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An Interesting Controversy With Mr. Ritschel, Vicar of Hexham (Classic Reprint)

An Interesting Controversy With Mr. Ritschel, Vicar of Hexham (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from An Interesting Controversy With Mr. Ritschel, Vicar of Hexham

Thomas Ward was the son of a respectable farmer, and was born at Danby Castle, in the Moors of Yorkshire, on the 13th of April, 1652. The early part of his life passed away undistinguished from that of ordinary children, and nothing remarkable of him is known until his fourteenth year, when he was at Pickering School, giving the first indications of his genius, and excelling his brothers in his taste and knowledge of the classics. Here he was initiated in the first principles of arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy, in which sciences he became a great proficient. So much was his father pleased with his eldest son's early propensity to learning, and the abilities which he discovered, that he determined to rescue him from the obscurity of a country life, and destined him for one of the learned professions. Young Ward was accordingly offered his choice to become a clergyman, a physician, or a lawyer; but, with a mind already matured by study and thinking, he hesitated - and at length declined his father's offers. In the practice of the law he observed there were too many temptations to dishonesty, and he doubted his firmness to resist them. The profession of physic was repugnant to the delicacy of his feelings; and, as a clergyman, he feared that might contribute more to the destruction than the salvation of his fellow-men. Thus, perhaps, a too fastidious nicety in his conscience and ideas, left him without a calling, and he entered into the world with very little prospects of a permanent subsistence.

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