Reece, Richard

Reece, Richard, a preacher of Methodism in England, who travelled without interruption for a longer period than any other Methodist preacher — no less than fifty-

nine years — and thus figured at one time as the oldest effective Mlethodist preacher in the world, was born about the year 1765. In 1823 he visited this country with John Hannah as a delegate of the Wesleyans to the Methodist Episcopal Church; and he spent some time here visiting the societies, from Lynn, Mass., to Winchester, Va., and by his and Hannah's profound interest attested the general unity of all Methodists. In 1846 he was obliged to take a supernumerary relation, and he died in 1850. "He was a good, if not a great, preacher," says Stevens, "and a most amiable man. He is still generally remembered, by both English and American Methodists, for his perfect courtesy and his venerable appearance. His person was tall, his complexion ruddy, his head silvered with age, his voice commanding, his language flowing and pertinent, his piety tranquil, and his wisdom in counsel always reliable. He lived to share in the centenary celebration of Methodism, and by proposing that it should be signalized in England by the contribution of a million dollars for its public charities, excited the suspicion that his usual good judgment had suffered from the effect of age; but the people justified his calculation by giving seventy-five thousand dollars more. He was honored with an election to the presidency of the Conference." See Stevens, Hist. of Methodism. ii, 315, 316; 3:236, 308; West, Sketches of Weslyan Preachers (N. Y. 1848); Wesleyan Magazine, 1850, p. 652. (J. H. W.)

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