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there was no assumed dignity or importance, but throughout the most unaffected simplicity of manner; in the familiarity of intercourse, to which his pupils were admitted, the tutor was lost in the companion and the friend; while in his whole conduct towards them there was evinced the most perfect liberality and disinterestedness of disposition. Such an assemblage of great and amiable qualities compelled them at once to reverence the instructor, and to love the man.
At the close of the year 1771, he received an invitation from the society of the Old Meeting at Birmingham, to succeed their late minister, the Rev. Mr. Howell. Though nothing could exceed the cordiality that subsisted between himself and the congregation at Yarmouth, yet a regard to his situation as a married man induced him to accede to this proposal, which would the better enable him to provide for all the duties that might spring from so interesting a relation. In consequence of his acceptance of this situ-, ation, a house was provided for him, and
every necessary preparation made for his reception. Previously however to his finally leaving Yarmouth for this purpose, he was applied to by the trustees of the Warrington Academy, to undertake the office of inathematical professor in that institution; and as this was a situation for which he was eminently qualified by his talents and acquirements, as vell as extremely coincident with his general habits and inclinations, he felt no other hesitation in immediately accepting it, than what arose from his recent engagement with Birmingham. In this dilemma he consulted his friend Dr. Priestley, through whom he had received the invitation to Warrington. The Doctorin his reply observed, that it would be much easier for the people of Birmingham to provide themselves with another minister, than the Academy with another tutor ; that the duty which he had to perform in this case was so different from that of a minister, that it could not be considered as quitting one congregation for another; and that those whom he had con
the business made light of his engagement with Birmingham. His friends in general pressed him to the same choice, apprehensive that his health and strength might prove unequal to the services of so large a congregation. Under these circumstances he wrote to his friends there, acquainting them with the overtures that had been made to him, and his real inclination with respect to them; entreating at the same time to be released from his engagement; a request which of course was complied with, though a source of general disappointment, and even of great offence to many, who on other accounts entertained toward him the greatest respect and attachment. It įs probable, that Mr. Walker's secret inclinations gave more weight to the arguments of his friends than he might otherwise have thought them entitled to ; certain it is, that upon more mature reflection he severely condemned his conduct on this occasion, and as the only means of atonement in his power he declared, that, under whatever circumstances
he might afterwards be placed, he should ever regard himself as under an engagement to Birmingham.
But whatever degree of blame might be imputed to him on this account, it met with more than it's deserved punishment in the total failure of his expectations at Warrington, to which place he removed in the latter end of the year 1772. It is matter of just surprise, when we reflect
very distinguished talents; that have contributed to the
support of the different dissenting colleges establishe ed at various times throughout the kingdom, that they should have so generally failed of accomplishing the object of their institution. Of the causes, that have principally contributed to their gradual decline and downfall, none perhaps have had so general or so fatal an effect, as the want of permanent established funds adequate to their liberal support. At the time of which we are speaking this circumstance operated peculiarly to the disadvantage of the Warrington seminary. In consequence of it's limited resources, the
professorship of divinity was the only one, to which a regular salary was annexed; while the income of the other departments was made to depend upon the fees paid by the students : and as the number of these was at all times uncertain, and extremely fluctuating, the emoluments of Mr. Walker's office became not only very precarious, but so small as to be insufficient for his immediate support. By the advice of his friends Doctors Price, Priestley, and Franklin, with whom he appears to have been then acquainted, he continued for some time to struggle with the inconveniences of his situation ; but the affairs of the college presenting no better prospect of an ampler remuneration of his services, his resignation became no longer a matter of choice, but of necessity.
During his residence at Warrington he published his Treatise upon the Sphere, principally for the purpose of accommodating the students who attended his lectures. This is generally acknowledged to be the most masterly treatise upon the subject extant, and