN RILEY, Hon. Sec. 

Nothing conld have been more gratifying to Mr. 
R. than the above ; it was a seasonable communica 
tion, and very proper on the part of the quarterly- 
meeting. Before leaving the neighbourhood of 
London, he visited Croydon, for the purpose of 
calling upon his beloved friend, the Rev. Thomas 
Dove, formerly a most successful missionary of the 
cross in Western Africa, but who was then fast 
sinking into the grave, in premature decay. Ho 
found him very weak but very happy, and patiently 
waiting on the banks of the river for his Master s 
summons to a glorious immortality. The last 
house he left in town, before setting out for Croy 
don, was Mr. Haughton s. Mrs. H. had been taken 
alarmingly ill a day or two previously, and appeared 
at the time almost beyond hope of recovery. For 
years he had been strongly attached to them both, 
and his heart was deeply affected with their suffer 
ing condition. From the bedside of sickness he 
went straight to Mr. Dove s, and found him, con 
trary to his expectation, upon the bed of death ; 
from which he was shortly afterwards released, by 


c an abundant entrance into the everlasting king 
dom of Christ. His sympathies were greatly 
excited ; he wept and prayed for his friends, and 
remained with Mr. Dove over the Sabbath, to com 
fort him, and to take his place in the pulpit ; where 
he was comforted himself with great liberty in 
preaching, and by witnessing several persons 
awakened under the sermon, and induced to unite 
themselves to God and His Church. On his way 
into Lincolnshire, after leaving Croydon, he called 
at Kensworth, near Dunstable, to preach the anni 
versary sermons for the Sunday-school in that 
place. There he lodged in a large old house, and 
was informed, just as he was about to retire for the 
night, that the chamber he was to occupy was said 
to be haunted. Such a piece of information might 
have been troublesome to some people, but to him 
it mattered very little. Ghosts seldom show them 
selves to men of his mould and mettle. He found 
a comfortable bed, and enjoyed a good night s rest, 
and at the close of his Sunday s toil tempted the 
reputed spectre, by a second night s occupation of 
his domain ; and had to tell his hospitable friends 
next morning, that he thought they had nothing 
to dread, for that he had neither seen nor heard 
anything to disturb him. From Kensworth he 
proceeded to Sleaford, in order to render similar 
service to the Sunday-school in that town ; and got 
to Mr. West s, of Miningsby, on Good Friday, 
where he had preached on that day for many years 
in succession. 

After resting a day or two at home he proceeded 
to Manchester, to preach in Gravel-lane chapel; 


and from thence to Sheffield, to make collections 
for a Sunday-school ; where a gentleman was so 
greatly pleased with the morning sermon, that he 
came to him in the vestry, shook him warmly by 
the hand, and expressed a wish that he might live 
till he was a hundred years old, to preach salvation 
in the way he had done that day. At Tansley, 
where he had preached and made collections for the 
chapel, for several years in succession, he found 
that the clergyman of the parish had greatly in 
creased the excitement connected with his annual 
visit, by publicly advising the people not to hear 
him. The consequence was, he had larger congre 
gations than ever before, and several sinners were 
brought to God. On the 24th of July he was in 
the Metropolis again. A new chapel was opened 
in the Southwark circuit on the 13th, and the dedi 
catory services were continued over the two follow 
ing Sundays. After he had taken his part, he 
wrote home in triumph to his wife informing her, 
that though two popular ministers had preceded 
him, 32 were collected when he preached, and only 
33 at the services of the other two put together, 
and added, It was a hard day ; I preached morn 
ing and evening, and led a lovefeast in the after 
noon, but they were blessed times. I felt very 
happy in preaching, and was so strong, and my 
voice so clear, that I thought I was returning to 
the days of my youth. He preached the chapel 
sermons at Bromley, in Kent, on the 26th ; and 
after staying a day or two with his friend, Mr. 
"Whelpton, went to Redditch, where he had another 
hard day on the following Sabbath, and collected 


19 for the chapel ; and reached Tetford at the end 
of the same week, in good health. 

In the early part of August he was at Brigg, 
preaching for schools and missions ; then went 
to Bourne, where, at the request of the Baptist 
minister, he occupied his pulpit one night, and 
the Wesleyan the next; and on the following 
Sunday, preached the annual Sunday-school ser 
mons in Brunswick-chapel, Sheffield. He then 
spent a week in the Boston circuit, another in Bing- 
ham and the surrounding villages, a third at Arm- 
ley, a fourth at Northampton ; preaching and 
making collections for various public objects 
on Sundays and week-days, and gathering seals 
to his ministry in every place. On the 22nd 
of October, he travelled a hundred miles, and 
reached Sheffield again, to preach at Attercliffe on 
the following day. There he was greatly encour 
aged. On both the Sunday and Monday evenings 
a large number of persons were in distress, and he 
laboured hard and late to lead them to the 
Redeemer, and was made glad by seeing many of 
them introduced into the kingdom of God. The 
next Sunday and the week after he spent at Bux- 
ton, preaching six times, and holding five or six 
other sei vices ; in which he saw a yonng widow, 
who had just buried her husband, cast her broken 
heart at the Saviour s feet ; and two brothers, fine 
full grown young men, embrace the yoke and bur 
den of the cross ; and a number of great big 
fellows, who were employed at the lime pits, two 
or three miles out of the town, completely broken 
down, and weeping like women, on account of 


their sins. On the 6th of November he preached 
the annual sermons for the Sunday-school at Bar- 
ton-upon-Humber, and rejoiced over ten conver 
sions in the evening. He continued assisting the 
ministers of that circuit up to the 30th, taking part 
in ten missionary-meetings, generally preaching ia 
the afternoon of the day, and labouring hard all up 
and down in the circuit until he had to say they 
have laid out too much work for me ; an unusual 
admission for him to make, for work in the church 
was his greatest earthly delight. But the weather 
was severely cold ; snow lay deep upon the ground, 
and he had often to return to Barton at ten or 
eleven o clock at night, in an open gig, travelling 
six, eight, or ten miles ; and this was too much for 
him, with a chest and throat so tender and sus 
ceptible of cold. Nevertheless, he determined to 
fulfil a long-standing engagement to preach at 
Rochdale and there he continued during the first 
half of December, preaching for the day-school and 
missions, and labouring with the zeal and energy of 
a young man to bring sinners to the Saviour. He 
had never been in Rochdale before, but his fame 
had preceded him, and large congregations filled 
the Union-street chapel several times to hear him. 
The keen frost which prevailed seriously aggra 
vated his cough, and he was plainly insufficient in a 
physical sense, for the work he had to do. But 
still the Lord was with him ; a very gracious and 
hallowing influence accompanied the Word ; and 
many persons were deeply impressed with eternal 
things. Several clear conversions took place ; and 
when the time of his departure arrived, he left 


ever to return, but followed by the blessings and 
r rnpathies of a people, who greatly admired his 
oilitics as a preacher, and his zeal for the Lord of 
losts ; leaving behind him spiritual children, who 
ill cherish his memory to the end of their lives, 
ad so the labours of 1859 were brought to a 

After his return to Tetford the weather con- 
.nued very trying, cold and changeable, and he 
r as under the necessity of shutting himself up 
ntil the beginning of February. The friends at 
tockport were wishful to see him in their midst once 
lore, and he was as wishful to go ; and though 
oubtful as to the propriety of the venture, so soon as 
ae weather became a little milder he sallied forth 
a the name of the Lord, taking his life in his hand) 
lad to spend and to be spent in publishing the 
mner s friend. The state of his health and the 
ondition of his mind during this period of winter 
etirement, is well set forth in the following com- 
aunication to a friend : 

Tetford, Jan. list, 1 SCO. Your kind letter found 
ae at home, where I have been a full month very 
nwell. I was quite broken down in the sharp 
rosts of December, and my asthma became so bad 
aat I could hold up no longer. My cough has 
een very distressing, my breathing bad, and at 
mes I have scarcely had strength to walk. I 
ften think my preaching days are almost done ; 
-nd yet I hope that if the weather becomes milder 
. shall improve again. ! J do hope and pray, 
hat the Lord may strengthen and bless me with 


power to labour a little longer in His vineyard. I 
have a fine field of usefulness before me, and I 
have a mind to work in it. I love my Master ; and 
I love His service. No man in the world has a 
finer sphere, or a better prospect of doing great 
good than I have. May the Lord bless and help 
me to be faithful to the last. My heart does burn 
with love to G-od my Saviour, and the precious 
souls of men, even while I write. Mr. McKenney 
has written to say they want me to preach at the 
opening of the new chapel at Sutton, and to make a 
collection for it in Hull, but I have not given him 
a promise. For I must see how I can stand work 
when I begin again, before I make engagements. 
I have had letters from two London circuits also, 
but I am afraid to promise any one. I hope to be 
able to go to Stockport in February, and after that 
I will see what I can do for you. I am thankful to 
say my wife and children are all well, praise the 
Lord ! 

On the first of February he was so far restored aa 
to preach to his Tetford friends ; on the third, he 
left home and preached at West Ashby, where, 
after the service, a woman came to him with tears 
of gratitude and several small presents. She had 
formerly resided in the G-ainsbro circuit; and many 
years previously, her daughter had been converted 
to God under his ministry, but had since died happy 
in the Lord. In February he spent two Sundays 
in Stockport, preaching for Sunday-schools, and 
one night between, saw twenty persons thorotighly 
convinced of sin, and another night he said how 


many got saved I know not, but there were 
: scores ! 

Of the numbers who were awakened and brought 
to the Saviour by Mr. Richardson s ministry, some, 
as may be expected, wearied in well-doing, and 
after a season fell away ; but it would imply a 
denial of facts to assume that the greater part dis 
appeared. Abundant proof to the contrary has 
already been supplied, and ought to furnish a 
sufficient answer, to those who object to such 
methods and proceedings as what he usually adop 
ted ; as some do, on the ground that the results are 
3nly temporary, and the good done is more in 
appearance than in reality. Such objections are fre 
quently heard ; but most certainly they are ground- 
.ess, as far as the results of his labours were concerned. 
~.n the following July, a friend wrote to him from 
Stockport, stating, that at a lovefeast held in one 
f the large chapels the day before, several persons 
lad spoken, and testified to the good they had de 
lved from his ministry ; and that at the same time, 
one of the class-leaders had said, that out of the 
twenty-three young persons meeting with him, 
nearly all had been brought in under Mr. Kich- 
ardson. Similar testimonies might easily be 
multiplied. There are many Wesleyan ministers 
now living, who have had ample opportunities of 
observing and testing the fruits and consequences 
of his labours in various parts of the kingdom, and 
would cheerfully bear witness to the genuineness 
and permanence of the effects he produced. 

After leaving Stockport, he visited Manchester, 
Grantham, Worksop, Sleaford, Dunstable, Melton- 


Mowbray, Tansley, and some other places during 
the next five months ; but was plainly in feeble and 
variable health, and unequal to the exertions he 
had previously put forth. He was now in his 70th 
year, and his physical strength was evidently 
abated. Writing to a friend he said : 

Tetford, Aug. 2Sth, I860. I am thankful to say 
that I am a great deal better than I was in the 
winter ; but I have not done much work this year. 
I have not laboured half the time ; and am now 
going to rest three weeks, in order to get as strong 
as I can, and be ready for work at the latter end of 
the year, which is the best time. 

Still however, in the smaller amount of labour 
which he performed during the period he refers to, 
he was cheered with unmistakable tokens of the 
favour and blessing of his Master. In the month 
of March he visited Prestonfield, near Hull, and 
was permitted to rejoice over several conversions 
five in one day and while thankful to God for 
these, was somewhat discouraged because there 
were no more. In April he was at Sleaford, preach 
ing and making collections, and for three nights in 
succession was directing penitents to the Lamb of 
God, several of whom on each occasion were made 
partakers of the joy of saving faith. In May he 
preached at Luton, Dunstable, and Kensworth, to 
large congregations, and the power of God was 
present both to wound and to heal. On Sunday the 
6th of the month, the Rev. W. J. Tweddle was 
expected to preach anniversary sermons at Leegrave, 


but was prevented by a serious accident which he 
met with in travelling by railway ; Mr. Kichardson, 
however, cheerfully took the vacant place several 
persons were awakened under the sermons he 
preached ; and he was greatly refreshed by the 
stability and spiritual progress which he observed 
in some who had been brought to the Saviour, 
during previous visits to that neighbourhood. In 
June he visited Tansley, for the tenth time, preach 
ing the annual sermons for the chapel to larger 
congregations than ever before and Wysall also, 
where the power of God came down upon the 
people and many were weeping and crying for 
mercy. On the Gth of August, he conducted three 
services at Bedditch, where the people gave their 
money as he had never seen them do before ; and 
eight or nine poor penitents were seeking the gate 
of life, like those who seek for hidden treasures, 
and most of them found peace. On the 24th of 
September he opened a new chapel at Stannington, 
near Sheffield, in conjunction with the Rev. John 
Eglinton ; and in the early part of October, spent 
a fortnight at Armley, where he recorded, We 
have not had a barren time, the power of the Holy 
Ghost is present to save, and many are seeking and 
finding salvation. In the latter part of the month 
he went to Northampton, from whence he wrote 
home, under the date of October 29th, 18GO, as 
follows : 

Yesterday the house of God was so crowded at 
night that many could not get in. I have not 
heard the amount of the collections; but seven 


earnest seekers got on board the life-boat, and were 
very happy. We have a speaking-meeting to night. 
Dr. Waddy is coming to morrow to open a chapel 
in the neighbourhood, and I am going into the 
country in an opposite direction, to be out of the 
way. On Wednesday and Thursday I hope to 
preach again. I praise the Lord that I stand my 
work so well, and hope to see a great deal more 
good done before I leave. 

This visit to Northampton was productive of re 
sults far beyond what might be inferred from the 
above brief and modest account ; and the same 
remark may be made respecting many of the fore 
going notices. They are simple jottings and bare 
outlines, originally designed for the perusal of none 
but the members of his own family, and intended to 
be supplemented by oral communications. Mr. 
Berry of Faversham, well remembers this visit to 
Northampton, where he resided at the time, and 
states that Mr. Richardson preached with great 
effect on the morning of the 28th of October, from 
1 Peter ii. 6 : Behold I lay in Zion a chief corner 
stone, elect, precious : and he that believeth on Him 
shall not be confounded. In discoursing from this 
passage, he sought to illustrate how both Jews and 
Gentiles find in Christ a common bond, by which 
they become united into a holy, spiritual temple for 
God to dwell in. Closing the Bible upon the pulpit 
cushion, with the back towards his left hand, and 
running his fingers along the upper edge, from the 
left to the right corner, he said : Here we shall 
suppose the blessed Jesus stands as the chief 


corner-stone. The Jew comes to Him this road, 
passing his hand along the top-edge, and the 
Gentile this pointing to the fore-edge ; and thus 
both meet in Him, and become cemented together 
by the influence that binds them to the Sayiour 
and thus notwithstanding national prejudices and 
peculiarities, they are made into one spiritual house 
beautiful and radiant with the divine presence. 
The whole service was richly evangelical and most 
impressive. In the evening his discourse was 
founded upon Acts viii. 5-8. The chapel was 
tremendously crowded, and the singing was grand. 
The volume of sound was so powerful that it burst 
a large square of glass in one of the windows, with 
a noise like the report of a gun, which for a few 
moments threw some of the audience into a state of 
alarm. On the following evening a large tea-meeting 
was held, succeeded by addresses in the chapel from 
various ministers and friends. Mr. Richardson 
ehvered a highly characteristic and telling speech, 
in which he made a beautiful use of Ezekiel s vision 
of the river flowing from the temple, ever deepening 
widening, and vitalizing as it flows. He particularly 
addressed himself to the young, calling upon them 
to become decided for God, and united to His church. 
He introduced several appropriate and well-told 
anecdotes j and amongst others recited an account 
of the ancient Spartans, who at one of their annual 
festivals, are said to have walked in public pro 
cession in the presence of their chief magistrates 
;he old men, bending beneath the burden of years, 
leading the way, and chanting as they passed, the 
following words set to martial music : 


We have been in days of old, 
Wise and strong, and brave and bold. 

