17 January 1794

Hugh Worthington, [Highbury], to Mary Hays, [Gainsford Street], 17 January 1794.1


Miss Hays

Dear Madam

       It is indeed a long time, since we conversed together; but after next week (in ye course of wch I go out of town) I hope to visit Gainsford Street, & settle when it may suit you to come & see us.

    Enclosed is a very plain discourse of wch I beg yr acceptance; it pleads for charity, & needs it.2 I have no other copy by me, or wd have enclosed one for Mr Draper, whose Sermon discovers very considerable talents, & whose situation arrests one’s sympathy. I beg my Respects to him, & to put down as a Subscriber to his intended volume.3

       I think this Specimen of his pulpit-abilities admirable, tho’ I do not interpret ye word virtue in his text just as he does; but with Doddridge4 and many great Critics explain it of courage to wch ye latin virtu was much applied by ye Romans; “Add to yr faith fortitude”; in times of persecution yr profession of faith will call for much firmness & courage; but let not courage degenerate into rashness “add knowledge” wch will guide and regulate it. – In every other link of the chain we agree, & most delightfully has he shewn the connexion & dependance of each.

      I am sure, these remarks will not offend a man of his sense & goodness.

      You have done wonders in Geometry, both as to extent and to dispatch. Mathematics were always my delight, & you will find them a great relief to the mind. Excuse my saying, they have a certainty of demonstrn to wch Metaphysics have no pretension. The 5th Book of Euclid is abominably hard about equimultiples. Many excellent modern Systems of Geomy entirely omit it, & prove ye proportions in the 6th without it.

       Mrs W equally wth self presents Respects & kind wishes to all yr Family. My paper is small, my esteem great; put ye one against ye other, & believe me

                         yr very obliged


                                                & faithful Friend

                                                            H. Worthington


Jany 17, 94

1 A. F. Wedd Collection, shelfmark 24.93(18), Dr. Williams's Library, London; Brooks, Correspondence 285-86.

2 Reference is to Worthington's recent sermon, The Duty of Instructing and Relieving Necessitous Children. A Sermon, preached at Salters-Hall, on Lord's Day evening, June 16th, 1793, in behalf of the Protestant Dissenting Charity School, established in Wood-Street, Spital-fields (London: C. Dilly, D. Taylor, and R. Good, 1793). 

3 Rev. William Draper, Lecturer at that time at Allhallows, London-Wall, and formerly curate at the New Church, Wolverhampton. Reference is to Draper’s forthcoming volume, Twenty Sermons on Various Subjects, preached at Allhallows on the Wall (London: W. Richardson, [1796]). 

4 Philip Doddridge (1702-51) was one of the most influential Independent ministers of his day, studied under John Jennings at Kibworth and Hinckley, Leicestershire. After brief ministries at Kibworth and Market Harborough (1723-29), Doddridge assumed the pastorate of the Independent church at Northampton, and shortly thereafter opened his academy. He remained at Northampton until his death in 1751.  A moderate Calvinist, he did much to unite the many divisions among the Dissenters of his day. His most popular work was On the Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul (1745).