Richards, Elias Jones, Dd

Richards, Elias Jones, D.D., a Presbyterian minister, was the son of Hugh and Jane Ellis Jones Richards, and was born in the valley of the Dee, England, Jan. 14,1813. While he was yet a child his parents came to the United States, and settled in the State of New York. He was prepared for college at Bloomfield Academy, in the town of Bloomfield, N.J., and was graduated at the college of New Jersey at Princeton in 1834. In early life he gave evidence of conversion, and at about seventeen years of age united with the Brick Church in the city of New York. After leaving college he spent one year in teaching as tutor in a private family at Fredericksburg, Va. In 1835 he entered Princeton Theological Seminary, and passed through a full course of three years. He was licensed by the Presbytery of New York in 1838, and ordained by the same presbytery, sine titulo, in New York city in the same year. For one year (1839-40) Mr. Richards preached as stated supply to the Presbyterian Church at Ann Arbor, Mich. From 1840 to 1842 he was pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church at Paterson, N.J., and from 1842 to 1846 he was pastor of the Western Presbyterian Church in the city of Philadelphia. On Oct. 14, 1846, he was installed as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Reading, Pa. Here he really began the best and greatest work of his life — a work which was prosecuted with fidelity, zeal, and perseverance to the end of his life. Dr. Richards was a man of great gentleness and amiability of character, yet was endowed with unusual tenacity of purpose. As a scholar, he was far above the average of his profession. As a preacher, he was pleasing, attractive, persuasive, logical, and thoroughly evangelical. As a pastor, he was faithful, kind, and dignified. In all the relations of life he was lovely and beloved, and had a strong hold upon the affections of those who knew him well. Dr. Richards was twice married: the first time to Miss Emily Theresa Ward, of Newark, N.J.; the second time to Elizabeth F. Smith, of Reading, Pa. After more than twenty-five years of active and earnest pastoral labors in Reading, he was attacked by that frightful malady known as Bright's disease of the kidneys, and, after much suffering, departed to be with Christ, March 25, 1872. His last utterance was, "My faith is in Christ." (W.P.S.)

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