Then came the middle-aged men, who took up the 
strain and sung : 

As ye were in days of yore, 
We at present are, and more. 

And last of all came the youth, in the flower of 
their age shouting as they passed : 

Hereafter, at our country s call, 
Ws promise to excel you all. 

Mr. Eichardson gave the piece with dramatic 
power, and was enthusiastically cheered by the audi 
ence. On the 30th he preached at Moulton about 
four miles out in the country afternoon and even 
ing. One of the texts was Isaiah Ixi. 1 : To 
proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of 
the prison to them that are bound. Impressions 
were produced under that sermon which will never 
be forgotten. On the Wednesday and Thursday he 
preached again to large congregations in North 
ampton. All the evening sermons were followed by 
prayer-meetings, remarkable for the blessed in 
fluences by which they were pervaded, and the good 
accomplished. During the week many souls entered 
into Gospel liberty. One very remarkable case 
came to his knowledge : a man who had formerly 
been a member of Society, but had become a back 
slider, and continued in that state for a considerable 
time, was awakened to a perception of his sin and 
danger, and was in extreme distress of soul. He 
was employed upon one of the railways, and was in 


sach a state of mental wretchedness while at work, 
that he was sorely tempted, as he afterwards said, 
to lay himself down before a passing train ; but he 
saw the open pit into which he was tempted to rush, 
and was afraid to do it. He came again and again 
to hear Mr. Richardson, and the last evening he 
preached in the town, after long and agonizing 
prayer, he found peace to his soul, and was made 
exceedingly happy. 

From Northampton the venerable evangelist went 
home for a few days rest, and to prepare for another 
visifc to the Metropolis, where he was again ur 
gently requested to preach and make collections. 
His earnest and successful labours had made him to 
be greatly valued in several of the London circuits ; 
both ministers and laymen bid him welcome in the 
name of the Lord, and cheerfully co-operated with 
him. The more he was known, the more he was 
loved and confided in; and he was found to be 
quite as able to act upon the population of London 
as of the provinces. The seething masses of the 
great city needed a Jonah or a Boanerges to arouse 
them ; and if his trumpet tongue could alarm sin 
ners, and bring them to Christ, he was free to do 
his best anywhere. During this visit, which lasted 
nearly five weeks, he laboured in the Southwark, 
Spitalfields, and City-road circuits. On the first 
Sabbath he preached the anniversary-sermons for 
the chapel in Long-lane ; and after conducting 
various services in the circuit for a fortnight 
preached for the Spitalfields Trust Estate; and 
then went to Radnor-street school, in connection 

R 2 


with City-road chapel ; where for several days in 
succession he preached and held meetings with 
most encouraging success. On one of the Sundays 
spent at Radnor-street, he was invited by the super 
intendent of the circuit to occupy City-road pulpit 
in the forenoon ; an invitation with which he felt 
himself to be greatly honoured, and which it is pleas 
ant to reflect upon now that he has finished his course. 
Peasant preacher that he was and notwithstanding 
the friction of many years intercourse with all 
classes of people, he was still peasant-like, both in 
dress and address yet there was nothing to pre 
vent him standing as an ambassador of Christ, in 
the honoured place where so many of the illus 
trious dead have stood. He gloried in the Methodism 
of the last century, and in the noble men whose 
names are so closely identified with the history of 
City-road ; and it was a profound gratification to 
him to be invited to occupy a pulpit which had so 
many venerable associations connected with it. 
The following was addressed to his children, whom 
ho was ever anxious to inspire with the love of 
Methodism : 

{ London, City -road, Dec. 12th, I860. I am thank 
ful to say that I am very well. Praise the Lord ! I 
have been here a month, and I am better than when 
I left home, for the air of London always seems 
good for my health. I began by preaching in 
Southwark, and they say we had nearly two thou 
sand people in the chapel the first night. The 
collections were near "25. A few souls were saved 
and brought to God at the same time. I remained 


a fortnight preaching there and at Silver-street, and 
good was done every time. Two young men were 
converted at Silver-street one of them the son of 
a local-preacher and they both began immediately 
to pray and work for the conversion of sinners. 
The following Sunday night we had twenty persons 
in deep distress on account of their souls ; before we 
left the chapel eight of them were filled with peace 
and joy, and went home to tell their friends what 
great things Jesus had done for them. I then went 
to Spitalfields a large old chapel built by French 
refugees, all silk weavers, who were obliged by 
religious persecution, to fly to this country to save 
their lives ; they settled here, and built this chapel 
there I spent a week. On Sunday the place was 
crowded, and they got good collections. The in 
fluence of the Holy Spirit was present both to 
awaken and convert, for there were many saved 
that night. All the w r eek the congregations were 
good, and many sinners were brought to God. On 
Sunday last I began my labours here, by preaching 
in the large school-room belonging to the City-road 
congregation. On the Saturday night Mr. Lomas 
sent to offer me City-road pulpit the next morning ; 
and your poor old father, having a little of the old 
Adam left in him, or a little innocent vanity, 
thought he would climb to the top of the tree just 
once in his life. Mr. Wesley built the chapel and 
often filled the pulpit. All our great men have 
preached in it, and many of them lie buried around 
Mr. Wesley in the grave-yard behind. Well, I 
accepted the offer ; there was a capital congregation, 
and praise the Lord ! He was with me j and while I 


was preaching a woman found peace with God. 
She had been groaning some time under the burden 
of her sin ; and while I pointed out the way to 
Christ, she was enabled to lay hold upon Him as 
her Saviour. When the service was over, she got 
another person to come with her into the vestry to 
thank me for the sermon, and tell me what the Lord 
had done for her soul. She is a fine woman, and 
has been an actress on the stage. The Lord estab 
lish the work He has begun. The same night I 
commenced in the school-room, which was crowded; 
and the place seemed full of sympathy, and solemn, 
tender feeling. A woman cried out aloud for mercy 
while I was preaching ; and as soon as I came down 
from the desk, she came at once to the penitents 
bench, and was soon followed by others, until we 
had about twenty persons kneeling and praying 
with all their might for God to reveal Himself as 
their Saviour ; and most of them obtained a sense 
of His pardoning love. It was a blessed night. 
Monday and Tuesday have been similar occasions ; 
the people are very attentive, and the Lord is in 
our midst. I have two more nights to spend with 
them, and I doubt not they will be glorious. 
Last night they held the " Strangers Friend " 
annual meeting in the Morning chapel a large 
room adjoining the great chapel, in which Mr. 
Wesley used to preach at five o clock in the morning. 
Mr. Lomas sent me a ticket and a pressing invitation. 
W T hen I got there I was very kindly greeted by the 
preachers and friends, and had a long conversation 
with Mr. L. He inquired how long I had been 
labouring in this way, and asked if I kept a diary, 


and said, " You ought to do so." "When tea was over 
they requested me to speak ; but as I had to preach 
at half-past seven, I spoke only about twenty 
minutes, and then posted oil to the school-room. It 
was full of people, and we had not less than twenty 
penitents. There is a great deal of good in London ; 
but oh ! the wickedness which also prevails. In 
Spitalfields alone, there are thousands of thieves, 
pocket-pickers, and prostitutes. One whole street 
is full of them, and the policemen dare not go up 
singly, but go two and two together ; and yet the 
city-missionary goes by himself and they never 
touch him. Not long since he had his pocket 
handkerchief stolen, but before he left the street it 
was brought back to him by some one who said 
the person who took it was a new comer and did 
not know him. On Sunday morning, as we went 
to chapel, we had to go through a public market, 
and it was shocking to behold the butchers and green 
grocers shops, surrounded with crowds of people 
all in their work-day clothes, with baskets in their 
hands, -just as on market days ; and at night when 
we left the chapel the large gin-palaces were 
blazing with light, and were full of people with 
crowds all about the outsides, so that we could 
hardly pass on. The place seems to me to be a 
real Sodom. Only, thank God, there are Abrahams 
to pray for it, and many a Moses to stand in the 
gap. Amidst all I see and do, I do not forget yon, 
and often bring you to a throne of grace with a 
father s feelings. My comfort depends upon your 
happiness. I want you to be pious and upright 
and useful members of society, serving God and 


preparing for heaven. It is only one o clock, but I 
can hardly see to write, the day is so dark and 
thick. I hope to get home some time next week. 

Who shall the will and work divine oppose ? 
His strength with his increasing labours grows : 
Workman and work the Almighty hath prepared, 
And, sent of God, the servant must be heard, 
liush through the opening door, on sinners call, 
Proclaim the truth, and offer Christ to all, 
Boused from the sleep of death, a countless crowd 
(Whose hearts like trees before the wind are bow d) 
Press to the hallow d courts with eager strife, 
Catch the convincing word, and hear for life, 
Parties and sects their endless feuds forget, 
And fall and tremble at the Preacher s feet ; 
Pricked at the heart, with one consent inquire, 
What must we do to escape the never-dying fire. 

C. Wesley. 



From the beginning they had been taught both the 
law and the Gospel. "God loves you; therefore love 
and obey Him. Christ died for you; therefore die 
to sin. Christ is risen ; therefore rise in the image of 
God. Christ liveth evermore ; therefore live to God till 
you live with Him in glory." So we preached and so 
you believed. This is the scriptural way ; the Methodist 
way ; the true way. God grant we may never turn 
therefrom to the right hand or to the left. John Wesley. 
Works, vol. ii., p. 486. 

MR. RICHARDSON got home according to his ex 
pectation a week before Christmas, and was obliged 
to remain there until the commencement of the 
following March. The severe weather of mid 
winter was more than his impaired constitution 
could endure, and a great part of that time he was 
shut up a close prisoner in his cottage home. When 
able to go forth, however, he was always intent 
upon doing some good, and was practically mindful 
of the instruction of St. James, that Pure reli 
gion and undefiled before God and the Father is 
this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their 
affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the 
world. Not a few aged and afflicted persons were 
comforted by his visits, and encouraged in the 
midst of their afflictions and poverty to trust in the 
Saviour. Xor did he visit them empty-handed. 


He had not much to give away ; but the little that 
he had was freely bestowed, and made his words of 
consolation all the sweeter. During these con 
strained hibernations of the last few years of his 
life, the members of his own family greatly enjoyed 
his society. He was a devoted father, and was 
dearly loved by his children. His ripe experience 
and varied information made his conversation 
peculiarly attractive ; and he sought every oppor 
tunity to influence the minds of those about him, 
in favour of entire devotedness to the service of 
G-od. His private manners and conversation were 
a beautiful exemplification of a mature Christian, 
and led many who came near him not only to 
admire the Christian character, but also to glorify 
God on his account. After being shut up within 
doors for several weeks, he wrote to one of his 
friends as follows : 

Tetford, Jan. 22nd, 1861. I am sorry to say 
that I am in a poor state of health. I came 
here the week before Christmas, quite broken down ; 
and I have never been out of the house since until 
yesterday, when I went just to the post-office. The 
weather has been very severe, and my cough and 
chest have been so very bad I could neither lie in 
bed nor sit up with any ease. The weather, how 
ever, is finer and milder at present, and I hope I 
shall be better again. In looking over my list of 
labours for last year, I see that I was twenty-eight 
weeks at home out of the fifty-two. If I do go out 
to labour for two or three weeks, I come home 
almost worn out. I could wish myself young 


again if it were the Lord s will, I have such a flue 
field of usefulness before me, but He knows what 
is best. Praise the Lord ! though confined at home, 
I am very happy and my dear wife and I have 
blessed seasons at the family altar. 

"With the first breath of spring he was again 
obedient to his marching orders, and went to 
Stockport to preach on behalf of the Sunday- 
school, and gather more spiritual fruit in that field 
which had been so abundantly productive before. 
And after joyfully gathering a large measure, in 
cluding the conversion of a minister s son, he 
started on another visit to Kent. 

Mr. Richardson was greatly pleased with the 
county of Kent, and very much admired its soft 
and beautiful scenery. He had a keen relish for 
nature ; and very frequently enriched his dis 
courses with metaphors and comparisons suggested 
by objects which he met with in his travels. He 
had a marvellous facility in adapting himself as a 
public speaker to the circumstances by which he 
was surrounded, and seldom failed to avail himself 
of what was most familiar to the minds of his 
hearers, in order to make the truths of the Gospel 
more impressive. In Kent whilst surrounded with 
orchards and gardeners, he selected for his subject, 
the first time he preached during this visit, The 
Parable of the Barren Fig-tree ; and in expounding 
it, gave illustrations so very natural and graphic 
as to captivate his hearers and seal the tru th of 
God upon many a heart. A gentleman who was 
present on the occasion states, that after giving a 


description of the fig-tree of Palestine, lie re 
marked : But fig-trees are not common in this 
country; let us therefore take the apple-tree to 
illustrate the text. No doubt I have many garden- 
exs here who can judge of the correctness of what 
I say. You take an apple-tree of some choice and 
valuable kind, and plant it in a favoured spot ; you 
tend it carefully and patiently and wait until it is 
well grown, and don t force it to bear fruit too 
soon. But after years of patient toil all your ex 
pectations are blighted. The tree makes plenty of 
wood and looks healthy to the eye, but there is no 
fruit forthcoming or very little, and that of an 
inferior sort. You study the case, and are at a loss 
for some time to tell what is the matter. At last 
you resolve to cut it down ; but before you do so, 
some one interferes and advises a little longer 
patience, and you try it another season. But it is 
all in vain ; you find little or no fruit, and are 
grieved, and say "What is the use of waiting any 
longer ; cut it down ; why cumbereth it the 
ground ! " But before you employ the axe, the 
thought strikes you that you had better examine 
the roots ; and upon removing the soil you find a large 
tap-root running right away down into the earth, 
draining off the nourishment and sap from the tree 
quite in the wrong direction ; and what ought to be 
diffused through the branches, and developed in 
fruit, is drained down into the ground. You now 
find out the cause of barrenness, and proceed at 
once to remove it. You cut the tap-root unspar 
ingly, and make the tree sit loose to the earth. 
Then you begin again afresh to apply manure and 


fill in the soil, and wait to see the result ; and very 
soon find a wonderful change for the better. The 
tree rapidly improves, and ultimately becomes as 
fruitful and valuable as what you at first expected. 

