Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DE CHARMS, Richard, clergyman, born in Philadelphia, 17 October 1796; died 20 March 1864. His ancestors were Huguenots, who took refuge in England in 1685 upon the revocation of the edict of Nantes. In early life he was a printer. In 1825 he engaged in the study of Swedenborgian theology under the Rev. Thomas Worcester, of Boston, at the same time superintending the publication of the " New Jerusalem Magazine" in that City, the first three numbers of which he set in type and printed with his own hands. Subsequently, by the assistance of a friend, he was enabled to enter Yale, where he was graduated in 1826, and, at the suggestion of the same friend, he began the study of theology in London, to qualify himself for the Swedenborgian ministry. During the two years passed in England he supported himself by his labor as a journeyman printer. His theological studies were continued in Baltimore, and his first sermon, on the " Paramount Importance of Spiritual Things," was published in that City in 1828, and was afterward reprinted in London. After a year of pastoral labor in Bedford, Pennsylvania, he went to London, and studied under the Rev. Samuel Noble. On returning to this country in 1832, he became pastor in Cincinnati, 1832'9, and conducted a periodical called "The Precursor." He subsequently preached in Philadelphia, 1839'45, Baltimore, 1845'50, and New York. In his later days he devoted much attention to mechanical contrivances and inventions of his own. He rendered valuable service to the periodical literature of his Church, and issued several volumes of sermons on the fundamental doctrines of Swedenborg. He published also " Freedom and Slavery in the Light of the New Jerusalem"; "Sermon illustrating the Doctrine of the Lord" (Philadelphia, 1840); "Series of Lectures delivered at Charleston, S. C." (1841); and "The New Churchman Extra" (1 vol.), a treatise devoted to polemics and Church history in the United States and Europe.
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