Kelly, Thomas

Kelly, Thomas was born in Queens County, Ireland, about 1769, and was the son of Judge Kelly, of Kellyville. He graduated at the Dublin University with the highest honors, with a view of studying law. He entered at the Temple, London, and while there enjoyed the friendship of his celebrated countryman, Edmund Burke, but before the completion of his legal studies, his mind having been strongly exercised on the subject of religion, he entered upon a course of theological reading, and in 1793 was ordained a clergyman of the Established Church. Kelly became one of the most popular preachers in Dublin, and crowds flocked to his church Sunday after Sunday to listen to his fervent appeals; incurring, however, the displeasure of his superiors in the Church, he was induced at length to leave the Establishment, though he never dissented from its doctrines. 'He continued to labor in Dublin for more than sixty years, and it was a common remark concerning him that he never seemed to waste an hour. He was possessed of abundant means, a rare thing among clergymen, and devoted a large portion of it to the building of churches. He was a man of varied learning, versed in the Oriental languages, and an excellent Biblical critic. He was also skilled in music, and composed a volume of airs for his hymns which were remarkable for -their simplicity and sweetness. In October, 1854, while preaching to his own congregation, he was seized with a slight stroke of paralysis, which gradually lessened his strength, till he died May 14, 1855. Mr. Kelly was the author of Andrew Dunn, a controversial work against Romanism, and of a pamphlet entitled Thoughts on Imputed Righteousness, but as a writer he is best known as the author of Hymns on various Passages of Scripture (the last edition, published in Dublin, 1853, contains seven hundred and sixty-five hymns).

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