The preacher was quite at home upon such a sub 
ject ; he had considerable knowledge of gardening, 
and well knew not only how to illustrate a truth, 
but also how to apply it to the hearts and consciences 
of his hearers. Having excited a deep interest by 
the foregoing remarks, he proceeded to show that 
the earthly affections of the human soul are tap 
roots which drain away its life and energies, and 
prevent spiritual fruitfulness ; and that all the 
means of grace the influences of truth, the striv 
ings of the Holy Spirit, and the dispensations of 
Providence, frequently produce little or no good 
impression, and seem to be all in vain, because of a 
pernicious tap-root which counter-works the opera 
tions employed by God to bring mankind to Himself ; 
and that He has oftentimes to use the pruning 
knife, and somewhat roughly cut away the objects 
upon which men place their affections ; and even 
to lacerate their tenderest feelings, in order to 
secure their salvation. 

A very deep impression, as may be expected, was 
produced by this sermon upon the Kentish gardeners 
and others who were present ; sighs and tears and 
audible amens prevailed throughout the chapel ; and 
several careless, worldly-minded persons were deeply 
convinced of sin and aroused to think about their 
etei-nal interests. 

On the following Sunday, May 26th, he preached 
from Numbers xiii. 20, in the morning : and in the 


evening from The Queen of Sheba s visit to Solomon. 
Both sermons were very powerful and awakening ; 
and a glorious prayer-meeting, at which several 
persons found the mercy of God, closed the day. 
On Monday, the 27th, he preached again in the 
afternoon from This man receiveth sinners. A 
large tea-meeting followed, in which he took part ; 
and preached in the evening from Prov. v. 11 : And 
thou mourn at the last a very solemn sermon. On 
Tuesday he was a hearer of the Rev.E. Lightwood ; 
on Wednesday preached once more at Boughton ; 
and on Thursday delivered a telling sermon at 
Faversham on The Parable of the Two Sons. 
From thence he went to Sittingbourne, where he had 
never been before, to preach on Sunday, June 2nd, 
when he conducted three services in connection with 
the Sunday-school anniversary, with great efficiency 
and good success. This was the last place which he 
added to that extensive circle of labour, which had 
now been enlarging for many years ; but he ren 
dered good service to Methodism by the three or 
four visits which he subsequently paid ; and helped 
not a little to promote the erection of the com 
modious new chapel in that town, which was the 
last of the many Christian sanctuaries he assisted to 
open and dedicate to the worship of Almighty God. 
During this visit into Kent an incident occurred 
of special and permanent interest, which well 
deserves being placed upon record. It has been 
stated more than once, that Mr. Richardson was a 
man of prayer, and had, Jacob-like power with God. 
Throughout his whole career he steadily sustained 
that high characteristic, and it gloriously sustained 


him in his life of usefulness, and persevering en 
deavours to promote religion amongst men. Answers 
to prayer very many, and very marked, encouraged 
him to come boldly to the throne of grace as is 
always the case with those who go there frequently 
and earnestly. Instances illustrative of his pre 
vailing power with God were often observed during 
his life, and the following is given on the testimony 
of reliable parties, who were personally acquainted 
with the particulars : A farmer and hop-planter in 
the neighbourhood of Faversham, who was in 
straitened circumstances, and had a large family and 
an invalid daughter to maintain, was wishful to see 
him; and was visited on Friday, May 31st. The 
fly-blight, which sometimes destroys whole crops of 
the hop plant, had that year settled upon the 
farmer s plantation, and there was every prospect of 
ruin before him. After some conversation on the 
subject, Mr. Richardson went over the grounds, and 
saw the ravages already effected, and which were 
every day becoming worse and worse. He proposed 
to return to the farm-house, and lay the matter 
before God in prayer; and this was done. The 
whole family were gathered together : and he prayed 
long and earnestly that God would be pleased to 
interfere, and in pity rescue the man and his children 
from the impending calamity; and especially 
requested, that the curious insects which were 
destroying the dear man s crops, and with them, the 
means of supporting his family, might be destroyed. 
He then bid them an affectionate farewell, leaving 
them all encouraged and hopeful ; and strange t 
say let the fact be accounted for as it may the 


curious insects shortly afterwards disappeared : the 
hops recovered from the blight, and that year the 
farmer had an unusually plentiful crop, while in 
.every direction all around the country, the planta 
tions suffered severely from the blighting curious 

Yes, prayer has lost none of its power ! It is 
reported that Dr. Bunting said upon his death-bed, 
All right prayers are answered. Do you doubt it ? 
Then just make the trial. Kneel down at the throne 
of grace with a contrite heart, and call upon God, 
in the Saviour s name, and see if He will not 
answer you. It is not fair to doubt, at least until 
you have been disappointed. First and last, prayer 
has done many remarkable things, besides destroy 
ing curious insects devouring a good man s crops. 
The locust, the cankerworm, the caterpillar, the 
palmer-worm, are but squadrons of God s great 
army ; and He who sends them forth, can either 
recall them, or limit their commission to destroy. 
Holy and devout Christians often receive direct 
answers to prayer. Blessed be God ! many, yea 
very many of His people, can say with the Psalmist, 
I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice, 
and my supplications. Because He hath inclined His 
ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long 
as I live. 

From Kent, Mr. Richardson proceeded to Sheffield, 
to preach anniversary sermons in the Park chapel, 
and from thence addressed the following to his 
children : 

June llth, 18G1. I preached last Sunday for a 


school of seven hundred children ; the collections 
were between four and five pounds better than last 
year, with which the people are well pleased, as they 
say trade is so bad. We had veiy large congrega 
tions, and a few souls were saved. The next day I 
preached again to a Sunday night s congregation, 
and a most gracious time we had. The altar-rail 
was almost full of penitents, many of whom went 
home rejoicing in the Lord. I preached last night ; 
and shall be at work again to-night and to-morrow, 
and hope to see sweet home on Saturday. When I 
was at Sittingbourne last Sunday week, I believe 
there were in that one day, scores of people wounded 
in their hearts, by the word of the Lord. There 
| were three in the house where I stayed. In another 
: j family a woman, who had been a backslider for 
j several years, went home from chapel with a broken 
j heart. She has a pious son; and when the father 
Ipame home he found both the mother and son down 
Upon their knees pleading with God for His mercy. 
jThey wished me to visit them again shortly ! Praise 
jbhe Lord! O! what a blessing it is to enjoy the 
favour of God, and be successful in winning souls 
!|:or Christ. 

^ On the 5th of July, he preached and made collec- 
ions for the benefit of the chapel at Great Terring- 
-on, in the Lynn circuit. After labouring hard in. 
;he forenoon, and retiring from the dinner-table to 
epose a little, and get refreshed for the evening 
service, a messenger came on horseback, hot haste, 
o say that he must come and take the pulpit again 
I a the afternoon, for that the preacher whose name 


was announced on the bills had not made his appear 
ance. He was thrown into momentary annoyance, 
but immediately returned with the messenger, and 
having about half-a-mile to drive, fixed upon a 
subject on the road, and had one of his best times. 
In the evening he preached to an overflowing con 
gregation, and was made to rejoice before be left 
the chapel, over the awakening and conversion of 
several individuals. 

About the end of the month he visited Luton and 
Dunstable, and Redditch, and Armley and Bramley, 
and then went on to Northampton and London and 
Sittingbourne. His spirit was as strong as ever, and 
the sickle with which he reaped in the harvest-field 
was as keen as ever, and the Lord of the harvest 
stood by him as closely as ever, and like a Palm 
tree planted in the house of the Lord, he still brought 
forth fruit in old age. In the following plain words 
he tells the story of his London visit: 

London, Nov. llth. I commenced my labours 
yesterday under somewhat unfavourable circum 
stances. When I awoke in the morning, the wind 
was blowing, and the rain pattering against the 
windows so as to make me quite sad. I thought 
the day would be a failure, but we had a good con 
gregation in Southwark chapel in the morning, and 
it cleared up at night, and the place was crowded. 
I preached with great comfort, and the collections 
were 21. The prayer-meeting was very good, and 
three penitent seekers found their way in at the 
"strait gate." There was a gracious influence 
amongst the people ; but I thought the prayer- 



is in a good state ; I preach there again to-night. 
They have had an anniversary at Spitalfields on a 
week-day and Sunday, which has been a failure ; 
and they wished me to f reach on a Sunday before I 
leave to help to make up j and I suppose I must try, 
for thank God I am very well. 

1 London, Dec. 4th. On Sunday I heard Dr. Jobson 
in the morning at City-road, and a very good time 
it was ; everything in the service was good. He has 
a good voice ; showed great energy and zeal, and an 
ardent desire to do us all good. I preached at night 
in Radnor-street schools, and the large room was 
crowded out and out. I do not know how many 
penitents were seeking the Lord, there were so many. 
Eight or ten came forward as soon as the prayer- 
meeting began. We set apart two long benches for 
them to kneel down at, and both were shortly filled ; 
and others were earnestly seeking the Lord, for 
whom there was no room. Many were comforted, 
and testified that the Lord is very gracious. Monday 
and Tuesday nights were very much the same. I 
spent a week in these schools last year, and much 
good was done ; and I am very thankful to find that 
many of those who were brought in then, still stand 
their ground. The friends have told me of two or 
three who have died very happy during the year ; 
one of them had been a very wicked man ; he came 
to the school one night, and the Lord laid hold upon 
him ; he was brought into deep distress, and found 
peace with God ; but within three weeks after, he 
was accidentally caught in the wheels of some 
machinery while at his work, and was so crushed 
that he died soon after : but he died very happy, 



day seventy years of age. The Lord has spared me, 
and given me to see the full age of man. And 
taking a view of the past, I see that the Lord has 
been very good to me ; my life has been made up of 
kind and gracious providences. Thankful I am to 
say that I am very well this morning, and feel it in 
my heart to praise my God for all His mercies. I have 
been very much blessed in London, particularly at 
Kadnor-street, in the City-road circuit ; and also 
here at Spitalfields. This is one of the worst parts 
of London ; all sorts of bad people abound here ; 
but praise the Lord ! in this den of thieves, we have 
a good number of precious souls saved every night, 
and the Gospel is " the power of God unto salvation 
to every one that believeth." I hope you are all 
well, and striving for heaven. Eeligion is always 
the one thing needful. You must " labour for that 
bread which endureth unto everlasting life," and 
prepare to meet God. 

Mr. Richardson was now a sturdy veteran of the 
cross ; in some respects like Caleb the son of 
Jephunneh, who wholly followed the Lord. Like 
him he could say, Forty years old was I when the 
servant of the Lord sent me to espy out the land. 
And like him, after the toils of thirty years war 
fare, his spirit still panted after further triumphs, 
for his inner man had all the freshness and vigour 
of youth ; and his seventieth birthday found him 
amidst the dens of Spitalfields, labouring with all 
his might to spread the triumphs of the cross, and 
proclaiming with the prophet Thus saith the 
Lord, Even the captives of the migh y shall be taken 


away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered. 
Before leaving the neighbourhood of London, he 
visited Barking in Essex ; and on Sunday, Dec. 
15th, preached twice and made collections for the 
chapel. His usual success attended him, and the 
results were similar to those recorded elsewhere. 
The word went with power ; several poor sinners, 
as he expressed it, were broken down ; and many 
of them professed to find the mercy of God. 
The same was the case again the next evening ; 
and he left the place with his face set towards 
Lincolnshire on Tuesday morning, leaving the 
Society grateful for the pecuniary assistance he had 
obtained for them, and praising G-od for the spiritual 
results which had been accomplished by his instru 
mentality. He arrived at home on the following 
evening, to rest a few days ; and occupied the 
Tetford pulpit, according to his custom on Christmas 

In the year 1770 when the Rev. George Whitefield 
finished his glorious career, a beautiful elegy on his 
death was written by the Rev. Charles Wesley, con 
taining lines which admirably set forth the results 
of Mr. Richardson s ministry in London and else 
where. For God has been pleased to demonstrate 
in every age and place, that a preacher s success 
does not depend upon his personal gifts and 
accomplishments, so much as upon the influence 
and operations of the Holy Spirit : and that whether 
it is a plain peasant preacher, or a finished and 
powerful orator, who proclaims the wondrous 
story of the cross either amongst the citizens of 
the world s metropolis, or the dwellers in sequestered 


villages; it is always and everywhere the same 
power of God, To open their eyes, and to turn 
them from darkness to light, and from the power of 
Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness 
of sins, and inheritance among them which are 
sanctified by faith ; if the breath divine is only 
present to infuse vitality and energy into the words 
spoken. Whitefield himself would have failed, but 
for the baptism of the Holy Ghost ; and Charles 
Richardson was successful, just because God was 
with him. 

What multitudes repent, and then believe, 
When God doth utterance to the Preacher give ! 
Whether he speaks the words of sober sense, 
Or pours a flood of artless eloquence, 
Ransacks the foul apostate creature s breast, 
And shows the man half-devil, and half-beast ; 
Or warmly pleads his dear Redeemer s cause ; 
Or pity on the poor and needy draws ; 
" The Deist scarce from offering can withhold, 
And misers wonder they should part with gold :" 
Opposers struck, the powerful word admire, 
In speech ess awe, the hammer and the fire. 



Though old, he still retained 
His manly sense and energy of mind. 
Virtuous and wise he was, but not severe ; 
He still remembered that he once was young ; 
His easy presence checked no decent joy. 
Him even the dissolute admired ; for he 
A graceful looseness when he pleased put on. 
And, laughing, could instruct. Armstrong. 

THE venerable man went on his way abundantly 
comforted with heavenly consolations ; ripening 
and mellowing like rich autumnal fruit ; practically 
exhibiting the beauty of holiness, and presenting to 
every observer the charms and attractions of con 
sistent piety. His old age had nothing of querulous- 
ness, impatience, or severity to disfigure it ; the 
former times he valued and venerated, but he knew 
how to appreciate the advantages of the present 
day, and no one ever heard him complain and say, 
that the good days were all gone. He had lived with 
the times ; had taken the benefit of their increased 
facilities and opportunities for getting and doing 
good ; and cherished the hope of a bright and blessed 
future for humanity in this world, and for himself 
in the paradise of God. His radiant countenance, 
cheerful tones, and kind encouraging discours^ 
frequently led those who had been in his company 
to exclaim: What a fine old man! His hoary 


head was a crown of glory ; arid the wisdom and 
benevolence which dropped from his lips, were just 
what entitled him to the deference and honour due 
to an Old Disciple, and a Father in Christ. As 
age increased, the members of his own family clung 
to him with stronger love and a deeper sense of his 
worth, while the circle of friends in which he had 
moved so long pointing to heaven and leading the 
way were more anxious than ever to enjoy his 
personal ministrations in the sanctuary, and sit at 
his feet. But the earthly tabernacle was increasingly 
frail : the new-year of 1862, found him in a feeble 
and variable state of health, yet in the absence of 
any serious attack, and constrained by ardent zeal 
for G-od and the love of souls, he went on during 
the weeks of mid-winter preaching in his own cir 
cuit and also visiting others. After labouring at 
Bardney, in the early part of January he left home 
for another visit to Rotherham, where he was per 
mitted to rejoice over between forty and fifty con 
versions, and then went on to Stockport, to Shipley, 
to Doncaster, to Sittingbourne, to Nottingham, to 
Manchester, to Rochester, and London, and he 
went on singing to the last, Now thanks be unto 
God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ 
and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge 
by us in every place. For this was literally and 
truly the case. 

