At twenty-two he was the most popular preacher of his day.
In 1866 he was Whitehall preacher, and in 1871 he became canon of St Paul's.
As a preacher he was in great request, though possessing but few of the qualities of the popular preacher.
His preaching, his catechizing of the children after evensong, and his connexion with the Bala Methodists - his wife's stepfather being a Methodist preacher - gave great offence.
For some time he was unsuccessful; but at last, with the aid of the regent, he arrested the preacher, and carried him to his castle of St Andrews.