Parker, John

Parker, John a noted minister of the Church of the New Jerusalem, was born in Harbourne, England, in 1823, and early joined the Wesleyans. He was but moderately educated, and for many years followed the trade of brass- finishing. In 1855 he was led to change his Church relations through the instrumentality of the Rev. Dr. Bailey, of London. Mr. Parker now became a most ardent advocate of Swedenborgian doctrines, and engaged in discussions both publicly and privately. In 1863 he removed to Canada, and settled Toronto. In 1868 he finally entered the ministry. He had previously addressed large audiences on the New Jerusalem doctrines in the Toronto Park on Sunday afternoons, and became may my instrumental in gathering the Toronto New Church Society. After his ordination he was, most assiduous in his labors as the minister of the Toronto Society, making also many missionary tours into country places in Ontario and to the backwoods of Michigan, so that, besides those in Toronto who acknowledge Mr. Parker as the instrument of their introduction into the New Church, many isolated societies throughout Ontario and the West for the same reason remember him. In 1871 he severed his connection as pastor with the Toronto Society, and was engaged in missionary work for the General Association of the New Church in Canada, when, admonished by serious symptoms of disease, he returned to Toronto for medical advice, but never made any promising rally. He died Aug. 25, 1872. Mr. Parker enjoyed the confidence, and esteem of his own Church people to a remarkable degree. As a speaker his manner was earnest and his voice pleasing; his reasoning powers having been of a high order, he sought truth natural, scientific, and spiritual very earnestly, and he had the faculty of expressing his convictions to others in simple language. He was a genial, kind-hearted man, with strong antipathies, to which he did not hesitate to give expression. See The New Jerusalem Messenger, New York, Oct. 2, 1872. (J. H. W.)

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