During the greatest part of the year 186L , Mr. 
Richardson had to bear a grief, the like of which 
he had never known before. It was of such a 
nature as a tender and disappointed father alone 
can know. More than this need not be stated. 


The veil which hangs over it was not lifted during 
his life- time ; and it need not be raised now that 
he is far beyond the reach of earthly sorrows. He 
bore the trial like a man of God, and took it to a 
throne of grace ; casting his burden upon that 
mighty and unchanging Friend, whose sympathy 
never fails ; and who, amid all the fluctuations of 
time, sticketh closer than a brother. A good con 
science was one of his comforts ; and though often 
bending beneath the burden upon his thoughts and 
feelings, he was able to say, Thy will be done. 
Temporary financial embarrassment, was one con 
sequence of this great grief ; but that all-seeing 
Providence which guarded and guided his life, 
raised up kind friends, by whose assistance he was 
enabled to meet unmerited and unexpected obliga 
tions ; and to pass through this ordeal of cha 
racter with augmented reputation. Never man was 
more upright than he in all pecuniary transactions. 
He never got into debt. When we could not pay 
for what we wanted, we went without it, was what 
he used to say to his friends ; an admirable rule ; 
would that all Christians observed it ! and had he 
avoided suretyship, he probably never would have 
known the difficulty referred to. But the trial of 
faith is precious ; and the Master, whom he had 
served so long and so well, saw it pi oper to try his 
faith as by fire ; and the trial redounded to the 
praise and honour of that blessed and holy religion, 
to the service of which he was wholly consecrated. 
His correspondence during the year contains many 
affecting references, to this heavy blow and great 
discouragement, showing that the distress it pro- 


duced, followed him by night and by day for a long 
time ; and that while suffering most acutely him 
self, he was most anxious to comfort the sharer of 
all his joys and sorrows, who was not less painfully 
concerned with this great grief than himself. 

In the commencement of 1863, he was under the 
necessity of using the greatest caution in reference 
to his health. He preached several times in his 
own circuit, where he was popular to the last, but 
did not venture forth upon any of his old rounds 
until the middle of March ; and indeed during the 
whole year he was obliged to place himself under 
considerable restraint, both as to the amount of 
effort he put forth in the pulpit, and the frequency 
of his labours. His natural force was now con 
siderably abated, though the old fire within, was 
plainly burning as purely and intensely as ever. 
The following, which was sent to the Rev. R. 
Bond, will show the state of his mind at this period, 
and the maturity and mellowness of his piety as he 
neared the goal of life s pilgrimage : 

Tetford, Jan. 8th, 1863. I got home better than 
a week since, but had to rest a few days in London 
before I could come on. I am quite broken down, 
and feel as if I must give it up altogether. I cough 
and raise so much, it makes me very ill at times. 
I am now in my 72nd year, and old men take a 
deal to raise them when brought so low. I should 
very much like to see you before I die, for there is 
not one of our ministers with whom I have been so 
intimate as yourself; but there is no place like 
home when so poorly ; so I see no chance of 


coming this winter, and I must submit. I have 
great cause for gratitude; and I do praise the 
Lord for all His mercies. He has blessed me with 
long life, and I have seen many happy days. And 
now, ! how precious is His Word, and what 
blessed times we have in our own little dwelling- 
place. It is to us " the house of God, and the gate 
of heaven." The last has been a year of great 
family trials ; but the cup has been mixed with 
many sweets, and whatever is my future lot, I am de 
voting myself to G-od, and I hope through grace to be 
able at all times to say, " good is the will of the Lord." 

On the 15th of March, he preached the annual 
sermons for the day-schools, in one of the Wednes- 
bury circuits, and wrote home thus : 

Wednesbury, March 20th. The Society here 
seems very much united, and, is in a good state. 
9n Sunday, I preached twice to crowds of people, 
ind they collected 40. Three or four seekers of 
salvation found their way to Christ. On Monday 
light there were five persons in deep distress, who 
Dbtained comfort before we left the chapel; the 
3ther three nights the congregations have kept in- 
3reasing, and the tone of feeling to improve, and I 
should think that last night there were thirty peni 
tents thoroughly in earnest ; and many of them 
Dbtained a sense of the pardoning love of God. 
During the week a great number have been added 
;o the Lord. 

The following week he laboured at Bradley in 
;he same circuit, but had to complain of much 


bodily weakness. From the 12th to the 16th of 
April, he preached for various charities in the Dun- 
stable circuit : and at the end of the month he 
spent several days in the vicinity of Boston. These 
visits are referred to in the following letter : 

Tetford, May 20th. I have been away from 
home a few times ; at Wednesbury and Bradley I 
spent a successful fortnight in March, where very 
many were saved ; and suppose I shall have to go 
back again in August, to preach for the Sunday- 
schools in the other circuit. I have also been to 
Dun stable where I preached eight times in a week; 
but it was too much for me though, thar.k God, 
it was not in vain it was a good week, and souls 
were saved. A few weeks ago I was at Boston, and 
had to preach at a place ten or twelve miles from the 
town, and they sent an open gig for me at nine 
o clock on the Saturday night ; a cold east wind 
was blowing very strong at the time. We got 
there about eleven, but I took a bad cold and have 
been unwell ever since. I have made only a few 
promises this summer, for I am not able to do 
much. I am thankful to say, however, that my 
dear wife and I have happy times at the family 
altar. We feel Christ precious, and know that 
heaven is our home. Glory be to God ! All His 
promises are solid truths to rest upon. 

He visited Wednesbury again in August, and then 
took two Sabbaths in Manchester, and went on to 
Brigg, where for the twentieth time in succession he 
preached the annual sermons for the Sunday- 
school ; in the following month he paid his last 


visit to Kent, for the purpose of concluding the 
opening services of the new chapel at Sitting- 
bourne. Few laymen have assisted at the dedication 
of so many places of worship as Mr. Eichardson, 
but this was the last service of that kind in which 
he engaged. He was one of the first to promote 
the proposal to build, and the last to gather up the 
fragments of free-will offerings presented at the 
consecration of this beautiful house of prayer. On 
Sunday, October 18th, he preached morning and 
evening, from Matt. xxi. 28, and 1 Kings x. 6, 7, 
and whilst doing so i the Word of the Lord had free 
course, and was glorified. The old fire and energy 
of the Lincolnshire Thrasher, came out as strong 
as ever, and under his powerful appeals sinners 
were pierced to the heart, and gave glory to God. 
AJter visiting the Rochester circuit, and preaching 
;here a few times, he returned to the North, and 
went to Armley, and from thence to the Barton- 
apon-Humber and Grimsby circuits ; preaching for 
rarious public charities, and returned to Tetford, 
Dn the 2nd of December, for repose and shelter 
luring the winter. 

An accident happened upon this journey home, 
somewhat remarkable, from being the only one of 
;he kind which he ever sustained in travelling to 
ind fro, during the long period of his labours as an 
tinerant evangelist. On this occasion he was 
conveyed, as usual, in the common carriers cart, in 
:ompany with several country people, who were 
eturning from Louth market. The night was dark 
,nd stormy, and the cold rain fell in torrents. A 
ilreary drag it is at the best, over those rough hills, 


which lie between Louth and Tetford, and on a 
dismal December night, with no other shelter than 
a canvas tilt, and going at the rate of four miles an 
hour, it must have been a cheerless ride. Half the 
distance however, was passed, when all of a sudden, 
as the labouring wheels ploughed the deep ruts, the 
axletree snapped in twain, and the cart could go no 
farther. Neither house nor help was near at hand, and 
the poor disconsolate carrier requested all to alight, 
and each make their way home as best they could. 
The passengers however, were not prepared for this, 
and suggested that the better plan would be, for them 
all to remain in shelter under the tilt of the cart, 
while the carrier took his horse and sought help 
from the nearest farmstead. This was promptly 
done ; and after the hapless wayfarers had crouched 
under their canvas canopy for moi e than an hour, 
the man returned with an open cai t, to convey them 
and their marketings to their destination. Some 
time was spent in transporting what was movable 
from one vehicle to the other ; and at last they got 
started again, under the pelting of the pitiless 
storm, for another stage of four miles, and arrived 
at Tetford two hours behind the usual time. No 
one was injured, nor, strange to say, was Mr. 
Eichardson s health affected by the exposure. A 
day or two after, writing to a friend, he said : 
When we arrived safely at Tetford, it seemed to 
make home all the sweeter, and furnished matter 
for prayer and praise ; for in all my travelling, 
through all my life, this is the worst accident that 
ever befel me. To the blessed Saviour be all the 
praise. It was not a serious accident ; and if this 


I was the worst he ever had, he was singularly 
favoured indeed; considering the thousands of 
miles which he passed over, in all kinds of convey 
ances, at all hours of the day and night, during the 
thirty years of his evangelistic toils. But it is 
written, He shall give His angels charge over thee, 
to keep thee in all thy ways ; they shall bear thee 
up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a 
stone. And to him the promise was fulfilled, and 
to many others as well, who have often proved that 
; the path of duty is the path of safety. Timidly or 
sffeminately to seek another path than that which 
Providence points out, because of some difficulty or 
langer connected with it, is to risk the loss of pro 
jection by that Almighty Power, which stands 
)ledged to guide a good man s steps; and to 
>rovoke His displeasure, who can easily send a 
;parrow or an insect to inflict the death we 
Iread. Just about the time referred to, another 
.ccident occurred in the neighbourhood of Tetford, 
ehich Mr. Richardson mentioned to his friend, 
,nd piously contrasted it with his own. A young 
aan in the vernal prime of life, whose father 
.ad died suddenly, and as was feared, unprepared, 
ust nine months previously, and left him sole heir 
3 an ample and valuable estate, was returning 
ome one night from Horncastle market, under the 
ifluence of strong drink, when he fell from his 
orse, and sustained such fatal injuries that he died 
ext morning: illustrating the declaration of 
cripture, that wicked men shall not live out half 
aeir days. 
Once at homo again, Mr. Richardson was obliged 


to shut himself up for most of the winter, and to 
decline numerous and pressing invitations, which 
were brought him by almost every post. He was 
thus however, preserved from the distressing attacks 
of his asthma, by which he had frequently suffered 
so severely at this season of the year, and was also 
enabled to do a little work in the way of preaching 
and visiting at home. He was never unemployed 
when at all fit for duty. Preaching was his greatest 
pleasure ; and to be obliged to abstain from it, was 
one of his greatest trials. He had no desire to 
retire from the field of honourable exertion, in 
order to flaunt the laurels he had already won. His 
heart was in his blessed work, and to the last he 
panted after ability to do more damage to the 
kingdom of darkness, and to offer a larger tribute 
of glory to God. 

On Christmas Day he preached and led the love- 
feast at Tetford ; then took a farewell part in the 
Horn castle New Year s services, much to his own 
gratification, and the benefit of those present. At 
the end of January he ventured to visit Louth,and 
took part in the annual gathering known in that town 
as the aggregate meeting ; from which he returned 
much refreshed by what he had seen of the grace of 
God, and the sympathy of friends, both old and 
young. The weather however, became more severe, 
deep snow covered the ground, and he was obliged 
to keep close quarters till February was out ; but 
still he was able to take the Tetford pulpit once a 
day the three last Sundays of the month. On the 
3rd of March the Rev. Charles Garrett was engaged 
to re-open the chapel at Legbourne, near Louth, 


but was prevented. Mr. Richardson was requested 
to supply his lack of service, and did so with much 
I efficiency, and without inconvenience to himself. 
From thence he proceeded to Laceby, to pay his 
Hast visit to Mr. and Mrs. Coates. He had found a 
friend like Gaius in Mr. Coates, at Hagnaby in 
1835, when his itinerant life commenced, and from 
that time through following years, a warm and 
Sincere friendship had been mutually cherished ; 
ind it was meet that one who had watched his 
entire progress with growing interest, should be one 
)f the last to comfort him, and be himself refreshed 
>y the rich and saintly piety of his friend ere he 
inished his course. 

During this period of comparative repose he 
requently corresponded with distant friends, and 
n doing so, often expressed the cheerful hope and 
joyous submission to the will of God, which sus- 
ained him. Time never hung heavily upon his 
lands j reading had always been one of his delights, 
nd good books were companions in whose society 
-e rejoiced to the last. He never lost his thirst for 
:nowledge ; and in these leisure hours of old age, 
.e continued to drink in the supplies which he 
Dund in the Word of God, and various other 
olumes, with as much avidity as when a younger 
lan. To a friend he observed : I am thankful to 
iy I am happy in my own home. I have abundant 
.me for reading, and family and secret prayer are 
.ch and blessed means of grace. I never go down 
pon my knees but I am blessed. I feel I have so 
3ry much to be thankful for that my heart is filled 
ith love to God, and my tongue with His praise. 

T 2 


To another he said: You do not know what a 
poor old man I have become. I am now in my 
seventy-third year, and often feel that I must give 
up preaching altogether. But praise the Lord for 
all His mercies. I have a little, comfortable, and 
happy home. My dear wife is more active than I 
am, and we quite enjoy the time we have for con 
versation, reading, and prayer. 

