Johnson, John Barent

Johnson, John Barent, a minister of the Reformed (Dutch) Church, was born in 1769 in Brooklyn, L.I.; graduated at Columbia College, 1792; studied theology under Dr. John H. Livingston, and entered the ministry in 1795. He was copastor of the Reformed Dutch Church, Albany, with Rev. Dr. John Bassett, from 1796 to 1802, and afterwards pastor of the church in Brooklyn, 1802-3. Of prepossessing appearance and engaging manners, he won many friends by his dignified and courteous bearing. He was popular with all classes, especially with the young. As a preacher he was distinguished for a melodious voice, a natural manner, and effective oratory. His eulogy on General Washington produced a great sensation throughout the community. The exordium was spoken of at the time as a rare specimen of eloquence; and the whole performance was certainly of a very high order." It was published by the Legislature, at whose request it was delivered. He also published several other discourses, and contributed largely to literary periodicals of his day. In person he was tall, slender, well proportioned, and graceful. His imagination was brilliant and his fervor profound. His intellectual qualities and theological and literary attainments were eminent. He wrote his sermons, but delivered them extemporaneously, with great simplicity, directness, and unction. He died of consumption, Aug. 29, 1803. Of his three children, two became Episcopalian clergymen: one at Jamaica, L.I.; the other a professor in the General Theological Seminary at New York. — Rogers, Historical Discourse (Albany, 1858); Sprague, Annals, 9, 167. (W.J.R.T.).

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