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« and the tedious round of weekly labours are returned. All my quondam friends are
dispersed, and I feel half a stranger even “ in my native town. Sed levius fit patientia
Quicquid, &c. This is my situation: what “ is yours ? &c."
He had now for nearly two years been looking out for some fixed situation, when he received an application from a small congregation assembling at Platt, a village in the neighbourhood of Manchester. In consequence of this, he visited them in company with his uncle, and officiated two Sundays; but the stipend that they were enabled to offer (only 40l. perannum)appeared to him insufficient for a comfortable subsistence in so expensive a neighbourhood. This consideration induced him to decline the offer; which he did with the less regret, as he had much reason to be dissatisfied with the members for their total inattention to all personal civilities during his stay; a circumstance that augured not very favourably of the pleasantness of a future residence among
them. His rejection of this situation facilitated his election to one much more eligible; for in the course of this year he was chosen the minister of the congregation at Durham, where the memory of his uncle's former services would no doubt operate much in his favour, and introduce himn to more than an ordinary share of the attention and friendship of his flock.
As he was now regularly established in the stated office of a minister, it was thought necessary, that he should undergo the ceremony of ordination. This was accordingly performed at a meeting of ministers convened for the purpose in October 1757, a practice now very much disused among the rational dissenters, and which will probably in a little time be altogether laid aside. Having satisfactorily answered the questions proposed, he received ordination as a minister in the following terms :-“These are to certify, " that the Rev. George Walker, having “ preached a sermon, and exhibited a Latin - thesis from a subject assigned him, and
" publicly delivered a confession of his
faith, was this day solemnly ordained, as “ witness our hands, &c."
It is probable, that none of the ministers assembled contemplated this ceremony in any other light, than as a solemn approbation of the individual as fitted by his character, his talents, and his faith, for the exércise of that profession, to which he had devoted himself. The notion of their acting in any apostolic character, and communicating to him by some secret and supernat:ral interference certain peculiar powers, must have been discarded by all as a remnant of popish folly and superstition ; nevertheless there were many among the dissenting laity, who yet retained so much of the old puritanical spirit, that they would have deemed the sacrament but imperfectly administered by any but a regularly ordained minister, and have regarded the act of baptism by any other as nugatory and inefficacious. There is nothing very particularly record
ed of him during his residence at Durham, that is much entitled to notice. His habits of life appear to have continued uniform, and his health to have materially suffered from his inordinate application to his studies. Under the signature of P. M. D.* he was at this time a frequent contributor to The Ladies' Diary, and solved therein many very abstruse questions, that attracted the notice of the mathematicians of the day. It was at this time also, that he finished his Doctrine of the Sphere, a work of which he had laid the foundation in very early life, having commenced it before he was eighteen. This was partly undertaken as an amusement, and partly to remove from his mind the inaccuracies, obscurities, and inelegancies, which disgraced every system, that had as yet been published upon this department of the mathematics. The elements of the sphere, with the branches dependent thereon, had hitherto been but imperfectly * Presbyterian minister, Durham.
attempted in a geometric style, or had been subjected to the slovenly hand of Algebra. The essay on spherics by professor Simpson, which is now annexed to his edition of Euclid, was defective in it's extent. The general doctrine of the sphere, which is the foundation of the whole ; the geometry of spheric angles and triangles, together with the important science of projection, had been wholly neglected by him; and even the trigonometry of spheric triangles, which was his professed object, is far from being complete, some of the most elegant and useful theorems having been omitted. As an appendix to the work, he has subjoined a problem for ascertaining the apparent time of an observation, together with the latitude and longitude of the observer in the solution of which he has for the first
time taken into consideration the variation in ''the latitude and declination, by which means,
in all lunar observations, notwithstanding the great variation of the declination, the longitude of places ashore may at any