The jubilee of the Wesleyan Missionary Society 
was celebrated at Louth, in a public-meeting on the 
27th of April, 1864, and in its success Mr. Richard 
son was more deeply interested than it is easy to 
express. For more than half the period of the 
Society s existence, he had been one of its most 
efficient and laborious advocates ; had contributed 
to the success of a greater number of public 
meetings, had delivered a greater number of 
speeches, and had travelled more miles in its 
behalf, than any other layman within the pale 
of Methodism. And the handsome and sponta 
neous contributions with which the friends of the 
Society throughout the world were at this time 
responding to the appeals of the jubilee trumpet, 
delighted him beyond expression, and would 
have drawn forth his utmost energies had he 
been in the days of his strength. As it was, he 
cheerfully responded to an invitation to assist at 
the Louth meeting, and when it was held preached 
a sermon on the occasion with great effect, which 
contributed not a little to the interest and success 
of the celebration. The public meeting was a 
memorable time ; many were present who had pre 
viously proved their Methodist loyalty and de- 


votedness by great personal sacrifices ; and they 
most honourably sustained their reputation by con 
tributing the sum of 300. Mr. Eichardson was 
present, rejoicing in what he heard and saw, and 
retired from the meeting to give expression to his 
gladness and gratitude to God, in a letter conveying 
the good news to his family the next morning. Not 
long afterwards he attended another meeting at 
Saltfleetby, in the same circuit, where he spoke for 
the last time in the interest of missions. He com 
menced his course as a public speaker at the mis 
sionary-meeting held at Huttoft, in the year 1835; 
but of the thousands of addresses he delivered 
during his life, none are now known, or can be 
identified, except the last. Possibly some of them 
may have been recorded by the public press, or 
may lie concealed in personal reminiscences ; but 
they are unknown; and the only sample of his 
efforts on these occasions which can be produced, 
is the following, which has been supplied by one 
who was present at the Saltfleetby meeting, and 
I thus records his recollections : As a public speaker, 
| Mr. Richardson abounded in metaphor and anec- 
jjdotej and occasionally charmed and captivated 
his audience, by the admirable tact and ingenuity 
he displayed, in bringing an allegory or simile 
to bear upon the point in hand. In the last 
| address which he delivered, he instituted a com- 
fparison between the condition of the heathen 
[world, and what he called a " blind island." With 
graphic power he described an island in the midst 
bf ocean s depths; girt with horrid cliffs, and 
"- rightful precipices, and yawning caverns, in- 


habited by a people who were all born blind ; with 
out a guide, and unable to assist each other, they 
pass from day to day in darkness and dread of 
danger; and every day some one or more, uncon 
sciously wandering to the island s brink, step too 
far and plunge headlong into the dark abyss, and 
sink for ever ; none of the survivors ever know 
ing anything of the fate of those who perish. This 
he applied to the case of the heathen, and repre 
sented the missionary as one who has the means of 
opening the eyes of the blind; and then enforced 
the urgent duty of sending him forth immediately 
to rescue the dying from death. The enlargement 
and application of the metaphor rivetted the atten 
tion of the audience, and as they hung upon the 
lips of " the old man eloquent," they were evidently 
in that state of mental susceptibility which makes 
it easy work for the orator to lead in whatever 
direction he prefers. The speech at Saltfleetby 
had been no doubt delivered previously in other 
places ; but the ability by which it was distinguished 
sufficiently accounts for the fame and popularity of 
the speaker ; and for the unusual collections which 
commonly attended his platform efforts. 

On the 19th of June, he preached the annual 
sermons for the chapel at Tansley for the thirteenth 

From Tansley he went to Nottingham, to preach 
for the Sunday-school at De Ligne-street chapel ; and 
on the 27th of June wrote, saying, I am thankful 
that I am pretty well after a hard day. I had three 
services yesterday, and the chapel was crowded 
every time. They say hundreds went away unable 


to get in. A very gracious sense of the presence of 
God seemed to sanctify all we did, and the collections 
amounted to 22. I am to lead the band-meeting 
to-night, and Mr. Haydon has sent to request me to 
take his place, and preach on Wednesday night. 
There are so many kind friends here who press me 
to stay, that I shall not get away before Saturday. 

On the 3rd of July he preached for the school at 
Scamblesby, in his own circuit. It was one of the 
first places where he had exercised his gifts, and 
he had visited the village almost times out of num 
ber; but the people were always eager to listen to 
him, and on this occasion hundreds flocked from 
far and near, little thinking that they should see 
his face no more. Many of them were persons of 
middle age, who had been converted when young 
under his instrumentality ; and were now heads of 
families themselves. The affection and respect 
which they manifested were most pleasant to wit 
ness, and the anniversary was one of the happiest 
ever held. On Sunday, the 10th, he rendered 
similar service at Theddlethorp, near Louth, where 
he preached on The advantages of early religious 
training, as seen in the lessons to be gathered from 
the history of Moses ; and the Kev. Henry Kich- 
ardson, superintendent minister of the circuit at the 
time, speaks of that sermon as very remarkable 
for its sagacity and the beneficial impression it pro 
duced upon the congregation. 

The final public sei*vice which he conducted, was 
at Hatton near Wi agby, on the 17th of July, only 
a fortnight before his death. He felt a special 
interest in the little Society of that village, owing 


to the circumstance that one of his daughters was 
settled there, and belonged to it. For several years 
he had preached the anniversary sermons of the 
chapel and it so happened that his last pulpit efforts 
were devoted to that object. The morning service 
was one never to be forgotten by those who werer 
present. When he appeared in the pulpit, there 
was such an air of sweetness and sanctity about his 
whole bearing, as seemed to mark him out as one 
who was walking on the heights of the land of 
Beulah, with the heavenly country in full and clear 
prospect. The hymns which he gave out were 
singularly appropriate and affecting ; the first was 
the 272nd of the Wesleyan Collection, strongly ex 
pressive of entire confidence in God, and finishing 
with these lines : 

Though in affliction s furnace tried, 
Unhurt on snares and death I ll tread, &c. 

The second was the 497th, which like a grand 
triumphal song, fit for pilgrims to sing just as they 
quit the wilderness, and approach the gates of the 
city above, runs thus : 

4 The ransom d sons of God, all earthly things we scorn; 
And to our high abode with songs of praise return 
From strength to strength we still proceed, 
With crowns of joy upon our head. 

The service closed with the 730th which exhibits 
the Christian in the act of looking across the river, 
and holding communion with the blessed before the 
throne, and exclaiming: 


I ask them whence their victory came, 

They, with united breath, 
Ascribe their conquest to the Lamb, 
Their triumph to His death. 

Surely, he was guided in the selection of the 
sermon, for it was singularly suited to his own 
position, whether viewed in relation to the past or 
the future. It was founded upon Numbers xiii. 30 : 
And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and 
said, Let us go up at once, and possess it, for we are 
well able to overcome it. Those who were present 
that morning were truly made partakers of spiritual 
blessings in heavenly places in Christ, whilst they 
listened to him discoursing about the better 
country, like one who had actually been there and 
seen it, and had come back with samples of its 
fruit j for the pulpit seemed his Pisgah, from whence 
with an enraptured soul, he overlooked and de 
scribed the inheritance of the saints, which he was 
just about to enter. He preached again at night a 
most solemn and awakening sermon from Ezekiel 
xxxiii. 11, and spoke at a tea-meeting on the fol 
lowing evening; and then his earthly work was 
done. He returned to Tetford at the end of the 
week, and in a day or two wrote the following 
letter to Mr. Wild, of Armley, the last he is known 
to have written : 

1 July 27th, 1864. My very dear friend I am glad, 
to hear from you again ; to know that you are all 
pretty well increases my pleasure. I am thankful 
to say that I am not confined to the house, but I am 


veiy poorly. I did hope that warm and fine weather 
would do me good, but I think I am as poorly now 
as I was when the weather was cold and sharp. I 
have been round into Derbyshire, Nottingham, two 
places in our own circuit, and a week in Louth, only 
preaching twice on Sunday, and once in the week ; 
but I have come home quite broken down, and feel 
now as if I was quite done. I have made only one 
promise of work, and that is to Brigg, for the end 
of September, and I do not intend to make any 
more. I hope you will do well in your circuit. We 
have but a poor account to give this year no in 
crease, alas ! Well, I do hope the preachers will 
have a good Conference, and get well baptised with 
the Holy Ghost, and that the good seed already 
sown will quickly grow, and yield a plentiful 

It is very plain from the above that when the 
last stroke fell, though it came unexpectedly on 
the part of his friends, it did not find him unpre 
pared, or taken by surprise. He evidently heard 
his Master s footsteps, and his lamp was trimmed. 
Several eminent ministers amongst the Methodists 
have finished their course with startling suddenness. 
Whitefield, Coke, Bramwell, Nelson, Beaumont, 
Dawson, both the Entwistles, and many others ( did 
not see death until they were already more than 
conquerors. Saved from the agony of conflict with 
the final foe, they simply ceased to live and gained 
the victor s crown. To this translated band, the 
name of Charles Richardson must be added. Like 
them he lived and laboured, and like them he died. 


and passed over the shallows of Jordan, to join them 
in the heavenly land. During the eighteen days 
which intervened between his last sermons at 
Hatton, and the fatal seizure, he was able to mingle 
freely with his friends, without any apprehension 
of what was so soon to happen ; but in doing so, 
his conversation was full of Christ, and his whole 
demeanour beautifully in keeping with the character 
of a saint indeed. He lost no opportunity of 
speaking a word for his Master, and of doing good 
to those around him j and up to the fifth of August 
he continued much in the same state of health as 
for some time previously. On the evening of that 
day, after conducting family worship, he retired to 
rest at the usual hour. The greater part of the 
night was spent in tranquil sleep, but in the morn 
ing watch the final messenger came. He was 
taken with a violent fit of coughing, by which Mrs. 
Richardson was awoke, and receiving no reply to 
her inquiries, she became alarmed, and arose, and 
found him unconscious. Medical aid was imme 
diately called in, but his case was hopeless the 
last enemy had plainly thrown his fatal shaft. A 
complete paralysis of the whole system had de 
prived him at once of sight, speech, and conscious 
ness. In this condition he continued to breathe, 
for the space of four or five days and nights, 
watched by his sorrowing family. Further medical 
aid was obtained, but without result. Two or three 
times it was thought that a gleam of conscious 
ness returned for a moment or two, and that he 
attempted to articulate, but could not be under 
stood. On the following Thursday, another seizure 


supervened, and he began rapidly to sink, and the 
ensuing morning at six o clock he ceased to breathe, 
and yielded up his soul to God. A little before he 
expired, as his son-in law stood by the bed side 
watching, a momentary interval of consciousness 
occurred, like a burst of sunshine through the reft 
clouds; he raised his arm, waving it overhead, 
and distinctly pronounced in soft tones, All is 
well ! 

So ended the beautiful and glorious career of one 
of the finest soldiers of the cross which the present 
generation has seen ; and who has left behind him 
multitudes of spiritual children all over the land, 
who will venerate his memory and embalm his 
name in their hearts, until they go to join him in 
the skies. When the tidings went forth that 
Charles Richardson was dead, many wept, and 
many in effect exclaimed, My father ! my father ! 
the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof! 
He was honoured in death as well as in life by God 
and good men. And in closing the story of his life 
and labours, there need be no hesitation in applying 
to him the declaration of St. John : I heard a voice 
from heaven saying unto me, write, Blessed are the 
dead which die in the Lord from henceforth ; yea, 
saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their 
labours, and their works do follow them. 

When the immortal dreamer of Bedford prison 
saw the pilgrims he had watched across the river 
ascend the hills of Zion on the other side, he said, 
Now I saw in my dream that these two men went 
in at the gate, and lo ! as they entered, they were 
transfigured, and they had raiment put on that 


shone like gold. There were also that met them 
with harps and crowns, and gave them to them 
the harps to praise withal, and the crowns in token 
of honour. Then I heard in my dream all the bells 
in the city rang again for joy, and it was said unto 
them, "Enter ye into the joy of your Lord." I also 
heard the men themselves that they sang with a 
loud voice, saying, " B lessing and honour, and glory, 
and power be 1:o Him that sitteth upon the throne, 
and to the Latib for tver and ever." Now, just as 
the gates were opened to let the men in, I looked 
in after them, and behold the city shone like the 
sun; the streels also ^ere paved with gold, and in 
them walked many rein with crowns on their heads, 
palms in their hand?, and golden harps, to sing 
praises withal. There were also of them that had 
wings, and thej answered one another without in 
termission, saying, " Holy, Holy, Hojy is the Lord ! " 
And after that they shut up the gates, which when 
I had seen I wished myself among them. Charles 
Richardson is among them, assuredly. And God 
grant that the hundreds who were converted by his 
instrumentality, and are pilgrims Sion-ward at 
present, may hold on their way, and be ultimately 
admitted through the gates into the city, and also 
safely get in among them. 

Mr. Richardson s funeral took place on Monday, 
the loth of August, when he was interred in the 
burial-ground connected with the parish church of 
Tetford, in the midst of a large and sorrowing con 
course of friends. It was at the time of wheat- 
harvest, and the people were busily employed in 
the fields ; but notwithstanding this, a large gather- 


ing from far and near took place, to pay the last 
tribute of respect ; for had he been lord of the soil, 
greater honour could not have been paid to his 
memory than what was spontaneously offered by 
the inhabitants of the neighbourhood. 

Many expressions of sympathy and affection 
were forwarded to the bereaved family from distant 
parts of the country, alike honourable to the de 
parted and the parties from whom they came. 
Sunday-school teachers, and others connected with 
various charitable institutions, hastened to acknow 
ledge their obligations, and the benefits which had 
resulted from his labours. On the 27th of Sep 
tember, 1864, the quarterly-meeting of the Horn- 
castle circuit was held, when the following resolu 
tion was unanimously passed at the local preachers 
meeting, and forwarded to his widow, by the Rev. 
James Spensley, one of the circuit ministers : 

Sensible of the loss which has been sustained by 
the death of our respected and beloved fellow- 
labourer, the late Mr. Charles Richardson, who 
during thirty-six years occupied an honourable 
position among the local preachers of our connexion ; 
this meeting takes occasion to express its sorrow. 
As a Christian, he was most exemplary ; and in 
this and many other circuits he was known as a 
laborious, acceptable, and most successful preacher 
of the Gospel. Many were brought to God by his 
instrumentality; and will doubtless be "the crown 
of his rejoicing in the day of the Lord." This 
meeting also records its deep sympathy with the 
bereaved and sorrowing family. 


A few days after his death, a lady of great personal 
excellence and promise, residing in Liverpool, who 
owned him as her father in Christ, and who within 
three months afterwards unexpectedly finished her 
course, and followed him to heaven, comforted his 
widow and expressed her own emotion thus : 

The thought that fills my mind in reference to 
dear Mr. Eichardson is, his full preparation for his 
heavenly home. ! how his loving spirit will 
rejoice in the society he finds there, and in behold 
ing, and being changed into the image of the blessed 
Saviour, whom he loved so much upon earth. His 
removal was like Enoch s translation, for he would 
know little or nothing of pain, from the moment he 
was seized until he joined the hosts above. O ! how 
his life speaks for him ! For my part I mourn for 
him as for my dearly-beloved spiritual father ; and 
feel how sadly I shall miss his prayers and wise 
counsels; but look forward with joy to a happy 
reunion in the skies. 

Many hearts will sympathise with these senti 
ments, and will be glad to know that they were so 
seasonably and suitably expressed. Many similar 
communications were received by the bereaved 
family, and it is but due to the gracious results of a 
holy life, to supply a sample of the thoughts and 
feelings which were extensively called forth by his 
death. Good men glorify God, and serve their 
generation long after they have passed the grave ; 
and the name of the Lincolnshire Thrasher, will 
not soon cease to be a sign of present salvation for 


all men, and an encouragement to those who pro- 
claim it, and to others who will glorify God in 
him, and testify that he being dead yet speaketh. 

His soul to Him who gave it rose ; 
God led it to its long repose, 

Its glorious rest. 

And though the warrior s sun has set } 
Its light shall linger round us yet 

Bright, radiant, blest. Longfellow. 



Thy day without a cloud hath passed, 
And thou wert lovely to the last ; 

Extinguished, not decayed ! 
As stars that shoot along the sky 
Shine brightest as they fall from high. 


MR. RICHARDSON was a local-preacher, but he was 
dearly beloved, and highly valued by very many of 
the regular ministers of the Wesleyan Church. 
They greatly admired his character, rejoiced in his 
successful labours, and will henceforth emulate his 
bright example, hopefully anticipating a reunion 
] with his spirit in those everlasting habitations, 
where faithful soldiers of the Cross lay hold on 
; sternal life. Many of them gave expression to 
| their love and admiration by spontaneously 
preaching funeral sermons in various parts of the 
country, shortly after his death; and not a few 
jhave contributed the materials for a chaplet of 
aonour, wherewith to crown his memory. So that, 
Ji summarizing his character, it is unnecessary to 
ittempt anything beyond placing in order the able 
ind interesting communications which have been 
supplied by some of the ministers to whom he was 
ji nost intimately known. Writing without concert, 
; >r any view to publication as they did, their various 



contributions are the more valuable and confirma 
tory of the substance of the previous memoirs. 
The testimonies of a few eminent laymen are added 
to enrich the garland, which is here woven for the 
purpose of being placed at the Saviour s feet. 

The Eev. Eobert Bond, one of his earliest friends, 
writes as follows : 

My acquaintance with Mr. Eichardson com 
menced in March, 1810 on the occasion of the 
opening of a new chapel in the Spalding circuit, in 
which we both took part and was kept up to the 
close of his valuable life. He visited me in most 
of the circuits where I have been subsequently 
stationed ; and on every occasion he sustained the 
high estimate, which, from the first. I had formed 
of his character and usefulness. I always found 
him the same cheerful, intelligent Christian, and the 
same diligent, zealous, and successful labourer in the 
Lord s vineyard. No one seemed to me more fully 
to exemplify the lines, 

" Freely to all ourselves we give, 
Constrained, by Jesu s love to live, 
The servants of mankind." 

He was a man of fervent and transparent piety, 
whose lofty aim and hallowed motives, in all his 
public and private actions, were seen " and read of 
all men." Like Stephen, the proto-martyr, he wa3 
" full of faith and power" because he was " full of 
the Holy Ghost." And rarely, if ever, did he preach 
without leading sinners to Christ, or piercing the 
hearts of some with the arrows of divine truth. 


During the whole period of his evangelistic life he 
laboured with uncommon earnestness and diligence. 
Always in time for his work, no toil, however 
arduous, seemed to weary or daunt him ; he began 
and ended everything he did with, "Praise the 
Lord ! " His sermons were usually an hour in length, 
and were delivered with much energy and unction, 
yet he entered upon the prayer-meeting, which 
always followed in the evening, with as much fresh 
ness, alacrity, and fervour as if he were but just 
commencing the service. Here, as it has often 
struck me, lay, to a considerable extent, his principal 
strength, and the lever of his marked success. It 
is not too much to say that many hundreds, perhaps 
thousands, of souls were brought to religious 
decision and found acceptance with God in these 
meetings. I never knew one who excelled him in 
conducting such services, or who was so successful, 
either in inducing persons under concern for salvation 
to kneel at the communion-rail, or in assisting them 
to lay hold upon Christ as the Saviour of their 
souls. In these exercises, as well as in preaching, 
his whole soul was engaged, for this was the element 
in which he delighted to live. Like the celebrated 
Mr. Cecil, he appeared constantly to feel : " Hell is 
before me, and thousands of souls are shut up there 
in everlasting agonies. Jesus Christ stands forth to 
save men from rushing into this bottomless abyss. 
He sends me to proclaim His ability and love. I want 
no fourth idea, every fourth idea is contemptible." 
He was accustomed to watch with deep solicitude 
those whom he thought had obtained good under 
the sermon, and if they remained to the prayer- 

u 2 


meeting lie sought to converse with them and, if 
possible, conduct them to the " penitent s pew " or 
the communion -rail. Sometimes he went out of 
the ordinary way in order to produce attention and 
impression in preaching. When the feelings of his 
auditors were prepared for it, he would suddenly 
commence singing a verse of a hymn, appropriate 
to the subject on which he was speaking, and the 
people, though taken by surprise, would usually 
unite ; he would then resume the thread of his dis 
course with admirable tact, amidst expressions of 
holy emotion and devout praise. I very well 
recollect one instance which occurred when he was 
visiting me. He was preaching on " The kingdom 
of God," and in describing the excellency and glory 
of Christ as a king, his audience became very much 
impressed, and many voices gave loud expression to 
adoring joy and exultation, when Mr. E. suddenly 
exclaimed : " Let us crown Him ! " and immediately 
sang out in his own rich and ringing tones : 

" All hail the power of Jesu s name ! 

Let angels prostrate fall ; 
Bring forth the royal diadem, 
And crown Him Lord of all !" 

The whole of the congregation arose upon their 
feet, and with deep emotion and grand effect joined 
in the hymnal coronation of their Lord, swelling 
the chorus, " Crown Him ! Crown Him ! Lord of 
all I " 

It must not be supposed that the matter of his 
sermons was common-place, or that he relied upon 
excitement, or low, whimsical methods, to produce 
effect. His discourses were in general carefully 


studied, and well arranged, and well sustained with 
Holy Scripture, for he "loved to give God s children 
plenty of their own bread." He also took care, 
whenever it was possible, to go direct from the 
closet to the pulpit, and in consequence often 
appeared there, like Moses when he came down 
from the mount, with the lustre of devotion on his 
countenance ; and coming fresh from the presence 
of God, his word " went forth in power, and in the 
Holy Ghost, and in much assurance." Sinners 
trembled, mourners in Zion were comforted, 
waverers were established, backsliders were restored, 
believers were edified, " the shout of a king was 
among them," and signs and wonders were wrought 
in the name of Jesus. 

Nor must I omit to mention that his preaching 
was as faithful as it was energetic and impressive. 
Like his divine Master, " faithfulness was the girdle 
of his reins," and "by manifestation of the truth 
he commended himself to every man s conscience 
in the sight of God. On one occasion he was dis 
coursing against " conformity to the world," in a 
place where females were dressed in apparel much 
too gay and fashionable for " women professing 
godliness; " and such was the force of his remarks, 
that several of his hearers confessed afterwards 
that they wished they could have torn off their 
finery and flowers upon the spot ; and some of them 
on returning home at once put away their gay 
trimmings, and ever afterwards appeared in the 
house of God more in keeping with their profession 
, as " strangers and pilgrims on the earth." 

The paramount object of Mr. Eichardson s life, 


was evidently the diffusion of the glory of God in 
the salvation of sinners and the enlargement of 
the church. He possessed in an eminent degree 
what a distinguished infidel once styled " a heroic 
passion for saving souls." The late Rev. John 
Smith once said, " If souls are not saved, I am a 
heart-broken man ; " and he might have said the 
same. His firm resolve was that of the holy 
prophet s : " For Zion s sake will I not hold my 
peace, and for Jerusalem s sake I will not rest, until 
the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, 
and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth." 
This holy passion was the mainspring of his soul, 
and the pulse of his inner life, which was always beat 
ing morning, noon, and night ; so that he was ever 
ready to seize every opportunity, employ every talent, 
and strain every nerve to save souls. Wherever you 
saw him he was the same man, and evinced the same 
high aim. In the pulpit, in the prayer-meeting, in the 
family circle, amongst persons of all ages, in the 
company of the rich and the poor, in the church, 
and in the world, there was ever the same simple, 
glowing, intelligent zeal for the salvation of souls 
and the honour of his Lord and Master. There 
were no ebbings and Sowings observable in his 
devotedness to God. His was the persistent habit 
of a holy life, which had one end in view, and from 
which it never deviated. Everything he said or did 
seemed to say, " I want to glorify Jesus, and to win 
souls for Him. I am His, His only wholly His, 
and His for ever." God had put into his hand the 
key of the kingdom, the knowledge of His word, 
and he was anxious to open the gate of life to every 


one. He saw sinners dropping by thousands into 
perdition, and he strove, and even agonized, to pluck 
them as brands from the burning. 

There was something peculiarly striking and 
appropriate in the prayers he offered in public, and 
very frequently a remarkable unction and power 
attended them. What has been said of another 
devoted servant of Christ may be said of him : " To 
pray appeared as natural as to breathe ; " the 
exercise was not so much one of duty, as of delight 
ful enjoyment. Whilst within the precincts of the 
throne he inhaled such a sweet and heavenly 
influence, that he seemed reluctant to retire from 
the spot where he held communion with G-od. He 
loved to live in uninterrupted fellowship with Him 
who is the fountain of all joy, and felt with the 
holy Dr. Payson " that the battle is either lost or 
won at the throne of the heavenly grace." 

Mr. Richardson was distinguished for the meek 
ness and gentleness of his spirit, which increased as 
he advanced in years. He possessed in no common 
degree the charity that "thinketh no evil," and the 
wisdom " which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, 
easy to be entreated." With whom was he ever 
known to quarrel ? or who could quarrel with him ? 
He " walked in love," and his peace with all men 
was as entire as that which he enjoyed with God j 
he followed after the things which make for peace, 
and things wherewith one may edify another." His 
character was beautifully sincere; there was no 
double dealing in him, nothing pretentious, no self- 
seeking. He was adorned with " the beauty of 
holiness ; " and was a happy man, because he was 


holy, and the peace of his heart " shone through 
the veil of the flesh, and became the light of his 
countenance." He always appeared to me as fault 
less as any one I ever knew, and few men have been 
more highly prized by their intimate acquaintances. 
There have doubtless been many greater men, but 
as I think, few lovelier or more useful than he. 
Nature made him amiable, religion made him good, 
duty made him laborious, Providence made him 
useful, and God plainly accepted his services, 
granted many a token of His favour, stamped him 
with the character divine, and made him a man of 

But he is gone ; his consistent and exemplary 
course has at length terminated in a better world ; 
and his luminous track still shines in our sight, 
animating the efforts of all who knew him, and 
stimulating them to devotedness and perseverance 
in the path that leads to " glory, honour, and 

"By the throne-blaze of Godhead he stands, 
The ministering spirits have crowned him, 
Eternity s harp in his hand, 
And a halo of glory around him." 

The Rev. Philip Fowler, states : 

I have known Mr. Richardson for more than 
twenty years, and have often been with him in 
public meetings and in the social circle. From the 
first I have ever regarded him as a God-made man. 
in an eminent sense. When blessed with the saving 


grace of God in early life, that grace not only re 
newed his heart, but also gave expansiveness to his 
naturally sound and vigorous mind, and led him in 
a docile, prayerful spirit to the "Father of lights " 
for instruction j and he was " taught of God." To 
him the promise was strikingly fulfilled, "The 
meek will He guide in judgment ; and the meek will 
He teach His way." 

It is well known that he was " in labours more 
abundant;" and in all of them his object was to 
glorify God by winning souls to Christ. He was 
not satisfied with gathering crowds of people to 
hear him preach, or with collecting large sums of 
money for public charities, for these were always 
secondary objects with him. His great aim was to 
save souls ; for this be studied, prayed, wept, and 
toiled ; in a word, for this he lived. He had what 
thousands of good people need, a great and well 
defined object to live for ; and the end at which he 
aimed was to a great extent accomplished. Few 
preachers have been so successful as he. I have 
witnessed the most marvellous effects produced by 
his labours. In many of the counties and prin 
cipal towns of the kingdom he has left numerous 
seals to his ministry. 

To Wesleyan Methodism he was most sincerely 
and intelligently attached. He believed it to be of 
God ; and defended and served it to the best of his 
ability. In troublous times his testimony and 
appeals did much to settle the minds of many ; and 
bhe blessedness of the Peace-maker rested upon him. 
He was one of the most transparent men I ever 
knew, and often made me think of Nathaniel 


" an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no gnile." 
His face was the index of his heart, and on it you 
could read at once honesty, frankness, purity. I 
never heard of his forfeiting the confidence of a 
friend, or betraying any trust committed to him. 
" He belonged to the generation of the upright, and 
was blessed." Humility was one of the leading and 
most beautiful traits of his character. Many men 
with less than half his popularity have become vain 
and puffed up ; but he remained lowly and un 
assuming to the end, and was ever the same man, 
whether in the merchant s drawing-room or the 
labourer s cottage, pleased enough with the atten 
tions of his numerous friends, but devoutly grate 
ful to God for any influence he acquired, and care 
ful to use it only for His glory. Many of his 
spiritual children have already welcomed him to 
heaven, and a great number are following him 
there. He is dead, " but yet speaketh." He rests 
from his labours, and his works follow him. His 
family has lost one of the best of fathers, Method 
ism one of her most serviceable sons, the Church of 
Christ one of her brightest ornaments, and the 
world one of its truest benefactors. 

The Rev. Martin Jubb, expresses his estimate of 
Mr. Eichardson thus : 

I became acquainted with him i the year 1838, 
and from that time have witnessed with pleasure 
his increasing usefulness and knowledge of divine 
things. He became " mighty in the Scriptures," 
and was guided by the Word of God in everything 


he did. His great concern always was to do good, 
and save the souls of his fellow-men. I never 
knew one who did so much good, and so little 
harm ; indeed, I do not know that he ever did harm 
at all. Some men in their earnest zeal run into 
offensive and dangerous extravagancies, but it was 
not so with my invaluable friend. On all occasions 
he appeared to wear his honours with saintly 
meekness, and never assumed any self-important 
or dictatorial airs. His name will long continue to 
be a "household word," as it has been for many 
years past, among our pious people wherever he 
laboured. To hundreds, and I may say thousands, 
he has been made a blessing. We want hosts of 
such men. My heart yearns after him, and cries : 
" Help, Lord ; for the godly man ceaseth ; for the 
faithful fail from among the children of men." 

The Rev. James Grose, who saw much of him 
both in Boston and London, writes thus : 

1 Mr. Richardson s life deserves to be held forth 
for imitation. He was a revivalist of the right 
stamp, and one of whom I could entirely approve. 
His preaching was perfectly free from all rant, was 
instructive, legitimate, and very earnest ; it had the 
marks of true genius, and was free from all eccen 
tricity. In these days of clap-trap, of picture 
painting, of pulpit fireworks, which startle and 
please, and yet are useless, it is refreshing to have 
such a specimen of preaching as Wesley, Benson, 
Watson, and Bunting would approve, and yet to find 
that preaching popular, because of its usefulness. He 


had a very genial spirit, and was greatly beloved by 
every family that entertained him. He was, more 
over, a sound Methodist, and the means of adding 
permanently many to the Church of Christ. 

The Rev. Thomas Harrison Walker, who was 
superintendent of the Horncastle circuit from 1849 
to 1852, and had the means of knowing him 
thoroughly, says : 

1 1 always regarded him as a sincere, consistent, 
and earnest Christian. As a preacher, for an un 
educated man, he displayed considerable talent and 
refinement. He was, in the legitimate sense of 
the word, a revivalist. He was earnest without 
extravagance, and many are the souls he has been 
the means of bringing to Christ. His doctrinal 
views I believe to have been strictly Methodistic ; 
his judgment was sound, and his spirit gentle,, 
kind, and winning. He worked hard, and he 
worked well. It would be a blessed thing for 
Methodism had we many more men of the same spirit. 

The Eev. Joseph Midgeley says : 

He was a thorough Christian and a sound 
Methodist in principle and practice. I have often 
heard him preach, and have frequently witnessed 
the conversion of sinners under his word. He was 
an able preacher, and a safe, wise, and prudent 
counsellor. He never made mischief. Of the dead 
and the absent, he never would speak anything but 
good. He made no enemies, but friends every 
where. He was greatly valued and esteemed by 
us and our people. 


The Rev. James Findlay, superintendent of the 
Horncastle circuit at the time of Mr. Richardson s 
death, testifies to his character thus ; 

He was an artless, gentle, genial, happy 
Christian, yet withal a shrewd and keen observer of 
life and manners. He studied well in the book of 
human nature, ever open before him ; but " the 
lock of his strength " was his entire consecration 
of heart and life to God. A more single-minded, 
guileless, stainless character never was found in 
this circuit. He was beloved and venerated the 
most by those who knew him most intimately and 
had known him the longest. He was a ripe saint ; 
a fine old Methodist preacher, reminding us of the 
" Great Hearts " of the old time, of whose simple 
character and mighty pulpit power our fathers have 
iold us. When shall we look upon his like again ? 

The late lamented Edward Corderoy, Esq., of 
London, one of the most able and eloquent men 
:hat have ever graced the Wesleyan community, 
said, in writing to a friend : 

All I have heard of Charles Richardson assures 
ne that he was a godly, self-denying, and most use- 
ul man, one honoured of God in life and death. 

Dr. Smith, of Camborne, the historian of 
.lethodism, referring to one of Mr. Richardson s 
isits to Cornwall, said : 

"We all admired his piety, self-denial, zeal, and 
ingle-minded dcvotedness to the service of tho 


Saviour. He was very useful, and I believe many 
souls were brought to God during his stay here. 

BenjaminGough,Esq., of Mountfield, Faversham, 
who has expressed his admiration of the devoted 
evangelist in the beautiful Spenserian stanzas 
which conclude these pages, describes the man and 
his labours in the following paragraphs : 

It is about twenty years since I first made 
acquaintance with the late Mr. C. Richardson, when 
he came to preach at Vauxhall, in the Lambeth cir 
cuit. During his stay in London on this and some 
succeeding occasions, he resided under my roof ; and 
the remembrance of those visits is still fragrant and 
cherished. He always brought a blessing with him, 
and always left a blessing behind him. His conver 
sation in private was invariably serious, but at the 
same time cheerful, and never degenerated into 
frivolity or gossip ; it was seasoned with the salt 
of true, heartfelt religion, and "so ministered grace 
to the hearers." His character may be justly and 
accurately described as exhibiting uniform and 
consistent piety, piety not only seen, Tout felt, and 
surrounding him with a halo of goodness wherever 
he went. He was entirely devoted to his great 
work ; preaching for the salvation of souls was his 
business and his delight; and all his energies of 
body and soul, in the pulpit and out of it, were 
bent towards the accomplishment of the one all- 
important object for which he lived. He was pre 
eminently a man of one Book. The Bible was the 
book of his constant study and the joy of his heart j 


he loved it dearly, and he read it incessantly, and 
prayed over it, and dug in it, as in an inexhaustible 
mine of wealth. Here he found his spiritual weapons 
and his invulnerable shield. From this hallowed 
book he rose to ascend the pulpit, and wield the 
Spirit s two-edged sword with amazing power and 
success. He had the Bible, as the phrase is, " at 
his fingers ends," so that the deficiencies of his 
early education were made up by his more than 
ordinary acquaintance with the divine book. God 
called him to be His workman, and with little aid of 
human learning God fitted him to do His work. 

As a preacher, he was truly evangelical; and 
the great and all-absorbing theme of his ministry 
was "Christ crucified." He did not merely round 
his periods or polish his paragraphs by mentioning 
his Master s name, but Christ was the staple of his 
sermons ; Christ in His glorious Godhead, as able 
to save to the uttermost ; Christ in His true man 
hood, sympathizing and suffering with us ; Christ 
with His precious blood, atoning for all the sins of 
all mankind ; and Christ as our high priest and in 
tercessor in heaven. There was a dignity and 
majesty in the simplicity of his style which carried 
conviction to the hearts of his hearers, and with it 
an assurance that the preacher was awfully sincere. 
He was always earnest, but his earnestness was 
associated with power "power from on high," "for 
while he yet spake the Holy Ghost fell on all them 
which heard the Word;" and saints were edified, 
whilst sinners were quickened and saved. His 
service in the church may safely be pronounced a 
" successful ministry ;" and I doubt not that thou- 


sands of souls will hail him as their "father in 
Christ," in the day of their Lord. It may be true 
that he had not, as some have, "Jive talents" (which 
they seldom use), but he improved the "two" 
which God gave him, and used them well for His 
glory; and the depth of his piety, the glowing 
ardour of his unquenchable zeal, and the intense 
fervour of his love for Christ and the souls of men, 
made him "a burning and a shining light," an 
honour to Methodism, a lasting blessing to the 
Church and the world. 

He was one of those old-fashioned Methodists 
who rejoiced in prayer-meetings, in opposition to 
the modern distaste for those invaluable means of 
grace, which is unhappily too manifest in some 
quarters. The preaching of the Word, followed by 
the prayer-meeting, was to him a complete service ; 
and it was after his powerful sermons that the 
Word was thus "harrowed in;" and I can testify, 
from my own knowledge, that these meetings were, 
under God, the means of bringing many convinced 
sinners to exercise saving faith, and enter into the 
liberty of Christ. This was the success for which 
Mr. Richardson laboured, and nothing short of 
saving souls satisfied the longings of his ardent 
nature. His whole ministry was exercised with a 
single eye to God s glory, and he ever strove with 
unfaltering purpose to save souls and build up and 
sanctify the Church of Christ. For this he lived, 
and doing this work he died. 

He was a staunch Methodist, whether in sun 
shine or storm, and ever stood firmly to his prin 
ciples, maintaining his integrity, amidst many 


temptations to turn aside ; nor did he ever swerve 
from either our doctrines or our discipline. He 
mourned over signs of declension, and ever held 
that our stability and progress as a Church depend 
upon the maintenance of primitive simplicity and 
continued spirituality. He deprecated worldly 
Methodism the neglect of the class-meeting, ab 
sence from week-night services, and a loose and 
careless walk and conversation as the great peril 
of our times. In one word, all his interests for 
both worlds were identified with Methodism ; and 
to promote these he lived and laboured with an 
energy which never tired, and a love which never 
grew cold. 

Like a valorous soldier, he fell upon the field of 
conflict, sword in hand, and wearing the whole 
armour of God ! The last blow he struck was for 
Christ, and his wounds were scars of honour, re 
ceived in fighting for his Lord and King ! His last 
words were expressions of exultation and triumph. 
He followed his Captain, and was led to victory , 
and his latest utterance, "AH is well," told his 
present joy and foreshadowed his future glory. His 
end was peace. And having fought the good fight 
and finished his earthly course, like John, reclining 
on his Master s breast, he calmly exchanged mor 
tality for life, and arose from the toils of the 
Church militant on earth to the rest and rewards 
of the Church triumphant in heaven a companion 
of that honoured warrior-band, who form the inner 
circle round the throne, and are written in the book 
of life as " called, and chosen, and faithful." 
The spirit and zeal and simplicity of Charles 


Kichardson, I venture to say, are just what is now 
wanted by Methodist preachers and people. May 
we all receive a fresh baptism of the Holy Ghost, 
and speedily see the work of God revive throughout 
the world, 

" Till the earth is overflowed, 
And the universe filled with the glory of God." 



Notes of one of the earliest sermons which Mr. 
Richardson preached, and referred to on page 86. 

Text. 2 COR. v. 20 : < Now then we are ambassa 
dors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by 
us : we pray you in Christ s stead, be ye reconciled 
to God. 

The subject was introduced by pertinent and tell 
ing observations on the relations subsisting between 
St. Paul and the Corinthians, the instrument of 
their conversion, and their spiritual overseer in the 
Lord, clothed, as he was, with authority for the 
work of the ministry, and supplied with suitable 
gifts by the Holy Ghost gifts and authority which 
, are still communicated to those whom God Himself 
appoints to preach the Gospel. The plan of the 
discourse was the following: 

I. The commission with which Gospel ministers 
are entrusted. 

II. The message which they are commanded to 

III. The astonishing grace of God displayed in 
thus dealing with men. 

I. THE COMMISSION, & c . Thig wag illustrated and 
: explained by enlarging upon : 


1. The authority with which royal ambassadors 
are clothed. 

2. Their appointment to represent the monarch 

or government in whose name they appear. 

3. Their responsibility to the sovereign who sends 
them, for the whole of their conduct. 


1. It is one of reconciliation and peace, pre-sup- 
posing and assuming that man is a rebel, an un 
questionable fact, which is stated again and again 
in the Word of God, and is proved by the sinful con 
duct of mankind all over the world. Yet God follows 
His sinful creatures with grace and the promises 
of pardon, and entreats them to accept His offers. 

2. The message assumes and declares man s re 
bellion to be most unnatural. It is that of a child 
fighting against a kind father. And I the good 
ness of that Father ! He has given His only be 
gotten Son to demonstrate His love, and by His 
providence wraps you up in mercy every day ! but 
still He has to complain : I have nourished and 
brought up children, and they have rebelled against 
me. Oh ! this is very unnatural ! 

3. The message from God assumes that man s 
conduct towards Him is very unreasonable. You 
who rebel have turned your back upon your best 
friend, and gone over to your greatest enemy. The 
master you serve is a hard task-master ; he is a 
tyrant, and shows no mercy. You are slaves, 
doing the basest and meanest work. You are sin 
ning against God, and grieving His spirit, under 
the lashings of conscience, the fear of death, and 
are in the road to hell. Oh ! how unreasonable ! 


4. The message pronounces the rebellion to be 
base ingratitude. The Lord has done you good 
all your days, preserved you in infancy, guarded in 
youth, brought you to maturity, and oh ! how He 
has preserved you from enemies and dangers, from 
death and hell ! When sick, how often He has 
healed you ; weak, He has strengthened you ; hun 
gry, He fed you; thirsty, He gave you drink; 
your bread has been given, and water made sure. 
A thousand providences are at work for you every 
day to supply your wants sun, wind, fire, clouds, 
dews, seasons, winter snows, and rains of spring 
all are kept in motion for you. Besides, oh ! how 
precious, how wonderful His mercy, how long- 
suffering and kind His Spirit ! To rebel against 
Him, is like a dying man fighting his physician ; or 
a starving man ill-treating the friend who brings 
him bread. How ungrateful ! 

5. The rebellion is dangerous and jfootish. The 
sinner has overmatched himself. It is the creature 
against the Creator ; a feeble worm against 
Omnipotence ; man against God : how foolish ! 
Absalom fought against his father, but see his end ! 
He hangs in the oak ! Pharaoh fought against 
God, but was drowned in the sea ! Saul turned 
his back upon God, but look, he falls upon his 
own sword ! And dost thou refuse to be recon 
ciled ! 


is the conduct of God towards you after all your 
rebellion and continued wickedness ? Oh ! be as 
tonished, ye heavens, ye angels, and behold ! God 
sends His ambassadors to lift the flag of peace, and 


offer men the blessings of the Gospel. The Son of 
God lays open His bosom, and shows to sinners 
His wounded side, and prays them to be reconciled 
to God ! And look at the manner in which we are 
commanded to tender His mercy to sinners. 

1. With the highest authority As though God 
did beseech you by us. What we say to you, we 
say in God s name. Our entreaties are his en 
treaties. Our love to you is a faint reflection of 
His infinite love to you. We pray you to return to 
God. It is His will that you should do so. In 
His name we promise you pardon for all your sins. 
Now, consider the love of God. Was ever such 
conduct known ? No ! It is unparalleled. Oh ! 
what tender mercy is displayed in this verse ! Did 
ever a judge, after passing sentence upon a poor 
criminal, come down from his high seat, and be 
seech the offender to accept a free pardon ? Was 
it ever known that a creditor came to the prison to 
his ruined debtor to beseech him to receive an 
acquittance in full? Yet such is the wonderful 
condescension of the God of glory, and thy Creator ; 
As though God did beseech you, &c. But we are 
also to speak : 

2. With melting compassion. The ambassador 
not only comes in God s name, but in Christ s 
stead. Now, with great fear and solemnity, let me 
impress St. Paul s wonderful ideas upon you. 
Suppose that Christ appears in person, and stands 
before you j every eye would be fixed. O ! see the 
Man of Sorrows; He left the courts above to suffer 
for you sinners. Hemember what you have read 
of His sufferings and death in the Gospels. Now, 


He takes off the hatches and uncovers the pit ; 
you may smell the stench and smoke, hear the 
heart-rending cries and groans coming from the 
burning gulf, and as you see lost souls agonizing in 
horrible distress, you perhaps feel just ready to 
drop into it. But the loving Saviour speaks to 
thee, and pointing to His head crowned with thorns, 
He speaks again, and says, I suffered this to save 
thee from hell. He points again to His head, and 
wounded side, and back, and says, If thou wilt for 
sake thy sins, and love and serve Me, thou shalt 
never go into the pit. Then He opens heaven, and 
shows all the glory of the place, and pointing to 
His hands and feet, He says, Only forsake thy sins, 
and saints and angels shall be thy companions, 
crowns and glory shall be thine. Then He brings 
eternity before you as far as you can comprehend 
it, and pointing to the crown of thorns upon His 
head, with tears and entreaties beseeches you to be 
reconciled to God. Oh ! who can bear it ? Who 
can withstand it ? 

3. With tender importunity. We pray you, &c. 
Then am I to solicit and importune you in Christ s 
stead. I do this, and pray you by the shortness of 
time, by the solemnities of death, by the awful 
realities of the resurrection morning, by the terrors 
of the day of judgment, by the immutability of the 
final sentence, by the horrors of hell, by the glories 
of heaven, by the sufferings of Christ, by His agony 
in the garden, by His shame at Pilate s bar, by the 
cross upon His shoulder, by His expiring groans, 
by His powerful intercession, by His love for your 
souls, <fcc. I pray you, be ye reconciled to God. 


In conclusion, look at what follows if you refuse. 
You patronise and approve all the rebellion and 
wickedness of men and devils ; for if you have a 
right to continue in sin, why not others ? . Yea, 
every man upon earth, and every devil in hell. And 
are you for raising a universal mutiny and rebellion 
against the throne of God ? Awful thought ! He 
will soon give death a commission to seize and drag 
you to the bar. He will meet you as a bear 
bereaved of her young. And now, if you will not 
submit to mercy and make your peace with Him, 
Prepare to meet thy God. Gird thee, put thy 
armour on, call earth and hell to help thee^ &c. 
But oh 1 be ye reconciled to God, &c. 


NOTES of the sermon preached at Hatton, on the 
17th July, 1864, by Mr. C. Richardson : 

Text. NUMBERS xiii. 30 : And Caleb stilled the 
people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, 
and possess it ; for we are well able to overcome it. 

The history of the ancient Israelites abounds 
with many most important events, which give 
instruction to a Christian at every stage of his 
progress to the heavenly Canaan. From the period 


of tlieir grievous bondage in Egypt, to the very 
moment they took possession of the promised land, 
we have a succession of visible displays of an over 
ruling Providence, in which all the perfections of 
the divine character were harmoniously at work for 
their welfare. When they were subject to the most 
cruel slavery, the Lord brought them out with a 
mighty hand. When pursued by the hosts of 
Pharaoh, He divided the waters of the Eed Sea, 
and they walked over it upon dry ground. When 
they were parched with thirst, He caused the 
waters to gush out of the rock, which followed 
them. When they were perishing of hunger, He 
sent them manna from heaven in due season. And 
when they wanted to know their road, He led them 
by a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by 
night, and safely conducted them through all their 
dangers to the promised land ; and drove out the 
nations before them, little by little, lest the wild 
beasts should increase upon them. 

The circumstances with which the text stands 
connected are as follows : Moses, in obedience to 
the command of God, sent twelve men, one out of 
every tribe, to espy out the land of Canaan, and 
gave them suitable directions relative to the facts 
which they were to inquire into ; viz., whether the 
land was good or bad, whether the people were 
strong or weak, whether they dwelt in tents, or 
cities, or strongholds. They were to be of good 
courage, and when they came back they were to 
bring with them samples of the fruits of the land. 
Having received these instructions, they went up 
into the country, and at the close of forty days 


returned with their report, and said unto Moses : 
Surely the land floweth with milk and honey, and 
this is the fruit of it ; nevertheless the people are 
strong that dwell in the land, the cities are walled 
and very great, &c. See verses 27 and 28, and then 
the text. 

It is generally considered that the circumstances 
I have referred to are typical of something better 
under the Gospel dispensation. We may therefore, 
with propriety, view the text as expressing what 
belongs to the Christian s pilgrimage to heaven, and 
shall notice : 

I. The object which the pilgrims have in view. 
II. The line of conduct they must observe. 
III. The assurance which sustains them. 


1. This is, a land of glorious and everlasting light. 
There the sun is risen to set no more, and there he 
scatters his cheering rays through every part ; 
there the darkness of night shall no longer depress 
the feelings ; the darkness of sin shall no more 
pervade the land ; the darkness of Providence shall 
no more perplex the thoughts ; the darkness of hell 
shall no more alarm the fears ; the darkness of the 
grave shall no more conceal our friends ; the morn 
ing of the resurrection shall commence a day never 
to be followed by night, when every shade of dark 
ness shall be banished from the mind, all the 
mysteries of Providence shall be unfolded, and we 


shall for ever bask in the beams of the Sun of 

2. It is a land of permanent rest. There remains 
a rest for the people of God a rest where pure 
enjoyment reigns, and where there is no more toil, 
or suffering, or danger, or want j no more persecu 
tion for the sake of the Cross, no more buffetting 
against the storms of life. There our labours end. 
The tempests are hushed into a pleasing calm. 
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, &c. 
And do we not exclaim, that I had wings like a 
dove, for then would I fly away, and be at rest ? 
And shall we not fear, lest, a promise being left us 
of entering into rest, any of you should seem to 
come short of it ? 

3. It is a land of constant peace. No national 
convulsions, no domestic quarrels, no conflicting 
passions are there. All are the subjects of one 
king, all are children of one family, all are sanctified 
by one spirit, and therefore peace flows as a river. 
No enemies to invade that land ; no spies to bring 
an evil report from another. The inhabitants are 
all peacemakers. The sovereign is the Prince of 
Peace, and the law of the land is the law of love, 

4. It is a land of unminrjled pleasure. In Thy 
presence is fulness of joy, &c. Pleasures in behold 
ing the King in His beauty in listening to the loud 
hosannahs of the glorified throng in feasting on 
the fruits of Canaan, and in all the high delights 
which shall ravish the spiritual senses. Not one 
streaming eye shall there be seen ; not a single groan 
shall ever be heard ; no pain shall thrre be felt ; 


no bitter cup to drink ; every fear dispelled ; every 
doubt removed ; every complaint banished ; every 
eye sparkling with joy ; every heart dancing with 
gladness ; every soul tilled with glory, &c. 

5. It is a land of glorious liberty. All the 
inhabitants are free men, living in the privileges of 
a blessed emancipation, from the tyranny of Satan, 
from the dominion of sin, from the fear of death. 
They have exchanged the house of bondage for a 
house not made with hands ! a country of captive 
exiles for a land of noble freedom, where all are 
priests and kings, &c. 

6. It is a land of abundant supplies. There is no 
famine there. Jacob s family have no need to go 
down into Egypt to buy corn. There is bread 
enough and to spare. There a poor despised 
Lazarus doffs his tattered garments, and is adorned 
with the best robes ; none are parched with thirst, 
for the rock rolls living streams amongst them ; 
none faint with weakness, for the new wine of the 
kingdom revives them ; there is no complaining in 
the streets, for all are filled with the fulness of 
God. This is a land of corn and wine, &c. Living 
bread and living waters, and enough for evermore, 

7. It is a land of perfect holiness. God, angels, 
and saints are holy, and none can be allowed to 
enter the country where they dwell, but those who 
have washed their robes, and made them white in 
the blood of the Lamb, and kept them clean. A 
guilty conscience, impure affections, a stubborn 
will, and disordered passions, exclude from para 
dise. Except ye be converted, and, &c. 



1. At the commencement there must be entire 
decision of character. The spies may bring an evil 
report, and tell you of the sons of the giants, the 
lions in the way, and the floods of Jordan, and that 
the difficulties are so great they never can be sur 
mounted ; but the lies of the world, the suggestions 
of Satan, and the reasoning of our own minds must 
not be listened to. The heart must be decided, and 
the journey began without delay ; for the longer 
we look at the difficulties, the greater they will 
become. Everything connected with time and 
eternity call for decision of character. Time is 
flying, death is approaching, the Judge is at the 
door, the scenes of eternity are opening to our 
view. And shall we linger, and be found like Lot s 
wife? If death finds us loitering, we shall fall 
victims to the avenger of blood. 

2. An unwavering confession of Christ. We may 
well question that man s piety who feels ashamed 
to make a public profession of religion. Let us not 
suppose that we may secretly steal through the 
wilderness unobserved. The eyes of G-od, of men, 
of angels, and of devils, are upon us. O let us 
confess that we are strangers and pilgrims on the 
earth, as all our fathers were. This confession may 
expose us to the insults of the world, but remember 
what Christ said : Whosoever shall be ashamed of 
Me and of My Word, of him shall the Son of man 
be ashamed, &c. 

3. The exercise of heroic courage must mark their 
conduct. The wilderness through which we travel 
abounds with dangers and trials : hosts of foes 


behind, mountains of difficulty on either hand, and 
Jordan s floods in front, &c. But, courage, your 
Captain cries. Shall we be alarmed at the number, 
malice, and power of our enemies, and prove 
cowards ? < No ! says the Christian ; < none of these 
things move me. Who shall separate us from the 
love of Christ, &c. We must fight our passage 
through, and never sheathe the sword until we enter 
through the gates into the city. 

4. -The pleasing bonds of Christian unity are also 
necessary. < Behold, how good and how pleasant it 
is for brethren to dwell together in unity ! in unity 
of principle, affection, design, effort. We are all 
members of the same body, engaged in the same 
cause, fighting against the same enemies, governed 
by the same royal Captain, with the same heaven 
m prospect. Then let us weep in secret together, 
join in agonizing prayer, fight in company against 
sin and Satan, plan, scheme, and work together ; 
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet 
more and more. Oh ! it is a lamentable case when 
Canaan s travellers fight and tear each other by the 
way. How suitable the advice which Joseph gave 
to his brethren. Oh I let your conversation be as 
becometh the Gospel of Christ. Another requisite 


5. The cultivation of practical godliness. Believers 
are called children of the light, and were styled by 
the Saviour the light of the world. And we must 
let our light shine before men shine in our disposi 
tions, so that these may recommend the Gospel in 
the faithful discharge of every personal and relative 
luty m the proper employment of those talents 


committed to us for the good of others. When this 
is done, the religion of the Saviour appears in all its 
beauty and attractiveness. Men embrace its prin 
ciples, and God s people shine in their different 
spheres and offices, &c. Oh ! for more of this ! As 
giants may they run their race. 


For we are well able to overcome it. 

1- Because weir fortified with divine protection. 
If God weighs the mountains in scales, and the 
hills in a balance, then He is a God of omnipotent 
power. If His eyes are as a flame of fire, then He 
is a God of infinite wisdom. If clouds and dark 
ness are round about His throne, then He is a God 
of inflexible justice. If He pardons iniquity, and 
transgression, and sin, then He is a God of bound 
less mercy. If He is not a man that He should 
lie, then He is a God of perfect truth. And all 
these attributes and perfections surround His saints 
in all their journeyings through the present life, 
and thus He becomes our refuge in every danger, 
the foundation of all our hopes ; and while we 
trust in Christ, we are led on to certain victory. 

2. Because welV supported by the Holy Spirit. The 
Christian is a new man, and has a new nature ; he is 
blessed with the indwelling Spirit of God. Know 
ye not that ye are the temples of God. This 
is the Spirit of light, that makes known the 
stratagems of Satan, &c. ; this is the Spirit of life, 
that animates our zeal, &c., of power, and arms us 
for the war, &c. He operates like water, and 
cleanses from all pollution as fii e, and burns up 
the dross of sin. This is the self-same Spirit that 


4 moved upon the face of the waters, that inspired 
the ancient prophets, that enabled the apostles to 
speak in divers languages. And this Spirit dwells 
in all the saints, with all His mighty energies, 
to enable them to overcome the world, and every 
thing that obstructs their progress to the skies. 

3. Because l well furnished with good weapons. 
There is the shield of faith, and the breastplate 
of righteousness, and the sword of the Spirit, &c. ; 
and the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but 
mighty, &c. We must use them well, and keep 
them bright, and then, this is the victory that 
overcometh the world, even our faith. So we 
shall be able to force our passage through, and 
scale the mount of God. 

4. Because ivell encouraged by faithful promises. 
And so numerous are these, that to repeat them is 
out of the question. But they are in the Bible, and 
can be read and examined in every season of trial, 
and when the comfort they afford is most wanted. 
And oh ! when we call to mind the character of that 
God who has given them, the certain truth of the 
Scriptures where they are written, the efficacy of 
that blood by which they are sealed, together with 
their universal adaptation to the circumstances 
of God s people we cannot but thank God, and take 
courage. Oh let us cultivate this triumphant assur 
ance. Let us go up and possess the good land, for 
we are well able to overcome it. 

5. Because well commanded by a faithful Captain. 
The Captain of our salvation is the Lord of Hosts- 
He who stood before Joshua with a drawn sword. 
He is always in the field with His soldiers. Oh ! how 


many He has already brought to glory ! What 
encouraging examples we have in those who are 
gone before us ! How many happy deaths of saints 
and sainted friends have we known! Praise the 

A neat headstone with a modest inscription marks 
the grave of Mr. Kichardson, in Tetford Churchyard- 
And a marble tablet in the Wesleyan Chapel, in the 
same place, reminds the congregation of the grace and 
usefulness bestowed upon one who was born there/ 
with the following epitaph : 






He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and 
of faith : and much people was added unto the Lord. 





NOT many from the noble and the great, 
Are call d to preach the Gospel to the poor ; 
Not many of the wise and mighty, wait 
The Blessed Master s call, but evermore 
Jesus anoints His own ambassador. 
So sailing on the Galilean lake, 
His first disciples heard the call divine ; 
The humble fishermen their nets forsake, 
To follow their dear Lord, and in His service join. 

Thus from the peasant s cottage on the moor, 
Or bleak hill-side unlettered and unknown, 
Wielding the thrashing-flail upon the floor, 
Or following the up-land plough, unknown, 
God stoops some high evangelist to own : 
Noblest of mission-martyrs hero saint, 
John Hunt, the peasant canonised on high ! 
And yielding to the Spirit s sweet constraint 
Behold Charles Eichardson love, labour, conquer, die. 

What burning zeal, unquenchable and pure, 
Urged on the Peasant Preacher as he wrought 
ITis Master s glorious work ! His aim how sure 
When. the barbed arrow found the heart he sought, 
And trembling penitents to Christ were brought. 


With bended knees, and eyes up-cast to heaven 
Pierced wounded by the Spirit s naming sword, 
But soon rejoicing in their sins forgiven, 
:hey shout in chorus loud, and magnify the Lord. 

Artless and natural as a little child, 
All guileless in simplicity and love, 
He preached the Gospel pure and undefiled, 
God s Gospel sent to sinners from above, 
God s power omnipotent, to melt and move 
The stubborn heart, and open the blind eyes 
To see their sin and cure, the Lamb of God ! 
The sleepers wake ! the dead in sin arise 
To pardon, peace, and joy, through faith in Jesu s 
blood ! 

All glorious is the Gospel dispensation ! 
And Gospel-pardon offered unto all. 
O world-embracing, full and free salvation, 
O blest redemption from our sin and thrall, 
Which lifts us from the ruins of the fall, 
And sets us with God s princes from our shame 
To brotherhood with Christ our living Head ! 
God s sons ! Our bright inheritance we claim, 
Jerusalem above, whose golden streets we tread. 

They that be wise shall shine in glorious lustre 
Like the clear firmament but they that turn 
Many to righteousness as stars shall cluster, 
Blazing in splendour for which angels yearn, 
God s jewels, round God s throne for aye to burn 
And they that suffer with their Lord below, 
And do, and bear, for Him they love and own, 
Heaven s bright rewards, on such He will bestow, 
Jesus shall give the crown, and lift them to His throne! 

So wrought the Peasant Preacher for his Lord, 
With even zeal, and simple heart and eye 



So wrought the quickening Spirit with the Word 
In saving power, and brought salvation nigh, 
To sinners, who felt Jesus passing by. 
Thus ever so the weak confound the strong, 
God s heroes in the Gospel s holy war: 
Hark ! how they shout the conqueror s joyous song 
And things that are not, bring to nought the things 
that are ! 

Wreathe a bright chaplet o er the soldier s grave ! 
Christ s soldier he, who triumphed when he fell : 
Over his tomb the red-cross banner wave, 
And loud and long let solemn anthems swell 
For him, whose dying hymn was " All is well I" 
Over his honoured dust, thy vows renew, 
Nor scorn to shed the sympathetic tear ; 
Keep the pure memory of his life in view, 

While on his tomb you read, Charles Eichardson lies 


Mountfield, Faversham, Kent. 




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